Wow! We’ve really got to work on our timing. It turns out that, at about the same time we were writing about a "hidden" agenda, the folks downtown are finally going public with the outrageous priorities which have been "unmentionable" in the media for some years.
Along with a formal decision for further tax subsidy of the local professional basketball franchise, the president of the City-County Council (CCC) - a member of the CIB governing body - issues a statement which ought to go down in local history.
They’ve voted to continue the annual gift of $10,000,000 to the Pacers for another year. According to the press release, this will take a bothersome, minor problem off the table while efforts to find funding for legitimate municipal problems go forward.
We read it differently. Having decided to spend the money, there is now justification for increasing taxes to make the money available. If the city is going to run out of funds, we’ll take care of the important stuff first!
Taxpayer supported entertainment ought to be making a return sufficient to help operate a public parks system for the benefit of those who cannot afford to attend what they help pay for. Instead, the mayor is asking for public charity to maintain our parks because the city cannot afford to.
We’re told the vote for the gift to the Pacers is just a temporary measure. It will get us through the coming year, but after we work out the small stuff for next year (like a public safety budget), we can come back and really determine "how much, for how long."
Well, our timing may have been faulty, but at least public policy is now on public record. City leadership takes care of the most pressing problems first. Chartered airplanes for team travel are certainly more important than take-home cars for cops. A tad more expensive, but well worth it.
Just ask the mayor!