As a numbers guy, Bill Ehret says the numbers just don’t add up [Ehret: Collaborate on transit, or miss out on jobs, Nov. 23 IBJ]. People just can’t afford to work in Hendricks County and live somewhere else (aka Indianapolis). The current shuttle program is paid for by the feds, and needs “a long-term solution.” His solution is of course a mass transit system, with the bill footed primarily by taxpayers (aka you and me) via higher taxes.
However, it is important to remember that these companies chose to open their businesses in Hendricks County, far away from the employee base they need. Obviously they saw a benefit, or were promised one, to open where they did.
In my business, if I need an employee, I have to pay what the market demands. If I can’t hire them for $12/hour, I have to pay $13 or $14. If they need transportation, my company has to pay for it or make arrangements. My business doesn’t have the luxury of leaning on the local government to subsidize the cost of my employees.
So to all the businesses that intentionally moved to Hendricks County and are now complaining they can’t find people, I say this: Maybe if you stop spending money on lobbying and start paying your employees more, you wouldn’t have this problem.
And to Mr. Ehret’s comment that we don’t have an “inter-county transit system,” I’d argue that we already do. It’s called a road.•