Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The 'End Times for Downtown' Ad Campaign Scores

It was nip and tuck last night, but in the end, the 'End Times for Downtown' campaign waged by Mayor Greg Ballard, CIB President Bob Grand, and Council President Bob Cockrum, won 15-14.

Voting aye on Prop. 285 to raise the hotel tax, increase the Professional Sports Development Area, and accept a $27 M loan from the State with no plan on how to repay same, were:

Jackie Nytes -- D
Virginia Cain -- R
Jeff Cardwell -- R
Bob Cockrum -- R
Susie Day -- R
Ben Hunter -- R
Bob Lutz -- R
Barbara Malone -- R
Janice McHenry -- R
Mike McQuillen -- R
Marilyn Pfisterer -- R
Lincoln Plowman -- R
Kent Smith -- R
Mike Speedy -- R
Ryan Vaughn -- R

In an ungainly hand-off to the next sitting Council and the next sitting Mayor, this Council action will necessitate the 2013 increase in two less popular taxes; car rental and admissions taxes.

Meanwhile, Councillor Nytes' Prop. 331, which creates a 5-member panel to promote even more money for the CIB bailout to come from the donut Counties, passed unanimously. Nytes said the aim was to find a permanent solution, even though there will be no study of what the real problems with the CIB have been. This was no game changer.

Councillor Lutz began a front court press for more money to go to the Indianapolis Convention and Visitors Association, even though that was supposedly taken off the table as part of the game plan.

The Public continues to pay the price of admission, only to be relegated to the cheap seats.

All sports dynasties come to an end. But, the one led by the CIB gains more and more tax money every year and has receives no critical review for job performance. When it fails, the claim is made that it is only because the taxpayers were not generous enough, not because the whole thing is a Ponzi scheme that has gotten out of hand. The action last night was as shameless as the Pacers charging the stands to beat up a spectator a few years ago.

Bad sports metaphors aside, the citizens of Indianapolis deserve a plan to make downtown self sufficient and to reset priorities that make downtown work for the whole County, not continue the practice of the whole County working for downtown.

1 comment:

Pete Boggs said...

The "end times" analogy is apt, the people might be considered the "left behind."