Mayor Ballard looks back on 2010

The year began on an exciting but ultimately disappointing note as the Indianapolis Colts made their second trip to the Super Bowl in Miami, only to lose to the New Orleans Saints and Purdue University alum Drew Brees.

The Saints victory made for a heartwarming story, unless you're a Colts fan.

"It was a phenomenal game, didn't have the outcome we wanted but we had a great time, " said Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard (R).

"I never want to hear 'who dat' ever again," laughed Ballard.

Ballard looked back on his most tumultuous year as mayor. He said he is both satisfied and honestly concerned with what happened under his administration. Ballard said he is gratified by the number of new jobs created in 2010. He said he is also particularly proud of the deal struck by city officials with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to fix the environmentally-challenged Circle City sewer system. The mayor said the city hasn't gotten much credit for the deal that will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

"We were the first city out of all these others, we were able to modify it with the EPA, save money and become more environmentally sound."

That said, Ballard is also quick to admit that one incident dominated his year as mayor, the fatal crash involving IMPD Officer David Bisard. He said he realizes the story of an officer who hit and killed a motorcycle rider, then had DUI charges dropped after a botched investigation, will overshadow much of what his administration accomplished this year.

"I love the men and women of the police department but it's hurtful to see these incidents because it gets a lot more attention than the good things," Ballard said.

Mayor Ballard pointed out violent crime is down in Indianapolis and his reforms of the police department are in place as the year comes to a close. However, Ballard calls those reforms a long-term solution to IMPD's issues.

Looking ahead, Ballard said he has a lot more to do in the short term to restore the community confidence lost in the Bisard case.

"Frankly, I just think we've been so insular within the police department. I think we never saw what other agencies were doing so we weren't able to improve and benchmark ourselves. I think that's important and I want to do that," Ballard explained.

Mayor Ballard recently announced he will run for re-election next year. He called it a difficult decision to run again but said he is convinced, despite everything that has happened, residents of the Circle City want him to continue to serve as mayor.

"If I thought I was in the way, I would just step aside but the fact is a lot of people told me my team is making a difference. I just think it's important. We have a lot of thing to get done and we're going to go after them," he concluded.

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