Thursday, November 29, 2007

Harrison Square Groundbreaking

I just returned from the groundbreaking ceremony but I decided to bypass the post-shovel celebration at the Grand Wayne Center. There's nothing quite like politicians and their aristocratic brethren backslapping each other and cheering the subversion of the people's wishes. But don't worry their day is coming - once the referendum is passed into law these major projects that line the pockets of a few while sucking money out of the masses will be a thing of the past.

On a lighter note, I expected to see John B Kalb picketing the grounds and shouting "Taxation without representation is tyranny!" James Otis would've been disappointed but I suppose this event officially marks Kalb's (and the rest of our) capitulation...


Dave MacDonald said...

Jeff writes: "once the referendum is passed into law..."

Jeff, what's the current status of this? Guess I'm not up to speed on this issue.

Jeff Pruitt said...


It's part of Governor Daniels' property tax reform package that the state legislature will take up. That package might not pass "as is" but I expect the referendum part to make it through.

Unless the ISTA is successful in killing it of course...

Dave MacDonald said...

Thanks. That's what I thought. I misunderstood your post to mean this was further along.

Kevin said...


I am not sure I support the referendum portion of the plan.

On the surface, it looks great....but: Try getting a school built. If MY KID is not going to it, why would I support it?

This is a common problem in states that have referendums.

I am also not convinced that the wishes of the people have been subverted. There is great support for downtown revitilization- we are only arguing about HOW to do that.

J Q Taxpayer said...

The thing many has missed in the last couple of days is what sort of leaked out of the "walkway" approval. That the development of the Indiana Hotel will now come to the front in the next couple of years.

The talk of more condos, small business offices, ground floor shops, and a roof top eat em up place. Plus we taxpayers will help to develop this also.

So the people who have started new businesses downtown, in hopes of getting an increase in business, when the ballpark opens just got kicked in the teeth.

No surpise to this writer. They are getting used like so many others.

For all of you people who think night baseball will help downtown I urge you to go to a Reds game any night of the week outside of Saturday. Then come back and tell me how well all the bars and so forth are going to do after games.

jon said...

"Unless the ISTA is successful in killing it of course..."

If I were a betin' man, my money would be on the ISTA.

Phil Marx said...


I expect the J.G. to do a front page story soon explaining how the decrease in vocal complaints means the public has now come to enthusiastically support H.S. However, I think acquiesce is a more fitting word than capitulate. Surrender is not always on satisfactory terms.

I thought the referendum was only for school projects. Did I misunderstand this?

Dave MacDonald said...


From Mitch Daniel's website:

"Large local construction projects must be approved by communities through a referendum vote."

Appears the referendum would apply to more than just school projects.

J Q Taxpayer said...

Every local unit of government is going to be opposed to this. From townships to cities, including school districts. Sadly, there will be much talk about it but it will not see the light of day as a law.

Code Blue Schools said...

The teaqchers unions, the school districts and the building contractors are already fightig referendums tooth and nail. That's the best indication of why we need it. The State senate led by Luke Kenley of Noblesville and our own David Long aren't supporting it. The don't have it on their slate of bills. The Governor and Senators need to hear from taxpayers before they get serious.

Phil Marx said...

Thanks for that Dave, I guess I did misunderstand.

David Long is the only State Senator in Allen County who is up for re-election next year. Perhaps we should try to make this issue a part of his campaign!

Robert Enders said...

Think of HS as a very expensive lession in economics. Sure, other cities have made mistakes like this before. But the entire history of this project is documented in the archives of blogs like this one. Future opponents of subsidized sports, no matter what city they live in, will be able to cite Harrison Square as an example to avoid.

Phil Marx said...


Your misspelling of lesson looks very similar to lesion. I wonder if that was really an accident?

le·sion [leezh'n]
(plural le·sions)

1. wound: a wound, especially an area of skin that is broken or infected
2. change due to illness or injury: a physical change in a body part that is the result of illness or injury

I remember how the great fiscal conservative, John Crawford, pleaded with his fellow Council members to respect private property rights by not placing a restrictive "historical property" designation on the Broadway corridor. Of course they didn't listen to him, and why should they? He lost all credibility as a fiscal conservative when he voted for H.S.

So ten years from now we'll have a downtown stadium that is nearly as empty as the present location, a water park that we can't use because the ground is contaminated, several buildings on Broadway that look like they need bulldozed, a private school that failed to expand because of unfair restrictions, and a very successful Subway Sandwich shop. All this for about $200 million.

Our body politic has changed. It is sick. Now, the mere sight of a fast food restaurant makes us bleed money. The irony is that the fiscally conservative Dr. Crawford was among those making the first cut. The pattern will be followed now. We'll just hand out money (or abatements) for anybody's project. One of them is bound to succeed, then our brilliant leaders can point to it as proof that they were right.