- During Peterson's eight years in office, the city and county budget has gone from $724 million to $1.04 billion, an increase of 44 percent.
- Peterson has raised sewer and storm water user fees to fix the city's overflow sewer problem; increased food and beverage taxes, and car rental, ticket and hotel taxes to help pay for the Colts stadium; and this summer he pushed to raise the income tax to fund public safety operations and retire old pension liabilities.
- The income tax had been 1 percent and was raised to 1.65 percent. For a Marion County resident who earned the median income of $41,947 last year, the tax means an extra $273 siphoned from paychecks over the course of a year.
- Greg Jordan, his Republican opponent in the 2003 election, said Peterson did little to prepare for a property tax crisis that most public officials saw coming long in advance . . . We needed a proactive stance to minimize the impact," Jordan said. "The mayor does a great job of selling what he's done, but it's a pattern of taking the easy route rather than making the tough decisions."
- While homicides are down this year, the violent crime rate increased 7 percent from 2003 to 2006 in Marion County, while nationally the increase was 3 percent.
- Seven years ago, Peterson stood on the porch of an abandoned house at 49 Jefferson Ave. and said he would crack down on absentee landlords. Abandoned homes, he said, drag down a neighborhood's property values and attract drug dealers and squatters. Four years later, the house was still abandoned.
- Peterson, 49, said he seriously considered not running for office again. But he said he wants to complete some goals that are personally important to him.
- "Would the next mayor have the same approach to fighting the high school dropout rate, or would the charter school foundation be strong enough?" Peterson said. "We might lose the progress we've made. I can't expect the next mayor to have the same passions and priorities."
- He considers Downtown development another success story. Downtown has especially thrived during his tenure, with a flood of new condominiums and restaurants making it increasingly attractive to live in the city's heart.
- The mayor has relied on tax incentives to lure key job-creating companies such as Simon Property Group and the Conrad Hotel, but again, Republicans say he gave away too much in the deals.
- Supporters say Peterson's ability to sell a compromise comes from his communication skills. Peterson said he loves the challenge of bringing people together.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Peterson: Solving Problems At A Cost
The Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy has a feature story on Mayor Peterson's re-election bid. Although I would dispute the story's headline, some might describe the story as a case for electing a new mayor. Here's a summary of some of the key points in the article: