The Capital Improvement Board (CIB) has disbursed 3.1 million tax dollars annually to a variety of private civic organizations - the arts, Black Expo, etc.. How this fits into their primary mission we don't know, but we do think the elimination of these items would have been, in current conditions, an early and easy decision.
(We continue to believe, if these are indeed appropriate uses of public funds, that each such item ought to show up in the city budget, to be approved in the light of day by elected officials.)
Now that the Colts have told the city to get lost with reference to any contribution by them toward the solution of the CIB financial dilemma, the mayor's chief of staff has come up with a truly imaginative suggestion for leasing the situation.
He's quoted in this morning's paper (4/28/09) as saying, "If the Colts found it intriguing to help fund the arts or cultural tourism or Black Expo, that could be one way to move forward." Our first question is whether he is intimating that failure of intrigue by the Colts will mean continuance of this CIB generosity?
We've heard a lot about what great citizens the Colts are in Indianapolis. If so, wouldn't it be likely that they are already making substantial contributions to these and other organizations?
Frankly, it looks to us like the Colts are "intrigued" only by maintaining every dollar "negotiated" with the CIB. And it seems the relationship between the two organizations is very similar to our "negotiations" with our children when they are asked, "What would you like for Christmas?" Except, of course, we do have very real dollar limits on what we are able to give!
We fail to see how contributions to various civic charities by the football team is, in any way, a real "move forward" toward solution of a municipal agency's fiscal problems which have been years in the making.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
The Mayor's "Artsy" Idea for the Indianapolis Colts
As I am busy working long hours responding to a lengthy motion for summary judgment, I thought I would steal the bulk of a column from Indy Tax Dollars, which reflects my thoughts exactly when it comes to such things as the unelected, appointed Capital Improvement Board funding the arts in Indianapolis as well as the suggestion that the Colts take over arts funding: