Your Letters

There are 20 comments on the The Indianapolis Star story from Mar 7, 2007, titled Your Letters. In it, The Indianapolis Star reports that:

Comments about Carmel from readers: Carmel residents urged to shake off their apathy The Carmel City Council rubber-stamped the Park Place as expected.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at The Indianapolis Star.

Carmel Voter

Carmel, IN

#1 Mar 7, 2007
With all due respect to Mary Ann Burke - I find it interesting, and no big surprise, that someone appointed by Mayor Brainard with a vested interest in the status quo would attack those individuals who represent progress and a change - there seems to be a consistent pattern in the politics of Carmel.

I too have been a taxpaying member of this community for a significant period of time (25+ years) and anticipate being so for quite some time - when I move to Carmel, the community had its attractions at the time, but I am also able to appreciate the many changes, growth and development that the years have brought to our community - I can remember years ago when you had to drive a significant distance just to go out to eat.

I think therefore that it is necessary to ask some questions to the current administration and those individuals who are interested in replacing them.
What do you feel are the roles and responsibilities of city government?
What do you feel are the seminal issues that face this community in the next 4 years, 8 years, 20 years and beyond and how specifically do you propose to meet those challenges and opportunities.
How do you feel you have addressed or will address the issues that you inherited from previous administrations? Or for Mayor Brainard What do you feel will be your legacy for having served as Mayor of Carmel for 12 years?
How long do you anticipate serving as Mayor?
Do you believe in term limits and if so what do you believe is an appropriate period of time for one individual to be mayor of a community like Carmel?

I am writing because of my concern that it appears that the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction - to the far left so that the current growth and development have become a significant burden upon the new and long time residents of our community.

I believe that those communities that have a sense of place have done so as the result of empirical growth and development over time, not as the result of a "just as water" or in this case "just add an old town", "just add a city center". I remember all to well, the advertisement when I was young to just add water for sea monkeys and the disappointment only to find that they were just shrimp.

Growth and development will happen in Carmel irregardless of who sits upon the mayoral throne the question is what kind of growth and development do we, the citizens of Carmel want and what can we afford.
Marnin Spigelman

United States

#2 Mar 7, 2007
Carmel Voter wrote:
With all due respect to Mary Ann Burke - I find it interesting, and no big surprise, that someone appointed by Mayor Brainard with a vested interest in the status quo would attack those individuals who represent progress and a change - there seems to be a consistent pattern in the politics of Carmel.
Excellent questions in your post, indeed. I find it quite fascinating that the Carmel Star can publish such a propagandized statement in the cloak of a Letter to the Editor that is nothing more than a free public political statement by one so obviously on the Mayor's team.

You are quite correct that as an appointee she does have a vested interest in continuing in some position in another Brainard term. It's called pandering to the campaign so as to assure yourself a position of some power.

In going over many of the backgrounds of government appointees by Brainard and his Council allies, I find that there are many serving who have no real background to justify viable appointments such as many on the Planning Commission, Board of Public Works, etc. It is not unusual to have such appointments made by a top official as gratification for support of his agenda, or in this case his re-election campaign. However, that does not make for the best sensible decisions when a City is dealing with multi-millions of dollars in taxpayer revenue.

You certainly have the right to ask questions, but I can guarantee you that the answers you might get from Brainard supporters will be the same canned, and vague responses that will never pinpoint any real details.

What is in store might be an even more aggressive CRC. What might be in store is more "special projects" in the multi-million dollar class that the Mayor will argue is good for Carmel, and will make the City more "enlightened" as the debt keeps piling up.

The amount of debt that this City has piled on, tripled over the last couple of years is not the end of the spending, in my opinion. Nor can the economic data that is pouring out day after day be spun, and massaged in some politically creative way to deaden the facts of reality.

Though I do not know Koven, Wilson, and Snyder, I do know that their records on the Council were not in total compliance with the wishes of Mr. Brainard. That Burke can criticize them as having held Carmel "captive," with "irrational behavior" is by far an outrageous allegation that needs to be answered directly by the parties concerned. Such tactics are those of scandalous attacks endorsing the Mayor's agenda to capture not only another four years, but also to insure the packing of his Council so that the rubber stamping can continue without any objection.

Finally, I hope that the citizens of Carmel will begin to realize that the Mayor's pledge to have a honest campaign is but the same kind of lip service that we've heard many times. The key was when his campaign manager called Koven a "troublemaker," which basically set the tone for the Mayor's campaign.

