Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Tully On Carmel Councilors Taking Care Of Themselves First

Star political columnist Matt Tully may not have found time to walk a block down the street to the federal courthouse to watch the public corruption trial of Lincoln Plowman unfold, but he did take a trip up to Carmel to watch city councilors vote to award themselves a $20,000 a year perk and describe it as one of the toughest votes they had ever made. The most apt description of what took place came from outgoing Councilor John Acceturo according to Tully:

Councilman John Accetturo walked by me a few minutes before the start of Monday night's Carmel City Council meeting and pointed with a smile toward a group of his colleagues.
"Sometimes," he said, "I think people do stuff just to make themselves look bad."
 Tully notes that the council voted for a new health insurance perk for themselves despite overwhelming public opposition to the move:

In emails and phone calls, and in impassioned public testimony, Carmelites made clear their dissatisfaction with the council . . . .
Their timing seemed calculated; they introduced the ordinance after the May primaries -- the only elections that matter in Carmel because none of the council members will be challenged by Democrats in November.
Tully picks up on the absurd explanations offered by councilors who supported the perk:

Councilwoman Luci Snyder promised not to take the coverage but said the perk was appropriate because, "We pay for excellence here." Colleague Ron Carter said it was "the hardest vote" he'd taken, a self-pitying sentiment echoed by others.
Voting to give yourself a new perk isn't exactly a profile in courage.
Congratulations, Carmel City Council. You've proven you can be just as bad of a city council as the one we're stuck with down here in Indianapolis.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Tully actually said he agreed with the Carmel City Council members awarding themselves the full-time insurance benefit even though they just work part-time. His column was merely about criticizing the poor PR in selling the benefit to the public. (Like that could have been done.)

Gary R. Welsh said...

He said he didn't have a big problem with it because the cost of the perk represented such a small part of the overall budget and other councilors like Indianapolis' councilors receive the same benefit. It was classical Tully. Take both sides of the same issue without firmly planting your feet on either side of the debate. He should be a politician instead of a political columnist.