Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We Need A Mayor's Association

If you watch the State of the Union tonight, you will notice one thing different this year. For the first time, the seats will not be aligned with all Democrats on the left and all Republicans on the right. I'm an independent so I applaud the move, but I think the main message from tonight is great: Everyone must work together.

In a town of rivalries, I sure hope this message hits home. Here in Evansville we have Democrat vs Republican, East vs West, Reitz vs Mater Dei, Build Downtown vs Don't Build Downtown, USI vs UE, etc,etc. It reminds me of that Dr. Seuss cartoon of butter side up vs butter side down.

Don't get me wrong, rivalries are good. I enjoy them myself. It's the main reason why I am interested in both sports and politics. However, there also needs to be a time when the city comes together in a bipartisan fashion to complete city projects. There currently is a pall over Evansville and if we don't work together a house divided will never win.

With that being said, there is no better group to lead by example than the current and past Mayors of Evansville. While you may agree or disagree with some of their policies, you must admit that they have had a tremendous impact on the city of Evansville. The fact that most of them have had great political battles over time just proves that this bipartisan association has an amazing opportunity to bring Evansville together.

With a Mayor's Association, all of the past Mayors, along with the current Mayor, get together once a month or more and pick the projects they want to work together on. This association should not take on partisan projects or projects that are biased. Rather, this should be an opportunity to bring Evansville together with projects like working at a food bank, cleaning up the streets, and promoting the city.

The colors of the Mayor's Association shall be purple ( a mixture of Democratic Blue and Republican Red) with red, blue , and gold being secondary. The mission of the association shall be simple: Advance the city of Evansville.

Also, I believe the association, along with the help of the residents of Evansville, shall work together to build a statue of each and every single Mayor of Evansville. Once more, whether you agree with them or disagree, they have impacted the lives of Evansvillians and we need to recognize that. Further more, a statue of each Mayor would inspire residents and tourists to travel to each statue to see the history of each Mayor.

I firmly believe that these statues shall be spread all across Evansville with each statue being next to a project that that Mayor helped build.

Since most of you probably don't know all of the Mayor's of Evansville, let's first take a look at the timeline...


Mayors of Evansville, Indiana

•Mayors were appointed for a 3-year term by the Evansville City Council until 1870.

•The new city charters of March 3, 1893 & March 11, 1895 made the Mayor
responsible for the administration of city affairs and to appoint the heads of
different departments.

•City elections were held in the Spring until the early 1900's



1847 - 1853
James G. Jones
Appointed Mayor by the City Council

1853 - 1856
John S. Hopkins
Appointed Mayor by the City Council

1856 - 1859
John Hewson
Appointed Mayor by the City Council

1859 - 1868
William Baker
Appointed Mayor by the City Council

1868 - 1870
William Hall Walker
Appointed Mayor by the City Council. Died in Office, September 9, 1870

1870 - 1870
Eccles G. Van Riper
Appointed Mayor by the City Council.

1870 - 1872
William Baker
Elected Mayor by Special Election. Died in Office, May 23, 1872

1872 - 1874
Charles H. Butterfield

1874 - 1880
John Jay Kleiner
Elected to the 48th and 49th Congresses (March 4, 1883 - March 3,1887)

1880 - 1886
Thomas C. Bridwell

1886 - 1889
John H. Dannettell
First German-Speaking Republican Mayor

1889 - 1892
Nicholas Miner Goodlett

1892 - 1897
Anthony C. Hawkins

1897 - 1901
William M. Akin Jr.

1901 - 1906
Charles G. Covert

1906 - 1909
John William Boehne, Sr.
Resigned March 1, 1909 - Elected to the 61st and 62nd Congresses (March 4, 1909-March 3, 1913)

1909 - 1910
John J. Nolan
First Roman Catholic Mayor

1910 - 1914
Charles F. Heilman

1914 - 1922
Benjamin Bosse
Died in Office, April 1922

1922 - 1926
William H. Elmendorf

1926 - 1930
Herbert Males

1930 - 1935
Frank W. Griese

1935 - 1943
William H. Dress

1943 - 1948
Manson Reichert

1948 - 1949
William H. Dress
Died in Office, November 10, 1949

1949 - 1952
Edwin F. Diekmann

1952 - 1956
Henry O. Roberts

1956 - 1958
Rupert Vance Hartke
Resigned 1958. Elected to the U.S. Senate 1959 - 1977

1958 - 1960
J. William Davidson

1960 - 1972
Frank F. McDonald

1972 - 1980
Russell G. Lloyd, Sr.
Only Republican Mayor Elected Twice. Died from gunshot wound, March 21, 1980

1980 - 1987
Michael Vandeveer
Resigned May 1987

1987 - 2000
Frank F. McDonald, II

2000 - 2004
Russell G. Lloyd, Jr.