Be alert, Carmel citizens, for as the campaign continues on there will be more such vile letters published with the apparent blessing of the Carmel Star. For shame.

There is a real need for change.
Morgan

United States

#3 Mar 7, 2007
Carmel Voter wrote:
With all due respect to Mary Ann Burke - I find it interesting, and no big surprise, that someone appointed by Mayor Brainard with a vested interest in the status quo would attack those individuals who represent progress and a change - there seems to be a consistent pattern in the politics of Carmel.
I too have been a taxpaying member of this community for a significant period of time (25+ years) and anticipate being so for quite some time - when I move to Carmel, the community had its attractions at the time, but I am also able to appreciate the many changes, growth and development that the years have brought to our community - I can remember years ago when you had to drive a significant distance just to go out to eat.
I think therefore that it is necessary to ask some questions to the current administration and those individuals who are interested in replacing them.
What do you feel are the roles and responsibilities of city government?
What do you feel are the seminal issues that face this community in the next 4 years, 8 years, 20 years and beyond and how specifically do you propose to meet those challenges and opportunities.
How do you feel you have addressed or will address the issues that you inherited from previous administrations? Or for Mayor Brainard What do you feel will be your legacy for having served as Mayor of Carmel for 12 years?
How long do you anticipate serving as Mayor?
Do you believe in term limits and if so what do you believe is an appropriate period of time for one individual to be mayor of a community like Carmel?
I am writing because of my concern that it appears that the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction - to the far left so that the current growth and development have become a significant burden upon the new and long time residents of our community.
I believe that those communities that have a sense of place have done so as the result of empirical growth and development over time, not as the result of a "just as water" or in this case "just add an old town", "just add a city center". I remember all to well, the advertisement when I was young to just add water for sea monkeys and the disappointment only to find that they were just shrimp.
Growth and development will happen in Carmel irregardless of who sits upon the mayoral throne the question is what kind of growth and development do we, the citizens of Carmel want and what can we afford.
So that's what those "sea monkeys" were.

In any case, I agree with Voter. While the point on low taxes is well-taken, and I admit to being a bit surprised when we discovered the tax rate for our part of Carmel, my wife, neighbors, and I feel that Carmel is moving a bit too fast in the growth area. Take the Gramercy project. Is that really necessary now? How many shopping centers do we need along Keystone? Merchant Square is down the road from my house as is Clay Terrace. Do we really need to add another shopping area and increase congestion around 126th and Keystone?

One of the attractions of Carmel is the LACK of urbanization, which the current administration seems hell-bent to change. People move to Carmel to get away from built-up areas, not to watch their neighborhood turn in to one.

The parks are great, the rejuvenated downtown is great, the Monon is great. But let's quit turning every inch of green space into a store, shopping center, office building, townhome collection, etc. We can live without a built-up Carmel.
Fred K

Delaware, OH

#4 Mar 7, 2007
Lets take a vote......... who thinks "Carmel Voter" and "Marnin Spigelman" are the same writer?
It must be lonely talking to yourself.
HamiltonVOTER

United States

#5 Mar 7, 2007
Marnin: What can you expect from the the "glorious"
Carmel Star.?
Nothing but pro-Brainard 'political garbage'.

Why has "mayor" Brainard's campaign staff,
even now, been digging up the infamous April 1994
Allemenos drug-murders tragedy??

Simple: It's anything for a vote.

Brainard's "whiz kids" are taking credit for
solving the 1994 Allemenos murder cases, yet Jim
was NOT first sworn in as Carmel's Mayor
until January 2nd 1996.
DO THE MATH. It just doesn't "compute".

Brainard is getting a FREE RIDE for another
term in Office, and the People of Carmel
are getting a not-so free ride into the
Poorhouse. Thank the Carmel Star for this
approaching fiscal disaster.

Keep on writing, Marnin. The TRUTH is coming
out.
Earl

Westfield, IN

#6 Mar 7, 2007
"Koven was part of the nastiest City Council that Carmel has had. While on the council, Koven, Luci Snyder and Wayne Wilson held Carmel captive with their irrational behavior at council meetings."

Mary Ann Burke,
Carmel Board of Works

^Real classy.^

This kind of a smear is absolutely pathetic.

Who's in charge allowing this kind of hateful vitriol to be placed into the newspaper?

Is this really the mentality of the current administration?

Wow.

