Today is the first day of 2015, and with it, the first day of a brand-new city, Fishers. This day is something I worked long and hard for, since I made the call for Fishers to drop the "town" form of government in January 2007. It has been a long, hard road, with little to no support from those on the inside of town government, in fact in most cases, their very active opposition.
As the first chair of bi-partisan group CityYes (followed by David Cox and Doug Allman), we worked for a more responsive form of government that would allow the voices of the people to be heard. Those in Town Hall (with the exception of Renee Cox) worked hard to prevent that happening. They delayed and delayed, and obstructed, and delayed some more, and then did their best to spin the arguments against Fishers being a real City with an elected Mayor.
I congratulate Scott Fadness on being elected Fishers' first Mayor. And I congratulate the nine members of the first City Council, several of them newcomers to local government. As I have often said, a big part of good government is the form of government, the next is the people who are selected to run our government, and what they do with it. It remains to be seen what our new City government will do.
But the irony is, none of these people worked to make the change to a City. Several of them, and their supporters, actively opposed it. Whether or not that error in judgment, and being out of step with what local residents wanted on the single most important issue to face Fishers in decades, forebodes good or ill for the future only time will tell.
As for me, I am proud for Fishers today. We have officially "grown up". Now let us see what we can do with it. I thank all who worked so hard for today, David and Renee Cox, Doug Allman, Brian Baehl, Walt Bagot, Glenn Brown, Dan Torzewski, Joe Weingarten, Cindy Garzon, Debbie Ramey, and the donors and volunteers for CityYes who worked so hard and long to fulfill a dream of a better, more inclusive, more open government for Fishers. If I missed anyone, I apologize,
Mistakes were made by town government, and they were heavy-handed at times. Let us see if that changes now that we are a city, and if not, hold them accountable.