Many Indianapolis residents have been surprised to see the first fruit of Mayor Ballard’s 50-year parking contract with Affiliated Computer Services (ACS). Expecting new meters, what we have found instead are small new caps on top of the same rusted old bases and askew poles. Higher prices, same old rusted meters and the city handed over control of parking – and of our public space – for 50 years to a company based in Texas. If this is the first receivable, residents are right to be concerned to see what else might be coming in the next five decades. What else don’t we know? Click here to see my campaign’s original analysis of this not-so-good deal.
Beginning with the February 6th edition, the Indianapolis Star kicked off a year-long series focused on thinking about what’s next for our city. That day’s paper saw the publication of the story “Beyond the Big Game: Trying to Build on our Sports Success,” which provided a bright spotlight on what our city has done to revitalize downtown. Our elected leaders, civic groups, business community, and residents joined forces to create a vibrant downtown, and their success is unquestioned. However, the story also pointed out that our neighborhoods have not shared in that success. Our success downtown can, and must, be replicated in neighborhoods around our city, but it will take the same focused attention, collaboration, commitment, and shared vision to expand the revitalization throughout our city, block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood. Read John’s letter to the editor in response to the Star’s series here: Barth Star Letter 3-7-11
Update: The Indianapolis Star published John’s letter on March 21, 2011.