Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Random CIB Thoughts

To follow up the last two postings on the Capital Improvement Board, here are some random thoughts:

  • The continued secrecy that the CIB operates in needs to cease. The CIB needs to open its books completely to the public and to the council.
  • Why are we simply accepting how much the Pacers say the team is making or losing, without an independent audit of their finances? To even consider giving $15 million more in taxpayer money to the team without an audit is insanity.
  • We need leadership from the Council with respect to the CIB. We need a Democrat or Republican council member willing to publicly demand that the CIB open its books, that the Pacers submit to an audit, and that the Colts reopen the sweetheart deal. The one council member, Ed Coleman, who attempted to do so was so ostracized in his own Republican caucus to the point he felt he had no choice but to leave the party.
  • To follow up, threats to council members from the administration or council leadership for members speaking out on the CIB are absolutely unacceptable and need to be exposed.
  • Council President Bob Cockrum said Ed Coleman should have expected retaliation for leaving the Republican Party. The same holds true if he continues to preside over a council that raises taxes to give more money to the Colts or Pacers.
  • Bob Cockrum, Lincoln Plowman and Ryan Vaughn need to be held accountable for running a Republican council caucus where members can't speak out on issues like the CIB for fear of getting the "Coleman treatment." Coleman is not the only Republican council member to complain about strong-arm tactics.
  • Mayor Ballard needs to come clean about his legislative strategy this session to bail out the CIB. It's obvious what they are doing...waiting to put the measure in the budget bill at the last second, to avoid public input. If Mayor Ballard backs general tax increases, or the diversion of revenue, to pay for the CIB, then he can pretty much forget re-election.
  • We need leadership from the Indiana legislature. There are a few Marion County legislators, like Phil Hinkle, willing to speak out about the CIB and the stadium fiascos. But we need more. It is apparent that Senator Luke Kenley is no friend to Indianapolis taxpayers.
  • Watch for Obama stimulus funds to be used to free up money to bail out the CIB. The money won't be used directly as that would be illegal. Rather the City will use the stimulus money to supplement one area of the budget in order to free up revenue to divert to the CIB bailout.
  • Today's Indianapolis Star talks about the city's swimming pools in need of repair. Long-term fixing of the leaks will cost $7.5 million. The City is trying to find money to fix the pools so the kids can swim this summer. But, apparently the Colts and Pacers come before the kids?


timburns said...

Hell yeah they do. It is vital that my tax dollars go to ensuring folks from brownsburg, Carmel, and greenwood can enjoy games in venues my family cannot afford to enter. In fact, we should buy Irsay a helicopter so the poor dear doesn't have to pay for it himself (why not double down!)

Public money being used to enrich private interests...such is life with an ill-informed electorate and a secretive, quasi-Constitutional body.

Remember how people who supported Ballard complained about the IMCPL building? Look at thing, it's a public masterpiece, dedicated to learning, and beloved by my children. Think about the relative pittance spent on that when we think of either of those marble palaces built for the Simons, Irsay, and a bunch of exurban-ites...

Public funding requires priorities and for decades our city has not had the right ones.

Paul K. Ogden said...

I have always wondered why it took over 5 years to build the library and less than a year to build Lucas Oil Stadium.

Don't forget though, the library was screwed up too. Remember they thought they could use a political person instead of a general contractor.

I'm keeping my fingers crossed about the library. Not ready to pronounce it a success. I do wish though we could go back to the days of the quiet libraries. I hate all the noise. It interferes with my limited powers of concentration.


You said "damn"!