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Mayor Ballard

In his 6 years in office, Mayor Greg Ballard has only appeared on AWA 4 times. Here he is during a show from Forest Manor Center

UPDATED WITH INTERVIEWS, REACTION TO MAYOR BALLARD DECISION. At a rally at the City Market, Gregory A. Ballard, the 45th Mayor of the City of Indianapolis made it official what had been rumored for months. confirmed what had been rumored for months. That he will NOT run for a third term next year.  The Mayor’s decision, first announced Wednesday in an interview with Indianapolis Star journalists confirmed reports that had been circulated among Republicans, Democrats and community leaders that the Mayor would opt not to run for a third term.  The only Mayor that had been successful running for a third term was legendary former Mayor William (Bill) Hudnut.  Bart Peterson tried for a third term in 2007 and was beaten by Ballard in a revolt over escalating property taxes and a 65% increase in the local option income tax for public safety.  While many will cite the public works success of Mayor Ballard’s two terms in office, the Mayor had become an increasingly polarizing figure; especially in the African-American community.  Mayor Ballard was the first Mayor during the UniGov era to openly show disdain for African-American leaders and institutions.  Ballard was the first mayor not to meet with the leadership of the Indianapolis NAACP.  Mayor Ballard refused during his years in office to grant any interview with journalists at the 120+ year old Indianapolis Recorder, the state’s oldest African-American newspaper.  After a debate in the 2011 campaign, the Mayor refused to appear on the city’s Black radio station prime time talkshows and repeatedly refused to grant interviews.  Unlike other Indianapolis Mayors, Mayor Ballard seemed to go out of his way to talk only with a select few African-Americans leaders. African-American leaders were routinely excluded from participation in many Mayor sponsored committees and initiatives. Mayor Ballard developed a personal where he would also speak with Blacks who agreed with him on issues.  That he was not accepting of alternative or contrasting points of view.  Mayor Ballard’s standoffish, alienating attitude towards the city’s largest minority group was best expressed in his last AM1310 The Light Afternoons with Amos interview in January 2011 when he said that he considered himself to be the “most African-American friendly Mayor in the history of Indianapolis”. A statement that struck many then and many more today as a Mayor totally out of touch with the realities of his city. On Afternoons with Amos, Robert Vane  a veteran Republican activist who worked with Mayor Ballard in his first term talked about the reasons for the Mayor’s Decision, Ballard’s Legacy and what the qualities of the next Mayor should be.  Former veteran Indianapolis Star political reporter Mary Beth Schneider also talked about Ballard’s legacy and talked about the first candidate to jump out and express interest in running for Mayor, State Senator Jim Merritt.  Former Urban League President Joe Slash, who served as Deputy Mayor in Mayor Bill Hudnut’s second and third terms, talked about the toll eight years (and more) takes on a Mayor.  Slash also talked about the Ballard legacy especially in public safety and minority affairs.  Listeners also reaction to the Mayor’s decision.  Click the Media Player to Hear Mayor Ballard Say in 2011 That He’s the Most African-American Friendly Mayor in Indy History. And Get Reaction on Mayor Ballard’s Decision Not To Run for Re-Election. ©2011/2014 WTLC/Radio One.  Mayor Ballard Jan 2011 Statement On Being African-American Friendly Mayor. Runs 42 Seconds.   Reaction to Mayor Ballard’s Not Running For 3rd Term From Joe Slash, Robert Vane, Mary Beth Schneider and More. Runs 42 Minutes