Category Archives: Delaware County

Helping our Troops – Muncie’s Ladies of Harley


Sometimes you are cruising through the local newspaper, when something just grabs your attention.  This is one event that is sure to make you smile.  Please consider donating to this wonderful cause.

Muncie’s Ladies of Harley

Love Our Troops

The Muncie’s Ladies of Harley have joined together to bring Valentine’s Day to our Troops.  I’m not much for Valentine’s Day; this year I’m making an exception.    This is a day to support our troops and nothing can make the holiday more complete than to show our love to those that are giving so much more than we can imagine. 

Forever grateful for the freedoms we so often take for granted.

The Muncie Ladies of Harley are sponsoring our troops this Valentines Day and plan to shower our brave soldiers with gifts and love on what is traditionally an “I love you” type of day.  Sending care packages loaded with things like razors, pictures and all type of goodies are in the works. 

I was especially touched when Ann Roellig was quoted in the paper:

“It’s pretty incredible what they do for us every day without us even realizing it,” she said, tears coming to her eyes and her voice halting from emotion. “They show other countries what we’re all about, patriotism and living freely. We have to do something to show them how much they mean to us at home.”

You can read the full article “Muncie’s Ladies of Harley making Valentine’s Day special for soldiers”.

 Here’s what you can do to help:

Donations for Love Our Troops

ITEMS NEEDED: Non-perishable food items, candies, hand sanitizer, body wash, shampoo and conditioner combined, combs, deodorants, toothpaste, toothbrush, floss, disposable razors, shaving cream in tubes, body powder, inflatable pillows, socks, magazines, disposable cameras, travel-size board games, stationery and envelopes, Frisbees and more.

WHERE TO DONATE: Benson Motorcycle, 6410 W. McGalliard Road, Muncie

LAST DAY TO DONATE: Friday, Feb. 3

Further information can be found at Benson’s Motorcycles website.

Ladies, this is for you:

 Please share this with everyone you know.



Special thanks to my buddy, Mike.  Hope you don’t mind my using a picture of the bike for this blog.   

(This blog entry not sponsored by Muncie’s Ladies of Harley or Benson’s Motorcyles-I just love what they are doing and want to help.)


In today’s paper (1-22-12) a guest writer, Brad King, penned a column. Continue to chat but drop the gag. Although I found some inaccurate information, he did bring up a the idea of continuing the Mayor’s Chat with Dennis Tyler. I want to remind the folks, we were introduced to this very thing in 2009 and it didn’t get past the doors of City Hall. It would be nice to have the new Mayor update us on what is happening as it seems information is hard to come by.   Please feel free to click in the link to read the full story from the April ’09 City Council meeting.

Originally posted on Muncie Politics:

Updated! Check out Jim Arnold’s view on the meeting. Guarantee you will find it entertaining. Go to the Pages section of the blog.

The usual abatements and ordinances were passed and every thing seemed to be moving at a good pace. Until, a motion was brought to the table to purchase a previously owned aerial truck from Pike Township. For the people at the meeting, it was a whirlwind of comments from the city council and members of the audience spoke. The MFD is a touchy subject among many people in the city. I will spare you the details and refer you to the Star Press article:

The issues with MFD and funding deserve a full page spread with more information than I am able to provide at this time. Just know, Muncie is not protected as she should be. One wonders why the MFD is not able to…

View original 874 more words


Stop the madness…..

Wake up, people, and stop the madness.  We have the government trying to censor the internet all in the name of “protecting” us.  We have copyright laws already in place, and hindering free speech is not what our Founding Fathers had in mind. In fact, the USPS was the brain child of  Benjamin Franklin.  His goal?   To disseminate information to the people.

We have the government telling us what kind of light bulbs to buy and we don’t even know if the mercury filled globes are safe. Yet, this same government is now over $15 trillion dollars in debt and asking to raise the debt ceiling yet again.

