Friday, November 22, 2013

Ballard Is Taking Parks And Recreation's Ron Swanson A Bit Too Seriously

Apparently, Mayor Greg Ballard's speechless cameo appearance during the filming of a recent episode of the NBC comedy series "Parks And Recreation" at Lucas Oil Stadium has consumed him a bit too much. Ballard is adopting the character Ron Swanson's view that the fictional town of Pawnee's parks and recreation director that all city government functions should be privatized. Yes, Mayor Ballard's administration is soliciting proposals to privatize some or all of the city's parks and recreational facilities, the funding and support of which have been one of his lower priorities since becoming mayor in 2008. Actually, this isn't the first time this idea has surfaced. Early in Ballard's first term, we learned that the administration had awarded an exclusive real estate agreement with controversial real estate broker John Bales for the disposal or leasing of "surplus" park properties owned by the city. The administration quietly cancelled the contract with Bales after learning he was under investigation by the FBI. I used to support privatization of some government services until I figured out that it had nothing to do with delivering government services more efficiently and had everything to do with expanding white collar patronage for the political cronies of the politicians in exchange for campaign contributions and other favors.

1 comment:

Flogger said...

If I recall right the Public Golf Courses were Privatized and still are. Privatization these days means exactly what you said Patronage under a different name for the select few. Then we have the Mega-Media praising these so called Public-Private Partnerships.

John Ketzenberger in an article in the Business section of The Star last Sunday praised the Management of the Pacers and Colts for their winning ways. He makes a passing reference in one paragraph about "the steep Public subsidies they command."

Ketzenberger states further, "What if the rest of Corporate America were more like the Colts, Pacers, Fever and Indians? Think how much stronger the economy would be if more companies let common sense drive decisions, rater than the dollars and cents listed in quarterly financial statements."

It is hard to believe Ketzenberger can make statements like these. First the NFL, and NBA are monopolies - you must be "anointed" to join it. Second at least here in Indy, the costs of the stadiums and the maintenance are socialized among the tax payers. Third, the Profits are kept by the owners. The teams do not release ANY Financial Statements for the Public to see.