It appears that Indianapolis won’t be hosting the World Cricket Championships. Try not to look too shocked.
The announcement certainly didn’t come as a surprise to anyone even remotely aware of the history of and controversies surrounding the sponsoring organization. (City-County Counselor Zach Adams noted that he had predicted problems “because I can google.”)
The real problem, however, is not that a city with severe budgetary problems spent six million dollars on a cricket field (not to mention staff time and resources plugging and planning a pie-in-the-sky event), unwise as many of us found that to be. The problem is that this Administration routinely elevates hype over substance. The cricket field is simply a handy example of misplaced priorities and poor management.
Should the Mayor’s office have done due diligence before trumpeting this event? Sure. But the lack of competent management that this episode highlights goes far beyond one embarrassingly public screw-up.
Indianapolis used to be a safe city; we are now on track to be a Midwest murder capital.
We used to sweep the streets in the Mile Square every day; now we not only don’t sweep them, we can only keep them paved by selling off city assets and turning utility ratepayers into property taxpayers.
We can’t even manage our own parking meters, so well-connected vendors get to pocket money that would otherwise be available for public services.
Our parks are poorly maintained, despite periodic infusions of cash from Lilly Endowment. From the looks of abandoned houses and overgrown lots, code enforcement is nonexistent.
The lack of transparency in the Mayor’s office is so pronounced, the City-County Council has had to sue the Mayor to get access to contracts to which the city they govern is party.
When the legislature debates bills affecting Indianapolis, the Mayor is absent from the Statehouse– perhaps on one of his frequent “economic development” trips.
I could go on but you all know the drill.
Leadership in Indianapolis is anything but “cricket.”