AFTERNOONS WITH AMOS EXCLUSIVE:The day after Brian Mahern appeared on Afternoons with Amos to explain why he attempted to remove Maggie Lewis as City-County Council President, Lewis, joined by numerous Council colleagues, appeared on the program with their side of the story. Lewis was joined by Council Vice-President John Barth, veteran Councillors Monroe Gray and Mary Moriarty-Adams and Councillors Zach Adamson, William Oliver, Joe Simpson and Pam Hickman. Lewis and Democrats talked about Mahern’s attempted coup with several Councilors, especially William Oliver and Monroe Gray, outspoken in their anger against Mahern. Gray and Lewis, though, went out of their way to commend and congratulate the four Republican Council members (Christine Scakles, Jeff Miller, Jose Evans and Will Gooden) who stood up against pressure by top mayoral aides and Republican leaders and voted to sustain Lewis as Council President. The day before Councilman Mahern appeared live on Afternoons with Amos to explain why he did it. Mahern, a long time Democrat whose family comes from a family of longtime Democrats, tried to explain to Amos and listeners that he opposed how President Lewis and the Council Democratic leadership was not following Council rules and inhibiting his efforts to point out issues that were hurting the city. While acknowledging Mahern’s passion on some issues, Lewis and the Democratic Councilors took strong exception to Mahern’s charges that Council rules weren’t being following and that’s why he wanted to raise the issue of a leadership change. President Lewis, Vice-President Barth and the other Democratic Council members attacked Mayor Greg Ballard’s contention that his 2014 Budget proposal contains no new taxes and is “honestly balance”. The Council Democrats criticized the Mayor’s cutting of 25% of the budget for Indy Parks, not providing enough resources for the police and fire departments and were leery of the Mayor’s proposal to borrow over $130 million for more repair work in the City’s Rebuild Indy plan. During the Council interview several discrepancies and mathematics errors were found in the City’s own budget figures, which casts questions on the total budget document’s accuracy. Click the Arrow Below to Hear Maggie Lewis & Council Democrats on the Budget and Brian Mahern.
The previous day during his interview, Brian Mahern was asked about the reaction from the Black community at what they perceived as an attack on a Black elected officials, particularly a Black woman. Mahern sidestepped that question. Mahern repeatedly, in the interview, talked about his opposition to the Administration of Mayor Greg Ballard’s tax and spending policies. He bitterly criticized both parties support of providing subsidies to sports teams like the Indiana Pacers and the controversial expansion of Tax Increment Financing Districts or TIF’s. Mahern tried to couch his actions as a protest to both parties not dealing with the real critical issues facing Indianapolis. In response to a direct question from Amos, Councilman Mahern admitted that prior to the Monday, August 19th Council meeting, he’d received a memorandum written by the Council’s Republican attorney Jonathan Elrod and sent to Council’s Minority Leader Republican Michael McQuillen on how to challenge the Council leadership. Mahern didn’t see what was wrong with him receiving that type of information saying the reason for his challenge was so force the full Council to debate and decide their leadership. He described his actions as “seeking a vote of confidence” in the leadership. In trying to state the reasons for his leadership challenge, Council Brian Mahern sharply criticized Lewis’ running of the Council, repeatedly criticizing her actions that in Mahern’s words “were not following Council rules and procedures and preventing Council members ideas and measures from being heard. Mahern criticized Lewis and Council leaders for not adhering to Council rules that supposedly require measures in Council committees to be reported back to the full Council within 45 days. Mahern was asked, when he served as Chair of the Rules Committee, did he adhere to those rules. Mahern told Amos “Yes”, but Afternoons with Amos and Vice-President Barth in an interview confirmed that in 2012 on four pieces of Council legislation (Council Proposals 179, 211,213 and 316) those weren’t reported out within the 45 day rule that Mahern now criticizes President Lewis for. Click the Arrow to Hear Amos’ Full Interview With Council President Maggie Lewis and Council Democrats on the 2014 Budget and Brian Mahern. Runs 72 Minutes.