Friday, October 22, 2010

Which Democrats Will Vote For the ACS Parking Scheme?

The original scheme that the city and Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) hatched to hand over public parking management to a private vendor initially was criticized by the blogs, and it was only later that traditional media picked up on the criticism. One of the often quoted critics was Aaron M. Renn, an urban planner who runs the blog The Urbanophile. In recent news articles, Renn has discussed the new plan ACS and the city have hatched and Renn notes correctly that the terms of the deal have only changed in the most mild fashioned. The city can now opt out of the deal every 10 years while paying a penalty fee to ACS, and it's a bit easier to move and/or bag meters. That's about where the difference ends. You can read a thorough analysis over at Advance Indiana.

Barbara Malone (R-At Large) believes that this will be able to pass the council, but the Republican caucus has had a few unreliable members in the past. Malone herself voted with the Democrats in several votes when her term first began. Christine Scales (R-4th District) was the lone Republican who voted against the Capital Improvement Board (CIB) bailout. And Benjamin Hunter (R-21st District) introduced a smoking ban proposal that was unpopular within the Republican caucus. With a handful of unreliable support from these three councilors and Republican-Turned-Libertarian Edward Coleman (LP-At Large), who can Mayor Greg Ballard (R) grease the palms of to support this backroom ACS parking scheme?

The answer lies in the prior major legislative initiative, the "sale" of the water and sewage utilities from the city to Citizens Energy Group, and before that, the tax increases and budget borrowing approved by the City-County Council for the CIB.

Paul Bateman, Jackie Nytes, and Mary Moriarty-Adams all voted for the utility sale, even though their votes weren't needed. Nytes also was the only Democrat who voted for the CIB bailout. Adams has previously irritated Democrats within the county with her votes against the Human Rights Ordinance, which passed in December, 2005, and bans discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

I think Nytes has completely checked out and has become a stooge of the Ballard administration. Sure, she might publicly speak poorly of the parking scheme just like she has of the CIB, but in the end, she'll support it. She was doing nothing but rattling off talking points at this week's Municipal Corporation committee meeting to give the false sense that she was really doing this with a held nose, but she couldn't be more proud to vote for these backroom deals. The real question is why.

As for Bateman and Adams, I don't know as much about them as I do Nytes. Maybe they can be swayed. Do you live in their districts? Start writing and e-mailing and calling them NOW. You can look up who your City-County Council representative is here.

1 comment:

  1. Hal Daring, a good friend of Ice Miller's Lacy Johnson, was brought into the parking deal in the joint venture between his MBE and Denison Parking in an obvious attempt to attract the votes of some black councilors. My guess is they will be the most likely targets to cross over. Nytes is at least acting for now like they can't count on her vote. Some of the Rs are spreading rumors that they are going to get Adams to switch parties if the Dems block her for slating next year so she is obviously one to keep an eye on. In the event Fishburn wins the sheriff's race, an Adams switch is more likely as her husband works for the sheriff. You've probably noticed that doesn't keep her from participating in the sheriff's budget


Please see the Indy Student Blog Policies page for the full policy on blog comments. Verification of comments by typing in a random word is required to prevent spam. Due to recent blog inactivity, comments are now pre-screened to prevent spam advertisement.