Thursday, September 02, 2010

High-Flying Clark Sticks It To Indy Taxpayers

It's nothing but the best for Indianapolis Airport Authority CEO John Clark and you're paying for it. The high-flying John Clark spent four months of his first 14 months on the job as the airport authority's new CEO on out-of-state trips costing Indianapolis taxpayers $45,000 reports WTHR's Mary Milz. She's been tracking the comings and goings of Clark and has an eye popping story on what you're paying for to allow him to live the life of luxury he believes he is entitled to live. You spent $5,800 so he could attend the Super Bowl in Miami this year with several friends. You spent $1,100 to fly him down to Atlanta, where he is one of three finalists for a job he is applying for at Atlanta's airport, so he could watch the Indiana Pacers play the Hawks. You sent him on a golfing trip to Arizona where he stayed at the Waldorf Astoria and played two rounds of golf at $215 a pop. On a trip to New Orleans, you furnished him golf balls, a hat, golf glove and rented clubs for a round of golf.

Yes, it's nothing but the best for Clark when the taxpayers are picking up the tab. Although he earned a base salary of $270,000, you shelled out another $50,000 in reimbursements to him for expenses he billed the airport authority. He chooses hotels for his trips that typically cost at least $250 a night. He regularly bills you for expensive dinners at the Capitol Grille and Harry & Izzy's in downtown Indianapolis. Of course, his bills are not itemized. When Milz tried to track him down to ask him questions about the expenditures, the aloof Clark was conveniently unavailable. Clark expects you to feel he really sacrificed for you because he turned down a five-figure bonus the incredibly stupid board members offered him for a job NOT WELL DONE, while other airport authority employees saw their pay frozen and matching retirement benefits cut out. Clark is also also under investigation in Jacksonville, Florida for extravagant travel expenditures he billed taxpayers there when he served as head of their airport authority before coming to Indianapolis.

This is just another example of how Greg Ballard turned his back on the average working people of Indianapolis who put him in office by allowing such extravagant spending by the airport authority, his Public Safety Director,  the Capital Improvement Board, whose budget will increase 25% over 2 years if it gets what it has requested for its 2011 budget and, of course, his own generous travel allowance that permits him to take multiple overseas junkets. And don't forget all the free country club memberships, free sporting and concert tickets, gifts and other freebies Ballard has accepted himself since taking office that total at least $50,000. At the same time, city-county agencies offering essential services are forced to slash their budgets to cover a reduction of at least $80 million in income and property tax revenues.

12 comments:

Marycatherine Barton said...

Maybe Ballard is an agent of the NWO, and wants to destroy the middle class and bankrupt the city, so that we can be more indebted and easily enslaved. Seriously, although Mary Milz did a great job, but AI was the forum that first clued me in as to what a derelict CEO, Clark was, and would be.

Sean Shepard said...

I seem to recall some local activists or bloggers being really unhappy with Clark's selection. In fact, here at Advance Indiana in early 2009 (link: http://advanceindiana.blogspot.com/2009/03/ballards-airport-authority-selects.html ) his "high flying" ways were reported.

I also seem to recall a great many folks not being real pleased with Frank Straub as a potential selection to head up public safety in Indy.

For all of the flack some of the local bloggers (especially Gary here at AI), Republican outcasts, Libertarians and some of our more rational friends on the left get they very often are very good at seeing if appointees pass the "smell test".

And while I don't really have enough direct information or facts to have an opinion on Straub other than the original concerns that were brought to light by some local political activists and bloggers, and while I may not always agree with everything posted here at AI, the fact that local news was on the Clark story today should serve as some level of affirmation that good information can come from independent media and reporting.

Gary was on it (Clark and travel spending) over a year ago. Kudos.

Paul K. Ogden said...

SS,

There were and are red flags on Straub and Clark. People just chose to ignore it.

I don't get it. Gary Welsh reported on some behind the scenes stuff about Straub. Nobody questioned the truth of the facts presented which revealed huge character flaws. They just chose to ignore them.

It's the same with Clark. How could you look at what he did in Jacksonville and not see red flags and ask questions? Indy didn't do that though.

Downtown Indy said...

Cudos to WTHR for ferreting out Clark's little 135MPH Porche escapade last February.

Funny how it was all kept secret for so many months.

This guy is really a piece of work, isn't he?

Sean Shepard said...

@Paul. I think sometimes people like yourself and Gary get discounted because they just chalk it up to being "anti-administration" or sour grapes for not being one of the insiders. Yet, here are two good examples were it was just factual and on the right track not anti-anything.

It could just be hubris where the people in power and controlling the big money really think they know-it-all and that the local activists and bloggers don't have something to offer.

I'm still wondering how Ballard is going to pull off getting Peterson's 65% local income tax increase completely revoked per his campaign promise. ;-) He's got 3% off of it so far I think. 62 and counting?? Hard to do when you're continuing to hand out payoffs to local community organizations, the arts and socialized sports. So much for Republicans being against bail-outs. ;-)

Paul K. Ogden said...

SS,

Not only that, Ballard has supported tax increases. He supports the rental car tax increase, the hotel tax increase and supported a prpoposal to raise the food and beverage tax and the alchohol tax...all part of the CIB bailout. And think of all the fees the Mayor has supported increasing. During his campaign he counted fee increases as tax increases. Wonder what he will do now?

Sean Shepard said...

@PO

The increasing fees on things like Taxis and other businesses really struck a raw nerve with me. We should be getting rid of a lot of that kind of garbage not increasing the barriers to competition.

Jacobson said...

How about his speeding ticket in FL last year? 135mph?

Sean Shepard said...

Oh, come on, who hasn't cranked a car up over 130 MPH at least once? I'll give him a pass on that one (presuming it was on an open highway with no other traffic nearby - except the police officer [fail]).

Indy Student said...

I think you missed the point, Sean. I'm guessing he was using a rental car that we taxpayers paid for. If I got into a rental car my employer paid for and went up over 130 mph and got caught, I'm sure my private employer would've at least disciplined me in some way.

But Clark's boss, elected Mayor Ballard (representing the people), doesn't even know it happened!

Advance Indiana said...

He was in a Porche 911 when he got pulled over. I doubt it was a rental car.

Sean Shepard said...

Although. You can rent cars like that. Fairly common in parts of California, Florida, New York.