2004 - 2008
Jonathan Weinzapfel

I'll admit that I'm still unsure where we would put some of these statues, but I'm going to take a stab at some of them here...

James Jones- Old Courthouse
William Conrad Baker- Soldiers & Sailors Coliseum
Eccles G. Van Riper- Pigeon Creek, possibly next to the Canoe Launch
Charles G. Covert- Covert Ave, ideally down by Washington Ave
Benjamin Bosse- Bosse Field
Herbert Males- Stringtown Hill
William H. Dress- Riverfront or Airport
Henry O. Roberts- Roberts Stadium
Rupert Vance Hartke- Hartke Pool
Frank F. McDonald- Current Civic Center
Russell G. Lloyd, Sr.- State Hospital Park facing Lloyd Expressway or in a future downtown park at Main Street and the Lloyd Expressway
Frank F. McDonald, II- Willard Library facing Berry Plastics where he started the first recycling program
Russell G. Lloyd, Jr.- Pigeon Creek Trailhead facing Mulzer Stone where hopefully a new ballpark will one day be built
Jonathan Weinzapfel- New Arena

The 33 men who have served as Mayor of Evansville have served us well. In my opinion, it's about time we recognized their service with statues around our city. It's also about time our current living Mayors came together in a bipartisan way to work together to improve Evansville!

Friday, January 7, 2011

We Must Be Proud Of Our Flag

These past few years, I have been to city after city across this great country and even Canada as well. No matter what city I stopped in, whether it be New Orleans, Cincinnati, Seattle, St.Louis, Louisville, etc they have always displayed their flag around town. Since most of those cities that I just mentioned are French, they usually have the fleur de lis in them which has sometimes taken a life of its own. For instance, New Orleans and the fleur de lis go hand in hand with each other. It's basically THE image of New Orleans

Unfortunately, here in Evansville we have not identified an image/symbol for our city and, in my opinion, have done a terrible job of marketing our city flag to the town. I'll give you that it is pretty hard to identify Evansville with one basic symbol like New Orleans does with the fleur de lis, but it seems to me that we can do a much better job with our city flag.

It has gotten soo bad that most Evansville residents can't even tell you what our flag looks like. If you look online, you will notice there are two slightly different color schemes for our flag...

This flag flies over the LST as well as in front of the Pagoda...

This flag can be seen in various places around the Civic Center...

Although I personally like the flag with the white circle best, we first need to define our flag with one design and one design only.

Next, we need to get these flags on the market so that residents can fly them. I can't even begin to tell you where you can buy one of these flags.

Now let me be very clear: I am NOT saying that you should replace the flag of the United States or the state of Indiana with this flag. Rather, you should fly this flag slightly lower than those two, but it should be flown as well.

If we are ever going to make our city great, we must find a source of unity and pride. Our city flag has the opportunity to give us that source. We must take this flag and establish our identity with it.

It would be nice to walk around town someday and see a flag pole with 1. the American flag on top 2. the state of Indiana flag under it & 3. the city of Evansville flag flying beneath these two.

That will be a great day!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Check Out My New Youtube Video Endorsing Kleymeyer Park

This past week, I went over to the Garvin Park, Kleymeyer Park, and surrounding district to take some photos so that you the viewer of this blog will understand just why we need to build the baseball fields there.

We have a valuable asset in Bosse Field, just we do with Roberts Stadium, but we cannot harness it's full potential if we leave the district in the current shape it is in. This is our one chance to turn things around in that area. We cannot let these fields be built somewhere else and miss this big opportunity to revitalize the Bosse Field district.

After the current ball field plan failed, a few county council members said they would like the funds to be split among other parks. They listed a few but Kleymeyer and Garvin were not on the list.

Here is why I believe we should build these fields at Kleymeyer Park with a bridge linking them to Bosse Field...