Since: Dec 06

Noblesville

#7 Mar 7, 2007
Morgan wrote:
<quoted text>
So that's what those "sea monkeys" were.
In any case, I agree with Voter. While the point on low taxes is well-taken, and I admit to being a bit surprised when we discovered the tax rate for our part of Carmel, my wife, neighbors, and I feel that Carmel is moving a bit too fast in the growth area. Take the Gramercy project. Is that really necessary now? How many shopping centers do we need along Keystone? Merchant Square is down the road from my house as is Clay Terrace. Do we really need to add another shopping area and increase congestion around 126th and Keystone?
One of the attractions of Carmel is the LACK of urbanization, which the current administration seems hell-bent to change. People move to Carmel to get away from built-up areas, not to watch their neighborhood turn in to one.
The parks are great, the rejuvenated downtown is great, the Monon is great. But let's quit turning every inch of green space into a store, shopping center, office building, townhome collection, etc. We can live without a built-up Carmel.
Great points. I only wish that voters in this county would realize that this is a Republican ideology (pro-extreme growth) that is expressed by the majority of municipal governments in Hamilton County. Sure there are opponents in the GOP primary that are taking maybe more moderate stands on growth and urbanization, but they will lose to the incumbents due to their overwhelming finances and influential backing of developers. I'm afraid whether these opponents like it or not, the only way they will get their message out is by running as political party opposition (running as an Independent, Democrat, or Libertarian).
Tom

Fishers, IN

#8 Mar 7, 2007
Hamilton Co Dem wrote:
<quoted text>
Great points. I only wish that voters in this county would realize that this is a Republican ideology (pro-extreme growth) that is expressed by the majority of municipal governments in Hamilton County. Sure there are opponents in the GOP primary that are taking maybe more moderate stands on growth and urbanization, but they will lose to the incumbents due to their overwhelming finances and influential backing of developers. I'm afraid whether these opponents like it or not, the only way they will get their message out is by running as political party opposition (running as an Independent, Democrat, or Libertarian).
Urbanization means more denisty and less pollution. The opposite of denisty is sprawl and pollution.
It is interesting that you as a Democrat are for continuing urban sprawl and more pollution
Steve

Fishers, IN

#9 Mar 7, 2007
Earl wrote:
"Koven was part of the nastiest City Council that Carmel has had. While on the council, Koven, Luci Snyder and Wayne Wilson held Carmel captive with their irrational behavior at council meetings."
Mary Ann Burke,
Carmel Board of Works
^Real classy.^
This kind of a smear is absolutely pathetic.
Who's in charge allowing this kind of hateful vitriol to be placed into the newspaper?
Is this really the mentality of the current administration?
Wow.
Mrs. Burke is telling the truth and therefore by definition it is not a smear. I live in Koven's district and he is a jerk. He tells people off, is arrogant, talks down to them and throws his money around. His biggest accomplishment on the council was making a bid deal about mud on 'HIS" street left by a builder.

He tormented the mayor with investigation after invetigation. The mayor was vindicated every time.

Koven is not a nice person.

Ask the folks that he sold his business to that later sued him, I think, for fraud.

John, you and your friends will call this a smear too but those that know you know better. Your candidacy is a joke. Believe me, I am not always a Brainard fan but I would vote for him every time if you are the only alternative.
Marnin Spigelman

Indianapolis, IN

#10 Mar 7, 2007
Steve wrote:
<quoted text>
Mrs. Burke is telling the truth and therefore by definition it is not a smear. I live in Koven's district and he is a jerk. He tells people off, is arrogant, talks down to them and throws his money around. He tormented the mayor with investigation after invetigation. The mayor was vindicated every time. Koven is not a nice person. Ask the folks that he sold his business to that later sued him, I think, for fraud.
Ok, maybe you're the person I've been looking for to clue me into what and who Koven is all about. So, maybe you could answer these questions:

1. You say Burke's view of Koven was nto a smear. Well, you call someone "irrational," or in a sense a person who doesn't have any coherence, ability to reason, etc., and that's a pretty big charge. From what I read about Koven he went along with a great deal of Brainard's program, rubber stamped all the forcible annexations, but did have a problem with some high density overbuilding. From minutes I read he didn't seem to be "irrational," so what are you specifically talking about. Ms. Burke implied that he was irrational at Council Meetings, and other venues but didn't write any evidence validating at that fact. Maybe you can?

