Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Ballard Plays Politics With Funding Of Libraries And Pork Barrel Projects

Ballard came out yesterday and told more lies to the public about his proposed sale of the utilities to Citizens Energy. Somewhere along the line he decided to tack on several hundred million dollars in pork barrel projects as part of his plan to off-load the growing debt of the water and sewer utilities. Despite the fact that his own chief of staff publicly stated at a council meeting that the City would borrow and spend the money on the street and sidewalk improvements he proposes with PILOT revenues from the utilities, Ballard publicly declared funding for those projects in danger if the council didn't approve his sale of the utilities. Only Democratic members of the City-County Council have raised serious questions about how the two separate issues got mixed together. Generally, it has been the past practice of the City to charge fee for services. As I've previously noted, Ballard intends to use the money the City would require Citizens to pay for the sale of the utilities to fund these projects. Citizens, to its credit, states up front it will turn around and pass the cost of paying the money up front to the City on to the ratepayers. That will mean at least 30% higher utility rates than the more than 100% rate increases projected without Ballard's plan.

Feeling the heat from growing public outrage over the proposed closure of six public libraries at the same time he's advocating a $15 million a year additional subsidy for the billionaire Simons and their Indiana Pacers, Ballard has promised a short-term fix to avoid a closure of the libraries. Ballard isn't saying how he intends to pay the $3.2 million a year needed to keep the libraries open. The City will in all likelihood lose about $20-$30 million this year in reimbursements from the state as the economy continues to tank and unemployment remains at double-digit level. More borrowing from Peter to pay Paul? The more Ballard talks, the more he sounds like Bart Peterson. Had enough?

If you want to see what the Ballard administration is saying behind the public's back, then just check out the crap being put out by the last-in-the-ratings radio talk show host, Abdul Hakim-Shabazz. On Ballard's utility sale with funding for pork barrel projects, he twitters, "Hey Indy, you can pay 400% more for water and get nothing or 300% more and get a good chunk of your streets fixed. You make the call." "Word is MC Dems are scared s***less of Mayor Greg Ballard having more than $400 million to spend on city infrastructure." And this is the guy who beat the crap out of Bart Peterson for doing the same thing four years ago. Shall we say he speaks with forked tongue like Ballard? With that kind of advocacy behind him, we'll have no problem defeating Ballard next year.


M Theory said...

I touched the hot stove and got burned. I worked day and night in 2007 to help these SCOUNDRELS get elected.

It's the last time.

This corruption would not happen if we elected Libertarians.

Blog Admin said...

Gary, I was wondering, under what conditions would you support a utility sale? Or do you think a lease is preferable? Or do you think there are efficiencies that the city hasn't even looked into yet?

Gary R. Welsh said...

Matt, I previously stated on this blog I supported the sale without the cash payment. Let's pass on all of the savings to the ratepayers. If Ballard thinks we aren't spending enough on streets and sidewalks, then he can propose a fee related to transportation to pay for it. The City acts as if there won't be any transportation projects funded without that money. The City spends tens of millions on these projects annually and gets substantial federal funding to boot, a lot of that as of late. And what happened to the $28 million the feds gave him for abandoned housing? There's nothing to show for it. Why? Because he pissed away all the money giving it to organizations controlled by Olgen's friends.

Marycatherine Barton said...

Thanks for the above reminder that Ballard already squandered the 28 million of tax money from the federal government, that was to be spent on the abhondoned housing problem in Indianapolis, AI. Why is not the local paid media focusing on this, I ask.