Thursday, June 5, 2014

Rebuild Indy II Deserves Scrutiny...Not Capitulation by Democrats

Abdul-Hakim Shabazz covered the press conference Tuesday where City-County Council Republicans looked all stern and took the opportunity to criticize City-County Council Democrats for not simply capitulating on Mayor Greg Ballard's Rebuild Indy II plan.

You may remember that this plan spends $350 million or so to build cricket fields rebuild Indy's crumbling infrastructure just in time for a reelection campaign over the next few years.

Proponents say that the roads and streets get repaired under this plan at once instead of piecemealing it through.  Opponents point out that the plan requires the city to borrow money paid off over years.  They argue that short term repairs should not be paid with long term loans.  They also argue that the list of projects has not been equally spaced out across the city...that some of the hardest hit areas were not due to get the needed repairs.

Part of the problem is that the Ballard Administration clearly thinks it's ok to try to ram through its agenda without the other side asking reasonable questions.  When those questions are raised, Republicans run out and do news conferences with concerned citizens.

I'm a concerned citizen.  I hit the same pothole every day on the way home from work along Tincher Road.  Every time I hit it, I remind myself to miss it tomorrow and to report it to the Mayor's Action Center.  I'm not, however, in such a hurry to get that pothole repaired that I'm willing to put it on a credit card to be paid off with interest over 30 years.  It just doesn't make sense to do that.

The Democrats are coming up with their own plan, and I'm interested to see what an alternative it is to the Mayor's plan that's on the table.  There will be a plan out there before 2015.  You can count on that.

Until then, the Mayor's going to have to wait, work harder to sell his plan or even perhaps do that thing we like to call compromise with Council Democrats to get this done.  Voters elected a Democratic majority for a reason in 2011.  While I completely respect their position, a handful of concerned neighbors holding a news conference with Republicans who are concerned about protecting their Mayor and their own political interests does not excuse doing one's due diligence responsibly financing this project.

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