What a terrible irony. Just when Indianapolis is in the thick of a wave of black-on-black murder, along comes the black Center Township power structure and offs a park located in the heart of the inner city.
Making matters worse, the half-acre Polin playground area, part of Indy Parks, will be paved with asphalt and turned into a parking lot to accommodate a restaurant/tavern that will be located in the Julia Carson Government Center -- a public building.
Excuse me, but I had the quaint idea that maybe our urban kids needed a park more than the greedy, power-drunk adults need another watering hole....but apparently money talks louder than children.
Lounge investors include Lacy Johnson III, son of Lacy Johnson. Dad is best known as a longtime Dem player, lawyer and prez of the Indy Airport Authority.
The Lacys and their buddy investors deserve the "dirty hands" award for launching this deal, with the real grime reserved for Center Township trustee Carl Drummer and Judy Hawley Conley. Drummer is the kingpin in this political power structure. Conley is the city hearing examiner who chose a parking lot over a park at a July 27 meeting of the Metropolitan Development Commission.
She is also the wife of City County Counclman King "Ro" Conley. Both are pals of Drummer, who has backed this deal from the getgo and apparently thinks he owns the park rather than tax-paying neighborhoods and citizens.
U.S. Rep. Julia Carson hardly comes out smelling like a rose, either, since she had to have known this was coming down the pike. Or else she's in even worse health than speculated -- could she be blind?
Most of the post touches on items covered previously by AI in its coverage of this issue so it will look strikingly familiar to AI readers (although nothing is credited to AI, or the Star's Will Higgins who originally broke the story). One new item Ruth covers is that the Marion County Alliance of Neighborhoods is supporting the remonstrance against the proposed restaurant/bar. McANA's position is based on the following she reports:
- It is using public assets to support private enterprise.
- It is creating excessive uses when there is no primary uses for theproperty.
- Cutting into Kessler Park and Boulevard Plan.
- Contrary to the Mapleton Fall Creek Neighborhood Association ComprehensivePlan.
- Moving park from neighborhood where we should be preserving park space. Contrary to Community Value & "Pathway to Future" documents.
- Taking away the Al Polin Park
Glad your weighing in on this issue Ruth. It deserves more attention from the mainstream media. I'm disappointed the Star's editors have yet to weigh in with an editorial on the subject.
UPDATE: Rishawn Biddle has some harsh words for Carson, Drummer et al over at Expresso on the subject:
Revelations that Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer helped clear out Abe Polin Park next door to the township's headquarters near Fall Creek in order to provide parking for a bar (run by the son of building namesake Julia Carson's longtime major domo) opening inside of it, offer another reason why township government -- and the corruption associated with it -- ought to be tossed out into the ashbin of history. But Blacks should be especially annoyed by all this. It's not only because such actions hurt most the mostly-Black residents who live in the neighborhoods surrounding the Carson Center, but because the type of dealmaking in which Drummer and Company are engaged is just so penny-ante.
And that's just the first paragraph. Click here to read more.
NOTE: Abdul in the Morning guests on WXNT tomorrow (Tuesday) morning will include 7th District GOP congressional candidate Eric Dickerson, who will discuss the park for bar swap. The show is also trying to get Rep. Julia Carson to make an appearance as well. No word yet on that.