Amanda Shipp resigns alderman post

Donelle Pardee Whiting
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Alderman Amanda Shipp attended her last city council meeting Monday night leaving ward IV with a vacant seat.

Shipp, a Republican, defeated Democrat David Knight in April 2007 to serve the final two years of a four-year term.

Her seat was previously occupied by Dennis Landry who filled in after Joe Grieser resigned in April 2006. Landry declined to run for election, citing personal reasons.

Grieser resigned during a council meeting after casting the sole dissenting vote in the council’s decision to raise the city’s sales tax by .25 percent to help pay for its portion of Five Points Washington’s construction costs.

Shipp said although she enjoys serving on the council, she is resigning because she is relocating to Indianapolis early next month and getting married in September.

The job of filling the vacancy falls to Mayor Gary Manier. There are currently two candidates, but Manier is looking for additional possibilities. Candidates do not have to be a Republican to be considered.

Manier said candidates will go through an interview process.

Manier said if everything goes well he would like to see a candidate approved and seated by the May 19 meeting, and hopes the new council member has aspirations to serve for more than one year.

“I’d like to find someone who’s willing to run for election next spring,” he added.

Shipp is the sixth woman to serve on the eight-member council since 1975. Both Manier and Shipp said they hope female candidates will step forward.

“Voters (in Ward IV) chose a woman to represent them,” Manier said, adding that if it would work out he would like to see another woman in that seat.

Shipp said she would have run for re-election in 2009 if her life had not taken her to Indianapolis.

“I didn’t even know my fiancé when I was running for election last year,” Shipp said. “My biggest regret is not completing my term. I’m really going to miss Washington.”

Shipp said her fiancé, Tim Helman, works in Indianapolis and has been driving to Washington on weekends since September. However, she decided it was time for her to move.

Helman works as a corporate sales manager for an engineering firm.

Candidates for Shipp’s seat on the council should contact Manier at 208-6214, or gwmanier@insightbb.com. They may also contact city administrator Bob Morris at 444-1123, or bmorris@ci.washington.il.us.