The money is not included in next year's budget for the CIB, but just like it did the last time it voted to give Simon $33.5 million over three years, it inked the deal and will start doling out the first round of cash to Simon before getting council approval. If the council turns it down, they'll be told that they will be blamed for Simon moving his NBA franchise to another city--even though his long-term lease with the City for the Fieldhouse imposed no such financial obligations on the City and subjected his team to multi-million dollar penalties if it terminated its 20-year lease before its end date. If our democratic government worked the way it should, the people would rise up in revolt and demand the resignations of every board member who voted for this new subsidy.
“Sometimes we just get in too big of a hurry,” CIB board member Milt Thompson said Monday afternoon. "An extension in the short term is the most prudent move we can make." The council's representative on the board, President Maggie Lewis issued this statement:
"Extending the Pacers agreement at this time allows us the opportunity to focus on the pressing issues at hand which is city governance. Issues such as public safety are a priority for us right now. Approving the agreement with the Pacers moves this off of our list and allows us to place all of our emphasis on matters that are pressing to our constituencies and will keep moving Indianapolis forward."The pressing issue before the council, Ms. Lewis, is Mayor Greg Ballard's line-item veto of critical funding needs in next year's budget for other agencies that provide basic services and the CIB's outrageous legal challenge to the $15 million PILOT payment that is clearly authorized under state law. You're voting to give away $10 million to the state's most wealthy citizen, Ms. Lewis, while the CIB professes an inability financially to pay the PILOT. You are telling us that Herb Simon's personal wealth is more important to you than public safety right now. If you cared in the least bit about our priorities, you would be telling Mr. Simon that we simply can no longer bear the cost of supporting his NBA franchise. As long as you and your fellow councilors are getting all the free tickets, comped meals and campaign contributions you want, that's all you really care about.
Until the FBI and the U.S. Attorney's Office in this town does something about all the bribes that are being paid to public officials in this City, the people of this city are screwed. What you are seeing on display is the most corrupt city in all of America where our city leaders are simply giving aways tens of millions of dollars to those who least need it at the same time they're telling ordinary citizens they will have to pay higher taxes if they want the basic services their government is required by law to provide to them. Unless you have money to stick in their pockets, you may as well go to hell as far as these corrupt city leaders are concerned.