When a private meeting becomes public....

Dateline: Fri 08 May 2009

That's the box Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard put himself in Thursday, when he held a private shindig at the exclusive Skyline Club for community/biz leaders. On the plate? The red-hot water the Capital Improvement Board is immersed in, due to its financial shortfalls.

Ballard, like everyone else in the city, is scratching his head to come up with a workable plan, so he called a host of bigwigs to bang heads together.

But in advance, the Republican mayor, apparently eager to connect, tweeted on Twitter and shared on Facebook about the get-together.

That opened a whole can of worms and attracted the attention of blogger Terry Burns at Indianapolis Times, who broke this news and has diligently followed up. Next, Amos Brown, host of the popular afternoon radio talk show at WTLC-AM 1310 got involved.

"This is a question of journalism ethics," said Brown. "I understand public officials holding private meetings, but when he puts it on Facebook and is tweeting, doesn't it become public?"

Right on, brother.

Brown says opposition of the CIB bailout "has united the city," and his large listening audience is squarely opposed to taxpayers helping out the richies (Colts owner Jim Irsay and Pacers' owners, the Simon brothers). While Brown bemoans the dearth of leadership in the city, he acknowledges he can't figure out a solution, either.

But one thing he is sure about: Ballard took a private meeting public when he put it "out there."

That's why Brown will be discussing the whole fiasco on his radio show today that runs from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.

'Twould be lovely if the mayor called in. But maybe he's too busy tweeting.

To read the most up-to-date news on the Skyline get-together and some provocative questions, read Burns' blog:



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