Friday, November 5, 2010

New Tangential Impacts of Proposed Parking Meter Deal

Its funny, the more I hear about the proposed parking meter deal, the more I see value in the City holding on to the PUBLIC ASSET. Last night was no different. I attended the public meeting called by Libertarian, Councillor Ed Coleman. There were a couple dozen people in attendance, including maybe a dozen representatives of the City or 'ParkIndy', which turns out to be the combination of private businesses that will benefit financially from OUR meters.

The Council Rules committee is expected to review the revised proposal next Tuesday, November 9, beginning at 5:30 pm in room 260 of the City-County Building.

Right now, I'd like to go into two new ideas that I heard last night - ideas that could bring a lot of money to the City, if the City only holds on to the rights. Deputy Mayor Mike Huber claims that the rights to these ideas are not being handed over to ACS along with the parking meters. I cannot find such limitation in the proposed agreement yet, though.

The first new use of the parking meter system was that the computerized system will allow a real time view of which meters are occupied and which empty. Huber envisioned a phone app whereby drivers could locate the nearest open meter. Cool. But, there is money in apps. And, there is a future in competition among app writers that can be good for Indianapolis. Huber says that the data are public records. But, it is not realistic to think that ACS could or would make real time public records available to app writers who would like to compete in the public arena.

The second new use of the parking meter system was to install electric car charging stations on the meter. I fully realize that the solar cells to be used to run the electronics of the new meters would not power an electric car. But the meter posts could be adapted in the future. The posts are part of the 'Metered Parking System' being contemplated as part of the 50 year lease. Here is the definition from the proposed agreement:

"Metered Parking System" means the Metering Devices, supporting structures, computer systems and software used in connection with the administration of Metered Parking Spaces and the collection of Metered Parking Fees and Temporary Closure Fees therefrom, and all improvements of any and every kind whatsoever forming a part of and used in connection with the operation and maintenance of the metering system associated with the Metered Parking Spaces (including all Metering Devices but excluding any interest in the streets, sidewalks, paving or similar real property).

Its a fantastic idea to make electric car charging stations readily available throughout Indianapolis. And, yes, the technology is currently too cumbersome to fit in a parking meter - but that won't always be the case. Shouldn't the City clearly retain rights to future improvements in OUR rights of way?

These are the PUBLIC's rights of way. These are the PUBLIC's meters. We should be very circumspect when trying to predict what razzle and dazzle new technology will provide in the next 50 years, and, the amount of money these assets could generate in the future. Every time I hear about this proposed 50 year lease to ACS, I hear of another use that the City should retain for the next generation of City leaders and City residents to enjoy.


Anonymous said...

3:01 P.M. at Bellingham and Thompson a school bus (#49), 3 police cars, 2 ambulances, the MSD police and T.J. Whitfield.......ANYONE KNOW WHAT HAPPENED??????

Anonymous said...

The parking meter deal is just another part of the ongoing crime spree perpetrated on the public by the "public servants."

Paul K. Ogden said...

The idea of having electric car charging stations at the parking meter is not doable now, but it is clearly something that could be doable within the next 50 years. The City could make a fortune off this. We've given that away too?

I double checked the revised contract. It contains a provision that there is no outside agreements and the parking contract can't be used as consideration for any other agreement not in the contract. That means that 200 jobs promise in the letter form ACS is not contractually enforceable because there is no consideration for it. Huber, I believe, is an attorney. You can't get out of law school without knowing that consideration is required for a contract. He has to know the jobs promise is not legally enforceable.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Paul, Mike Huber stated that he wasn't an attorney during his comments the other night.

Still, one could rely upon common sense.

Anonymous said...

The stench of this deal is still lingering through out the city. The conflicts of interest are apparent and it surfaces the special interests involved.
Seriously folks let's get real. Public officials are supposed to be trustees of the commonweal, not political buccaneers seeking their own private gain. But sometimes, in what economists call a principal-agent problem, those trustees forsake that obligation and misuse the power delegated to them in ways that advance their personal interests rather than those of the public.
Corruption distorts the allocation of resources toward projects that
can generate illicit payoffs. Besides the undesirable efficiency consequences arising
from this distortion, the effect is likely to aggravate social inequalities, because the poor and powerless suffer, by definition, a comparative disadvantage in securing special favors.
As far as the 200 jobs ACS proposed to bring to the city for seven years that is a manipulation of the people to get this deal passed. Here’s some food for thought about ACS.
Salaries of ACS fall below the average. Their wages actually fall with in the poverty level. ACS employee's are also on a salary freeze and have not received a raise in over three years. They have posted management positions for starting wages of $9.50 hourly.
ACS has a 2.2 company rating nation wide by their employee’s. This is a strong indicator that ACS is not the kind of company the city of Indianapolis and the people of Indianapolis need. Indianapolis needs good, strong, ethical companies like Google, SAS, Qualcomm, and Genentech. Each of those companies has a program that enables employees to voice their ideas, enhances the innovative culture, and ultimately develops ideas that will benefit the business, communities, and employees. Each company supports innovation. They offer stress free environments and offer their employee's livable wages with exceptional perks. AND their annual earnings and profits are less than that of ACS (Affiliated Computer Services).
So, for ACS to "say" they are going to bring 200 jobs with this deal is insulting.
Their current employees’s throughout Indiana live off pennies, food stamps, and are regular patrons of local food pantries. Unless you work for ACS, people have no idea what ACS employee’s endure.