Wednesday, July 18, 2007

City-County Council Owes Resident An Apology

Jack Borgerding was among dozens of Indianapolis residents who took the opportunity to publicly testify at Monday night's meeting of the Administration and Finance Committee's hearing on Mayor Bart Peterson's proposed 65% increase in the income tax. The taxes on Borgerding's downtown home rose from $2,200 to $15,000. "Now you stand up and ask for an income tax increase," he was quoted in the Star as saying at a protest outside the city-county building prior to Monday night's meeting. "Enough is enough."

Borgerding delivered one of the most compelling and scathing attacks on the city-county council and the mayor for their failed leadership during the public testimony, but he didn't threaten anyone. He just gave the city-council members a piece of his mind and then he calmly returned to his seat. What happened next disturbed many members of the public in attendance at the meeting. As Borgerding returned to his seat, Committee Chairman JoAnne Sanders asked him to state his name for the record. Council attorney Aaron Haith can be seen on camera during the televised hearing standing up and summoning a police officer. Later, a man in uniform and another man are seen approaching Borgerding at his aisle seat. Borgerding is then escorted from the meeting by the two men. Several members of the audience become upset at Borgerding's removal and head for the door which Borderging has just been shown. An audible disturbance ensues off-camera.

An eyewitness to these events tells me that Borgerding did not do anything inappropriate other than to deliver one of the most articulate and effective condemnation's of the city-county council's past actions. The claim being made was that Borgerding was rude to a police officer, which is hard to believe according to this witness since the officer was on the other side of the room. This witness heard Haith say to the police officer, "Get him."

I believe the City-County Council owes Borgerding a public apology for his removal from Monday night's meeting. And if Mr. Haith was acting on his own authority in ordering his removal, the full council should reprimand Mr. Haith for a clear abuse of power. I suspect Mr. Haith was taking orders from one of the council members, and if he was, then that council member should be forced to publicly explain his/her actions to the full council and apologize personally to Borgerding. I'm frankly disappointed but not surprised the numerous members of the media present at Monday's night hearing haven't bothered following up on what happened.

43 comments:

Anonymous said...

Good for you for reporting this. An illegal use of police power to prevent free speech? Can anyone who was there report on what happened?

melyssa donaghy said...

Gary? Do you mind if I put this blog entry on the Hoosiers For Fair Taxation blog? I promise I won't change a word.

The People need to know who Aaron Haith is and what he has done.

Anonymous said...

Where's the ACLU?

Anonymous said...

AI, you might want to run a search on Mr. Borderging. No one by that name owns property in Center Township, at least according to the Star's database. Don't know why that might be, but maybe he owes us an apology. Perhaps he recently bought property and isn't on the tax rolls yet...BUT... $2,000 to $15,000 sounds a little fishy, even given the assessment problem, don't you think?

indyernie said...

Gary, Thank you for exposing the narrow-minded leadership of our CCC. Mr. Borgerding civil rights were trashed by Haith and then ignored by Gray. Both men had their hand in his removal. Thanks again for standing up for the citizens of Indy.

Anonymous said...

Had Borderging been a black man from Monroe Gray's district do you think that Haith would have had him removed?

Anonymous said...

"AI, you might want to run a search on Mr. Borderging. No one by that name owns property in Center Township,"

Don't try that. He lives where he stated. The CCC members know that to be a fact.

Advance Indiana said...

I'm relying on the Star's spelling of his name and I'm not sure it is correct. The Star database, while useful, is far from being accurate. I tried searching the names of many of my neighbors using the exact spelling of their names and, in a number of cases, I could never get a successful hit.

Advance Indiana said...

Melyssa, please feel free to repost it.

Jen said...

Gary,

I did a Lexis and CivicNet search for Mr. Borgerding yesterday because I have a friend with the same last name and wondered if they were related.

I couldn't find him listed as a property owner anywhere in Marion County.

It's possible that the Star misspelled his name, but even if they didn't, I'm a little suspicious of his tax bill.

