In a tweet – now deleted – by Indianapolis Deputy Chief Mayor Thomas Carl Cook, Mayor Joe Hogsett is eating a slice of pizza while Cook is giving the camera the finger. Twice. This well sums up how many Indy residents feel Hogsett and his administration feel about the city.
The problems in Indy are massive, but the city’s leadership is lacking. Energy is put towards social justice efforts by the Mayor’s office and the City-County Council, but neither group seems interested in the murder of Jessica Doty Whitaker on the canal. Nor do they seem concerned with the record number of homicides in the city.
They certainly did not seem concerned with the riots in Indy, that left businesses boarded up and broken for months. (Multiple sources have stated that Mayor Hogsett order the IMPD to stand down during two nights of rioting that saw fires set to banks and stores looted. Mayor Hogsett denies any order was given, but told FOX 59’s Russ McQuaid that he was not in his office or with IMPD brass, but rather at home when the riots took place.)
It was the small business owners of downtown Indianapolis that became so vocal they forced the city to finally deal with the massive homeless problem, the defecating on city streets and the drug dealing at City Market among other issues. As of late, Indy’s downtown has seen vast improvement on the streets, but not in its future.
Indianapolis remains leaderless. Mayor Hogsett clearly acts like a man who doesn’t want the job, doesn’t care about the job or can’t handle the job; and, more often than not, all three at once. It’s a reality that Republicans and Democrats alike, if only anecdotally, are noticing.
The City-County Council is more interested in being woke than establishing a vision. Councilor Keith Potts is moving apace to effectively destroy the IMPD by having an advisory board that is made up of a civilian majority, selected by the Mayor and Council President Vop Osili, also a Democrat. Councilor Ali Brown only cares about a new – potential – hotel at Pan Am Plaza because it will bring, “union jobs,” and Osili himself still wants to move ahead with the Blue and Purple “rapid transit” bus lines, even though everyone – including the Indy Star! – knows the existing Red Line is a failure.
The leadership of Indy values opportunism and political ideology over hard choices, hard conversations and hard work. Indy’s small businesses continues to fight, though there are fewer of them after the riots and ongoing, onerous Covid rules from the city. The large companies? The big names with the big paychecks and lots of clout? Unfortunately, they have been far too publicly silent in this fight for Indy’s future.
As for the Mayor and the Deputy Mayor? They’re eating pizza and giving you the finger; the image speaks for itself. It’s certainly possible that it was a photo caught during a moment of frustration; two caring politicians working hard for Indy residents. It was a photo of them taking a break, blowing off steam. But if that’s the case, why did Cook delete it? And when I noted the image on Twitter, why did Cook like it?
The Mayor and his Chief Deputy are giving Indy the finger. When will Indy say enough?
Deputy Mayor Cook wants Indy to know that Deputy Chief of Staff Taylor Schaffer took the photo, and approved of it. He also wants you to direct your complaints to her, because passing the buck on responsibility is what those in the Mayor’s office do.