Friday, November 14, 2014

Carmel Mayor James Brainard Does Something Right

I'm a frequent critic of the actions of Carmel Mayor James Brainard so when he does something right, I feel obliged to tip my hat to him. An ordinance passed by the council creating a conservation district encompassing a neighborhood west of the Arts & Design District has caused consternation for many residents who reside within the Johnson Addition where most of the homes were constructed in the 1950s. The creation of the conservation district means homeowners will be required to obtain approval of the city's historic preservation commission before making any substantial changes to their homes. The controversial measure passed the council on a 4-3 vote, but Mayor Brainard vetoed it because the commission met secretly to discuss the creation of the conservation district before recommending its approval to the council. The Star's Chris Sikich explains:
. . . In vetoing the ordinance, Brainard wrote that the commission met and discussed the creation of the conservation district for months in advance of the City Council meeting. 
The commission, he wrote, did not post public notice of meetings on Feb. 13, March 13, April 17, June 12 and Aug. 14. The Carmel commission did post a notice for a public hearing on Oct. 2, before recommending the City Council approve the ordinance. 
“The Johnson Conservation District was discussed at multiple public meetings that were not noticed,” Brainard wrote. “This is a fatal flaw in the process that would put the city in a non-defensible position if it were sued. More importantly, transparent and open government is paramount; secret meetings cannot be countenanced.” 
Communities can face stiff penalties for violating the open door law, including having decisions overturned in court. Neighboring Westfield has faced criticism because a City Council committee discussed financing a soccer arena in meetings that were not posted . . .
Perhaps Mayor Brainard has other motivations for his decision to veto the ordinance because an election is happening next year, but it's still the right decision to make. We've witnessed many local government leaders flaunting various state laws as of late so it is refreshing when any public official stands up for the rule of law.


Anonymous said...

Conservation/Historic preservation Districts add value, even in the middle west where "Historic" is a relative term to other parts of the country. Whether you agree or disagree with anything that's being done in Carmel, the long term goal is to set it up for a time in the future when it's mostly built out and AV growth isn't being created entirely by new construction.

Pete Boggs said...

AV is not value but a corruption thereof; state paid / sponsored bureaucrats data fitting to suit their spending plans; as real world, private / productive sector budgeting is revenue restricted; not the wanton bloat sought by those who collect taxes (other people's revenue) which they confuse as "revenue." The public treasury is filled with a tax on the lifeblood of citizen's revenue- government doesn't earn revenue.

Market value is one thing only, a transactional reality- a sale! Our local monkeys (elected) have been DC trained to raid the public treasury & thereby the lifeblood of private citizens; now a collision course between liberty & tyranny. There's an end to treasury raiding; as resources of citizens are depleted in service to Romanesque lego-land "development" which so rounds the corner of immorality as to be degradation.

There's elemental simplicity in the legitimate mission of responsible, limited government. What we now have is the hyper-rationalized complexity of deception rooted in the cynical muck of viral statism- evil.

The only credible measure of correcting, morbidly proportioned, barbaric, runaway, parasitic consume its host government, is significantly shrinking its girth in real, net measurable terms, from year to year; until such time as the people can recognize the humane, purposeful frame of what was designed to be a representative government.

Anonymous said...

The real goal of this effort was to keep the crony developers from bulldozing an established neighborhood adjacent to downtown Carmel. I heard this effort was led by a majority of folks in that neighborhood. The effort was directed squarely at stopping Brainard's "vision", at least in this neighborhood. If the effort succeeded, which other centrally located neighborhood would be next? He absolutely had other motives in vetoing this. Interesting that someone in the administration kept track of many meetings where this issue was discussed, but nobody thought to publicly advertise the meetings.