Thursday, November 4, 2010

Library Lays Off 37 Workers While City Gives $33.5 Million to Billionaire Sports Owner

The misplaced priorities of the administration of Mayor Greg Ballard rears its head again today as the Indianapolis City-County Library system announced it was laying off 37 employees. Jon Murray of the Indianapolis Star reports:
The Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library system has laid off 37 staff members, the final step toward closing an expected $4 million budget shortfall next year.

Other budget-cutting measures have included slashing hours systemwide by 26 percent -- a change that took effect a month ago -- and reducing the books and materials budget next year by $1 million. Library officials had said they expected to cut 35 to 40 jobs as part of the $37.9 million operating budget for 2011.
For the rest of the article click here.

During the most recent meeting of the City-County, Council President Ryan Vaughn scoffed at the idea that there is any connection between library cutbacks and the Pacers $33.5 million gift by the Ballard administration and arrogantly suggested people who thought otherwise simply needed to get educated about the subject. Vaughn is the one who needs to get educated.

Vaughn's different pots of money theory (yeah, good luck trying selling that explanation to voters in the midst of a campaign) used to justify the administration's priorities, overlooks the fact that the money ultimately comes from one source - the pocket of taxpayers. Nonetheless, Vaughn conveniently overlooks the secret deal to fund the Pacers with property tax revenue by using the Metropolitan Development Commission to direct $8 million of property taxes to fund the ICVA through the Capital Improvement Board. That freed up CIB non-property tax dollars to fund the Pacers. It's nothing more than a shell game the administration was playing.

The post-election autopsy will reveal the cause of death of the Ballard administration to be "misplaced priorities."

5 comments:

girl_cousin said...

And this is the real reason, folks, that school funding had to go through Indianapolis. Congratulations. When there are 80 kids in an algebra class, and the roof is leaking, you can always see a game in a spiffy new stadium. What to go, fiscal conservatives! That's real republican math!

Had Enough Indy? said...

Its misplaced priorities to the 10th power.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Okay, Girl Counsin, I'm going to have call BS on that one. That whol "leaky roof" thing is quite often a deliberate administration tactic of deferred maintenance so the administratino can convince the public they need a new building.

I saw them pull that stunt in Pike Township with Guion Creek Elementary, a school that was only 39 years old. The adminsitration wanted a new building so they didn't repair the roof, letting water leak for years which of course caused damage and convinced people who worked there that their building wasn't properly built, was falling apart and they needed a new building built.

No, it was a 39 year old building that needed maintenance and in a particular a new roof. You don't rip down buldings because you need a new roof. I was shocked when I toured Guion Creek and the issues they were talking about which necessitated a new building were nothing more than routine maintenance issues that weren't being done, a fact that the principal admitted to me.

In Pike the administration is on a campaign ripping down elementary schools that are only a couple decades old so they can have the shiniest and newest buildings. They actually want to tear down College Park which is about 20 years old. YOu criticize "fiscal conservatives" but liberals need to understand the pie is only so big. When we spend money on the Pacers or unneeded new buildings, that's less money available for the classroom.

If you're talking about education money actually going to the classroom, you've got a supporeter. If you're talking about spending more of our tax dollars on buildings (Pike has some Taj Mahal athletic facilities now) and administrator salaries, I am unlikely to support your position. I mean could there be any worse money spent by IPS than Dr. White's salary and benefits?

By the way, I just finished teaching tonight. I'm in a building at University of Indianapolis that is over 100 years old! It's in good shape because they've maintained it, including I'm sure putting on a new roof.

dcrutch said...

I am not looking forward to Melina Kennedy representing the Baker & Daniels party. I bet I haven't voted for ten Democrats over ten years. But, I'll be braying with the other donkeys next mayoral election if there's not a Libertarian.

I said this of Peterson in tax days of yore: Why don't they just ask for our wallets directly without any pretense (in this case just hand them to the Simons)?

When's your meeting of reform-minded Marion County Republicans?

Paul K. Ogden said...

dcrutch, I'm looking for a meeting spot. Downtown, centrally located, would be good. Unfortunately the holidays is going to make it hard to work around.