The timing appeared to be unfortunate. Nytes, a Democrat who is an influential member of the Indianapolis City-County Council, took the helm while Republicans had taken over the Council and Republican Greg Ballard was elected in an upset. With Republicans running city government, one would think that the fortunes of Nytes and Mapleton-Fall Creek would take a turn for the worse.
In fact, just the opposite happened.
Nytes transformed the sleepy non-profit with millions of dollars in grants from the City. The City's database reveals 15 contracts (or amendments to existing contracts) totalling nearly $5 million have been awarded by the City to Mapleton-Fall Creek, almost all of them under the administration of Republican Mayor Ballard. This includes a contract in July of 2010 that was amended in September of 2010 to funnel $3,350,275 more in federal grants to Nytes' non-profit.
At the same time the City was funnelling millions to the non-profit headed by Nytes, Nytes was casting key votes in favor of controversial Ballard administration proposals. These include a vote for the CIB bailout/tax increase, the Pacer $33.5 million gift and the city utilities transfer.
Was the Ballard administration buying Nytes' vote? It is doubtful there was a quid pro quo. With the notable exception of former Illinois Governor Blagojevich, those who engage in "pay to play" know to avoid making the bargain explicit. But it is hard not to connect the dots representing Nytes' Republican votes and the millions her non-profit received from the Ballard administration.