Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Lucas Oil Stadium Springs A Leak

The CIB is at it again. In an article just posted on Indystar.com, Brendan O'Shaughnessy of the Indianapolis Star reports that the cost of operating the Lucas Oil Stadium may turn out to be twice as much as originally expected. Of course, negotiators had failed to consider operating costs at all. With operating costs cutting into the CIB's operating budget, the agency will be left with a balance of $5.6 million next year. Given the accuracy of previous estimates, one shouldn't count on that money being there.

The article contains some gems:

The CIB gives $1 million annually to the arts. Why? The agency was established for the purpose of operating city properties. The CIB's authority is explicitly set out in the Indiana Code. I have my doubt the CIB even has the statutory power to give money to the arts. Nonethless, it's simply not the CIB's job to be involved in this function. If the city wants to give money to the arts, then it needs to be a regular part of the budget, not a pass through by an agency involved in other functions.

Fred Glass, former chairman of CIB, suggests that the city should have borrowed the operating costs of the stadium. One wonders if he puts his electricity bill on his credit card at home. It's because of people like Fred Glass that the debt on the RCA Dome was never paid off and $75 million dollars got rolled into the Lucas Oil debt.

O'Shaughnessey writes "City officials had anticipated covering increased costs with taxes from a proposed Downtown casino...." I can't believe he bought that line. City officials never expected that a downtown casino would happen. It was something former Mayor Peterson simply threw out when he was asked by state legislators how he was going to pay for the stadium.

Asked about the shortfall, the Colts responded by saying they're just a poor tenant and "not in a position to comment or suggest a solution" to the shortfall. Not sure why as "just a tenent" in the building the Colts are getting the money from the naming rights and 1/2 the revenue from non-football events. But Pete Ward, the team's vice president made clear that to suggest "reopening (the lease) agreement ... is ludicrous." Hey, Pete, the Colts might consider cultiating some good will in the community that isn't built solely on the right arm of Peyton Manning and the fact the Colts are a Super Bowl contender. The minute the Colts return to being an average team, which will happen, this town will turn on them in a heartbeat. The Colts' organization seems oblivous to the underlying hostility this town has over the sweatheart deal the team received.

A suggested solution was staff cuts at the CIB. That's a good idea and the Mayor should start with the CIB's chairman and executive director. The agency needs strong leaders who will stand up to to the Colts and stand up for taxpayers. That is not Bob Grand or Barney Levengood.


Anonymous said...

Are the Bob Grand's and Joe Loftus' of Indy cringing because you are blogging, net? Geez, the least you could do is be an anoymous coward hiding behind an undercover pen name.

Ogden's got some balls! This new reader is impressed.

Anonymous said...

Well Mr. Ogden, it is time for you to don the white hat and ride to the lawyering rescue of the citizens again. Only you seem to have the nerve and the willing to not give a damn if you are invited to the next coctail party.

Paul Ogden said...

You know, for more than 20 years I have worked for my Marion County Republican party. And for 20 years, I've had local Republicans leaders standing on my head because I can't be "controlled" and am too "independent." What is the point of running for office then having to give up your soul in exchange for their support?

It has taken some time, but I finally realized that no amount of talent or hard work will convince them to let me up, so I might as well kick them in the nuts while I'm down here on the ground. The kicking will cease when they give me and my fellow Marion County Republicans back the party we love, a party that that stands up for taxpayers and against those who put their own selfish interests ahead of the people.

Paul Ogden said...

Anon, not everything that goes wrong lends itself to a legal claim. Other issues are left to the political process and our elected officials. We need to demand leadership from them. --Paul

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, the political process can lead the taxpayers astray. All the yelling from the taxpayers and others that this was a "bum" deal didn't stop them from implementing it. So fine, let it be on the broke city of Indpls where Mayor Ballard will be cleaning up after Petersons ineptitude and lies for years.Think about that. The city cannot really afford to pay for this bum deal. You can't go back after Bart Peterson.
Demanding leadership from them? Let see, how that works. I have been held hostage by the Carson machine and haven't had representation since the day she and now he arrived in office. All the damanding in the world won't change that unless I move. While I am on the subject how does one try to get an area gerrymandered out of Carson forever land?
So I still say the only thing that gets their attention is lawyering.
M Anon

Diana Vice said...

I made it official. This is my new favorite blog.