Thursday, May 7, 2009

How to Negotiate 101: My Advice to Mayor Ballard Regarding Handling Pacers and Colts Meetings

Let's pretend for a second that Mayor Ballard has hired me to give him advice for a meetings he will have with Colts and Pacers representatives. Here's what I would suggest in terms of how he should handle those meetings.

PACERS (Jim Morris, President of Pacers)

Jim, I know some over at the Capital Improvement Board have suggested that the CIB would pick up your $15 million of operating costs at Conseco Fieldhouse. I also understand from published comments that the Pacers haven't requested that the CIB pay that money.

Regardless, I'm here to tell you it is not going to happen. To do so would be insane. Taxpayers have already paid to build Conseco Fieldhouse. Taxpayers are not going to pay to run a building on which the Pacers get 100% of the revenue. I know we've made stupid decisions in this city in the past, but that would be one of the dumbest. Again, it's not going to happen.

I understand that as of this Fall, you have the right to terminate the lease. I would remind you, however, there are substantial penalties of at least $50 million if you choose to exercise that option. We intend to enforce that provision.

COLTS (Jim Irsay and Bill Polian)

Let me just say at the outset,Bill and Jim, I have been extremely disappointed by your comments regarding the CIB bailout issue. A few years ago, this city, in response to your complaints about how small the RCA Dome was and how it limited how much the Colts could make, built for the Colts Lucas Oil Stadium, one of the best football facilities in the country.

Because of this city's taxpayers, your franchise went from one of the poorest in the NFL to one of the wealthiest. Now a few years later, the situation is reversed and it is the taxpayers who are hurting. Instead of being a good corporate citizen, and offering to help out taxpayers in the middle of the worst recession since the Great Depression, you told them the CIB's shortfall was not your concern and that the taxpayers would just have to suffer with more tax increases. Further, you had the audacity to lie to the good people of Indianapolis, claiming you contributed $100 million to the construction of the new stadium. We all know there was no out-of-pocket money spent by the Colts for the stadium. Don't lie to the people.

Bill and Jim, since you do not seem to understand the polite requests of city and state leaders for help in this crisis, let me try to a less polite approach. The General Assembly is coming back for a special session probably starting in June of this year. If, between now and then, the Colts do not agree to financially participate in a CIB resolution, I will ask the legislature for a bankruptcy authorization for the CIB. When I have that authorization, which the legislature will certainly give, I will direct the CIB to file to file Chapter 9 reorganization bankruptcy. Part of the relief the judge will undoubtedly grant is a rewriting of the sweetheart deal you received that has cast such a burden on taxpayers.

So it's your can voluntarily participate in resolving matters or you can let a judge do it for you. There is, however, no choice, as you have suggested, to not participate in a resolution of this matter. It's going to happen, one way or another. Understand?


Jon said...

Paul, I personally endorse yor response to the Pacers and Colts. If only someone would allow delivery of that message.

Downtown Indy said...

I can endorse it as well. It makes far more sense than anything I've heard either side say so far.

Unfortunately 'no one reads these blogs' so they won't see it or benefit from your wisdom and logic.

varangianguard said...

There's another Christmas card list you won't be on this year. lol

jabberdoodle said...

You are obviously holding out hope that the Mayor is willing to take even a slight chance at losing either team. He'd rather straddle the city with higher and higher taxes than take even the tiniest risk of that outcome.

Your approach is much too sane to actually be implemented by this Mayor.





I know said...

I agree with Hoosiers For Fair Tax!

Downtown Indy said...

As I sit here, the Harold Lloyd movie Cat's Paw' is playing. a 1934 story about corrupt politicians convincing a naive and unknown fellow who is chosen because he has no chance of getting elected Mayor. To their surprise, he gains popularity, wins the election and struggles against his corrupt advisors to clean up the city.

A strangely familiar story, apart from Lloyd's character who shows backbone and does what's right instead of what he's told he should do by his cronies who had put him up for the job.

Cat's Paw YouTube