Column: Will voters re-elect rubber stamp council?

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Commentary by John V. Accetturo

It’s been politics as usual this week in Carmel as both the mayor and a city councilor told local media that there was no rush to complete the revised city council district ordinance. Thus, it seems funny that Jeff Worrell, a current councilman, and Adam Aasen, a favorite of the mayor, announced in Current that they were running for city council and in what positions. It is apparent that the only people who don’t know the layout of the new districts are the people of Carmel and anyone who might seek a position on the city council who is not hand-picked by Mayor Brainard.

This city council voted Carmel into second class city status in 2016, so why weren’t the new council districts established and codified in an ordinance? It was politics. You see, despite the fact that I lived in Carmel for 38 years, I experienced Chicago politics living in that area for years. Yes, like the Boss Mayor Dailey, Mayor Brainard is Carmel’s Boss and wants no opposition or questioning. He loves his current council, which has approved 99 percent of what he wants with few questions. What better situation for the Boss than a rubber-stamp council?

Some might say that I am against everything, hate Mayor Brainard and want to move Carmel backward. That is absolutely false. Mayor Brainard deserves credit for the many good things he has done with Carmel; however, having absolute power is dangerous. I believe that is why our Founding Fathers established a government structure with three branches. Carmel needs the checks and balances of an independent city council. You don’t have that with the mayor funding councilmen’s political campaigns and assisting them in other areas.

Yes, Carmel is a nice place to live and invest in a home, but we do have government issues that need to be vetted publicly before being implemented or voted down. I have seen little of that happening with the current council. Thus, the real question is whether residents of Carmel will make the Boss happy by re-electing all the current council members or vote for others who will ask tough questions and publicly vet the issues.

John V. Accetturo is a former member of the Carmel City Council and Carmel Redevelopment Commission.

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