Tuesday evening, the Indianapolis City-County Council's Administration and Finance Committee met to go over parts of the 2009 City Budget.
There was a proposal to remove the Executive Director of the Indianapolis Telecom and Video Services Agency. Interestingly, the Executive Director of the Telecom and Video Services Agency has been aggressive advocating for right-of-way fees and franchise fees from the local cable companies.
Normally, I'm for downsizing government. However, in this situation, I saw a very transparent attempt to remove a government employee who was trying to keep the cable companies from using their advantages with government to pass the costs to taxpayers rather than users. If the current Executive Director is successful, the financial burden on the taxpayers from the the use of government resources and special rights to use public right-of-ways will be eased and passed to the users of cable services, or the costs will be absorbed by the cable companies and will diminish their profits (they all appear very profitable).
Libertarian City-County Councilor Ed Coleman helped organize the effort to reinsert the executive director's position in the proposed budget. He, along with Democrat councilor Joanne Sanders were well prepared, well informed, and advocated against this change. Amazingly, Republican councilor Barbara Malone did not vote with the majority Republicans on the committee, and the executive director's position was reinserted into the budget.
Blogger Paul Ogden has a really good post on this, titled "Ballard Administration Loses Budget Vote To Eliminate Executive Director of Telecom Agency". Be sure to see Sean Shepard's comment to this blog post in which he explains reality - it will take awhile to dismantle the current government system and replace it with a free market system - but in the meanwhile efforts to reduce the unfairness and tax burden to the taxpayer should be supported - even if it means keeping one more government employee.
Lastly, I'm against corporate welfare in all forms, and this is a victory, in my opinion, in the fight against corporate welfare.