Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Congratulations, Mayor Ballard

I haven't been as excited about the outcome of an election since the night Ronald Reagan swept President Jimmy Carter and the Democrats out of office in 1980. With 99% of the votes counted, Greg Ballard has defeated Mayor Bart Peterson by more than 6,000 votes with a 51%-47% margin. When Ballard took the podium tonight at the Murat Theater to accept victory after Peterson conceded, he declared his win a victory for the folks in the grassroots movement who came together over the past six months against the city's powerful elite in a common goal of taking back their government. He will have a Republican-controlled council to work with him in restoring the public's trust in their government. I'm a big believer in fate. I believe there's a plan for Greg Ballard. He is the right man at the right time given to us to correct the mistakes of the past and put us back on the right path. Ballard is thankful to all of those of you who believed in him when the establishment kept telling you he wasn't qualified for the job and didn't have a chance of winning. This truly is an election won by the people. Let the job of restoring our city begin.


Sir Hailstone said...

Wow. Just Wow.

And it wasn't all that long ago it was just a few of us bloggers who continually stoked the Ballard fire - and sometimes we were alone.

Greg at least gave credit to what got him elected - the grassroots.

In June I'd never predicted this to happen. 17 Council seats with one still too close to call (Dist 19 Liggett - D. Mahern). Wow.

to borrow a phrase from another blog... VIVA LA REVOLUTION!!

Gary R. Welsh said...

Sir Hailstone, It was a quite a night for those of us who truly believed in Greg. I agree with you. Ballard knows who his friends are.

Anonymous said...

Morale on the police department just took a huge jump. I bet it'll have the same effect as adding 100 officers overnight.

Anonymous said...

Gary, Victory sure is sweet isn't it?

Anonymous said...

Despite one polite (but still hate-filled) anonymous voice mail call threatening to get all advertisers to boycott The Word for our endorsement of Ballard, what can I say but that I feel totally vindicated and thrilled to have supported him.

I hope our city (gay and straight) can come back together now and let the newly-elected team see if they can do any better managing things. I know while I have an HRO in one hand, I still have that 65% income tax increse and doubled property tax bill in the other, not to mention a scar from being assaulted by a street person in broad daylight downtown for failure to hand him 30¢.

On another positive note, it was refreshing to have so many members of the gay community e-mail, call and stop me to say they too were voting Ballard and that our editorial hit the nail on the head squarely.

Now, I just hope the Peterson supporters won't spend too long eating sour grapes, and will instead help us all get back together and actually do something about the mess Indianapolis is in.

By the way Gary, I too voted for Reagan, but only once. I either got common sense or a dose of reality before he went for a 2nd term, but that doesn't dim my joy of awakening this morning to find Ballard moving into city hall! Well done Indy!

Ted Fleischaker
The Word.

Anonymous said...

Now, I feel a little better about the political process that I have been so long cynical about.

I am very relieved today and feel much better about the prospect for the next four years.


Gary R. Welsh said...

Yes, Darla, it is sweet to be on the winning side for a change. There is hope after all.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Thanks, Ted. I second that.

The Indy Chicken said...

The Marines have landed.

Thank God for the Marine Greg Ballard.

This Chicken is taking a rest.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Job well done, Indy Chicken. You deserve a rest. You took a lot of plucking, but in the end, you were laying the kind of eggs the voters liked.

Sir Hailstone said...

"I know while I have an HRO in one hand"

Ted and Gary - Though the hard core "right wing" R's (like myself) didn't feel too warm and fuzzy over HRO in the first place, like the Police consolidation it would be foolish to undo it at this point.

The Ballard Administration (God, I can't stop grinning like a Cheshire Cat when I type that) has a lot on its plate with regard to economics and frankly diving head first into all the social issues without regards to economics will take their eyes off the ball.

Mayor Ballard was after an economics grad from IU so he knows a thing or two about money.

Gary R. Welsh said...

On the HRO, it's the council which passed it and it's the council which would have to repeal it. Ballard told me during an interview he had heard of no problems with the HRO since its passage and there were far too many other pressing matters for the council to bother itself with trying to repeal the ordinance. There are also several more Republicans on the council who support the HRO than there were two years ago. These Republican council members will resist any effort to repeal it.

Sir Hailstone said...

"[T]here were far too many other pressing matters for the council to bother itself with trying to repeal [HRO]"


Not that I have any input on this but here's some ideas for what I feel should be tackled:

1. Mayor Ballard's economic adviser(s) and himself should take a fine tooth comb to the 2008 budget and make revisions and propose a package to the Council as a "2008 1/2 Budget".

2. Restructure City and County Government, and take a serious look at township government when there is no township fire department in operation (Washington, Warren, and Center) and why the township government is even needed.

3. Put an immediate stop to "pay for play" - Contracts linked to city business. If a company holding city contracts wishes to contribute, a disclosure of the fact the contributor receives city business should be made in addition to current reporting requirements. Mayor Greg Ballard only owes his success to one group - THE VOTERS!

4. The Council and Mayor Ballard take the veto pen to the IMCPL budget, and concentrate on IMCPL operations, not construction projects fraught with cost overruns and shoddy workmanship.

5. Repeal the recent 65% COIT increase.

6. Work on getting state and federal funds to lessen reliance on local tax funds.

7. Last, and very importantly, work on the abandoned home problem and get those properties back onto the tax rolls!!!

All of this will take at least one year to accomplish, IMO.

Sir Hailstone said...

"Contracts linked to city business."

OOPS -- damn proofreading!

I meant "Contracts linked to campaign contributions"