The Snyders Speak Out

It's a town covering roughly one square mile with about 750 residents.

So how much could go wrong? Plenty.

Roseland changed from a sleepy little town few knew about, to a spot on the map that lit up around the globe.

At the center of much of the controversy, David and Dorothy Snyder, the now infamous husband and wife team who until recently made up a three person town council.

For years all you heard when they were on the council were quick soundbites involving the drama. Now that the Snyders are off the council, we decided to sit down and get some answers to the questions we had.

WNDU cameras capture now infamous video of then town councilman David Snyder being pushed through the doors at town hall and then struck by Marshall Jack Tiller.

Snyder had been asked to leave the September 14th council meeting.

Our video has been viewed worldwide and had over 200-thousand hits here at WNDU.com.

Snyder was treated at the hospital and hauled off to jail.

Prosecutor Mike Dvorak sent the case to a grand jury. The grand jury did not return an indictment against Snyder.

The Snyders have filed a lawsuit against the town of Roseland and Jack Tiller.

But David and Dorothy say they don't want to be defined by the various rumbles in Roseland during the three years the husband and wife team served on a three person council.

I recently sat down with the Snyder's to learn some things we don't know about them. They were both born in Michiana.

David Snyder says, “I'm from Roseland originally. I was born in Memorial Hospital but my folks home was in Roseland. I was raised there the first six years of my life before my dad moved away.

Dorothy says, “I was actually born at Memorial Hospital, but lived west of South Bend. I went to German Township School and I graduated from LaSalle and I didn't move to Roseland until 1986.

Visitors to the Ice Box in South Bend may recognize some of Dorothy's artwork.

She says she painted a mural there. She said, “it's a eight foot by 12 foot. I painted that when I was right out of high school. My first job was working in the snack shop there.”

David's father was a Lutheran minister so they moved around a lot.

He says, “it's somewhat like being an army brat--a new church every so many years and that's what he ended up doing.”

When asked why he came back to Roseland, Snyder replied, “I like this area, I like the Michiana area, I like the people.”

In spite of all the drama, the Snyder's say they are well received my most in Roseland. They say for the most part, people treat them very well.

Dorothy says the problem comes from the evens in the Roseland town hall. She told NewsCenter16, “the strange thing is the most unpleasant people who come to the town hall don't live in Roseland. They have some kind of connection with a business in Roseland, so most of the people in Roseland are good people.”

The Roseland Town Council is what brought Dorothy and David together. Dorothy says one night David stood up for her and her dog. She said, “I would go to the town hall in the evening, especially when there wasn't a meeting and I would take him with me. There was several people who said, oh that dog shouldn't be in the building and so David said, well it's like her kid you know.”

And why did David Snyder run for office to begin with? He said, “I had no deep desire to run, I like to help people and I won't go into the whole story, but she asked me and asked me and I finally relented and said yes, and I’m glad I did.”

Dorothy says, “I was elected as the democratic precinct committee woman in Roseland so that's why it was my job to ask people to fill the ballot. I knew David’s parents, they lived across the streets from me, and so I said you would make a good candidate for town council.”

The Snyders claim no one was interested in Roseland until the South Bend Tribune wrote an article about their marriage.

Maureen McFadden asked the Snyders, “Once married did you ever think a married couple on a three person council was a bad idea, did you know there could be trouble over this?”

David answered, “you look at both sides of it and you think, yeah maybe it doesn't look good, but Dorothy and I have always argued and debated before we married and people who came to council meetings saw it still ongoing.”

David says he wanted a five person council which he believed would have saved them and Roseland a lot of grief.

WNDU asked David if he wanted to leave the council before his term was up. He told us, “there was times when you would wonder, why am I doing this, why don't I resign. You asked for the responsibility, you know it was given to you through voting, so you don't just walk about from it.”

The Snyders are quick to point out that they feel they did a lot of positive things in office. They just say the positive was overshadowed by infighting.

David says, “I think people have got to see what we did in those three years we were working together. The redevelopment commission, the TIF district, other things that are up and going. The new Holiday Inn Express, the housing of 58 condiminiums.”

They say Roseland has gone from about 22 million in assessed value to about 60 million.

Now, David is back in real estate and Dorothy is still working full time at Notre Dame's Hesburgh Library. She works with old books and is planning a new one.

They say they are writing a book about their time in Roseland called, “The Injured Democracy.”

David Snyder still faces charges for allegedly assaulting and threatening to kill fellow councilman Ted Penn last January.

No trial date has been set.

In part two of “The Snyders Speak Out,” we'll ask David and Dorothy about their legal battles and whether David fears going to jail.

WNDU has also posted the entire interview with the Snyders online. Follow the link below to access the video clips.


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