By Scott Tibbs, June 5, 2012
On May 24, the Herald-Times criticized Mayor Kruzan for deciding to install the traffic impeding devices that the city council had approved on a 5-4 vote, only to be rejected by the Board of Public Works. The H-T wrote:
|Mayor Mark Kruzan, who was not in favor of the installation, this week decided to order the four bumps put in to avoid a lawsuit he believed would cost way more than the $800 cost of installation.
This tiresome soap opera says a lot about the often narrow-minded decision-making that goes on in Bloomington.
I have been a critic of Mayor Kruzan since he was in the state legislature, and I am far from the first person to defend him. I would love to see him removed from office in 2015. It is very disappointing that the Republicans did not even bother to challenge him in 2011, despite his dominating wins in 2003 and 2007. But he made the right decision.
The H-T editorial is narrow-minded in claiming that Kruzan's move is narrow-minded, given that he compromised and ordered the installation of traffic impeding devices he opposed. A lawsuit would have been very expensive, and Kruzan decided to prevent the taxpayers from having to pay for an expensive court battle.
And, again, I am 100% opposed to the new traffic impeding devices. They are a completely unnecessary show of political favoritism and they fly in the face of sound traffic policy. I cannot see how anyone could take a look at the existing traffic impeding devices on West Third and decide we need even more impediments to traffic.
Nonetheless, the city council voted for the new traffic impeding devices. The Board of Public Works should not be allowed to override the decisions of elected officials.
But the question remains... why did Kruzan not veto the council's decision? The mayor has the authority to veto legislation under IC 36-4-5-3 and it takes a 2/3 majority to overturn the veto according to IC 36-4-6-16. Speed bump proponents would have needed to change one of the "no" votes to a "yes" to get them installed, and we could have avoided the whole conflict between public works and the city council.
If Kruzan deserves criticism, it is for not showing political courage with his veto pen.