Anderson has dug in, just as he did when former Mayor Bart Peterson first pushed his police merger idea. Anderson ended up winning that Cold War and walking away with control of the Police Department.
Sounding tough, like the retired Marine he is, Ballard says that won't happen again.
"It's just a public safety issue," he said. "That's it."
Ballard reiterated the argument he's made for months: Police, fire and other public safety operations should be "under one roof." That should be his roof, he insisted, because "people elect a mayor for public safety."
They elected Anderson for the same reason, of course.
Just 10 days into Ballard's term, he's in a showdown with the sheriff. It's a battle Ballard should win, thanks to a friendly City-County Council.
But he might have made a mistake by picking such a big fight with such a big political figure so soon. Even if he wins, this showdown is going to cost the new mayor plenty of his political capital.
This has to be the worst political analysis Tully has offered to date in his column. If Ballard did anything short of fulfilling this campaign promise, he would be toast before his administration even got its feet wet. I'm reminded of an old saying attributed to former President Franklin Roosevelt, "Sound policy is sound politics." Turning over control of the police department to the sheriff's office was one of the worst mistakes Bart Peterson made a mayor. Ballard is simply undoing that mistake.