Tuesday, July 29, 2008

what does a city controller do, anyway?

because apparently "know what's going on with the budget" isn't in our city controller's job description. from today's indy star:

[City Controller David] Reynolds said he was surprised to find out that last year's county income tax increase -- to 1.65 percent from 1 percent -- did not set aside money for police and fire pensions. The General Assembly earlier this year agreed to assume those pension costs. But Peterson had promoted the tax increase to the public partly as a way to pay for the pensions. Instead, Reynolds said, the extra money went to public safety operations.

he was surprised, huh? that's funny, because i've known since november!

Bond Buyer reports that "Indianapolis' planned $460 million pension obligation bond issue, a key piece of Mayor Bart Peterson's plan to shore up the city's finances, is up in the air following his surprise defeat last week at the hands of Greg Ballard, who campaigned on promises to hold down debt and eliminate property taxes. With Peterson out at the end of the year, the pension obligation bond is one of several projects and financial plans that have come under renewed scrutiny. As a result, officials have yet to decide whether they will move forward with the deal under the current administration or wait until Ballard takes office, said Barbara A. Lawrence, executive director of the Indianapolis Bond Bank. "It was our intent to move forward with the bond issue, and obviously that is still an option, but we are weighing our options given what happened in the election last week," Lawrence said. The bank — which would serve as the issuer for the pension deal — plans to decide by next week. While Lawrence left the door open to moving forward, it still requires city/county counci approval. If the deal is put off until Ballard takes office, it's uncertain whether the city would proceed as Ballard has said in published reports that he wants the state to assume the liability.

here's a little history lesson for mr. city controller. see, the deal was all set up and ready to go. then mayor peterson lost the election. ballard had made it clear that he didn't want the COIT increase money to go to the pensions. so, rather than bind his hands into a deal he didn't want, peterson officials decided to wait until ballard was in office and let him make the call. ballard, obviously, decided not to go through with the deal, and spent the money on public safety . later, during his embarrassingly ill-prepared state house testimony, carolene mays criticized ballard for not using the COIT money to pay for pensions and instead asking the state for a handout. (in the end, he lucked out and got the handout anyway.)

how is it that i, a lowly blogger, know all this stuff, but our city controller claims to be surprised? it seems like the kind of thing he should be aware of, and it wasn't exactly a secret.

higher up in the star story, we see that the city needs to borrow $154 million to cover expenses for 2008. apparently, the property tax reassessment ordered by governor daniels has led to a major revenue shortfall, forcing the city to borrow more than usual. thanks, mitch! then again, i'm sure everything will be fine once the mayor cuts all that "fluff" out of the budget, right?

Ballard on Monday declined to reveal any more details about how his budget will make up for lost property tax revenues or fulfill his campaign promise to cut $70 million in "fluff" in three years, aside from spending cuts of nearly $8 million so far this year.

oh... well, with quality help like city controller reynolds, i'm sure the mayor will find that pony fluff any day now.


varangianguard said...

You must just be smarter than the average bear...;)

melyssa said...

"borrow more than usual"...that's a troubling statement. Why are we borrowing at all?

Why do we take on debt? Be an asset, not a liability.

I remember a few things about the budget last year too. You might recall that I attended most, if not all, of the CCC budget meetings from July until the sessions ended for 2007.

I went to the 3 or 4 hour long presentation for the justification for the COIT. I doubt you were there.

I sat next to an economist at the two COIT meetings. Guess what? The presentation of the numbers given to the public was a sham.

I organized the contentious rally at the CCC for Peterson's budget address. Guess what? The doors to the CCC auditorium were locked! Never before were the doors locked. It was 90 degrees and the mezzanine was packed with taxpayers who were hot and uncomfortable. WORSE...some taxpayers were locked outside to stand in the heat on Market Street. Never in the history of those meetings were the revolving doors locked.

When I asked the guard by the door to let us in the auditorium, he told me he "didn't have the key" and was unable to look me in the eye.

Then I saw a guard letting people go in the other set of double doors, so tried to go in through that entrance. An embarassed deputy told me that only approved persons were being allowed into the budget address.

Earlier that day, Peterson's camp frantically send text messages ORDERING good dems everywhere to be at that budget address or else!

Guess what? The taxpayers (those of us footing the bills) were told that we would be let in only if there was room.

Meanwhile, Peterson stacked the front of the house with his political cronies poised to clap and cheer on cue during his speech full of lies so the media would later replay the Peterson bullshit propoganda.

The governor called for a reassessment because there were many inconsistencies and pressure from the MK homeowners. The governor also wanted to buy time to put the sheeple back to sleep so they would stop protesting.

I was there...during every minute of it. I don't recall seeing you once.

Now get off Ballard's back. It is time someone with integrity got in there to pull the leeches from the taxpayer tit. \

Ballard is doing what we voted him into office to do...be open and accountable and make drastic spending cuts.

stAllio! said...

Now get off Ballard's back.

i will not. i will continue to hold him accountable, something i would think you would be sympathetic to.

in fact, why don't you get off bart peterson's back? dude's been out of office for seven months! i understand that you despise him, but christ, move on already.

melyssa said...

Peterson's damage done to this city is STILL effecting the lives of every taxpayer in Marion county.

So, until his mess is finally cleaned up and gone, I'll mention the lying rat from time to time.

