All Along the Watchtower – Fairness

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There must be some way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth

No reason to get excited, the thief, he kindly spoke
There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late

Bob Dylan

With everything that has been happening and the city in a perpetual state of turmoil, it’s difficult to stay focused.  So much to watch in this crazily contradictory place called Muncie.   We have a ton of facts, even more, opinions.   Do we have an understanding of current events?   Do we see the big and bigger picture?   Are we examining the past and the present?  Are we looking at personalities, self-gratification, greed?  Is there an end goal of this administration we aren’t seeing?  Hoping we can find answers to these questions.   Even better..get our grey cells expanding and be forever watchful.

Hats off to the EMS supporters which provided information we can use.  Much of the time, we don’t give EMS a thought until we need their services.   One good thing which came from Mayor Tyler’s proposal: he helped to spotlight an integral branch of public safety.  We’ve learned about their duties, their costs, their equipment and their dedication to their jobs.  DCEMS provided clear facts, but the war is not over yet.

No reason to get excited, the thief, he kindly spoke

Mayor Tyler gave an impassioned speech asking the Muncie City Council to table ordinance 68-17.    He made reference to emails from unknown firefighters which he had distributed to members of the council.   His voice rose with emotion and determination at times.   Three council members already a no vote, Tyler needed to convince the remaining members to approve the tabling.  No doubt, the six-member party loyalists had been schooled on their vote prior to the meeting.

He needed to “correct the total unfairness to the citizens and taxpayers of Muncie, Indiana.”    He went on to say “the citizens of Muncie in 40 years has received zero dollars in a program they participated in.”  Mayor Canan began the first responder’s program in 2003.   Not quite 40 years Mayor Tyler.

Does Mayor Tyler think our payments to the county covering a portion of EMS services is going to end with the city’s ambulance service?  No, we’ll still pay the same.  In fact, we will be paying for county and city ambulance services.  Where is the fairness in that one, Mayor Tyler?

Mayor Tyler and Chief Bell believe this will be a profitable department.  They need to borrow just to get the program off the ground.    Let’s put that all aside for a minute and look at the past six years of the Tyler administration.

During the 2011 Mayoral debate, Tyler said Muncie had plenty of money.  As soon as he was voted in he began to spend it, too.  A “surplus” left by former Mayor McShurley to cover the cost of MFD if and when the SAFER grant ended.  She campaigned on keeping the MFD staffed.  Mayor Tyler, on the other hand, saw the $8 million as an open checkbook to spend.  He made no effort to prepare for the inevitable loss of the SAFER grant.  He had the money, he could have deposited it in a “safer” fund.  It doesn’t take much to add a line item to the budget.

Or pass an income tax.

Three years into his administration, the city realizes it is coming up short.  Guess no one noticed the revenue statements.  The EDIT and LOIT taxes was passed in 14 days.  That’s a record.  Mayor Tyler, where is the fairness to the citizens of Muncie?  Did you allow the citizens of Muncie time to examine the tax and question the city on their expenditures?

Mayor Tyler was it fair to the citizens and taxpayers of Muncie to filter tax dollars to Craig Nichols’ companies?    Where was your sense of fairness then?   How fair is it to the citizens of Muncie when MSD purchased the flea market well over the assessed value?  You said, “All I know is it’s an expensive project”.  It sure is, Mayor, when deals like these are brokered.   Do you believe the citizens were treated fairly?

Mayor Tyler, is your definition of fairness to withhold financial information on attorney fees?  Is this fair to the citizens who will be footing the bill?  From State agencies to news sources to the citizens no one, except maybe Tyler, believes this is fair.

In six years Mayor Tyler has never had any department become self-sustaining.  He was handed two well-organized and re-structured departments, Prairie Creek Reservoir and Building Department.  Today PCR running over budget.   The Building Department a cash cow for the on-leave building commissioner.    Tuhey Pool mismanaged by the company Tyler hired and it lost nearly $100,000 in ’16.

And all this isn’t even the half of it.

If Mayor Tyler could truly make a department self-sustaining he would have done it by now and there would be no need for increased tax levies or 43% income tax.   The environment Tyler operates in is not conducive to fairness or good fiscal management.  No one in all good conscience could use these terms to describe his administration.

What is the true purpose of Mayor’s proposal?   Is it political?   Will he involve the citizens in his political games?  Disregarding the safety and services and placing us smack dab in the middle of his childish actions?  You bet he will.    That’s his definition of fairness.

All Along the Watchtower is where we need to be standing.  Watching with our eyes every move this administration makes.

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Bracken vs Muncie -City of Muncie’s response

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Here you will find the City of Muncie’s response to Bracken’s lawsuit.

Muncie final arguments – hearing Madjax

Enjoy!

Bracken Vs. City Of Muncie et al

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With the City-Run EMS on everyone’s mind, Madjax has been put on the back burner.  Here is the full court document and you will be appalled at what has come to light.  Plenty of reading to do, folks.   Lots of question to ask this administration and Muncie City Council members.

Bracken vs City Lawsuit 2017

ENTRY OF JUDGMENT

THEREFORE, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that

A. The Defendants acted in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority or

limitations and without observance of procedure required by law and the

Court hereby GRANTS judgment in favor of Thomas Bracken, sets aside

Defendants actions to enter into the Lease, and thereby declares the

Lease NULL and VOID;

B. The Council’s decision to approve Resolution 26-17 was unsupported by

substantial evidence and the Court hereby GRANTS judgment in favor of

Thomas Bracken, sets aside the Council’s actions relating to Resolution

26-17, and thereby declares Resolution 26-17 NULL and VOID.

