Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Auditor Attempts To Block Ballard From Illegally Wiring $6 Million To Blue Indy
WISH-TV is reporting that Mayor Greg Ballard's office illegally initiated a $6 million wire transfer from city accounts to a Regions Bank escrow account for the benefit of Blue Indy without first obtaining Marion Co. Auditor Julie Voorhies' authorization and without an appropriation made by the City-County Council for that purpose. Voohies sent a letter to Regions Bank advising it the administration had not followed Indiana law and requesting that it freeze the account.
The Ballard administration attempted to circumvent the clearly-established legal requirements by having the rubber-stamp Board of Public Works approve a $6 million payment from excess funds it says was already appropriated in this year's budget from several accounts, including the city's parking meter fund and not spent for other purposes within its budget. The council insists the Department of Public Works' current appropriation authority does not authorize such an expenditure.
WISH-TV's Bennett Haeberle has a hilarious conversation with two of my neighbors, Helen and Bobby Small, who had twice unsuccessfully attempted to test drive a Blue Indy car. Helen explained to Haeberle that Blue Indy has no local call center to support the service and when she tried to communicate at one of the electric car sharing service's kiosks via Internet satellite hook-up to Blue Indy support personnel in Paris, France to sign up for the service, the connection froze and prevented her from completing the transaction. I think I've only seen three of these cars in use in the downtown area since the service went live on September 2, and I'm unsure whether the cars were being driven by a Blue Indy employee.