Front and center in the Star article on the rally is a $50,000 grant the administration gave to the Indianapolis Children's choir. The choir runs a program with Dance Kaleidoscope and the Madame Walker Theater Center. Dan Steffy, the choir's executive director conceded they don't spend time battling crime, but justified the grant saying, "[w]e help prevent crime just by the nature of what we do."
Or the money could go to the salaries the choir pays out. You would think an outfit called the "Children's Choir" would consist of interested local citizens contributing their time, right? Think again. This is Indianapolis. Henry Leck, founder and artistic director of the choir, makes $111,214 according to the organization's most recent tax return. Steffy hauls in $83,127, Janet Bishop, Managing Director, makes $57,228
The print version of the star lists the six top crime fighting grants given out by the Ballard administration this year:
- United Neighborhood Centers: $440,000
- Wishard Health Centers $257,000
- Fathers and Families Center $200,000
- Indianapolis Ten Point Coalition $170,000
- Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. $160,000
- Progress House, Inc. $160,000
I previously did an expose on Indianapolis Downtown, Inc. which has stashed away millions in investments, most of which originated as taxpayers dollars, while paying its officers lavish salaries.
If the administration insists on giving away taxpayer money on projects only indirectly associated with curbing crime, one wonders why fixing the pools for this summer's swim season did not rank as a higher priority.