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:

  • 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.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seriously Gary?

The Star gives Ballard a blow job, and you're happy with the coverage. It runs a hit piece on Peterson and you call it a "case for his reelection?"

I give up. You and Mike Murphy and Eric Miller have fun as you kill the Republican party with ideological party-line drivel.

Advance Indiana said...

I said, "Although I would dispute the story's headline, some might describe the story as a case for electing a new mayor." That's hardly calling the story a "case for his re-election.

Sir Hailstone said...

Gary - I assume you'll be posting a review of the third debate soon.

One of the things that caught my attention was the Mayor was spinning everything, and I heard the words "increasing investments" - when government says its increasing investments, that's Tony Blair liberal doublespeak for "We're raising taxes".

The Mayor disputed Greg on the jobs number - Greg got his number straight from the State Department of Workforce Development. The Mayor disputed that with a number from the Indianapolis Star - who do you believe?

Greg got nervous again at the beginning and clearly did not have a pre-canned answer ready for the video questions.

Greg finally did a b!tchslap of the Mayor when Matt Tully asked about when re-elected would Mayor Bart raise taxes again. The Mayor (lied and) said "no". Greg responded with "Past performance is a pretty good indicator of future results and you've raised taxes 19 times". ZING!

Advance Indiana said...

I forgot it was on this morning and missed most of it.

Sir Hailstone said...

Oh, Snap!

I hope channel 13 will post it to their website to view later.

Anonymous said...

Really, Hail? So do you conspiracy theorists have double ("real"?) meanings for other code words the mayor uses?

What's code for "Republicans ignored expensive problems for 30 years?" Or, "sacrificed expensive solutions at the altar of 'no new taxes'"?

I can't wait until Nov. 7.

Ballard Lies.

My code word for "can we all look at this sensibly?" (Answer: no)

Sir Hailstone said...

Anonymous Coward 12:16 - why don't you use your real name, Steve Campbell?

Here's some more doublespeak for you libs - "Revenue Enhancement" - that's also another euphemism for raising taxes. Mayor Bart just said today he won't raise taxes again. That's bull s**t. We know he'll raise taxes again.

Otherwise he won't be able to have one of his lackeys on the Council like Ron Gibson say "we can't pick up the trash" if you cut the budget.

Speaking of taking out the trash Ron, King Ro and Sweet Pea should be dropped in the nearest dumpster. Maybe Wilson is there waiting.

Gary_S said...

Unfortunately, the Star reporters failed to do their homework in summarizing the tax increases that have taken place under Mayor Bart's watch: my 2004 Indiana IT-40 individual income tax booklet (which I had to dig out of a cluttered file drawer) shows that the Marion County income tax rate was seven-tenths of one percent that year. It is now up to 1.65%, thanks to Mayor Bart and his "never say 'no' to more taxes" city-county council majority. That computes to a 135% county income tax increase, versus the (mere) 65% increase mentioned in the article. Far from doing a "hit piece" on the mayor, the Star appears to be understating the full extent of tax hikes during the Peterson administration. No matter. Peterson and the Democratic councillors will definitely not be getting my vote this time around.