I’ve been writing for Current in Carmel for more than three years, and I can tell you from experience the stories that you might think are really important are not always what people read the most.
Here are the stories I think people in Carmel talked about the most in 2017. You emailed, called and wrote letters to the editor. You wrote your opinions on Facebook and Twitter and talked about these stories over dinner. You even stopped me in the grocery store to give me your thoughts.
5. — SUPERINTENDENT PLACED ON LEAVE
Carmel Clay Schools Supt. Nicholas Wahl was placed on leave in October. What really got people talking is the fact that the school board wouldn’t say why. The mystery led to speculation by many, but the board said the decision had nothing to do with a student and that it was examining a relationship between Wahl and Human Resources Director Corrine Middleton, who also was put on leave.
4. — ROAD CLOSURES
Carmel motorists dealt with road closures for new roundabouts along Range Line Road, first at City Center Drive, then at 4th Street followed by Executive Drive. Motorists on Carmel’s east side felt frustration as some roundabout construction projects took longer than expected, such as two roundabouts along Gray Road at 136th and 126th streets, both of which were behind schedule because of utility delays.
3. — TURN SIGNALS IN ROUNDABOUTS
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard asked the city council to pass an ordinance that would require motorists to use turn signals when exiting roundabouts in Carmel. The proposal — which would carry a $100 fine for vioations — struggled to get support from the council and was defeated. My inbox was flooded with people opposing the idea.
2. — CHRISTKINDLMARKT
This was the first year for Carmel’s new city-funded ice skating rink and traditional German holiday market, all located outside The Palladium. Everyone had an opinion on what the market should look like, and when it opened in November, thousands of people packed the small space. Some were concerned about the finances of such an endeavor while others enthusiastically posted photos of celebrations with family at the market. Either way, everyone was talking.
1. — CAROUSEL
This was by far the most talked about story in Carmel in 2017. Brainard wanted to purchase an antique carousel from Canada and relocate it to Carmel. The overall expense was about $5 million, and the plan was ultimately removed from funding proposals by the city council. Two petitions circulated regarding the carousel, one for and one against. Interestingly, attached in the same funding package was a proposal for a luxury hotel in Carmel’s downtown. Some focused on the hotel instead, but it seemed that the carousel got most of the attention, good or bad. The hotel funding was approved.