The Council and the Mayor agree on economic development….attracting new business and expanding current companies increases our commercial tax base so that residential taxes can be kept lower.
The Meridian Corridor is our economic engine and we have passed laws for 30 years to mandate design and standards to attract the highest quality companies. In sync with the State of Indiana’s Life Science Initiative, we moved from a strictly office corridor to a Regional Health Care Node.
To the original Carmel St. Vincent’s we have added the St. Vincent Heart Hospital, Clarian ( IU Health) Hospital, Community Health Services and now, St. Francis.
As Finance Chair, President of the Carmel Economic Development Commission and Board Member of the Hamilton County Alliance ( now Invest Indiana), I work with companies, site selectors and consultants to craft phased in taxes and audit their compliance on a yearly basis. If they do not perform and keep their promises as to number of employees and salary range…we take away tax incentives.
I believe that companies invest in a community that invests in itself.
GROWTH AND NEIGHBORHOODS
As Carmel grows and new offices, retail developments and apartments are added, it is important to maintain the infrastructure in our neighborhoods.
Keystone Parkway not only moves traffic but by its design increases the value of the homes and neighborhoods on the east side.
Roundabouts are not only useful but attractive.
Carmel has a schedule of road repair and resurfacing every year that helps maintain neighborhood quality and home values. The Council has taken a hand in maintaining that schedule.
I and others on the Council have been focused on making the case for addressing the drainage issues and aging infrastructure in some of our neighborhoods: Village of Mt. Carmel, Chesterton, Northwood Hills, Holaday Hills and Dales, Johnson Addition and Auman/Newark…not all in my district but all important to the fabric of Carmel and why we chose to live here.
We want to retain that choice of neighborhoods, price ranges, and life styles that make Carmel such a great place to live for so many.
CHECKS AND BALANCES
As you can see, while growth and expansion are important to being that cutting edge community that Carmel has become, maintaining our quality of life must balance that growth. We must not lose sight of the very reasons we chose Carmel and have invested ourselves and our families in making our hometown remarkable.
In finance, you know we cannot consistently spend more than we take in. We must not borrow to the limits of our credit. Because of our low taxes, lenders are willing to allow us to continue borrowing knowing that, if the economy takes a downturn, this community can make the payments by raising taxes….something we all want to avoid.
Can it happen? Common sense tells us that the economy is cyclical and income doesn’t always increase. The CRC fell prey to that very situation. The richest redevelopment commission in Indiana became…insolvent.
I see the City Council, the Legislative Branch, as part of the Check and Balance System… designed like Congress to offer both support and sometimes to curb the Executive Branch. It's a necessity to move Carmel forward in a fiscally responsible manner. Destroy that balance, however, and there will be no recourse for our citizens.
The City Council has done a very good job keeping that balance. As Chair of the Finance Committee, I have, and will continue, to keep a watchful eye on spending to ensure there is always a recourse for our citizens...for you.