Thursday, August 29, 2013

Ballard And GOP Chairman Attack Democratic Council Members For Voting Against More Tax, Borrow And Spend

I'm a stranger within the Republican Party. My party in Marion County is all for more taxes, more borrowing, more spending, and more crony capitalism for the corrupt pay-to-play contractors stuffing money in their pockets. Tonight, the Public Works Committee voted down Mayor Greg Ballard's plan to raise storm water fees on average for all property owners by nearly 50% after they were already doubled only a few short years ago, along with a permanent annual escalator to offset inflation, and to borrow at least another $350 million to fuel more public spending on projects being pushed by the pay-to-play contractors who stand to make millions from the issuance of bonds, and the performance of consulting and construction work. The Democrats on the committee voted in unison against the proposals pushed by the tax-and-spend mayor who pretends to be a Republican, while the two Republican members, Virginia Cain and Janice McHenry voted like liberal Democrats. The irony is that Councilor Cain voted against every tax and fee increase and new business regulation when Bart Peterson was mayor, and she now ranks as one of the most liberal tax and spend members on the council. Here's what our phony Republican mayor and our phony Republican county chairman had to say about Democrats voting like real Republicans:

Mayor Greg Ballard (R)(D):
“Tonight Democrats on the City-County Council turned their backs on every neighborhood in Indianapolis.  By placing politics ahead of the best interests of the community, they rejected a plan that would have provided sidewalks in many of our neighborhoods, repaved every one of our worst streets, made our bridges safer and fixed flooding problems in some of our poorest neighborhoods without an income or property tax increase.”   
 Marion Co. Republican Democrat Chairman Kyle Walker:
Indianapolis-City-County Council Democrats turned their back on Indianapolis residents tonight by rejecting a plan proposed by Mayor Greg Ballard to invest $700 million into neighborhood streets, sidewalks, bridges, and stormwater drainage projects.  The plan would have provided neighborhoods with $350 million in new sidewalks, street resurfacing, and bridge maintenance.  It also would have funded nearly $250 million to remedy stormwater drainage issues that plague thousands of homeowners and cost them thousands of dollars in annual repairs.  Mayor Ballard's proposal to improve neighborhoods would not have increased property or income taxes.
"City residents should be outraged by Council Democrats who continue to put partisan politics over the needs of our neighborhoods," said Marion County Republican Chairman Kyle Walker.  "Some residents have waited decades for sidewalks, street improvements and drainage relief - and Mayor Greg Ballard is trying to address those needs. Residents with street, sidewalk, bridge and drainage concerns should call the Democrat Councillors and tell them to stop choosing politics over the needs of our neighborhoods."
If Democrats continue to hold their position on these issues for more than a few weeks and not simply engage in political posturing, I will be entirely surprised. As we've come to learn, there is really no difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties in Indianapolis. They both yearn to raise taxes and fees, increase regulations and spend like drunken sailors. In Indianapolis, business owners can't even rely on the chamber of commerce to watch their back. Once again, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, which fully endorsed these tax, borrow and spend schemes, proved that it only represents businesses which rely on government contracts for their existence. Every other business owner can go straight to hell as far as this anti-business organization is concerned. A business owner who pays for a membership in their organization is cutting off his or her own head. Wake up.

By the way, members of the council should have caught the part about the original storm water bonds reaching maturity, which frees up more spending on storm water projects without raising fees. Those are little facts that are often not disclosed when city officials come with hat in hand seeking more money.

UPDATE: Fellow blogger Pat Andrews has an excellent analysis which demonstrates why this tax, borrow and spend mentality is self-defeating in the long run.


Had Enough Indy? said...

I know I don't count - but I caught the expiration date of the bonds. You are totally on point.

Thanks for covering this. I just caught channel 13's pretend coverage - a total regurgitation of the mayor's press release. Not exactly why I tune into nightly news to get. I call bullshit on their report and the mayor's (likely in the can ready to roll) press release.

DPW lined up CDCs with a pie-in-the-sky $500-$600 million list of to-do projects - knowing full well they could deliver on maybe half that in funds - and hoped to wrangle another tiny pittance tonight. They have a three year plan, which already has funding for over $215 million - ALREADY FUNDED BY THE COUNCIL AND TAXPAYERS. With the $27 million the Council saved taxpayers tonight, DPW still has hundreds of millions to spend on streets and sidewalks over the next 3 years.

The committee rejected a 30 year bond - to be repaid at $9 million per year - leaving a 'paltry' sum of $242 million for projects. If the mayor and DPW had their way, this would be a big payday for bond salesmen and bankers; a bad day for the next generation of taxpayers.

With the very sane, sensible, vote of the committee, the mayor "only" has $242 +/- million for 3 years - and the next generation or two gets another $250 million to spend, not on bankers and bond salesmen, but on actual streets and sidewalks.

I am totally disgusted with the branding, Madison avenue, untruth being sent out by Mayor Vaughn. This City deserves more than this administration is capable of delivering.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Um also - McHenry and Cain voted like current day republicans. A snippet of their comments will, at least, be illuminating. The coffee is burning.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Tax and spend Republican politicians are ruining Marion County. Only one or two of them are willing to reign in Ballard. Huge thanks to them and those Democrats who are putting people first. Don't let county government RUIN Marion County.