Is That a Cricket Chirping?

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.”


  1. I see no end in sight for the fiasco that passes as our local government. I am inundated daily with pleas for money for the Democratic party, local and national level and grassroots organizations, to buy back this country from the Koch brothers and the NRA. I see crime rates rising because our public safety needs updating; more officers and patrol cars and a system that charges defendants with each and every crime they have committed, then work to convict and imprison them. There is no stopping the GOP in the state of Indiana. I have stopped sending membership dues and donations to the Democratic party and its supporters; I will again vote the Democratic ticket then return home with fingers crossed that my vote will count along with other thinking residents who are fed up.

    The amount of money wasted on the second Super Bowl bid plus the bid to host the Cricket tournament could have been put to much better use. I used to go to the Star 911 calls every morning to track crime in my neighborhod and that of my daughter. This information was provided by the Indiana Homeland Security till recently; the Mayor’s Office has taken over this information system and made accessing the site so convoluted that I gave up. I realized they don’t want us to know this information. The MAC site is also more diffucult to reach to report problems in neighborhoods; they don’t want to know about these problems because they would be expected to fix them. But; where is the money to come from when it is being spent on sports venues and useless bids to bring more attention to sports in Indianapolis. Instead; publish our murder rate this year, the number of public safety officials who have been arrested or lost jobs due to their criminal activities and the repeated continuances for court dates for those they do arrest. The GOP locally and nationally lost sight of truth, justice and the American way long ago. How and when can we regain control of our elected officials and our hard earned tax dollars that supports them in a fashion most of us cannot affford. You must admit that Ballard has balls; huge brass ones plus all ot the other balls necessary to continue the sporting events this former Marine supports before all else.

  2. Who could have know that throwing millions of dollars of OUR money into yet another childish game involving balls would not be a gold plated investment? I thought ANYTHING involving Balls & Indianapolis just HAD to be magic. Maybe if the people trying to get money for the CITY people came to the meetings bouncing a ball they would be better received. They should show off their tattoos and bounce some balls while asking for money for hungry children or for police men. The ball thing should be a big help.

  3. Amen! I’m dismayed by the Mayor’s focus of fluff projects and odd leadership tactics. I fear for our residents and our City.

  4. I agree on the whole Cricket thing. But please, “Indianapolis used to be a safe city; we are now on track to be a Midwest murder capital.” Like virtually every city, we are nowhere near as violent as we were in the 90s. Do we have more murders? Yes, because we have more people. Do we hear about it more? Yes because media is everywhere. Has the geography of murder moved around? Most certainly. But the rate per capita is down from the 90s. You should be far more afraid of dying in a car crash than being the innocent victim of a random murder…but we’re not rational, are we? If you want to sensationalize rumors, run for office. But personally, I most appreciate it, and find much more value from, when you call out the facts.

  5. There are two parts to our City Government – Services that benefit the people such as Public Parks, Public Transportation, Public Libraries, Police and Fire Protection, Public Streets and Roads., etc.

    Then we have the part that provides a subsidy to the Crony-Capitalists, and to their sponsors elected and appointed officials (the 1%). We never seem to have shortage of funding for the Pacers and Colts, a Cricket Field or now the new hype for a Sucker (Soccer) Stadium. Funds for sprucing up a neighborhood for Super Bowl – no problem. Financing for a Regional Operations Center (ROC) for the Super Bowl – no problem. The ROC of course now is mired in the mucilage of a quick deal. Government Funding to finance Hotels and Motels – No Problem.

    The issue is the tax base cannot support both parts. The Democrats and Republicans have both decided funding part two (Crony-Capitalism or Corporate Welfare is far more important than funding part one. Thus, we have a Republicrat Party.

    The part of Government the 99% depend upon and use can be starved of funds and the Elected and Appointed Officials here in Marion County view this disparity with Supreme Indifference.

  6. I think Indianapolis needs to be spotlighted and featured as an example of what you can have with Mike Pence as governor. Let’s get into the dirty details about what has happened and where this city has gone in the last twelve years. Maybe Mike could get his old job back as a radio wingnut.

  7. I haven’t liked the financing arrangements for the cricket fields or the administration’s lack of transparency about them. But I certainly think that cricket fields per se may be a reasonable response to the city’s significant East Asian population, and that population’s need/desire for recreational and parks facilities. Cities with large Italian-American populations have bocce courts, just as one example, so why not cricket fields here?

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