Friday, September 18, 2009

Is The City Of Indianapolis Foregoing Millions In Revenues To Help An Insider's Client?

Fellow blogger Paul Ogden raises some serious questions about the motive behind the Ballard administration's efforts to eliminate the job of Telecom and Video Services Agency Director Rick Maultra. He suggests it's a battle over whether the City should be collecting right-of-way fees from utilities which provide video services as provided by state law. Ogden claims the City is effectively foregoing as much as $10 million in revenues it could be collecting from utilities. The City argues the fees would simply be passed on to consumers if it is collected. Ogden disputes that claim. Regardless, we're talking about more than chump change here. In tough times, every dollar of revenue adds up. City-County Councilors should be asking questions of the administration, which hasn't hesitated to raise other fees that fall directly on Indianapolis residents. Are utilities like AT&T getting special treatment from the City as Ogden suggests because a political insider's law firm represents the giant utility? And if so, why?


Sean Shepard said...

The argument that the fees would just be passed on to consumers (of those companies products) is intellectually dishonest in that the alternative is that all taxpayers absorb some portion of the burden.

In this instance, my understanding is that we have public right of ways and roadways that must be maintained by the government, so long as that is the case, utilities should pay for maintenance of such or the reduction of life span they create when they tear up roads to lay cable, pipes, conduits, etc.

If that cost is passed on to their specific customers that seems more proper than corporations shifting that burden onto taxpayers.

Big Willy said...

I don't doubt that Paul is correct. Perhaps some one can refresh my memory: Didn't Mayor Goldsmith try to eliminate channel 16 and Rick Maultra's job?

Paul K. Ogden said...

Big Willy,

The history was actually in the previous post on my blog. Your memory is correct. The person behind Goldsmith's efforts back then was also Joe Loftus who was Deputy Mayor and lobbyist for the City and Ameritech (which later became AT&T)

Big Willy said...

Thank you. I just happened to be reading your blog when you posted. I probably should have read it first. Nonetheless, you're right. It stinks.