As far as a personal vendetta, well how can I ever forget how that man used me and threw my life under the bus to deflect attention away from crap going on in the CCC. Worse, he used public dollars and public resources to do it.

We're bankrupt. Peterson promised to deliver taxpayers a financially healthy city and after 8 years he miserably failed to do so.

I believe I was the first to publicly state that the city is bankrupt. I knew it when I saw that sham of a presentation with bullshit numbers to ram the COIT down our throats.

Quite frankly, I could SMELL the fear on Peterson over what would happen if he didn't get that COIT passed.

Now, Ballard's DOING what he promised to do. Further, I've not noticed him locking the people who write the checks, the citizen bosses, out of the process.

Nor is Ballard abusing the life of any citizen toward his own political gain.

And unless you were there (which you were not), you really should shut your pie hole because you are simply IGNORANT of the facts.

I still have the handouts from that sham of a COIT presentation. Have you even looked at those numbers? I'd put money down that you have never looked at the city budget either.

Word is the lid is about to be blown off the Shepard Kernan Commission report next.

And one other thing you should keep in mind...your precious democrats who control the U.S. Congress have a 9% approval rating...the lowest in history. In fact, I think Congress has an even lower approval rating than that miserable excuse for a president, George Bush.

stAllio! said...

nothing you're saying has anything to do with my post, which was about the incompetence of the city controller, as well as ballard's failure to deliver on the impossible campaign promises he made.

you are unable to defend ballard or his reynolds on the merits so instead you rant and rave about how much you loathe bart peterson. but i don't care: your ranting and raving about peterson was already old in 2007.

melyssa said...

My ranting old in 2007?

That must explain I won a $5,000 national activist prize in December 2007 and helped unseat the former mayor.

And what were you doing again? Ranting on a blog that gets maybe 20 hits a day. Get a life...you need one.

Give the mayor some breathing space to do his job.

Ballard made his promises for budget cuts based on Peterson's 2008 budget full of holes and lies created by Peterson and his team.

It took Ballard's teams MONTHS to figure out what the real numbers are concerning the city's financial state.

Don't forget also that during the last week Peterson's office, the paper shredders were going 24/7 on the 25th floor filling many trucks with the shred. The boy was covering his deceitful tracks.

Flash forward to now. Finally Ballard is going to cut arts funding and I couldn't be happier. There's a whole lot more I'd like to see go bye-bye too.

I'm predicting we're going to hear whining and crying unlike we've ever heard as Ballard pulls the suckers off the taxpayer tit. I started hearing it in arts circles months ago.

Cultural arts CAN go on without public funding. In example, I produced a large national juried art event...Erotic Arts Ball 2004. The project made money after everyone was paid and didn't get a minute of help from that clique known as the arts council.

stAllio! said...

if i need a life and my blog is so puny and inconsequential, why do you keep coming here posting your multi-page comments?

melyssa said...

Why? Because I still hold out hope for your education...that's why.

You did initially get it right about Peterson's motivation in going after me. But then you lost it when you were led astray by anonymous women without a shred of documentation trashed me here.

Those internet nobodies were a clique of "mistresses" who thought they were the end all of everything kink related. Problem is that they excluded and hurt people. I took them down for it. I also ended up taking over their pathetic little kink event, turned it into a successful charity fundraiser, and donated many $1,000's to worthwhile causes.

Let's see...then you further got mad when I would not turn over that tape recording to you to do God knows what with. However, I stated you are welcome to hear it.

Once upon a time I thought the liberals held the answers too. Only by investigation and education did I learn how wrong I once was.

stAllio! said...

as usual, your version of events bears little resemblance to reality.

anyway, you can give up hope of "educating" me... i outgrew the libertarian party by the time i was 21.

anonymous gadfly said...

You CAN delete posts from crazy people. It's your real estate, not a public forum.

whatever said...

Way to grind that ax, MeLyssa! It's a wonder there's anything left of it. You didn't "take down" the mayor and don't be expecting a great deal of thanks for the incompetent buffoon in office now, who as head of the police dept. is delivering the most murderous summer in recent history and has not done a blessed thing about taxes. As for the kink community, They booted you out on your behind once they were made aware of your nonconsensual civil and criminal past (pro dommes really shouldn't have a record of assault charges, dear) and finally realized how terminally damaged you are. That's your whole problem, isn't it? This thread is a perfect example of your unfailingly vindictive nature. Everyone has moved on, is happy and much better off for not knowing you.

Anonymous said...

MeLyssa is still in a state of delusion....now that the state is picking up the unfunded public safety pensions, the repubicans have voted against rescinding the tax that was increased to cover the shortfall. Ballard now realizes that his campaign rhetoric that he could balance the budget by cutting the fluff out of the budget was a fairy tale and fools like MeLyssa fell for it. Pay the piper, Melyssa.


This must explain why the Mayor popped over to see me at work one day after he took office. I gotcha.

And "whatever", you have clearly NOT moved on, for you are STILL talking about me from your cowardly and ever-anonymous voice. Are you that ashamed of who you are? Sign your name to your opinion. It might get you some respect.

And for the record...I have no criminal record. Check it if you want.

stAllio! said...

the reason i keep talking about you is because you keep coming here filling up my blog with your nonsense! duh!

also, i feel sorry for you if you still don't understand the difference between pseudonymity and anonymity. i've explained it repeatedly.