Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Will The CCC Be Handling The Utility Sale as They Did with the CIB Mess?

This evening's committee meeting of the Rules and Public Policy Committee was a huge disappointment to any citizen who wanted to speak to their council representatives about this important issue. After two and a half hours, the committee had voted on a Charter School proposal, and Citizens Energy CEO Carey Lykins and Chief of Staff to Mayor Ballard Chris Cotterill went through the same Power Point slide show that we all saw at the public forums these past months.

To add insult to injury, the Power Point slides were printed off for each committee member. Instead of having the slides read to them, they could've flipped through them before the meeting started. I know at least one committee member, Monroe Gray, attended the same public forum that I was at.

As Gary Welsh at Advance Indiana points out, the City-County Council, Lykins, and city employees are paid to be there. We citizens are not. Committee meetings shouldn't be turned into a verbatim presentation of public forums. The Council, like the rest of us, could've easily researched this information by reading a newspaper or watching the local TV news, or even logging onto indygov.org. The presence of no less than three associated lawyers made a ridiculous back-and-forth that added nothing to the discussion.

Unfortunately, since I sometimes work nights, I couldn't stay any later than 8pm. I'm sure that, like the CIB mess, the committee long stopped listening to the citizens by the time Bob Lutz (R)"graciously" lets the public have it's two cents. I won't be surprised if he makes a snarky remark at how long committee meetings take. Maybe he can take some initiative and tell committee members to do research BEFORE the meeting. This is, after all, how it played out when Lutz fumbled the CIB bailout, same committee as well.

I did, however, have a chat with At-Large representative Angel Rivera (R). He told me that, even though Prop 130 is voting on the MOU of the Utility Sale, the Council will be voting on the final deal when it is complete. He also told me that Prop 131, which will give the city the authority to issue bonds for $130 million will have a second proposal that'll allocate the money specifically in about two weeks time.

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