Thomas Paine had this to say in Common Sense:

Society is produced by our wants, and government by wickedness; the former promotes our happiness positively by uniting our affections, the latter negatively by restraining our vices.  The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions.  The first is a patron, the last a punisher.

Thomas Paine goes on to write:

How came the king by a power which the people are afraid to trust and always obliged to check?  Such a power could not be the gift of a wise people, neither can any power, which needs checking, be from God; yet the provision, which the constitution makes supposes such a power to exist.

So what say ye, people?  Shall we become wise and place our trust in those that can govern with the knowledge that “We the people” are the society our forefather envisioned?  People of strong character willing to stand tall and firm even under the constant criticism of our peers?  Is it possible we can grab hold of what once was a great and growing nation, young and vivacious?  Not without strife or bloodshed did our early colonists bear,  striving to relieve the people from the tyranny which ruled their lives.   Passing to us a legacy of freedom never before experienced.

We must have some form of government.  Society and the laws require it.  But not a government which feels they must protect us from ourselves…or a government which uses their power against the very people who have placed them on their thrones.

The whole country is in turmoil and turmoil is an indication of a dysfunctional form of government. 

Today I pick up the paper and find we the people  of Delaware County, Indiana are paying a grant writer $145,000.00 per year.  $55,000 of that from the city budget.  Two months ago, our mayor, Dennis Tyler, promised he wouldn’t have a “good old boys” government, but this is exactly what we have today.  Giving control of a $1.5 million dollar budget to an ex-county garage employee with absolutely no experience in park administration, natural resources, managing people let alone a budget of this size.  We have a Human Resource director with absolutely no experience or training in the field.  And this is just the first two weeks.

Unless we wake up and say STOP THE MADNESS both in our federal and local governments all our hopes and dreams of prospering, peace and the pursuit of happiness will be nothing but some old dusty writings.  To stop it, we must first understand it.  I don’t believe common sense is dead and ethical behaviour must first begin with us.   With us, it will go up the chain as we will not tolerate a government that support the few on the backs of the many.

William Penn

Governments, like clocks, go from the motion men give them; and as governments are made and moved by men, so by them they are ruined too. Wherefore governments rather depend upon men than men upon governments. Let men be good and the government cannot be bad. . . . But if men be bad, let the government be never so good, they will endeavor to warp and spoil it to their turn. . . .[T]hough good laws do well, good men do better; for good laws may want [lack] good men and be abolished or invaded by ill men; but good men will never want good laws nor suffer [allow] ill ones.

[William Penn quoted from: Thomas Clarkson, Memoirs of the Private and Public Life of William Penn (London: Richard Taylor and Co., 1813) Vol. I, p.303.]

Samuel Adams

Nothing is more essential to the establishment of manners in a State than that all persons employed in places of power and trust be men of unexceptionable characters. The public cannot be too curious concerning the character of public men.

[Samuel Adams, The Writings of Samuel Adams, Harry Alonzo Cushing, editor (New York: G.P. Putnam's Sons, 1907), Vol. III, p. 236-237, to James Warren on November 4, 1775.]

James Garfield

Now more than ever the people are responsible for the character of their Congress. If that body be ignorant, reckless, and corrupt, it is because the people tolerate ignorance, recklessness, and corruption. If it be intelligent, brave, and pure, it is because the people demand these high qualities to represent them in the national legislature. . . . [I]f the next centennial does not find us a great nation . . . it will be because those who represent the enterprise, the culture, and the morality of the nation do not aid in controlling the political forces.

[James A. Garfield, The Works of James Abram Garfield, Burke Hinsdale, editor (Boston: James R. Osgood and Company, 1883), Vol. II, pp. 486, 489, "A Century of Congress," July, 1877.]

I write these thougts quickly and with some reservations, to be sure. 

Please, let’s stop the madness….

Mayor Dennis Tyler and the First Two Weeks

$$Five Million Greenbacks and Some Change$$

Is there a $5 million operating budget or not? His inquiring mind wants to know. So, Dennis Tyler has asked his staff to not make any “spending commitments”. Mayor Tyler has his doubts and it is clear, he wanted to know the financial state of the City of Muncie. He asked the controller to quickly give him “an accurate picture of city finances”. We haven’t heard the new controller’s report update, though.

Looks like Mayor Tyler is confident the finances are there as he has begun work on the Mock Street fire station and preparing for it to re-open. There should be no doubt the city has the money or Dennis Tyler wouldn’t be spending. Obviously, he didn’t feel comfortable with the previous controller or the independent audit.

The first round of SAFER grants have been awarded, and Muncie is missing from the list. The SAFER grant of which Muncie received $3.5 million dollars used to recall 25 firefighters will be expiring this year. Center Township will increase its payment to Muncie from $250,000 to $400,000.

A video interview with Mayor Tyler on his first week as Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Tyler points to the messages he has received about the Mock fire station. Accolades, he said, from people praising the painting and re-opening of the station. If you are a fiscally conservative citizen and if you pay attention to local government, you may find yourself with more questions than answers.

Congressman Mike Pence showed up to congratulate and offer his support to Mayor Tyler. From there the two men went to a local high school where Dennis Tyler gave the students a brief history of his experience and a student asked a question.

“What are your goals for Muncie?”

Tyler: “His main goal of Muncie, like all mayors across the state and nation, is to create decent paying jobs. And hold on to the decent paying jobs we got and create newer, decent paying jobs, you know.”

This has kind of been his mantra since 2006.

The first week of December a group of economic and elected officials traveled to Germany to meet with a prospective business. Prior to the junket to Germany, then Mayor Sharon McShurley said the representative should be the future mayor, Dennis Tyler and she wouldn’t be going. Commissioner Don Dunnuck, who is not running for re-election was selected to go. No long-term relationship building there.

Fortunately for us, Dennis Tyler has promised his full support.

“What I’ve told the chamber is that I’ll partner with them in whatever ways we can to entice investors to Muncie and Delaware County,” Tyler said.

He said his administration — which takes office on Jan. 1 — would make representatives available for meetings with potential developers. SP 12-7-11

Well, at least there is a five-year park plan which should give the ex-county highway department employee plenty of time to get up to speed on running a $1,424,000.00 park system. We still need to put the final touches on Canan Commons and this will be the first full season for Tuhey Pool. Cardinal Greenway will be expanding and the grant money has been allocated.

“It’s been busier than I could have even imagined.” Dennis Tyler on his first days as Mayor of Muncie.

Dennis Tyler gets accustomed to Mayor’s seat (01.11.12)

2009 Muncie Parks Master Plan

Choo Choo – The Train Has Left the Station Muncie City Council 1-2-12


Last night was the first Muncie City Council meeting.

The closing of the tracks was not voted on…imagine that.  Yes, the Land & Traffic Committee was nothing more than a political move.

If you are interested in watching the video, complete with a guest appearance by Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler, click on the CDCGG icon below.

 Hear That Train A Comin’

Land & Traffic Part 2

Land & Traffic Part 3

Property Tax Appeal Help Day #3

Assessment Appeal Help Day # 3

Mark your calendars for Saturday January 7, 2012.  The Citizens of Delaware County for Good Government is hosting our third Annual “Property Tax Appeal Help Day” at the Kennedy Branch Library, 1700 W. McGalliard Road.  The Seminar starts promptly at 10:00 am, followed by questions and answers, and personalized help sessions.

Last year’s Help Day was a huge hit as we helped hundreds of property taxpayers find errors on their assessments and prepare property assessment appeals.

The deadline to file your appeals is January 20, 2012.  If you file late you will lose your right to appeal for the current tax year.  You may need to appeal your assessment this year, even if you appealed last year and won.  The purpose of the Help Day is to help Delaware County property owners who believe that their property tax assessment is too high.   We will provide pointers on how to create a successful appeal, and will help you complete your property tax assessment appeal forms, but we cannot guarantee that you will win your appeal.  There is no charge for this service.

