Wednesday, August 29, 2012
Osili On TIF Vote: "I Ain't Got A Nickel In That Dime"
Osili and Simpson fed Amos and his audience a load of crap about how this TIF expansion is going to help the poorest of blacks and the chronically unemployed. If you believe that, then I've got a bridge up in Brooklyn that I will sell you. None of those people will benefit one iota. They've never benefited from the more than $100 million annually the current TIF districts are consuming that would have otherwise been available to fund public safety, schools, libraries and public transportation, and they won't under this plan. If your idea of helping your community is to put more money into a minority businessman who is already driving around in a Bentley, then this is the plan for you. Don't believe me? Just look at where all the money has gone to date. It goes directly into the pockets of the wealthiest, most politically-connected people in the community who could have gone down to a bank and borrowed the money if they wanted to undertake one of these projects. TIF districts were never intended to be used to redevelop areas that would have been redeveloped or developed in the normal course of events; they were intended to be used in severely blighted areas with high rates of unemployment. Indianapolis has never targeted the use of TIFs in this manner, and the areas proposed to be expanded now include already developed or booming areas of downtown, or areas on the fringes of downtown that can be easily redeveloped because of the already-developed neighborhoods they adjoin. And they certainly were never intended to give multi-million dollar public subsidies to multi-millionaire developers. Only a fool would buy any of the crap that Osili and Simpson spewed on the air this afternoon. If you have the stomach for it, click here to listen to it.
At the very tail end of the audio, you will hear Osili state that Monday night's meeting satisfied the public notice requirement provided by law. What he didn't tell you is that the agenda made no mention of the TIF proposals being heard so that members of the public were put on notice that the resolutions would be heard and have an opportunity to ask questions and comment on them. The remaining council members, including Osili and Simpson, took up the matter after the committee's chairman, Steve Talley, had gaveled the meeting adjourned and left the room. After the video went off on WCTY for the folks watching at home, Osili and company carried out their dirty deed. That was intentional, and he knows it. Osili, Simpson and all of the other councilors who participated in Monday night's charade should be holding their heads in shame for the disregard they've shown to the public in being heard on this critical issue. In a few weeks, they're going to be deciding how much to cut the police and fire department budgets, city parks, and other agencies providing basic services. The record will show that they chose to line the pockets of those most able to take care of themselves at a time when those with so little who need the help most are left standing in the cold.