Community Affairs Committee to Focus on Indy’s Recycling Program and Cleaner Energy Options

July 16, 2014

Community Affairs Committee to Focus on Indy’s Recycling Program and Cleaner Energy Options

Indianapolis – The Community Affairs Committee of the City-County Council will meet on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. in the City-County Building to discuss ways the City can improve its recycling program and insure a future with cleaner energy options.

The Committee will review Indianapolis’ current recycling program, discuss the Mayor’s proposed contract with Covanta for a “dirty” materials recovery facility, and hear presentations regarding innovative approaches and best practices in recycling across the United States. In addition, the committee will also hear a resolution encouraging Indianapolis Power & Light Company to commit to a plan to stop burning coal in Marion County by 2020 and to invest in greater amounts of clean, renewable energy, reducing toxic emissions at the Harding Street plant.

“The goal of the Council’s Community Affairs Committee is to bring key policy issues to our city’s neighborhoods. I’m excited to use the Committee as a forum for residents of the city to learn more about efforts to improve the environment insure a better quality of life for our citizens,” said Committee Chairman John Barth.

Chair Barth invites all citizens to come and share their thoughts on Tuesday, July 22, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. The meeting will be held in the Dr. Beurt R. SerVaas Public Assembly Room on the second floor of the City-County Building, 200 E. Washington Street.

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Council Democrats Propose Initiative to Stabilize Neighborhoods and Reduce Crime

June 25, 2014

Council Democrats Propose Initiative to Stabilize Neighborhoods and Reduce Crime

Indianapolis – Today Democratic members of the Indianapolis City/County Council announced a new initiative that will bring vacant properties and empty lots back to life and provide rent-free homes for public safety officers, including IMPD Officers and Sheriff’s Deputies. The proposal will be introduced at the July 14, 2014 meeting of the Indianapolis City/County Council.

“Blighted homes and empty lots are more than an eyesore that decrease property values. They attract vandalism and other crime that can affect the entire neighborhood,” said Councilor John Barth. “What better resident of a rehabbed house in a high-crime area than an IMPD officer or a Sheriff’s Deputy whose presence will strengthen a neighborhood.”

With Indianapolis’ current murder count at 75, the city has the highest murder rate at this point of the year dating back to 2008. At the current pace, the murder count is projected to hit 162, or 19.19 deaths per 100,000 people. This initiative is aimed at reducing crime and stabilizing neighborhoods by encouraging IMPD officers and Sheriff’s Deputies to live in redeveloped or newly constructed houses on vacant lots in high crime areas, where they can reside for two years rent-free.

“Indianapolis neighborhoods have suffered far too long from the ongoing violent crime wave,” said Council President Maggie A. Lewis. “This proposal will be the cornerstone of the Council’s plan to ensure IMPD and Sheriff resources are where they are needed the most – close to home.”

The program – called “Safe Neighborhoods Now!” – will begin as a pilot to test the effectiveness of the concept. The first pilot round of housing will be developed in partnership with the Mapleton-Fall Creek Community Development Corporation (MFCCDC) in the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood. The program will construct or rehab up to five houses in high-crime areas of the city, partnering with different Community Development Corporations, using $1,000,000 in funds repurposed from Rebuild Indy.

At the end of an officer’s Safe Neighborhoods Now! two-year residency, the officer will be offered the opportunity to buy the house. This will create a permanent public safety presence in the neighborhood and put the house back on the property tax rolls.

Marion County Sheriff John Layton stated, “I support community policing, neighborhood preservation, and better compensation for our law enforcement officers. Thus, the Council’s proposal seems to be a win-win-win situation. Therefore, I look forward to working with the Council and other public safety officials, throughout the legislative process.”

