If most of you have been reading the paper, attending meetings or following this blog, you most certainly are aware of the financial crisis the county is facing. This week there will be 25 employees laid off and according to the paper, the county isn’t any where near where they need to be.
Which brings me to the County Building Park Plaza or CBPP. It is certainly coming along very quickly, and it does give the appearance all is well…or well enough to spend nearly $640,000 for project not needed. All of this is being done to create disabled parking. Although one of the most well-respected advocates for people with disabilities spoke before the commissioners advising them of the problems of their plan.
Commissioner Larry Bledsoe has been against the plaza project. Todd Donati and Don Dunnuck are the economic gurus and certainly feel no remorse on wasting money. There is no nice way to put it…WASTE OF MONEY.
Parking has always been available on Main Street which allows for easy access of vans, cars, wheelchairs, walkers, scooters, etc. Those parking spots are gone. Replaced by barricades and the busyness of county employees digging up the concrete. Driving by the county building nearly everyday,and watching close to a million dollars of our money being used so haphazardly it has to make you wonder how in the heck did Donati and Dunnuck get elected.
It’s not like they were strangers to the political scene. Donati held a seat on county council until the voters gave him the ax, only to return him four years later. Dunnuck had a history with the Justice Center.
The most economical, efficient and immediate/long-term solution, would be to place security on the Main Street entrance. That’s it. If they wanted to beautify the plaza, they should have tried for a grant. Plenty of good paying grant writers on the county payroll.
I just want to say, the Main Street entrance is now open and being used. Too bad the parking is gone.
Here’s something to think about. For $640,000 we could have paid a salary for one person to secure the door at $35,000/year for 18 years.
Last night I was cruising the on-line version of the Muncie newspaper and the political ad for State Representative Dennis Tyler, currently running for the top seat as Muncie Mayor popped up. One line read:
Imagine the possibilities if we all worked together
Now, I don’t know about you, but I found the slogan to be…well…funny. Here’s a guy which has been elected over and over again, but is now finding himself in quite a pickle at the State House. He is no longer part of the majority. But instead of imagining the possibilities of working together, he goes on a five-week hiatus in Urbana. IL.
I like to think of it as imagining the possibilities of redistricting.
For the past few election cycles, we have had 20 elected officials in the legislative and executive branches of local government. Until January 1st, 2011, four were Republicans and 16 were Democrats. That changed in the last election and now we have five Republicans and 15 Democrats. Gee, none of those in the minority took a five-week vacation. Maybe they are hoping for the possibility of working together…as unlikely as it seems given who is in control as the majority.
As an afterthought, hmmm imagine the possibilities if all of his people worked together. On City Council: Alison Quirk, Nora Powell, maybe Ty Morton, probably Strong. Jerry Dishman, Mary Jo Barton, Julius Anderson, Doug Marshall.
Mark and Brad could get coffee or make copies.
Out in the county he would have Donati, Dunnuck, another Quirk and another Dunnuck. The rest would play along .
The two Republicans would get coffee and make copies.
Problem is, they have been working together and the possibility is the county is broke. Something to look forward to for the next four years. Possibilities.
Jerry Dishman’s signs say:
”Fighting for your property rights”.
Just what does that mean? Is he against property taxes? Does he believe the building where Democrat Headquarters is located should remain a tax exempt property? What? What? What? Jerry Dishman is a nice guy, but this has most of the people stumped as to its real meaning.
Next on the list is the bright pink signs screaming at you.
“Giving Volume To Your Voice.”
Nora Powell Democrat candidate for Council At-Large somehow got her “middle” name placed on the ballot. This would make her first in the line-up. As Evans comes before Powell. Maybe the signs should be changed to read “Giving Volume To MY Voice” as this is the first time any candidate has been allowed to use their middle name. Giving volume to her voice and having friends in the party can get you first on the ballot.
I just wish we could go through one election that didn’t have the appearance of “stink” written all over it. In 2010 it was the ghost candidates. 2008 saw the recruitment of candidates which had no intention of winning the race just had a name which came before a popular candidate, and in 2007 we had illegal Absentee Voter Ballots.
So remember, if you plan to vote this election, don’t be sucked into the 3-7% of voters that place a check mark on the very first name. Imagine the possibilities of having four years of the same type of governing. Yikes!
For me, I am going to vote for those which even under the most difficult situations will stay on the job. I will vote for those that do indeed fight for your property rights and I will vote for those that will allow your voice to be heard.
Pie with the Big Guy was a great success. New faces and old stopped by to wish Jim Arnold success. The pies were good, the coffee (at least the decaf) not so hot.
