Thursday, December 20, 2012

I Will Not Miss Mahern

Posted by on Thu, Dec 20, 2012 at 4:00 AM

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For weeks I had been hearing rumblings that City-County Councilor Vice-President was going to have a rough time if he ran for re-election, so when the news broke about a week or so ago that he decided not to seek another term, all I could do was jump for joy.

Now, I have covered Indianapolis city government for more than eight years. I have seen a lot of things take place in that Public Assembly Room. Some good, some bad, some downright ugly. But never in my observation have a seen someone like Brian Mahern. If I was ever asked to write Mahern a character reference, all I could write that he was a character.

Mahern would hold news conferences without giving his caucus notice. He would frequently speak at meetings and say absolutely nothing.

It was Mahern who came up with the hair-brained scheme of levying a PILOT against the Capitol Improvement Board which was done in an illegal manner and is now being contested and the legal wrangling could take years.

It was Mahern who had to be politically neutered by his own party during the big fight over TIF Districts when Black councilors started feeling the heat from their constituents who wanted the economic development in their neighborhoods.

It was Mahern who complained when the city was transferring its waterworks to Citizens Gas that the proceeds would not be used for infrastructure but instead somewhere else. Now, he backs a proposal that would take money from infrastructure and use it for one time public-safety expenditures and no way to pay for them into the future.

This isn't new with Mahern. Like I said, I've been covering him for years and went back and looked at some blog posts from 2010. Where thoughtful Democrats like Jackie Nytes and Joanne Sanders were offering suggestions to deal with tough issues, Mahern was making a lot of noise so he could be heard.

And most recently he threw City-Council President Maggie Lewis under the bus when he criticized her for voting to extend the Pacers deal for another year regarding the operation of Bankers Life Fieldhouse.

Apparently, his fellow Democrats have had enough. They were tired of his mouth and more tired of his antics. And think about this, Mahern has always had mayoral aspirations. Had Melina Kennedy not ran, he would have thrown his hat into the ring. Maybe Mahern will give it a shot in 2015.

If Mahern could not get the eight votes that he would need to be Council Vice-President, from the people who know him the best, just imagine him trying to get the thousands of votes he would need to win a primary, much less a general election.

Rumor has it that John Barth (At-Large) is likely to replace Mahern.

My only regret is that Mahern isn't leaving the Council altogether. If he did the body would be a lot quieter and smarter.

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