"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Report from BTNA meeting with Bart Peterson, Monroe Gray, and district #8 candidate Kurt Webber

Steve Vinson and his family live in Butler Tarkington. Steve moved to Indy from Chicago thinking it would be an inexpensive safe city to raise his family. Not so. His taxes are DOUBLE what his Chicago taxes were for the same sized house and Chicago's services are far better. There is no debate that Chicago IS a world class city. Why can't Peterson, the CCC, and our school board deliver comparable service for the same cost of Chicago? Could it have something to do with the fat administrative layers and patronage positions doled out by city officials, school, and library administrators?

Steve is trying in vain to arrange a debate between Monroe Gray (CC president district #8 councilor) and local attorney Kurt Webber who is his challenger. Sounds like Monroe Gray does not want to debate.

Here is Steve's account of the meeting:

"My family and I attended last night's Butler Tarkington Neighborhood Association board meeting. The mayor, the CCC president, and Kurt Webber (Monroe Gray's challenger) were all there. It was a nice exchange and all had a chance to give their views and answer questions.

The Mayor gave his usual speech, which you can probably read on his website.

Next it was the City-County Council District 8 candidates' turn. Gray took the opportunity to describe his view of the improvements made in Butler Tarkington over the years.

Kurt Webber let the group know that if they are happy with the way the city has been run, they should vote for Gray. If, however, they want someone who will keep an eye on spending and work to reduce it, they should vote for Webber. He then gave his view that one of the worst things to hit the neighborhood was when the city moved our police department liaison to the Northeast side. Callie Sanders (BTNA board president) tried to correct Kurt, saying that the liaison chose to move. Kurt acknowledged that they have a disagreement on why the liaison is no longer in our neighborhood but the problem is the same. Interesting.

I was sitting next to President Gray who whispered to me, "he has his facts wrong."

Another interesting moment was when Gray asked Webber what Webber would propose the CCC cut from the budget (seeming to imply there is nothing left to cut). Kurt reminded the group that he would start with $21,500 allocated for a county commissioner position that does not even exist. When pressed for more, he said he would announce further proposed cuts at the appropriate time. Webber explained that many times when ideas are floated too early, opponents take the good ideas as their own. The discussion ended when Ms. Sanders cut off a would-be questioner due to time constraints.

I did get a chance to directly ask the BTNA board whether they would endorse a debate between Monroe and Kurt. Kurt jumped in and said he would welcome the opportunity. Monroe did not say anything. The board was still discussing when we had to leave. Ms. Sanders said she would email me the board's decision.

Today, Ms. Sanders let me know the board still did not have a decision. I let her know that I am assuming BTNA is not interested in helping to make an open debate happen. I base this assumption on the board's handling of the meeting last night and the amount of time and energy I have spent on trying to get them to help only to meet with indecision from BTNA and Monroe Gray.

I have tried to provide an objective and open summary of my perceptions from the meeting. I hope you find it interesting. I would be happy to clarify or answer any questions."

--Steve Vinson
concerned Butler Tarkington resident


Anonymous said...

Nice try, Steve. MKNA, like BTNA seems to be having crises of leadership at this critical time... even afraid of hosting an honest debate, in what would seem to be a critical election year.

Why is this?

What are these associations for anyway?

Melyssa said...

I've heard rumblings that MKNA is opposed to the unfair taxation signs in people's yards and that the signs are hurting home sales. Like a prospective buyer in that area would not first inquire about the 2007 tax rate!

If anything the signs are HELPING our push to get property tax repealed once and for all in Indiana.

I think the purpose of the associations are for charity work, which they seem to do well. They certainly are ineffective at forcing political change. Look how ineffective they were the last time our property taxes were increased back in 2003. They got NOTHING accomplished.

varangianguard said...

But they have dedicated "Neighborhood liaisons" to attend to their beck and call.

Melyssa said...

And they did get our corner at 42nd and COllege cleaned up. But they could not stop Peterson from moving our police precinct in the middle of the night. Subsequently we've had an increase in crime.