In the most naked, blatant use of partisan political power in Indianapolis history, Mayor Greg Ballard retaliated against the Democratic majority in the City-County Council by ordering a severe decimation of the budget of the Council and of Marion County agencies run by independently elected Democratic county officials. The unprecedented partisan action occurred when the Mayor vetoed parts of the city/county’s $1 billion 2013 budget. In an heated appearance on Afternoons with Amos, Marion County Prosecutor Terry Curry and City-County Council President Maggie Lewis angrily condemned the Mayor’s action as a direct attack on the independence of the Council and of County Agencies. Both charged the Mayor’s action was punishment because Democrats refused the Mayor’s request to increase property taxes by ending a tax credit. And because Democrats sought to fund more police with a one time payment from the Capital Improvement Board. Lewis and Curry also insisted that Mayor Ballard’s action violates state law. Specifically Indiana Code IC 36-3-4-14b(1) specifically prohibits the Mayor from vetoing budgets or appropriations for a judicial office or officer or a county officer or office provided for in Indiana’s Constitution. The Mayor’s veto would eliminate $31.8 million in spending by the Marion County Sheriff, Prosecutor, Clerk, Coroner, Assessor, Treasurer, Surveyor, all officials mandated by the State Constitution. Mayor Ballard’s action would eliminate funding for services ranging from Community Corrections, Child Support, Public Defender, Coroner, Forensic Services, County Clerk, Treasurer and Assessor. The Mayor’s cuts would make drastic cuts in the Sheriff’s Office, including operation of the Marion County Jail and would eviscerate of the county’s 33 courts. Besides Curry and Lewis, City-Council Majority Leader Vernon Brown and Councilmen John Barth and Monroe Gray and City-County Council Chief Financial Officer Hope Tribble explained the looming crisis to listeners and took questions and concerns.
Click Arrow To Hear About Mayor Ballard’s Illegal Actions & The Looming Budget Crisis. Runs 72 Minutes. ©2012 WTLC/Radio One.