If you do not live in the vicinity of South Bend, Indiana you probably do not have any interest in this commentary. When I opened my copy of the Sunday South Bend Tribune December 10th the front page was graced with an extensive article penned by Kevin Allen titled “Transition to ‘Citizen Steve’”.
Here is the link to this puff piece:
After reading that fawning and obsequious salute I was forced to take an early morning application of "Tums for the tummy", because you would have thought you were reading about the departure of some savior of mankind instead of the dysfunctional and inept political hack that Mayor Steve Luecke has been over the past 15 years.
The only reason Luecke attained the office to begin with was due to a well-oiled dominant Democrat Party machine. Luecke was the Vice Mayor and became South Bend’s mayor in 1996 when elected Mayor Joe Kernan was chosen to run as Lt. Governor of Indiana on the winning ticket with Gov. Frank O’Bannon. During Luecke’s 15 years as mayor there have been a number of bad financial decisions and commitments. Luecke’s liberal tax and spend agenda has provided South Bend and St. Joseph County taxpayers with growing tax burdens and little to show, except a few isolated projects that favored his political cronies.
While I do not reside within the City limits of South Bend, I do reside within the same County, and thus suffer from an off-the-chart tax burden caused by the repeated mismanagement of Luecke’s administration. His “do-good” projects have cost the taxpayers heavily and caused the county to be the second heaviest taxed in the State of Indiana.
Instead of providing readers with a thoughtful analysis of Luecke’s rule, The South Bend Tribune provided him with a nice article that he can put into his scrap book and show his grandchildren about how wonderful he was in the eyes of the paper. Don’t ask the citizens and taxpayers who live in the crime ridden west side of the city, and don’t ask the folks who can’t find a job in town. The school system is dysfunctional (three schools were about to be taken over by the State of Indiana, but showed enough meager progress to stop that for now) and thousands have fled the city during his administration.
During the rule of Mayor Steve new business development has been a failure. Were it not for development projects emanating from the University of Notre Dame the city would be in even bigger trouble. Space does not permit me to list all the questionable actions, but to name a few how about the millions spent on Covoleski Stadium, impending departure of the failed College Football Hall of Fame, the Dollar Family store purchase, land grant to St. Joseph High School, First Source garage purchase and now the proposal to bail out bankrupt Chase Tower.
Thank you, South Bend Tribune, for selling out your integrity and obligation to objectively serve your readers just so you could praise the political machine that produced the departing mayor.
Steve Luecke's future plans are not yet known, but personally I hope he returns to Canada, where he sought refuge during the Viet Nam War as a conscientious objector, while hundreds of brave young South Bend kids fought an American battle.