South Side Town Hall Meeting Reflection

Posted: April 16, 2010 in Leadership, Living Stones Church, South Bend, Uncategorized, vision

On Tuesday evening we had two South Bend City Councilmen (5th district David Varner [R] and 2nd district Henry Davis, Jr. [D]) join us for a Town Hall Meeting.  I very much enjoyed and appreciated the conversation, and came away with a few reflections based on the conversation:

  • Real authority for change rests in the hands of the mayor.  The city council, based on IN statute, and civil governance has little authority and power for change.
  • The Councilman love our city, but were disappointed in its direction.
  • Last week a report (ironically commissioned by the mayor’s office) came out that claimed 70% of South Bend were optimistic about our economic future.  They thought that was a funny joke.
  • There is no neighborhood association or group on the South Side.  When one gets started, it is usually out of crisis and then quickly fades.
  • Both councilmen personally liked the mayor, but both seemed to think that his lack of any business background has been a disservice to South Bend.
  • Both councilmen were disappointed in the city’s (when I say “city” you need to hear “mayor’s office”) treatment of businesses.  The “City Plan” is often used as an excuse to shut down businesses that want to move into our area or expand.
  • While “Innovation Park” and “Ignition Park” are a good thing for our city, it seems to hold all the “eggs” of our city’s basket at the moment.  In reality, “Innovation Park” and “Ignition Park” will not be accessible to those who need jobs in Michiana now.
  • In reality, we are getting what the electorate voted for.  And if you look at the numbers, it is a very small electorate that votes.

Bottom line: if you want city change…you have to start with the mayor’s office.

Note to self:  time to vote (yes I said it…and it grieves me to say so 😦 ).  But at least on a local level…the office of mayor and school board have moved me in my position.  I’m anti-incumbent (which is different than Republican or Democrat).

I do want to thank everyone that was in attendance at the Town Hall Meeting.  And I especially want to thank David Varner and Henry Davis, Jr. for being gracious with us, extending their time to field our questions, and for serving our city the best they can.

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Comments
  1. edwardlife says:

    I really thought that Juan Manigault would have brought the significant change needed into the city a few years ago, but the D machine seemed to overpower the real CHANGE needed into 4 more years of decay and decline.

    Seems people now are finally seeming to grasp en masse what is going on. I can;t wait to see how much worse off the city will be in four more.

    If SB wants to stop the decline and decay going on, it does need to start at the top. The city needs a mayor who will acknowledge the crime issues, the school issues, the media issues and the reform issues that are needed, not only for one’s self serving agenda, but to take first steps to stop SB from becoming a sister city to Gary. (see also the HBO series “The Wire”)

    Because, honestly, we’re not far off at all.

    In fact, homicides and auto theft stats aside, SB’s crime rates over all, and per capita, is HIGHER than Gary’s. FACT.

    Anti- Incumbent across the board is a very smart move, SB voters.

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