1) What do you offer as a candidate?
As a small business owner in Indianapolis for over 13 years and
community development advocate for nearly a decade, I understand many of the
issues that will be important in the coming years to make Indianapolis the
first class city I know it can be. I also bring a geographic diversity to the
At Large seat. Over the last 16 years, only 3 of 12 At-Large councilors have
come from south of 38th Street. Many of the most pressing issues facing our
city, including crime, abandoned housing, crumbling infrastructure, transit
needs and others, have a much higher concentration south of 38th St. I believe
our At-Large councilors should be as divers as our city in order to bring a well-rounded
perspective to the council.
2) What does your district most need from the
At-Large council district is the entire county. The number one
thing our city needs is to get Marion County residents back to work. We need a
comprehensive small business development plan that works with communities along
the established commercial corridors. Communities with once thriving commercial
corridors are now littered with opportunistic businesses that prey on the depressed
economic condition of our residents. Many of our neighborhoods have more
check cashing and pawn shops than grocery stores.
3) What's your opinion of the 2012 budget proposed by the mayor? The
2012 budget is very misleading. Its taken money from the water sale and from
the downtown TIF district to shore up its bottom line to make it look balanced.
One item of serious concern for me, on a personal note, is the proposed cut
from Animal Care. Animal Care already operates on a shoestring budget and the
animals are already suffering because of the current economic conditions. A cut
from $185,000 to $34,000 would be catastrophic for this important agency. I
don't believe its right and I don't think Marion County residents would either.
(Please call your councilors) All in all, I believe its
going to be a very tight year in Indianapolis.
4) What is your position on a comprehensive
I support a comprehensive smoking ban for the main reason that
there is no reasonable debate surrounding the impact of smoke to our
5) Do you think the city needs more police
Yes. And there was money for this allocated and we never got them.
We're short about 300 police officers.
6) Do you support increased funding for
Absolutely! Indianapolis is the 13th largest city in the
nation and our transit ranks 100th. It doesn't run long enough and doesn't
go far enough. Transit has numerous benefits beyond just moving people who don't
have cars. Its a catalyst for economic
development and is an attractant to business looking to relocate and to a
work force of the best and brightest. The American Public Transportation
Assoc. has shown that for every $1 invested in public transit there is a
$4 return, in both direct and indirect. Additionally, its
an indicator to visitors and perspective transplants the degree of investment
we as a city have made in our basic infrastructure.
7) Do you think the streets and
sidewalks in your district are in good shape?
No. In fact, many communities don't even have sidewalks. I support
making our communities more walkable.
8) Name one project that would most
benefit your district.
By far, a comprehensive jobs plan. As a small business owner I
recognize the importance of, and support reaching out and working to bring
in the mega employers and fortune 500 companies, but a diversified economic
plan will help us survive times like today. That's why my focus wont be so much
the fortune 500 companies but rather focused on improving the fortunes of 500
of our neighbors.
9) What question do you wish we'd asked?
What do you think about the Parking meter Deal? I
think it really bites. It has a negative impact on businesses and the deal was
terribly one sided in favor of an out of state company. Every revenue-generating
mechanism in the parking deal is technology based. Technology
that we as a city had access to. We could have done our own parking
modernization and kept the estimated $1.6 billion to invest back in our own
communities rather than sending it off to a Texas company. The parking meter
deal, in my opinion was extremely shortsighted and will end up hurting small
businesses who are already struggling to make it.