There is a small club of Fishers power brokers who work behind closed doors to boost their influence. They believe that if they make their decisions in secret, no one can challenge them, and historically they have been right.
I’m trying to change that.
The reality is that as a member of the minority party on the Fishers City Council, I don’t always have the votes to stop the power brokers from making bad decisions for our community. However, I am committed to bringing to light as much as possible, so power brokers can no longer get away with making their bad decisions outside the public eye.
In just the past two months, I have discovered:
- The Fishers City Council unknowingly abdicated their oversight responsibility regarding the $6.9 million American Rescue Plan funds that the city received. When the City of Fishers administration required the city council to pass an ordinance to “park” the incoming funds in April, the administration did not disclose that that same ordinance also handed the mayor the full authority to spend the $6.9 million at his discretion. When the mayor does decide which projects to spend these funds on, the city council will have no authority to review these decisions, evaluate them, and vote to approve or disapprove them. The city council relies on the city administration to communicate with us in good faith. Their failure to disclose this information is a serious breach of trust.
- A recommendation will be presented to the Fishers City Council on Monday, October 11 that removes the full council’s responsibility to appoint citizens to the influential city boards and commissions. Historically the council majority caucus has developed a list of appointments, made that list public, and then voted to approve the list in a public meeting. This was not a perfect process, but the newly proposed process is even worse. Under the new recommendation, the full city council will no longer publicly vote to approve or disapprove boards and commissions appointments; instead, the president of the city council will make all assignments at their discretion, behind closed doors. This lack of transparency will not cure the painful lack of diversity represented on city boards and commissions.
- City of Fishers provided $10 million incentive for a big development of apartments and commercial space at 106th/Lantern Rd. The administration did not disclose that the developer’s CEO was a State Senator Scott Baldwin, who represents district 20 in Fishers. The deal was struck in secret and pushed through quickly, so that power brokers could not be held accountable.