C. The Council’s decisions to approve Ordinance 33-17 and Resolution 26-17

were arbitrary and capricious and unsupported by substantial evidence

and the Court hereby GRANTS judgment in favor of Thomas Bracken,

sets aside the Council’s actions relating to Ordinance 33-17 and

Resolution 26-17, and thereby declares Ordinance 33-17 and Resolution

26-17 NULL and VOID.

SO ORDERED.

Muncie City E.M.S. – What’s it all about?

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January 4, 2018, Muncie City Council E.M.S.  committee met to discuss a city-run EMS.  Members of the committee: Jerry Dishman, Julius Anderson and Brad Polk.  The EMS committee members received the feasibility study at the meeting.  Other members of city council in attendance, Dan Ridenour, Linda Gregory, Lynn Peters and Nora Powell each received a copy at the conclusion of the meeting.

Brad Polk recommended they table the vote until the study could be researched further.  He doesn’t believe four days would provide enough time to assess the information.  Polk wanted the committee to meet again after council members had time to digest the study.    Anderson was against tabling on Monday.   No one was sure if the remaining members, Doug Marshall and Alison Quirk had received their copy.   Muncie City Council will meet again January 8, 2018.

So why is the Mayor and City Council doing this?  It’s not because of response times, or wear and tear on the vehicles.  In fact, it wasn’t even to provide better services.    It is about making money.  Visitors to City Hall auditorium were greeted with display screens which read “Making City EMS Profitable”.

E.M.S.  (Extra Money to Spend)

It’s all about adding more money to the city coffers. Although guaranteed there are other ulterior motives mixed in.   Mayor Dennis Tyler believes he can make this department profitable and the extra money could be returned back to the city.    This explains why the ordinance was changed from a designated fund for revenue to being deposited into the general fund.  Just to clarify, the ordinance was changed on the very day it was to be voted on.  What’s that old sayin’ “If ya ain’t buildin’, ya ain’t grafting.”

Let’s take a look at some of the history of Muncie’s finances over the past six years.  The list is not exhaustive, mind you.

January 1, 2012, Mayor Tyler took office with an $8 million surplus, for lack of a better word.    That has all been spent and under his administration, the city tax levy increased every year. Mayor Tyler is quick to blame property tax caps, yet continues to acquire properties which are removed from the tax rolls and spend like there is no such thing as a “cap”.

But, I digress…

In addition to the $8 million, Mayor Tyler was handed two self-sustaining city departments.    One would be the Buiding Commission and the other was Prairie Creek Reservoir.   The latter included a revolving fund.  Prairie Creek had never made a profit until the McShurley administration.

Today Prairie Creek is operating in the red.  And you are familiar with the workings of the Building Commission Dept.  If not, we’ll bring you up to speed.   The building commissioner, Craig Nichols, was arrested and charged with 34 felonies.    The city paid his companies for work not done and contracts well above the what other contractors would have charged.  Nichols demolished vacant properties and the city administration used other property addresses to cover-up the demolitions of empty lots citing it as a “clerical error”.  Despite all the available information, neither the Mayor nor the Muncie City Council or any city attorneys made any effort to investigate the allegations of misused tax dollars.    Nichols is on unpaid leave from the department.

By 2015, the city was unable to finance public safety and passed a 43% income tax in 14 days.  That’s a record, folks.   In 2016, the FBI began to take a serious look at the City of Muncie.  And in 2017 the arrest of Craig Nichols.  Four months later the FBI raided the Muncie Sanitary District and no arrests to date.  The ex-chief of police, Steve Stewart, filed a lawsuit against the city.    By this time the city had put a team of high powered and expensive attorneys on their payroll.   Despite repeated requests for the cost of the attorney fees, the city has refused to provide any financial information.  Mayor Tyler claims his administration is and always has been transparent.

The purpose of city-run E.M.S. (Extra Money to Spend)

There seems to be only one purpose of a Muncie run E.M.S. and it would be to “make money”.   Check this slide out and tell me if this doesn’t fill your heart with confidence in our Mayor’s transparent government.

How to pay EMS 1-4-18 copy

NOTICE: EMS Committee Meeting!

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Just received word from Dan Ridenour, Muncie City Council member the EMS Committee will be meeting on Thursday.  Please pass it on.   Sorry for the short notice.

What: EMS Committee Meeting

When: Thursday, January 4, 2018

Where: Muncie City Hall

Time: 6:00 PM

 

 

 

Official: Muncie city council meeting January 8, 2018

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City Council meeting has been changed AGAIN and it will be held on January 8, 2018, at 7:30 PM Muncie City Hall.

The city-run EMS idea is one of the biggest screw-ups this council has had the pleasure to sponsor.  And they have done numerous stupid acts.

Their only solution to the issues this city has created is to raise a tax or implement a costly ambulance service.

They will round up the usual suspects to speak in support of this ordinance…just wait and see.

Meeting date moved AGAIN!

City Council Meeting January 8, 2018 -until further notice….

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Nora Evans Powell

The January 2018 meeting of Muncie City Council will be moved to Monday, January 8th at 7:30pm in City Hall. City Council will hold a special meeting this Thursday, December 14th to amend the City Codes sec. 32.33, 32.44 and 32.37 which stipulate when Council shall meet each month. Last Friday, after reading Councilman Polk’s email, I suggested Council consider moving the meeting date due to myself and two other Councilpersons having family plans on New Year’s Day. I also felt holding the meeting on the holiday may prevent people from attending that otherwise would attend. Thank you to President Marshall for bringing it together and to my fellow Council members for accommodating this schedule change.

 

MC900439169

Hopefully, this will be the last and final date for the Muncie City Council January 2018 regular meeting.