Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Ballard Blames Council For Rising Murder Rate

If some members of the Indianapolis City-County Council thought they already had a problem with Mayor Greg Ballard's relationship with the council, wait until they hear him blame the council for the problem with the city's rising crime rate. Ballard sat down with pretend journalist Abdul Hakim-Shabazz, who is actually a paid shill for Ballard, to discuss several issues.

During a discussion of the city's skyrocketing murder rate this year, Ballard brought up the need for better "intel" to combat the rising murder rate. Shabazz used that as a segue to discuss the crime prevention grant money the city doles out annually, which in my judgment has always been a complete waste of money from the day the program was started after the city hiked the local income tax rate 65% back in 2007 supposedly for public safety. Shabazz suggested to Ballard that a problem arose when the city contracted out the administration of the crime prevention grant program to the Indy Parks Foundation and Ballard ran with that notion.

Ballard told Shabazz that IMPD lacks "better prevention" efforts it needs to combat crime. Ballard claimed the crime prevention dollars have been "focused on re-entry instead of people on the streets gathering intel." According to Ballard, the problem only came about after he says the council "took it away from the mayor's office." "Ever since the council took it over, it has not been effective," he said. "The people who were helping the police on the street got nothing," Ballard said. Huh? How did the council take over the crime prevention grant program when control of it was given to the parks foundation? And isn't he the one who has been focused on re-entry efforts--even to the point of establishing an affirmative action plan to hire ex-offenders to fill city jobs?

Ballard unwittingly suggested he now controls the crime prevention grant money. What the mayor was talking about is the transfer of responsibility for administering the grants from the Indy Parks Foundation to the Central Indiana Community Foundation. Ballard recently signed a bipartisan ordinance passed by the council to that effect. The last I checked the mayor's office doesn't control the CICF. Ah, but Barnes & Thornburg does control the CICF and the firm, of course, controls the mayor's office.

On his power grab bill, SB 621, which is awaiting action by Gov. Mike Pence, Ballard says he has spoken to the governor a couple of times about his desire that he sign the legislation giving him more power at the expense of the council. Ballard said we "spent a long time putting this thing together, didn't just take it out of thin blue air here." "We looked at it for the right reasons and are trying to position Indianapolis for the long-term future, long-term health of the city." That's really what we told him . . . I believe this to be absolutely critical for the future of Indianapolis." But I thought you claimed you never asked for SB 621, Greg, when Sen. Young first introduced it? Now you admit that you "spent a long time putting this thing together?" He called Marion Co. Prosecutor and Sheriff's arguments against the bill on law enforcement grounds are just "silly arguments." He says the problem is the sheriff doesn't know how to stay within his budget.

At the same time he discussed how serious the city was going to have to get about cutting the budget, he's still backing his lame brained idea to make Indianapolis the cricket capital of the world by spending millions on a new sports facility to host international cricketing events. "All we're really doing is investing in parks." "I think I'm suppose to be investing in parks." "We're just building some fields to play these sports because there is no place to play these sports."

Check out Shabazz' full interview with Ballard by clicking here to remind yourself just how far this man has drifted from the guy who ran for mayor in 2007.


Downtown Indy said...

And there's almost no one around who will PLAY 'these sports' or who will WATCH these sports. Two points the mayor seems to have overlooked.

He didn't 'drift' after getting elected, he removed the mask. A bona fide reverse-Robin Hood.

CircleCityScribe said...

Rising murder rate couldn't be caused by lack of police officers and detectives, could it? -Since Ballard has not been replacing those lost to attrition and shown that public safety is on the back burner to a cricket field that nobody plays nor has any interest in watching.

CircleCityScribe said...

...and didn't Ballard think that the "Ten Point Coalition" would stop all violent crime? What's up with that???

After all, the Ten Point Coalition had a convicted sex offender as a member to help them stop the violence. Ballard's police chief even wrote a letter to the court on the sex-offender's behalf stating the sex-offender before the judge for a violation of his release "has become a successful outreach worker with Ten Point and is called upon by both community and law enforcement."
"He is a valuable 'asset' in our efforts to rid our city of violent crime, through his street knowledge and willingness to provide crisis intervention mediation and counseling on the streets of Indianapolis"

Who better to stop violent crime that using violent criminals?