Ironically, Republicans were the ones who insisted on having at-large council members elected when Uni-Gov was first established. Traditionally, the party which wins the mayor's office also carries the four at-large seats until 2011 when Ballard eked out a second term over Democrat Melina Kennedy but saw his party lose all four at-large seats. In his 2007 narrow election upset over former Mayor Bart Peterson, Republicans won three of the four at-large seats. Former Gov. Mitch Daniels explained in his college thesis at Princeton the rationale behind the at-large seats:
The basic argument presented for public consumption held that "This way at least some of the council representatives would be free of local special interest prejudices." A second rationale, used sparingly and with receptive audiences asserted that it was desirable that a mayor have a few of his own people on the council. The UniGov proponents weathered much criticism of their at-large plan, apparently believing it to be important enough to contest.
In a separate bill, Ballard is pushing to eliminate any council role at all in the approval of city-sponsored charter schools. He also refuses to charge the schools any administrative fees for their oversight, which is draining general funds that can be used for basic city services as the mayor's office expands its role in running an ever-increasing number of charter schools. State law allows the city to charge an administrative fee payable from the state education dollars that flow to the charter schools.