Thursday, September 15, 2016

Ballard Put Us Here; Democrats Digging Out

Mayor Joe Hogsett
For eight years of the Greg Ballard Administration, Indianapolis was told that the budgets were honestly balanced and that the city was on strong financial footing.

That wasn’t entirely accurate. As Joe Hogsett’s Administration has found out, sometimes the devil is in the details.

Early in Ballard’s term as Mayor of Indianapolis, he criticized the previous administration under Bart Peterson for all the so-called “fluff” in the budget. I’m told by sources in the know that out most of that “fluff” was rainy day money or revenue set aside for fiscal crises. Other money for rainy days could be raised by city assets such as parking meters or even the water company.

The state gave Indy $52 million to spend on road and street repairs or to put in a rainy day fund. Hogsett chose to start to rebuild Indy’s rainy day fund by putting that cash aside. To address public safety issues, roads, and park issues, Hogsett’s Administration wants to borrow $75 million. That plan was approved by the City-County Council Monday night, 13-12, according to the Indianapolis Star’s excellent reporting by Brian Eason.

Republicans say that Hogsett should spend the state money first before thinking about borrowing, but Democrats and Hogsett point out that this plan gives the city more flexibility. The Republican mentality is exactly what’s built the city’s fiscal problems. Instead of working to replenish the city’s rainy day money, Republicans have spent more than we’ve had coming in for years.

There really are no easy answers at this point to the issues this city has financially. I think Hogsett’s plan best allows the city to replenish those rainy day funds spent down by Ballard while continuing to do what it needs to do to operate.

2 comments:

Abdul said...

Jon,

FYI, the money from the state can only be spent for roads. Even if in a "rainy day" fund, it can only be spent on roads. And Indy was already sitting on nearly $80 million in its fiscal stability fund.

johnnystir said...

So, let's spend spend spend. Spend spend that money. The Republican Marion County mantra.