Monday, June 8, 2009

McANA Calls for Investigation of CIB Financial History

The Marion County Alliance of Neighborhood Associations has called for an investigation of the Capital Improvement Board's finances throughout its history as part of any CIB bailout plan. In a letter dated May 24, 2009, and addressed to Governor Mitch Daniels, Mayor Greg Ballard, and City-County Council President Bob Cockrum, McANA's President Cathy Burton wrote:

We believe that any responsible effort to seek long-term funding solutions for the activities and facilities managed by the Capital Improvements Board must include an investigation to evaluate the CIB’s past history and financial transactions. We respectfully request that you, as the ranking elected officials for the City of Indianapolis and State of Indiana, call for a thorough examination of the function, responsibilities, policies and authority of the Capital Improvements Board through its entire history. This would include its procedures, or lack thereof, to ensure the retirement of debt, as well as its financial ability to fully and responsibly fund the requirements of its contracts with any professional or semi-professional sports teams (i.e., Colts, Pacers, Indians, Fever, etc.), or any other entity, public or private, prior to those contracts being signed.

It is certain that the current economic climate in our country has contributed to the difficult funding situation now faced by the CIB, but we believe that past practices and decisions have been a greater contributor to the general long-term decline of the CIB’s fiscal soundness. The investigation for which we call is not to point fingers, but rather to quantify all the factors that have led to the CIB’s current position and ensure that those factors do not recur and contribute to future financial conundrums. It is clear that, whatever solution is adopted to resolve the CIB shortfalls, the residents and businesses of Marion County, and perhaps the state, will be ultimately responsible for generating most, if not all, of the new funding streams needed. It is therefore incumbent upon the citizenry to demand establishment of protocols and policies that will safeguard against the creation of future problems.

As a City and a State, we must expect nothing less than one hundred percent accountability and transparency from any and all agencies and governmental units that represent and act on behalf of the public, particularly when those actions result in significant financial liabilities. We hope that you share this vision and will seek not only a solution to the financial crises of the CIB but also a resolution to the framework that led us to this crisis.

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