Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Council Finally Censures Gray

It's taken more than a year to get this simple task completed, but the Indianapolis City-County Council finally voted to censure its former President, Monroe Gray, for his blatant ethical lapses. The resolution passed on a 15-7 vote only after Democratic Councilor Paul Bateman switched his vote from "no" to "yes". All other Democrats either voted "no" or recused themselves from voting because they were new to the council. The GOP's two African-American councilors, Kent Smith and Barbara Malone, missed the council meeting, requiring the vote of at least one Democrat to ensure the resolution's passage.

Perhaps the most disappointing moment during this debate came when Democratic Councilor Angela Mansfield attempted to block consideration of the resolution, arguing that the proposed resolution died with the end of last year's council. Apparently, Mansfield believes that the council can't censure a member for action which took place in the previous council session, a rather odd argument. Mansfield had been one of the few Democratic councilors to break from her party when she knew it was the right thing to do. Partisan politics now trumpets common sense and doing the right thing.

The council also voted to reduce the salary of township assessors to a uniform salary of $27,500 for the remainder of their terms as a result of voters' decision to eliminate township assessors in Marion County. A glitch in state law prevented the council from eliminating their salaries altogether. A sad note on this point is Marion County Assessor Greg Bowes insulting treatment of Franklin Township Assessor Becky Williams. "Williams, a Republican, said she offered to work for Marion County Assessor Greg Bowes, a Democrat, but was turned down," reports the Star's Brendan O'Shaughnessy. "He looked me straight in the eye and said I'd be better off looking for work at Wal-Mart," Williams said. This is disappointing because Williams, unlike many township assessors, has something to offer the county assessors office with her many years of experience. Bowes will offer a one-term assessor from Lawrence Township a job because he's a Democrat. I suspect Bowes didn't want her because he knows she is more qualified to do the job than him.


M Theory said...

I will never forget that Greg Bowes said that to Becky Williams. NEVER!

Becky needs to work with the state.

It's time he lost this seat in the next election. Anyone who doesn't hire the best qualified person for the job, is a person who is putting personal interests or party politics ahead of the business of the people.

Let's work to get Greg Bowes out of public service.

Here's something I've never told my political friends about how I first met Greg Bowes.

I first met Greg Bowes back in 2005. He was a city councilor back then and was hired by a kink organization called IN KINK to advise them on how they could run kink events in the city and get around ordinances.

Specifically the kink organization was controlled by a woman (also a volunteer for democrats) named Robynn Alexander who hired him.

I sat in on the meeting. Overall I thought it was a waste of money.

Later, before the city launched its lawsuit against me, I disassociated with the group called InKink, as I felt they were highly unethical.


artfuggins said...

the republicans control the city and the state...why in the world would Becky Williams go to a Democrat for a job....maybe the GOP wouldn't hire her either.

M Theory said...

Art? Don't you think it time that our politicians hire the best person for the job regardless of party?

Or do you really think party affiliation is more important than who is best to do the work of the electorate?

I think you just showed your true colors...you are nothing more than a blind partisan who thinks more of a person's party than what they can do for their country, state, or city.

Ed Angleton said...

If he's going to hire all the former Dem. Assessors, then we are all truly in trouble and the referendum did no good.

artfuggins said...

Doesn't it seem strange that the GOP with a majority on the city council couldn't get enough votes to censure Gray. it took a Democrat vote to do so.....do you suppose it was a coincidence the the 2 republican councilors were absent on the night of the censure vote????

Greg Bowes said...

I want credit (or blame) for what I actually said to Becky Williams, not for what she or the Indianapolis Star reported I said. I was discussing options with Becky, and learned that she is concerned about making enough money to live on. I let her know I would not be party to allowing her to double dip, and explained that any salary she would get for working for me would be reduced by the $27,500 annual salary she gets by virtue of her continued status as elected assessor. In that discussion I pondered with her why it wouldn't be more lucrative for her to work for an employer who would not reduce her salary to prevent double dipping. I suggested several options, including WalMart. I let her know that I would only pay her what her position was worth, and explained that there may not be many positions available for more than $35,000, and did a math exercise with her to show that a $20,000 salary from WalMart, plus her $27,500, would add up to more than the $35,000 I might be able to give her. In addition to this discussion, I told Becky it would be very difficult for me to forget the two years of difficulty and disagreement between us when making any hiring decision.
Melyssa, if that causes you some concern, so be it. I intend to hire the best people I can find. I hope to include only those who are willing to work toward uniform and accurate fair market value assessments with little or no distractions from petty squabbling.

Greg Bowes
Marion County Assessor

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks for sharing your side with us, Greg. I would agree that nobody should be double-dipping so to speak, but I would add that in a case like her's, I would set the salary at a reduced amount so that the combined salaries reached the level of desired pay for her or anyone in her shoes as a full-time employee. After the 2-year period expired, I would then adjust her salary to reflect she was no longer getting the township assessors pay.