Thursday, August 10, 2006

Drummer Blocks Dickerson From Carson Center

AI told you earlier today about Eric Dickerson's planned press conference at the Julia Carson Government Center to protest Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer's decision to lease space in the government building for a bar and Indy Parks decision to tear down the neighboring park to make way for a parking lot for the bar. Eric Dickerson tells AI that he and TV crews from WTHR-TV and WISH-TV were blocked from entering the building by four security guards at the request of Drummer.

Dickerson also tells us that the bar is all ready to go. He indicates that you can see the built-out bar by looking through the windows of the government center. Dickerson describes the former Polin Park as looking like a bomb crater after the playground equipment was stripped from the park, even before the Metropolitan Development Commission had acted on the township's zoning petition to allow the bar.

Dickerson was joined by about a dozen parents and a half dozen kids for his press conference at the government center today. Dickerson believes "the entire project is wrong." Dickerson was also joined by Marion Co. GOP sheriff candidate Steve Davis, who also has a lot questions he would like to see answered, such as who are the owners of the bar, are there any other businesses in the building, and are property taxes being paid on these businesses.

Rep. Julia Carson is doing some fast back-tracking to diffuse the explosive situation. She tells WTHR-TV she knew nothing about the bar until she toured it yesterday. "I have nothing to do with it. I didn't even know it was going in, frankly," she said to WTHR as she was walking into the government center today. That's very hard to believe when you consider that she can't enter her district office without seeing the space built out for the bar. She now says she is against having a bar in the government center which is named after her. "Liquor has been a very bad problem because people over drink and then they have problems," she said. Carson expressed no regret, however, that the only area park suited for small children has been obliterated for the business venture that benefits the son of her campaign manager, Lacy Johnson.

While her Republican congressional opponent Dickerson did not blame Carson for the proposed bar and the destruction of the playground, Carson was less charitable to Dickerson. She claims that she has no control over the building, and that Dickerson is engaging in negative campaigning. She tells WRTV, "If he can't find nothing to criticize Julia Carson about beyond a restaurant over which I have no control -- as a matter of fact I didn't even know about it -- then he starts off in trouble."

Presumably at Carson's direction, Center Township Trustee Carl Drummer issued a statement agreeing to only have a restaurant with no alcoholic beverages served at this time WTHR reports. However, Drummer tells WTHR that the hours of operation for the restaurant will be from 4:00 p.m. to midnight. If it is your intention of putting just a restaurant in a government building, wouldn't you think it would operate during the business hours of the government workers? Don't be fooled. These folks are just putting their plans on hold until the issue dies down, which will probably be right after the November election. The public hearing will be held on August 16 at 1:00 p.m. at the city-county building. "My desire was to make this a government center," Carson said, for people who live, work and pay taxes in Center Township. Let's hope it stays that way.

Note that the August 16 hearing is actually an appeal of the earlier decision by Metropolitan Development approving the rezoning of the property to allow the township to lease the space to a restaurant/bar. The public is encouraged to attend the hearing to voice their concerns.


Anonymous said...

Does our prosecutor have any plans to investigate these crooks who operate Center Township and its property as if it belongs to them?

Gary R. Welsh said...

I recall stopping by the Fall Creek ATM machine at 300 E. Fall Creek Parkway last Saturday night. A large group of people were pouring out of the Julia Carson Government Center all decked out. Can't help but wonder if this wasn't a private opening party for the bar--now that we know the built-out was already done.

Anonymous said...

what hearing is next week? The liquor permit? or Metropolitan Devleopment, to ratify Ms. Conley's limp decision?

Citizens have a right to be heard there, and to see the applicants' names, etc.

In fact, if the hearing is next week, the documents are on file already, and angry citizens shoudl get an advance copy, research ownership, and show up.

And do not forget--the City County Council still must ratify all MDC decisions. Contact your council members now. Loudly.

Julia is a tenant in the building, not the owner, supposedly. But don't let anyone kid you--Carl Drummer would never do something like this without getting her OK first.

Drummer has a lot of nerve blocking anyone from the building. Is there an established, written policy about bldg. use? Or does Lord Drummer have his police force block folks at will? I'd have had the press conference on the sidewalk.

I kinda hate to see Dickerson politicizing it, but that's what happens when you try to whitewash something (no pun intended)

Drummer carries a badge as a d eputy township constable, drives a souped-up police undercover cruiser at taxpayer expense...

Boys with toys.

Anonymous said...'s not Julia Carson doing the "fast back-tracking."

