Saturday, April 23, 2016

Latest Indianapolis Parking Meter Report Proves Privatization Is A Public Rip-Off

Watching a recent meeting of the Public Works Committee of the Indianapolis City-County Council where members received a 2015 report on the revenues generated from the privatized parking meter assets, one would have gotten the impression the report was all good news. As the council members read over the report and discussed it with DPW Director Lori Miser, they were careful not to discuss the numbers out loud so the viewing public could understand what they were actually reading. The council members seemed thrilled with the report, but after obtaining a copy of it, Advance Indiana doesn't think the numbers look so great.

Total parking meter revenues in 2015 came in at $9.96 million, or roughly the same as what they generated in 2014. The City's share of the total revenues was pegged at $3.7 million; however, there is the matter of waived revenue. Under the terms of the 50-year parking meter lease with ParkIndy, the City is required to reimburse the private operator when meters are taken out of use for purposes other than civic-sponsored events. That provision of the lease agreement allowed the private operator to capture $266,831.00 of the revenues otherwise payable to the City, which means the City actually netted less than $3.5 million from the parking meters compared to the nearly $6.5 million the private operator pocketed. The City netted more than $3.3 million in 2014.

When the City originally privatized the parking meter assets, the private operator paid an initial $20 million concession fee to the City for the 50-year lease. As you may recall, about a third of that amount got kicked back to Ersal Ozdemir's Keystone Construction to build a new mixed use parking garage in Broad Ripple in exchange for all of the campaign contributions he showered on former Mayor Greg Ballard. The parking meter fund is supposed to be used for sidewalks and infrastructure improvements in the area where parking meters are located. So where was the more than $6 million paid out of the fund spent this past year?

You'll be happy to know that the largest expenditure from the fund went to Bollore's Blue Indy, that illegal and corrupt exclusive, electric car sharing business our former mayor awarded to the French-owned company as another kickback scheme for his corrupt cronies. Blue Indy received $2.757 million from the fund of the $6 million the City committed to awarding the company. The balance came from the Rebuild Indy fund. The fund also kicked back nearly a half million dollars to cover maintenance expenses on Georgia Street, the city street-turned private venue that is operated by Downtown Indy under a lease agreement that apparently allows the nonprofit to pocket all of the revenues while the parking meter fund is tapped to cover its maintenance expenses.

The City's parking meter fund also spent about $719,000 in sidewalk improvements for Milhaus Properties' private development project at the site of the old Bank One operations center. The fund also was tapped for $425,000 on improvements for three segments of the Cultural Trail along Washington Street, Alabama Street and Virginia Avenue. Over $521,000 was spent on street, curb and sidewalk improvements along Pennsylvania and Alabama Streets. Over $100,000 was spent on a study to determine appropriate timing for left turns/pedestrian crossings within the mile square. Over $110,000 was paid to attorney Robert Glennon in an unsuccessful attempt to obtain approval from the IURC in an IPL rate tariff case for LED street light conversion. Walker Research got paid $75,000 to conduct a parking study for Downtown Indy. About $30,000 was funded for streetscape improvements around the Artisty, Cummins and Flaherty & Collins 360 Market project. So I guess council members were so happy with the revenue report because their campaign contributors were being taken care of, even if the taxpaying public is not.


Anonymous said...

THANK YOU, Gary. Absolutely stellar reporting that Indianapolis' overtaxed, hardworking voters will NEVER be provided by local broadcast or local print media- which is not much "local"-owned.

THANK YOU, worthless {WORTHLESS!!!} Indianapolis City County Councilors for the corruption you allowed to occur over and over again under crooked ex-mayor RINO REPUBLICAN Greg Ballard. Tell us all again exactly why Indianapolis taxpayers have a City County Council???

THANK YOU, third rate University of Indianapolis, for paying and associating with the utterly corrupt and unethical Greg Ballard as a Visiting Fellow of the Institute for Civic Leadership & Mayoral Archives.

