Thursday, December 27, 2007

Williams Is Ballard's First Pick

An African-American minister and ex-con is Mayor-elect Greg Ballard's first-announced member of his administration. Rev. Olgen Williams, the executive director of Christamore House, has been named as Deputy Mayor in charge of neighborhoods. Williams, who turned his life around after being convicted earlier in his life on theft charges and leading a life of drugs, currently earns $55,000 a year running the nonprofit organization which provides a safe haven for troubled youth. Mayor-elect Ballard has stated his intention to resurrect former Mayor Steve Goldsmith's Front Porch Alliance, a neighborhood outreach effort which involved a partnership with faith-based organizations. Presumably, Rev. Williams' new role will include that task. More announcements are expected Friday morning.

23 comments:

Anonymous said...

As long as he's not permitted to handle any money or allowed to say speak into a camera, at least without a translator, we'll be okay. Williams is no Steve Campbell.

Anonymous said...

LMAO

But, true.

Anonymous said...

Does this mean Olgen got Ike's job?

schoolboardgreg said...

I met him and heard him speak during the last school board election and found that he had little trouble getting his point across.

Wilson46201 said...

Prominent Black Republicans like Rev. Solomon are grumbling already...

Anonymous said...

Grumbling to who...Ballard?

Wilson46201 said...

to whoM ? Amos Brown's listeners on the air...

Anonymous said...

I think he is a good choice.......at least he is not a insider insider.....he actually cares about people

Anonymous said...

From nearly everything I have read regarding this Front Porch Alliance flimflam was that it was an unmitigated failure.
People aren't going to take too kindly to their tax dollars going into the greedy hands of a few black ministers.
I'n glad this Williams character turned himself around but a felon , who can't even vote being appointed as a deputy mayor is a bit much for me to swallow.
When Lilly Endowment speaks Ballard jumps.

Anonymous said...

You can legally vote if you have been convicted of a felony, you just cannot vote while being in prison or jail....isn't that correct Wilson? not saying you are a felon, but you know most laws

Wilson46201 said...

The basic rule in Indiana is that you can vote unless you are incarcerated after being convicted. Yup, I've done voter registration in the Marion County Jail (!) - I don't think there was any systematic followup absentee voting though.

If Olgen Williams was a convicted felon under state law, he certainly can vote if he's out on the street. He just can't be an elected office-holder...

One of the constant tasks when out doing voter registration is convincing ex-cons that they're eligible to vote if they've done their time.

Wilson46201 said...

Before somebody makes a snide crack, that voter registration at the Jail was done under the administration of that paragon of civic virtue, Republican Sheriff Jack Cottey...

Anonymous said...

Hey, no problem Wilson. Smoke 'em if ya got 'em.

Anonymous said...

If Olgen Williams was a convicted felon under state law, he certainly can vote if he's out on the street. He just can't be an elected office-holder...

But, but, but, Williams is already an elected office holder. He's a member of the IPS School Board.

Anonymous said...

Good point 4:08.

Wilson46201 said...

Hmmmm ... very interesting! Was Olgen Williams actually a convicted felon? How do we know this?

Gary's the hotshot attorney - elucidate, please ... this could be interesting.

Anonymous said...

If Greg can decipher Olgen's gibberish, good for him.

I have listened to him many times, on the radio and elsewhere. I cannot understand about half of what he says.

That said, I do admire his life turn-around.

And yes he was ocnvicted of a felony, but as I recall, Gov. Daniels gave him a pardon, am I correct?

Otherwise, no...he could not hold office.

Anonymous said...

Several posters have out out incorrect information. Regarding whether a felon can hold state office. Deputy Mayor is an appointed position. Not sure the disqualification for a felon holding elected office applies to someone in an appointed position. On who pardoned Olgen Williams, it was President Bush, in his first term. That pardon in essence expunged the conviction. That's why he was able to run for a school board office.

Wilson46201 said...

Thanks for the clarification about the pardon...

Felons may be hired to work for the government in Indiana, it's just that they can't be elected to the job! If convicted while in office, they are thus disqualified and removed from office.

B said...

Interesting. Seems like a decent guy, if this is a "liason" type role he's seem well suited, but I'm most curious to see hard conservative/libertarian reaction. Most anti-taxers tend to frown on "social servcie" types. I recall an era when "midnight basketball" was a euphemism for "government waste" It will be interesting to see where the line is between serving as a liason to fully private/non profit funded programs (and I'm all for programs, by the way) and getting into the business of the government actually funding those programs.

This brings to mind the urban ministers' protests I guess over the stadium- demanding new funding for their prisoner reentry, youth, other programs.

Oh, and by the way, Accidental Mayor is suggesting O. Williams pays no property taxes on his residence. Perhaps he has a nonprofit exemption for his personal home?

Sounds like something AI would wanna know about.

Anonymous said...

Hey, in this article,
http://www.wthr.com/Global/story.asp?S=7547415

Ballard says:

"He's looked for people "that would work for the citizens of Indianapolis; not come in with a special agenda, just doing the right thing for the city, because I've told everyone that's what we're doing it for."

Well,

Unfortunately, it appears that Ballard may be listening to the wrong people--the political enemies of those who "will" do the right thing--and they've even convinced him to require these do-gooders go THROUGH historically hostile third-parties, disclosing unnecessary information with no reservation of rights whatsoever--uploaded to a website?, to join a seemly disinterested Ballard administration? That is AFTER the election was over. Wow, what a whirlwind! Unbelieveable!

I hope we have not been bambozzled into status quo.

I'm certainly not, many of us were organized and reporting on public corruption before Ballard was even "thought about" some 2-3years years ago. We shared our information with Ballard, we conducted opposition research and damaged his opponents public image with "facts". Ballard has publicly acknowledged these things as true and pledged to eradicate such carnage.

Ballard getting elected doesn't mean it's eradicated and it certainly doesn't mean that we all just SHUT DOWN.

We didn't start with Ballard, and we don't have to end with Ballard. We will still be here when the next mayor is elected. We must measure our progress from Mayor to Mayor...

Ballard won the office, but its still our city and our tax dollars and our city is BROKEN and needs FIXIN!

Deeds not Words.

Anonymous said...

Itis unbelievable that a man who pays no property tax could sit on the IPS board and vote to increase property taxes with a $500 million dollar bond issue....thank god he will have to resign that position to work for the city. what a hypocrite...

Anonymous said...

All I have to say is that Olgen Williams is a great man. He only wants to help in the best way he can. He is definitely not a hypocrite. I am sure those that are bashing Olgen Williams are the true hypocrites because they are doing nothing to serve or help Indianapolis.He is war veteran, and a server of the community.Stealing a small amount of money a 30-something years ago has nothing to do with who he is now.