Kokomo Mayor-elect Tyler Moore on Monday named the four members of his transition team, less than a week after he won the race to become mayor and under two months before he takes control of City Hall.
Moore’s transition team will consist of a group of prominent local Republicans: Howard County Republican Party Chairwoman Jamie Bolser; Indiana Rep. Mike Karickhoff; former Howard County attorney Larry Murrell; and Ron Metz, a managing partner of Bucheri McCarty & Metz LLP, who also served as the Moore campaign’s treasurer.
Moore said in a media release that the transition team “began work” on Friday.
“They will assist me with forming our new administration and making a smooth transition into the new year,” remarked Moore.
“Each of them was selected because of his or her involvement in the community, as well as the public and private business expertise they bring to the table.”
The group, meanwhile, is expected to soon form a separate advisory committee to “provide perspective and recommendations on the major issues facing Kokomo,” according to the release. The committee’s members will be selected “in the near future.”
“I want a diverse, ongoing Advisory Committee that represents all segments of our community,” Moore said in the release.
“We will work hard with this Advisory Committee and use their input to make sure we have the best, most responsive, most transparent government possible.”
Moore – whose campaign focused heavily on issues like crime and a need for increased investment in public safety – has already highlighted the issues that will dominate his early days in office.
He said in an interview on election night that his first order of business when he takes office in January is to put more police officers on the street to combat what he said is an uptick in crime.
“Folks are concerned with the number of street projects and bumpouts, but the biggest concern they have is the increased level of violence that the current administration has often claimed doesn’t really exist,” he said, referencing statistics released by the KPD that show a decrease in violent crime in recent years.
Moore said he plans to hire more officers and also develop an “aggressive recruitment plan” to draw new police and firefighters to add to the city’s ranks. After that, he plans to conduct a fiscal analysis to determine where the city stands financially.
City officials have often bristled at Moore’s comments about a need to examine city finances. The Indiana State Board of Accounts already audits city finances and released a report this fall showing no financial-record discrepancies or instances of noncompliance during an audit that covered the 2018 calendar year.
But Moore has regularly called for a separate in-depth look at the city’s financial condition, saying as far back as his January campaign kickoff event that he wanted increased transparency on how the city spends taxpayer dollars.
“There’s a lot of great things going on, but just how far into it, financially, is the city?” he asked.
Moore, meanwhile, has said he does not plan to make a clean sweep of every position in Goodnight’s administration, although some prominent roles, like deputy mayor, are likely to be changed.
“There are some very experienced and really beneficial individuals that are in positions that serve the community well,” he said. “I don’t anticipate there to be a cleaning of the house, so to speak, but that’s all part of what the transition team will look at and decide.”
Murrell said the transition team will be transparent about the coming weeks’ decisions. His comments came in response to a question Monday about which department heads within the city administration are likely to be replaced.
“As you know, the transition team has just begun the important transition process, which we intend to conduct carefully and thoughtfully. We will keep you and our Kokomo community fully informed of all major decisions as they are made, including personnel matters,” said Murrell.
Moore noted that he will work with Goodnight and his administration during the transition process. On a national and local level, outgoing administrations often meet with incoming officials to help ease the quick shift in leadership.
“I am honored to have been elected mayor of our city and am already hard at work on behalf of our citizens,” said Moore.
“I look forward to working with my Transition Team, Advisory Committee, Mayor Goodnight and his administration to ensure a smooth and seamless transition that will set the stage for a successful future.”
Moore defeated Democrat Abbie Smith in the mayoral election with 68% of the vote.
He has said he will serve out his term as a Howard County commissioner until the end of the year and then step down once he takes over as mayor. The Republican Party will then hold a caucus to determine who will serve out the remainder of Moore’s term, which he’s held now for nearly 11 years.