Friday, March 25

Bart Is A Very Very Good Mayor. It's Good What He's Done.

Bart Peterson is the first Democratic mayor of Indianapolis in forty years. He's in his second term.

In his first term, Peterson inherited the biggest of the city's build-us-a-new-stadium-or-we-just-might-move professional sports headaches, your Indianapolis Colts. Right on schedule, about a year before he'd have to start running for reelection, the Colts started making noises about needing a stadium with skybox revenues to stay competitive, and they trotted out the Great NFL Los Angeles canard. Paul Tagliabue blew into town to assure the taxpayers that the NFL really really really needed a franchise in the nation's #2 market. Which prompted one interested observer of my height and weight to ask how come the league had expanded three times since LA kicked its last two teams out without going there, but I'm used to not having my questions answered.

Negotiations proceeded in the headlines. A decent interval passed. Then one morning Naptowners awoke to find a front page story featuring Colts owner Jim Irsay, his inordinate fondness for OxyContin™ and an ongoing investigation thereof. Irsay entered rehab, kicked his habit, and found an undying love for the Circle City.

Peterson now wants to consolidate what's left of the county government functions (police/sheriff, township offices) from the great county annexation of the mid-60s known as Unigov. He has to fight a Republican controlled legislature for the plan, and they, and the township officers whose oxen are set for the pike, have been somewhat negative about the idea.

A decent interval passed. Yesterday morning's Star headlined the story that 8 of the 9 township accessors have kinfolk on the payroll to the tune of $473,000. Plus a sidebar on how the Speaker of the House does $120,000 in legal business with three of them.

Like I say, Bart Peterson is a very good mayor. And the guy in those pictures only looks like me.


Anonymous said...

Seattle keeps getting sold these things to the point where someone joked a few years ago that if we didn't build a new public Aquarium, the fish were gonna go elsewhere.
Senator Byron Dorgan (D-ND) once pointed out that "stadiums are the only healthy public housing program we have left in this country".
Sounds about right, I guess, unless you want to count alleys.

Anonymous said...

if the colts left indy, i wouldn't mourn. the chamber-of-commerce and indy-booster wanks would.

now if the pacers ever moved ... i say it would be a real kick to the soul of indy ... like when the dodgers left brooklyn and the original browns left cleveland.

Ray Bridges said...

It's nice to read a story about the good guys getting lucky once in awhile. I live in Oakland, California where all of the situations you discussed were repeated in some form or another. I know what's what here now, but I don't know if we won or lost. I know our dual county and city governments are expensive as a result of poor choices by many people over many years. Shit, now I'm depressed. Start me out with a story with a happy ending and look where I go with it.

I like the idea of having a mayor named Bart.