Wednesday, February 3, 2010

City-County Council Met Last Monday

I am behind on my regular posts. Belatedly, here are the proposals introduced at Monday night's City-County Council meeting that I found interesting.

Going numerically: Proposal 35, sponsored by Council President Ryan Vaughn and assigned to the Economic Development Committee which next meets on February 17 beginning at 5:30 pm in room 260 of the City-County Building. Prop 35 is the appropriation of the $5 million abatement money clawed back from Navistar, plus another half million clawed back from other abatements gone bad. I have written about the Navistar clawback previously, Abatements - Scary Loopholes Need Closing. The lion's share of the money, $3.5 million, would go to "operating the business of and the preparing additional sites for economic development by Indianapolis Economic Development Inc." It further donates $1.5 million in what the proposal language calls "matching funds for Indianapolis Convention and Vistors [sic] Association (ICVA) to develop a public-private partnership private foundations by leveraging grant funding from these outside sources for the purposes of ICVA", whatever that means. A token $175,000 would go to "to fund personnel and other start-up costs of the Office of Educational Innovation within the Mayor’s Officec development". $138,000 of the last amount would go to personnel costs. All of this is contingent upon the City spending money that should have gone to all of the taxing units and the Council deciding that a) that's okay with them, and, b) the money cannot be better spent.

You all know about the 'guns in parks' proposal authored by the Council's lone Libertarian, Ed Coleman. The only way this one could have more drama is if it were introduced next year, when both the Council and the Mayor are up for reelection. Prop 39 has been assigned to the Parks Committee which next meets February 25, at 5:00 pm -- again in room 260. The article in today's Indianapolis Star, by Francesca Jarosz, suggests this proposal might not be heard right away. Susie Day Chairs that committee and she can be reached at or 787-2417, if you want to be sure when it will be heard.

I do have to say, after reading Jarosz' article that reports Mayor Greg Ballard will veto Prop 39 if it gets to his desk, that this is a rare time the Mayor has shown a glimmer of leadership on any issue. While that is a very good thing and should be encouraged from all quarters in theory, his stand is not sitting well with his base. See Paul Ogden's blog Ogden on Politics (here and here). In the end, leadership is what we elect a Mayor to "do"; not just pick up the trash and plow the snow. So, good going Mayor Ballard !!! Keep it up !! Even when somebody disagrees with the Mayor, he should be out in front on more issues.

Prop 39 will be interesting to watch. The Republicans on the Council have been carrying the Mayor's water meeting after meeting for quite some time. On this one they might push it - at least to the number just needed to defeat the proposal at the full Council. Of course, for fun, we could see the Democrats provide just enough votes in favor to get the Council vote over the 15 needed to pass the proposal - just to watch the Mayor have to veto it. We'll see. Lots of drama on this one, as I said.

Getting to be more mundane with each new Fire Department, consolidation is now in Franklin Township. Prop 43, sponsored by Councillors Plowman and Hunter, is being assigned to the Public Safety Committee, which meets tonight, February 3, at 5:30 in room 260. Prop 43 is on the agenda.

And finally, Prop 48, which is the certification of a public referendum for Speedway Schools, sponsored by Councillor Pfisterer. If certified, the question would be on the May 4 ballot and read, “For the next seven calendar years immediately following the holding of the referendum, shall the School Town of Speedway impose a property tax rate that does not exceed fifty-nine cents ($0.59) on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to the school corporation’s normal tuition support tax rate?” Prop 48 has been assigned to the Rules & Public Policy Committee which next meets on February 9 at 5:30 pm in room 260.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That clawback money should be returned to the fund underfunded portions of the budget; the ICVA and IED are not one of those underfunded entities. They are not even part of city government, so why should get any tax money. They get too much already to do nothing but figure out how to transfer taxpayer funds (stolen taxpayer wealth) to entities of their choosing.

But this is what happens when people decide that government has a legitimate role in picking individual winners and losers, instead of setting basic rules (structure and consistent enforcement) for everyone to follow.