Replacing Frank StraubMay 7th, 2012 at 8:01 pm by Eric Halvorson under Eric Halvorson's Blog
The City of Indianapolis is in the early stages of an important job search. Mayor Greg Ballard needs to find a new Public Safety Director. The current director, Dr. Frank Straub, is resigning — saying he intends to be out of the office by August, after a replacement is chosen.
Critics objected to Straub’s methods, if not his entire mission over the past 2-plus years. Mayor Ballard told me the Straub era has been painful for some people. But, he also said — even with a new Public Safety Director — reform will continue.
Straub came to Indianapolis from New York. But, Ballard says he doesn’t think that put Straub at a disadvantage, being seen as an outsider. ”I never want to send a signal,” Ballard said, “that we cannot attract talent from outside of the city or the region. We just cannot send that signal. And whether they grew up here or grew up someplace else is irrelevant. If you can bring the best into Indianapolis, that’s really what we want to happen.”
Ballard appreciates the outside perspective though. For example, he looks back to his years in the Marines. ”I really saw Indianapolis from the outside for a long time — which I really think helped me being the Mayor because I could really see the value, the great city that we are.”
So, does the city need to look outside the department — and outside Indianapolis, again — to find the next public safety director? ”A lot of people are hoping that is true. I’m not necessarily going to go that way,” Ballard said. “Personalities are always a little different, no matter who you get. But as long as it’s somebody who can stay the course, and go where we need to go, I think that’s fine — because so many of the things we’ve done, other police departments did a long time ago. We were just behind.”
So, he said the best person may be here already. But, to pursue more change, he wants someone with the will and the knowledge to do it.
And Ballard called that a “tough combination.”