Mayor Greg Ballard will lead a delegation of business and community leaders to Europe next week in search of jobs and manufacturing technology to benefit the city and help grow its motorsports industry. The delegation will meet with business leaders, government officials, and researchers in Cologne, Germany and the UK from November 14 through November 23.So who is travelling on the junket to Europe with Mayor Ballard put together by the Indianapolis Economic Development Corp.? His wife, Winnie, will naturally accompany him as will one of his security guards. His director of International and Cultural Affairs, Carolin Requiz Smith, will make the trip. Note to Mayor Ballard: they don't speak Spanish in either the U.K. or Germany. A big city contractor and political contributor, Ersal Ozdemir of Keystone Construction, will make the trip. An attorney for Stewart & Irwin, Scott Treadway, is making the trip. He's the guy who used to handle all of that costly Central Library construction litigation over at Tabbert Hahn before moving to Stewart & Irwin. I'm at a loss to understand his inclusion on the trip. And yet another city contractor and political contributor, Mak Knowles of American Structurepoint, is taking the trip. That's the same company that's done such a swell job managing costs on the City of Carmel's Keystone Avenue roundabouts project. I hope Mayor Ballard and his wife Winnie enjoy their free European vacation with their new found fat cat friends. It's quite comforting knowing what his real priorities are, eh?
“It is imperative that we make every effort to boost our economic development opportunities and grow our industries right here in Indianapolis,” said Mayor Ballard. “We undoubtedly compete globally, and I’m optimistic that this mission will not only create opportunities for economic growth here but will lead the way to enhanced partnerships in the motorsports industry worldwide.”
The Mayor will first meet with local leaders in Cologne, Germany, one of Indianapolis’ Sister Cities in an effort to enhance the already growing partnerships with local and international businesses based in the city. The Sister City program aims to foster working relationships between Indianapolis and the international community in an effort to grow industry and enhance cultural and education opportunities globally.
In the UK, the goal of the trip is to create permanent economic, social, and cultural linkages between Indianapolis and the motorsports valley area of England. The delegation will work to create partnerships with UK based motorsport companies - including manufacturing, retail, research, race shops, promotions, etc. - in order to build on Indianapolis’ and the UK’s respective reputations as leaders in the motorsports industry.
“As one of the top motorsports cities in the United States, it is important to continue to build relationships, create partnerships, and exchange information and ideas with companies around the world that are part of this exciting industry. We believe these types of efforts will breed jobs through attraction of new companies to Indianapolis and new opportunities for our existing companies,” said Michael Young, Motorsports Industry Director, at Indianapolis Economic Development, Inc.
The delegation will meet with various companies including Manard Competition Technologies, Aston Martin and Warwick Manufacturing. In addition, the city will look to establish a Sister City relationship focusing on motorsports exchange.
Saturday, November 14, 2009
Ballard Taking Another Junket
He's been in office less than two years, and that's been long enough for us to discover who the real Greg Ballard is. He's not a man of the people. He's a typical politician using his office for personal gain. When he's not selling private dinners with him and his wife at St. Elmo's to well-heeled political contributors interested in city contracts, he's sitting in front row, free seats at a Pacers game and concerts at Conseco Fieldhouse or chowing down the buffet food in his Lucas Oil Stadium suite at a Colts game. Unsatisfied with the free country club memberships worth tens of thousands of dollars bestowed upon him since becoming mayor, he takes in as many junkets as possible to travel outside our city and around the world at other people's expense. He's taken junkets to two Super Bowl games, Asia and South America. And now it's time for a European vacation before the holiday season arrives. A press release from the Mayor's office tells us about his latest junket: