Saturday, November 27, 2010

Mayor Ballard's Plan for Towing Monopoly in Works for Nearly Six Months

I had a chance to watch part of the Metropolitan Development Committee meeting on Council President Ryan Vaughn's s proposal regarding towing. This is what I learned:

There are six towing zones in the City. The city contracts with five towing companies in those zones. Currently the contracts are awarded using a traditional bid system where the low bid gets the contract.

Vaughn's proposal would eliminate the bid requirement with the administration instead choosing which company receives the monopoly contract. The change in the ordinance would award one mega contract to a towing company which then could subcontract out to other companies to tow in the zones. Instead of the city picking those companies, the company awarded the contract could pick who they choose to partner with. The person who spoke on the proposal from the Department of Code Enforcement emphasized that there would be an MBE/WBE/VBE component to the monopoly contract. Let me translate that for you: the Ballard Administration hopes to use the MBE carrot to try to persuade an African-American Democrat on the Council to vote for the monopoly towing contract proposal in case any Republicans defect.

The big surprise of the meeting was when it was revealed that the plan to award a monopoly towing contract, which depends on the council changing the law, has been in the works for nearly six months. Nobody at the Ballard administration bothered to tell members of the Council.. In July the administration asked for RFPs from the towing companies interested in the monopoly contract. So much for Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's claim of running a "transparent" administration. Apparently the plan was to give a towing company a monopoly so it can work in conjunction with ACS on the 50 year parking contract.

When Ballard's campaign finance report comes out it will be interesting to see how many of the towing companies interested in the monopoly contract have contributed to Ballard's campaign. in the hopes of winning a contract worth millions.


Citizen Kane said...

And the people remain silent as "their government" creates new plans of theft and deception to extract money from the many and give it to the few.

Jon said...

As stupid as the parking meter deal is things can be a lot worse if towing becomes another 'local' monopoly.
Is the city trying to create reasons not to go downtown?