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Political neophyte Ballard cruises to second term

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A contentious battle for Indianapolis mayor culminated in a second term for Republican Mayor Greg Ballard, who won the race with 51 percent of the vote. His Democratic challenger, Melina Kennedy, garnered 47 percent.

Ballard, who won his first political victory in a huge 2007 upset against two-term incumbent Bart Peterson, maintained his appeal as a political outsider and moderate Republican, which helped him in an election that otherwise brought strong Democratic victories.

Democrats swept control of the City-County Council, winning all four at-large seats and capturing seats in tossup districts such as the Beech Grove area to gain a 16-13 edge.

 During the race, Ballard touted his administration’s fiscal restraint; initiation of public-safety reforms; and spending to repair roads, bridges and other infrastructure as selling points for his re-election. Ballard’s first term included sizable initiatives such as the sale of the city’s water and sewer utilities, the long-term lease of Indianapolis’ parking meters and plans for a large development on the south side of downtown near Eli Lilly’s campus.

Kennedy, a former deputy mayor under Peterson, made K-12 education the centerpiece of her campaign, pledging to make it a top priority if elected. She also rolled out plans to spend proceeds from the utilities sale on early childhood education, crime prevention and job training, and attacked Ballard’s record on issues such as public safety and economic development.

Observers said Kennedy’s negative approach—and potentially her gender—hurt her in the race.

In his next term, Ballard is expected to focus on initiatives to rejuvenate the urban areas just outside downtown to the borders of Interstate 465. Community leaders have promoted ideas for improving mass transit and channeling utilities sale money toward neighborhood projects, ideas that Ballard has supported.

They’ve also discussed plans for decentralizing Indianapolis Public Schools, but Ballard has not yet weighed in on those plans.

The new council dynamics—with Democrats strongly in the majority—will test Ballard’s ability to reach across the aisle. If he is unable or unwilling to do so, he risks getting little accomplished in his second term.•

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  • Actually...
    what cost Melina Kennedy the election was certainly not being "negative," but that she refused to attack Ballard on the things he was the most vulnerable on - corporate welfare and insider deals. She never hit Ballard on the $33.5 million giveaway to the Pacers wile libraries were closing and the parks budget was slashed. She didn't hit him on the ACS 50 year parking meter deal, the Broad Ripple Parking Garage that enriches Keystone, or many of the other insider deals.. She had so much ammunition and never fired a shot.

    The fact is both parties are deeply involved with those insider deals, and she as an insider herself, wasn't going to upset the apple cart by going after them even though Ballard was vulnerable on those issues.

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  1. In reality, Lilly is maintaining profit by cutting costs such as Indiana/US citizen IT workers by a significant amount with their Tata Indian consulting connection, increasing Indian H1B's at Lillys Indiana locations significantly and offshoring to India high paying Indiana jobs to cut costs and increase profit at the expense of U.S. workers.

  2. I think perhaps there is legal precedence here in that the laws were intended for family farms, not pig processing plants on a huge scale. There has to be a way to squash this judges judgment and overrule her dumb judgement. Perhaps she should be required to live in one of those neighbors houses for a month next to the farm to see how she likes it. She is there to protect the people, not the corporations.

  3. http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/engineer/facts/03-111.htm Corporate farms are not farms, they are indeed factories on a huge scale. The amount of waste and unhealthy smells are environmentally unsafe. If they want to do this, they should be forced to buy a boundary around their farm at a premium price to the homeowners and landowners that have to eat, sleep, and live in a cesspool of pig smells. Imagine living in a house that smells like a restroom all the time. Does the state really believe they should take the side of these corporate farms and not protect Indiana citizens. Perhaps justifiable they should force all the management of the farms to live on the farm itself and not live probably far away from there. Would be interesting to investigate the housing locations of those working at and managing the corporate farms.

  4. downtown in the same area as O'malia's. 350 E New York. Not sure that another one could survive. I agree a Target is needed d'town. Downtown Philly even had a 3 story Kmart for its downtown residents.

  5. Indy-area residents... most of you have no idea how AMAZING Aurelio's is. South of Chicago was a cool pizza place... but it pales in comparison to the heavenly thin crust Aurelio's pizza. Their deep dish is pretty good too. My waistline is expanding just thinking about this!

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