One of the problems with highly ideological politics of the sort we have these days is that there is no Republican or Democratic way to pave streets and pick up garbage. At the local level, very few voters care whether the Mayor is pro-life or pro-choice; they are much more likely to rate their political leaders on such decidedly non-partisan and practical matters as police protection and snow removal.
Here in Indianapolis, that homely truth is apparently unknown to Mayor Ballard. Snow removal last year was abysmal; you would think that our Mayor might have used the summer to correct the problems preventing acceptable snow removal. Evidently not.
At 8:00 a.m. this morning, I approached the interection of 15th and College. Now, living downtown, I’m used to MY streets, at least, being plowed and/or salted. Since traffic coming into the regional center is a given, past administrations have taken care of the major streets in the mile square no matter how well or poorly they did elsewhere. This morning, however, with a mere 2″ of snow, traffic was crawling down College on a sheet of ice. I saw no city trucks anywhere during my (admittedly short) commute. I also saw no evidence that there had ever been trucks–not on College, not on Central (!!), not on Michigan. It wasn’t until I reached the IUPUI campus that I saw signs of snow removal–courtesy of IUPUI’s buildings and grounds folks.
This is unacceptable. It’s bad enough when the Mayor bills his junkets as “Economic Development” even though he takes his wife and NOT his Deputy Mayor for economic development. It’s bad enough that he has taken all sides in the debate over broadening the smoking ordinance. The LEAST he could do is see to the nuts and bolts of municipal governance–the basic tasks we expect any Mayor to discharge.