Commentary by Mike Corbett
As a candidate for mayor, there are five key principals driving my campaign.
In this column, I’ll discuss the first two.
The first is greater transparency in city government. It’s a culture shift. It’s wanting to communicate with constituents first and foremost, taking that communication seriously and turning it into action.
Elected officials hide from the public by misusing the state’s open door laws. On at least three separate occasions, the State Public Access Councilor ruled that the city council and other officials held illegal, closed-door meetings. Our elected officials seek secrecy instead of openness. What are they hiding? I’m a publisher, and transparency is a way of life for me. I believe the more information people have access to, the better quality decisions we’ll get.
My second key principle is to reconsider the value of historic preservation in economic development efforts. Historic preservation is harder than building new, so city leaders often find it easier to just bulldoze historic properties rather than going to the trouble of fixing them up. But that’s a mistake. Noblesville’s Courthouse Square is an example. The old buildings have intrinsic appeal because of their scale, design, workmanship and materials. They appeal to visitors and residents alike, encouraging them to spend their time and money at downtown businesses. That’s economic development.
It’s been said many times that other communities are trying to emulate what Noblesville has. You could build a new city with buildings on this exact same footprint, but they wouldn’t have the same appeal that our downtown has. Time has a way of exerting its own unique imprint on things, and there is no substitute. You can’t re-create it. You can only try to preserve what you have.
Every time we tear down another building, we destroy the very thing that makes our community so appealing. That has to stop.
Mike Corbett is a Republican candidate in the Noblesville mayoral race. Learn more at mikecorbettformayor.com.