 It is very important that you bring a current property record card so that we can identify errors on your assessment.  You should also bring photos of your home at angles that show the front, side, and rear elevations.  You should also provide photos of any yard buildings, pools, or other improvements to the property, plus photographs and documentation of any damages or other issues that detract from the value of the property. Make two copies of your appeal and all supporting documentation and have them date stamped when you turn in your appeal, keeping one copy for your records.

 Scott Alexander, 2012 President of the Citizens of Delaware County for Good Government.
For additional information call:   765-286-7070

Please share this email/alert with ALL your friends and contacts!!!

Help Day_010712 (Informational PDF)

Third Annual Property Tax Appeal Help Day- Jim Arnold

 Kennedy Library

1700 W. McGalliard Road

Muncie, Indiana

Will Old Acquaintances Be Forgotten….

Happy Old Year, Delaware County!  Behold, all things new are now all things old.

Most of us have read George Orwell’s famous novel 1984.  A fictional and futuristic book full of manipulation, one party control and from where the term Big Brother became a household name.  The story’s main character, Winston, holds a position  in the Ministry of History and his duty is to rewrite according to the Party.  Winston decides to keep a diary of historical fact.

Another key character is O’Brien, a powerful Party member.

Winston is summoned to  O’Brien’s beautiful apartment where Winston is convinced by O’Brien he is part of the Brotherhood and is working to overthrow the Party.

Unfortunately, Winston is arrested by the Thought Police and O’Brien spends months brainwashing the poor guy.

Winston is separated from his true love, Julia, and while he is being indoctrinated into the Party he finally snaps and gives her over to O’Brien. This was goal of O’Brien and the Party all along.  When Winston is finally reunited with Julia he is void of feeling for her.  He has completely given his life, mind, soul to Big Brother and the Party.

As is characteristic of all great novels written circa 1934, there is always a moral to the story.

So, you may be wondering what Mr. Orwell’s novel has to do with 2012 and the progress of our Nation, State, County and City.  Although George’s ideas seemed a little extreme, all extremists have a measure of truth.

Let’s take a look at Delaware County for example.

Of course, we aren’t actually living in Big Brotherville, for now, we still have the First Amendment and I would suggest you read it again if you have forgotten it.

A progressive move that makes Mr. Orwell’s Party characterization similar in nature to Delaware County, is the appointing of board members.  Appointments to the county fair board was required to be evenly distributed among the parties.  Since this didn’t happen, the next best thing is to just change the ordinance to fit the appointments.

This is progressive thinking, folks.  (Sorry there is no link.  The county link takes you to the EDIT fund ordinance.)

In the city of Muncie, we’re clipping right along.  How can you not vote for someone who worked so hard to get screens and bulletin boards in his work place?  The assurance Mayor Elect Tyler was able to work across party lines can’t be any more clear than this:

Asked if he expected to name any Republican department heads, Tyler laughed a little and said, “I doubt it. We have more than enough qualified Democrats.”

SP 11-28-11

For District 34 State Representative,  the Party precinct committee members chose Mike White over Lewis Coulter.  The only surprise  was that Mike White was even considered for the position.    Mike believes his work as a ’60’s activist will serve Delaware county well in Indianapolis.  He certainly has the look for it.

The City and County elected officials have their own consolidation going on.

Can’t find qualified Democrats in the city to fill  administration’s slots?  Let’s branch out to the county and pull from their pool of employees.  If the best of the best is being recruited to work for the city, where does that leave the county?

As we live precariously in the past, a letter to the editor imploring Mayor Elect Dennis Tyler to bring back Ron Bonham.  Certainly, the city can afford to pay an additional $140,000 to keep Prairie Creek reservoir open.  And why stop there, as soon as possible, let’s get Mr. Bonham back into the Commissioner’s seat.  We can always use a new sewer system.

