Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Indy Hits the Trifecta - Violent Crime UP, Parks DOWN, Health DOWN

Greg Ballard, elected Mayor of Indianapolis, has steered our City into a losing combination of increasing violent crime, worsening parks, and worsening public health.  But, hey, his campaign contributors are making out like bandits.  Congrats.

Today's newspaper shows what happened because of the ill-placed priorities of this administration.  Violent crime is up - number of cops are down.  This even after former Mayor Peterson raised taxes for public safety; killing his chances for reelection and handing that election and ample funds for public safety to the unknown Ballard.

Parks have been for sale under Ballard, and we see the effect - Indy's park system ranks 47th among the Country's largest 50 cities.  Ballard has put Parks on the endangered services list - first trying to sell them off, then leasing them out to the point regular folks can't use their own parks, and cutting back on maintenance.  Most recently, Ballard, demonstrating the epitome of cluelessness, is spending millions of dollars to turn a neighborhood park into a privately run cricket venue.

And, Indy ranks 45th of the 50 largest cities in overall health.  Not enough money for sidewalks and parks - but plenty of money for Angies List and Eli Lilly and Rolls Royce and generous campaign contributors.

The money this City and County generate has been going into downtown - to the detriment of the outer Townships (and outer Center Township) and basic services.  TIF districts continue to balloon, thanks to politicians from both parties, decreasing the revenue available for the quality of life services like Parks, police, and healthy, walkable neighborhoods.  Campaign contributors have been making out enormously well, though, with the city taxpayers not just sweetening deals, but underwriting the lion's share of deals - the Broad Ripple garage, the North of South (City Way) deal, the Bank One Ops center deal - the taxpayers have been on the short end of the stick in all of these deals with the super sized investments.  The Mayor even turned down one proposal for the Mass Ave fire station property that did not ask for any TIF money so that a well connected firm could get the lucrative deal.

Ballard was not elected Mayor of downtown.  His performance needs to be judged by the entire City.  By that standard, Ballard is a failed Mayor and we are a failing City - not a world class City, but a failing City.  Congrats on this ignoble trifecta, Mayor Ballard.


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Anonymous said...

Have you spent any time at City Way? From what I know, it got Indianapolis a small LEED certified, "award-winning" boutique hotel and a bunch of poorly designed, constructed, and outfitted apartments going for much higher rent than they should due to demand for downtown rentals. This is a "one lease and out property" due to: high rents & parking costs; loud, squealing trains; terrible sound-proofing between units: don't live anywhere but the top floor; non-energy efficient windows (that don't block out previously mentioned train noise or the elements) & appliances; etc. Seems like Buckingham and Dolce Hotels - not the residents of Indy or City Way - are the only ones to benefit from this "deal".