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Ask The Mayor: Kokomo's Goodnight On Lost Jobs

Greg Goodnight 11_21_2016

Post election reaction, city response to General Motors cutting 160 jobs, more on a new tax increment finance district and Kokomo's future water infrastructure needs.

On this week's installment of Ask The Mayor, Kokomo Mayor Greg Goodnight addresses these issues and more. Listen to the full conversation with Indiana Newsdesk anchor Joe Hren by clicking on the play button above, or read some of the questions and answers below. A portion of this segment airs 6:45 and 8:45 a.m. Wednesday on WFIU.

This conversation has been edited for clarity and conciseness.

Hren: I wanted to start with your reaction to the election a couple weeks ago. For the most part the Republican Party swept Indiana, is this a message to the Democratic Party?

Goodnight: I think there's a little bit of everything. We've seen this in off year presidential elections that democrats don't do well with low turnouts. So they were enough to get their base and supporters out, we really struggled this year on a national message. I don't want to pretend to be an expert on national politics, but you look at these things we struggle with a national message, didn't seem to resonate. They did a good job of suppressing voter turnout. For months they called it a rigged system, there's cheating going on and I think it kept a lot of people home.

Hren: General Motors announced about 160 jobs are being cut from a plant here next year. Does the city have ways to help those cope with losing their jobs and finding new ones?

Goodnight: Some people will be absorbed through their labor agreement or be able to transfer to other General Motors plants. Others will have to see what happens over the next six, seven, eight months. There are options, not all of them good, but we try to work with them the best we can and try to work with the UAW the best we can to mitigate any problems.

Hren: I see in the Kokomo Tribune where you’re looking at a new tax increment finance district on the city’s northeast side. How does that work and what are you hoping for?

Goodnight: The idea is to capture the growth or new tax revenue that comes from that project ($10 million apartment). We're going to have to do some street improvements to go alongside with the new apartments. No one loses tax revenue but the money goes into the TIF district

Hren: I see there's a missing person and thought we'd help spread the word, is there any more information?

Goodnight: There's no reported contact with the individual, did they leave voluntarily or did something happen. So I get an update every few days from the chief and we're taking every lead.

Kokomo release (see photo in slide show above): Karena S. McClerkin is a 18-year old woman reported missing to the Kokomo police on October 13, 2016. She is described as a black female approximately 5’4” tall with a medium build. She has reddish-brown, shoulder length hair. McClerkin was last seen on October 11, 2016 in the 1000 block of South Washington Street in Kokomo.

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