Ballard Gives Nytes Her Ultimate Pay Off

Eat your heart out, Lincoln Plowman. Jackie Nytes shows how the game is played without fear of criminal indictment. She tossed several key votes to Mayor Greg Ballard over the past four years that earned her the ire of members of her Democratic caucus on the City-County Council. Each time she cast a controversial vote in favor of the Ballard administration, she was handsomely rewarded. There were plenty of city contracts for her husband's printing business, and the Mapleton-Fall Creek Development Corporation, which she ran, received more grant money from the city than any other CDC.

Tonight, Ballard handed her the final pay off she had requested: Chief Executive Officer of the Indianapolis Public Library. Forget her pathetic performance as the library's CFO when the library district spending got completely out of control after it went on a building spree that drove up property taxes and left the district financially strapped. She stepped up and voted for every lousy proposal Ballard put before the council where her vote made the difference, whether it was the CIB bailout vote, the sale of the city's utility assets or the one-side parking meter lease deal with Ballard's favorite Pay To Play contractor, ACS. No other member of the council, Republican or Democrat, except for Ryan Vaughn, received as much in consideration for their vote and support as Jackie Nytes received. Not surprisingly, Ballard is unabashedly hailing his sell out appointment of a person who is anathema to everything Republicans are supposed to represent to the position she has fought to get for years:

I salute the Indianapolis Public Library Board on its selection of Jackie Nytes for this position. Her dedication to public service and commitment to improving our community and the lives of our residents will undoubtedly have a profound impact in this new role. We look forward to continuing our work together to strengthen our library system and our neighborhoods.

Yep, just one more reason this life-long Republican will never cast a vote to re-elect this Benedict Arnold as mayor. I predicted this would happen just the moment the current occupant of this position announced her retirement. The only thing you can expect Nytes to do in her role is play as many games with the budget as she enjoyed doing when she served as the library's controller and exactly what she has relished doing as a player in budget-writing as a council member. She was a chief architect of the 2008 Peterson budget that Ballard has descried repeatedly since taking office four years ago. Transparency is not a word in Nytes' vocabulary. If you hadn't already figured it out, it's also not a word in Ballard's vocabulary--at least as you and I understand the word to mean.

UPDATE: How laughable. A story in today's Star on Nytes' appointment begins: "After a nationwide search, the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library Board ultimately found that the person with the best qualifications to lead the beleaguered system was right here at home." What an insult to legitimate librarian professionals. The Board plans to approve a contract that pays Nytes somewhere between $125,000 to $150,000 a year.