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Statement from Councilor Barth on the passage of Proposal 77

June 3, 2014

“I’m very pleased that Proposal 77 passed the full Council tonight. The investment in Tarkington Park is especially important. The park is a key element of the community’s desired revitalization of the area which has long suffered from crime, disinvestment, and population decline. Area neighborhoods have worked together to craft comprehensive plans to reverse the decline and promote reinvestment – with a focus on transforming a long underutilized Tarkington Park and encouraging redevelopment around the park. I believe that the implementation of the park plan is vital to leveraging additional private investment in the area which has had its share of challenges in past decades but, with the revitalized Tarkington Park as the cornerstone, is ready to return to thriving and vibrant neighborhood center that it once was.”


Councilors, State Rep. Work for Cleaner and Safer Rentals

May 21, 2014

For Immediate Release
May 21, 2014

Media Contact:
Angela Gonzalez
angela.gonzalez@indy.gov
317.327.4231

Councilors, State Rep Work for Cleaner and Safer Rentals
Focus on Common Sense Landlord Accountability Program

Indianapolis – Indianapolis City-County Councilors Zach Adamson, John Barth, and Jeff Miller have teamed up with State Representative Justin Moed to introduce a proposal to the Council to create a landlord registration program with the aim of ensuring safe, accountable rentals for Indianapolis residents.

“The goal is to give Indianapolis residents, neighborhood associations, and city officials a resource to go to so they can identify the landlord if the grass is not being mowed, the grounds are covered with trash, the property is covered with graffiti or something else has gone wrong at the rental” said Councilor John Barth.

In 2013, the Indiana General Assembly passed a moratorium taking away the ability of cities to regulate landlords and rental property. However, thanks to the work of State Rep Justin Moed, Indianapolis can now establish a landlord registry and enact accountability measurers under House Enrolled Act No. 1403 effective July 1, 2014. “The need for a registry was clear from going door-to-door and listening to my constituents and neighborhood leaders” said Moed. “While most landlords are responsible, too many Indianapolis residents are at risk because of the few landlords who are not.”

If passed and signed into law by Mayor Ballard, the new ordinance will require between July 1, 2014 and January 1, 2015, an owner or landlord of a rental unit to submit their registration to the department of code enforcement (DCE) and pay a nominal $5 fee.

“Currently landlords are unregulated and identifying the landlord when there are problem rentals can be difficult, especially when they don’t live in Indiana” said Republican Councilor Jeff Miller. “This proposal aims to provide a tool to hold negligent landlords accountable for problematic properties that are hurting tenants and the surrounding neighborhoods.”

“Its no surprise that the three members of the Council who are former neighborhood association presidents are the sponsors of this proposal,” said Democratic Councilor Zach Adamson. “As with the graffiti abatement program, we continue to work together in order to provide tools for neighborhood groups and individuals to use to make their part of Indy a better place.”

This proposal will be introduced to the Indianapolis City-Council Council on June 2, 2014 and will be heard in the Rules and Public Policy Committee at a date to be scheduled.

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Tarkington Park Transformation (Phase I)

March 16, 2014

 

 

 

 

Council Vice President Barth recently announced a plan for major improvements to Tarkington Park, located at 39th and Illinois Street. The concept behind the $5 million investment is to jump-start development in the historic business node, while making transformative improvements to the park that will benefit all the region’s neighborhoods (30,000 people live within a 15-minute walk). This is Phase I of an eventual proposed redevelopment of all of Tarkington Park. Proposal 77, the funding vehicle for part of the project, will be introduced to the full Council during the March 17th meeting. A rendering of the park improvements is below:

Tarkington Park


THE COUNCIL’S IMPD STAFFING STUDY COMMISSION SEEKS COMMUNITY INPUT

March 2, 2014

For Immediate Release

March 3, 2014

Media Contact:

Angela Gonzalez

angela.gonzalez@indy.gov

317.327.4231

IMPD STAFFING STUDY COMMISSION INVITES CITIZEN INPUT ON HOW BEST TO ADD MORE OFFICERS

Indianapolis – The bipartisan commission created by the City-County Council to address the staffing of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) invites all members of the public to come and express their thoughts about how best to add more IMPD officers at its meeting on Thursday, March 6, 2014 at 5:30 p.m. at the Library Services Center, 2450 N. Meridian Street.

