Hogsett focuses on infrastructure, shrinking local government during State of the City

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. – Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett outlined several of his goals during his third State of the City address Monday night.

Hogsett said Indy has made a budget pivot in order to spend more money on maintenance and rethink local government. When he took office more than two years ago, Hogsett inherited a chronic $50 million deficit and a city full of deferred maintenance and public safety inefficiency.

Now, with the budget balanced, the mayor is ready to reinvest in the city and launch what he’s calling “Indy 3.0.”

“With the launch of Indy 3.0, we acknowledge that the future of serving Indianapolis residents looks a lot more like an iPhone than it does a 25 story office building,” said Hogsett.  “And rather than ignore this reality, it’s time to embrace the challenge and make a pledge to taxpayers that we will no longer penalize the present and fight the future, by subsidizing the past.”

The self-proclaimed public safety mayor has presided over climbing murder and violence rates even while other crimes have leveled off or gone down. During his address, Hogsett promoted public safety advances in treating mental illness, adding more police officers and funding a witness protection program while anticipating greater beat policing based on improved IMPD technology and data analysis.

This past winter, Indy streets resembled war zones with potholes and crumbling infrastructure. This was the result of decades of deferred maintenance which led to a $15 million street paving emergency blitz.

During the speech, Hogsett also announced that an additional $88 million will be used to resurface and repair roads and bridges.

“And over the next four years, $500 million will be invested in our city’s infrastructure, with dramatic improvements slated in our transportation and storm water assets,” said the mayor.

Finally, Hogsett proclaimed “it’s time we changed local government itself,” adding that he wants to shrink the city government’s footprint downtown.

In an era of e-filing and digital technology, why do companies need a lot of office space filled with file cabinets and paper documents? If the future of the City-County building and other city properties are considered, would the city be better off selling these sites to private developers? Hogsett expects an answer to those questions on Jan. 1.