In February 2007, Mayor Brainard was told by engineers that the six roundabouts would cost $138.6 million over an 11 year period but that that it could be brought down to $112 million if the project were completed by 2010. Mayor Brainard withheld the estimate. Then in September of 2007, he announced the roundabouts could be completed with the $90 million state contribution and no city money used.
In February 2008, an egineering firm budgets the project at $149 million and informs Brainard. Brainard though that same month tells the City Council that they'll need maybe $10 million or $15 million of city money to complete the project.
The Indianapolis Star reports that Carmel City Council member Luci Snyder was angry that the council was told that only $10 to $15 million more was needed at the same time that Mayor Brainard knew that the estimates were that the city needed $60 million more to complete the project.
The Star also reports the reaction of council member Rick Sharp:
"Any idea why this number wasn't shared with the council? And point in fact, well into the summer of 2008, in various private meetings, we were told an additional $20 million (over the initial $90 million cost) was needed to construct Keystone. If the mayor knew in February of 2008 that the engineering estimate was $149 million, any idea why he told the council he only needed $20 million?"Why? That's because to paraphrase the saying popularized by Mark Twain, "you have liars, damned liars and then you have Mayor Brainard of Carmel."
It appears that Carmel voters might finally wake up to the big-spending Democrat they continue to re-elect in that fair city.
Advance Indiana's excellent take on Mayor Brainard and the Keystone roundabouts can be found here.
As a side note, I would like to know why there apparently was never any investigation of Mayor Brainard's 2007 campaign report that listed a $481,000 expenditure to Stakeholder, Inc., a company owned by Allen Sutherlin, which acted as his campaign consultant. That one expenditure represents 88% of of his expenditures on his report according to an Advance Indiana blog post. It defeats the whole purpose of the campaign finance laws if who is truly getting the campaign expenditure is not shown on the report. In other words, you can't simply pay someone else who then pays the campaign vendors in order to avoid disclosing who is truly receiving the money. Whether or not that was what was done in Brainard's case, is not clear. Perhaps Stakeholder, Inc. did $481,000 worth of work. But certainly it looks very similiar to what Matt Kelty's campaign did, only this time it is on the expenditure side.