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Star biz columnist leaving to lead Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute

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Indianapolis Star business columnist John Ketzenberger is leaving the newspaper to become president of the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute, the organization said today.

Founded in 1987, the Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute is a not-for-profit organization that provides non-partisan research on Indiana’s major public-policy questions, particularly matters related to tax policy and the state budget.

Ketzenberger will begin his new role Sept. 14.

“I am excited to join the institute and look forward to continuing the organization’s mission of being the leading, credible source for research and analysis,” Ketzenberger said in a prepared statement. “I truly want the institute to have a statewide presence, and am ready to grow our membership. After speaking with elected officials and business leaders, it is clear to me that the institute’s work is vital to Indiana’s future.”

The Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute has been largely dormant since former CEO Steve Johnson resigned in August 2007. Johnson had led the institute since 2003. At the time of his departure, Johnson complained that he’d been forced to devote most of his time to raising funds, not policy analysis. Since then, it has intermittently released policy papers written by volunteers.

Ketzenberger has been one of the Star’s most visible columnists in recent years, appearing frequently in promotions for the newspaper. He also is regular commentator on Indiana Week in Review, which airs statewide on public television stations. He spent seven years as managing editor of the Indianapolis Business Journal before joining the Star as lead business columnist four years ago.

Over its history, Indiana Fiscal Policy Institute has analyzed subjects as diverse as property-tax assessment, public pension management, Hoosier school funding, technology progress, daylight-saving time policy, the college brain drain, welfare and Medicaid reform and the Hoosier Lottery.

“We are thrilled to have John lead our organization,” Steve Rahn, chairman of the institute’s board of directors, said in a written statement. “His vast experience and knowledge of both the political and budget processes will not only serve the institute well, but also the taxpayers of Indiana.”

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  1. Cramer agrees...says don't buy it and sell it if you own it! Their "pay to play" cost is this issue. As long as they charge customers, they never will attain the critical mass needed to be a successful on company...Jim Cramer quote.

  2. My responses to some of the comments would include the following: 1. Our offer which included the forgiveness of debt (this is an immediate forgiveness and is not "spread over many years")represents debt that due to a reduction of interest rates in the economy arguably represents consideration together with the cash component of our offer that exceeds the $2.1 million apparently offered by another party. 2. The previous $2.1 million cash offer that was turned down by the CRC would have netted the CRC substantially less than $2.1 million. As a result even in hindsight the CRC was wise in turning down that offer. 3. With regard to "concerned Carmelite's" discussion of the previous financing Pedcor gave up $16.5 million in City debt in addition to the conveyance of the garage (appraised at $13 million)in exchange for the $22.5 million cash and debt obligations. The local media never discussed the $16.5 million in debt that we gave up which would show that we gave $29.5 million in value for the $23.5 million. 4.Pedcor would have been much happier if Brian was still operating his Deli and only made this offer as we believe that we can redevelop the building into something that will be better for the City and City Center where both Pedcor the citizens of Carmel have a large investment. Bruce Cordingley, President, Pedcor

  3. I've been looking for news on Corner Bakery, too, but there doesn't seem to be any info out there. I prefer them over Panera and Paradise so can't wait to see where they'll be!

  4. WGN actually is two channels: 1. WGN Chicago, seen only in Chicago (and parts of Canada) - this station is one of the flagship CW affiliates. 2. WGN America - a nationwide cable channel that doesn't carry any CW programming, and doesn't have local affiliates. (In addition, as WGN is owned by Tribune, just like WTTV, WTTK, and WXIN, I can't imagine they would do anything to help WISH.) In Indianapolis, CW programming is already seen on WTTV 4 and WTTK 29, and when CBS takes over those stations' main channels, the CW will move to a sub channel, such as 4.2 or 4.3 and 29.2 or 29.3. TBS is only a cable channel these days and does not affiliate with local stations. WISH could move the MyNetwork affiliation from WNDY 23 to WISH 8, but I am beginning to think they may prefer to put together their own lineup of syndicated programming instead. While much of it would be "reruns" from broadcast or cable, that's pretty much what the MyNetwork does these days anyway. So since WISH has the choice, they may want to customize their lineup by choosing programs that they feel will garner better ratings in this market.

  5. The Pedcor debt is from the CRC paying ~$23M for the Pedcor's parking garage at City Center that is apprased at $13M. Why did we pay over the top money for a private businesses parking? What did we get out of it? Pedcor got free parking for their apartment and business tenants. Pedcor now gets another building for free that taxpayers have ~$3M tied up in. This is NOT a win win for taxpayers. It is just a win for Pedcor who contributes heavily to the Friends of Jim Brainard. The campaign reports are on the Hamilton County website. http://www2.hamiltoncounty.in.gov/publicdocs/Campaign%20Finance%20Images/defaultfiles.asp?ARG1=Campaign Finance Images&ARG2=/Brainard, Jim

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