Thursday, March 11, 2010

Mayor Ballard Refreshingly Honest About His Own Cowardice and Status As "Just Another Politician"

I can't reach any conclusion but this: Mayor Greg Ballard is a self-aware man.

He says we need to get our utilities out of the hands of "politicians" so no office holder can be blamed at election time for implementing necessary rate hikes.

For example, him. Especially him.

The Mayor speaks from experience because he became mayor employing such blame-game tactics. Indianapolis needed pension relief so former Mayor Bart Peterson gave Luke Kenley his mandated local option income tax in exchange for having the state take over the obligation. And Ballard crushed Peterson on it. (If only Peterson had created a "fire and police pension charitable trust").

In short, Ballard is absolutely right that some political candidates (mostly Republicans like himself, by the way) attack their opponents for "raising taxes." But if a principled leader thought rate hikes were needed, wouldn't he push for them? Wouldn't he sell us on the necessity? Then why hasn't this Mayor?

As I said before, I'm going to be open-minded as I study this deal in more depth. But no matter how this plays out, for good or ill, our Mayor has proven himself not some courageous "man of the people," but rather, just another politician who would rather abdicate his responsibility than do what he says is needed and right.

Can I ask a question, Mr. Mayor? Why stop at utilities? Why not convert IMPD into a "charitable trust" if it's such a great governing model? Violent crime is insane right now, and I bet if we had a "charitable trust" those trustees could get that money for overtime on the streets, and no politician would have to ever take blame for raising taxes. In fact, why don't we just replace your office with a charitable trust?

I'm being facetious, of course, Mr. Mayor, because the City of Indianapolis already IS a "charitable trust," and you're its head trustee.

I can think of at least four people who would ask about your Mayor's chair the same thing Abraham Lincoln asked a reluctant general about his army:

"If you don't intend to use (it), may I borrow it for a while?"



varangianguard said...

What does the Mayor care. I imagine he's already got his post-political "job" all lined up.

stAllio! said...

of course, using Citizens as political cover won't work. when rates go up, voters will remember who sold these utilities.

Paul K. Ogden said...

Yes, stAllio!, but Ballard will be out of office by then.

Anonymous said...

I'm curious to see how the Mayor's new Ethics policies play out during this whole thing. I'm sure there are councilors who work for, consult with or lobby for Citizen's, Veolia, The City, etc. According to the Mayor's new ethics policies they should probably abstain from this vote.

Chris- anyway to get a list of councilors that have connections to one or more of the parties involved?