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In the aftermath of Gov. Mike Pence approving Senate Bill 621, the so-called Power Grab Bill, the Democratic leaders of Indianapolis’ City-County Council appeared live on Afternoons with Amos to express their disappointment in the Governor’s action.  But Council President Maggie Lewis and Council Vice-President John Barth blasted Mayor Greg Ballard for his failure to deal with a number of pressing city issues, including the skyrocketing violent crime in the city with murders up nearly 60% from last year.  Both Council leaders condemned Ballard’s plans to create an $4 million unneeded park to cater to highly specialized sports like cricket that appeals to very few Indianapolis residents. Vice-President Barth was dismissive of Republican attacks on he and other at large Councillors.  The new law will force them off the Council when their terms ends December 31, 2015.

Both leaders took calls from listeners who shared their concern about the new law and Republican attempts to strip power from the Council and gather more under the Mayor. Lewis and Barth also indicated that Mayor Ballard’s proposal to tighten regulations against panhandling, especially passive panhandling face a tough going before the Democratic-majority Council.  With Lewis attacking Ballard for his refusal to add more police officers to enforce laws existing panhandling laws. Both also said they may take a hard look at the Mayor’s school reform proposal, a controversial planned called “NEO” which has been sharply criticized by education groups, parents and teachers.  Click The Arrow to Hear Council President Lewis and Vice-President Barth’s Interview with Amos & Listeners. Runs 52 Minutes. ©2013 WTLC/Radio One.