I'm not trying to shoot the messenger here, and I have no idea if he was wrongfully removed from the meeting, but I'm not sure his story adds up.

Advance Indiana said...

It would help if I could get his spelling down correctly. I believe the proper spelling of his name is "Borgerding". There is someone listed by that name living on Vermont Street as he testified.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not trying to shoot the messenger here, and I have no idea if he was wrongfully removed from the meeting, but I'm not sure his story adds up."

Watch the replay on ch 16 Jen. You won't question his removal then. You won't post the truth about democrat office holders or their appointments on your own site. Your shifting of the truth here isn't going to work. Haith and Gray are big boys, let them fend for themselves.

Advance Indiana said...

The man's address puts him in Lockerbie. I've seen the guy around the neighborhood before, and the area indicated by his address could easily see assessments as high as he indicates. Does he live at the address listed in the phone book, which I believe is the same one he gave at the meeting, 539 E. Vermont? I can't say for certain he lives there, but AT&T believed he did for purposes of publishing a phone book.

Advance Indiana said...

I would point out that some people put there homes in a trust and it isn't listed in their individual name. This is quite common, particularly among people with considerable assets.

Anonymous said...

Haith is an attorney and in his capacity as council attorney deprived a person of his constitutional right to petetition the government for redress of grievance, denied him his freedom of speech, and was a incompetent jerk, too.

Haith violated several Rules of Professional Conduct. I hope someone files a complaint with the Supreme Court's disciplinary commission. Haith has NO BUSINESS as an attorney! (Just look at his criminal history)

Anonymous said...

Ah, 539 E. Vermont is probably one of those massive, new houses just south of the Rathskeller. Those are probably million dollar homes. Heck, $15,000 might be just about right. $2,000 was probably one just the vacant real estate or the crappy house that was torn down!!!

Jen said...

A little more searching reveals that the house is not in his name.

Parcel Number: 1020176
Property Address: 00539 E VERMONT ST
Owner(s): FIELDS, CHRISTINE S
Year Built: 1900

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Assessment Information
Land Value: $37,500
Structural Value: $556,900
Total Assessed Value: $594,400
Value Deducted as Exemptions: $45,000
Net Assessed Value: $549,400

As to what happened on Monday night, I don't have cable right now, so I couldn't watch the re-run if I wanted to. If he was wrongly ejected, that's, well, wrong. But I suspect this is much ado about nothing from the "Bart Lies" crowd.

Anonymous said...

I think it is VERY clear that the man was wrongly ejected. With that said, I will be at the next meeting, this has done nothing but fire me up!

Advance Indiana said...

I have no reason to believe Borgerding doesn't live in the home. I checked it out on my lunch break and it's a very old yellow brick house. It was purchased by Brad Pugh a few years ago, who renovated it and built an addition on to it. Pugh had it on the market for a very long time. The taxes he claims to owe on it would not surprise me. Is it possible that Fields is his spouse? The front yard has several anti-tax signs in it. As I said before, I've seen him around the neighborhood before and the phone book lists his address at 539 E. Vermont.

Anonymous said...

I didn't hear the man speak, but from everything said here and on other blogs the man made some excellent points. Now, what does it matter if he lives there or not anyways? A person is not allowed to form opinions and speak their mind? Wow, what a scarey world some people want to live in.

Anonymous said...

I'm an alum from Franklin College, Class of '77.
Mr. Borgerding is married to Christine S. Fields. Christine S. Fields is also a Franklin alum and is currently a trustee of the the college. She is received her law degree from IU and is currently an attorney with Eli Lilly.
Now you know the rest of the story.

Jen (struggling law sudent) at TDW can spin it as she wants but I would suggest she give Chris a call to answer any questions shemight have. I'm sure Chris would be more than happy to talk about property taxes and other matters with her.
Both Chris and Jack are very good people and not the kind to take to civic activism without having a very good reason to do so.
I guarantee you this much, if they are upset with Peterson then lord help him in November.
Haith should have been a little more cautious on who he elected to toss from the meeting.

