Saturday, April 10, 2010


That question was asked on this blog a few weeks ago. So I sent Mr. Etheridge an email with several questions regarding his bid for Mayor of New Albany. He replied with answers to all of my questions so I have posted them here.

  1. Why are you running for Mayor? "I am running for Mayor of New Albany because I care and love this community and I want to get the city back on the right track for the future. Our city must move forward, no backward to achieve goals like fixing our sewers, revitalizing our downtown area and cleaning up our streets and neighborhoods. I am a common person with a common cause who has visions and goals for New Albany and is not in the race for just a paycheck."
  2. What special qualifications do you bring to the position? "I bring 27+ years of Supervisory experience with the maintenance department of the Indiana Department of Highways. I have experience with the maintenance of our sewers and drainage on our roads. I am also a small business owner with management and budgeting skills."
  3. How will you balance the budget? Or at least reduce the deficit? "Our city has a "control/spending problem" that needs to be solved to balance our budget. We need to eliminate non-essential positions within the city, reduce spending and find ways through grants and other sources to bring in more revenue to our city."
  4. What will you do to improve code enforcement? "There should be a Code enforcement Office with a qualified code enforcement officer will deal with all code violations within our city. This person must be able to work hand in hand with the public and be experienced and knowledgeable of Indiana Law, city codes and ordinances. This person will also be assessable to neighborhood associations for their problems and concerns. Public outreach programs will also be established to help educate the public on codes and ordinances. The Code Enforcement office will work as a team with other departments to fix and solve the problems that are presented."
  5. How do you feel about our sewer situation? What can be done to improve them? "As Mayor, I will look to revamp the current sewer situation. The 2009 flooding proved that our infrastructure needs to be looked at and examined closely. Preventive maintenance of all pipes, which has not been done by previous administrations, needs to be implemented. I feel that the Sewer Department which is currently outsourced to EMC, needs to be brought back inhouse and work closely with our Stormwater department as a team effort to handle issues such as preventive maintenance for all pipes in our city. I also feel that we need to look at a possible expansion of the Sewer plant by placing another plant on the wast end of our city to accommodate the flow."
  6. Do you think the victims of the Aug. 09 flood are being adequately helped? What would you do? "I feel the flood victims have not been adequately helped. The management of maintenance of the pipe and ditches in our community were neglected throughout of the years. This needs to be done as a preventive measure daily, allocate money to fix the problems, and not just put a band-aid on the situation pacify the ones who were affected."
  7. Do you think we have too many T.I.F.'s? "Yes, that statistics show that New Albany has more TIF's than any other city in Indiana."
  8. What are your thoughts on revitalizing downtown? Do you think we need the 12 million dollar parking garage? "We need to revitalize our downtown before it becomes a ghost town. As Mayor, I plan to use the floodwall to attract restaurants and businesses, like our sister city Jeffersonville has done. Once this is established, people will utilize our downtown area, revenue will increase, businesses will flourish and downtown will once be what it was, a town that is alive. This city does not need another 12 million dollar parking garage at this time. We need to look at parking in the downtown area and work on other solutions instead of using our tax money."
  9. How do you feel about changing Spring St., Elm St., and Market St. to 2 way? "Changing Spring St., Elm Street, and Market Street to two-ways would be a great idea for the flow of traffic into New Albany. The downside of this would be that these streets have been one way for so many years and changing these could cause more accidents. I feel that the city needs to look to see if it would be feasible to create this change."
  10. What is your position on the Police and Fire Depts? Do you think 85% is too large a portion of the budget to be allotted to these departments? "85% of the city's budget is too large of an appropriation for public safety. Our Fire and Police Departments are crucial to our city and public safety, but as Mayor, I will look t the contracts, meet with the unions and see if an agreement can be made between the city and union on a feasible appropriation without hindering these very important city services. I will also look at each department so see if cost efficient measures can be implemented to reduce their budget. It is very important that the Mayor and the Unions work together as a team for the city of New Albany."