Mayor Greg Ballard
Because Mr. Mayor was not willing to compromise, the smoking ban is back to square one, and Indianapolis continues to be left behind other major cities in this country that have taken public health seriously.
This means that Mayor Ballard certainly has no interest in running for reelection and a third term in 2015. No one wants to be on the wrong side of health for our children, and Ballard certainly came down on that side with this veto. This will be used against him if he runs again.
You see, this is a no-brainer issue. Even as others on the other side of the aisle assail against it by citing the number of complaints lodged downtown and such, this makes too much sense to not do someday, and I think it's only a matter of time before it happens. Ballard is just prolonging the inevitable. Like gay marriage or other issues that divide us, soon we will see smoking banned in just about every public place. It's going to happen, and it should happen.
I respect the wishes of local business owners who wish to set their own smoking policies, but I just think that science and public health outweigh their concerns. I know that I won't be popular in those circles for saying that, but I just believe that for our city to move forward and join other cities in the nation that we have to take steps like this seriously.
Hopefully, the Democrats and the Republicans can find a 20th vote and send a message to the Mayor about public health here in Indianapolis.