It’s definitely an opportunity for the out-of-office party to go after the popular Mayor. After all, it’s something we all see every day on just about every drive in our city. This is low-hanging fruit for Merritt and the GOP, and there’s really not much that Hogsett can do right now to remedy the issue except to wait for drier and a little warmer weather. A long-term fix is just not something this city can afford at the present time without astronomical tax increases.
Merritt, however, is calling the Mayor “Pothole Joe”, and he’s trying to ascertain what the Mayor’s plan is. I have some problems with this approach.
Merritt had every opportunity to step up to the plate and take a swing at this city’s biggest problems. He didn’t run for Mayor in 2015. Chuck Brewer ran for Mayor of Indianapolis after multiple Republicans declined to run. Neither Merritt nor anyone else on the GOP side wanted to take on Joe Hogsett, so it fell to a first-time candidate making a mayoral run against the experienced Hogsett.
As with everything, Hogsett has taken responsibility for this issue. His DPW Director, Dan Parker, hasn’t hid from the cameras or dodged questions. In fact, he told WISH-TV that the potholes that have sprung up across Indy are “unacceptable”. They are.
I also won’t go back and rehash old politics of why we have a multi-million dollar World Sports Park including a cricket stadium, but you might break an axle on a pothole getting there. You have to go back and look up the Ballard years for that.
The truth is that this dance happens every year. We gripe and complain about potholes. We wait for DPW to fix them. Then, we cringe at the tax bills we get every year because more and more money is being diverted from local governments at the state level by property tax caps and other policies. Joe Hogsett can’t do anything about that. Jim Merritt can as a member of the Indiana Senate.
I guess a good question might be, “What’s your plan to help Indianapolis deal with its infrastructure problems, Senator Merritt?”
That doesn’t make a good political hashtag, though.