Colleagues reflect on Greg Ballard’s decision not to seek a third term

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Nov. 5, 2014)— FOX59 has confirmed that Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard will not seek re-election in 2015.

Ballard is expected to make a formal announcement on Thursday at noon.

Just three days ago, Ballard told FOX59 that his decision would come within two to three weeks.

Word of the decision comes one day after Republicans in Marion County suffered at the polls, despite the party doing well in the state elections.

Ballard told our partners at the Indianapolis Star that "It's time to move on."

Mayor Ballard was elected in 2007 on a wave of populous opposition against an increase in property tax. Sometimes called the "accidental mayor," the former Marine was re-elected in 2011 despite his misgivings about the position.

Ballard went on to host the 2012 Super Bowl and preside over significant downtown redevelopment projects.

"I was absolutely blessed to work with the mayor for four years planning all the Super Bowl activities," said Allison Melangton, the former head of the Indiana Sports Corp.

While Ballard has many accomplishments during his time in office, those who worked closely with him share their ideas on his great victories.

"For me the most effective thing was the water company deal that brought hundreds of millions of dollars into this city which was used to improve our infrastructure," said Marilyn Pfisterer, city-county councilor of district 14.

"I think one of his greatest legacies will be that he took the Super Bowl opportunity and we used every opportunity and possibility to do the best things for the city," said Melangton.

On his watch, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) suffered several public and manpower setbacks as it struggled to curb Indianapolis' rising homicide rate.

Pfisterer commended Ballard for balancing the budget.

"From my standpoint of being on administration finance, I'm very proud of the fact that the city has held a balanced budget for eight years," she said.

Ballard's legacy includes his commitment to bicycle paths and alternative fuel vehicles for the city's fleet.

As recently as September, Ballard continued to hold political fundraisers. He has an estimated $500,000 in untapped campaign funds.

While he has not announced plans for his future, sources tell FOX59 he may be in line to become president of Cathedral High School, his east side Alma Mater.

Ballard leaves Friday for a trip sponsored by the U.S. Conference of Mayors to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Berlin Wall destruction.

Former United States Attorney Joe Hogsett released the following statement in response to  Ballard’s decision to not seek re-election in 2015:

“I want to join others across our city in thanking Mayor Greg Ballard for his two terms in office. I have always admired this mayor’s commitment to public service and his personal integrity. It is my sincere hope that Mayor Ballard will continue to lend his voice to important community discussions throughout the next year.”

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