From the WTHR interview link AI provides, Dickerson himself said, "This is not an attack on my opponent because I don't think Julia Carson knew about this."

Gary R. Welsh said...

There's nothing unusual about Dickerson's comment. His press release did not lay blame on Carson anonymous 6:42. He doesn't want to appear to be politicizing the issue by focusing on her. The actual decision-maker here was Carl Drummer.

Wilson46201 said...

Center Township as landlord cannot allow strangers off the street to go traipsing through tenants premises...

Gary R. Welsh said...

So Eric Dickerson and the TV news crews were strangers off the street? It is a public building Wilson. I think you know that. Are those security guards going to selectively decide who gets to go into the restaurant/bar when it opens?

Wilson46201 said...

The tenants will decide who enters their leased area not the landlord. Dickerson and crew were quite welcome in public areas and Township offices but leased-area access is controlled by tenants own policies.

Wilson46201 said...

I believe the RCA Dome is owned by the Capital Improvement Board but the premises are leased out. Eric with a TV camera crew doesnt get free access to Colts games ...

Anonymous said...

Wow, Wilson...sure you wanna stick with that answer? It's pretty ridiculous.

Carl's actions are not defensible.

Typically, and legally, Landlords have full aaccess to all tenants' spaces, with proper notice. It's called a Non Disturbance Clause.

But nothing about any of this arrangement is typical.

Carl got mad. Carl defended his actions and his turf. It's like we're watching this teenage soap opera on the public dime.

And the Dome is used once or twice a month. It's huge. The Carson Center is open every day.

WE PAID FOR THAT CENTER, Wilson. WE PAY THE TRUSTEE'S SALARY. Apparently, when the Trustee wants to do something stupid like open a bar in the Carson Building, WE PAY FOR THE LAWYERS to draw up the zoning case.

This just doesn't pass the smell test in any way.

Cut your damages, and get out now.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...'s not Julia Carson doing the "fast back-tracking."

From the WTHR interview link AI provides, Dickerson himself said, "This is not an attack on my opponent because I don't think Julia Carson knew about this."


Those were his original statements made at the original interviews that morning to chan 8 and chan 13.

No back tracking being done there by Dickerson.

Check out Julia's two vastly different statements made at the building to Chan 13.


Then later on a church vist to Chan 6.

Anonymous said...

I entered that building before for the first time in my life, about a year ago. They didn't know me from Adam. All I had to do was sign in.

Get your head out of Julia's ass for once.

Anonymous said...

Amen 10:49. Amen.

Wilson46201 said...

The Building public areas are certainly open to the public. Leased areas are not. If you are renting a house, the Landlord cant let its friends in to check out your TV or whatever.
The GOP named a candidate to run in the election for Center Township Trustee. (nobody filed for the primary). Your choice, if you live in Center Township...(AI does)
Of course, Eric lives up in Washington Township and has a campaign warchest of $367.48 as of June 30th.

Anonymous said...

I'm dizzy from the spin here.

Wax poetic all you want, Mr. Wilson, about the Center Township-only angle, but:

If His Honor Mr. Trustee is expecting his (tenant? business?) to get a zoning variance for this boondoggle, then he's using the county's zoning boards to accomplish it. We all pay for that enterprise.

And he's abusing it royally.

We all pay for parks, too. And we're down one playground as of last week, thanks to this business.

And when that former insurance building went off the county tax rolls (did it entirely?), it pushed that tax burden over the whole county.

Why is the trustee even there, anyway? He's got a perfectly nice office over on Mass. Avenue. Huge building.

Wilson46201 said...

That parklet never was a City Park - the play equipment was bought and owned by the previous tenant (a daycare center) - the City moved that stuff last April elsewhere. It took about 4 months for the County GOP to even notice the empty ground ... 2 of the cute kids hauled in for Eric's photo-op live 3/4 miles away ...

Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know who "owns" it, but it was listed on the parks department's website.

Go figure.

Operative word: WAS.

None of this changes the horseshit Wilson.

Anonymous said...

You seem to do a lot of political work on the taxpayer's dime Wilson. Don't they call that ghost-payrolling

Anonymous said...

Wilson46201 said...
The Building public areas are certainly open to the public. Leased areas are not. If you are renting a house, the Landlord cant let its friends in to check out your TV or whatever.

But the Landlord DID let Julia go look and check out the bar and lounge area. If it is open to her it should be open for all to visit. And if she got to see it because she is a tenent in the building then any of the tenents should be able to go and take a look.

