Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Ballard Grasps To Stay On Top Of Crime Wave

Mayor Greg Ballard rushed to the scene of a home where the mother of four children was shot dead earlier this morning in front of her children. "Mayor Greg Ballard will be leaving the City-County Building in 5 minutes to visit the crime scene at 3369 North Sherman," said a statement released by his press secretary Marcus Barlow. "He will be available to members of the media." Speaking at the hastily organized press conference in the victim's driveway, Ballard said, "I can't imagine what's going through those children's minds," he said. "I can't imagine what they are going to have go through in years to come." The good news is that police quickly apprehended the suspect, a woman, in the killing, the 66th homicide of the year.

Meanwhile, Mayor Ballard and Deputy Mayor Olgen Williams put out releases boasting of their planned roles in this year's Black Expo. Mayor Ballard will be at the kickoff event at yet another Peace In The Streets event organized by Deputy Mayor Williams' son, Aaron, at Monument Circle. Deputy Mayor Williams has an aggressive schedule of participation in Black Expo. He'll be at the kickoff event, the ecumenical service at Light of the World Church, the Black Business Conference Mayor's Breakfast and the IBE corporate luncheon.

You may recall my reporting last month on how Mayor Ballard and his entire administration ignored Indianapolis Gay Pride festivities, attended by approximately 35,000 people in University Park, notwithstanding the substantial support he received from Indianapolis' gay community in last year's election. Ballard received the endorsement of The Word, Indiana's largest gay newspaper. Indianapolis' gay community has played a critical role in rebuilding burned out, crime-ridden black neighborhoods in the inner city, such as the Near Northside and Fall Creek Place. Deputy Mayor Williams, a black minister, is closely allied with a group of black ministers who hold anti-gay views and fought against the passage of Indianapolis' HRO. Mayor Ballard's press secretary, Marcus Barlow, said that Ballard was not invited to the Gay Pride festivities. Indy Pride President Scott VanKirk disputed that claim and said there were at least four e-mail communications with the Mayor's office about the event.

Mayor Ballard had better figure out pretty quickly that Deputy Mayor Williams is alienating him from key constituencies responsible for his upset election over Mayor Peterson last year. Williams and his son's Peace in the Streets initiative, is seen by many as nothing but a way of self-enriching the Williams' family without providing any real solutions to Indianapolis' crime problem and declining neighborhoods. Williams has already alienated most of the city's neighborhood association leaders and the firing of all of the neighborhood liaisons from the former administration and shifting their jobs elsewhere has community leaders scratching their heads. Ballard's appointment of ex-Councilor Sherron Franklin, an IMPD officer, to head up his abandoned home initiative was more disheartening news to community leaders. Ballard needs help at the neighborhood level and Williams and his pals simply don't relate well to many of the people who form the core constituency group responsible for his election. Mayor Ballard needs to figure out real soon that Williams and his pals had absolutely nothing to do with his election, and they will deliver no more than the few dozen votes at best they delivered in last November's election. If he wants the support of those of us who actually elected him, he'd better start reaching out to them.


artfuggins said...

I didn't vote for him.

Vox Populi said...

I must say I find it amusing that Ballard was given credit for securing the Super Bowl after a couple months in office, but after almost 7 months the state of the police department and the current crime wave are both Bart Peterson's fault. Something doesn't line up.

And the gays who supported Ballard should not be shocked about his anti-gay administration. As a generic Republican, he's naturally anti-gay.

SW Lane said...

This, of course, is nothing new, regarding the Mayors' ignoring those who actually did get him elected. Whether such separation is by design on his part or a true accident is immaterial; its sad. If he continues down this course and runs for re-election, it will be interesting to see where his support comes from at that time.

Unknown said...

Mayor Ballard was elected while owing virtually no one. It was an ideal situation for him to take the initiative and LEAD this city. Instead his administration was almost immediately taken over by the old guard types who have run things for years in this city.

If Ballard is going to succeed, he need to take a new path, to take chances, to tell the Old Guard to pack up and move out. I haven't seen any indication that Ballard has the wherewithall to do that. It's really sad. He has no chance to win re-election as things currently stand.

Jon E. Easter said...

I heard Mayor Ballard quoted on channel 13 saying that he wanted to stop the crime wave. He said he's got peace in the streets yard signs ready to go. Yard signs...great plan Greg.

In the interest of full disclosure, I know Aaron Williams. He is a bright, talented young man. I won't say anything bad about him.

I do believe many of your observations are true here...especially about the way that the new Mayor and his Administration are handling the gay community.

Chandler said...

Just how many "PEACE IN THE STREETS" signs can you buy with five millions dollars? How can Olgen Williams, his children and a group of self-interested Black Ministers stop crime in Indianapolis by spending five million dollars of taxpayer money on themselves? Just how does a "Peace in the Streets" sign stop a murder? Sounds like a lot of political B.S. to me! Is this Greg Ballard's Public Safety Plan? What a joke!

M Theory said...

Bring back cops walking beats in the worst neighborhoods! THAT is how we put peace in the streets!

If the concerned clergy were doing anything helpful with that money they shake us down for, we'd see results.

For my tax dollars, I'd like to see special forces type cops who walk the streets and hang out where the thugs hang out and night!