IMPD staffing levels are at a dangerously low level. We need more officers on street patrols to provide enough visible presence to deter criminals. Officers are often demoralized and overburdened by their responsibilities. They are unable to perform their duties as the public safety professionals they were trained to be, working in cooperation with our citizens and community organizations. There need to be several on-going training classes of new recruits. Experienced veteran officers must be offered incentives to stay on the job, until officer shortages are alleviated.
I have never veered from making Public Safety my top priority. Sadly, campaign promises made by many current elected officials back in 2007 to immediately recruit 300 more police officers, without a tax increase, have not been fulfilled. Had Public Safety remained “Priority One” and funded as warranted for years, IMPD staffing would have at least remained level. The recent Public Safety tax proposal need not have been considered.
Along with Public Safety, the maintenance and improvement of the city’s infrastructure is another major priority, i.e. roads, sidewalks, bridges, and sewer systems. If these are in disrepair, our quality of life is diminished. Quality infrastructure, as well as keeping our community safe with low crime rates, are the best economic incentives possible to attract new business, welcome new residents, plus bring conventions and tourists to our great city.
Growth and Development
"Balance" is the key to achieving growth which enhances our quality of life. Each new housing addition, or commercial enterprise, or mixed-use development must be examined in light of the impact it will have on the overall well-being of our community. Will any increased traffic, stresses on local infrastructure, and diminished green space be worth the anticipated tax revenues from building projects? We must have a common-sense approach in creating comprehensive expansion plans, so that the value of our existing neighborhoods will be maintained.
Scrutiny must be given to financial incentives offered in form of tax abatement's, loans, and tax incremental financing (TIF). Each offered incentive must be justified by projected future revenues and benefits to our citizens, rather than financial “give-aways” to a select few individuals or developers.
Character and Integrity
These are traits not necessarily associated with elected officials or “politicians”. Voters should give serious consideration to being represented by a City-County Councillor who works hard for constituents, and maintains CHARACTER and INTEGRITY in fulfilling the responsibilities of office.
It has been personally satisfying that I am known as an exceptional politician who will put the public’s interests above self-interest; who will decide votes based on research, consultation with experts, and discussions with citizens. I have been an independent thinker, not a rubber stamp for my political party. I did not succumb to accepting an offered reward to switch my vote on an important issue up for Council vote.
While at times regretfully at odds with my caucus, the Mayor and my party, I cannot be branded as a negative “naysayer”. I offer alternative plans already vetted by community and business leaders when my votes are not in agreement with those of political insiders.
My Council votes represent my willingness to compromise in some areas, while holding fast to my core values. Punishment has come from being a Councillor who puts the public’s best interests before political expediency.
Of utmost importance to you, as a voter, should be a Councillor who does not seek to hold office for any financial self-enrichment or desire for power, but to be a servant of others. I have a proven record in that regard, with the freedom to devote my work on behalf of constituents and neighbors.
If these qualities are important to you, I ask for your support. Please vet all other candidates seeking this Council office in light of these values.