2.You live in Koven's district, so do you know him personally? Has he acted the way you described to you directly? Or, are your allegations of his actions simply heresay, or your assumption? Has he "talked down to you personally? Has he thrown any money your way, and how much?

3. What exact "investigations" did he conduct against Koven? Please be specific and give me some references so that I can read relevant minutes in respect to the vindications you are referring to.

4. Have you asked the people he sold his business to if he committed fraud against them? Have they responded to YOU in the affirmative? Can you give me the lead for me to verify that with those buyers?

5.Do you think it is possible that a government individual, appointed by Brainard to the BPW, should not be tainted with making unsubstantiated allegations of a political opponent of the Mayor? In other words, how can she possibly have the gall to write such a mean worded letter?

I am not supporting a Mayoral candidate at the present, and it surely will not be Brainard. I have been unable to feel firm about Koven because he hasn't been around campaigning, nor have I been able to read any literature distributed by him, about him.

So, your specific help will be greatly appreciated. Thank you in advance for your consideration of my questions.

Regards.
Trolleytown

United States

#11 Mar 7, 2007
Tom wrote:
<quoted text>
Urbanization means more denisty and less pollution. The opposite of denisty is sprawl and pollution.
It is interesting that you as a Democrat are for continuing urban sprawl and more pollution
Urbanization means more Cars and buisness's and more poluution.
Jerry G

Westfield, IN

#12 Mar 7, 2007
Trolleytown wrote:
<quoted text> Urbanization means more Cars and buisness's and more poluution.
and rats, gangs, graffiti, muggings, car jackings, etc.
Harvey

Westfield, IN

#13 Mar 8, 2007
Steve wrote:
<quoted text>
Mrs. Burke is telling the truth and therefore by definition it is not a smear. I live in Koven's district and he is a jerk. He tells people off, is arrogant, talks down to them and throws his money around. His biggest accomplishment on the council was making a bid deal about mud on 'HIS" street left by a builder.
He tormented the mayor with investigation after invetigation. The mayor was vindicated every time.
Koven is not a nice person.
Ask the folks that he sold his business to that later sued him, I think, for fraud.

John, you and your friends will call this a smear too but those that know you know better. Your candidacy is a joke. Believe me, I am not always a Brainard fan but I would vote for him every time if you are the only alternative.
In YOUR opinion, of course. Geez. What a load.
Mr Happy

Marysville, OH

#14 Mar 8, 2007
Mayor Brainard and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission have worked hard to remove blighted buildings and give Carmel a downtown area to be proud of. Carmel now has a downtown with beautiful new buildings that house art galleries, restaurants and retail shops. It is a great place for families to visit.

I drive thru downtown at least 4 times per week and have only seen one person shopping in the new "art stores' on the SE corner. The lights are on in these stores but NOBODY is shopping.
Jerry2

United States

#15 Mar 10, 2007
Jerry G wrote:
<quoted text>
and rats, gangs, graffiti, muggings, car jackings, etc.
What it means Jerry is that our college age kids will have a fun place to return to so they don't have to move to Chicage or another big city to have fun in their 20's. They canlive in an apartment near the Monon where they can walk to a restaurant or two. It doesn't mean the whole place will be dense--only a little part of town so we have some options for people who don't want to maintain big yards anymore and want to be able to walk places.

And who says that you will get gangs, etc--that is because of the socio-economics of the people that live in Marion County. Look at some of the European cities that have beautiful walkable downtowns.

Most of my street is excited about the improvements in Old Town and getting rid of the old run down buildings--how can you not be?

Do you really think people buying $300,000 condos are going to spray graffitti and be gang members?

This strikes me as a scare tactic by those who want to displace the mayor and have very little to talk about since he has done such a great job....
GeorgeP

United States

#16 Mar 10, 2007
Mr Happy wrote:
Mayor Brainard and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission have worked hard to remove blighted buildings and give Carmel a downtown area to be proud of. Carmel now has a downtown with beautiful new buildings that house art galleries, restaurants and retail shops. It is a great place for families to visit.
I drive thru downtown at least 4 times per week and have only seen one person shopping in the new "art stores' on the SE corner. The lights are on in these stores but NOBODY is shopping.
An quick drive through a few times a week is hardly very scientifitic.
I asked the new art dealer in the corner building and he told me his walk through traffic is several times better than it was i his previous location in Geist.

I also note that the sidewalk is also still blocked by construciton on one building--when that sidewalk is open it will probably help9 too.

