The big front page story in this morning’s paper informs us that the city’s current Public Safety Director has ordered the evacuation of a 76,000 square foot building by all public employee occupants because of safety concerns.
The first sentence of the story tells us that a disastrously one-sided lease was entered into as "Time was running short for Indianapolis to find large quarters for its emergency operations." (Our emphasis.) The "emergency operations" in this case refer to the need for "monitoring the Super Bowl" of 2012.
The council voted 22-6 in May, 2011, to approve this lease - costing $18 million over 25 years. For one Super Bowl! The sub-head on the story says, in part, "...council members blast lease." No kidding! Surely a lot of those 22 voters are still there!
What makes the story more interesting is the memory of very recent news that the city intends to bid again on a Super Bowl, and that details of the bid have to be put together with great speed to meet the dictates of the potentates of the NFL.
One media story about the current bid proposal told us this. "City officials are working behind the scenes to get it done." Are we about to be faced with another round of media-generated Super Bowl hysteria - with similar contractual results?
When are the citizens of this city going to accept, and begin to react to, the fact that this city’s leaders, working "behind the scenes" and with great haste, will most probably cost/waste millions of tax dollars?
A couple of nit-picking questions. Did the people who initiated - and approved - the lease believe 25 years was appropriate because we’d be kneeling before the crowned heads of the NFL every five or six years anyway? And...what would the city budget look like now if we had committed that $18 million to public safety needs?
Many downtown folks think the city has "awakened" in the last few decades. Maybe so. But the citizenry is certainly sleeping through a helluva lot of pocket picking for the benefit of those who have "awakened."