When I decided to run for Muncie City Council, it was out of a genuine desire to help reshape how our local government interacts with its citizenry, and address the challenges that lie ahead of us in a positive way that moves Muncie forward.
However, with FBI raids making headlines again, multiple indictments (and one conviction, so far), and the possibility of more arrests looming, there is no argument that corruption and illegal activity has taken place within our city government. While I don’t want to make this a focal point of my campaign, I also don’t believe that we can truly progress without first addressing “the elephant in the room.”
As a lifelong Muncie resident, I am sick and tired of the dark cloud that hangs over our city due to this ongoing investigation. It negatively impacts our ability to promote and improve our community, hurts our population’s morale, and emboldens the naysayers who seem to exist only to tear us down.
It’s easy for political candidates to say that they believe in transparency and oppose corruption – we’ve all heard it for decades – but what we never hear are specifics about what they actually intend to do about any of it, and then those sentiments evaporate once they get elected into office. I believe we have to change that.
If elected, one of my first actions will be to work with my fellow council members to adopt an official Code of Ethics for the City of Muncie, and establish an Ethics Commission to enforce that code.
Under this plan, a commission consisting of members from both the council and administration, as well as non-political appointees from Ball State University and our legal community, will review any reported ethics violations and present its findings to the City Council for remedy.
Many communities already have successful examples of these programs in place, so this is not a wheel that has to be invented. My team is currently researching other communities’ approaches and drafting a proposal that best fits Muncie’s needs. When completed, we will make it available on my website for review and collaboration.
I also want to challenge all other current candidates, both Republican and Democrat, to pledge their support to this initiative.
It doesn’t have to be my plan that they get behind, but every candidate for city office should be willing to support some plan that puts an end to the cronyism and graft that has plagued our city so that Muncie can truly move forward.