THANK YOU, Terry Curry and Joe Hogsett, for repeatedly turning a blind eye to the theft of the peoples's assets under RINO REPUBLICAN Greg Ballard... enabled for eight too-long years by Kyle Walker and his wife Jennifer Hallowell Walker.

THANK YOU, Duh Star and the moronic editorial group {TS in particular, MT always] for the stomach turning support you gave these crooks for eight too-long years over the best interests of the people.

I have little doubt the career politicians like Adamson, Miller, Osili, McHenry, Pfisterer, Hunter and Moriarty Adams (both mercifully ret.)- to name only a few- more interested in personal power, personal privilege, and payola will continue to deny their culpability in the illegal largess that is Indianapolis Hoosier politics during the Ballard era of scam and scandal. There was not one Councilor who could actually lead and create the resistance against lawlessness... other than moan how their ineffective opposition kept their hands clean or to come up with sure-to-fail crackpot ideas like "franchise fees" to stop Greg Ballard's illegal monopoly.

Let's not forget the very highly paid RV, former COS under uber-crook Ballard... doesn't RV always seems to be conveniently moved out of the way by the powers-that-be... safe from the bubbling taint of corruption he, too, deserves... so that RV is available to be used in future days in all sorts of dastardly ways to benefit crony political corruption?

Anonymous said...

Tadd Miller made out like a bandit. He's learned quite well from Ersal Ozdemir; Miller's showered Democrat and Republican Councilors [and other candidates supported by the machines] with "support".

I have to agree... "So I guess council members were so happy with the revenue report because their campaign contributors were being taken care of, even if the taxpaying public is not."

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 5:46, lets not forget the people most responsible for this. Thank you dumb ass Indianapolis Voters. Your ignorance has caused these people to rip us off. You deserve the city you get. Three more years and I am out of here.

Anonymous said...

It appears most of the money from the parking meter fund is finding its way back into the hands of private developers and contractors rather than public infrastructure improvements. It looks like another TIF slush fund.

Flogger said...

Ersal Ozdemir is on the Board of Trustees for Univ. of Indianapolis.

Anonymous said...

Hey Anon 6:36, We need to start an Indy Expats club. I'm leaving, too...thankfully much sooner than in 3 years. In fact, the truck is at the door, so to speak. I've been ostracized by my Hoosier friends who all like to think exactly alike. They tell me that the grass isn't greener, that it's like this everywhere, but I mean how would they know? They've only been to Orlando, Gatlinburg and Myrtle Beach. While there are levels of corruption everywhere, it certainly isn't "like this" everywhere. Still, we all tell ourselves little lies to make our own misery more palatable. Think about it. Indy Expats. With Facebook and the like it would be easy. We could have an annual bash somewhere...just not Orlando, Gatlinburg or Myrtle Beach.

Anonymous said...

Indianapolis residents aren't "dumb." We just have a corruption problem. We could stop it if we wanted to. But there isn't political will to do that. Internationally, many things have worked to decrease corruption. We could require people to live in Marion County in order to work for the city/county or do business with them, and we could strictly enforce those rules to keep out endemic corruption here perpetrated by residents of Carmel. We could pass extremely harsh laws with mandatory prison sentences for those responsible for bad business deals which hurt the pubic purse. We could abolish the office of mayor and install an executive, hired by trustees of the Harvard Business School. We could get rid of the city county council and move to a taxpayer online referendum system where every proposed ordinance could be voted on up or down throughout its life as a bill. Etc. Etc. We are not advanced here at all. We lag behind in everything. Our money is wasted on rich lawyers and developers who don't even need it, and we get nothing for our largesse. We need a visionary to rescue us, but who has the vision? Instead we give power to imbeciles and allow the crafty to steal our money.

Anonymous said...

We aren't even getting the best technology for our money. In Moscow you can use your smartphone to pay for parking spaces without having to walk to a parking meter. When you drive away, the main traffic office calculates online the exact number of minutes you parked. If your car was there for 53 minutes, you pay for 53 minutes.