Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Opposition to Blue Indy Program Not About Idea

Mayor Greg Ballard
The Indy Star's new columnist, Suzette Hackney, penned a column last week about the Council vs. the Mayor over the Blue Indy Program.  Her thesis: let it pass.

Unfortunately, Hackney has little idea of the process (or lack of it) leading to this impasse between Mayor Greg Ballard and the City-County Council over his electric car sharing program.  The disagreement culminated in last week's vote to tow Blue Indy's demonstration cars from prime parking spots.

There seems to be some sort of idea out there that the issue is Democrats or others being opposed to the idea of electric car sharing, but the problem is not the idea.  It's Mayor Ballard's plan.  Incidentally, Chuck Brewer released a statement fully supporting Ballard's plan.

At its heart, Blue Indy is a great idea.  Few dispute that, but the lack of details from the Mayor's Office, the high price tag, and the seeming detour around the council and the public process turned this slam dunk into one that has clanged off the backboard.

Before the ink was dry on the Hackney column, the Washington Post wrote about Los Angeles' plan for an electric car share program giving opponents even more ammunition.  Matt Stone, my good friend over at the Indy Student Blog, did an excellent analysis of the Indy electric car share plan vs. the Los Angeles plan.  Turns out the LA plan calls for 400 less cars and comes in tens of millions cheaper.  

Truth is the Council is just doing its job as a separate and co-equal branch of government.  It's asking the questions that need to be answered.  Besides, when the Council and the Mayor have found an impasse, the resulting compromise has usually benefited the city.  We'll see what happens on this program from here.

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