The beleaguered Indianapolis Capital Improvement Board has whittled its anticipated 2010 deficit of $47 million to only $5 million. But how it slashed $7 million since the end of the Legislative special session and how it proposes to close the final gap are a mystery.
The legislative session that concluded June 30 with passage of a two-year budget left a bad taste in our mouths. For starters,
legislators lacked the courage to tackle local government reform—even though cash-strapped units of government
desperately need the millions of dollars in savings they would generate. In short, they put political cronyism ahead of the
interests of the state.
The Capital Improvement Board could be forced to give up one of its most profitable assets so the city can pull off a $65-million
public-private downtown development deal. The city has agreed to help a developer revitalize the vacant former Bank One operations
center in part by acquiring an adjacent
parking garage for $18.5 million.
A $65 million public-private plan for the redevelopment of a vacant downtown office building is raising eyebrows for its unusual
approach and potential risk to taxpayers. The plan calls for a private developer to acquire the former Bank One operations
center, surface parking lots and an adjacent
parking garage from a private owner for $18.5 million, then sell the 1,680-space garage to the city for $18.5 million.
Barney Levengood, executive director of the financially-struggling Capital Improvement Board, is one of the state’s highest-paid public employees, and some wonder if his pay should be cut.
Well-intentioned or not, competent or not, the so-called “leaders” [sports columnist Bill Benner] referenced in your [May 4] column failed miserably in representing the best interests of taxpayers and instead presided over an unconscionable transfer of wealth from “We the people” to a small number of professional sports owners and players.
No matter how the Capital Improvement Board funding mess plays out, we’re left with resentment coming from all directions
and an unprecedented splintering of the long-standing bipartisan cooperation that helped propel our city forward.
The two principal matters that all agree must be resolved are the biennial budget and a plan to return the Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund to solvency.