Friday, July 20, 2007

Council To Issue Apology To Borgerding

The City-County Council's Administration and Finance Committee intends to issue a written apology to Jack Borgerding, who was ejected from last Monday's hearing on Mayor Bart Peterson's proposed 65% increase in the county option income tax moments after he delivered compelling public testimony in opposition to the tax increase according to an e-mail sent by the committee's chairman, Joanne Sanders. "I am sending him a letter of apology on behalf of the committee," Sanders wrote. "It's my understanding that the officer escorted him out not because of what he said at the podium but because of the interchange between him and the officer." Sanders said in the e-mail she viewed the video recording of the hearing, but she could not ascertain all of what occcurred from the tape. "I watched the tape as well because I wanted to see what went on," she wrote. "I could only see some movement behind whoever was speaking and then it was of individuals from the waist down. I could not pick up any audio on what was being said." "From my vantage point, it looked like people were approaching him to applaud his comments," she said.

Sanders insists she had nothing to do with Borgerding's removal from the meeting. "I have been contacted by a few people who believe that I ordered him out which I did not," Sanders said. Others like myself who have viewed the tape of Monday night's meeting could clearly discern the council's attorney, Aaron Haith, standing up and motioning to get someone's attention. Eyewitnesses recount that Haith was directing his communication to the police officer who escorted Borgerding out of the meeting. Haith was observed to say, "Get him." At that point, the officer and another man approached Borgerding, who was sitting in an aisle seat, and escorted him from the Assembly room after a brief exchange.

Following AI's call for a public apology earlier this week, at least one Democratic blogger accused Borgerding of misrepresenting his property tax bill to the committee, claiming he owned no property in Marion Co. according to county property tax records. Mr. Borgerding is in fact a neighbor of mine, who lives at 539 E. Vermont. Telephone records list that address as his home. Property tax records list the residence in the name of his spouse, Christine Fields.

Borgerding has attained folk hero status following his speech at Monday night's meeting among those protesting against property taxes. I noticed WTHR featured him in their lead story with a sound bite from his testimony as Pink Floyd's "Money" played in the background. The thrust of Borgerding's testimony was that the city found itself in the mess it is in today because it did not choose to place public safety first in the past when it made spending choices. Now, the council is asking us to raise taxes to pay for what should have been the city's first priority all along.


Anonymous said...

Where is Aaron Haith's apology? He's the one that issued the order.
Ms. Sanders should not be the one issuing an apology. It should come from Monroe Gray's council, Mr. Haith.

Has anyone heard any comment whatsoever from Haith?

I dare him to interfere with another citizen's right to free speech.

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Should Haith be fired? I personally find the man to be not only completely inept but also an abomination to the CCC.
Regardless of his relation to Monroe Gray, Haith needs to be asked politely to simply step down.
The damage is done, an apology from anyone on this council will not undo it.
I do not believe you've heard the last from of this, apology or no apology.

Anonymous said...

Trust me, many of the council Dems can't stand Haith. He is an embarrassment.

This apology is due from the person who ordered him out of the room. If that can't be assertained, Ms. Sanders is stepping forward as chair of the committee, which is appropriate. I take her at her word.

His testimony was powerful, but not folk-heroish. Only in blogosphere, and not widespread at that.

He is due the apology. I imagine, having heard him speak, he'll graciusly accept it and drop the matter. He seems like a true gentleman. Unlike Mr. Haith.

Anonymous said...

Again, the CCC, and the Mayor demonstrate their lack of ethics by not addressing the President (Gray) for all that has been shown to be questionable, and now Haith, where they even openly state this dislike. Ethics requires one to ACT on issues such as these, not just comment. Deal with them. Then people will sense that they can trust you. But not until.

Anonymous said...

2:05, you may be partislly right, but you have to have 15 votes to do anything on the council.

As the 25th floor knows all too well.

There aren't 15 votes to censure or fire Haith.

Hold on. It's coming.

I think Ms. Sanders's action is appropriate. She wasted no time investigating, even watching videotapes. She cannot determine who issued the order, and she's issuing an apology.

Tempers are heated on this issue and others right now. Ordering someone to be escorted sounds right up Haith's alley, but if cannot be proven, Ms. Sanders took the right action.

Anonymous said...

3:52. Fair pushback. However, the test is in following the actions backward to the source. Who escorted him out? Why? On whose direction? etc. Then the facts are friendly. Will our CCC leadership show the ethical will to do this. This is not something that happened in a vacuum.

indyernie said...

Ms. Sanders did apologize publicly during the meeting tonight .
However the statement that she issued via the e-mail still cast the illusion that Mr. B had been rude to the officer. That is untrue.
An apology needs to be issued for the action taken by Mr. Haith and for insinuating that Mr. B was anything less than a gentleman.

Anonymous said...

“3:52. Fair pushback. However, the test is in following the actions backward to the source.”

“ Who escorted him out?”

CCB security MCSD.


As of now unspecified. However Mr. Haith stated after the meeting it was in error.

“ On whose direction?”

Aaron Haith. This was witnessed by several in attendance Monday night. Some of the same were in attendance tonight and confirmed what was said and seen.

“etc. Then the facts are friendly.”

“ Will our CCC leadership show the ethical will to do this.”

Our CCC leadership has no ethics.

“ This is not something that happened in a vacuum.”

Doesn’t seem to matter.

Anonymous said...

Haith should not be an attorney!

What does the Disciplinary Committee of the Indiana Supreme Court say about an attorney depriving people of their basic constitutional rights in his offical capacity as an OFFICER OF THE COURT??????

Anonymous said...

The person who gave Haith (Monroe Gray) the authority to eject anyone petitioning the government for redress of his grievance from a public meeting is as GUILTY of the deprivation of rights as Haith, and must be held accountable!