Indy council members weigh in on millions in wasted taxpayer money
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (Dec. 15, 2015) – Another $10 million of taxpayer money lawmakers say has disappeared in Indianapolis. Local lawmakers have now had enough and are calling out Mayor Greg Ballard and his administration for four years of missteps.
“It’s frustrating, and it’s sad, and we should do better,” said Councilman Aaron Freeman (R – District 25).
If you’re an Indy taxpayer, City County Councilman Aaron Freeman will be the first to tell you, you’ve been dealt a losing hand of cards.
“If you’re somebody who has paid money into taxes and fees, we have failed them in some of the decisions that we’ve made,” said Freeman.
- $10 million is gone after three years of missed deadlines and failed contracts with InterAct, a company that promised to bring a new, state of the art communications system to IMPD.
- $12 million is gone after months of closed door contracts to plan for a new criminal justice center that for now won’t be built.
- $6 million was stolen, Freeman says, from the city parking meter fund to pay for a Blue Indy project council was never sold on.
And an estimated $30 million dollars was spent without council approval on the most controversial and confidential project of 2015, the Vision Fleet deal.
“We would be much better off if proposals would come the traditional way. The administration brings a proposal to council, it’s debated, it’s vetted, it’s discussed, and then ultimately it’s voted on and that way there’s a clear record of accountability. That’s failed here in the last four years,” said Freeman.
Freeman blames much of the evaporating cash on backdoor deals within the Ballard administration. Council never signed off on contracts for Vision Fleet or InterAct.
“In my mind, Vision Fleet and Blue Indy, both of which in concept I love, they’re wonderful for the city, but we didn’t see either one of those,” said Councilman Jeff Miller (R – District 19).
Miller agrees and hopes January 1 brings not only a new Mayor, but a new way of spending taxpayer dollars.
“It’s very frustrating as taxpayers to continually hear, money’s being spent but we don’t have the goods that we’re going to be delivered,” he said.
Debt from these deals that never received council approval will take years if not decades to pay off. There is no word on if council will seek to hold anyone accountable for these failed contracts.