Monday, January 12, 2009

Pryor Wants To Give More CIB Control To Service Industry

Anyone who has studied Indianapolis' Capital Improvement Board has figured out that it essentially operates for the benefit of the City's hotel and convention industry. The CIB appropriates tens of millions annually to promote the ICVA. Well, a newly-elected Indianapolis legislator, career government employee Cherish Pryor (D-Indianapolis), believes those same people should have more say over control of the CIB.

Pryor has introduced HB 1156, which would expand the CIB's board from nine members to 11 members, requiring that the two additional members be appointed by the Greater Indianapolis Hotel and Lodging Association and the Indiana Restaurant Association. Because the hotels and restaurants collect sales taxes which benefit the CIB, they believe they should have total control over the expenditure of those tax dollars. Currently, the mayor appoints six of the members, two are appointed by the county commissioners and one member of the City-County Council serves.

All of the current members are insiders that have something in the game. Mayor Ballard put Barnes & Thornburg's Bob Grand in charge of the CIB despite numerous conflicts of interest he carries with him. CCC President Bob Cockrum, who represents the council on the CIB, has a son with a financial interest in the construction of the new Marriott convention hotel. None of the current members represent ordinary taxpayers.

That a career government employee like Pryor would introduce such an awful piece of legislation in her first year in office should come as no surprise. Talk about delivering the middle finger to the taxpayers of this county again. I can't wait for the dreaded bailout bill for Lucas Oil Stadium that's bound to pop up any day now. Mayor Greg Ballard sure as hell better not be supporting this legislation.


Paul K. Ogden said...

Actually Cherish Pryor introduced a resolution against the CIB's acution of RCA Dome property in the dome to benefit a private company, i.e. the Sports Corporation. She was one of the few who stuck out their necks on that issue.

Advance Indiana said...

You call that sticking out your neck, Paul? I'm appalled that you wouldn't find this legislation an outrage. That auction money is peanuts compared to the dollars being spent year in and year out for the City's convention industry with those tax dollars.