The position has been filled, and it wasn’t with Ron Bonham.  Maybe now, he can finally retire in peace.

Of course, I hope most of you understand this is written in jest.  Nevertheless, we are totally represented by one party sect in the City, most of the County and State.  I hope you realize that every person appointed to positions of power and to boards are deeply vested in this same party.  Come January 1st, they own the good, the bad and the ugly.

If Mr. Orwell was alive today, perhaps he could write a sequel to 1984.  The perfect title?  2012.

Delaware County Fair Grandstands~Part Two

Funny how some things work out.  Just the other day I was looking for something of interest which had nothing to do with the Delaware County Fair and the grandstands proposed expenditure.  Out of nowhere pops an article from the Muncie Star Press written  in July 2007.    Yep, the headlines grabbed my attention.

Facilities improved in time for this year’s county fair

During 2006 and 2007 nearly $200,000.00 worth of repairs were made to the grandstands.  The roof was on the list of improvements.  County Engineer Michael Denton said it would cost less to repair the roof than to take it down.

Other improvements included new chain link fence, new seats, new walks, new stand for the judges, structural repairs and safety additions.  A couple of years prior, according to the article, new lights and ticket office was added.

I’m not sure what has changed from 2007 to 2011,  but volunteers provided earth moving equipment to tear down the motorcross track back then.  I wonder if volunteers could assist in the removal of the dilapidated grandstands.  Sure would save some money.

It’s hard to say how much it would have cost the County if bulldozers and other like equipment had a price tag attached to the Delaware County Fair budget in 2007.

“The grandstand is safe and the roof has been repaired” said Jane Lasater.  “Now the grandstand needs to be painted to make it look nicer.  It’s rusty.”

There is some rumblings the stands could be repaired for $90,000.00 but I think  they’re toying with a $900,000.00 bond.  Since 2006 and including the current estimated price tag, the county will have invested over $1 million dollars in the grandstand area.  That is if the $900,000.00 financing comes through.

2011 wasn’t that great of a year for generating money.  First the Band Day and then the Antique Tractors.  Sure, they filled it with other “attractions” but didn’t make very much money.

You would think 21 people could come up with better ideas to expand the exhibits to draw more people.  As 2012 comes in, let’s hope we see some innovative and progressive ways to increase attendance and interest.

Perhaps the move to change from admission fee to parking fee wasn’t so hot of an idea after all. 

Grandstanding for the grandstands

Breaking News: The Delaware County Fair Board isn’t Political! Grandstanding for the Grandstands.

We were lucky.

Had not been for the tragedy at the Indiana State Fair, Delaware County may not be having this discussion.  The grandstands are reported to be at least 60 years old…did anyone think it may be high time for replacement?  At the very least, regular inspections of an aging structure should have been considered.

In October 2011, the grandstands WERE inspected.   Major structural support problems were reported.  Some of the wooden seating had deteriorated and the announcer’s booth was not attached to the metal structure.  Instead was supported by wood planks.

December 1, 2011, the Muncie Star newspaper reported the grandstands had serious defects.  Jim Mansfield, Fair Board president, estimated the cost of replacement to be $900,000.00.   Apparently the decades old grandstand can’t be repaired.

How to fund it with a county that is cash-strapped?  This is where it gets interesting.

Jane Lasater, Fair Board vice president, in a private meeting with Commissioner Todd Donati and others, brought up increasing the food and beverage tax.  With a sunset clause, of course.    At first, it was reported as Donati who suggested the tax increase.  He quickly denied it and pointed to Lasater as the brainchild of the increase.  Lasater cited  Donati’s proposal for a combined animal shelter and a $3 million dollar bond for Muncie to reduce the Tuhey Pool debt.

If your head isn’t spinning yet, it should be.  A quick note.  Why would Donati even suggest a bond for Tuhey?  The bond can be paid down or greatly reduced with the money the city has  left in her budget.  Shouldn’t President Donati be focusing on his responsibilities?  One of which is the Delaware County Fair.  It appears he has been a little lax in this area.

