Saturday, April 25, 2009

Speedway Letter Writers Miss the Point

Today's Indianapolis Star brings with it two letters to the editor from Speedway residents supporting redevelopment of their town:

Speedway mustn't stay stuck in neutral
Many residents cheer on new town plan

These letter writers are missing the point. Those people upset about the Speedway redevelopment plans are not against redevelopment at all. What they are angry about is the elected officials passing the buck to an appointed Speedway Redevelopment Commission filled with members with conflicts of interest and who have made decisions without involving the community before those decisions are made. Trotting out decisions made behind closed doors for a dog and pony show is not the same thing as bringing in the community during the decision-making process where residents can have genuine input into plans and a consensus can be formed.

All of the residents of Speedway should have had the opportunity for input into these decisions before they are made. Instead of making them a partner in this project, the SRC, and the elected officials who have dropped the ball in not overseeing this project, have turned Speedway into a town bitterly divided against itself.


Downtown Indy said...

'Getting the poop' was at one time a common expression meaning, 'getting the details.'

I don't know if anyone has ever noticed this:

P aul
O gden
O n
P olitics

Maybe it's been Paul's little inside joke all this time?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Poop apparently doesn't have the connotation it used to. People have said that I'm full of poop, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't a compliment.

Actually someone suggested when I first started that I should have titled my blog "Blogden. " I was very tempted.

varangianguard said...

Same thing may happen down in Southport.

New, big, expensive plans that benefit the Mayor (at the very least), but I have yet to hear of anyone else along the lines of the general population getting their say.

Racoon said...


Re: redevelopment commissions, I've 'been there and done that' in my hometown. It's all done quietly, with attorney-advised TIF districts selling bonds other attorneys become counsel to, with meetings held on inconvenient times and dates, outside the purview of John Q Public.

These guys (especially the attorneys) modified the definition of 'blighted' to 'needing redevelopment' in the state's redevelopment laws so wide that even a blind drunk sailor could drive a Mack truck through it. And they have.

All this is the outcrop of easy money and rising property values, an era that may have changed significantly in the last few months.

I don't know if the new voter requirements for capital projects apply to TIF/redevelopment commission projects, but it certainly should. These commissions don't do anything that the local city council should be engaged in. At least those meetings are more accessible to the public.