Members of the city council have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers of Vincennes to see that tax dollars are being spent in the best way, that the money isn't being frittered away.
This responsibility, which is at the core of their service on the council, was one previous members seemed not to have shared — at least not to share in equal measure when it came to the Pantheon project.
When it came to the Pantheon, rather than investigate how the money was being spent, exercising their oversight duties, those council members betrayed the trust voters had placed in them, choosing instead to go along to get along, to hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil about the project.
Now there is much confusion as to what's been spent and how much more money will be needed to finally get the Pantheon-whatever-it's-being-called-this-week open.
This traces back to all the unnecessary secrecy surrounding the project. What do they all have to hide?
No one, it seems, including many of those listed as having some (in many cases admittedly fleeting) association with the project, or even those in charge and making the decisions, knows what's really going on.
Public money is being spent without a trace of accountability to the taxpayer.
Irresponsible choices have been made — the biggest being to spend all the money for what will be roughly a third of what taxpayers were promised they would receive.
How much worse could this get? Much worse apparently.
Thursday the city's Redevelopment Commission voted to give another $150,000 to the Pantheon; the only no vote was cast by a member of the city council.
Going to the RDC bypassed the city council as a whole, no doubt by design; the handpicked majority of the RDC would rubber-stamp what the Pantheon partisans wanted.
Council members will apparently soon be asked to come up with an additional appropriation of Economic Development Income Tax dollars as a match for a grant for the Pantheon — another $150,000.
From what we understand, unless they get better information, that support will not be forthcoming.
Which is good.
Enough tax money has gone to the Pantheon
It is time for those who say they support the facility to put up their own money to see this boondoggle to completion, to fund what work is left to be done with private money, sparing taxpayers any more financial pain.