Friday, December 28, 2007

Maverick "The Mayor" Ballard

Maverick was a popular western TV series many years ago that attained somewhat of a cult following. I can't tell you why exactly it was so successful after the series ended, except, it could be that Americans love maverick personalities.

There's nothing wrong with it, mind you. I cannot see a thing wrong with it, when the maverick does the right thing.

In this day and age, corruption and arrogance reign supreme. Politicians court money and influence, while taking money and marching orders from powerful lobbyists. And yet, while the trend looks rather bleak to say the least, there are a handful of positive moments in politics (when a maverick not beholden to special interests can get elected to anything of any real importance).

Those of you that have been following my story of Greg Ballard and his quest to get elected Indianapolis mayor, probably already know he won. Many of you also understand that winning the election is the easy part, and the hard part will be governing. This is where it gets tricky, because this is where the successful candidate gets to show who he is beholden to and has fours years to do what he/she wants, to attain whatever objectives they all have.

So, today we have noted what kind of footing the Ballard Administration will get off on, as evidenced by the announcements in this Indy Star article. Already, the new mayor is winning respect for his choices.

Olgen Williams, chosen to be a deputy mayor, is a well-known community leader whose connections, supporters say, can help the incoming Ballard administration address the concerns of the city's poorer neighborhoods.

"He knows the neighborhoods and the players," the Rev. Charles Harrison, pastor of Barnes United Methodist Church, said of Williams. "Olgen knows everybody in the community, and he brings a collaborative approach to get others involved."

Olgen Williams is not well-known outside of Indianapolis. But that doesn't make his story any less interesting, as a sliver of it can be found further on in the article. But what many in Indianapolis may not know about this guy is, he is an excellent mediator than can see both sides of the coin. He will be a most valuable adviser for the new mayor and can work well with both political parties. He brings a lot of respect and says much about how Ballard intends to unite the city, instead of dividing it.

He is not the only appointment that has been announced so far, the others can be found here at Indiana Barrister. Not all are household names known in Indianapolis political circles. Some are new faces. Some are from the private sector and will be good for business.

Picking the right people is agonizing in some ways. But like the election itself, it is easier than having to do the job. Once all of the players are known, they must then get to work. that's where we can truly evaluate whether the team is working well together, or not.

Like I said earlier, that's the hard part.

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