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After almost thirty years, Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard delivers the last “State of the City”



Carmel, Indiana – Jim Brainard, the veteran mayor of Carmel, delivered his last “State of the City” speech on Monday night. He had served in that capacity for almost thirty years.

Speaking before a throng of hundreds at the Palladium, Brainard reflected on his 28 years of service. Applause and laughter erupted throughout the evening as he discussed the development of the city’s infrastructure and artistic offerings.

“As I stand here this evening on this grand stage at this beautiful concert hall,” Brainard said. “I am completely humbled by your love and support. Thank you.”

On Monday night, a number of guests asked Brainard about his time on stage. One of Brainard’s greatest accomplishments was turning a sleepy little village into a thriving metropolis.

“People wanted a downtown,” he said. “They wanted a center. They wanted a place where out-of-town relatives could go out for a show and dinner.”

That occurred gradually as Carmel’s City Center and Arts and Design District developed. Such attractions attracted a large number of local residents.

“I actually moved to this city because of the progressive nature and the buildout,” said resident John Alberson. “It was something I really wanted to be a part of.”

“We were aware of what Carmel was doing, and how it developed,” described resident Randy Ernst. “And when we looked into it further it was the perfect fit.”

Many Carmel residents credit the veteran mayor for that growth. Another significant achievement was reshaping local transportation, particularly the divisive Carmel roundabouts.

“A two-lane road costs $12 million,” Brainard described as he spoke of the city’s numerous roundabouts. “You don’t have to add extra lanes to that road. The taxpayers are saving a lot of money because the roundabouts move so many more cars more safely per hour.”

In addition to the several honors Brainard got on Monday night, the city surprised him by revealing a portrait of himself that will soon be on display in City Hall as a tribute to his years of hard work. Additionally, former governor Mitch Daniels paid him a special visit and bestowed upon him the “Sagamore of the Wabash,” one of the state’s greatest awards.

At the gathering on Monday, Brainard wished Sue Finkam, the incoming mayor, success in her tenure. He says he’s excited about what’s ahead, as do the people in the crowd.

Monday night, following Brainard’s last “State of the City” at the Palladium, Finkam released the following statement:

“At tonight’s State of the City, Mayor Brainard highlighted several key points including infrastructure, public safety and our world-class parks and amenities that make our city great. Thanks to the mayor’s leadership, vision and strong working relationships with our city council, Carmel has been recognized year after year for being one of the best places in the country to live, work, raise a family and retire. I’m honored to have learned from Mayor Brainard and look forward to building upon his successes and continuing to elevate Carmel as a model for excellence.”














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