Due to my concern over the Mayor's spending of Rebuild Indy funds for a cricket stadium, I have reviewed the Public Works meeting and City Council minutes for Proposal 337 of 2011. Council Democrats repeatedly raised concerns that there was a lack of specificity in the proposal as to the types of projects for which the Rebuild Indy funds would be used. Republicans made comments such as historically, projects were never provided at that point in the budget period. Also stated was that the passing of this proposal was necessary to insure that the funds would be protected and used for infrastructure purposes, as well as to address abandoned housing demolition costs," as promised"-i.e from the water company sale.As I read over the minutes, I see that the majority of funds were directed to Character 4 into the Rebuild Indy Subfund of the Consolidated County Fund for capital expenses. Has there been an accounting of what funds have been used thus far and for what specific purposes? It appears that Rebuild Indy funds are indeed now being used in a way that Proposal 337 was intended to protect it from being used for. How can $1.5 million for renovation of the west wing of the City Market be described as an appropriation for roads, sidewalks, curbs, abandoned housing?How does over $6 million for a cricket stadium fill that description?I provided My fellow Republican Caucus members with articles describing the lack of success of the only cricket stadium in the country sanctioned by the International Cricket Association. It is located in Lauderhill, Florida(Broward County). The stadium had all the elements needed for guaranteed success. The metropolitan area it is located in, boasts a population of over 500,000 Caribbean nationals. Cricket is their passion. The overall population of the metropolitan area is almost 6 million. There are hundreds of cricket teams and leagues all across Florida. The climate is conducive to year round play. Yet the stadium hosted few major cricket tournaments. City officials blame the US American Cricket Association for its problems. Cricket matches and tournaments need to be sanctioned by USACA. The city of Lauderhill has struggled for years to have their proposals for matches and tournaments approved by the USACA.I uncovered an even more recent article from the Sunday Sentinel than the ones I sent out to caucus members on Sunday. In it Mayor Kaplan, of Lauderhill Florida, questions why Mayor Ballard would build a cricket stadium unless he has received a firm, long term commitment(contract) from the USACA for a set number of tournaments for a period of years. It is likely that without such, Indianapolis will guaranteed find ourselves in a similar situation to theirs.In the difficult fiscal times we find ourselves in, I don't believe that spending millions on a cricket stadium should be a budgeting priority. I believe we were"played" by not having the Proposal 337's final language more specific about what types of projects the Rebuild Indy monies could be used for. It's now obvious that "Capital Outlay" has come to mean whatever one wants it to mean.The Public Works Board meets tomorrow, Wednesday, May8th, to award a contract for the World Sports Park. I urge Public Works Committee members to contact Public Works Board members and ask them to vote against the awarding of this contract with the use of Rebuild Indy funds.I will forward copies of the related articles in another email.
The names and email addresses of Board members are listed below my name.
Thank you for your consideration.
City County Councillor, District 4