Photograph by Steven Higgs
In March 2009, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan wrote in the Alternative: "I-69 would undermine our existing strengths at great public expense during a time of scarce public resources." He voted for I-69 at the November Monroe County MPO meeting and so far has declined requests for an interview.
Update: At 6:23 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 13, Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan responded to this article and declined my interview requests. "Given that you've already reached a conclusion for your article, it doesn't seem necessary to do an interview," he wrote. He sent me a link to the MPO meeting referenced below.
I believe that when an elected public official betrays his or her oft-repeated public positions as brazenly as Mark Kruzan did with his MPO vote with INDOT and I-69 proponents, he or she has a responsibility to explain that contradiction with more than sound bites and prepared defense speeches. Every other elected public official from Bloomington and Monroe County on the MPO voted "No."
I reiterated my interview request and assured the mayor that I would videotape and post the entire conversation, unedited, on the Alternative Web site so his constituents can judge his performance for themselves. - sh
Original story, posted at 2:17 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 13.
I'm worried about Bloomington Mayor Mark Kruzan. I've known him and written about his career for 25 years, and he's always been responsive to my questions and interview requests. Not only is he a career politician, he majored in journalism. He's no Sharron Angle. He knows his responsibilities to the media and the public.
So, I became concerned on Friday night after realizing the mayor failed to respond to two e-mails I sent last week seeking an interview. I plan on calling on Monday and hope to learn he's on vacation or that there's some other reasonable explanation for his failure to reply. But I'm concerned he may be in a ditch somewhere with badly burned legs. I'm afraid his pants may have spontaneously combusted.
It's been years since I actually interviewed Mark. We've had a couple conversations in recent years, one lengthy one at Max's Place, but nothing on the record. When I criticized him without an interview a few years ago, Democratic Party Chair Dan "Carp" Combs and others criticized me for not talking to him. I told them to screw off, but that was another time.
Since then, Mark and I have exchanged many e-mails, I've quoted him frequently and let him publish his views on I-69 unedited. Here's a pertinent piece he penned in March 2009 on the subject at hand today.
So, after learning of his shameful performance at the November Metropolitan Planning Organization Policy Committee meeting, I decided I needed to talk to him about it, assuming his pants hadn't caught fire after he voted for I-69 or took credit for stopping the PCB incinerator, as I hear he did. I didn't go because I intuitively knew what he would do.
Not only do I want to give the mayor a chance to explain himself, I plan on videotaping our interview and posting it on the Web so his constituents can hear exactly what he has to say.
But like I said, I'm not having much luck finding him. If you see the mayor, please let him know I'm looking for him.
Steven Higgs can be reached at editor@BloomingtonAlternative.com.