Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mayoral Candidates. Idiots

--But I repeat myself. Indianapolis Public Schools have emerged as an issue in the city's upcoming elections for Mayor -- specifically, the ways in which the current (running for re-election) occupant and his Democrat challenger would "fix" them. The latter has been running an especially loud-mouthed series of ads, implying the recent state takeover of several failing IPS schools should be laid at the current Mayor's door.

What's the fuss? One tiny little problem: the Mayor of Indianapolis doesn't run the schools. He doesn't even hire the guy that does! Nope, Us The People elect the members of the School Board, who then go out and hire a patsy Baghdad Bob Superintendent of Schools to run 'em -- usually right into the ground, but that's another story. (The current Mr. Big has floated some especially spiteful notions). There's people tryin' to put the City in control of IPS -- 'cos we all know, Mayors are Philosopher-Kings on Horseback, who will Put Everything Right and represent each and every segment of the electorate in a way no mere School Board could possibly hope to approach -- but as it stands, the Mayor can, at best, hector IPS from the Bully Pulpit and charter new schools outside IPS, and that's about it.

...So when a TV newsie this very morning asked the Democrat candidate point-blank about the hitch in her bold plan to redd up IPS to a fareethewell, I cheered....

At least until he let her ignore the meat of the question ("How you gonna do that that? You're not the boss of them!) and trot out her collection of How I Will Save You sound bites in response. Possibly recognizing he was dealing with a stone wall, the reporter sighed and went on to the next question.

I'd like to tell you the incumbent has better sense. He may, but it's a damned close thing. The last time he got to pick a major bigtime city department head, he chose Frank Straub (fire him!), the odious, oleaginous weasel of a Public Safety Director who appears to have been instrumental in losing FOP support for the incumbent in the upcoming election.

I'm tellin' ya, it's tempting to sit this one out. We might as well elect double-dipper Lincoln Plowman and just post a list of prices-for-outcomes. At least the city would finish out his term in the black.

And who knows -- with his experience, maybe he could bribe IPS to do better.


Fuzzy Curmudgeon said...

As I understand it -- and I was standing about three feet from the mayor when this was said, not by him but by someone I know to be knowledgable on the issue -- the rank and file LEOs are still behind Ballard, regardless of what their union is saying, and regardless of Straub.

I think at this point they believe he's the lesser of two evils.

Dave H said...

Now there's a Twilight Zone moment. I could swear you were talking about Rochester, New York. Same issues, different names. What saved Rochester from having the mayor grab control of the school district was getting him elected Lieutenant Governor. Now he's Albany's problem.

Bubblehead Les. said...

Well, up in Cleveland, it got so bad that the STATE took over the Schools, and now the Mayor runs it through his "Board". But under all three forms of Goobernence, it all didn't matter, because the only thing has resulted is the same old dumb kids get passed along until they drop out and fight over who can sell Crack on which corner.

Anonymous said...

LOL Dave H and I areTwilight Zoneing together, But Im in Kosciusko county IN.
Wanna see something REALLY scarey?

karrde said...

Somewhat like what Les says, it's same problems, different players around my place. Except the Big City mayor isn't making noises about ways to fix the schools...

Detroit Public Schools are under a State-appointed a Emergency Financial Manager.

The current Mayor of Detroit is trying to keep the City of Detroit from going into the municipal equivalent of bankruptcy, so he hasn't been making noises about taking over the Detroit Schools, who have a worse financial position.

Still, the problems sound similar enough to be troublesome.

Larry said...

I love cities.

Apropos of nothing, I suppose; WV recon.

I got nothin'.