Mayoral debate takes place on local campus

The South Bend mayoral debate was held Tuesday at the Indiana University South Bend campus between current Mayor Pete Buttigieg and Republican Kelly Jones.

The public got the opportunity to ask the candidates questions about city issues.

Crime, economic growth and public safety were the top issues covered, but the Smart Streets initiative was one of the biggest issues of the night.

One of those unhappy with Mayor Pete’s Smart Streets was Kelly Jones.

“I’ve never had an idea, never made a decision that has pleased 100-percent of the people all the time. Toughest job I’ve ever had, but unquestionably the best. It may be the best job I’ll ever have, the opportunity to serve your hometown. A chance to be not only active but make an impact,” said Mayor Buttigieg.

Jones suggested going back to the way things were.

“We’ve had too many high cost civil improvements over the years turn out to be beneficial only to a small subset of citizens but continuing to be paid for by all. I want to serve the people of South Bend. I want to be there for you and I want to make sure that the things that are done for this town, aren’t just what I want, but what the people of South Bend need,” said Jones. 

Buttigieg says Smart Streets has contributed to economic development downtown more than what most people know.

For political science major Elizabeth Rivera it was a window into what a career in politics might be like.

“I think it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s really neat to see your major in real life. You get the real life experiences and you get to see things that you might possibly do after college,” said Elizabeth Rivera.

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