One would think the Officer Bisard incident would represent the low point of the administration of Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard. Then things got worse:
- The Ballard administration introduced the ACS parking meter deal, a highly unpopular proposal which has been roundly criticized by both Republicans and Democrats. City officials have no credible answer as to why the City can't buy the meters themselves, raise the rates, and keep all the money, instead of the 20% in the deal. The deal looks an awfully lot like an insider deal to make ACS a ton of money (as much as $1.2 billion according to the Indianapolis Business Journal.) Mayor Ballard apparently had no idea that Joe Loftus, Barnes & Thornburg partner and a paid lobbyist for the City, was also representing ACS. I haven't heard anyone dispute that Loftus was working behind the scenes to get his client, ACS, the deal.
- Then the same time it is announced that the CIB was spending $1.6 million for new electronic signage at Conseco so the Pacers can make more money, the library board announced closing libraries on various days throughout the City, a plan that would help close the library deficit by $1.5 million.
- Then it came out that the City agreed to funnel $8 million in property tax revenues to the CIB, just a couple months after the CIB promised to give the Pacers $10 million more per year for being so gracious as to occupy the Fieldhouse and keep all the revenue from running it. Hmmm, I seem to remember the Mayor saying no property tax revenue would be going to the Pacers. What are the odds that the Mayor has been kept so in the dark, he didn't know about the deal to give the CIB $8 million in property taxes? Oh, and again, this was all happening at the same time the library closings were announced.
- Frank Straub apparently continues to act as an out-of-control egomaniac at Public Safety. Instead of taking prompt action to correct an obvious mistake in appoint Straub, Mayor Ballard has apparently decided to keep him on so he can cause even more political damage to the administration.
There is a common theme among these examples. They all represent a Mayor who is not in control of his own administration. Mayor Ballard would be wise to rethink running for re-election given the events of the past couple weeks.