What’s next for Indianapolis? Ballard, Hogsett weigh in

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INDIANAPOLIS (Dec. 30, 2015) – Mayor Greg Ballard’s to-do list won’t be fully checked off when his tenure ends Thursday.

But in a recent wide-ranging interview, he didn’t express any regret.

“I’m sorry it didn’t go, but the fact is I’m really proud my administration tackled every big thing in the city that had been kicked to the down the road for 30 to 40 years,” he said.

Ballard was first talking about the failed proposed criminal justice center.

The city has spent $12 million on a project that won’t break ground.

“Well everybody knew it going in,” Ballard said. “I just happen to carry the papers with me. This is the paper signed by the council president, saying we need that facility along with the sheriff and others.”

A chorus of city-county councilors have also seriously questioned Ballard’s moves on Vison Fleet, the city’s electric car overhaul, and Blue Indy, the nation’s first electric car sharing program that sparked controversy and a lawsuit.

“Now it’s a wild success,” Ballard said. “It’s a great success. Everybody knows about it. Everybody knows the lawsuit is completely made up. So everybody knows.”

Mayor-elect Joe Hogsett had promised he won’t rollback the Ballard-era initiatives, but did admit questions looms over the city’s spending and handling of taxpayer money.

“It’s not so much the nature of the programs that this administration has either proposed or enacted,” Hogsett said. “I mean on its merits, Blue Indy has real value. On its merits, Vision Fleet has real value. But I think the challenges that the city faces, to be quite frank, is the long-term fiscal, financial health and well-being.”

Beyond declining revenues, Hogsett will inherit millions of dollars in bills from controversial or defunct contracts.

“And the end of the day, the challenges are not insurmountable,” he said. “I’m passionately optimistic about our city.”

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