Sunday, February 22, 2009

the city reacts to ballard's bold vision of livability

a day has now passed since mayor ballard gave his state of the city speech (on a saturday morning, when the fewest number of people possible would be paying attention). so how are people responding?

"The biggest complaint I have as a resident is that livable isn't a goal," said Adam Kirsch, executive director of the Marion County Democratic Party. "It is the bare minimum the city should expect.

"The speech didn't provide a bold vision. It was just filled with a litany of minor accomplishments during his first year."

Republican City-County Council member Michael McQuillen disagreed, saying, "Livability is a big issue that will put Indianapolis a step above other big cities in this nation."

imagine... a city that's livable! it sounds far-fetched, i know—like something out of a grant morrisson comic book—but just try to picture it: a city where you can actually live! if ballard can somehow pull it off, then that would really put indianapolis a step above other big cities!

Ballard was asked after the speech if he thought he'd provided the vision his critics had found lacking.

"What I said today is not much different than what I've said the last eight to 10 months," he said.

in other words, no, not even ballard thinks he articulated a vision in this speech.

even the mayor's top apologist, abdul hakim shabazz, concedes that the mayor has no vision, but tries to spin it as a positive. "I think this city has enough of that 'vision' for a while," he writes. and for those of you who think abdul's opinion on ballard, who he has literally never criticized for any reason whatsoever, isn't worth the pixels it's printed on, abdul has this to say: you should listen to him because he was actually in the room during the speech. so there!

gary welsh has, in recent weeks, found something to write about other than his distrust of president obama: the troubles at the CIB. he was hoping for the mayor to say something of substance on the subject, and was naturally left empty-handed. paul ogden concurs, and promptly takes the opportunity for a shot at former mayor bart peterson.

amazingly, matt tully, who just the other day wrote a column begging the mayor to show some vision for god's sake, gave the speech a B. why? because ballard's delivery wasn't as embarrassing as at past speeches. apparently ballard's decision to skip meeting the president in order to practice his speech helped after all. perhaps tully's next column will explain why the speech was actually good despite not delivering on the stuff tully said he wanted. (to be fair, in today's tully's corner feature, tully takes ballard to task for skipping the obama meeting, so he's not completely soft on the mayor.)

at her latest blog, envision indy, jen wagner has been offering a detailed response to the speech, including fact checks, detailed rebuttals, and the full text of the speech. let's hope that envision indy sticks around longer than some of her previous blogs.

No comments: