Thursday, March 15, 2012

Public Safety Budget 'Shortfalls' Meeting

I was unable to view all 5 hours of last night's Public Safety committee meeting where claimed shortfalls in the Sheriff and IMPD budgets were discussed.  I have to carve out some time to view it from the WCTY archives.  Jon Murray, IndyStar reporter, has an article in today's paper.  Murray reports that Frank Straub, Public Safety Director, now claims a $15 million shortfall that extends beyond IMPD.  Personally, I remain sceptical of Straub's claims, while Sheriff John Layton made an excellent presentation at last year's budget hearings that convinced me back then.  What I did catch last night was primarily the Sheriff's budget issues, so I really need to hear what Straub had to say before etching my gut a priori feelings in stone.

With all that said, I hope the following did come up last night.

In the discussion of the Sheriff's budget, I hope someone asked :

1) why Wishard could not go back to the old system and pay the costs of arrestee care that occurs within their walls?  Health & Hospitals takes in over $109 million a year in property taxes and I don't see why we can't get some of that back.

2) at a minimum, why can't Wishard provide services free to those individuals who would qualify, had they not been arrested?

3)  when are Wishard and the Sheriff and IMPD representatives meeting to work out a better system of who really needs to be taken directly to the hospital upon arrest?

On the IMPD budget, I hope someone asked:

1) when will the $3.8 million from the CIB for super bowl expense be turned over to IMPD?

2) how much did it really cost IMPD and the rest of Public Safety for the Super Bowl?

3) why doesn't the CIB repay IMPD the $32 million it was loaned (according to former Council President, Ryan Vaughn) ?

4) how come you could make it on far less in previous years, but this year you just have to set records for expenditures?

5) how come at budget time you said character 3 was short by $3.5 million, but now your estimates are that it is at least $10 million short?  How did you mis-estimate the budget need by that much?

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