Sunday, September 09, 2012
Star Plays Catch Up On Carmel's Shaky Finances
Last month, I told you about how the Star and the IBJ had been guilty of sugar-coating the serious financial problems the City of Carmel faces because of questionable borrowing practices of the Carmel Redevelopment Commission that have been likened to borrowing money on a credit card, which permitted Mayor James Brainard to circumvent city council approval to finance the ambitious Palladium, Performing Arts Center and City Center projects costing nearly $300 million. Council President Rick Sharp explained the mechanisms that Brainard and the RDC used to allow the RDC to run up unsustainable debt without council scrutiny that the council must now take charge of to avoid a default on debt the city is obligated to repay. The Star's Chris Sikich, to his credit, has a comprehensive story this weekend titled, "City of Carmel has run up unsustainable debt," that retraces the actions of Mayor Brainard and the Carmel Redevelopment Commission that led the current financial debacle the City now faces. IndyStar.com also has uploaded this useful video presentation by Sikich to help simplify the explanation of how Brainard found what has been described as a loophole in the law. I would still argue with the legality of this so-called loophole, which Attorney General Greg Zoeller disappointingly opined was legal.