Jim took questions from the audience, and it is obvious to all who listened, he does know what is happening in city government. After four years attending City Council, it’s hard not to understand local government.
Please don’t forget the Community Update on Saturday April 9th at 9:00 AM. A good line up of speakers coupled with good food and good people. Get there early!
Taste of the South
4019 South Walnut
District 3 : ” Then Do Something About It ! ” – Joe King, Muncie City Council Candidate, District 3
Recently, my friend and I attended the an event, which would formally announce the candidacy of Joe King, who is challenging a long time incumbent for City Council District Three ( 3 ) seat on Muncie, Indiana City Council. It’s an unusual Primary, to say the least. District Three is in what’s been known to be a Democrat stronghold and the seat on the City Council has been held for over one decade by an equally strong, but controversial Democrat, Mary Jo Barton. That Ms. Barton might be challenged from within her own Party affiliation is one thing, but from out of the blue popped a Republican candidate. Most people might shake their heads and say ” A Republican won’t ever win in that District, nor the historically Democrat precincts within that district. ” That was then and this is now…things have changed, times have changed and the people have changed. In almost four years of increased citizen awareness, frustration, anger and humiliation, the no longer average citizen has become, for what might be a significant sign of the times, very important. As a rule, the only time we’ve come into play has been during an election and then suddenly, we ” count. ” In more ways than one. This time, however, we are acutely aware of the hypocrisy and what it has cost us – this community – over the years.
So, with curiosity and hope, I attended Joe Kings’ announcement.
I met Chelsie, Joes’ wife, who proved to be down to Earth, candid and refreshingly open to conversation. A very busy wife, mother and student, Chelsie is very aware of the issues facing her community and her role as partner in a marriage about to undergo a long and arduous campaign season. To say she is solidly behind him is an understatement. I asked her about his decision to run for office and she was direct and to the point. Her husband was unhappy and frustrated with the plight of our city and what was happening to the old neighborhoods and the people who call them home. Not one to flinch, Chelsies’ reply was simple – ” Then do something about it. ” Sometimes, it’s just that simple and just that much from the heart and the logic. I stood and looked at her – a lovely young woman with so much going on in her life would be strong enough to withstand the rigors of a campaign and stand by her husband 100 % in his quest to help Muncie rebuild and redefine itself. Quite a woman. No pretense.
I had met Joe on other occasions. One is struck by his demeanor and passion for a city he loves. He is up to speed on the issues which have been so detrimental to our City over the years and the political machinations which have been instrumental in preventing us from moving ahead and moving on. It will be a challenge. A tough job. It will take years, sweat, a partnership within the elected offices and a new state of mind. A carpenter by profession, Joe King ( no relation, by the way ) knows and understands the challenges of a Muncie much changed. His grasp of the problems we’ve been trying to cope with ( and which will not disappear over night ) is on the money. Accustomed to the arrogance of elected officials, Joe King will tell you – he will be easily accessible to everyone, that he wants to know what his constituents think, experience and know. Keenly aware that he would be on the taxpayers’ dime, he nodded with a smile and shared the belief that elected officials are not Our Bosses, but they serve the people who give not only their votes, but their trust and hopes. I believe Joe King respects and honors that bond. While realistic about the many problems facing the people of Muncie, Joe is just as determined to help Muncie move forward and move on – rebuilding and rebirth, as many other cities and towns across America have had to do in order to survive, will be our next challenge and, I hope, our success. People like Joe King, who step up and step out, not for personal gain, but to help Muncie help itself.
As I wandered about the coffee shop, walking with a cross-section of Muncie citizens, I was fortunate to meet two ladies who do not live in his district, but they had heard about Joe and his campaign and wanted to meet him and to show their support. What a delight ! The people do care and they are listening and reading ! They are part of a great change, subtle, yet at times, stunning in its’ appearance.
You can decide for yourself.
Stolen from the blog www.onceaking.wordpress.com (for mature audiences only)
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security says residents, businesses and non-profits affected by severe storms and flooding in nine eastern Indiana counties and two in Ohio can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration.
A disaster declaration covering Delaware and Jay counties also affects the adjacent counties of Adams, Blackford, Grant, Henry, Madison, Randolph and Wells in Indiana and Darke and Mercer counties in Ohio.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is May 23.
The deadline to return economic damage applications is December 27.
For more information click here.
Source: Associated Press
Dennis Tyler Indiana State Representative for District 34 talks about why he is in Illinois and abdicated his duties at the Indiana State House.
Dennis Tyler speaks to you, Indiana Hoosiers. Click here for the video.
