City Council considers bicycle program administrator position

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The Carmel City Council is considering whether to add a new paid city employee as a bicycle program administrator. The position could be paid up to $69,000 a year.

City Councilor Bruce Kimball introduced the ordinance at the Nov. 20 meeting as a late add-on to the agenda. Some city councilors said they would feel more comfortable taking time to examine what the position would do before approving it, especially since it was added to the agenda just hours before the meeting.

David LittleJohn, the city’s alternative transportation coordinator, already focuses on many aspects of cycling. Kimball said there are new initiatives and tasks that could be done to promote ridership in the city and educate children about bicycle safety, and it’s too much to add to LittleJohn’s existing job.

City Council President Sue Finkam asked if the position could be part-time.

“I’m wondering if there’s too much,” Kimball said.

Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard said the new position could help promote Carmel nationwide as a cycling community, which would in turn help boost Carmel’s national ranking among bicycle-friendly cities.

“We’d be able to get a lot of earned media if somebody focused on this,” he said. “We just don’t have the staff.”

City Councilor Ron Cater said he believes there’s no reason Carmel shouldn’t already be ranked near the top of most bicycle rankings.

“I think we can do a lot better in our image and culture in being a bicycle friendly city,” Carter said.

The item was sent to the council’s finance committee for further discussion.

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