Leadership In The Governor’s Office
One of the key qualities I seek in any elected official is leadership. After seeing our new Indiana Governor Eric Holcomb speak before a crowd in Fishers on February 10th, I walked away feeling I had just listened to the words of a true leader.
Governor Holcomb fielded questions in a packed house at Conner Prairie from WTHR Statehouse Reporter Kevin Rader and from the audience of the combined Chambers of Commerce in Hamilton County.
The state’s chief executive talked about his decision to pardon Keith Cooper from an armed robbery conviction, based on the evidence, including DNA testing. “It’s never too late to do the right thing,” the governor said.
Holcomb had declared an emergency in East Chicago the day before his Fishers visit. That action will result in more state resources aimed at relocating families forced to move due to lead and arsenic contamination. That part of the state is heavily Democratic, yet a Republican governor acted quickly to respond to a human crisis.
He had just canceled a contract leasing cell tower space that was supposed to pay for the bicentennial celebrations in 2016. The state has seen no money yet from that arrangement. “Enough is enough,” Holcomb told the crowd. “We will go back to the market.”
The substance abuse crisis in Indiana also garnered the governor’s attention. He described looking into “blank stares of just despair” among those battling addiction. He wants “all hands on deck” to look for solutions.
When he was asked by a member of the audience about the proposed cigarette tax increase, he was honest in saying that is not on his agenda, but understands the human toll of smoking.
Governor Holcomb is just beginning his four-year term, but he is showing signs of strong leadership by looking to solve problems and issues that have been ignored, some for a very long time. We will all be watching his work as governor as the term continues. But it is good to see such leadership in his first few weeks in office.