Indianapolis’ disastrous downtown parking meter deal

This has been a hot topic on facebook and with local blogs for the last couple weeks or so. Mayor Ballard had come up with a deal to privatize parking meters downtown and in the Broadripple Area that basically gives away the baby with the bathwater. The deal is a 50-year contract with a private company to install and maintain the meters, and they will reap the profits from said meters over that time. Prices on the meters will go up. Free nights and weekends will go away – you’ll pay at the meter from 7 am to 9 pm. Residents in Broad Ripple will be required to buy parking permits to park in front of their homes.

Basically the deal is done but will require the city-county council to approve. That has suddenly become more difficult due to some analysis by urban planning guru Aaron Renn of Urbanophile, who looked closely at the details of the deal and wrote two articles, one about how the deal is bad public policy: Parking Meters and the Perils of Privatization

And the other is how this particular deal sucks so bad:

Indy’s “Son of Chicago” Parking Meter Lease to Be a Disaster for City
Lots more detail in both those articles on how everything shakes out. Post the articles which have been circulating widely among policial wonks, many more people have contacted the city-county council to complain about the deal, and they were forced to postpone a discussion in the Rules Committee about it in order to address some of the complains with a response. Downtown businesses are starting to realize how deleterious the affects will be on their business, according to the Indiana Business Journal.

There will apparently be a hearing on September 20th after the regular city-county council meeting.
The city’s “response” to Urbanophile’s articles, which doesn’t offer any arguments of substance and mostly picks nits about the level of detail Aaron got into in his articles, is here:

PDF download – Parking Meter Modernization Will Improve Infrastructure and Spur Economic Activity

Thankfully, Aaron Renn assessed the response and picked that mother apart as well:
Indianapolis Parking Meters – The City’s Response

Contact information for the City-County Council, should you be interested in registering your opinion.

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3 comments on “Indianapolis’ disastrous downtown parking meter deal
  1. Lenore Hanick says:

    Joe Loftus is the city’s chief statehouse lobbyist and a counselor to Mayor Greg Ballard. The city’s lobbyist registration shows Joe Loftus as registered to lobby for ACS, the company Ballard chose to award the potentially billion dollar parking meter privatization to.
    Mitch Roob former vice president with ACS Inc. Roob was picked by Gov. Mitch Daniels to head Indiana’s largest state agency, the Family and Social Services Administration where Roob was the former Secretary of FSSA – better known as the Welfare Slum.
    State Rep. Eric Turner and his son Paul Ezekiel Turner’s company, was in negotiations to buy the former Jones Middle School from Marion Community Schools. The school board voted to sell the building for $350,000 to Mainstreet Capital Partners LLC, a joint venture between “Zeke” Turner and his father. after receiving nearly $200,000 a year from ACS, the property has been assessed in excess of $7 million.
    A guy named of “Skip” Stitt. I wonder what Skip is doing these days? Oh, you hadn’t heard? An officer with ACS.
    Well, that explains why ACS gave its maximum allowable corporate donation of $5,000 to Daniels in 2008, and why Stitt gave $2,500 out of his own pocket. Campaign finance records also show $2,000 from Maryland native and ACS’ Chief Operating Officer Tom Burlin. Why would a guy from Maryland give to an Indiana Governor?
    Then again, ACS wrote Governor Daniels a check for $5,000 in January of 2009. ACS also gave $2,000 each to the (R) Senate Majority Campaign Committee and the House Republican campaign committee, as well as $1,000 to the Indiana House Democratic Caucus.
    This is just to mention a few.
    We still have a list of names and conflicts of interest with Affiliated Computer Services call center CEO’s in Indianapolis which most articles fail to mention.
    “Now the new numbers have emerged with regard to the failed IBM deal, showing that the state spent $500 million on the failed deal, $442 million of which has gone directly to IBM as of the end of August. Guess where another $59 million has gone? That’s right. To ACS.” (nuvo)
    If you want interesting insight into how ACS and FSSA have failed, google Carl Moldtham a few of the articles written of how Roob and his InBed Buddies treated a man trying to do the right thing.
    Where’s Washington’s FEDS and the FBI?

  2. Lenore Hanick says:

    ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS – SEC Charges Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. With Stock Options Backdating and False Disclosures:
    “The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C., alleges that from 1995 to 2006, ACS engaged in a fraudulent and deceptive scheme to provide executives and other employees with undisclosed compensation.”
    Above is a part of a recent into ACS.
    Seriously folks let’s get real.
    Public officials are supposed to be trustees of the commonweal, not political
    buccaneers seeking their own private gain. But sometimes, in what economists call a
    principal-agent problem, those trustees forsake that obligation and misuse the power
    delegated to them in ways that advance their personal interests rather than those of the
    public.
    Corruption distorts the allocation of resources toward projects that
    can generate illicit payoffs. Besides the undesirable efficiency consequences arising
    from this distortion, the effect is likely to aggravate social inequalities, because the poor and powerless suffer, by definition, a comparative disadvantage in securing special favors.
    If the $500,000 has to be paid if the City-County Council will not vote for the ACS deal. Pay ACS’s political blackmail scheme and get them out of town. Like all the other commentaries together with articles I’ve been reading have showed, ACS is not the kind of corporation we want in our town. Political blackmail, special interests, conflict of interests, WHERES THE FBI? WHERES THE FEDS?
    Has anyone ever read ACS Ethical Standards they try to impose on their employees at the welfare office. Their employees aren’t allowed to accept even a Christmas card. Yet the CEO’s and Directors of this company have done just that.
    ACS is a shameful, unethical, disgraceful hypocrite, not to mention the so called “leaders” of Indianapolis for creating this mess.
    What an embarassment to our city.

  3. Lenore Hanick says:

    ENFORCEMENT PROCEEDINGS – SEC Charges Affiliated Computer Services, Inc. With Stock Options Backdating and False Disclosures:
    “The SEC’s complaint, filed in federal district court in Washington, D.C., alleges that from 1995 to 2006, ACS engaged in a fraudulent and deceptive scheme to provide executives and other employees with undisclosed compensation.”
    Above is a part of a recent into ACS.
    Seriously folks let’s get real.
    Public officials are supposed to be trustees of the commonweal, not political
    buccaneers seeking their own private gain. But sometimes, in what economists call a
    principal-agent problem, those trustees forsake that obligation and misuse the power
    delegated to them in ways that advance their personal interests rather than those of the
    public.
    Corruption distorts the allocation of resources toward projects that
    can generate illicit payoffs. Besides the undesirable efficiency consequences arising
    from this distortion, the effect is likely to aggravate social inequalities, because the poor and powerless suffer, by definition, a comparative disadvantage in securing special favors.
    If the $500,000 has to be paid if the City-County Council will not vote for the ACS deal. Pay ACS’s political blackmail scheme and get them out of town. Like all the other commentaries together with articles I’ve been reading have showed, ACS is not the kind of corporation we want in our town. Political blackmail, special interests, conflict of interests, WHERES THE FBI? WHERES THE FEDS?
    Has anyone ever read ACS Ethical Standards they try to impose on their employees at the welfare office. Their employees aren’t allowed to accept even a Christmas card. Yet the CEO’s and Directors of this company have done just that.
    ACS is a shameful, unethical, disgraceful hypocrite, not to mention the so called “leaders” of Indianapolis for creating this mess.
    What an embarrassment to our city.

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