Thursday, May 13, 2010

A Reversal Of Roles For Kennedy

Five years ago, Deputy Mayor Melina Kennedy was defending the administration of Mayor Bart Peterson against charges that his administration was taxing and spending too much, and that the budget process lacked transparency. Kennedy, an attorney for Baker & Daniels and candidate for mayor in 2011, is now asking the same questions of Mayor Greg Ballard in response to his announcement that he will provide a short-term funding solution to prevent the closure of six libraries at a cost of over $3 million a year. "I call on Mayor Ballard to open up the books," Kennedy says in a press release. "I call on the Mayor to explain how it is he has $170 million more than he said he needed to run this city, continues to raise fees and taxes, but until a loud public outcry, he stayed silent about the potential closing of libraries," she continues. I would like an answer to her questions as well, but I would also like her to explain her position on the proposed sale of the utilities, for which her law firm has been hired to handle on the part of the City. How much is her law firm being paid and does she support the deal her colleagues wrote that will pass on the largest tax increase in Indianapolis history in the form of higher rates?

5 comments:

Indy Student said...

Some Democratic bloggers out there are saying she isn't talking about the water utility sale BECAUSE of B&D's involvement. Something concerning lawyers and ethics. Your take on that?

On another note, I will be very disappointed if Melina Kennedy gets the Democrat nomination in 2011. I don't want a Peterson 2.0 administration.

Advance Indiana said...

If Kennedy can't speak about one of the most important issues facing this city because of a conflict of interest, then she shouldn't be a candidate for office in the beginning. The bottom line is that Kennedy will govern no differently than Ballard or Peterson, or Goldsmith etc. It's the same people calling the shots and lining up deals that put money in their pockets at a huge expense to taxpayers. The same firms will simply switch out the Rs sitting at the table and replace them with Ds sitting at the table. Ballard promised us this would change. Ballard also promised to stop spending so much money on outside law firms. His corporation counsel's office is now spending as much money on them as Peterson did to repay them for all of those campaign contributions.

Marycatherine Barton said...

We all fervently wish Kennedy, as D. candidate for Mayor of Indianapolis, would answer the pertinenet questions you have asked of her in this post, while hoping that she will continue to challenge the mayor, on the public's behalf.

Lawyer said...

Hey, she is bound by the rules of ethics while employed at B&D. It would be very easy and very popular for her to speak ill of her law firm's clients. But she is wisely keeping silent, saying nothing bad and nothing good.

Now, Ryan Vaugh on the other hand - that is a whole other story . . .

Advance Indiana said...

You confirm my point, Lawyer, she has to choose between being a candidate and working for that law firm. Ryan Vaughn chose to move to a law firm that invited all sorts of conflicts. He is supposed to be the leader of the independent branch of municipal government. Yet, the professional rules prohibit him from criticizing Ballard and his administration because his law firm performs legal work the City. I should point out that it didn't stop Vaughn from sponsoring the ordinance that unlawfully withheld the coroner's salary, which wound up costing the taxpayers dearly after the coroner sued. Vaughn's firm has been paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to represent the coroner's office in litigation.