Abduallah, who has said all along his intent is to use his influence to do his constituents' bidding, says he's frustrated by their lack of direction.
He personally opposes the serving of alcohol in the building but "at this point," he says, "it's not fair for (the investors) to hold out and keep waiting."
Addullah thinks "it's not fair" to the investors to delay the project. And these would be the same investors who have arrogantly thumbed their nose at the law and the surrounding neighbors from the very beginning of this project? What Abdullah is really saying is he's not taking any chances on his political future by taking on this group of political insiders, which includes Lacy Johnson, Bill Mays and Monroe Gray, who are determined to walk all over the rules all the rest of us are expected to follow in order to get what they want for themselves.
Abdullah showed extremely poor judgment when he originally opposed Indianapolis' Human Rights Ordinance in 2005 despite the significant number of his constituents who are gay and lesbian. When gays and lesbians attempted to engage him on the issue, he expressed anti-gay bigotry based on his religion--Islam. Only after he realized that his re-election was being jeopardized by his alienation of such a large number of his constituents did he finally switch position and support the HRO last year. Abdullah faces re-election next year.
The Star's Will Higgins also continues his campaign to cover up the investor's and Carl Drummer's wrongdoing with respect to 300 East by ignoring the laundry list of illegalities associated with the bar's undertaking. He also tries to cloud the issue by deliberately trying to make it look like the neighborhood's position is unclear. He writes today:
Despite several neighborhood meetings that have focused on the matter, it remains unclear how the majority of the neighbors feel about the plan. Some object to opening a bar in the neighborhood. Others consider the restaurant/bar sound economic development and support it.
The Carson building is on the south end of the Mapleton-Fall Creek neighborhood. Residents there have discussed the restaurant/bar at their monthly meetings since August but have not reached a consensus. At their October meeting, the debate grew heated. But the group's interim president, Clara Warner, who favors the restaurant/bar, refused to sanction a vote.
Following that meeting, the investors postponed their commission hearing in order to allow the neighborhood group time to reach a collective opinion. Earlier, in September, Patrice Abduallah, who represents the area on the City-County Council, had secured a postponement for the same reason.
The neighbors met again in November, with longtime neighborhood leader Al Polin standing in for Warner. Polin refused even to sanction a discussion of the matter.
If Higgins attended those meetings, he should be well aware of the neighborhood opposition to the bar. It's obvious to everyone else that the investors used their clout with the neighborhood association leaders to prevent a vote from taking place. And what about the fact that the investors now say it's going to be a family restaurant by putting a railing between the bar and the dining area? Give me a break. Do you think these folks plan to operate a smoke-free dining establishment for late night operation? If you believe that, then you also believe in the tooth fairy.