Thursday, September 10, 2015

Shattered 2011 Gahan campaign promises, Part 3: The "let's work together" mayor!

Part 1: Jobs!
Part 2: Education!

Back in 2011, this Gahan campaign mailer touted the boilerplate endorsement of Lee Hamilton, and revealed the Gahan campaign's three primary tenets ...

 ... which we were asked to "work together" to achieve.

  • Creating and keeping good-paying jobs
  • Improving our education system
  • Ensuring that government works for all of us

Since January 1, 2012, the city's budget has effectively doubled. Somewhere between $30 and $40 million has been spent on projects like the water park (mentioned by Gahan ever so briefly during the sole 2011 mayoral debate, accompanied by a long forgotten promise to also improve the library), Main Street beautification (filched from state-provided Hwy 111 maintenance monies) and the same old payoffs to cash-rich, big-time property developers (Flaherty Collins from Indianapolis) while local companies do the heavy lifting of grassroots redevelopment on their own.

Untold millions later, here's an overview of reality, in which not even the first truly fundamental improvement has been instigated:

  • Pillsbury's leaving, and the new north side industrial park remains empty. There is no economic development strategy apart from the the usual abatements and subsidies.
  • The school corporation remains aloof, and there has been no Gahan-led discussion about education.
  • By any rational human standard, the Gahan administration has been the least transparent in our city's history.

But there's more. Let's throw in those promises made privately,as in my own discussions with Gahan in 2011, such as a supposed determination to do more to support independent local business, and to bring about two-way streets -- neither of which has been deemed anywhere close to a priority these past four years.

Gahan made plenty of promises in 2011, both publicly and privately. He hasn't followed through on very many of them. In fact, he'd barely settled into his office chair before an entirely new set of priorities became evident,most of them predicated on non-sustainable spending.

If you cast your ballot for Gahan in 2011 based on promises like these, which he didn't keep, I'd suggest you approach this year's self-congratulatory bromides with extreme caution, and consider shifting to an alternative.

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