Saturday, June 22, 2013

Star Reports Towing Rates Will Rise 44% After Initially Claiming Rates Would Remain The Same

A red-faced reporter for the Indianapolis Star appears to be blaming the Ballard administration for her failure to report correctly the first time the fact that city towing rates under an exclusive towing agreement with San-Francisco-based Auto Return will rise 44%. The reporter on Thursday claimed towing rates would remain at $90 under the contract. WRTV's Jack Rinehart's report that same day noted that rates would only remain at $90 for the first year of the multi-year agreement.  "In years two and three of the contract, the cost will jump to $110, and in the last two years of the contract, the cost will increase to $130," Rinehart reported. This is how today's report in the Star is now reporting the 44% increase:
City officials said Thursday that car owners still will be able to retrieve their towed vehicles for $90 under a new contract with towing management company Auto Return.
What was left unsaid was that the $90 charge would last only one year.
During years two and three of the five-year contract, the cost of redeeming a car will increase to $110, Department of Code Enforcement Spokesman Adam Baker said Friday when asked for further details about the deal.
By the fourth and fifth year, prices will jump to $130, a 44 percent increase from the current price. The contract with California-based Auto Return begins July 1.
Baker said the new contract would be made public next month after the deal is finalized.
Perhaps Rinehart's years of experience led him to ask a few more questions about the contract city officials have yet to make available to the public than the novice reporter for the Star. Anyone familiar with how the Ballard administration does business knows that it's initiating backdoor tax increases everywhere it can to recoup some of the taxpayer money the Mayor is passing out to his pay-to-play pals in consideration for their generous campaign contributions and other gifts to the Mayor and his family members.

Did anyone catch this recent report by Fox59 News' Russ McQuaid about the establishment of a nonprofit foundation, Indy Public Safety Foundation, by prominent local business leaders to raise money for public safety in Indianapolis? The foundation is being launched with the support of Public Safety Director Troy Riggs. This is extremely disturbing. Public safety should be funded solely with our tax dollars. If private business owners can funnel money to the police through a nonprofit foundation, it raises serious concerns that special favors will be provided in return for their private support of public safety. Our local income taxes were raised 65% in 2007 to support public safety. What the hell happened to that money? Why does their continue to be fewer and fewer dollars to support public safety? And don't blame property tax caps, which have absolutely nothing to do with how much money is available to fund Indianapolis' public safety needs.


Pete Boggs said...

No wonder we refer to that paper as the Indianapolis Scar.

CircleCityScribe said...

This towing contract to an out-of-state firm stinks of political corruption....

Can anyone else envision payoffs to get a tow? -Wanna be in the Indy towing business? ...visions of a need to offer a kickback to the California company with the contract come to mind. Of course, I'm sure that ethics forms will have hefty entries from the California firm's campaign 'contributions'.

-As for allowing private companies to run a police foundation to pay for the costs of police. That also stinks, with visions coming to mind of 'paybacks' for big donors. The big donors may find that police are assigned to corporate executives' events, give big donors 'preferred parking' during major events, overlook certain 'minor transgressions' of the companies, police escorts of the big donors around town.....

-Watch & time will tell if these very plausible visions become reality.