ELWOOD, Ind. - The mayor and all of the leading politicians in Elwood have heard the rumor that Mayor Ron Arnold will change jobs next month.
The mayor told RTV6 that's just not true, but the Republican didn't deny that he might change parties.
"Members of my own party are about what I call political assassination on other members of my party," Arnold said.
Arnold describes himself as the "mayor in the middle," a Republican governing a Democrat-controlled city. Given what he calls the political infighting in his own party, Arnold has given thought to governing Elwood as an independent.
"You know, I think about that almost every day as I watch what parties are doing on a national level, or should I say, what they're not doing on a local level," Arnold said.
Elwood has 10,000 residents and a $5 million annual budget. It also has a high unemployment rate, losing more than 500 jobs over the past five years.
Uncertainty over the mayor's potential resignation or change in party affiliation has unsettled Elwood's political infrastructure.
"There're some issues and personal issues that may make him feel that way," said Democrat Tim Roby, president of the Elwood City Council. "Like I said, we haven't heard anything. He hasn't gotten ahold of me or the Council to say anything like that is going to take place."
While his politics might be in the closet, his personal life is very much the talk of Elwood.
Police recently arrested the Arnold's teenage son and three other juveniles for an arson that destroyed the old State Plating factory. Recently, police arrested another juvenile-aged son for battery and alcohol offenses.
"I have two boys that are young teenagers. They are making mistakes. They are learning from them," Arnold said. "My wife and I are committed to helping them learn from them."
Arnold said he's already spoken to the Madison County GOP chairman about going Independent.
Arnold said \that decision will come next month.