Plus, the weather has been horrendous--I would wait to see how many people are shopping and walking down there in the summer when the outdoor dining at Muldoons, Babeazux, and the Library and Bub's is in full swing.
Also, since the parking lots are in the backs and most of the stores have back entrances you might not see too many customers on a drive through when the temperatures are hovering near zero--I would wait until summer.
Marnin Spigelman

Indianapolis, IN

#17 Mar 10, 2007
GeorgeP wrote:
<quoted text>
An quick drive through a few times a week is hardly very scientifitic.
I asked the new art dealer in the corner building and he told me his walk through traffic is several times better than it was i his previous location in Geist.
I also note that the sidewalk is also still blocked by construciton on one building--when that sidewalk is open it will probably help9 too.
Plus, the weather has been horrendous--I would wait to see how many people are shopping and walking down there in the summer when the outdoor dining at Muldoons, Babeazux, and the Library and Bub's is in full swing.
Also, since the parking lots are in the backs and most of the stores have back entrances you might not see too many customers on a drive through when the temperatures are hovering near zero--I would wait until summer.
George, walk-in traffic might be better, but that doesn't necessarily translate into sales, right?

My wife shops at one of the stores on Main a few times a week, and most of the time you could hear a pin drop on the sidewalks of Main Street. Why even giving a tap to the Grandma statue might be heard as far away as Keystone Crossing!!!

Merchants have paid plenty to be in those stores, and they had best have sales results or they lose money, or go out of business. With the coming potential economic downturn, and its coming whether folks deny it or not, which you seem to shove off as irrelevant, it is arbitrary how well Main Street will ultimately do in the next few years.

Just to throw this in George, same holds true for the glorious Concert Hall, Theater, and the merchants in City Center itself. Though I wish them all good luck when and if leases are signed for those buildings to be constructed, but I have my doubts as to their success for some time to come. Meanwhile, I think the Mayor has said that no leases yet have been signed as the pilings, and concrete work proceeds on the site.
Mr Happy

Marysville, OH

#18 Mar 10, 2007
GeorgeP wrote:
<quoted text>
An quick drive through a few times a week is hardly very scientifitic.
I asked the new art dealer in the corner building and he told me his walk through traffic is several times better than it was i his previous location in Geist.
I also note that the sidewalk is also still blocked by construciton on one building--when that sidewalk is open it will probably help9 too.
Plus, the weather has been horrendous--I would wait to see how many people are shopping and walking down there in the summer when the outdoor dining at Muldoons, Babeazux, and the Library and Bub's is in full swing.
Also, since the parking lots are in the backs and most of the stores have back entrances you might not see too many customers on a drive through when the temperatures are hovering near zero--I would wait until summer.
I do agree with you the restaurants will do great business.
Main Street

Delaware, OH

#19 Mar 10, 2007
Marnin Spigelman wrote:
<quoted text>
George, walk-in traffic might be better, but that doesn't necessarily translate into sales, right?
My wife shops at one of the stores on Main a few times a week, and most of the time you could hear a pin drop on the sidewalks of Main Street. Why even giving a tap to the Grandma statue might be heard as far away as Keystone Crossing!!!
Merchants have paid plenty to be in those stores, and they had best have sales results or they lose money, or go out of business. With the coming potential economic downturn, and its coming whether folks deny it or not, which you seem to shove off as irrelevant, it is arbitrary how well Main Street will ultimately do in the next few years.
Just to throw this in George, same holds true for the glorious Concert Hall, Theater, and the merchants in City Center itself. Though I wish them all good luck when and if leases are signed for those buildings to be constructed, but I have my doubts as to their success for some time to come. Meanwhile, I think the Mayor has said that no leases yet have been signed as the pilings, and concrete work proceeds on the site.
I just got back from eating lunch at Main Street and it was exciting to see so many people out. It doesnt take a marketing degree to see the synergy building. I bet if Marnin's wife was shopping in Broad Ripple on a week day she could shot a gun with out hitting anybody. Is Broad Ripple a failure? There is no doubt the months after the holidays with snow is the slowest months in retailing. Some shops will propser and some will fail. The failed ones will be replaced. If you were out today on the Monon and on Main Street you you could feel the excitment of the area.

Since: Feb 07

Aurora, IL

#20 Mar 13, 2007
Marnin should start his own website. A weblog (blog) stating what he has learned each day would be very valuable to many who want to know the truth.

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