We the people…

Written by Cornelius J. van Dyk on . Posted in Blog

have spoken…

Not in 40 years has an Indianapolis incumbent mayor lost a bid for re-election, but yesterday, we went to the ballot box and delivered a very clear, very strong message not only to former Mayor Bart Peterson, but also to Mayor Elect Greg Ballard. The message is simple. “You are beholden to the people. Treat us right and with respect.”

Ballard got 51% of the vote while Peterson only managed 47% in the biggest “shock” of the election.

I’m not quite sure why it came as such a shock though. The city council in general also changed significantly as several incumbents there were voted out too. Why? Taxes. Peterson and the council thought they could get away with the exorbitant raise on our taxes. They thought they could just push it through and we would just accept it. They were wrong. People took to the streets, exercising their constitutional right to petition their government. The protests eventually forced Governor Mitch Daniels to order reassessments for most counties.

The next mistake was that of over confidence. The media kept telling us that yes, the taxes issue was bad for Peterson, but Ballard didn’t have a strong campaign and Peterson was going to win anyway. I guess the people didn’t agree.

Peterson did many good things for the City of Indianapolis, but he also did some things that rubbed people the wrong way.

  • Make no mistake, we love our Colts, but I’m not sure too many people wanted the new stadium which is in large part being paid for with our tax dollars.
  • The systematic cutting of the police force over the years was also not good at all. We’ve seen crime rates in the city rise significantly to the point where it now became a problem. Then suddenly we have to raise taxes some more to pay for more police. Not that I’m opposed to more police, but what happened to all the “savings” they got from cutting police in the past? Why couldn’t that money just be reappropriated back to the police force?
  • Taxes. The property tax scandal this year was the final straw. Most people saw a rise of 35% or more in their taxes while in some places taxes doubled or even tripled. Immediately you wonder, what the heck are they doing with the budget that so much more taxes are needed? Should fiscal constraint be the first order of business, rather than raising taxes? Of course, when the news broke that only residential properties were adjusted, that just did it. If you truly can’t keep the budget in line and you must raise taxes, at least do it uniformly throughout residential, commercial and industrial properties.

Now Ballard will have an opportunity to do it right, but the message from the people is clear. Tread lightly Mr. Ballard because if you take us for granted, you’ll go the same way Peterson did. We are not your subjects. You work for us, not us for you…




Trackback from your site.

Cornelius J. van Dyk

Born and raised in South Africa during the 70's I got my start in computers when a game on my Sinclair ZX Spectrum crashed, revealing it's BASIC source code. The ZX had a whopping 48K of memory which was considered to be a lot in the Commodore Vic20 era, but more importantly, it had BASIC built into the soft touch keyboard. Teaching myself to program, I coded my first commercial program at age 15.

After graduating high school at 17, I joined the South African Air Force, graduating the Academy and becoming a Pilot with the rank of First Lieutenant by age 20. After serving my country for six years, I made my way back into computer software.

Continuing my education, I graduated Suma Cum Laude from the Computer Training Institute before joining First National Bank where my work won the Smithsonian Award for Technological Innovation in the field of Banking and Insurance. Soon I met Will Coleman from Amdahl SA, who introduced me to a little known programming language named Huron/ObjectStar. As fate would have it, this unknown language and Y2K brought me to the USA in 1998.

I got involved with SharePoint after playing around with the Beta for SharePoint Portal Server 2003. Leaving my career at Rexnord to become a consultant in 2004, I was first awarded the Microsoft Most Valuable Professional Award for SharePoint in 2005, becoming only the 9th MVP for WSS at the time. I fulfilled a life long dream by pledging allegiance to the Flag as a US citizen in 2006. I met the love of my life and became a private consultant in 2008. I was honored to receive my ninth MVP award for SharePoint Server in 2013.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.