"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"
aka "Miss Victory"

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Open letter to Mayor Ballard from Paul Ogden

I do hope Mayor Ballard is paying attention. The Mayor works for THE PEOPLE, not Barnes & Thornburg.
--Melyssa for HFFT

August 28, 2008

Mayor Gregory Ballard
Indianapolis City-County Building, 25th Floor
Indianapolis, IN 46204

Re: Selling City Property; Venture Real Estate Deal

Dear Mayor Ballard:

First of all, I want to let you know how much I wish for your success. As a Republican, I am deeply proud of the campaign you ran and the commitment you expressed for a more open and ethical city government.

It is exactly for that reason that many people are troubled by the Venture Real Estate deal. Giving a private company a profit motive (commissions) as to what is supposed to be the rendering of objective advice about selling city property, creates a major conflict of interest. It is likewise a conflict for one of your top advisors to also represent John Bales of Venture in negotiating the contract with the city. I have no doubt this advisor and his law firm will also earn fees on the legal work every time a piece of city property is sold or leased pursuant to the Venture deal.

Since this story broke, many Republicans, including those who worked directly on your campaign, have expressed concerns you have surrounded yourself with political advisors more interested in using their positions to profit financially than giving you sound advice. They believe, and I agree, that you received poor advice as to the Venture deal. Mayor, if your administration is going to be a success, you need to give those advisors their walking papers and replace them with people who will make your success the No. 1 priority.

Aside from the Venture deal being a bad political move, it is not clear consideration was given to the legal requirements that must be followed when selling city property and park land in particular. First, the sale of any city property requires a professional appraisal (IC 36-1-11-4) and notice and a public hearing. (IC 36-1-11-3). The selling agent has to take bids. (IC 36-11-11-4). The sale of any city property over $50,000 has to be approved by the City-County Council. (IC 36-1-11-3). The sale of any park land, regardless of value, has to be approved by the council and the sales proceeds paid into the parks department budget or used to buy new park land. (IC 36-10-4-8). We would expect that Venture follow all these requirements.


Paul K. Ogden


Anonymous said...

I also assisted in Mayor Ballard's campaign and worked diligently with a group of activists to help him win his campaign. It was my goal to reach across party lines (I am a Libertarian) to help establish more effective leadership for our city. I understand that Mayor Ballard has to make wise and practical choices in his position, but he should also be aware that we are the ones who helped him the most--not the established Republican Party who actually donated more campaign monies to former Mayor Peterson. Mr. Ballard, I deeply hope you respect the will the people and do what's right. You have greater friends and allies in our non-partisan movement than you will ever find in the Republican Party. Actually, if you are a man of true leadership, why don't you consider dumping the Republican Party and join in the Libertarian movement.

Anonymous said...

Barnes & Thornburg--Bob Grand, has taken over our city and is going to bankrupt it and squander all its assets, every contract, property, opportunity and power it can get. It's making this administration pay for its 8 years of failure by instigating as much agitation it can. That will make Ballard continue to 'snuggle up' with Barnes & Thornburg, thinking only they can save him.

How absurd that Ballard thinks thats true. He's a one term mayor for sure and is being set up so that he'll have to leave town when he loses the next election, unless he has a heart attack before then due to the stress.

Ballad, the carrot they are dangling in front of you is a lie...you will NOT be Governor for the State of Indiana! That carrot is to polarize you for 4 years, fantasing about your next big jump, Brizzi style.


Where are those FRIENDS of yours?!!!!