City-county government officials flocked to the Indiana War Memorial's
War Memorial'sornate Pershing Auditorium for a New Year's Day ceremony to
celebrate the inauguration of Mayor Greg Ballard
Greg Ballardfor his second term of office.
Judge Dave Certo administered Ballard's oath of office as
the first lady, Winnie Ballard
Ballard, held a pocket Bible, which the U.S. government issued to the mayor
during his military service in the Persian Gulf War.
The mayor solemnly swore to "support the Constitution
of the United States, and the Constitution of the State of Indiana" and to
"faithfully and impartially, discharge the duties of the Office of Mayor
of Indianapolis, according to law and to the best of my ability, so help me
Judge Sheila Carlisle administered the oath of office to
members of the soon-to-be minority Republican Caucus of the City-County
Notable Democrats in the audience included Councilwoman Maggie Lewis
Lewisof the 7th District, who the council is expected to nominate
and confirm as council president at its Jan. 9 meeting, as well as at-large
their own swearing-in ceremony at the Indy Fringe Theatre.
The upcoming council meeting will mark a transition of power
between the parties, as Republicans enjoyed the majority prior to the Nov. 8 municipal
The meeting's agenda and proposed business will be released
to the public by Jan. 6.
In a recent email exchange Councilman Barth highlighted
three of his council priorities for 2012:
"Three high priority items for me are 1) smoke-free air
policy/ordinance (which all four at-large councilors are co-sponsoring), 2)
addressing concerns at Indianapolis Animal Care and Control, and 3) working
with the city on a better approach to working with neighborhoods —
including looking for a new, more interactive way to address abandoned housing
Councilman Benjamin Hunter
Hunter, R-District 21, visited with NUVO for a few minutes following the
mayor's inauguration ceremony. He said he is looking forward to working on a
stronger smoking ban as well as overseeing the continued implementation of a
nationally accredited professional standards unit within the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department
Metropolitan Police Department, an initiative that he helped spearhead as
head of the council's public safety committee.
He said the city is on-track to accomplish its accreditation
goals by 2014.
In the mayor's State of the City address, which he delivered
after taking his second term oath, he noted that the business publication Kiplinger last week described the city's
entrepreneurial scene as "on the verge of making it big" and named
Indianapolis one of the top ten cities in the nation to start a new business.
"Modern cities don't need harbors or ports to
thrive," Ballard said. "They need leaders who harbor great
partnerships with business rather than rail against it and data ports that move
ideas and money around the world at the speed of business."
Ballard said he expects an influx of new residents as people
quit migrating toward the suburbs and begin filtering back to the city's
"The Indianapolis of tomorrow must act now to provide
the services and amenities that attract and support people seeking a return to
city life — chief among these is education," Ballard said.
"For the good of our community and our children,
Indianapolis must raise its educational expectations — not just from our
schools but from our students as well. We must also invest in the basic
framework of modern city living — that includes transit, greenways and
In classic everyday-guy Ballard style, the mayor emphasized
his appreciation for and support of the city's greenways by hosting his first
annual Polar Bear Pedal
Bear Pedalon Jan. 2.
Several hundred local bicycle enthusiasts joined Ballard on
a blustery and brisk, snow-flurry-filled Monday morning for a 12.2 mile loop from
Hometown Indy boy Jacob Kokotkiewicz, who served in the Army
Infantry, is now a year and a half into his job as a deputy sheriff.
NUVO asked him: "Why come out in 25 degree weather to ride in the snow
"Why not?" he replied. "Life's too short to
sit inside drinking hot chocolate and wishing it was warmer outside."
Prior to the ride, Ballard said the event was "just a
crazy idea that happened two months ago ... highlighting the connectivity in the city
in the city.
"...It's just the beginning. You're gonna see a lot
more bike riding this year; more people riding to workÉThe feeling around here
Ballard touched on a similar theme as he concluded his State
of the City address.
"There is every reason to believe we can become a
capital of commerce, a capital of urban progress, a capital of education
reform, and a capital of leadership and thought, " he said.
"As Mayor of this great city, I hope we recognize this
moment. This is our time."