"The Official Portrait of Miss InDiana"

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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Open letter to City County Councilors on CIB bailout committee

Open letter sent today to:
(R) Robert Lutz, Chair rlutz@indy.gov 241-4020
(R) Bob Cockrum (no published email address) 856-5549
(D) Monroe Gray mgray@indy.gov 327-4242
(R) Barbara Malone barbara_malone@sbcglobal.net 291-4359
(D) Angela Mansfield angelamansfield@aol.com 872-3306
(R) Marilyn Pfisterer cpfist1061@aol.com 244-7156
(R) Lincoln Plowman lincolnplowman@comcast.net 557-7594(
D) Joanne Sanders jmsanders@msn.com 283-6040

Greetings Councilors,

Here we are, the whole CIB mess is dumped into your laps. I feel for you. However, I've learned that every batch of lemons has opportunity to make lemonade. And I'm here to help you turn this into a positive for your political careers if you vote against the bailout. Because I will not forget the councilors that vote against this bailout and will help publicize that you stood with The People against tax increases.

The CIB has operated as a secretive dark hole of our money long enough. Throwing additional hard earned taxpayer dollars at this mess is not going to fix the problem. It makes it worse and it won't be long until the CIB comes back to the taxpayer trough for yet more of our money.

Raising hotel taxes to among the very highest in our country is not going to save hospitality jobs. First of all there aren't 66,000 hospitality workers downtown. That figure is from central Indiana. And furthermore, if our hotels have to lower rates to compensate for yet another tax increase, that is going to hurt their bottom line and their ability to keep everyone on the payroll. We need to give convention planners a reason to come to Indy...not a reason to steer clear!

In the words of Mayor Greg Ballard, "We have Had Enough!"

Before we authorize giving the CIB another dime, we need a complete forensic audit of the CIB. We need to shine a light on every penny of our money to understand how it is being used and where there is waste.

Taxpayers know from studying the 2007 IRS statements of just one of the organizations funded by the CIB, the "not-for-profit" Arts Council spends 57% of our money on administrative costs. There's got to be plenty of other places the CIB funds that is also wasting our money. We will find the waste only with a thorough audit.

Taxpayers will not relent on this issue. We will beat this drum constantly between now and your next election. We will beat the drums even harder when you are campaigning for re-election.

Conversely, taxpayers will have your backs if you do what is in our best interest and open up the CIB to the light of day so that we can fix what is wrong without spending more money.

I hope I can sing your praises to people when they ask me what's going on instead of giving them a list of the councilors we want removed.

Do the right thing for the long term health of our city and stop this CIB mess dead in its tracks by ordering an independent forensic audit. That will send a clear message to taxpayers that you are serious about protecting our financial interests.

Best Regards,
Melyssa (publisher)

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