Will business like Ballard?

November 7, 2007
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Dating at least to the â??60s, when Richard Lugar was mayor of Indianapolis, the cityâ??s comeback has been driven by nationally renowned cooperation between government and business.

Business interests came out of the woodwork to support Lugar, and subsequent mayors William Hudnut, Steve Goldsmith and Bart Peterson. Though a Democrat, Peterson quickly gained the confidence of business partly because of his familyâ??s background in real estate development.

Now Greg Ballard is the one needing corporate backing for everything from improving schools to trying to attract a Super Bowl. Read a full story here.

Will he get it? Will he want it?
  • I am very concerned with Ballard's position on Charter Schools. I support what Mayor Peterson has done to create smaller, more rigorous schools throughout Indianapolis. It would be ashame to see the efforts of so many go to waste.
  • We're screwed!
  • Ballard is for Charter schools ass most republicans are. Those who think the city will fall apart are just dead wrong, its an over-reaction and typical of day after results. Everyone needs to slow down and take a look - why did Peterson lose? Why did he get voted out?
  • I agree with Todd. Lets not jump to conclusions and look at what is really going on here.
  • I think the primary fear here is that now having a member of the GOP elected locally scares people into thinking that he will do what the GOP has done to the federal government (cronyism, heavy partisanship, raising the national debt to uncocievable figures, wars, etc.). Which I believe is probably good reason to be concerned, no matter who or what you believe.

    The fact that Ballard never made public alot of his positions (other than the fact he's not Bart), is probably also a fair reason for concern.
  • Please read Ballard's Rules #4........I think it is more than relevant to this discussion....

    4. Community welfare is a direct result of private companies wanting to call Indianapolis home

    If you were a company looking to move to the Midwest, would you consider Indianapolis? Many companies are moving to Central Indiana, but most of them are moving to Carmel, Brownsburg, Plainfield, or other municipalities. Why is that?
    Companies want their employees and their physical property to be relatively free from crime. They also want their most precious asset, their people, to be as well educated as possible. Crime rates, levels of education, and levels of taxation are much more favorable just outside of the city. Companies have discovered that they can enjoy Hoosier Hospitality in Central Indiana without moving to Indianapolis.
    There is no arguing the need for tax abatements and other incentives for companies to move to our city. With cities such as Cincinnati, St. Louis and Chicago close by, the competition is tough. Soon, however, due to crime and the poor levels of basic education, no company will want to move here, and local entrepreneurs will ultimately move their operations outside our city. The suburbs’ tax base and employment rate will be enhanced while ours will decline.
    By failing to provide a hospitable climate for business, more social services (which mean taxes) will be required at a time when the tax base is declining. It’s a vicious circle in which no city wishes to find itself. We must reverse the direction of our city and make Indianapolis a city that entices companies to set up operation in our city, not outside of it.
    Over a generation, crime, education, and economic development are the same issue. Failing to address the immediate crime problem and our declining educational standards will doom our city to a greatly reduced tax base, which would mean exorbitant taxes for those who choose to remain in the city.
    Only by reducing crime and increasing our educational standards will consistent economic development occur. Only then will our community welfare be enhanced.
  • I don't think Ballard really has a clue about the economic and social needs of the city. He wants to cut spending but has never been specific on what he would cut. It will likely be things such as parks etc., which will only lower overall community appeal. Also, much of his leadership experience is from the military where people give commands and others follow. City/county government is anything like this and I believe Ballard will be frustrated by this process.
  • Educational standards have already been in place -- even before the enactment of the federal government's No Child Left Behind act.

    The problem with Indy's education system is not due to any absence of standards, or to the efforts of our educators; rather, the source of our scholastic ills can be traced to the condition of too many families' moral, social, and educational values.

    What we *really* need is a Revival.
  • I witnessed our Mayor-elect in several debates with Mayor Peterson and I am totally shocked. During these conversations, Mr. Ballard appeared to have no clue about solutions. . . only complaints about status quo. And he appeared to have less command of the English language than our current idiot President. Wow!

    The results of this election are a knee-jerk reaction by citizens who were (rightfully) angry about property taxes -- something over which the Mayor of Indianapolis, GOP or not, has very, very little control.

    All of the work the Peterson team has inspired and led through INVOLVED and INFORMED citizen relationship buulding is in jeopardy.
  • To answer your question about support....Sure, I think Mayor-elect Ballard can earn support from business, just like Mayor Peterson did when he ran for, and became, our Mayor. Mayor Peterson proved he was a friend of business, and of growth and progress in Indianapolis, in addition to constantly engaging in level-headed, thoughtful dialogue with the business community. Being friendly to business doesn't mean unfriendly to citizens. It can mean exactly the opposite, given the number of citizens employed and affected by business. Many in the business community are worried about Mayor Peterson being defeated because they knew where he stood, that he was cooperative, interested in collaborating and was transparent from the beginning about what he stood for, which made conservatives and liberals comfortable with him. He will definitely be missed.

    If Mayor-elect Ballards takes the lead from Mayor Peterson, and chooses to work with the business community, to help them feel more comfortable with him by engaging in discussion as soon as possible about what he stands for, what business needs, what the community needs, and other issues, and turns himself in to a known rather than an unknown, then yes, he can and will gain the support he needs from the business community.

    Business leaders in Indianapolis are reasonable, level-headed and educated. We want the best for our businesses, our community and our valuable employees, the citizens. What we need now is for the Mayor-elect to help us understand how he plans to work together to make this community continue to grow and prosper in all sectors. In the mean time, he can be assured we will be reaching out to him to begin that discussion.
  • sounds like a whole bunch of barts buddies are running scared. everything will be fine in the business world and better in our personal lives. the survey released earlier this week that showed how people percieve downtown as unsafe said alot about bart. lets build a stadium and hotels, but let downtown crime skyrocket. that is not good for business. build it and they will come.....well maybe not if downtown isnt safe to visit.
  • Does Ballard have any clue about unigov or consolidation, township budgets, issues? Why does everyone think pro-business is pro-people? It's not true, half of the time. Look at the new football stadium. That's how come Bart lost.
  • I am very cautiously optimistic he’ll do a decent if not good job…

    First of all, he seems like a VERY moderate conservative. If you really think about it he really hasn’t expressed any terribly conservative views. It could easily have been some neo-con man or some backwards something instead of him… That would’ve REALLY sucked!

    Secondly, he is a businessman & worked at a business college. Which is refreshing. Ballard also seems like he could be somewhat easily influenced for better or for worse.

    Overall, i’m pretty apathetic towards this. As much as i would have liked to have seen Bart serve his 3rd term’s a charm it still wasn’t realistic. I firmly belived that Peterson was getting pretty stale in there. Which was not good.

    So here’s a cheers to being carefully optimistic. Sound good?
  • I don't think Mayor Ballard's priority is a damn football game. That is part of the reason Mayor Peterson won't be with us after January.
  • Yeah, Bil and elated...tell that to the hundreds of high-paid construction workers now at work on the new stadium, who will next move to the Convention Center expansion and JWMarriott hotel projects. They don't seem to have much fear about working in the inner city.
  • I'm amazed at the stunning lack of intellect in this forum in the arguments against the new mayor-elect. I think things can be great under his leadership, and if people don't want to cooperate, we can vote them out as well.

    I believe the mayor-elect understands that being mayor isn't a prize in a popularity contest, it's an opportunity to serve your community. I believe he will do a fine job. Maybe you should wait for a year or two to whine. Facts are facts, and he's the mayor for the next four years. Let's see what he can do.


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