Democratic candidate for Mayor, Ron Gibson, sent out this news release about 8:30 p.m. tonight.
Privatization of Parking Meters is Fleecing the City -- And Citizens
Indianapolis - “The approval of the 50-year lease of the City’s parking meters to ACS is a fleecing of citizens and visitors to fund a corporate entity, with no guarantee that there will be a benefit to the City of Indianapolis. ACS already has a bad track record of privatization with the State”, said Mayoral Candidate Ron Gibson.
“I agree that the parking meters need to be upgraded, but the city could invest in the technology by first using the annual $700,000 profit from current meters and raising rates. Then, by way of revenue bonds, borrow -- only as necessary -- additional funds to complete the project and then the City will retain all revenues and profits versus allowing a company to gain exuberant profits on the backs of our residents and visitors under the guise of improving infrastructural needs. In other words, this deal is so profitable to corporate and special interests that it passed with a vote by a Council member who had clear conflict of interest. The people of Indianapolis deserve better representation and leadership”, said Gibson.
Let's consider that Deputy Mayor Huber thinks that any and all future mayors will relish an annual income stream of $4 million per year from parking meters -- that is, if there are enough customers. There is no guarantee in this contract that there will be sufficient income for either ACS or the City or that if there is insufficient income, that ACS will still send the City $4 million. Too, if the future changes and leadership decides to terminate the contract, there can be a humongous penalty of some $19.8 million to ACS. There is also a 2-year prohibition against the City, in that event, of the City bringing in another vendor or the City operating the meters, thus guaranteeing them another 2 years of our parking meter revenue. Why are we paying an out-of-town vendor to upgrade our parking meters and take our money? There are qualified and capable vendors here that can do the job with fewer negatives. Has anyone considered the cost of attorneys in any lawsuit with ACS, even if ACS defaults on this contract? And don't forget about the water and sewer services that is still not finalized while the City is already spending the sales proceeds, if any.
"There is no doubt that infrastructure needs are huge. However, let's not put ourselves in a precarious position just to look good as the election cycle approaches. This piecemeal approach of what looks like giveaways has to stop while we take a deep breath and let the citizens make input to how our assets and indebtedness should be conducted", said Gibson.