Civil Discourse Now

Where the far left and far right overlap for fun and enlightenment

BRVA's inaccurate minutes of Thursday's meeting, and why the secrecy about LUD?

   In an episode of "M*A*S*H," Hawkeye is court-martialed for assault of a superior officer (Frank Burns, of course) while they were in the operating theatre. After Major Burns delivers, to the general officer, his version of what occurred, Hawkeye says something to the effect of: "I agree with Major Burns. We were in Korea. And we are in the Army. However, the rest of it..." Needless to say, the rest of what Major Burns had said was no accurate.

   Broad Ripple Village Association posted minutes of last Thursday's meeting held at Broad Ripple United Methodist Church. (See at The person who recorded the minutes did so in a way that was both inaccurate and an insult to those in attendance who oppose the Whole Foods subsidized project proposed for North College. For example, the minutes described Feagre Baker and Daniels attorney Joe Scimia's comments to the audience, in relevant part:  "For game change for Broad Ripple looked for something used in day time hours. Looked at healthy life style and something organic as that is not in Broad Ripple. (Disturbance in audience at the mention of no organic place---shouts for Good Earth.)"

   The "disturbance" was the overwhelming reaction of the audience to Mr. Scimia's statement, I hope made simply from ignorance), that Broad Ripple has no organic food store. There was no clarification in the minutes on this point. The person did not note some of the audience comments, such as "What about Good Earth?" Otherwise, this section sounds as if people shouted down persons on the stage in a form of cheerleading. Those who were present know this was not the case. Until Mr. Scimia's comment, the audience had been polite and listened quietly to presentations. The response to Mr. Scimia's statement was not a "disturbance," but a reaction of outrage by residents and citizens of the Village.

   I was perplexed by the brief report of my question about TIFs and opposition to the project. As I recounted on Friday's blog, I prefaced my question with a statement that TIFs had been developed in California, now are banned there by statute, and have decimated communities in which they have been used. I then asked how people could most effectively vote this project down. This is how the minutes describe what occurred:

   "Q. Mark Small, a resident, questioned voting against this project.

   A. Elizabeth Marshall explained TIF needs to go through the City County Council and there will be future discussions and opportunities to weigh in on that."

   First, there is no mention of my criticism of TIFs. Second, the way in which the person characterizes my question could be interpreted as my having "questioned" voting against the project. I asked "how" one could most effectively vote this project down.  

   Second, Elizabeth Marshall, who was introduced at the start of the meeting, by implication, as a person with knowledge about TIFs, did not answer my question.  At the beginning of the meeting---over an hour before I asked the question---she stated generally that TIFs would not be discussed. One may read my blog from Friday and note my surprise that no one from BRVA "tut-tutted" my criticisms of TIFs. I would have been glad to discuss TIFs. The point is, Ms. Marshall did not respond to my question.

   Third, and very bizarre, we were told the June 13 meeting was the place to voice our opposition. Actually, a crucial time was last night, May 28, at the meeting of the Committee on Land Use and Development. Two points: 1) That committee has met at the Broad Ripple Methodist Church, but last night's meeting was switched to the Community Center at Broad Ripple Park. 2) The agenda was not announced until very late---4 p.m. yesterday, only two hours until the meeting was to take place. The project on North College was the ONLY item on the agenda or, as one committee member told me, it was the agenda.

   The Broad Ripple Village Association makes decisions as though it is a public entity. It is not. One must pay dues to join. That is wrong. If decisions are made that affect this community---such as the "Envision Broad Ripple" five-year (oops, I guess that's "four" year; semantic joke there) plan, such matters should be announced and carried out by governmental entities in which there at least is a charade of a voice for the people of Broad Ripple.

   Furthermore, one need not reside or operate a business in Broad Ripple to join the BRVA. One need only have an "interest" in Broad Ripple. The farce continues.   


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