Thursday, December 3, 2015

New Spirit of Bi-Partisanship to Dominate City-County Building Under Hogsett?

Mayor-Elect Joe Hogsett
Four years ago when the Democrats took control of the City-County Council, they sent an olive branch to Mayor Greg Ballard and the Republicans and offered to jointly swear in together as a sign of unity.  That fell through, and the only Republican Councillor to show at the Democratic swearing in ceremony was Councillor Marilyn Pfisterer.

It was the first shot in what has been a big gulf that has sometimes been choppy between the Mayor and the City-County Council.  While a number of big ticket items have gotten done, others have languished because of a lack of communication...mostly from the 25th floor down to, believe it or not, both Council caucuses.

Last week, Mayor-Elect Joe Hogsett, Council President Maggie Lewis, and Council Minority Leader Mike McQuillen announced a joint swearing in ceremony and inauguration to take place on January 1, 2016 at high noon inside Hilbert Circle Theatre on Monument Circle.  According to media reports, it was Mike McQuillen, the Republican Council Minority Leader's idea to hold the ceremony that will be free and open to the public.

While the Hogsett express has gotten pulled into the weeds a bit here by talk of a raise for the Mayor of Indianapolis that he apparently did not ask for, the gesture bears note.  The constant complaint again from Councillors I talked to on both sides of the aisle (yes, I do talk to Republicans and they talk to me) was that Mayor Ballard often had his own agenda.  You were either on board or walking the plank.  

There was even a name for it around the Council chambers. 

"Councillor Timeout" was what one Republican told me it was called.  I think you know the names of the Councillors that have been in there at various times.

Let's hope that this unity is more than symbolic.  Pay raise aside, Hogsett and this Council have a lot to accomplish.

1 comment:

Jim Lingenfelter said...

Jon, you may right about the council because there are a few who worked both sides of the aisle in the past and with the exception of Lutz those were the councilors who were re-elected. A spirit of bi-partisan leadership from the 25th floor may not seem deserved to the opposition party after the way the previous administration acted but seems to be "how Joe rolls" Lets hope that we are still talking about this spirit of cooperation on the 4th of July.