Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Fractured Fairytales

Some of you are old enough to remember Fractured Fairytales from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. Ah, those were the days.

Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard's actions lately had me wondering what Fractured Fairytale applied the correct moral to his story.

As you know, Mayor Ballard has been reported from time to time as coming up with a plan to rescue the CIB from its own inept financial practices (along with the contributing inept practices of the two previous Mayors). The plan at any one time involves a menu of tax increases with a total price tag of an additional $48M per year on top of the $93M of tax support they already get. This new money would include a $15M gift to the Pacers to ease the burden of reduced interest in their home games and apparel sales.

Mayor Ballard has proposed a menu of tax increases to help bail the CIB out. He has even finally begun meeting with select politicos to push his plan. He has nothing of note to say to the public.

Meanwhile - back at the ranch - Greg Ballard, Mayor of Indianapolis, finds that money to run the City is very tight and will be even tighter next year. So, he is backing cuts on services to make ends meet. Ellenberger Park stands to lose its ice rink because the City took in $165,000 less than it cost to operate it last year. The City Market stands to lose it's $250,000 subsidy that keeps it afloat. Some City employees are not given business cards, even though they interact daily with the public. Is he seeking tax increases to support these ventures? Nope.

Credibility is the ultimate cost here for the two Mayor Ballards. How to reconcile cutbacks of paltry sums for services that directly affect quality of life, while he stubbornly clamors for immense influxes of cash to boost the bottom line for 3 people from filthy rich to filthier rich. How can Mayor Ballard sell the public on both at the same time? He can't. Nope. Ain't gonna happen.

Its all the public's money and spending that money should reflect healthy priorities that make Indy the best place FOR ALL ITS CITIZENS to live - not just the lucky few who can afford to attend football and basketball events.

So, back to the Fractured Fairytales. Is it the little boy with his finger in the dike - while gigantic waves crash over the top? Is it the little boy who cried wolf? Chicken Little? Got to be something where the moral of the story is : you can't take from the poor to give to the rich AND at the same time take from the poor to make ends meet AND claim you are a good steward of the public's money and interests.

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