Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Ballard Administration Makes Payoffs To Minority Businesses To Move TIF Plan Forward

Councilor Vop Osili
We've told you all along how the Ballard administration has fabricated lie upon lie about how certain economic development projects will not occur unless property is added to downtown TIF districts that could permanently remove in excess of one hundred million in assessed valuation from the property tax rolls that would otherwise benefit other taxing districts. The real purpose of the expansion is to divert property tax revenues in order to finance multi-million dollar subsidies to pay-to-play contractors who have lavished campaign contributions, jobs and gifts on those who support their corrupt efforts. Democratic councilors have been shaking down the Ballard administration for their fair share of payoffs if the expansion occurs. Councilor Vop Osili, a minority business contractor who got rich off government contracts doled out to him simply because of his MBE status, won payoffs to minority businesses in order to secure passage of the measure. The approval came after Councilor Osili brought up the measure, even though it was not on the council's agenda. Councilor Steve Talley, who chairs the committee, adjourned the meeting, but the remaining corrupt councilors, who have all been bought off by the pay-to-play contractors, voted to move the measure to the full council. From the Star's Jon Murray:

But the ice thawed Monday after the administration reached an agreement with Democratic council members Vop Osili and Joseph Simpson. They represent districts near those proposed new development zones.
In a newly released memo outlining the agreement, Deron Kintner, Ballard’s new deputy mayor for economic development, commits to tapping $13.5 million from city economic development funds for three loan and workforce training programs.
The committee also amended the proposal to require some local hiring by contractors on new projects and to promote minority employment.
“It adds opportunity for all participants in the community,” Osili said after the meeting, including for workers who could benefit from new jobs if they received proper training.
Going into Monday’s Metropolitan and Economic Committee meeting in the City-County Building, the disputed measure wasn’t even on the agenda.
But Osili and two other Democrats spurned Talley and supported sending the proposal to the full council, making a final vote possible Sept. 17 . . .
Monday night, Osili brought up the languishing proposal just as Talley was preparing to adjourn the meeting about 7 p.m. . . .
When Talley left the meeting, Mary Moriarty Adams, the committee’s ranking Democrat, took control. She also voted to advance the proposal, as did Democrat Zach Adamson and Republicans Jeff Miller and Ginny Cain.
Democrat Leroy Robinson voted no. Adamson, while voting yes to move the measure forward, said he was undecided on his ultimate vote.
Simpson spoke in favor of the proposal but isn’t on that committee.
The downtown mafia is pushing the TIF district expansion in order to replenish the slush funds controlled by the mayor, which can be spent without any council oversight unlike other government revenues. TIF districts already comprise 10% of the county's tax base and siphon off more than $100 million annually in property tax revenues. Many of the TIF districts are insolvent and rely on bailout funds from other TIF districts and other city revenues to operate. School districts, in particular, which rely heavily on property tax revenues, are being starved of vital revenues so payoffs in the forms of huge public subsidies for private development projects can be paid to those who make contributions and pay bribes to corrupt local government officials who could care less about the public good. Until the people rise up in revolution, they will continue to see their hard-earned tax dollars being diverted to the pockets of the most corrupt people who occupy the community instead of paying for public services.

The Democratic-controlled council wasted months studying TIF districts with the promise of bringing about real reforms in this area. It was all a big lie. Nothing is going to be done. In one fell swoop, a dire problem is being turned into a fiscal nightmare. Taxpayers are going to be faced with monumental tax increases or massive cuts in basic city services if this TIF proposal goes forward. There is absolutely no transparency in Indianapolis' budget. The downtown mafia has created a morass of shell games with city tax dollars that are beyond the relatively low I.Q. of most councilors, who are more concerned about who is going to buy their next steak dinner at St. Elmo's or provide them free tickets to a Pacers or Colts game than doing the people's business.

On a final note, I checked the city's lobbyist database last night. There are only 33 individuals currently registered to lobby. Despite intense lobbying efforts of councilors to approve the TIF district expansion, not one person is registered to lobby on this issue, which just goes to show that the city's lobbying law is being blatantly ignored because there are no penal measures for those who engage in illegal lobbying efforts. And guess who has hired a bunch of lobbyists to hire for more subsidies? Why yes, it's your Indiana Pacers. Yes, billionaire Herb Simon will do whatever it takes to cajole councilors into going along with giving him tens of millions in additional public subsidies for his NBA franchise on top of what he's already received, and they'll do it. None of them care about you and the quality of services you receive for the taxes you pay.

UPDATE: Fellow blogger Pat Andrew has uploaded video at her blog that shows what sleazebags you've elected to the city council who will do anything to reward the most corrupt people in your community. Councilor Talley should be applauded for his transparency in adjourning the committee once it had concluded the work on its posted agenda, while Councilors Adams, Adamson, Cain, Miller and Robinson prove just how far they are willing to go to carry out the heist of public tax dollars after the lights had gone out on the committee's work for the day to prevent any public testimony.


Citizen Kane said...

I hate my councilor; she is not only corrupt, she is not that bright - oh, I guess that makes her the same as all of the other councilors - my bad.

Both parties would rather steal now, because they always believe that in the end, they will be allowed to raise taxes and continue stealing.

Only a revolution will change anything.

varangianguard said...

I find it difficult to believe that the City/County does not have some specific policies against "dating" a subordinate.

artfuggins said...

That sound you hear is the thud of Councilor Vop Osili's chances to get the Democratic nomination for Mayor in 2015.

varangianguard said...

oops. somehow ended up posting in the wrong post.