Friday, December 2, 2011

Fundamental Fridays

Please bear with me before you start groaning with derision.

It seems to me that there are fundamental aspects to good government and good governance.  Open, transparent, accessible government - for instance.  Working in the best interest of the community, not special interests - for instance.  Good stewardship, leadership, vision - for instance.

It also seems to me that there are folks who serve in our local government who demonstrate a fundamental aspect of good government on a daily basis, and others who do so from time to time.

Dare I say it so clearly but -- not all is wrong with our local governance.

So, in order to promote it when I see it, I am instituting a new feature to Had Enough Indy ?  It will be an award worth the paper it is written on.  I'll call it the Fundamental Friday Award - or "Fundy" for short.

The inaugural Fundy (drum roll, please) goes to Councillors Angela Mansfield, Ben Hunter, and Ryan Vaughn, and Mayor Greg Ballard.  The reason is - compromise when compromise will bring about benefits to the community.  In years gone by we might have called it statesmanship - putting the needs of the people before party politics or grandstanding opportunities.

The topic involved is, as you already know, the enlargement of Indy's smoking ban that will still fall short, but not far short, of a complete ban.  However, it will be as close as all sides can get if they hope to garner enough votes for passage and to win the Mayor's signature.

Mansfield and Hunter have been working together, across the political aisle, for years now, trying to move the smoking ban forward.  They were ready to reintroduce a previously defeated measure once the Democrats took control of the Council in January, but a measure unlikely to be signed by the Mayor.  Vaughn threw a Hail Mary pass in the last minutes of Republican control; likely to give Mayor Ballard something he could stomach and sign, saving him face.  Nonetheless, they all came together and are now lending their support to an slightly more aggressive Vaughn measure.

So, include the coming together to work for the benefit of the public, to the art of compromise when compromise will bring benefits to the community, as the reasons why the very first Fundy goes to Mansfield, Hunter, Vaughn, and Ballard.

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