|John Clark, CEO Indianapolis|
International Airport Authority
The article, which is not available on-line, notes that trip expenses for Clark on other airport executives included:
· $5,327 to go to Dallas for the Super Bowl, for the purpose of meeting with airline executives
· $2,599 to go to Phoenix as part of a "boot" camp with Indianapolis leaders to discuss development. The trip included $909 paid in golf fees.
· $5,563 for a trip to Copenhagen, Denmark for the Passenger Terminal Expo.
· $10,080 for a trip to Zurich, Switzerland to discuss with Comlux Aviation executives expansion of the company's Indianapolis facility. Comlux had in fact already announced plans to expand its Indianapolis' operations over two years earlier.
· $7,781 to travel to Athens Greece to be a speaker at the Airports Council International World Economics Council
· $8,283 to go to Casablanca, Morocco for the Airports Council International World Board Conference. The flight and hotel, the Palmeraie Golf Palace, cost $8,020.
· $10,008 to go to to Brazil for the Airports Council International-Airport Management Professionals Accreditation Programme meeting. The article points out that money spent on airport executives' air travel does not come from tax dollars, but rather comes from airlines, in the form of landing fees and space rentals. Cue my eyes rolling. Airlines get the money to pay those fees from air passengers. It might be indirect, but it still comes from the pockets of passengers, i.e. taxpayers.
Of course, Indianapolis officials had no way of knowing that Clark would engage in outrageous, extravagant travel. After all, no such problems came up while Clark was head of the Jacksonville Airport.
Ballard and Tobias simply did not care that Clark had in Jacksonville misused the public's money and tried to keep secret what he had done. Clark was run out of Jacksonville by city officials asking questions. So Clark went to a place where city officials would let him do what he wanted without question - Indianapolis. Were it not for the work of IBJ, Clark's conduct probably would have flow below the radar here in Indianapolis.
It should also be noted that Democratic Councilor Angela Mansfield stepped forward and was willing to criticize Clark saying she is not comfortable with this level of spending on travel by municipal employees. In the article, she is quoted as saying that Clark "has brought a culture to Indianapolis that wasn't here before. There's no accountability regarding his expenditures."
I'm not sure I agree with the last part of Councilor Mansfield's observations. For some time, Indianapolis has been a wide open town where public corruption can breed, a place where elected officials won't ask tough questions when it comes to the misuse of the public's money. I am thankful that we have councilors like Mansfield, Republican Christine Scales and Democrat Zach Adamson who are starting to ask tough questions about how the public's money is being spent. It's a shame that an airport employee who loads luggage on a conveyor belt received more scrutiny when hired than the Airport's CEO John Clark.
Ogden on Politics: Randall Tobias: John Clark's Abuse of the Public's Trust in Jacksonville is No Big Deal (3/19/2009)
Folio Weekly: Has John Clark Gone Rogue (11/25/2008) Article can be accessed by hitting the link on this page listing the archived stories.
People often think the question of non-resistance to evil by force
is a theoretical one, which can be neglected. Yet this question
is presented by life itself to all men, and calls for some answer
from every thinking man. Ever since Christianity has been
outwardly professed, this question is for men in their social life
like the question which presents itself to a traveler when the
road on which he has been journeying divides into two branches.
He must go on and he cannot say: I will not think about it, but
will go on just as I did before. There was one road, now there
are two, and he must make his choice.
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