Here's Mahern's letter:
In his Dec. 21 column, Matt Tully sets out to examine possible threats to Indianapolis successfully competing with suburban counties for taxpaying residents. Instead of exploring possible solutions to the serious and vexing crime problem facing our city, Tully instead settles for a full-throated personal attack against me.
He accuses me of political partisanship and failing to offer alternatives to the Ballard administration’s policies and proposals with which I have I disagreed. The fact is I have raised legitimate concerns regarding tax increment financing economic development policies that I believe were overused by the last two Indianapolis mayors, one a Republican and one a Democrat. My concerns about TIF are echoed by fiscally conservative Republicans in Hamilton County.
Mayor Ballard proposed balancing the 2013 budget on the backs of homeowners by raising their property tax bills by more than $8 million, these being the very people Tully suggest we are in fierce competition with the suburbs for. I suggested instead that the Capital Improvement Board should finally pay something for the large amounts of public safety resources used during the conventions and Pacers and Colts games held in CIB facilities. That seemed only fair to me. In response, the CIB threated a lawsuit, citing it lacked money to share with the city, only to turn around and give yet another $10 million to the Pacers on top of the previous $33.5 million it forked over during the last four years.
It is not helpful to give short shrift to the crime problem in Indianapolis. We all need to thoughtfully discuss the impact of crime and the importance of public safety funding. My now months-old invitation to Tully to join me for a chat still stands. All he needs to do is pick up the phone and return my call.