IBJNews

Indy Parks, county assessor poised for budget cuts

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

Indy Parks, the mayor’s office and the Marion County assessor will take the biggest hits in the first round of mid-year budget cuts for the city of Indianapolis.

Two budget-reduction ordinances totaling $1.6 million will be introduced to the City-County Council on Monday night. They are the result of a bipartisan budget agreement, in which the council was to help Mayor Greg Ballard’s office shave 5 percent, or about $28 million, from the general fund with the goal of preserving cash that would offset an anticipated revenue shortfall in 2014.

The task has proven difficult, especially in the criminal justice system, which includes police, fire and courts and consumes 85 percent of the $569 million general fund.

Just $267,264 of the proposed cuts would come from a combination of the Department of Public Safety, Marion Superior Court and Marion County Coroner.

The remaining $1.35 million would come from various city and county offices, and most of that will be in the personnel category.

“When it’s all said and done—no one likes to hear this—we are either going to have to decrease service or increase our revenue,” Council President Maggie Lewis said. “It gets real tricky. The people of Indianapolis are going to start to feel this.”

The largest cuts, in terms of total dollars, will come from the assessor’s office ($235,015), Department of Parks and Recreation ($236,507) and mayor’s office ($232,168).

Assessor Joseph O’Connor won't be able to hire an additional customer-service representative that had been budgeted for this year. Most of the savings will come from shifting money out of a reassessment fund to cover general-fund positions. The reassessment fund had been designated for mailing out notices, called Form 11, for the 2013 tax cycle. Instead, tax bills will serve as notice of assessed value and trigger the 45-day appeal window, he said.

Parks officials couldn’t immediately be reached for comment about the pending cuts.

A large part of the mayor’s savings will come through staff attrition. Chief of Staff Ryan Vaughn, a lawyer, will take on the role of special counsel, a job that was vacated when Ballard’s former campaign manager, John Cochran, departed in February for Bose Public Affairs Group. He earned $87,550 in 2012.

The mayor’s office set out to find $28 million in savings, but agencies identified only $16.8 million. Much of that was considered unsustainable or unpalatable, such as police-officer furloughs and laying off attorneys in the Marion County Prosecutor’s office.

The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and Indianapolis Fire Department remain untouched for now. The Department of Public Safety cuts headed to the council, totaling about $260,000, will affect positions in Director Troy Riggs' office, Homeland Security and Animal Care and Control, Deputy Director and Chief Financial Officer Valerie Washington said. Vacant positions will remain unfilled, or they'll be shifted to grant funding, she said.

"Current staff will have to continue to do more," she said.

Some offices, including the Marion County sheriff, outlined less than the requested 5-percent savings. Lewis said talks will continue, and another round of budget-cutting ordinances will be introduced this year.

“The law enforcement piece of the budget is the largest portion of the budget, and we have to stay on top of that,” she said.

The ordinances to be introduced Monday will be referred to committee before returning to the council for a vote.

ADVERTISEMENT

  • What?
    I and others have been waiting to hear from our appeal for are over inflated property taxes. How shortsided to cut a department that is already behind in their work. You go Mayor, just go.
  • CRICKET
    Well atleast we still have 6 MILLION DOLLARS to waste on a cricket field. Our mayor is a fool and we need to get rid of him and his wasteful ways ASAP!
  • Next
    When is the next $10 million dollar check to the Pacers/Simons due?

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT

facebook - twitter on Facebook & Twitter

Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ on Facebook:
Follow on TwitterFollow IBJ's Tweets on these topics:
 
Subscribe to IBJ
  1. I never thought I'd see the day when a Republican Mayor would lead the charge in attempting to raise every tax we have to pay. Now it's income taxes and property taxes that Ballard wants to increase. And to pay for a pre-K program? Many studies have shown that pre-K offer no long-term educational benefits whatsoever. And Ballard is pitching it as a way of fighting crime? Who is he kidding? It's about government provided day care. It's a shame that we elected a Republican who has turned out to be a huge big spending, big taxing, big borrowing liberal Democrat.

  2. Why do we blame the unions? They did not create the 11 different school districts that are the root of the problem.

  3. I was just watching an AOW race from cleveland in 1997...in addition to the 65K for the race, there were more people in boats watching that race from the lake than were IndyCar fans watching the 2014 IndyCar season finale in the Fontana grandstands. Just sayin...That's some resurgence modern IndyCar has going. Almost profitable, nobody in the grandstands and TV ratings dropping 61% at some tracks in the series. Business model..."CRAZY" as said by a NASCAR track general manager. Yup, this thing is purring like a cat! Sponsors...send them your cash, pronto!!! LOL, not a chance.

  4. I'm sure Indiana is paradise for the wealthy and affluent, but what about the rest of us? Over the last 40 years, conservatives and the business elite have run this country (and state)into the ground. The pendulum will swing back as more moderate voters get tired of Reaganomics and regressive social policies. Add to that the wave of minority voters coming up in the next 10 to 15 years and things will get better. unfortunately we have to suffer through 10 more years of gerrymandered districts and dispropionate representation.

  5. Funny thing....rich people telling poor people how bad the other rich people are wanting to cut benefits/school etc and that they should vote for those rich people that just did it. Just saying..............

ADVERTISEMENT