Thursday, November 08, 2007

Mayor Ballard's First Priority Looking Good

Throughout this past campaign, Greg Ballard made clear to voters that public safety is a number one priority and that meant moving operational control of the police department back to the mayor's office. Despite the protestations of Sheriff Frank Anderson (D), to whom Mayor Peterson willingly relinquished control to get the police consolidation ordinance through the council, Mayor-elect Ballard will have a Republican-controlled council to argue his case. As the Star's Vic Ryckaert tell us this morning, the Republican members of the council, who number 17 compared to the 12 Democratic members, are siding with Ballard.

Symbolically, winning approval of this idea from his campaign will be a major boost in setting a new tone and demonstrating his leadership in the early days in office. Sheriff Anderson is clearly concerned about relevancy. “The people expect and demand accountability and professionalism from their police officers,” Anderson is quoted by Ryckaert as saying. “The sheriff is the best elected official to manage and maintain an accountable and professional police department.” What Sheriff Anderson will have to recognize is that he will be facing an entirely different world on January 1 than he currently faces. He'll have no Democratic mayor or Democratic-controlled council to carry his cause. In other words, he'll have to deal with the Republicans. Hopefully, Sheriff Anderson will recognize the inevitable and work with the newly-elected leadership to make the best of Ballard's proposal rather than fighting it tooth and nail.

Speaking of the council, Republicans will soon caucus to select a new CCC President and Caucus Chairman. If Republicans have learned anything from the past four years, they should recognize that who they choose to fill these two important positions will mean a lot from a public perception standpoint. The public, first of all, wants a CCC President who understands the parliamentary process, speaks clearly and respects open and honest debate that treats all members fairly. Remember, this is the YouTube age. It's not a good idea to elect a CCC President who earns his living from a government job, which will create inevitable conflicts of interest. A younger face would be nice, but it is more important it be a person who projects confidence and competence to the public. The same should go for committee chairmen. Remember, these committees are all televised. People are watching. Do not place a police officer, for example, in charge of the Public Safety Committee. The idea is to earn the public's confidence. Let's not give reason early on to question whether the public's interest is being put first. And please open up this budget process. The public is begging for more information. It's been extremely difficult for the public to obtain good information about the spending habits of their government. Let's change that.


Anonymous said...

With the new caucus, the CCC should not only terminate the employ of Aaron Haith with strong censure (I suggest a city council resolution of censure), but give him notice of persona-non-grata status with The Council.

Anonymous said...

very sound advice. let's see who we have, shall we? assuming it should be someone returning -- credibility, understanding the workings -- we have vaughn, lutz, cockrum, speedy, and plowan.

while vaughn is young, eager, and probably has expertise at running proceedings, he has done said some goofy things at meetings in the past. dunno.

lutz doesn't seem to like to be out in the front on anything. no.

cockrum. no.

plowman. police officer. very partisan. good guy but for this job. no.

that leaves us with speedy. as a council watcher for some time, i honestly don't know what my opinion is of him.

could you perhaps throw an name out there AI?

Gary R. Welsh said...

The majority picks the legal counsel. Haith is gone when the council leadership turns over. I wouldn't be surprised to see the Republicans bring back Bob Elrod, who formally served as the council's counsel.

What has Vaughn done that is goofy, anon 8:40? The few times I've seen him speak at council meetings during his short tenure, I thought he came across well. My favorite Vaughn line was when Sherron Franklin was complaining to the GOP that the Democrats had done their best in cutting the budget and Vaughn replied that he agreed, "It was the best the Democrats do" but it was still not good enough.

Wilson46201 said...

Bob Elrod was not only the Council's counsel formally, he was also formerly the counsel to the Council...

Sir Hailstone said...

8:04 - Mike Speedy really has his hands in the jar with regards to real estate development. He's no Bart Peterson in that regards but he is a apartment developer by trade.

One of the complaints of GOP councilors is the seemingly strategic placement of Section 8 and Section 42, along with "vinyl villages" in Republican areas to tilt the balance of power to the Dems.

Bob Cockrum should be considered just on experience. Or consider someone who has kept quiet in her 1st four years on the council - Ginny Cain.

Sir Hailstone said...

Gary - Bob Elrod is still Counsel to the Council representing the Minority Caucus.

Pending a disbarment of Aaron Haith, they will likely switch seats. Bob Elrod will represent the council and Aaron Haith will be moved to the background as minority caucus counsel.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Sorry Sir Hailstone, Ginny Cain simply cannot lead the counsel after the divisive and extremely offensive comments she made to many during the HRO debate. Your own proclivity to making those kinds of statements are probably what cost you the GOP at-large nomination earlier this year if you stop to think about it. Putting someone in charge who plays to divisive, wedge issues is not the right choice--not by a long shot.

Gary R. Welsh said...

