Brainard: You've got to see Carmel to believe it

October 9, 2013
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Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard painted a rosy picture of the suburban community in his State of the City speech Wednesday. Then he showed the video.

Brainard delivered his annual status report Wednesday at a Carmel Chamber of Commerce luncheon that drew more than 530 attendees.

He spoke for less than five minutes, saying the growing city made good business decisions that allowed it to emerge from the recession in strong shape. Case in point: the 3,500 jobs Brainard said Carmel has landed (or been promised) just this year.

But his speech lasted less than five minutes. The rest of his allotted time went to a screening of “Carmel: A City to Experience,” a slick 30-minute video produced in association with The Omni Centre for Public Media.

Brainard and a half-dozen department heads appear in the video, highlighting recent accomplishments and upcoming projects. It also addresses the city’s redevelopment efforts and its investment in the arts, with footage from groundbreaking ceremonies and jobs announcements—and praise from residents and visitors alike.

“We felt that this year's State of the City should be shared visually because Carmel truly is a city to experience,” said Director of Community Relations Nancy Heck.

In that spirit, click here to watch the full video on YouTube. Check it out, then weigh in.

  • Carmel: A Great Place to Live
    My family has been in Carmel for 20 years now. We have owned eight homes in six states stretching from both coasts and several places in between and we find Carmel to be by far our favorite place to live. The quality of life is outstanding. The activities such as Gazebo concerts in the summer; CarmelFest, The Center for the Performing Arts; the Monon Trail, and the Arts and Design district and all the activities hosted there mean there is always something to do. Shopping and dining places are plentiful and diverse. We have many locally owned and operated shops and restaurants that we like to support. Schools are among the best in the state and the taxes are low. Investment in city infrastructure is extensive and getting around the city is quick and easy. Carmel is indeed a world class city -- voted the #1 place to live in the US in 2012. It is a very well kept secret and a most pleasant city to live and work in!
  • Moved here 9 years ago, never looked back
    I moved from CA 9 years ago and never looked back. Great place for families. I am visual so I liked the city's video presentation.
  • But, it will change
    The tremendous development in apartments, will no doubt make some changes in the Carmel lifestyle. At the very least, it will put a huge strain on our schools. We can't look in the past, and say how good Carmel has been over the last 20 years especially, because the population is changing, and increasing dramatically. We will need a larger police presence, especially in the HUGE apartment areas being built (look at what happened to the apartments behind St. Vincents on 86th street), The fire department will be taxed. One thing we can be sure of, we have hospitals and emergency rooms all over the place. Many of the things that made carmel a great place to live, are quickly being replaced with things that some think are great, and some think are not so great. One thing I know, is there will be EIGHT (significant) roundabouts within a half mile of my house within a year or so. There were almost no stop signs when we moved in. Many of us moved into a suburban environment, and now find ourselves living in a planned Urban area, some of which is not needed, and not desired by the populace, but by the developers and mayor.
  • Carmel is a great place to live
    I'll agree with all 3 of you. The seeds we planted decades ago have come to fruition. I enjoy the many conveniences that make Carmel such a great place. Unfortunately we have clouds on the horizon as Bob Grimm stated " Investment in city infrastructure is extensive and getting around the city is quick and easy." The only issue with the extensive infrastructure is we are barely treading water financially. The seeds that have been planted in the last 8 years are not as sustainable as we were lead to believe. The bill for our quality of life investments will be a challenge for the city to meet in the future. If the state were to take further action on Property tax reduction and change toward a sales tax approach, as some states have done, we would find ourselves in a challenging situation. As taxpayers we have over $300,000,000 in debt, primarily from CRC commitments, and just a 6% margin of safety. Last year TIF tax revenues dropped 10% from $16 million to just over $14 million, $6.9 million last year in CRC expense, property taxes down $1.5 and budget grew $2 million. The sun is still out but we need to prepare to meet some challenges. Long term maintenance is going to be challenging unless we see significant increases in revenues or we make cuts in spending.

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