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Tuesday, November 06, 2007 
who is greg ballard?
the link on the star front page says it all: who is greg ballard?

he's just won the indianapolis mayoral election, and yet after months of campaigning i really have no clue who the guy is other than that he's an ex-marine and he's Not-Bart-Peterson. apparently that was enough for some 77,000+ naptown residents.

mayor peterson is perhaps the first major victim of the property tax crisis. he didn't cause the problem; the governor and the legislature are the primary culprits there (and are surely quaking in their boots now that they've witnessed the fall of so many incumbents today). but the mayor and the city-county council weren't proactive enough about preventing property taxes from going up, and so they went way up for some unlucky souls. in the end, the GOP did a better job motivating their people to get to the polls.

i sincerely hope that greg ballard is everything his supporters say he is, because we're now stuck with the guy for four years. he certainly never demonstrated to me that he was a legitimate candidate; his own party never really took him that seriously. so here's hoping that he manages to put together a competent staff and some kind of coherent plan. it's easy to stand around proclaiming that "we can do better", but now that he actually has the job, we'll see how well he does.

update: the fact that democrats seem to be doing well in other parts of the state further demonstrates that the GOP wins in marion county are primarily about anger over property taxes, not some sort of major republican resurgence.

I pity the fools when they receive their January property tax bills and are shocked that, yes, they're still high, and yes, they still have to pay them.

I'm going out to buy a tazer at lunch. Given what's bound to happen with crime downtown, I'll need it. ¶

I agree that the Marion County results are not the result of any Republican resurgence.

Marion County voters may have been ready for a change since Mayor Peterson was, at best, reactive, and the hope is that Mayor-elect Ballard will be proactive.

My point of contention with Mayor Peterson's current administration is that they never seemed to see anything coming. Not crime, not property taxes, not safety pensions. Starting on these problems eight years ago would have made me much more sympathetic to Mayor Peterson's hopes for a third term.

Gee Steph, Tazers aren't cheap. maybe pepper spray would be more economical. Still, your comment sounds more like petty sour grapes than anything with any substantive grounding in reality. ¶

—posted by Anonymous varangianguard, at 7:49 AM, November 07, 2007  
I've never been a Peterson fan, but he was a competent city manager, which is usually something Hoosiers are fairly sensible about. I know no more about Ballard than you, but I do know something of the Marion county GOP. Unfortunately.

So for now, I guess we'll see, and we'll see again next summer, when those capped tax bills arrive, whether the same Abolish Property Taxes loudmouths are just as prominent on local news, or whether they're celebrating the fact that their property taxes are down $200 while they pay the highest sales taxes in the nation. ¶

I know tazers aren't cheap; I've been pricing them for awhile. ¶

was mayor peterson reactive rather than proactive? maybe he was. what he did was tackle a lot of old problems that had been festering for years: sewers, police pensions, etc.

crime is up nationally, which is hardly his fault. and of course it's not easy to fight crime when the police hate your guts for no rational reason. plus bart got stuck in a real bind there. right-wingers screamed for like a year straight about crime. bart eventually did what he felt must to address the problem: he raised taxes. but did the right-wingers thank him? no, they started screaming even louder.

for property taxes, fixing that was more the responsibility of the council than bart himself. but astute observers have known that the property tax tsunami was coming for years... i remember reading about it on doug's blog back in 2005. bart should've been able to see that coming and proactively enact a policy to curb the problem, and getting the council to follow suit. if he'd done that, his political legacy would've been ensured. ¶

The problem is that Mayor Peterson's administration waited for seven years before even considering some of these issues. An earlier start would have mitigated some of the sticker shock that dumping it all in two steep shots brought to many Marion County residents.

The police issue is more the perception that one, Mayor peterson offloaded the whole thing to another elected official when he should have taken up the gaunlet, and two, that the promised "savings" never materialized.

In the end, I believe that Mayor Peterson allowed himself to listen to poor counsel, resulting in the loss of the "vision" the Mayor had when he was first elected.

I agree that the Mayor could have ensured a more positive legacy for himslef, but he made choices that forced him into a corner that he couldn't get back out of.

I voted for Mayor Peterson twice, and even I (as a political outsider)could see what was coming. He and his advisers couldn't, or wouldn't. For good or ill, that will be at the forefront of his legacy in Indianapolis political history. ¶

—posted by Anonymous varangianguard, at 10:09 AM, November 07, 2007  
I could see what was coming too. For a good couple months before the tax bills, I started warning people that the bills would be high and Peterson was going to shove an income tax increase down our it or not. People would not listen until those bills came.

It didn't take a genius to see what was coming.

That Peterson missed it, tells me either he was incompetent, didn't care, or was completely arrogant.
I also think he was surrounded by bad advice, got into bed with too many filthy people, and lied a lot.

Bart certainly lied about me. I'm quite relieved he is going to be gone in 7 weeks and take a lot of personal satisfaction in knowing that I helped along his demise by setting traps that he always fell right into.

They tried to say I didn't do psychological domination! Maybe now they know I'm pretty damned good at it.

And they can rest assured that I am not going away anytime soon. Like it or not. I like turning people on to their own power. It is exilarating when they take it. ¶

—posted by Anonymous Melyssa, at 4:52 PM, November 08, 2007  

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