candidate for District 1
do you offer as a candidate?
have been a resident of Indiana since 1996 and a resident of Indianapolis since
2005. I have a Bachelor of Science in Telecommunications and Networking from
Purdue University, as well as an Associate of Science in Organizational
Leadership and Supervision. I currently work for a large technology company,
headquartered right here in Indianapolis (and in District 1). I lead a team of
engineers that focuses on deploying systems for new and existing customers.
my role as an infrastructure manager, I'm used to working on multimillion
dollar projects and working hard to keep them on budget and on time. With my
engineering background, I'm used to taking an analytical approach to problems
and coming up with logical, workable solutions. As a student of history, I am
quite familiar with the results of governments that end up believing they are
not accountable to the people that elect them to office.
am not interested in playing the political game to win my party the most
"points" or to fill my campaign's coffers with donations. My goal is
provide the best government I can to the people of Indianapolis and work to
resolve the very real issues that are facing us. Too often politicians practice
political scapegoatism, trying to shift focus on to
side issues to avoid dealing with the tough problems in front of them
(particularly if those problems would put them at odds with some of the special
interests they are beholden to). However, as I am running a self-funded
campaign, the only interests I am beholden to are those of voters of my
district and the citizens of Indianapolis as a whole.
does your district most need from the City Council?
would say honestly that what my district mostly needs is for the government to
stay out of their way.
you look at what has been happening in the city for the past 10 years or so,
while we've seen two recessions and other major issues, we've had a city
council and mayors from both parties who've thought that we should spend nearly
three-quarters of a billion dollars on a sports stadium, the majority of the
revenue for which goes to a private entity (in fact, the Capital Improvement
Board has been running substantial deficits due to the stadium and Conseco Fieldhouse). Proponents say that the facilities provide
thousands of jobs to the city, but if you run the numbers it appears to cost
over a hundred thousand dollars of tax payer money per job created (that's just
to create a job, not pay for one). I think it is pretty obvious that we could
find much better investment opportunities inside Marion county
that would help create sustainable job growth at a much lower cost to the tax
payer. While the facilities are very nice and I'm sure it played a big part of
the reason in why Indianapolis was chosen as the site for the Super Bowl, the
amount of money spent cannot be justified.
is only one example (though a very large one) of how our city government has
been allocating tax payer money to benefit special interests rather than to the
general interests of citizens.
your opinion of the 2012 budget proposed by the mayor?
Ballard says he is cognizant of the dire financial straits we find ourselves
in. He acknowledges that revenue is going to be extremely tight (and much lower
than it has been in previous years). While his budget does make an effort
toward making real cuts (and his proposed budget is showing a 9% reduction over
last year), I don't think it goes far enough. I'd like to some deeper cuts and
more efforts reducing waste. One big place I still a lot of room to improve is
in our public safety budgets. Even after the consolidation, we spent nearly
$200 million dollars on IMPD last year and another $105 million on the Marion
County Sheriff's department. You can't tell me that we can't find room to make
cuts in that.
is your position on a comprehensive smoking ban?
am heavily against it. Businesses and consumers are completely capable of
handling this issue on their own. Each business can choose whether to be
smoking or non-smoking. Then consumers can decide with their dollars which they
prefer. If there is a large enough demand for non-smoking venues, then more and
more businesses will provide non-smoking venues (or non-smoking areas within
smoking venues). Personally, I really don't like the smell of cigarette smoke
and I certainly don't like getting the smell into my clothes. But since I don't
care for that, I simply don't visit establishments where I'll have to deal with
it. That is my choice as a consumer.
you think the city needs more police officers?
In fact, I'd say we probably spend too much on public safety, as I mentioned in
my earlier reply. What we need is a new policing strategy, one that doesn't
place so much focus on minor offenses that, while padding the arrest numbers
and making politicians look good, don't really do anything to actually enhance
the safety of the public. For example, pretty typically around election time,
we see an increase in sting operations around prostitution and drug usage. What
this results in (other than headlines in the media show how tough Mayor XYZ is
on crime) is a large number of arrests of very low level criminals, large
expenditures of polices resources and time, and no net
benefit to the city. Meanwhile, we still have violent crimes to deal with.
you support increased funding for public transit?
Even while ridership is up on IndyGo, we are still
looking at budget shortfalls, which mean it is not even coming close to being
able to pay for itself. I would much rather see the city partnering with
private enterprise (or many private enterprise) to come up with some more
creative solutions to the issues of public transit. Indianapolis is a pretty
difficult city for public transit. We have a very large area with a spread out
population. Most of the conventional public transit systems (buses and light
rail) are just not going to be even remotely cost effective. We need innovation
to help us provide the transportation people need and at the same time not
drain money from the tax payers' pockets.
think the streets and sidewalks in your district are in good shape?
the most part yes, though last winter was pretty brutal. We saw (like the rest
of the city) extensive damage to our streets and this winter is looking like it
might be pretty bad as well. That's why I'd like to see deeper cuts in
spending, so we are ready to repair our infrastructure and keep in good shape.
one project that would most benefit your district.
I think the best thing the city could do is stop spending money. Sure, there
are going to be all sorts of projects here and there that might benefit the
residents of District 1, but the real question is, "Who is going to pay for it?". What I think the residents of my district could really
use is a reduction in their property and income taxes. That would benefit them
more than some make-work projects that provide a few temporary jobs that
disappear down the road (and conveniently after the election is over).
question do you wish we'd asked?
do you see as the proper role of the government in people's everyday lives?" I
think that one question and generally sum up where a candidate stands on most
issues. Personally, I believe that the government should have as small an
impact as possible on the citizenry. Rather than enacting ordinance after
ordinance that creates a maze of regulation, making it tougher for businesses
to flourish in our city, I'd rather see a government that is dedicated to maintaining
a police force that protects people from being harmed by others (but otherwise
leaves them alone), maintaining the communal infrastructure to allow us to move
around freely, and that's about it.