In Howard County Democratic Party chairwoman Kathy Skiles' response to Tyler Moore’s mayoral bid, she stated, “Just 10 years ago, that area was nearly vacant and dilapidated. Greg got to work and revitalized these areas along with the rest of Kokomo.”
First of all, I wouldn’t say he’s revitalized the "rest of Kokomo," as there are many residents in outlying neighborhoods and annexed areas who feel they do not get the same fiscal and logistical support the downtown areas get.
Secondly, gentrifying an alleyway with the help of a corrupt out-of-state developer who ended up messing over local business owners is not exactly a "shining example" of mayoral leadership. Apparently, there must be amnesia within the local Democratic Party, because you failed to mention the Firestone Building debacle, or the way the Mindful Academy owner was treated, or developer Jeff Broughton’s local tax issues, or the fact Mayor Greg Goodnight sold two of his private properties to Broughton, despite the developer's shady past and the fact that many residents were advising to use caution with him.
Skiles states the mayor invests in local neighborhoods. Do you mean like how the Pettit Park neighborhood had to reach out to the city to address its crime and drug issues?
Kokomo is a very pro law enforcement and public safety city. To publicly attack a former LEO with strong community ties on the front page of the paper may backfire on the current city administration.
And Moore’s "real" reason to run was clearly expressed – a strong and efficient government backed by strong public safety. You know, public safety … like how prior to annexation Goodnight told both police and fire departments he would keep public safety staffing at optimal levels (100-plus for each department). This turned out to be a promise that was not upheld.
To justify the low staffing the city administration is preemptively trying to compare KPD to Greenwood’s PD. They also are trying to use lumped together statistics to make it appear as if the crime issues are being adequately dealt with. Anybody who has taken Statistics 101 knows that stats can be skewed for political benefit. Not only that, but how many runs are simply not-reported, or under-reported, or classified in different categories, such as an overdose call being labeled an unresponsive-medical or how legitimate "shots fired" calls may be classified as "fireworks/celebration." Also, there is much more to public safety than violent crimes. A reduced police force is unable to proactively deter crime. Officers can suffer burnout and decreased morale. On top of that there is just the normal mundane, run-of-the-mill calls and paperwork that piles up, leading to overworked police and longer waits by citizens for emergency and non-emergency calls.
My advice is instead of listening to phony politician banter, talk directly to a local police officer or firefighter. Hear what they have to say from their own firsthand accounts. And also, if there are any current or past fire/police/city workers who desire to be whistleblowers, I say go for it. The only way to shine a light upon corruption is for willing individuals to step forward and speak truth, even at risk of backlash.
Oh, how flattering it was for Kathy Skiles, Howard County’s own Nancy Pelosi archetype, to chime in. But I’d be careful slinging dirt around and going after those who may have dirt on current city administration officials. Not only that, but I wouldn’t get too far ahead of myself – Goodnight has to get through the primary first, and if initial polling is any indicator of what’s to come, it’s that the community at large is ready for new blood and a new direction.
Adam Renshaw, Kokomo