INDIANAPOLIS — When Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett announced he’d run for re-election next year, he indicated there was work he wanted to finish.

So, we started our sit-down interview with the mayor asking what the other options were other than running for a third term.

“I guess I could have just simply walked away at the end of the second term, but I don’t think that would have been responsible for me to do because there’s still so much left to be done,” Hogsett answered.

The follow-up question: “Did no one ask you to run for US Senate or for Governor?”

The mayor dismissed both notions, “I’m really not interested in anything but local government. With all due respect to Washington DC, and this is just my opinion, very little gets done in that community.”

The biggest challenge facing the city is violent crime. In five of the seven years, Hogsett has been mayor, the record for homicides in a year has been broken or tied. Only in three years in the city’s history have there been more than 200 homicides. They are the last three years.

All this raises the question, is this level of violence the ‘new normal’?

Hogsett replied, “I don’t think so. The progress that we have made this year is indicative of the progress that we’ll be able to make next year and then the year after. Now, to your point (the number of homicides) are still higher than they were five years ago.”

However, the Mayor points out there is a drop in both homicides and non-fatal shootings this year. He attributed at least part of that to expanded anti-violence efforts funded with $150,000,000 in pandemic relief funding from the federal government. That money has been funneled into community groups addressing crime and violence and paid for an additional 100 officers for IMPD.

A sore spot with the mayor is the ongoing disagreement with state government on how it distributes money to local governments for road repair. The state funding formula relies on the total miles of road in a community, not how many lanes in those miles. So, a six-lane city street receives the same amount of state funding as a one-lane country road.

“It’s just… it’s just inadequate,” said Hogsett.

But he remains hopeful that the state legislature and the Governor could move to make the formula fairer to cities, eventually.

“I think that there is something that could be done to adjust the formula. I’m not holding my breath that it would be in the next session to be done,” said Hogsett.

The mayor does think the number of state lawmakers interested in changing the state road repair formula is growing. But Hogsett says he will not support any new formula that results in more money for his city if it comes with a tax increase for city residents.