Mayor Subler reflects on 19 years


By Meladi Brewer

VERSAILLES — The 2024 year is upon the Versailles Village Council, and with it will come a change in power.

Mayor Jeff Subler had been with the council for 19 years, and at the turn of the year, he passed his gavel over to Mayor Elect Todd Dammeyer. Mayor Subler reflected on his time in office and the journey it took to get to this point.

“I never thought I’d be Mayor of the town when I was growing up here,” Mayor Subler said.

He said it started when he got asked to be on the board of zoning and appeals in 1985. Holding the position for six years, Mayor Subler found himself complaining with a colleague about how the town would handle certain business.

“It got into a ‘well why don’t you do something about it’ conversation. It was funny, and finally we said I’ll run if you run,” Mayor Subler said.

He and his colleague both ran and were elected onto council in 1993, and from there, his position grew.

“To me it was always you need to give back. You need to do something for the town because it was a lot of fun growing up here, and it was just a good place to grow and live. You just always want to maintain that,” Mayor Subler said.

He said he never dreamed he’d be acting mayor for this long, but a lot of the reason for staying are the projects.

“It would get down to the end of my term and we’d still have this and that to do. At this point I know there are still things to do, but I got to step back for a while,” Mayor Subler said.

Leaving in the middle of a project you’ve helped organize is never easy, but Mayor Subler believes now is a good time to pass the torch onto a strong council who can handle it. Mayor Subler said he is at least taking a break, but he would “never say he would never do it again”.

“I’m still going to be on the Planning Commission as a citizen, so I will still be involved with the town,” he said.

The biggest goal Subler had when he first got involved was, he wanted to make sure there were enough stable jobs.

“Not that it’s the most important thing, but in my mind I thought we need jobs. If you want to live here, you have to be able to work and not have to travel too far,” Mayor Subler said.

When he was 12 years-old, he remembers watching a show with a unique concept of the town buying the land and saying “if you bring all your jobs here, we will give you the land”.

“In those days it was so unheard of that he got to be on the Tonight Show, and I remember they would build a factory there, and they would bring in 500 jobs,” Mayor Subler said.

A simple concept that made sense to Subler from a young age carried through to his council days. He always wanted to make sure there were suitable jobs around the area to ensure there was a strong economic grounding in order to strengthen and support the community.

“You can drive through all these little towns in Indiana and there is just nothing left. You can see at one time they were a booming town, and now they are almost gone. To me that’s sad,” he said.

He is grateful to supportive community businesses like Midmark, Weaver Bros, Inc., Kings Command, and everyone in between for growing and supporting the community, as small and industrial businesses alike help strengthen the need for economical growth through jobs.

“I didn’t want people to have to move away to get jobs,” Mayor Subler said.

Having tons to say about and to the community, the former mayor said there has always been support the council has gotten that is appreciated. The support, encouragement, and critiques are helpful to ensure the village is on a positive path.

“I really just appreciate them, and we couldn’t have done nearly what we have for the town without them,” Mayor Subler said. “That and we have a base of citizens who take pride in their homes and property.”

Mayor Subler said the point is when the council works to fix something in the town, it seems the community takes the same initiative, so he is grateful for the community as a whole working together to be the definition of People, Pride, and Progress.

“I would just ask the community give Dammeyer the same courtesy and understanding when allowing him to do things. I’m sure he wont do things exactly how I did them, but that is okay. There is more than one way to do things at times, and he may even do things better than I did,” Mayor Subler said.

He would just like the community to treat Dammeyer with the respect he was shown over the years because at the end of the day “it doesn’t matter who sits in the mayor’s chair. It is everybody’s town,” and having that mindset, support, and teamwork, will help keep the ball rolling on progress.

“This position is not a full-time job, but it is a full-time responsibility,” Mayor Subler said. “I’m still going to be involved in the town, and will help out when I am needed.”

Mayor Subler just wanted to express his appreciation for the community.

“I never assumed we (the council) were always right. We are all human and make mistakes over the years, but everyone I worked with never made me feel like they were in this position for there own benefit,” he said.

He wanted to thank past and present council members whom he had the pleasure of working with, as he truly believed every one was working for the betterment of the town instead of selfishly.

Mayor Todd Dammeyer was sworn in on Jan. 1.

The next Versailles Council meeting will take place Wednesday, Jan. 10 at 7 p.m., in EMS Building, 320 Baker Road, Versailles.

To contact Daily Advocate Reporter Meladi Brewer, email [email protected].

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