Saturday, January 14, 2012

Super Bowl Ordinance Should Have Included Review Process

Just as several people and organizations argued back when the Super Bowl Ordinance was being reviewed, a glaring omission was putting all decisions in the hands of one person without a review or appeal process in place.  (see "Superbowl Ordinance Back At Council Committee Tonight")

Below is an item from today's Star that underscores that point.  At least these folks could turn to the ACLU for assistance, but it should not have come to that.  The Ordinance should be changed and protections put in place.

Here is the Star's item (no byline)

City sued over newspaper sold by the homeless
The city of Indianapolis is working to avert a First Amendment showdown with the publisher of a newspaper that benefits the homeless.
A federal lawsuit filed Wednesday alleged that the city was preventing homeless vendors from selling the paper, Homeward Bound, Downtown in the week leading up to the Super Bowl on Feb. 5 at Lucas Oil Stadium.
Volunteer Executive Editor and Publisher Jeff Tavares said he applied for a temporary permit from the city's Code Enforcement Department that would allow the sale of the paper in the Super Bowl "clean zone" but was denied.
Tavares sent an email to the city's law department saying he thought his First Amendment rights were being violated, then asked the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana for its input. The ACLU filed a lawsuit.
Kate Johnson, a spokeswoman for Code Enforcement, attributed the demand for a temporary permit to a "mix-up." She said such permits aren't needed to sell newspapers within the "clean zone," a roughly one-square-mile area around the stadium where special permits are needed for several commercial activities.
ACLU attorney Gavin Rose said he will withdraw the lawsuit when the city sends him formal notification that Homeward Bound can be sold.


Jon said...

In this town nothing will ever be reviewed by outside sources unless someone sues the city. Want to see the Pacers contract, sorry that is a private agreement. Need to review the city proposal for the super bowl, nope that isn't possible.

At least I know what an oligarchy is now.

Had Enough Indy? said...

The Pacers contract actually is online, along with other CIB contracts.

They are pretty good about making records public.

And I must give high marks to Barney Levengood of the CIB, who provided me with both the LOS and ICC contracts with the NFL as soon as they were signed.

Jon said...

Sorry, what I should have said is we can't see the Pacer's books. You know the ones that show them losing money the last 30 years. And yes, the we have the LOS and ICC contracts but the city hasn't fully disclosed what they gave to the NFL to bring the super bowl here have they?

Had Enough Indy? said...

True. Very true.

I could understand if the Pacers didn't want the public to see their books. But the City should be able to review them as a simple matter of due diligence.

Jon said...

And wait there's more, in the IBJ (online) today we learn that the CIB expects to lose money on the super bowl. The budget of 8 million dollars is about 800k short of revenues.
Has anyone seen the CIB budget, is it available online? The really galling part of the IBJ article,
"CIB also won’t receive food-and-beverage tax money from concessions sold inside Lucas Oil Stadium and the Indiana Convention Center as it normally does. Instead, the National Football League will pocket that chunk of change". So the taxpayers build it, partially financed by sales tax on food, and now for the super bowl the NFL gets those dollars rather than the community that has to pay for the building. Simply marvelous, just marvelous.

Had Enough Indy? said...

You are so right, Jon. Someone sent me the link to the IBJ article: