...the dialogue includes a plaintive couple of questions from General Washington to the Continental Congress.
"Is anybody there? Does anybody care?"
We suggest the same questions can be directed to the taxpayers of Indianapolis, rising from the front page headline on the IBJ which hit our mailbox today.
"$500M justice center relies on novel funding."
Considering the irresponsible municipal fiscal policies of the last three or four decades, one might think that branding the method of funding of a half billion dollar project as "novel" would bring out the thought of tar and feathers.
That certainly ought to be the reaction to the wording of the fifth paragraph of the story which tells us that, despite a lot of quotes from a "Director of Enterprise Development," - Mr. Rosenberg - "...the mayor’s deputies won’t reveal details of their analysis." (Our emphasis.)
(As an aside, we wonder why the city employs a Director of Enterprise Development as well as a Deputy Mayor for Economic Development who is also director of the Bond Bank. How many offices do we need for efficient giveaway of tax dollars?)
The deal is for a private firm to build, operate and maintain a proposed justice center, to be paid for by the city on a 35-year contract. We are assured by the mayor that no tax increase will be needed. It will all be handled within the amounts being spent currently on space being used by the offices which will occupy the new building he says. Really? We mean Reeeaallly?
We’re given some figures for a similar project in Long Beach, CA. Based on what we know about public fiscal conditions in that state, we don’t find those numbers relevant
Because the contract calls for periodic replacement of items like heating and cooling systems - ordinary maintenance? - Rosenberg informs us that after 35 years of occupancy, "We don’t get back a building that’s 35 years old. We get back a building that’s seven, eight, nine years old."
We admire the optimism. We couldn’t possibly share it. We keep thinking about the city representatives who contracted to replace a $70 million dollar football field with a $750 million dollar football field without recognizing that it might cost a couple of bucks more to operate and maintain it.