EXCLUSIVE: Indy Council Leaders Talk Snow Removal, 2014 Priorities, Moving Jail & Courts To Airport, Indy’s Lower Credit Rating, Poverty & More

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Council President Maggie Lewis

Council President Maggie Lewis

A week into the New Year 2014, President Maggie Lewis, Vice-President John Barth and Majority Leader Monroe Gray, the leaders of the Indianapolis City-County Council majority appeared on Afternoons with Amos to talk frankly about several major issues. First off they addressed residents concerns about problems with snow removal. While saluting the long hours and hard work of the men and women of Indy’s Snow Force in the Department of Public Works, the Council leaders said that questions should be raised about what could be improved upon in the city’s snow removal efforts.  All three leaders said they’ve received scores of phone calls, text messages and e-mails from residents concerned about a less than stellar effort. Regarding Standard & Poor’s lowering Indianapolis’ credit rating from AAA to AA, Council President Lewis and Vice-President Barth said one reason for the downgrade was a change in how S&P evaluates cities and their levels of debt.  Both Lewis and Barth said the City and Mayor knew in advance that Indy’s credit rating would be lowered, but failed to inform city residents.

Council VP John Barth

Council VP John Barth

monroe gray

Majority Ldr Monroe Gray

Instead, Council leaders charged that the Mayor used the occasion to blast the Democratic Council majority.  Pressed by Amos why the City’s considering building a combined jail and courthouse on a far corner of the Airport, Lewis and Barth said that the Council majority hasn’t committed on whether the plan should go through.  While Majority Leader Gray expressed his strong opposition to the plan, Barth and Lewis said the airport location has serious problems and drawbacks and the whole plan must be carefully considered.  All three leaders also expressed opposition to a Ballard Administration plan to spend city money to pay for improvements to IUPUI’s Natatorium, which is a state-funded facility.  Lewis, Barth and Gray also said that the growing poverty in Indianapolis is a serious problem that must be addressed.  All three, agreed that the rising poverty in the city, coupled with continuing lack of jobs is one reason for rising levels of crime in some neighborhoods.  Click the Arrow to hear Amos’ Interview with Indy’s Council Leaders. Runs 47 Minutes. Runs © 2014 WTLC/Radio One.

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