As usual Abdul, morning talk show host at WXNT, is on top of it with his reporting of the city's shortfall of money to meet the budget. Looks like we're going to have to borrow...again! Thanks Mayor Peterson. Although to be fair, a reader did mention that Peterson also faced shortfalls when he became Mayor and blamed Goldsmith.
The question is will Mayor Ballard, the man we all worked so hard for, remain open and accountable to the people when the big law firms (and the CIB) obviously exert a great deal of manipulation over his direction and decisions.
The city, even after initial cuts Ballard made, is still $150 million short. Over on Abdul's blog he asks citizens what they are willing to give up and, as usual, thrifty fans of the show came up with many good answers.
I particularly like this response from BigDawg65 over at Abdul's blog Indiana Barrister:
My quick thoughts. I preface this by the fact I no longer live in Marion county but still own property there and spend as much time there as I can. I love Indy! First township government needs to be consolidated in Marion County and all over the state for that matter. It’s outdated and costs a fortune. And all township property sold. Then they have to look at city and county government and make the tough cuts in payrolls. Combine job duties where you can, give one person a 25% raise and cut the other position. We have to do it in business everyday to survive. We are all doing more then we were in the past. What about selling Marion County Health and Hospital to a private entity. Not a puplic/private but a sale of the management company and long term leases on the buildings? Someone needs to take a long look at health and hospital as I doubt most folks in Marion county know that they the taxpayers own and operate nursing homes all over the state. Do they need to spend tax money on an enterprise that is taken care of by business’s all over the state? Cut it loose. Then they need to cap the tax exempt status of all not for profits in Marion County at $5 million in real estate. They then pay full property taxes on all value over $5 million and exclude pools, golf courses and other recreation facilites owned by the not for profits. You also have to look at every line item of the budget and make tough calls. I have not looked at the budget yet but those are some options off the top of my head. Then if the money is still not there then to even the playing field let’s make 465 a toll road like Orlando has. But all Marion county residents get one of those free electronic pass’s while all outside the county have to pay the fee’s. I am sure there are all kinds of issues there..but an idea that could shore up the budget and force funding for transit.