The Council created the bipartisan study commission to determine the appropriate and necessary number of IMPD officers and to review and analyze long-term funding options.  “We are seeking the input of the city’s residents to assist the Commission in creating a plan that will properly staff our police force so that our citizens feel safe in their neighborhoods,” said Councillor John Barth, sponsor of the initiative.

The Commission, consisting of 11 members appointed by key public safety leaders in the city, has been holding meetings since January and will make a recommendation to the Council the end of March.  Information about the Commission, including agendas, meeting minutes, presentations and supporting materials is available to the public on the Commission’s web page:  www.indy.gov/IMPDStaffingCommission.  The Commission ‘s meetings will also be broadcast on Channel 16.

Commission Chair Mary Moriarty Adams invites all citizens to attend the commission hearing on March 6, 2014, where ample time will be allowed for public comment on this important issue.  The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. and will be held at the Library Services Center, 2450 N. Meridian Street, Indianapolis, IN 46208.

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RELEASE: INDIANAPOLIS CITY-COUNTY COUNCIL: 2013 YEAR IN REVIEW

February 24, 2014

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 24, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS CITY-COUNTY COUNCIL: 2013 YEAR IN REVIEW

Action-Based Agenda Shows Results

INDIANAPOLIS – In 2014 the members of the Indianapolis City/County Council will continue to lead based on the priorities of our residents in each and every neighborhood.

“During 2013, Councillors listened closely to our city’s residents, and it is clear they want a city where every neighborhood has the opportunity to thrive and where every citizen is safe,” said Council President Maggie Lewis.

Council priorities and successes in 2013 included:

Results-Oriented, Bipartisan Leadership: Council leadership operates with an inclusive, community-oriented leadership approach that focuses on achieving results for every Indianapolis zip code. Key examples include:

  • Budget compromise: Council leadership led the way to develop a bipartisan budget compromise, resulting in 80 new IMPD officers with no new taxes;
  • Resolution Against HJR-3: With bipartisan support, the Council passed a resolution opposed to HJR-3. Our city is a welcoming place to live, work and play and our State Constitution should embrace that; and
  • Disability Business Enterprise:  The Council passed an ordinance that created a Disability Business Enterprise program for the City of Indianapolis. This program ensures that people with disabilities have a pathway to start their own businesses.

Protecting the Public: 2013 saw the highest rate of violent crime in more than a decade, and 2014 is seeing the troubling trend continue. The Council demanded and took quick action, with two key proposals to support our neighborhoods now in place:

  • 80 additional IMPD Officers: The Council demonstrated clear and strong support for public safety. Through tough negotiations with the Mayor, we were successful in adding more police – ultimately adding 80 new officers – to the IMPD ranks while staying within our budget.
  • IMPD Staffing Commission – Finding a Long-term Solution: In December of 2013, the Council created a bipartisan study commission to determine the appropriate and necessary number of IMPD officers and to review and analyze long-term funding options. The bi-partisan Commission is now meeting and will have recommendations by March 31, 2014.

Strong Neighborhoods: The Council believes supporting our neighborhoods is a priority that will help our city prosper. In 2013, the Council pushed forward several key initiatives:

  • Quality of Life: The Council passed a bipartisan proposal to reduce and remove graffiti in Indianapolis neighborhoods. The new ordinance is aimed squarely at giving neighborhoods an important tool to improve the quality of life.
  • Community Affairs Committee: As it did in 2013, the Community Affairs Committee continued to hold meetings in the community, including the Library Service Center.
  • National Recognition for Complete Streets: In 2013, the National Complete Streets Coalition recognized the Indianapolis “complete street” multimodal transportation ordinance to be the best in the nation.

“There is no question that crime is at the top of the list of community concerns, and in 2013, the City/County Council took action to address the city’s violent crime crisis,” said Council Vice President John Barth. “We will continue our clear, consistent focus on public safety in 2014 because we owe it to the people of this city who have chosen to live, work and raise their families in our neighborhoods.”

“I am proud of all our Councillors – they work hard every day, often on top of full time jobs – to represent their constituents. The results from 2013 speak for themselves,” said President Lewis.

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