Lathrop defended the continued service of another board member, Jay K. Potesta, who has had spotty attendance at recent CIB meetings. Potesta is assistant director of government affairs for the Sheet Metal Workers International Association--based in Washington, D.C.Our Republicans friends at the State House and the City-County Building have cut a deal with Potesta's union to give them seats on key boards you see to get unlikely union endorsements for Republican candidates like Ballard and Gov. Daniels. To hell with what is in the public's interest or whether their union supports anything remotely similar to the beliefs held by traditional Republicans. As long as we ensure full employment for their card-carrying union members on publicly-financed projects and continue to pay unfairly high wages for those projects, the union will even endorse a Republican. What do you want to bet both Ballard and Daniels will publicly oppose right to work legislation being pushed at the State House by some Republican lawmakers? And let's not forget that candidate Ballard four years ago promised not to appoint lobbyists to city boards--another one of his many broken promises.
He travels to Washington on a consistent basis for work, Lathrop said. But she noted that Potesta still maintains a home and pays taxes in Indianapolis. He also serves on the Ports of Indiana Commission.
The column also notes the departure of Paul Okeson from the board, who traded his job as chief of staff to a minority contractor that has been making off like a bandit under the Ballard administration, Keystone Construction. "Okeson, the board's treasurer, says the timing was right to leave because the CIB has mostly resolved serious financial difficulties and several other issues--including reaching a financial assistance deal with the Indiana Pacers--that he had begun to address while working for the mayor," the column reports. Translated, Keystone Construction is about to be rewarded again by Okeson's actions while serving on the CIB just like it was while he served as Ballard's chief of staff and he needed to put a little distance between the CIB and his employer given the continued presence of FBI agents who have been probing public corruption in Indianapolis. We wouldn't want his ties to a city contractor becoming an issue in this year's mayoral election, would we?
UPDATE: I neglected to mention Ballard plans to appoint former BMV and Workforce Development Commissioner Ron Stiver to take Okeson's place on the board. Stiver is an executive with Clarian. Ballard was no doubt ordered by Bob Grand to appoint Stiver so he would have another stooge on the board to continue to control it as if he were still running the board himself.