KOKOMO, Ind. (Oct. 27, 2015) - The candidates running for mayor of the city of Kokomo talked to FOX59 Tuesday about the issues most important to them and what they think of each other.
Democratic incumbent Greg Goodnight has served as the city's mayor since 2008. His Republican opponent, Martha Lake is the current Howard County auditor. Both candidates have long standing histories with the city and are passionate about making Kokomo a great place to live.
“This community is my life," Lake said.
“I would put our city up against any other city in the Midwest," Goodnight added.
The issues now are getting heated between the two. During previous debates, Lake has criticized Goodnight's policies.
“He likes to have things done his way," she said.
Goodnight said Lake doesn't have real solutions for the problems she claims are the mayor's responsibility.
“We kind of look at it as, is it really policy that she’s arguing or is it politics? I’ll call it politics," Goodnight said.
Lake told FOX59 he doesn't approve with the spending on projects like luxury condos downtown or the Kokomo Jackrabbits stadium.
"I feel like that’s something that’s not necessarily what taxpayers need when they say their streets aren’t taken care of, their sidewalks aren’t taken care of," Lake said.
Goodnight disagrees. He said the city has grown since he's been in office and says the projects are helping to boost the local economy.
“In the last 4 years, Kokomo has made huge strides. Our unemployment is at 4.1 percent," he said. Goodnight added,"we’re one of only about 1/3 of counties in the state of Indiana that are growing in population. Record investment in the city.”
Another issue at the front of both campaigns is crime in the city. Goodnight said police statistics show a dramatic decrease in crime since he's been in office.
“Crimes down 24 percent in the eight major categories from when we took office, so everything’s trending in the right direction," he said.
Lake wants to hire more police. She said drugs is the biggest problem.
"We need more visible police. I think we need more police, so we can try to be proactive and solve some of the cases that are not getting solved," Lake said.
The election is on Tuesday, November 3.