Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Email Eavesdropping - RE: Cricket

Tomorrow the Board of Public Works  will consider letting a $2.5 million contract for the proposed Gaelic Sports Park (aka Cricket fields, aka World Sports Park) using RebuildIndy money.

Here is an email exchange that began with Councillor Zach Adamson appealing to the members of the Board of Public Works .  I have to say, it is good to see our Councillors stand up for reasonable use of taxpayer funds in this way.


Councillor Adamson to Public Works Board:
Dear Members of the Public Works Board.

I am writing to you today to ask you to vote against the awarding of the contract for the Global Sports Complex with the use of Rebuild Indy funds. I believe this to be an illegitimate use of these funds.  
I do understand the need for city leaders to be ambitious, forward thinking and visionary. That being said,  there’s a difference between being visionary and delusional. The possibility of any real return on this investment is questionable at best, especially in light of news from the city  in Florida who already has such a Cricket Complex and their regrets for investing in it.  
And ultimately, these funds are deliberately set aside for addressing the multi million dollar back log of failing infrastructure across our city. This is NOT what these funds are for.  
Thank you in advance for your serious consideration of a NO vote on the use of RebuildIndy Funds for this purpose and thank you for your service to our fine city.  
Warmest Regards,  
Zach Adamson, Councillor, At-Large
Reply from Mayoral appointtee to the Board of Public Works, Dennis Rosebrough:
Good morning Councilor. Thanks for sharing your opinion. Improving parks infrastructure seems to be an appropriate use of the funds. At the end of the project, we end up with first class athletic fields that can be used for many activities including soccer, lacrosse and other games that require fields. The design does not preclude any use including cricket or Gaelic sports. In the worst case scenario, we end up with a beautiful, multi-functional recreational facility on the east side of the city that can be used by young and old.  It could also become a regional center for emerging sports like cricket and draw thousands of people to our community in the future.  
There were those who thought a domed stadium addition to the Convention Center was foolish and that even involved a new tax. As a member of the PR group for the that project, we heard all of the arguments. With Mayor Hudnut’s and the City-Council’s bold vision, it was built - and as they say, “the rest is history.”  Obviously, this project is not even in the same league (maybe $5 million cost and no tax impact vs. $50 million and a new tax), but it does represent a “vision” for our community. I will proudly continue to support this project.  
Dennis L. Rosebrough  
Deputy Commissioner - External Affairs 
Indiana Bureau of Motor Vehicles
Comment back from Adamson to Rosebrough:
Mr. Rosebrough, 
You’re flowery words about this Complex are small consolation to the dozens of people who have been hit by cars and killed in our city because they lack sidewalks to connect them to needed resources, just in this last year alone. I’m sure the communities across our city who have been waiting for major repairs on their streets for decades will be equally unmoved by your embrace for this Complex at their expense.  
I am by no means opposed to the Complex itself and if we could afford it, I’d be excited to hear about it. However, you might not have heard, the city has both a multi million dollar budget shortfall and several hundred million dollars in backlogged infrastructure needs. Needs the RebuildIndy Funds were deliberately created for. This investment is not for repair or stabilization of an existing park. It is for a whole new repurposing of an existing park. One that is not in need of repair.  
I hope when you cast your shortsighted vote in support of this inappropriate use of the RBI funds, you’ll also include a message to all the folks who will not see the needed infrastructure repairs because these funds were diverted. Perhaps, the best thing for me to do at this time is to publish your email reply and include your email so my constituents will be able to send YOU their cries for needed infrastructure. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled to hear from you and I’m sure you’ll be able to pacify them with the grand vision of the new Cricket Stadium.  
Since you took the liberty to include Mr Lotter in your reply to me, clearly so you could earn good graces with the mayor, I’m including the other councillors in this reply so they might know what to tell their constituents when they call or they read in the newspaper about yet another grandmother, cyclist or child is killed while trying to pass down a busy street with no sidewalk or shoulder.  
Again, my warmest regards.

Zach Adamson, Councillor, At-Large
Hitting the reply to all button, Councillor Angela Mansfield added her point of view:
I concur with Councillor Adamson's statements.  Using Rebuild Indy funds for this purpose is absolutely wasteful!  These funds were raised on the backs of our rate payer constituents and the funds should go back to our neighborhoods. We need sidewalks for every day use for safe transportation to grocery stores, drug stores, jobs, schools, religious institutions, etc. The sidewalks would also provide an opportunity for many to exercise and create a connected community. Building a cricket field for just a few is not only shortsighted given our budget constraints, it is completely delusional.
And, chiming in on the conversation we have this from Councillor Frank Mascari:
I also agree with councilor Adamson. We in Indianapolis have more issues at hand then a sports park.  
Frank Mascari  
City Council District 20

No comments: