Saturday, January 4, 2014

Carmel Finds New Way to Waste Money; Hires Former Star Writer As $90K a Year Consultant (w/Update)

Dan McFeely
To say Dan McFeely covered Carmel as an Indianapolis Star writer would be a stretch.  McFeely wrote promotional pieces for Carmel that appeared in the Star.  It didn't matter what Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard wanted to do, Dan McFeely was always 100% behind the Mayor.  While other publications and television stations ran critical, investigative stories about Carmel, McFeely's cranked out Carmel PR pieces.

The Indianapolis Business Journal reports that McFeely's reward for his Carmel puff pieces is a $90,000 consulting gig with Carmel's Department of Economic Development, a no bid contract awarded to McFeely's consulting firm which just opened in November.  Okay, it's me who says that's McFeely's reward, not the IBJ.  I just connected two very large dots.

The IBJ details McFeely's work:
In his first month working for Carmel, McFeely Communications submitted an invoice for $2,750, for a nine-day period in November. Services included using Twitter and Facebook "to spread the message of economic development opportuities in Carmel to a world-wide Web audience."

Other professional services included writing press releases about the sale of bonds and about road projects.  McFeely...met with city officials to strategize "on ways to use various local events and activities as tools for bringing more economic development to the city," among several other activities listed.
Wow, that's really tough work.  (Sarcasm.)  By the way, press releases take about 10 minutes to write, often less.

According to IBJ:
City Councilor Luci Snyder wondered aloud at a recent council meeting what qualified McFeely to be an economic development consultant...

Snyder told IBJ McFeely's hiring is part of a broader concern she has about Carmel's economic development department tapping numerous consultants.  Records show the department has 17 economic development consultants who could earn a total of $806,670 annually.
McFeely is the third highest paid consultant for Carmel. I guess not doing your job as a journalist by reporting critically on public officials has its rewards.

The link to the IBJ story is here.  It is unfortunately behind a pay wall.

UPDATE:  Reader Rick Smith sent me the following YouTube link.  Assuming he's talking about a PR person, apparently Mayor Brainard changed his mind.


guy77money said...

Wow what a waste of money! oh by the way thanks Paul!

Flogger said...

Too be fair The Star as a whole and their Columnists and "Reporters" have not seen a Crony-Capitalism scheme they have not liked.

It was just quick hop and a jump from Press Release "Journalism" to actually writing the Press Releases.

Had Enough Indy? said...

I second guy's comment. Dan McFeely is one of the most biased reporters I've seen at the Star. At least we won't have to endure his slanted 'news' items anymore.

rls46032 said...

How does Dan McFeeley fit in?

Carmel Mayor, Jim Brainard, seems to have changed his way of thinking. Apparently he decided ex-Indy Star reporter Dan McFeeley filled the bill. Surprising in light of this statement just one year earlier.