After Monday night’s Council vote on the proposed transfer of the city’s water and waste water facilities to Citizens Gas I walked over to Nikki Blaine’s for a quick martini before calling it a day. While I was there I met a guy named Ron. He works as a server downtown. I asked him what he thinks about the city. I was interested in his opinion because he was an average person who doesn’t operate in the political fishbowl. He told me he thoughts things in Indy were good, despite the economy, however he thought the roads could be better. Imagine that.
I chuckled at that statement based on what had happened earlier at the City-County building. it was part of a stream of chuckles because all I could do was laugh on the inside at the behavior of the Democratic Caucus on the Council. The whining, the moaning and gnashing of teeth over the proposed water deal got to be a bit much. What was more laughable though were a majority of the Democrats who voted against the deal and publicly lambasted it were on the phone earlier and sending the Mayor’s office e-mails asking to have road projects in their districts funded. Heck, I found out even State Representative Bill Crawford secretly supports what the Mayor is doing.
The biggest joke of the night was Doris Minton-McNeil who argued incoherently against the proposal and then after it passed complained about road and infrastructure projects in her district that weren’t getting funded. Although I am also told she needed city help in figuring out what projects were actually in her district.
The true profiles in courage Monday night were Jackie Nytes and Mary Moriarty Adams who put politics aside and did what they thought was in the best interest of the constituents. Nytes, who I have a different philosophical approach on issues, made one of the best sound policy arguments for the water deal, saying that by using rates instead of property taxes to pay for streets, property that is not on the tax rolls will now contribute to pay for projects that are now the sole burden of property taxpayers. It’s very simple, effective logic rate payers and tax payers are not necessarily the same. Nytes also pointed out that tax payers have made it clear that they don’t want to use property taxes to pay for government nor is Indiana General Assembly going to be any help.
I give Nytes major props for consistency and intellectual honesty in the face of getting the threat of having Ed Treacy throw her a primary opponent. Which I have to note by the way, if you’re going to get rid of one of your members you may not want to go after one of your smartest members.