Do you want landlords let tenents in an apartment complex go look at other peoples TV's or wharever in the same complex ?

Wilson46201 said...

'anonymous' certainly sounds like the infamous Jocelyn Tandy or whatever she calls herself these days ... I have been retired for over a year now --- no need for ignorant charges of ghost-payrolling ...

Anonymous said...

wow...hadn't heard Jocelyn's name for awhile

Personally, I always thought JT was a man in drag.

And I think she goes by Addende or something like that.

Anyway, wasn't aware you were retired, Wilson. Enjoy it.

All the more reason not to schill for CD and JC. Can't you see this is Stupid Political Decisions 101? Are you that blind?

Queen916 said...

Presently, Center Township Trustee owns 3 buildings.

Dr. Benjamin Osborn purchased the 843 Massachusetts Avenue building from Mayflower Moving and Storage with a federal grant leaving no debt to the taxpayers of the township for the building.

The fourth floor of this building is vacant, along with the detached one story building east of the main offices.

A clothing store was located in the building on the corner of Davidson and Massachusetts which earned $1.5 million in sales from August through December each year while Ms. Carson was trustee. Louis and Doris Morris were friends of Ms. Carson who managed her store.

Julia Carson purchased the Standard Life Building at auction for $350,000.00, and renovated it costing taxpayers $7 Million which was $2 million over the original estimate. Only the bookkeeping department was relocated to the Fall Creek address to justify the purchase of the building.

During Governor Bayh's administration, the state's tax commissioners approved $18 million Poor Relief Debt Bonds to fund Center Township's budget, bypassing Mayor Goldsmith's and the Marion County's 3 Commissioners, Treasuer, Auditor and Assessor, who were all Republicans.

In order to maintain the City's AAA Bond rating, a $5 million surplus had to kept in the bank until the bonds were paid in full by township property owners.
The public was told that services were cut to save money, however this purchase further debted the residents of Center Township.

Ms. Carson supported legislation in the Indiana General Assembly to allow Center Township Trustee to control and to redeem vouchers from vendors for services rendered which removed the Marion County Auditor from having authority over keeping the books in 1994.

Carl Drummer worked as a a security guard for Robert Black, during Ms. Carson's campaign for Trustee in 1990. Both were hired at the Trustee's office after she was elected.

Later, Carl Drummer served as a deputy constable appointed by Tony Duncan who was Ms. Carson's former live-in boyfriend. She was able to insure his election to office in a special election by the Democratic Precinct Committeepersons.

In a special election in December 1996, Carl Drummer used the address of Ms Carson to run for the office and to succeed Ms. Carson as trustee to insure the completion of the plan to name the building after her.

The Center Township Board was asked to approve the renaming of the 300 Fall Creek Building after the signs with her name on it had been ordered prior to a vote by the Board in January 1997.

Mr. Drummer should reimburse the Township for storage of his collection of vintage automobiles in the vacant building on Mass Ave.

Later, Carl Drummer purchased the former Fall Creek YMCA 860 West 10th Street for $1 million. To date, the hotel has not been renovated and only 10 out of 50 hotel rooms have tenants.

The Indiana Minority Health Coalition leases the rest of the facility as a healthplex.

Wilson Allen, formerly the Clerk for Center Township has been a puppet for Carson to garner support from gay and lesbian voters.

The proposed bar and restaurant is another example of behind closed doors deal-making for a select group of Democrats to control and to build a political patronage while spending taxpayer funds.

No consideration has been given to the youth in the community by these elected decision-makers. Neither Mr. Drummer nor Ms Carson considers a playground for children 6 years and under in the neighborhood an important investment.

The Mapleton Fall Creek area does not need a bar for black professionals to kick back in. They can open a bar in the neighborhood where they live. Drinking in this building will only lead to drug use and drunks in the parking lot, while driving through the neighborhood.

Mr. Drummer and Ms. Carson control these government owned buildings as if they are their personal properties, and not those of the taxpayers.

Gary R. Welsh said...

Wheew! That's a lot to observe. Thanks for that backgrounder Queen. It never made sense to me that Center Township needed both the Mass Ave. building and the Fall Creek Parkway building for township offices.

Anonymous said...

Compare the "office" real estate of Center Township to that of the other 8 surrounding township offices.

Anonymous said...

Wilson46201-You were guilty of ghost employment before you retired from the Trustee Office.

You have not retired from defending the irresponsible actions of Carson and Drummer.

Are you still on the payroll?