Small government politics

"Taking" of property for sole purpose of large entities

Ethics of the small government

Redevelopment in these economic times

"The good "ole" boys club.

History: Since the late 1990's Speedway has been talking about a much
needed Redevelopment.

In 2005 the town council appointed a commission to do a Master Plan for
the Redevelopment

The Development areas are divided into 2 areas: Redevelopment 1 which is
the Industrial Area and Redevelopment Area 2 which is Retail.

Total amount estimated in 2005 for this Redevelopment was $550 million

I have asked that the town council and the Speedway Redevelopment
Commission re-evaluate the Redevelopment at this time due to the
economic times. I have also quoted Gov Daniels that when people are
trying to make their mortgage payments and businesses are trying to make
payroll that the money should go back to the people and not into the
government. Property values have declined and the people are going to
lose a lot of money if this Redevelopment continues at this time.
Eminent Domain is a VERY good possibility. All of my pleas have fallen
on deaf ears.

Since the beginning 8 million dollars have been borrowed with 6 million
dollars spent and nothing to show for it but a few empty buildings on
Main Street.

One of the plans is the re-alignment of 16th Street which will take out
numerous businesses and which already has increased in cost {per Jeff
Kingsbury of Mansur Group}f from 63 million to 125 million dollars. This
re-alignment will have 2 round-a-bouts which will make it very hard for
school buses, city buses, Marathon Oil Tankers, and racing semi-trailers
to get around. The plan is also to close Georgetown Rd completely
which will take out 3 trailer parks which house over 80 elderly low
income citizens who will not have anywhere to go. It also will displace
American Legion Post 500. Another plan is to close Grande Ave 1400 sq
feet which will send all of the racing businesses on Gasoline Alley down
Rockville Rd to Lynhurst and then to 25th Street back to Georgetown Rd
and to the Credential gate of the track, This will take semis, trailers
and increased traffic past 5 school zones in a town with no busses. The
children walk to school.

It is hard to be heard in this town because of the nepotism involved.
The president of the Town Council is married to a member of the Speedway
Redevelopment Commission (SRC). The Executive Director of the SRC is
married to the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce. The
newest member of the SRC is married to the President of the Speedway
Park Board. The twin brother of a SRC member has a business which was
hired to do the Brownsfield Study along Main Street. This same brother
allegedly bought 2 buildings along Main Street after the talks of the
Redevelopment started and before the SRC was appointed and the buildings
are now on the acquisition list.

A member of the Town Council also allegedly bought property on Main
Street after he sat in on meetings prior to the SRC appointment. His
property is also on the acquisition list.

I am concerned when government appointees and officials are able to make
money on plans they are approving and knew about in advance.

At a Town Council meeting last month I was stopped from speaking before
my 3 minutes was up.

At that time I was trying to inform citizens of the increased cost of
the 16th Street, Main Street and Georgetown Rd construction from $63
million dollars to $125 million dollars and that the governing body had
not attempted to let the citizens know. This recently happened in
Carmel with the Keystone Ave project which is being developed by
American Structurepoint which is also the company the SRC is using. The
point was not made since I was cut off by the then President of the Town
Council who kept talking over me. I was given an apology but this did
little since he managed to stop the citizens from hearing me...

I have been involved in this for 4 years now. I do have a stake in all
of this because my husband's family business is one of the properties
being "taken" for the re-alignment of 16th. It also happens to be one
of the 4 largest stakeholders in Speedway and has been in the area for
over 50 years. The company leases buildings to over 12 businesses which
employ 250-300 people who will be displaced or put out of jobs. This
business pays over $100,000 year in taxes, is debt free and stays 100%

As a taxpayer and a voter I get upset when I hear the politicians
promising they are for the people. If Indianapolis can get $45 million
dollars behind with their sports venues how does a town of 12,000 with a
medium income of $43,000 believe they can make it with a sporting venue
that only holds 2-3 races a year and which has recently laid off
employees and have made the decision to shorten practice days for the
Indianapolis 500? Most of the IMS commerce goes to the city of
Indianapolis anyway and not to Speedway. The city of Indianapolis is
partially to blame for rubber stamping every ordinance and proposal for
the Town of Speedway without seeing the whole picture. The MDC has even
approved a proposal that Speedway has its own Zoning hearing examiner to
listen to zoning changes and road vacations... How can there be any
impartiality in voting for something you have already voted for in the

What is Mayor Ballard going to say to the 80 elderly low income
constituents who are going to be put out into the streets? How is the
mayor going to tell the businesses that their property is being taken
because "somebody" decided it was more important to make sure Tony
George and the IMS has more land and makes more money?

When it comes down to the bottom dollar, do you really think the IMS is
going to think about the town of Speedway or their own empire?

I believe that Speedway needs to be redeveloped. I also believe the
roads need paved, curbs need fixed, sidewalks need repaired, the sewer
system needs completely redone, the parks need updated and the town
could be spruced up. What I don't think is the answer is a $500 million
redevelopment when there are homeless, hungry, and jobless citizens who

This is happening in a town of only 12,000 people. While $550 million
dollars may not seem like a lot to cities like Chicago, New York, Los
Angeles, to a small town whose average income is $43,000 it is
unthinkable. For those citizens in Speedway who constantly back up the
SRC and all they do, what are you going to say when you find your taxes
increasing; your property values declining and the only people making
money are elected and appointed government officials?

How much more needs to be said when you read daily that large
corporations are laying off, closing, or selling out? The racing
industry is in a decline. Developers have no money to develop. Banks
aren't giving out loans. 266,000 people lost jobs in January.

Speedway needs to take off their rose colored glasses and see the real
world as it is now.

Jo Ellen Dotlich