INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Mayor Joe Hogsett has a strong bench to support his agenda.
Of the 25 seats on the City-County Council, 20 are held by fellow Democrats. Five-term Councilor Vop Osili leads the council.
He said during a swearing-in ceremony Wednesday, “Regardless of party or district, every one of us here today sought public office for one purpose and one purpose alone, and that was to improve the lives of our neighbors.”
The council provides the checkbook for the mayor’s agenda.
When Hogsett assumed the office four years ago, crime in the city was on the increase. According to Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department statistics, in 2018, the city experienced a record number of homicides, 178. In 2019, that tally was 171.
“We’ve had an increase in the number of homicides in Indianapolis for the last 10 years. I’m pleased to report that in 2019, for the very first time in 10 years, homicides are going down. So while we are not declaring victory, we are gonna keep our foot to the accelerator. At least the numbers are trending in the right direction,” Hogsett said.
As for roads, Indianapolis drivers have grown accustomed to pothole-laced pavement. Clearing the streets of snow has been at times trying. Motorists will recall when the mayor on Feb. 1 was surprised by a snowstorm that News 8 had been predicting for several days.
The mayor has pledged $400 million over the next for years to improve road conditions. Less than an hour after he was sworn in to a second four-year term on New Year’s Day, Hogsett told News 8 that the Department of Public Works will have two crews to maintain our streets
“Well, we don’t have bad roads right now, but I do acknowledge that January and February and March are upon us. That’s why I’m very glad that the last year’s council budget and this year’s council budget have restored a street maintenance department to the city of Indianapolis, individuals whose job will be to report to work every morning and go out and fix the roads.”
He also pledged to make Indianapolis government and politics more accommodating and less hostile than the current national political arena.