Friday, October 22, 2010
Parking Deal Redux Still Filled with Potholes
I am far from the authority on the deal between Mayor Ballard's Administration and ACS to take over parking operations at the city's meters scattered across town. There are many other blogs that out there that have dealt with the issue, so I will just piggy back on to what has already been said.
I direct your attention to Advance Indiana and Gary Welsh. You know, Gary and I have gone around and around on his blog many times, and I don't agree with his politics. I find myself in agreement with him and his assessment of the ACS deal 100 percent. That should bother people. Maybe there is something to this 2012 thing :-). You can read Gary's well-researched and excellently crafted response to the ACS Deal here. The Urbanophile blog goes further on the original deal.
While the whole piece is still well worth the read, the digest version is simple. The new deal isn't really new at all. It just shifts a few terms around and slaps a new sticker on the front. The core question remains: why does the city need ACS to do this for them?
That's a harder question to answer. It likely dives deep into the bowels of the sausage-making factory of politics. I have no doubt that if the public blinks and buys this new deal hook, line, and sinker that Ballard will get the votes to stuff it through the Council.
Welsh and Blogger Paul Ogden have both been on top of the story about Council President Ryan Vaughn's apparent lobbying activities on behalf of ACS. Vaughn denies it, but Ogden says that a state report listed him as a lobbyist for ACS. That's just one issue. There are many more.
Then, there's the question that no one seems to be answering: How will this effect small businesses downtown? My friend (and future At-Large City-County Councillor), Zach Adamson owns Just Hair on Ohio Street. He has been saying all along that raising the parking rates just makes it less likely for people to frequent downtown businesses. Channel 8 did a story on this as well.
So, while Mayor Ballard and some of his friends on the City-County Council might believe this is good for the city, it sounds like there's still enough out there that is hanging in the air to keep asking questions. Let's hope enough City-County Councillors keep asking them before they ram the deal through.
I think there will be a few more drives around the block before this story finds a final parking spot.