You may have heard last week that several citizens in the Rocky Ripple and Butler-Tarkington areas were less than thrilled with the floor protection plan proposed by the U.S. Army Corps. The plan calls for a floodwall along the Central Canal which residents argue the 6 foot floodwall would cut off their view of the canal and are understandably upset.
Melina Kennedy decided this could be a good opportunity for her campaign and got Democratic At Large City-County Council candidate John Barth (who is also a former president of the Butler-Tarkington Neighborhood Association) to stage a little press conference calling on the Mayor to work with the feds to put the plan on hold. Unfortunately, she made a mistake and did not read up on the history of the issue.
The Marion County Republican Party sent out the following e-mail yesterday:
Dear Marion County Republicans,
As I’ve mentioned to you before, there are sure to be many instances of the Democrats looking to score political points by revising history. A blatant attempt at this occurred late last week with one of the Democrat Mayoral candidates, Melina Kennedy. She held a press conference on Friday taking issue with Mayor Greg Ballard for a plan by the City of Indianapolis and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to construct a flood wall along the White River; a plan that was developed while Melina Kennedy was Deputy Mayor for Bart Peterson.
It’s interesting that Melina Kennedy is jumping in front of cameras now when she did nothing to help those residents when she was in an influential position in the Peterson administration. The history of the Rocky Ripple situation dates back to the 1990′s when the town opted out of the flood wall plan. Years later, during the Peterson-Kennedy administration, Rocky Ripple asked to be included back in.
Melina Kennedy often portrays her role with Mayor Peterson as a neighborhood advocate, but last week she said we “just recently learned that a major flood wall will be constructed…” and “there was very little understanding and notice provided to the neighborhoods to share their input about this concern.” Wasn’t she fighting for neighborhoods when she was Deputy Mayor?
The vast majority of the planning and decisions on the project were made during the Peterson-Kennedy administration. And it was in 2004 when the Town of Rocky Ripple’s request for inclusion on the flood wall was denied. You can click here to view the City correspondence from 2004 when the Peterson-Kennedy administration denied Rocky Ripple’s request.
Last week, I released the following statement to the media regarding Kennedy’s comments, “This is a desperate attempt by Melina Kennedy to revise history and pander for votes. The fact is Melina Kennedy was the Deputy Mayor during the time the flood wall plan was developed and she did nothing about it.”
Mayor Ballard’s administration is currently reviewing this project, and has made a plea to the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers to extend the deadline for public comment on behalf of Rocky Ripple and surrounding neighborhoods.
I wanted you to be armed with this information so you can help us set the record straight.
Marion County Republican Party
Ouch. As it turns out , the City is working with the community to see what can be done about the situation though cautioning that they will have to consider the amount of time a change of plan will set the project back and that it will also likely increase the cost.
Interestingly enough, there was a community meeting with over 300 people in attendance and staff from Department of Public Works to discuss the plan and the options last night at the Riviera Club. We’re told Melina Kennedy did not attend but did send a staffer to the meeting who was promptly booed for being political.
Guess Melina figured out it is only fun to be in front of the cameras before everyone figures out you might have something to do with the problem.