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City-County Council OKs parking privatization

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City-County Council members voted 15-14 Monday night to clear the way for Indianapolis to lease its parking meters to a private firm, a move proponents say will upgrade the system even as it generates revenue for infrastructure improvements.

The deal called for Dallas-based Affiliated Computer Services to give the city $20 million upfront and an estimated $363 million to $620 million in meter revenue over the life of the agreement.

ACS also agreed to add 200 jobs in Indianapolis in the next two years.

“This proposal moves us in the right direction in bringing our current parking system to its fullest potential,” Republican at-large council member Barbara Malone said in a prepared statement.

Mayor Greg Ballard presented the privatization proposal in August, and the city worked to revise its terms after public outcry. The changes gave Indianapolis greater flexibility in removing parking meters and the option of terminating the agreement every 10 years.

Opponents nevertheless have complained the deal is short-sighted and riddled with hidden costs.

“It is unfortunate that the council turned a blind eye to the costs that privatization of Indianapolis’ parking meters imposes on Marion County taxpayers,” said Jeff Musto of U.S. PIRG, a federation of state public-interest research groups. “Those who expressed concern … can at least take satisfaction in some improvements to the contract that were won along the way.”

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  • not perfect...
    If you don't like the people who serve on the city county concil, you should run yourselves. Sitting on the sidelines and bicker about those who choose to serve seems hipocritical to me.

    I'm not in love with this deal, but in many ways I'm more confident in a private company to make a profit than I am in our city government. Is it perfect - no. Is it, in my opinion, better than what the city has done in the past - yes. Does it hinder city planning - yes. However, we get new meters that take credit cards, upfront cash injection, and the back-end yearly (projected) payouts are higher than what Indy was earning previously. Given the current economic climate, the likelihood of the city financing these meter/infrastructure upgrades was virtually zero.

    To me, the "pros" outweigh the "cons": especially if BR gets a parking garage out of it.
  • What a Louse
    Ballard and the GOP HAS raised our taxes and given them to a private company that contributes to the GOP. Taxes raised by government or private cronie awared contracts are still a TAX HIKE. The GOP is just pretending it is someone else's fault

    I find it amusing that the GOP who refused to participate in the drafting of the National Health Care cry out about special deals made behind closed doors, but this is exactly what Ballard and the GOP did. And then they truly ran it down the thoats of the tax payers.

    Selling off city assets for a quick buck and a campaign contribution is just the beginning. When we give millions of dollars more than what it would take to update the marking meters to the wealthiest guy in the city for his basketball team and then claim there is no money for essential services, shows that this Ballard just does not know how to run government, does not care for the welfare of the city, and will probably run to some GOP retirement community once he is kicked out of office with all the slush cash in his pocket. What a louse he is and the GOP that went along with this
  • poor execution
    I have no problem with the concept, raising rates, increasing hours (which needed to be done), or even privatization. The issue is how the city didn't seem to negotiate, after people complained, suddenly ACS found a bunch of extra money to give to the city. The deal presented to the city should have been the best deal they could get, which it clearly wasn't. Also, there's the issue of flexibility and the *appearance* of conflict of interest of behalf of Ryan Vaughn.
  • RECALL NOW!!
    You've been robbed in broad daylight, you saps! This isn't about neighborhood improvement, bringing people downtown or even better transportation for Indy; this is about one thing -- cold, hard cash -- the city selling out so a few can get rich while the rest of the population pays and pays and then pays some more. I challenge anyone to find a thankful citizen somewhere from a city that has done a similar deal. Congratulations suckers!!

    Your only hope is to start a RECALL NOW of the 15 council fools/tools who voted for this. Let's get moving and clear them out now. Anyone know the legal process in Indy to get started? Let's begin the RECALL NOW!!
  • Question
    How much annual revenue does the city make from parking meters and tickets(from the meters?
  • bad deal, and they know it
    If this was your private business that you are basically trying to sell to someone, wouldn't you do everything in your power to increase the selling price? So naturally, you would increase the rates and extend parking time limits now, and then go negotiate a deal with much improved revenue/margin. But due to politics, they do what's not in the best interest of the city. And it's a shame that most people don't care and don't spend a few hours reading about this issue. I mean every city in the nation that has done this kind of deal ended up regreting it.
  • like it
    I like everything about this agreement, cash upfront, $300 million conservative dollar estimates to $600 million plus on the high end, early termination provisions, new technology, using the funds to improve infrastructure in the meter areas.... I am basically tired of the CAVE people (Citizens against virtually everything).
    • Plausable Deniability
      It was an empty victory for Ryan Vaugh.

      You could see it on his face. He actually loses by winning. He is allowing his law firm to take advantage of his young associate status with empty promises that will disappear as soon as the real trouble starts.

      He broke Googles rule of "do no evil" and a former governors simple rule to employees of "Do the right thing...ALWAYS".
    • $$$$$$$$$$$$
      Sounds nice up front, nasty in the out years. Can't wait for the money to dry up and we have to make up the difference with higher taxes. And we will still have to pay more to park.

      These people are not dumb. They know the right people. They know how to push. They know how to move fast to avoid opposition.
    • Hey!!!!
      How do we go about starting the process to have these people removed from the City Council? Nothing but corruption!!!! HORRIBLE, horrible that such ignorant people are charged with such important decisions for our city!!!!!
    • See?
      This is what happens when we have complete morons serving on the Council. These people ought to be required to pass a basic I.Q. test... I imagine about 15 of them would fail. What on God's green Earth can they not figure out with a little basic math?!? I am embarassed to say I am from Indianapolis with people like these at the helm of such important decisions. Sad, sad day for Indianapolis. The citizens of this city deserve MUCh better than than what this incompetent herd of cattle has delivered.
    • Rose Colored Glasses
      ACS employee code of ethics and signed by CEO, Lynn Blodgett: "...Employees are expected to act with honesty and integrity and a high standard of ethical conduct and avoid any actual or apparent conflict of interest."

      Vaughn, Barnes & Thornburg, Ballard, and the multitude of public officials involved are utterly disgusting. There are likely more revelations of corporate malfeasance and dishonesty to come.
      I'm waiting for the Indy Star to have an insert of rose colored glasses in the next edition of the Sunday Star. "Ohh everything is so purdy."
    • Call for investigation
      Council President Ryan Vaughn's employer, Barnes & Thornburg, represent ACS. Now they get the contract with no competition. Coincidence?
    • Public Corruption 101
      Thugs!
    • Shameful
      CCC members: don't kid yourselves that people will forget this abysmal excuse for public governance come election time. Ya'll are pork in designer shoes, and the polling booths are a sausage factory.

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