Monday, July 19, 2010

ISO's Simon Crookall Wants More of Your Tax Dollars, Cites to Pacers $33.5 Million Deal as He Begs for More Public Spending on "Culture"

You knew it was coming. On Sunday, Simon Crookall, President and CEO of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra in Sunday's paper pens a plea for more public support for the arts. In the article he praises the City's $33.5 million gift to the Pacers then uses that as an excuse to ask for more money for the arts locally.

Poor Mr. Crookall. He only makes a quarter million dollars a year in his current position. ISO only has $119 million net assets in 2007, with revenues of $10,492,587 that year. What is a poor executive to do?
Crookall though just doesn't make a plea for more public funding of ISO, he also throws in other cultural attractions like the Eitlejorg Museum, the Children's Museum, the Indiana Museum of Art as well as others.

I hadn't looked at the Eitlejorg's tax returns before. The 2008 tax return shows revenue of $5,084,028, total assets of $40,171,321. The President and CEO of the Eiteljorg makes $256,797 according to the 2008 return. Susan Lewis, a VP of Administration, makes "only" $110,000.

I have examined the Children's Museum's finances before. Astonishingly, the Children's Museum pays its President Jeffrey Patchen more than $500,000 a year in salary and benefits, while seven other employees make over $150,000 a year. Those are just the top employees. Since the Children's Museum paid out salaries and benefits totalling $14 million in 2008, the museum apparently has other handsomely paid employees. It is not difficult to pay those kind of salaries when the Children's Museum has income in 2008 of $29,608,00 along with net assets of $262,754,690.

I took a quick glance at the tax return for the Indiana Museum of Art. Same story. The Art Museum is raking in millions while paying lavish salaries. I'll take a closer look at that organization later.

Every day, I see people panhandling for money at the corner of Market and Delaware, right in front of the City-County Building. Are those people really any worse than professional panhandlers like Crookall, Jim Morris of the Pacers, Don Welsh of the ICVA, Susan Williams of the Indiana Sports Corporation and David Lawrence of the Indianapolis Arts Council who do their public begging inside the building and regularly walk away with millions of our tax dollars?


Jon said...

At least Mr. Crookall is asking other groups in this town seem to acquire their monies through more nefarious means!

Cato said...

Money's free. Give him some. Give me some, too.

Heck, let's give us all some money.

Had Enough Indy? said...

What a racket !

Let's cut parks and indygo and the libraries some more, just so these folks can take more tax dollars.


Society is only as good as it treats its poorest people. I don't believe anyone should get handouts from the government including poor people.

I believe government needs to get out of the way so that people can take care of themselves.

I don't mind funding public libraries and swimming pools and parks. But beyond that, we need to stop doling out the money.

Our priorities are way out of whack.

If you really hate this stuff, then we need to start picketing the homes and offices of these CEO's and draw media attention to their salaries and the wealth these organizations with their hands out, have on their books while our inner city rots.

Think of the power these people would have to heal our inner city if they really cared.


Everyone agreed that the people got screwed on the Colts deal.

So the Pacers think they deserve what the Colts got and screwed the taxpayers even more.

Now the arts decides it wants what the Colts and Pacers get and is positioning themselves to screw us more.

They better be careful.

People are rioting in Greece, Spain, Iceland. Wonder how these arenas and arts facilities would fare if people rioted them?

These elites, made rich by our extorted tax dollars, have more money than they will ever need in life and are really pushing the envelope.

It's like they are taunting people to strike back at them. Now I do not condone violence, but I've watched carefully what the people of Iceland and Greece are doing. I don't want it here, but it is coming if they don't stop expecting tax dollars for every fanciful whim they have. We cannot afford it.

It is shameful that these elitists (who claim to serve the people) are so far removed from the people that they don't know how close they are riots in the street or perhaps a riot in front of their homes in their own fancy neighborhoods.

Sean Shepard said...

I think it is important to make a distinction between the "lavish salaries" not necessarily being the problem so much as the expectation to receive revenue without first finding sufficient customers for your product.

These kinds of organizations need to compete for talent just like any other company might need to; however, it is fair to ask them to pay for their staff and financial requirements out of the proceeds from selling admission or other products.

When we look the taking of taxpayer money to directly subsidize non government functions we see evidence of what Bastiat warned of. That we should look out for laws that do for a particular group or individual (force money from people by threat of government violence against their person or property) what would otherwise be a crime if they tried to do it themselves.

Marycatherine Barton said...

There IS not a dime's bit of difference between the Democrats and Republicans in Marion County.