"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

OGDEN ON POLITICS: The Oil Can springs a leak!

The Ogden dude has kahunas! While you are outraged, take a look at the recent posts from the economist at Indy Tax Dollars blog too.
--Melyssa for HFFT

The CIB is at it again. In an article just posted on Indystar.com, Brendan O'Shaughnessy of the Indianapolis Star reports that the cost of operating the Lucas Oil Stadium may turn out to be twice as much as originally expected. Of course, negotiators had failed to consider operating costs at all. With operating costs cutting into the CIB's operating budget, the agency will be left with a balance of $5.6 million next year. Given the accuracy of previous estimates, one shouldn't count on that money being there.

The article contains some gems:

The CIB gives $1 million annually to the arts. Why? The agency was established for the purpose of operating city properties. The CIB's authority is explicitly set out in the Indiana Code. I have my doubt the CIB even has the statutory power to give money to the arts. Nonethless, it's simply not the CIB's job to be involved in this function. If the city wants to give money to the arts, then it needs to be a regular part of the budget, not a pass through by an agency involved in other functions.

Fred Glass, former chairman of CIB, suggests that the city should have borrowed the operating costs of the stadium. One wonders if he puts his electricity bill on his credit card at home. It's because of people like Fred Glass that the debt on the RCA Dome was never paid off and $75 million dollars got rolled into the Lucas Oil debt.

O'Shaughnessey writes "City officials had anticipated covering increased costs with taxes from a proposed Downtown casino...." I can't believe he bought that line. City officials never expected that a downtown casino would happen. It was something former Mayor Peterson simply threw out when he was asked by state legislators how he was going to pay for the stadium.

Asked about the shortfall, the Colts responded by saying they're just a poor tenant and "not in a position to comment or suggest a solution" to the shortfall. Not sure why as "just a tenent" in the building the Colts are getting the money from the naming rights and 1/2 the revenue from non-football events. But Pete Ward, the team's vice president made clear that to suggest "reopening (the lease) agreement ... is ludicrous." Hey, Pete, the Colts might consider cultiating some good will in the community that isn't built solely on the right arm of Peyton Manning and the fact the Colts are a Super Bowl contender. The minute the Colts return to being an average team, which will happen, this town will turn on them in a heartbeat. The Colts' organization seems oblivous to the underlying hostility this town has over the sweatheart deal the team received.

A suggested solution was staff cuts at the CIB. That's a good idea and the Mayor should start with the CIB's chairman and executive director. The agency needs strong leaders who will stand up to to the Colts and stand up for taxpayers. That is not Bob Grand or Barney Levengood.


Chriss Hubbard said...


Downtown Indy said...

And don't forget about those extra 1000 or so parking spaces the CIB agreed to provide for the Colt's VIPs. We haven't heard much about that lately - whether a parking garage or other solution is coming. We can expect it to cost more money either way.