Anonymous said...

Damn, Jen really stepped in it this time.

Anonymous said...

Borgerding for Mayor!
Sign me up to help with his campaign.

Anonymous said...

But I suspect this is much ado about nothing from the "Bart Lies" crowd.

The man had a contractual interest in the property (CCB). It sounds like he did not break any rules. He should have refused to leave and forced them to arrest him on a bogus trespass charge. The charges likely would have been dismissed, as it sounds like he had contractual interest. Then he might have been able to sue.

Anonymous said...

"But I suspect this is much ado about nothing from the "Bart Lies" crowd."

Jen lies.

Anonymous said...

Jen, you think Jack and Christine will vote for Bart again now?
Real smart throwing out someone whose spouse is an attorney. Worse yet is throwing out someone whose spouse is a well known corporate international attorney with ELI LILLY.
Sounds to me like Mike O'Conner needs to back away from the bar at the Golden Ace and try to pump some water out of a sinking ship.

Anonymous said...

Good Lord, 1:51, try dialing in some common sense and reasoning.

The county chairman is no fan of Aaron Haith. Neither is the Mayor.

But the Mayor's party has a one-vote margin on the council. And anywhere from 3-7 council members burn up the phone lines to the 25th floor demanding special favors for friends on a regular basis. You can guess who are the offenders. The same ones who demanded Aaron be their counsel. And hasn't that worked out well?

The owner of a property could be an LLC, a partnership, or a trust, as Gary has pointed out.

If the man stepped to the microphone, gave his name and address, as is required in most such public settings, call me crazy, but I'm taking him at his word unless proven otherwise.

And I'm not going to waste a minute investigating whether he's for real, or his claim is bogus. If he spent all that time inventing facts for public attention, he'd be, well, committed.

(There is the funny man who carries the signs at a lot of the public meetings, who has a comment on EVERYTHING. And the odd lady who stopped coming, who claimed she was a minister, who lived in a garage somewhere. They're both entertianing, but they don't lie.) And if they DID tell lies, who cares? Smile, thank them and move on.

That effort spent on this speaker's veracity, would be better spent finding a solution to the property tax problem. And the Aaron Haith/thug problem.

Proportion, people.

Jen said...

Thanks for the clarification. I assume when someone says his tax bill went up, he means that his name was on the tax bill. It wasn't.

As for whether they'll vote for the Mayor, I doubt it. But I doubt they voted for him the last time around.

I'm sorry his taxes went up, but it looks like he may have been a victim of a bad assessment. It happens, and I have no doubt they'll appeal and be reassessed -- or simply reassessed with everyone else in the coming months.

P.S. I'm not a struggling law student. It's not a struggle to get through law school. It's a struggle to pay attention.

P.P.S. If the guy got kicked out for no reason, he deserves an explanation. I said that before.

Anonymous said...

"But I suspect this is from the "Bart Lies" crowd."

A person's rights of freedom of speech is "much ado about nothing"?

If Bart wouldn't lie, we wouldn't have a ""Bart Lies" crowd"

Anonymous said...

Just a reminder.
Monroe Gray was sitting with Haith. Haith does nothing without Gray's approval. Gray could have stopped this, he shares the blame.

Jen said...

"A person's rights of freedom of speech is 'much ado about nothing'?"

No, but making it seem like the worst thing that's ever happened in Marion County is a tad much.

Like I said before, I haven't seen the footage of the meeting, nor do I have any additional facts, but I'm not sure this rises to the level to which some folks have taken it.

If he was wrongly evicted, that was wrong.

Anonymous said...

Jen - what you said was

If he was wrongly ejected, that's, well, wrong. But I suspect this is much ado about nothing from the "Bart Lies" crowd.

Nothing in there that he deserves an apology.

Pike Voter

Anonymous said...

Look Jen, Wilson and all will defend Monroe, Bart, Haith and all even though they are wrong. They can't admit when their people do wrong, they just don't think it is possible.

