Reverse time. Luke Kenley stands in a bright spotlight, looking like he white horsed CIB salvation in a way Marion County residents might favor – evenly-distributed pain. He’s got Colts money handed back, Pacer costs reduced less than expected, raised admissions fees, a well-distributed hotel tax increase, and even a statewide alcohol tax increase. “We’re talking a PENNY more for a beer,” the Senator might say. Somebody call Christopher Cross because this thing is sailing.
Then Senator Kenley turns the mic over to the Mayor of Indianapolis, who hems and haws and kills the plan, not with faint praise, but with no praise at all.
In response, Kenley amends his proposal to “give Marion County an array of options, including possibly a local option alcohol tax.” Nobody will ever convince me that Kenley is not peeved at the Mayor of Indianapolis. Senator Kenley put his neck on a chopping block to solve a huge, mostly-Indianapolis problem, and he got a Mayor hiding his own head in a turtle shell.
Kenley told the Indianapolis Star of his initial proposal, "The alcohol people beat it. They got out there and lobbied, and everybody who ought to be standing out there saying, 'This is a good idea' didn't have the courage to stand up and say it."
To whom is Senator Kenley referring if not Mayor Ballard?
On behalf of all Marion County residents, I want to thank our Mayor for hosing us. Here's what I anticipate will happen. Kenley, operating under the "fool me once" philosophy, will astutely put this whole problem back into Marion County’s pocket. We will get the “ability” to raise a boatload of different taxes in Marion County, but the General Assembly won’t actually raise them. Kenley will give Ballard the “means” to solve the CIB problem, in the same way that you give people the rope with which to hang themselves. The Mayor will now have no choice but to pick from a parade of evils, which he claims he'll do this week.
We'll be listening, just like the Indianapolis Star, which bashed the Mayor this weekend for being MIA.
While the Star is completely on target, boy, did it do a visual hatchet job on Mayor Ballard with a photo of him throwing out a first pitch at Victory Field. He looks like he should be saying, "Mmm. I like them french fried potaters. Mm hmmmm."
The photo is next to a paragraph exhorting Ballard to "pitch a proposal...." Get it?!?! How clever!!! The Star suggests he isn't exhibiting leadership because he hasn't "pitched" a proposal but instead suggest he took time to literally "pitch" a... oh, forget it. Bad, Indianapolis Star! Bad!
I don’t like the idea of a bailout, but if we do one, my self-interest as a Marion County resident says I’d rather have a state solution that addresses the Colts' "regional" appeal (a/k/a "taxes people outside Marion County"). The Mayor may have sunk the boat on that notion though.
Also, people want to put this on Bart Peterson, but he told the Governor point blank that there was no money for operating expenses. The Governor just didn’t care because they wanted to force Peterson to raise taxes before his re-election. They didn’t foresee his defeat.
Now the chickens have come home to roost. And the chicken with the biggest feathers sits on the 25th floor of the city-county building.