Current in Carmel recently detailed Central District Councilor Bruce Kimball’s almost 18 month medical absence and the well-established procedures to potentially replace him during his term that runs through the end of 2023. As a colleague I am empathetic of Bruce’s ongoing medical issues but believe it is time to move forward.
As an at-large councilor living in the Central District, I have become the default council contact on a myriad of thorny district issues, and I have certainly had assistance from the other at-large councilors, Jeff Worrell and Kevin Rider. The issue here isn’t so much a lack of council coverage as a lack of direct, accountable representation. To me there are three key elements involved in being a district councilor:
Accessibility – Being on speed dial for constituents for all issues small and large, as well as to know the district neighborhoods and neighbors
Advocacy – providing a voice for constituents within government and to help them navigate the bureaucracy of city services and complex issues such as zoning
Accountability – a district councilor is directly accountable to their constituents in every election cycle. While all nine councilors vote on infrastructure projects, rezones and ordinances, citizens can only vote for their district councilor and the three at-large councilors.
Another media outlet also ran an article on this issue and revealed at least two Carmel councilors with major reservations about vacating this seat (Miles Nelson and Worrell). This is of concern because it only takes three councilors to block the final vote.
It is critically important to understand that failure to pass this upcoming vote will leave the Central District without direct, accountable representation until January 2024 following the November 2023 municipal elections.
If you are a Central District resident and agree that you need direct, accountable council representation, and you don’t want to wait until 2024 to get it, you need to let the entire council know your position prior to the council meeting on May 16, when the resolution to replace the position will be introduced.
Councilor emails can be found at carmel.in.gov/our-government/
Tim Hannon, Carmel City Council At-Large