Mayor Greg Ballard
“Tonight Democrats on the City-County Council turned their backs on every neighborhood in Indianapolis. By placing politics ahead of the best interests of the community, they rejected a plan that would have provided sidewalks in many of our neighborhoods, repaved every one of our worst streets, made our bridges safer and fixed flooding problems in some of our poorest neighborhoods without an income or property tax increase.”
Indianapolis-City-County Council Democrats turned their back on Indianapolis residents tonight by rejecting a plan proposed by Mayor Greg Ballard to invest $700 million into neighborhood streets, sidewalks, bridges, and stormwater drainage projects. The plan would have provided neighborhoods with $350 million in new sidewalks, street resurfacing, and bridge maintenance. It also would have funded nearly $250 million to remedy stormwater drainage issues that plague thousands of homeowners and cost them thousands of dollars in annual repairs. Mayor Ballard's proposal to improve neighborhoods would not have increased property or income taxes.
"City residents should be outraged by Council Democrats who continue to put partisan politics over the needs of our neighborhoods," said Marion County Republican Chairman Kyle Walker. "Some residents have waited decades for sidewalks, street improvements and drainage relief - and Mayor Greg Ballard is trying to address those needs. Residents with street, sidewalk, bridge and drainage concerns should call the Democrat Councillors and tell them to stop choosing politics over the needs of our neighborhoods."If Democrats continue to hold their position on these issues for more than a few weeks and not simply engage in political posturing, I will be entirely surprised. As we've come to learn, there is really no difference between the Democratic and Republican Parties in Indianapolis. They both yearn to raise taxes and fees, increase regulations and spend like drunken sailors. In Indianapolis, business owners can't even rely on the chamber of commerce to watch their back. Once again, the Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce, which fully endorsed these tax, borrow and spend schemes, proved that it only represents businesses which rely on government contracts for their existence. Every other business owner can go straight to hell as far as this anti-business organization is concerned. A business owner who pays for a membership in their organization is cutting off his or her own head. Wake up.
By the way, members of the council should have caught the part about the original storm water bonds reaching maturity, which frees up more spending on storm water projects without raising fees. Those are little facts that are often not disclosed when city officials come with hat in hand seeking more money.
UPDATE: Fellow blogger Pat Andrews has an excellent analysis which demonstrates why this tax, borrow and spend mentality is self-defeating in the long run.