Mr. Dennis Tyler has served as an Indiana State Representative since 2006. He is running for mayor of Muncie, Indiana. As you can see by the video Mr. Tyler is all about education and the children. He has not written or voted for any progressive legislation or outlined a plan in which to improve our schools. If there was a defining moment for our public education system, it has been lost on the public he serves. I say, what has been doing for nearly five years?
Let’s take a look at the one of the school corporations in his district, Muncie Community Schools.
• Muncie Community Schools spends $12,081 per pupil in current expenditures. The district spends 66% on instruction, 30% on support services, 4% on other elementary and secondary expenditures. Education.com
• Did you know Education.com TestRating is a number (1-10) calculated by Education.com that provides an overview of a school’s test performance for a given year, by comparing the school’s state standardized test results to those of other schools in the same state. For Indiana, the TestRating is calculated using a school’s 2010 ISTEP Results and End-of-Course Assessments Results for all subjects tested. MCS is a 3 rating.
• Retired South Cook superintendent Eric King receives a $166,608 Illinois state pension and earns another $168,343 salary as the superintendent of the Muncie, Indiana school district, for a total of $334,951. Chicago Tribune 1-30-11
• Indiana spent $94 million dollars in 2009 for students not enrolled in school. Associated Press 10-3-10
In Muncie we have a TIF (Tax Increment Fund) commonly known as Morrison Road TIF District. The fund is also called a “slush” fund. In other words, the tax money which was deposited into this TIF district was to be used for improvements in this area. Instead money was used for purchasing fire trucks, economic development outside of the district and other things like street lights. At one time the fund had a balance of $8.3 million dollars, of which $1.1 million dollars went to purchase trucks for the Muncie Fire Department.
About this time you may be asking “What’s this got to do with schools and Dennis Tyler?”. It will all come together, I promise.
From a Star Press article on January 16th, 2010 titled TIF district change will help Delaware County school districts:
Wes-Del Supt. Steve McColley said he once before had inquired about getting access to those taxes, in part because Wes-Del school buses run through those residential areas to pick up students, but schools didn’t earn money for their transportation or school bus replacement funds. Then last April, the redevelopment commission voted to give the city $1.1 million from the TIF to buy three fire trucks.
“When I read in the paper they’re buying fire engines, I thought this is wrong,” McColley said. “If you’ve got that kind of money why not release it?”
The Morrison Road TIF was restructured so that approximately $388,000.00 was returned back to the schools and other entities. If Representative Dennis Tyler was not aware how these tax dollars were spent, he should have been as he is very close to the Delaware County Commissioners and the purchase of the fire trucks was a hot topic. Being a retired Muncie Fire Department captain would lead one to believe he did know exactly how that money was spent.
The school corporations which will benefit from this revenue are Muncie, Wes-Del and Yorktown. All schools which reside in Tyler’s district. He wasn’t the one which pushed the Delaware County Redevelopment Commission to restructure, it was citizens of Delaware County. To be more specific is was Citizens of Delaware County for Good Government. To be sure, a note of gratitude needs to be extended to the commission for their fine work.
So, before you fall for all the rhetoric being sent from Urbana, IL by our representative, take a good look at what he really has accomplished. He didn’t do anything for the schools and he had the opportunity to do so.
And all this costs you, the taxpayer, the working man and woman, you are paying for it.
Click here for the video of the forum.
Since last fall, I’ve had the privilege of meeting almost 8,000 Hoosier educators during public forums and school visits across the state. Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of visiting with teachers and administrators from the Muncie area. This visit was a particularly uplifting and productive opportunity.
Like most gatherings I attend, Monday’s event at Ball State’s Alumni Center was a passionate affair. At the end of the evening, not everyone walked away agreeing with reforms proposed by the Indiana Department of Education and members of Indiana’s General Assembly. However, I was impressed by the respectful and collaborative attitudes of the roughly 400 educators who attended. Their dedication and professionalism contributed to an honest exchange of ideas on education policy that will surely produce positive results for the students in your area.
I would like to extend a special thank you to Al Rent who skillfully moderated the forum and ensured the discussion focused on the issues that matter most to students, parents and educators. Sen. Doug Eckerty also deserves praise for organizing and publicizing such a successful event.
Last but not least, I want to thank the educators whose thoughtful questions and innovative ideas inspire me to continue traveling the Hoosier state to receive feedback and encouragement from education stakeholders. This gathering of talent in Muncie proves once again that working together we can ensure all Indiana students receive the quality education they deserve — one that sets no limits on their future accomplishments.
TONY BENNETT • STATE SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION • MARCH 18, 2011
Printing the public letter of Tony Bennett is not an endoresment of this blog by Mr. Bennett or Mr. Doug Eckerty.