Race for Carmel mayor heats up between incumbent, council president

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CARMEL, Ind. (April 22, 2015) – New attacks were unveiled Wednesday in the race to be mayor of Carmel. Longtime incumbent Jim Brainard is seeking his sixth term, facing a challenge from city council president Rick Sharp.

Sharp, who’s been on the council for nearly 12 years, stood in an empty field Wednesday, one he said should have been developed, and accusing Brainard of hiding the city’s debt behind false projections of growth.

“We could tour several other empty lots that are supposed to be up today contributing tax revenue to pay the debt next year is a clear indication who might have a better handle on reality,” Sharp said.

For his part, Brainard said in an interview it’s Sharp who’s skewing the numbers, touting the city’s AA+ credit rating and debt payments he said at 15% of the city’s annual revenue.

“We have a record,” Brainard said. “In fact our ending operating balances are projected to go up. We have a fiscal plan that shows no tax increases, and we have a history.”

Both Republicans are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to be Carmel’s next mayor.

The outcome of the primary May 5 will ultimately shape one of the region’s most thriving suburbs.