They OWE the man an apology period.

Anonymous said...

Mayor Peterson and the CCC all received a letter via e-mail. The letter informed them of our intent if they didn’t get control of crime in Indy. A group of citizens were willing to campaign against them before the elections.
That is the nucleus of the “BART LIES!” group and the new, PAC Hoosiers for Honesty in Government.
If leadership in Indy had done their jobs or had listened we wouldn’t be doing what we are now. We believe that we are doing the right thing.
If being part of the “BART LIES!” group allows me to stand up for the rights of my fellow citizen, then I’m happy to be a part of this PAC. You can help too. Contact us at Hoosiers for Honesty in Government and be a “BART LIES!“ person too. The web site is, HoosierPAC.com

Anonymous said...

No, but making it seem like the worst thing that's ever happened in Marion County is a tad much.

The worst thing that happened in Marion County is Bart being elected, TWICE!!!!
He and his hinchmen has ruined this city in 8 years what the republicans tried to do for 32 years.
I guess they are more successful.

And Jen is HOT!!!!!!!!!!!

Where do I join the "Bart Lies" PAC?

Anonymous said...

"And Jen is HOT"

Must be a slow day in the "LIARS DEN". Jen has spent most of her day here trying to spread propaganda. What is it, nothing to do at democrat HQ?

Anonymous said...

"What is it, nothing to do at democrat HQ?"

How about giving a lecture on ethics?

Are we sure Jen or anyone at
democrat HQ are qualified to teach that subject?

Anonymous said...

If the Mayor and his handpicked County Chairman detest Haith so much then why in the hell is Haith working there? Who's running this town anyway, Monroe Gray and his assorted goons from the black mafia of Center Township or the Mayor? Who in the hell is running the Marion County Democratic Party?
There's a disaster a day happening in the Peterson camp and no one in that Party is accountable for anything during this election year.
Lord help the Democratic Party if and when a REAL scandal gets legs and starts to run which looks like a real possibility at this point.
If Peterson and O'Conner don't have the power to get rid of these idiots screwing up this campaign then WHO DOES?

Anonymous said...

Bart Peterson needs the black vote to stay in. He does not want to offend them. Julia Carson and the Ghetto Mafia do not approve of Mike O'Connor being county chairman. There is a quiet split of power in the party presently. It the fences aren't mended before November they know they will be defeated.

Anonymous said...

7:37, Peterson DOES NOT need the black vote to win. The blacks NEED Peterson to win.
If the black vote is that strong, which it really isn't, then Indianapolis would have a black Mayor by now. With 65% blacks in Center Township and 25% in the others the Carson crowd can't get a black mayor elected?
This is 2007 not 1967.

Anonymous said...

Aaron Haith needs to go. This is typical of the demos that are in charge now. They can not stand for anyone to disagree with them. If you do you are the bad guy. I hope the guy files a huge law suit against the city and Haith personally. Vote the demos out of office in November!!! They have no business in our city. They have destroyed it for too long now.

Anonymous said...

For JEN and those that want to see and hear what went on go here.

http://indianapolis.granicus.com/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3


Scroll over to the 2:45 min mark and watch from there until 2:48+ mark.

He starts speaking at the 2:45:44 mark. After the gentleman gets done speaking ( he spoke for 2 mins and 3 seconds ) they ask for his name - he gives it. You then see Mr. Haith get up to the microphone and tell the audience to limit the clapping.

At 2:48:24 you see 2 people walk from left to right to where the man sat down. It is hard to tell who they may be - you just see the pants. At 2:48:30 another person walks over also in dark pants. at 2:48:50 you see the person who spoke and the people who came over to where he was seated walk out from right to left.

At 2:48:55 you hear an audible disruption from the left side of the screen. Loud enough to make those in line look over to see what is happening.

Watch look and listen and come to your own conclusion as to why he was escorted out.

Pike Voter

Anonymous said...

That link should be

http://indianapolis.granicus.com
/ViewPublisher.php?view_id=3

Pike Voter