Mayor Jim Brainard has been in office for 24 years. Twenty four years is a long time, a quarter of a century. Now, many innovations have been made under Mayor Brainard’s tenure, most notably his roundabouts. Fortunately, his plan to fine you $100 if you didn’t turn on your blinkers when exiting a roundabout failed to get council support. He cites his reason for another term is that there is more to accomplish. Yes, I think any politician could say that. There are more things he wants to spend your taxes on. Fortunately, one of those things will not be the $6 million antique merry-go-round, thanks to the remonstrance headed up by Dr. Tim Hannon, now running for city council at-large.
The Carmel mayor and city council have repeatedly voted themselves pay raises. Mayor Brainard’s salary of $148,786 makes him the highest-paid mayor in Indiana but is still much less than the $180,000 salary our mayor was hoping to get several years ago. On top of this, his perks include a city-provided automobile, and apparently there’s no limit on the number as he has managed to wreck several. The raises would have been larger if not for the protestations of the citizens.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there was a rule that government officials could not vote themselves pay raises, that the pay raises would only apply to elected officials that replace them? Yes, costs of living increases through the years warrant occasional pay adjustments, but elected officials in a representative democracy should consider their job as one of a short-term public servant, not a lifetime source of income. After all, the officials all knew what the salary was when they begged for your vote. If elected officials think their pay is too low, perhaps it is time for them to vote a pay raise for their replacement.
The character of Carmel is changing. Back in the ’70s, when our family arrived, it was a family centered bedroom suburb. Now, under the direction of Mayor Brainard and the city council, using taxpayer funding, it is rapidly becoming “diverse,” with dense apartments and tattoo shops. More cosmopolitan, you might say, which brings a whole new set of problems.
Recently, campaign signs for Mayor Brainard’s opposition candidates, (mayoral candidate) Fred Glynn and (city council at-large candidate) Dr. Tim Hannon, were removed from private property along 136th Street in my precinct by the city where signs had been untouched in previous elections. The city removed a sign from Dr. Hannon’s own yard, where Brainard signs in past years had been left undisturbed. This is very disturbing, to say the least.
Many Christians felt disenfranchised several years ago by Mayor Brainard, who steamrolled through an ordinance that could punish folks for refusing to do business that violated their religious consciences.
Mayor Brainard has jumped on the global warming/climate change bandwagon, even participating in national meetings, presumably at taxpayers’ expense. As an atmospheric scientist that worked for the National Weather Service for 40 years, I am embarrassed that Mayor Brainard would become so involved in promoting futile climate mitigation efforts that could have disastrous impacts on our economy. He would be far wiser to spend his time looking for the next intersection to roundabout-ize.
Fred Glynn, past Hamilton County Council president and candidate for Mayor of Carmel, deserves your consideration. As mayor, he will devote his energy to ensuring continued high quality of living in Carmel, without skyrocketing debt obligations and without the danger of perceptions of cozy conflicts of interest that come from 24 years of working with developers, as is the case with our current mayor.
John T. Curran, Carmel