Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Utility Consumer Counselor Agrees To 16% Citizens Water Rate Increase

The Office of Utility Consumer Counselor has always been a bit of a misnomer in the state of Indiana since the office in reality is controlled by the utility companies. Nobody gets a job of any significance in the agency without the sign-off of the utility lobbyists. So it comes as no surprise the OUCC would say okay to a 16% increase in Indianapolis water rates charged by Citizens Energy starting sometime next year.

Citizens earlier this year requested a 20% rate increase as part of the Hoosier two-step dance. A utility always asks for about 25% more in rate increases than it really wants, allowing the OUCC to come along later and agree to a reduced rate increase the utility actually wanted. This gives an ignorant public the impression the OUCC is actually representing its interests when nothing could be further from the truth.

This is the real legacy Mayor Greg Ballard left behind. He arranged a sale of the water company, the utility's third sale over a period of a decade, at a grossly-inflated price to Citizens Energy, which pretends to operate as a nonprofit, public benefit corporation. Ballard used the cash Citizens Energy went deeply in debt to pay the city for the utility to finance a streets and sidewalks for votes scam during his 2011 re-election campaign. His campaign contributors made off like bandits performing a half billion dollars on substandard public infrastructure projects that began crumbling in the first months and years following their completion.

The Indianapolis news media lied at every step to the public about what was really transpiring. It's just the way things are done in America's most corrupt city. Enjoy your latest double-digit increase in water rates. Another round of double-digit rate increases for sewer services is just around the corner, on top of those gigantic storm water fees with which you got socked on your property tax bills this year.


Anonymous said...

Pretty soon there won't be anybody left in Marion County to pay these inflated utilities. We all know people in the suburbs who have inexpensive bills. Instead of raping locals, wouldn't it make more sense to try to keep people here with attractively low utility costs? It seems like they only care about downtown and the neighborhoods north of 56th street. Everybody else can go to hell. Except that there are hundreds of thousands of us, and only about 30,000 people live right downtown. This is how the Detroitification of Indianapolis begins. As people leave, neighborhoods become irrevocably blighted, places are torn down and burn down, property values drop to nothing. They have dozens of homes every year that they can't sell for $1,000 in Detroit. It worries me that Hogsett is a northsider. I hope he realizes that downtown streets go south, east and west.

Anonymous said...

Greg Ballard should be in leg irons along with his enablers Kyle Walker and the wife who does not take Kyle's last name, Jennifer Hallowell Walker. Both Walkers made STACKS off Ballard and they are just as guilty as the lawless Ballard.

Anyone fortunate enough to live in the suburbs and exurbs beyond 465 knows that most of the contiguous counties are where youth, vibrancy, and families are located. Marion County is a dead County and the crooked Ballard and TJ and DB are all part an parcel of the selling of the soul of downtown Indy to the detriment of the entirety of Indianapolis.

That the City County Council was impotent and often unwilling to do anything concrete to stop this bloated emperor in his multiple illegal or unethical schemes and scams proves the Council should be disbanded. It serves no useful purpose unless you count voting itself raises a "purpose".

Fake Republican Greg Ballard has done more to harm Marion County voters and taxpayers than may ever be able to be rectified. All for the greed of a dollar and a country club membership or another phony world tour.

Anonymous said...

Great comments Anon 7:22 and 11:15. The exodus from Marion County continues unabated. For someone like me who was always puzzled by the whole "Indy is Awesome" meme, it's sweet indeed. Ballard is the face of this failure but it is far more than just him. It is obvious that he is just a tool, a guy who has come to believe he's smarter than he actually is. It will be interesting to see if he can parlay his past into something better from a financial and prestige perspective. There's always demand for idiots who do what they're told, so I wouldn't put it past him.

The simple truth is that Indy is America's most failed city. People in Detroit know how bad it is and they've actually turned the corner. Good things are happening in Motown for the first time after a 50 year beatdown. Not here. There's nothing I can point to in Marion County that isn't more than empty window dressing. There's no commitment to any of what they're doing. It's all just about image and the message they want to get out. They're that vapid and shallow.

The proof is in the pudding, downtown boosters. The cabal of "leaders" who are building downtown are feeding on the corpse of Center Township. If you're thinking of making a commitment to this city, please understand this. There are only two types of people investing in Indianapolis...1. The insiders who get kickbacks and 2. The ignorant. No prudent person in possession of the facts would risk his or her money in such a corrupt, broken city. The good news is that it becomes more apparent by the day. Indy->America's Epic Fail.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:22 Not so true. Indy is just catching up with Lawrence. We have been gouged on water bills for a long time. Why Schneider and his cronies didn't go to prison is beyond me.

Anon 11:15 This is what really baffles me. I always thought that in order to obligate any money, that the mayor had to have it pre-approved by the council. How can Ballard (I won't call him mayor or Lt. Col, doesn't deserve that prestige title) spend 12 million on the justice center project with no pre-approved obligation? Why didn't the council sue Ballard personally or his bonding company for the 12 million? I am not an attorney but I always thought elected officials with fudiciary responsibilities had to bonded for that reason?

Gary, have you heard what happened in Lawrence 3 days after the election? Supposedly a major computer crash that is so bad, everything is having to be done on paper. No water bills, manual invoices, manual payments, etc. 3 days after Jessup lost!

I will be retiring soon and will be selling my 3,800 Sq ft home in Lawrence and get the hell out of Marion county. I'm sure there are crooked politicians and insiders in nearby counties, they just don't flaunt it like Marion County or Carmel, so no, Hamilton County will not be my new county of residence either.

As I sit here on 12/31/15, I am wondering what time the shredding session began on the 25th floor?

Happy New Years all and let the new screwing begin!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is Anon 11:15 to Anon 10:59: I happen to believe one crucial reason former Lawrence Mayor Tom Schneider (R) never want to prison was due to the former Lawrence mayor's political alliance with GOP hatchet man attorney David Brooks and with David's wife attorney Susan Brooks, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana at the time. (Hubby David Brooks would later engineer wife Susan Brooks to the Congressional Seat for the 5th District). The other crucial reason Tom Schneider never went to prison was "Ice Miller". Those around and smart to the political corruption surrounding the sale of the Lawrence water company to political cronies ultimately making the "investors" very, very wealthy know exactly what that means.

guy77money said...

Gary here is exactly what a vice president of Citizens said to me. We will ask for a gas increase in year one, then a water increase in year two, a steam increase in year three and a sewer increase in year four. Then the process starts over again. Never a year without a increase. What a racket.Not sure if it's in that exact order but that's what happening.

Anonymous said...

The only mayor who will exceed Mayor Ballard in corruption will be Mayor Hogsett.