It gets very confusing using the words "counsil" and "counsel" interchangeably doesn't it?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Or that should be "council"

Anonymous said...

hmm. forgot about cain but agree she doesn't seem to have any interest in playing nicely so won't work.

i actually am acquainted with and like vaughn. i am one of those pathetic geeks who goes to CCC meetings when i can but watches them on channel 16 when i don't. what i have observed is he seems to ask questions or challenges something and the response usually is something on the order of there is a city ordinance against what he is proposing. nothing major at all. just kind of "oh, gee, my bad" moments.

in any case, i'm hearing rumors it's plowman. third hand information but on seemingly good authority.

Anonymous said...

Former Lt.Governor and head of Lilly Endowment John Mutz only gave a measly $250 to Ballard.
And moneybags Brizzi coughed up only $1,000 and that wasn't from his own pocket but his committee.

You've got to hand it to P.E.Macallister. The man's a loyal Republican to the core and decent man to boot. He was on board with Ballard from the start.

I sure hope Greg can sort out who his REAL friends are and not just the ones who gave money.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Add Steve West to that list, anon 9:33. He gave big bucks to Ballard as well. West is also a very successful businessman who served on the council for a number of years only to get unceremoniously dumped by the Goldsmith folks.

Anonymous said...

Ryan Vaughn would be a good choice.
His intelligent is obvious both in person and on television. He's also a babe and easy on the eyes!

And no I'm not flirting, just calling it how I see it.

Anonymous said...

i totally agree on the kudos for mr. west. he ponied up early for ballard when no one else would.

west is a fine man, loves indianapolis, and his record shows he has worked hard to do what is best for this city. his family is extremely generous to myriad organizations of all types. they are an example of using your personal good fortune for the good of your community -- without requiring a lot of recognition such as having things named after you. he has the type of credentials -- education, experience, service to the community -- that we rarely see on the city council these days. it makes one wonder why things changed.

while many of our current councillor are certainly fine people -- sadly some are questionable at best -- it is hard to look down the list and see those with the stature in the community, personal success, and record of public service that we used to have. where have these types gone?

Sir Hailstone said...

"Former Lt.Governor and head of Lilly Endowment John Mutz only gave a measly $250 to Ballard."

Hell, even I gave more than that. I think.

Anonymous said...

As a supporter and volunteer for Ballard, I can say that Greg COULD be a good mayor.
His first mistake is to appoint that a-hole, John Cochran, to his transition team.
Ever time i would walk into MCRCC, I was given the cold shoulder.
I delivered over 500 signs, along with the handout cards, and his bumper stickers. I made phone calls, I spent about $800.00 for gas on his campaign alone, a flat tire, and then I froze my butt off on election day.
Ater I went home, showered, and dressed for a party, got to the Murat, and was treated like a second class citizen.
Greg didn't remember my name... he was "done with me"
John Cochran wouldn't even speak to me.
Tom John didn't even acknowledge me.
Kurt Fullback said Hi, but didn't remember my name.
Now that Greg has a lot of appointments to make, he'll be guided by the people who were paid to support him, not the people who supported him because they believe in him. I now believe that Ballard will fail as Mayor because he is surrounding himself with idiots that were PAID by the MCRCC.
His true supporters were left out in the cold.(the ones who stood out at the polls, for FREE)

Good Luck, Greg!! You're going to need it!!!

Anonymous said...

Big law firms are falling all over themselves to round up major cash and get city bond, lobbying, "consulting" business, and appointment of one of their own on the major boards. Whoever replaces Lacy Johnson on the AA board will signal who is in for sure. Mike McD wasn't joking about the "amnesty" ball. Everyone wants the pie, right now Barnes (Loftus is mentioned as transition) is the #1 player because they were the only firm on board. Watch Barnes to takeover from B&D on state gov. lobbying for the City.

This is what it's all about people.

Anyway, can you AI, or someone, outline exactly the steps that are needed to put IMPD under the Mayor? Is is purely a CCC measure, or is something else involved? What would the fiscal impact be?

Anonymous said...


what exactly were you expecting from all this? did you want a change in the direction of this city or a new best friend?

perhaps ballard himself could have been more congenial, who knows. don't know exactly what the circumstances were. i did the same types of tbings you did. even even acknowledge last sunday he couldn't recall my name because he had met so very many people lately but recognized my face from frequent campaign activities. he said he appreciated his supporters and knew that he was getting it from people who normally aren't involved in mainstream politics.

if you volunteered your time to change this city you have succeeded and should be proud of that. if you did it for personal recognition, find another hobby.

Anonymous said...

I'm not a Repulican and didn't support Ballrd or the Repub party's council nominees. But I love good government.

Steve West was an excellent councilman and he's always been a good citizen. By the by, Gary, I heard that he's in poor health. A true gentleman.

I don't know who started this counsel/council argument, but you can check this out: Bob Elrod, a smart man, is not an employee of the city. On contract or salary. And ordinances don't provide for the council minority to have their own lawyer. That could and likely will change, but it's not the case now...

Aaron Haith out the door. Freaking hilarious.

