Yet again, Carmel is in the news over its' palatial pet project, The Center For The Performing Arts, aka: The Palladium, and the Redevelopment Commission. From the Indy Star:
CARMEL, Ind. — City Council President Rick Sharp on Monday called for the removal of every member of the Carmel Redevelopment and its spending arm.
That demand came in the wake of his revelation Monday that a $100,000 check had been written by Redevelopment Commission officials to the former head of the Center for the Performing Arts as part of a confidentiality agreement.
Speaking in front of The Palladium, Sharp said the revelation was another example of the secrecy surrounding the spending carried out by the Redevelopment Commission in its efforts to spur a redevelopment boom in downtown Carmel.
“I personally think it is time to clean house at these two organizations,” Sharp said.
“It is time to thank them sincerely for all the time they have volunteered and bring new eyes, voices and judgment to the table.”
Carmel Mayor Jim Brainard, who appointed a majority of the commission’s members and has been a strong proponent of Carmel’s redevelopment, said Monday that politics appeared to be at play in Sharp’s news .
“It would seem . . . that the campaign for mayor has started early,” Brainard said.
Although The Palladium and other redevelopment efforts have helped Carmel earn national praise for its quality of life, the Redevelopment Commission has come under fire for its use of high-interest loans and financing methods that effectively bypassed City Council oversight.If this is the 'checks & balances' the proponents of City and strong mayor have to offer, color me not merely unimpressed, but motivated against. Checks and balances are not characterized by City Council members holding press conferences to express exasperation over secret operations and being bypassed by the Mayor. Checks and balances are characterized by business being conducted in broad daylight, the merits of projects being debated in public forums, deliberations taking place over time, having taken feedback from the public.
With each news item from Carmel, my resolve stiffens. I do not want the strong mayor!