Friday, July 12, 2013

Ex-Chamber President Quietly Appointed to MDC

Scott Miller
Picture from
On July 1, Senate Enrolled Act 621 became law.  The law, known as the Ballard Power Grab in Democratic circles did many things, but it gave the Mayor of Indianapolis and the City-County Council each another appointment to the Metropolitan Development Commission.

The MDC is a critical governmental agency.  It oversees what happens with development in the City of Indianapolis supposedly taking into account the wishes of the neighbors and city planners.  Sometimes the process works, and sometimes other concerns take over.

When the Ballard Power Grab became law, Ed Mahern and Jimmy Brown were both tossed from the MDC.  Mayor Greg Ballard wasted no time in filling his seat.  According to Jon Murray of the Indianapolis Star, Ballard installed former Indy Chamber of Commerce President Scott Miller onto the MDC.

I will give Mr. Miller the benefit of the doubt, but, as a former neighborhood group president, I have to tell you that I'm a little nervous having the former Indy Chamber President deciding zoning issues.  To me, it seems a little bit like, to use a cliched idiom, the fox guarding the hen house.  I hope that he will balance the concerns of economic development vs. the concerns of the neighbors and residents of a particular area of town.

The good news is that there are plenty of advocates for neighbors and neighborhoods in this town.  Folks like Pat Andrews are always on guard.

The City-County Council will make their appointment at some point to the MDC, but Ballard, as Murray points out in his post, will have a 5-4 advantage on the MDC.

I guess we are vividly seeing the very real potential changes that the Ballard Power Grab has had on the city already.

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