BlueIndyLLC was registered as a limited liability company with the Indiana Secretary of State's office by the law firm of Ice Miller on March 18, 2014, listing attorney Michael Millikan as its registered agent at Ice Miller's Indianapolis offices at One American Square. The filing indicates the company has managers. The front person for the company is Herve Muller, who is listed as the company's president. Muller's LinkedIn listing associates him with the Greater Atlanta area. Muller has served as vice president and general manager for Bollore Group's Blue Solutions since 2007, which is part of IER Group.
When BlueIndy, LLC applied for an encroachment license, which the Ballard administration granted the company to illegally park its cars on Washington Street, Muller listed the business address for BlueIndy, LLC as 1000 Industrial Park, Belton, Texas. The fees for that encroachment license totaling $30,576.00 were waived by the City. Why?
Last night, the Public Works Committee of the City-County Council approved a resolution on a 5-1 vote that requests the towing of Blue Indy's electric cars that are illegally parked in a no parking zone on Washington Street where they've been sitting for more than a year now. The City-County Council's attorney, Fred Biesecker, maintains the City lacked legal authority to permanently convert the no parking zone for Blue Indy's exclusive, for-profit use. The company plans to establish 1,000 parking spaces at 200 sites around the City for its electric car sharing business, many of which the Ballard administration has taken from the City's current public, on-street parking stock.
At some point, the City could be forced to give up much of the revenues it currently receives from Park Indy, the private company owned by ACS/Xerox that operates the City's parking meter assets, for its loss of revenues caused by the administration's decision to give those parking spaces to Blue Indy. Mayor Ballard raided $6 million from the parking meter fund into which those revenues are deposited to give to Blue Indy. Prime parking spaces have already been taken out of service in downtown, Broad Ripple and Fountain Square where power charging stations are being installed even though the City has not formally inked its agreement with Blue Indy. As of this week, the City's controller had still not signed the contract a deputy chief of staff in the mayor's office, David Rosenberg, signed with the company. How could all of these parking spaces have already been taken out of service and construction work commenced on the permanent infrastructure to support Blue Indy's for-profit business when the final agreement has not been signed, sealed and delivered?
UPDATE: You have to read this idiotic column by one of the Star's newer columnists, Suzette Hackney, who thinks it's silly for anyone to get worked up about all of the laws the administration has broken to benefit Blue Indy because it represents "cutting edge" technology and "trendsetting." Where does Gannett find so many journalists who are willing to pimp for crony capitalism? This gal might actually be worse than Erika Smith, if that's possible.
. . . So why all the controversy, political fighting and posturing? It seems silly that members of the City-County Council are stomping all over Mayor Greg Ballard's alternative-transportation initiative this late in the game. The mayor's desire to make the city more environmentally friendly appears sincere. Any concerns the councilors had with the program should have been raised long before now.
And any serious misgivings certainly have been negated by the councilors' threat to have some of the demonstration cars towed from the charging station on Washington Street. They were actually willing to stage a committee vote for that? How petty and embarrassing, especially in a city that revels in its reputation and time in the national spotlight . . .
But the benefits of car-sharing outweigh the hurt feelings some may have. It is unreasonable for the council to try to delay the implementation of the program with a burdensome franchise agreement, which would allow the body to charge a yearly fee for the length of the agreement and give oversight on future expansion. I don't believe they want oversight; they want to ensnarl the program in so much red tape that the cars are put back in the garage, so to speak.
But I want to live in city that is on the cutting edge of technology and trendsetting. I desire a city that attracts young professionals who want to live and work here, and feel comfortable doing so without owning a car. I want a city that enhances the quality of life for empty nesters who are moving back to the city from the suburbs.
Indianapolis could be all of that. Let's get these cars on the road.