Local Government in Indianapolis Does = Open Government

We just read a post from a semi-local blog on the need for local governments to focus on transparency and make government more accessible without entering the doors of City Hall. She also noted that, “while much more money is changing hands at the federal and state levels, there’s plenty of opportunity for questionable deals in our back yards.”  We have to say we are in agreement and we are glad we live in Indianapolis.

If you want to see why, take a look at some of the resources you have to track local government outside of the normal things you might expect.  

www.indy.gov/contracts

www.indy.gov/lobbyist

www.indy.gov/ethics

www.indy.gov/boards

Who made these resources available?  Mayor Greg Ballard.

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About Washington Street Politics
Covering policy and politics from end to end of Washington Street in Indianapolis

12 Responses to Local Government in Indianapolis Does = Open Government

  1. Bleeding Blue says:

    Are you serious? What about all of the no-bid contracts that dont show up?

  2. Every single contract that has been inked since 1/1/08 is on the database no matter what process was used to get the contract.

    • Bleeding Blue says:

      That is not true at all.

      • What contract do you think isn’t listed? Show us.

  3. I’m sure Councilor Ed Coleman will be glad to hear that Mayor Ballard is taking credit for his idea to put all city contracts on line.

  4. We could also bring up the city’s failure to comply with the open records law…ask anyone whose tried to get public records from this administration.

    • Paul, do you have an advisory opinion from the Public Access Counselor finding the City in the wrong for not providing something?

      For our other readers, you can search it at http://www.in.gov/pac/2330.htm

  5. Barnard Rodman says:

    I was enthused when your blog first came online. I originally thought it had the possibility of being a fair venue for discussion even if you do lean right. I now see that it is only a front for the Ballard Admin and/or Republican party.

    You may want to re-write your “About Us” page:

    “Welcome to Washington Street Politics or WSP as we like to call it around here.

    We know what you are thinking: Another political blog? Do we need another one? Really?

    Yes. Yes we do. Really.

    And here is why: There are lots of blogs, particularly political ones. But many of them are focused exclusively on either city government, state government, political gossip or are even just a tool of a particular Party or candidate.

    And that is why we’ve created Washington Street Politics. We’ll be covering policy and politics from end to end of Washington Street in Indianapolis. State government, city government, and Party politics from both sides of the aisle. (Full Disclosure: We do lean to the Right of that aisle but are dedicated to covering what we hear on both sides.) “

    • We are a fair venue for discussion. Everyone is free to post their comments and we do our best to address them.

      • barnard rodman says:

        Fair venue “for discussion” is very different than a fair venue

  6. Hard R says:

    WSP, its a fcat that Blue is a total wack job. However, he does bring up a good point. How do we know that this is THE complete list? What proof is there.We all know that side deals are done everyday.

    For what it’s worth I enjoy your new blog. It is what it is and I get that.

  7. Matt Stone says:

    I filed an open records request once via Office of Corporate Council requesting records from IMPD. I was told a few weeks later via a mailed letter by a PIO that another city department is in charge of those records, and I never followed up on it. That’s my experience with public records with the city, and it was overall hassle free. I dropped my pursuit of the records because, yknow, I have a life and can’t pursue these things full time like the employed media folk can.

    That said, this administration can be “open” without being totally open. A great example is the water deal.

    The weekend before the council vote, the city dumped hundreds of pages of documents on an FTP server, and the council vote on the water deal was Monday. This left little time for anybody to sort through these documents to get any useful information out of them.

    When I attended a meeting between lawyers representing Citizens Energy Group, hosted by Councilor Christine Scales, those in attendance (several other bloggers along with two reps from the Libertarian Party), we were all told that the United Water and Veolia contracts had to be transferred as-is to Citizens as part of the water deal. The lawyers representing Citizens showed us documents projecting massive savings even if the contracts of Veolia and UW being kept intact.

    Months later, the city files a motion with the IURC to essentially buy out the one sided Veolia contract to the tune of $29 million dollars.

    Because of that mess, from that point on, I’ve always had a “What isn’t being told?” echoing in the back of my mind.

    And before anyone suggests (not that you would, WSP) a “Well what about Peterson backroom deal #528? Huh????”, I have very little to positively say about the Peterson administration. But as our mothers always told us, two wrongs don’t make a right.

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