December 13th, 2011 County Council meeting saw some discussion on the funding of the grandstands.

Although no council member was able to confirm it, the food and beverage tax increase would need to go through the legislators and none were sure the increase would be acceptable.  Jane said she spoke with two representatives while in Washington, D.C.  Neither were willing to commit. Senator Lugar’s office wasn’t that accommodating and Brad Bookout said the county would be hard pressed to get a grant.

Ron Quakenbush said quite a bit of money was appropriated a few years ago and  only repair was new seats.  Lasater countered, Michael Denton had inspected the grandstands and the repairs were done based on his recommendations.  This was about six years ago.

Lasater said there are only 21 volunteers on the Delaware County Fair Board and none have the time or the experience to fund raise.  Therein lies one problem.  A couple of simple requests for Band Day denied; a fee for the antique tractors; an increase in parking and you have a recipe for a decrease in attendance and far less revenue.

Not that doubling the parking cost was a poor idea, you do need some attractions that would offset the increase, though.

It’s no longer uncommon  to take a tax guzzling entity and turn it into  self-sustaining one .  Case in point, Prairie Creek Reservoir.  You just need the right people in place, someone who can think outside of “taxes” for creative ideas and sources.

Ron was looking like a cat that just ate the bird, when he made the comment…”The fair board is political.”  Jane said it wasn’t.  Quakenbush stated all the members were appointed by the commissioners.  He went on to say when the commissioners took over from the Lion’s Club he predicted the fair would become political.  I smiled just a little during the exchange, as Mr. Quakenbush was right on the money.

The County Commissioner’s took over the Delaware County Fair in 2001.

2002 was the year a last-minute switch for fire protection saw Center Township out and Muncie City in.  It was also the first time Mayor Dan Canan donated to the fair. $10,000 of EDIT funds.  Center Township Trustee, Dick Shirey was in the second year of fire protection after Muncie City handed him a bill for fire service.  Nah, no politics there.

After Center Township made arrangements to staff and located extra equipment, Center Township’s  Lt. Hackett spoke with fair board member Todd Donati and was told their services were not needed.  In the past, the fair had been protected by volunteer fire departments.  Center Township was free of charge.

‘We were disappointed,’ Hackett said. ‘I think it politicizes the fair.’

But, all that aside, I think the county is missing the point.  Planning and preparing has not been one of their greatest strengths.   The grandstands are the best argument to “be prepared”.   The stands didn’t deteriorate overnight and no money was ever set aside for needful repairs, let alone any improvements.

Now, we are in crisis mode, yet again.  We don’t have any money and a fair board lacking in time and experience to raise money.

Time is running out and from the county council meeting, an increase in Food and Beverage tax is highly unlikely to succeed.  Maybe it’s time to tap into the rainy day funds.  Or a bond?  Perhaps Mayor Elect Dennis Tyler will share the EDIT funds.  How about closing the Delaware County Building on Thursdays, too.  Just some ideas to consider.  (Tongue in cheek!)

Regardless, this isn’t the first crisis and it won’t be the last.


Mayor Sharon McShurley’s last Chat with the Mayor ~ Video and Pictures

One door closes and another door opens.

December 15th marked the last evening for Chat with the Mayor.  Bittersweet.

Mayor Mac began the chat as usual providing information on different areas of the city.  She introduced the department heads.  

It was in essence, a state of the city address in condensed form. .

Thank you Mayor Sharon McShurely.  You have been a wonderful mayor for our city.

Special thanks to the department heads.  You have all been great.

So without much ado, here is the video of the last Chat.

Mayor’s Chat December 15, 2011.

Thank you to the department heads and employees of the City of Muncie 

Meeting with Other Leaders _ City of Muncie, Indiana

Mayor’s Photos in the Community

 Awards and Ribbon Cuttings _ City of Muncie, Indiana


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