Mayor Ballard is talking public safety budget cuts for 2013. At the risk of being repetitive I will refer back to a September 2011 PoliPit article titled, “IPD – MCSD Consolidation / 5 Years Later”. We detailed the insanity and lies of then Mayor Peterson and his administration about the cost savings that would come with consolidation. SURPRISE….they never materialized! Here we are in 2012 with bloated budgets, a bad economy, the wreckage from an ignorant Public Safety Director, and a police force with low morale and reduced manpower. I can’t think of too many good things that will come from this reality. IMPD has already been forced to “do more with less” for the last 2 years, and Mayor Ballard informs our city that the next 2 years will be even tighter. I’m all for balanced budgets and reduced government spending, but the problem is bigger than these simple platitudes of “saving money”. The problem was created by our government, and yet again, they claim to know how to “fix it.”
Local government, at its basic core, has very few things it should be responsible for and public safety is the most important. I’ve included a link to the Indianapolis/Marion County 2012 Budget. It’s not itemized, but it’s not too difficult for someone who isn’t politically connected to glance at our local government expenditures and find places to cut. The problem is that too many of our politicians have obligations with politically connected individuals and entities that cloud their vision and decisions. Allow me to offer a few of my own budget cuts:
1. Marion County Sheriff Budget 101 Million: Reduce the number of Special Deputies. They aren’t trained as well as full merit IMPD officers and yet they are equipped with cars, guns, radios and a whole host of other items at the taxpayer’s expense. Also, reduce positions of rank within MCSD, IMPD and IFD; too many chiefs and not enough Indians.
2. Public Safety Department Office 4.4 Million: Eliminate the office entirely or reduce it to 1 Public Safety Director, preferably not Straub, and a secretary, preferably not Straub.
3. Office of the Mayor 3.38 Million: Slash salaries and the number of Deputy Mayors.
4. Public Defender Agency 17.4 Million: Most criminals claim to be street lawyers anyway, so let them represent themselves. Cut salaries and positions. Think of it….tax dollars fund defense lawyers who are partially responsible for much of our increase in crime. Bad guys go free and crime increases.
5. Parks and Recreation 20.2 Million: Privatize the parks; most of them are in horrible condition anyway because non-tax paying parasites abuse them. I’ve never been a fan of government owning large chunks of land anyway.
6. Department of Metropolitan Development 31.6 Million: Give me an itemized list of this expenditure and I’m sure we could save 20 million.
7. ISA (Information Service Agency) 34.4 Million: See above.
I’m not an accountant, but I slept in a Holiday Inn Express last night.