1) What do
you offer as a candidate?
I am a fifth-generation resident of Indianapolis. My wife
and I are raising our three children in the same strong neighborhoods where we
grew up. My commitment to Indianapolis and our neighborhoods can be seen in my
deep history of community involvement. I am past president and an active member
of the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association (BTNA) and my campaign is
based on the premise that neighborhoods are the building blocks for our city. I
am a Vice President at a local health plan that serves low-income children
through Hoosier Healthwise and adults through the Healthy Indiana Plan.
Previously, I was a Director at the State of IndianaÃ*s Office of Medicaid
Policy and Planning.
I am also a site visitor and reviewer for the Innovations in
American Government Awards Program at the Kennedy School of Government at
Harvard University. My volunteer work includes serving on the board of the
Martin Luther King Community Center, Project Home Indy, and the policy
committee of United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Indiana.
I believe my combination of grass-roots neighborhood work,
policy work and significant budget experience combine to give me the experience
to make good policy and good spending decisions as a member of City-County
does your district most need from the City Council?
As an at-large candidate, I would represent all of Marion
County. My priorities include strengthening our neighborhoods by supporting
planned, local growth that includes everything from parks and shops to
revitalizing housing; addressing public safety with an emphasis on community
policing; and a deep commitment to government that is interactive, transparent,
your opinion of the 2012 budget proposed by the mayor?
Across the board I strongly believe that the City and its
elected officials need to develop a more interactive, community-based process
for developing the budget. Prior to the budget submission, I would encourage
the Mayor to hold public meetings in each Council District aimed at reviewing
the cityÃ*s planned spending priorities and receiving input that could be used
to make adjustments prior to the budgetÃ*s submission. With this approach, the
City and Council would have plenty of insight from the public in advance and
could avoid setting priorities that are not aligned with the public. For
example, if the Mayor had taken this approach I believe he would have avoided
the recent uproar over the budget for Animal Care and Control and the use of
tax increment financing districts.
4) What is
your position on a comprehensive smoking ban?
I strongly support a comprehensive clean air policy. I
believe such a policy will benefit Indianapolis from the perspective of public
health, economic development (e.g., attracting and retaining conventions, lower
health care costs for employers), community development (e.g., attracting
talented people to live and work in the city), and overall cost to taxpayers
(e.g., reduced cost for uncompensated care). If elected I will be an
enthusiastic supporter of such an ordinance.
5) Do you
think the city needs more police officers?
The rise in aggravated assault makes it clear – we
must do more for public safety. I strongly support the proposal advanced by
Melina Kennedy to get 100 more officers on the street. I support community
policing and, from day one, my entire campaign has been about strengthening our
neighborhoods; community policing is a vital part of making sure all our
neighborhoods are safe, strong and thriving.
6) Do you
support increased funding for public transit?
Expanding our mass transit capacity would spur economic
growth by enabling more residents to get to more jobs and for people outside
the city limits to come here for work and recreational activities. With
carefully selected stops on strategic routes, such an expanded system would
support neighborhoods by developing new and expanding opportunities for
existing locally owned businesses. I support the expansion of IndyGo routes,
and adding more frequent service. In addition, I support the city working with
surrounding communities to develop a multi-modal (e.g., rapid bus, light rail)
transportation system that would make Marion County easier to visit, to get to
work, and more attractive to the emerging work force.
7) Do you think the
streets and sidewalks in your district are in good shape?
As an at-large candidate that would represent our entire
County, I believe it is important to maintain our streets, sidewalks, and
sewers as well as build transportation systems that let people get to more
employers. There are funds dedicated to these projects, but I believe we need a
more open and public system so we can discuss how our priorities are set. As I
go door-to-door, one refrain I hear daily is the need for a greater commitment
to our neighborhoods.
one project that would most benefit your district.
See question 7.
question do you wish we'd asked?
Every election provides a choice for voters and I believe
this election offers a clear one. Melina Kennedy and the Democratic team have
set out our agenda – from tackling crime, to engaging citizens in a more
open way, to supporting early childhood education. Basic services must be
provided with an expectation of excellence – from a top-notch police
force with more officers out in the community to plowing our streets and fixing
potholes. I have proposed deploying the township liaisons currently housed in
the City-County building out to our neighborhoods. They should be working with
communities to set neighborhood priorities and make plans on how to achieve
them – each plan tailored by the residents of each neighborhood.