Friday, October 23, 2009

The Blogs and Councilors Kent Smith and Doris Minton-McNeil

Two situations involving Indianapolis City-County Councilors is being discussed on the blogs. Over at Advance Indiana, Gary Welsh discusses the arrest of Republican at-large member Kent Smith's 18 year old son on a charge of bringing a knife to school. Welsh questions whether it is newsworthy. I feel at best it is a story that deserves about a line or two buried in the Indianapolis Star. For the television stations to give it sort of coverage it did is way overblown. Kent Smith is not responsible for the alleged misdeeds of his adult son.

Over at Indiana Barrister, Abdul complains of the "ghettoish behavior" of Democratic Councilor Doris Minton-McNeil who represents a district on the near northwest side. According to Abdul, Ms. Minton-McNeil was involved in another neighborhood incident where she was supposedly intoxicated and cursing.

I think any way you slice it Abdul's complaint of her "ghettoish behavior" has a certain racial tinge to it. I certainly don't think Abdul by making that comment is a racist any more than a Rush Limbaugh is a racist for the comments he made. But it is the type of comment one should avoid in an era of heightened racial sensitivities. Like it or not, that's the world we live in.

I refuse to pile on Councilor Minton-McNeil. If she has a problem with alcohol, then we should all wish that she get help. If she is unwilling to get help or rehabilitation will take too long, then she needs to resign her seat so her district is properly represented. There is no need to kick her when she is down. Let's all hope she gets better regardless of whether she remains a councilor. I should hope that none of our lives are ultimately judged by our worst moments, because then we are all in a lot of trouble with our Maker.

I am far more worried about having a more honest, ethical and accountable government, in particular one that serves the needs of the public and not the wishes of the elites trying to profit off of the taxpayers. If readers haven't noticed, we do not have that in this City. I have been critical of both parties. We have Mayor Ballard, a Republican elected as a reformer, whose administration seems to be completely hijacked by self-interested insiders who are trying to make as much money as they can during Ballard's four years in office, a mission that is directly contrary to the future success of my Republican Party in Marion County. I likewise recently complained about Republican Rep. Buyer's 501(c)(3) scholarship organization that has existed for six years or so and not handed out a single scholarship, but seems to do nothing more than sponsor lavish golf fundraisers at exotic locales. On the Democratic side I have complained about the failure of Sheriff Frank Anderson to do the job to which he was elected and his misuse of the jail commissary fund. Likewise I also complained about possible ghost employment involving Councilor Monroe Gray and the fire department and how I believe our prosecutor should have looked into that. I also exposed a Democrat, John Dillon, for having made hundreds of thousands of dollars on a part-time consulting contract he received from the Indianapolis Bond Bank while at the same time Dillon served as President of the Bond Bank.

While we should not overlook the alleged misdeeds of Councilor Minton-McNeil, those misdeeds have to be kept in prooper context. Her alleged misbehavior is in a totally different class than the kind of conduct that deeply affects whether the City has a more honest, ethical, and accountable government. Obsessing on whether Councilor Minton-McNeil was intoxicated and/or cursing, detracts from the mission of cleaning up Indianapolis government. That is where the focus needs to be.

1 comment:

Had Enough Indy? said...

You laid this out very well. I have to agree. I'd say also, for the constituents she is supposed to be serving, Minton-McNeill really ought to decide to be on or off the Council by the end of the year. It really is getting to be a long time. And, I certainly wish her the best in her personal life.