• Brownsburg Indiana Town Councilman Rob Kendall publicly released this letter to Indiana State Representatives Jeff Thompson and Greg regarding the passing of Senate Bill 118

    February 05, 2014 No comments

    Dear Representative Thompson

    I am writing to ask you to reject Senate Bill 118. This bill, authored by Senators Pete Miller, Greg Walker, and James Smith is little more than an attempt to punish the City of Carmel for decisions made by their Redevelopment Commissions. While it may achieve that goal, it also needlessly punishes every other Redevelopment Commission across the state, the vast majority of which have been doing their jobs to develop responsible infrastructure for their communities as defined by state statute.

    This bill strips Redevelopment Commissions of their autonomy on major projects, and turns the decision over to the town or city councils. This politicizes plans vital to the growth and expansion of communities. The various councils already have their say, as they control the appointments to the commission. Once appointed, the commission must be free to work without fear of reprisal. Senate Bill 118 also places a limit on the amount of dollars RDCs can save towards future projects before they are forced to turn funds over to other taxing entities. This will discourage responsible, long term fiscal planning, and encourage commissions to needlessly take on debt, burdening future taxpayers for projects that could be paid in cash, eliminating years of interest payments.

    As a two-term President of the Redevelopment Commission in Brownsburg (currently serving my third year on the commission) I have concerns that this bill would limit projects we will be able to do moving forward, including the potential completion of the Ronald Reagan or our plans to expand 267. Senator Miller failed to seek input from any members of our commission (though I did strongly voice my displeasure and warned of the consequences of this bill in a public setting), and I am not aware he has done so from others in the county.

    Furthermore, Senate Bill 118 reeks of being nothing more than an attempt to impose restraints on the elected and appointed officials of Carmel. Yes, Carmel’s RDC has been somewhat controversial, and their decisions to incur debt have made headlines over the years. However, the amount of debt Carmel is comfortable taking on is a decision for the voters of Carmel. The state should not be in the business of trying to subvert the outcome of local elections.

    Members of Redevelopment Commissions are not boogeymen who hide in the shadows. They are not monsters, set on bringing ill will to communities. They are citizens who care deeply about where they live and are willing to take on very hard (often times large) decisions to ensure our towns and cities continue to grow in a responsible manner. The bill put forth by Senators Miller, Walker, and Smith is demeaning to those who serve, and more important, terrible for local governments. Please reject Senate Bill 118.

    Rob Kendall
    Brownsburg Town Council
    Brownsburg Redevelopment Commission

    Posted by in Local News

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