I won't meddle on the council presidency to my Republican friends, except to say: if you want to really help my party out, put in Plowman. Seriously.

Another public safety president. He's more polite than Monroe, but that's about it. Not a real deep guy.

I hardly ever agreed with Beurt SerVaas, but there was obviously some gravitas there...could we get back to that, please? Or, go ahead and appoint Plowman, and we'll sit back and start taking notes for the 2011 commercials. And there will be plenty from good 'ole Lincoln...he's nothing if not predictable.

Anonymous said...

I wasn't looking for personal regognition, but when you see someone almost every day for 6 months, you should remember their name.

When someone sits for hours and makes phone calls for you, you should remember their name.

When someone calls you and says "I need more signs and addresses, you should remember their name.

When someone stand out in the cold wind for 11 hours handing out cards for you so you can get the top job, you should remember their name.

I want nothing from the city, the (new) mayor, or the MCRCC. I was NEVER thanked for my time and efforts. Others were.
Just showing that it will be "politics as usual", the little guy has been used and tossed aside.
Sounds like the last 8 years in Indy!!!

Wilson46201 said...

It sounds like somebody is "flipping" out ...

garyj said...

sorry i wasted my time...

Just how many signs did you deliver?
Where were you at during the election?
How many phone calls did you make?

I delivered signs and that was it. About 300 of them. I was thanked personally by Greg and Tim Dugan.

A week before the election My mother passed away, so for obvious reasons, I stopped with the signs.
Greg Ballard sent flowers to my mothers funeral and he and Tim Dugan both apologized profusely that they could not attend the services.
Just because you were not offered a Deputy Mayors position does not mean that your efforts went un-noticed.

Give yourself a big pat on the back and go buy yourself a big glass of self-pity. Join Bart at 300 East. I hear they are having a special on that drink.

Anonymous said...

OMG. Mansfield won.

Any other districts where there could be some surprises?

Anonymous said...

with the above post, there goes your flipper theory wilson.

Anonymous said...

I have known Mike Speedy for 15 years, and I am surprised that you wouldn't see him as the frontrunner for Council President. He is a gracious man of great integrity and conviction. He's well-spoken, thoughtful, and knowledgeable on the issues. His real estate business gives him the flexibility to set his own schedule, which gives him lots of time to meet with constituents and attend to Council business. As long as I have known him, he has been a solid conservative.

Anonymous said...

Mike Speedy is a friend and I can tell you he would make a good Council President. He is a man of integrity and character and would NOT lead out of self-interest like so many others in politics. It is my hope that he is selected as Council President.

Gary R. Welsh said...

anon 6:38, Mike Speedy and I both attended IU-Indy law school. He was one year behind me. He seemed like a nice enough guy. I have talked to him twice about council matters. I tried to bring his attention to the problems in the Fall Creek development a few years ago. He, like Scott Schneider, weren't interested in investigating the many troubling things I discovered about that heavily government-financed development area--some of it criminal. Schneider was honest enough to tell me that the area was primarily gay and he thought I should talk to Jackie Nytes about it. On another occasion, I spoke to Mike about the HRO. He told me he would discuss any issue with me but that one. He made up his mind he was opposed to it, and he did not wish to discuss any of the issues surrounding it. He cited his religion as grounds for opposing it. That always bothers me when a person refuses to even hear the other side's argument. Based upon my knowledge of him in law school, I would not have expected him to be so close-minded on the issue. After that experience, I never attempted to speak to him again. On other council matters, he seems to be pretty level-headed, although he has had to recuse himself from time to time because of his real estate business dealings.

Anonymous said...

Hey "Sorry I wasted my time", I have a question for you. So why did you help on the campaign? What were YOU hoping to get out of helping?

I have volunteered on a campaign myself and my number one goal, as was MOST of the people I worked with, was to get our candidate elected. If that wasn't your goal then what was it?

With all the people a candidate meets, even if they see you over and over, it would be impossible to remember everybody's name. I have hired a lot of people and they all know me but I can't remember all of them. I don't expect everybody to remember my name. Again, what was it you wanted out of volunteering? A position? An appointment? It isn't about YOU it is about the candidate.

Anonymous said...

The real sad news I'm hearing is that Ice Miller's Melissa Reece Profitt is on the steering committee for Ballard. Her law firm did everything possible to make sure Ballard didn't win this year. Steve Goldsmith shut the firm out of city government for nearly 8 years because of their support for Louis Mahern in Goldsmith's firt run. No law firm had a greater hand in the election of Peterson 8 years ago than Ice Miller and Peterson has rewarded the firm handsomely. I really started getting sick thinking this firm would even have a seat at the table of an administration they had nothing to do with bringing about and was everything about stopping it from happening. The firm's tentacles are worse than an influential crime syndicate.

Anonymous said...

Mike Speedy and Ginny Gain are the logical choices. Lincoln Plowman would be a poor choice if not an embarrassment. The council, just as the Mayor's office, needs real leadership.