1)What do you offer as a
have two specific abilities that many of the other At-Large candidates do not
– experience in the business world and experience as an elected
the past 6 years I have been on the Perry Township Advisory Board, a smaller
version of the City-County Council, holding both the secretary and president
positions.During this time, I
have worked on important policy issues facing our township, reviewed multi-year
budgets and worked with several trustees and my fellow board members to provide
high quality services while keeping tax rates low.
over 20 years, I have worked in the financial services industry, holding
several different positions in both individual and institutional areas.Due to the size and scope of
Indianapolis' budget, it is common for non-traditional or enhanced funding
vehicles to be employed.These
vehicles can be very complicated and confusing, but my background should allow
me to assist my fellow councilors in deciphering these options and selecting
the ones that are best for the taxpayers of Indianapolis.
2) What does your district
most need from the City Council?
I am running At-Large, the entire city of Indianapolis is my district.Therefore, whatever is best for the
city is best for my district.The
top issues that Indianapolis residents have told me are Public Safety, Economic
Development and Education.
Safety must be the #1 priority, as everything else is based on this.If a person is not safe in their home,
their business or at school, they cannot possibly expect to be successful.Therefore, police and fire protection
must be done well and efficiently.
is Economic Development, otherwise known as jobs.If a willing person cannot find an honest day's pay for an
honest day's work, then that person's life is being cheated.The city should do what it can to attract,
retain and grow businesses by cutting red tape, providing a low and consistent
tax structure and (if necessary) utilize economic incentives to help growing
is Education.Indianapolis is a
great city; one of the best in the country.We have done this by tackling crime,
balancing our budget and being forward looking and proactive.However, if we want to be a world-class
city in 20 – 30 years, we must have a world-class education system.That means that the best educational
options are made available to every child in the city and that parents,
educators, principals and the community all commit to do whatever it takes to
help children succeed.
we can get Public Safety, Economic Development and Education right in
Indianapolis, everything else will fall into place.
3) What's your opinion of
the 2012 budget proposed by the mayor?
Ballard and his administration have done a magnificent job of balancing the
budget during what is unquestionably the worst economic downturn in a
generation.Cutting fat, looking
for efficiencies and finding new and creative ways to increase revenues has
allowed Mayor Ballard to balance the budget while cutting income taxes –
no small feat with property taxes also being cut.
there things that I would like to see have additional funding?Absolutely.As the economy recovers, more people will be working and
revenues will increase to fund these important things, but only if we continue
to spend tax dollars wisely and efficiently.The worst thing we could do now is revert
back to the budget busting ways of the last administration.
4) What is your position on
a comprehensive smoking ban?
government does not have the right to force individuals or business owners to
be non-smoking any more than it has a right to force them to be smoking.I recently heard that 94% of all
restaurants and bars in Indianapolis are smoke free by choice.People who want smoke-free restaurants
will 'vote with their feet,' and go to establishments that cater to their
preferences.I trust the residents
of Indianapolis to make this choice on their own.
5) Do you think the city
needs more police officers?
asked the Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) this exact question during my
interview with them. They couldn't
answer at the time, but my point to them was that I want great public safety.If that means more police, then that's
what we'll spend money on.However, if it is new technology, more training or better equipment
(i.e. a helicopter), then that's what we'll spend money on.
input from the police who are in the trenches on a daily basis is crucial in
6) Do you support increased
funding for public transit?
Yes.We need to find additional dollars to
fund IndyGo so that they can maintain, and hopefully
expand, their coverage times and areas.That being said, IndyGo has areas where they
can find efficiencies too.They
have many requirements that are mandated from the federal government, but I
have met with representatives of IndyGo, and will
work with them to fund and improve service across Indianapolis.
the future, I would love to see a 21st century mass transit plan put in place
here in Indianapolis.I freely
admit that I don't know what the best plan is; light rail, expanding bus
service, electric trolleys, etc.Unfortunately, I do know that almost every mass transit program in the
country needs taxpayer subsidies of between 70% - 80%, which
makes any plan very hard to justify economically.
to the numbers I have seen, the initial cost of the rail project would be over
$2 Billion.The interest alone on
a levy that large would be over $60 Million per year.That is larger than IndyGo's
annual budget.That type of
commitment would have to have exceptionally good long-term benefits to make
most mass transit systems are overly reliant on federal, state and local taxes
to fund their initial costs and ongoing operations.With the continued budget problems at the federal level,
this support cannot be relied upon long-term.That means we need to come up with alternative funding
sources before committing to it.I
look forward to working with my fellow city county councilors to find effective
and efficient ways to significantly reduce the burden on the taxpayer.
7) Do you think the streets
and sidewalks in your district are in good shape?
are good in some areas, but other areas still need work.This is an enormous issue in
Indianapolis.Several years ago,
it was determined that the city was $1.5 Billion behind in road and
infrastructure repairs.Due to
poor spending decisions by the last administration, money was not being spent
on routine maintenance of roads, causing them to wear out prematurely.Capital improvements, such as bridge
replacement / repair and installing sidewalks were not even talked about due to
lack of funding.
then, we have made gargantuan strides, especially in the last 12 – 18
months.Part of this was the
resourceful thinking of Mayor Ballard and his administration, finding new funds
for infrastructure by selling the water company to a non-profit and bringing in
a private company to run the parking meters.These two ideas were turned into reality, and brought in
almost $500,000,000 that could be used as a down payment towards these pressing infrastructure needs.
8) Name one project that
would most benefit your district.
change in our educational system city-wide would have
the largest benefit in the long run.All it would take is focusing on the student – what is the best
educational option for this particular child? – and
then providing the resources to the parents to fund this education.The system must reward student
achievement, academic excellence and something that no current system does
– frugality.By giving
economic rewards for efficiency, we'll be able to provide a world-class
educational system for the same, or even less, than what the current system
9) What question do you wish
people don't get to meet the candidates individually, so they want to know a
little about the candidates and their backgrounds.
was born in Milwaukee, WI, but my dad was a truck driver for Federal Express,
so we lived in South Bend and Kokomo before moving back to Wisconsin.I decided to return to Indiana for
school and chose Butler University.After I graduated I married my wife Amy, and we have been together for
over 16 years.
of my time is devoted to my family (8 children – Joe, Olivia, Alex,
Sophia, Ava, Anna, Victoria and Regina), work and politics.However, I do enjoy spending time with
my boys' Boy Scout troop (Troop 564 out of St. Barnabas).I'll be spending as many hours in
October working with my boys to sell Boy Scout popcorn as I am campaigning.
am also very active with the Knights of Columbus council 3660, located on
Thompson Road on the south side.I
help organize and run three separate children's parties each year –
Halloween, Christmas and Easter – along with monthly breakfasts that we
sponsor during the school year.I
am also active in my church, spending time helping engaged couples prepare for
marriage and working on our annual dinner & dance.