Finally, Indiana has been on the list of States to watch during this primary season. Crazy, huh? Trump and Sanders cleaned up and we can expect heated debates all the way to November.
Here in Delaware County ,we saw some movement, an increase in voter turnout. Somewhere around 34%. The Republican ticket saw more votes than the Democrat ticket. And a relatively unknown candidate which never campaigned won the highest vote count and ousted a long-time sitting official.
We’re used to “ringer” candidates appearing on the ballot. You can spot them immediately. Mostly, it’s the brainchild of the local Democrat party. How do you spot a “ringer” also known as a “ghost” candidate?
First to qualify to be a ringer candidate on the Democrat ticket, there needs to be someone running who is despised by the local Dem leadership.
Second, the ringer candidate will alway appear before the unsupported candidate.
Third, the ringer candidate will not campaign, send out literature, rarely if ever have any signs. The ringer will not respond to any debate requests, phone calls from the paper, and not well known in the community.
Fourth, the ringer will have a sparse campaign finance report.
Sometimes the act of placing a “ghost” on the ballot does exactly what it was intended to do. Other times, it fails. Take for instance the ’08 primary when the Democrats successfully ousted incumbent John H. Brooke using a ringer candidate. Other candidates made it through the “ghosting” as we saw with Sue Errington in ’12 and Linda Gregory in ’15. The practice has been applied to several other elections.
In 2010, the Democrats upped their ante by getting ghost candidates to run on the Republican ticket. As far as we can tell, this was a first.
If you are up to reading the scary ghost story of 2016, please check out Larry Riley’s column.
If you are interested, please check out:
We’ll be back in the swing of things after the primaries.
Check out the latest on the City of Muncie’s demolitions. This is a second in a series of columns Larry Riley has written. The first had four properties which were vacant, yet the City Building Commissioner’s company demolished four buildings. There was no demolition permit attached. The properties had been empty lots for years. Several people commented on the article confirming the lots were vacant, too.
In the second article, Mayor Tyler said it was a mistake and gave the correct addresses which weren’t close to the ones on the original invoices. Not to mention, the cost of the demolitions were much higher than others by private companies. Oh, wait, the building commissioner’s company is a private company. Pardon me.
Oh, and there is no Conflict of Interest Muncie 2015 on file with the State of Indiana. Craig Nichols’ company is not there. Class D felony for not filing. I’m sure this missing conflict of interest forms will surface. Probably in the desk of the former city clerk as she more than likely just forgot to file with the State.
And, and…the City of Muncie received $4 million from the State of Indiana who received millions from the Federal government for the demolition of blighted properties. Nothing has been done with that money and it’s been a few years. Probably the building commissioner’s company is way too busy tearing down vacant lots to take on any new city contracts.
This is about enough excitement one can handle for a Saturday evening in this fair city.
Until next time…..
Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. James Madison
Please take a look at Muncie’s financials.
These two reports ran in January 2016 and February 2016. The latest report shows a debt increase of $10 million.
Muncie revenue received for the years 2011 to 2015. The revenue sources includes property taxes, federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, fees, donations and grants.
Detailed Receipts 2011 to 2015
If you would like to look at the revenue streams the reports below give details. As you can see, property taxes have been on a decline since 2011. This should have been the first clue.
When revenue begins to decrease while debt increases it would be wise to consider the cost of debt and what it means. The first cost was public services which could only be fully funded with a tax increase. The second cost is economic development and it will only partially be funded with the recent tax increase.
You do need to consider the cost. If the debt can not be met, and there are no more taxes to increase what then? Fees? Fines? You don’t need to be in the dark when it comes to Local and State government finances any longer. In fact, it is imperative, for our future, to be well informed.
James Madison was a wise man giving wise advice which is still relevant today.
On Thursday the Muncie newspaper reported on the purchase of a property by Muncie Sanitary District. The District purchased the property for $395,000.
On Friday, the newspaper reported the property was appraised by unlicensed appraisers.
I would like to point out the quote from Mayor Tyler:
Mayor Dennis Tyler said Friday he wasn’t familiar with The Star Press report about the purchase of the flea market building in the 1700 block of East Main Street.
“All I know is that the city of Muncie and sanitary district have to get those levees recertified,” Tyler said. “It’s an expensive process they’re going through.”
In December 2014, the State of Indiana audited the District finding eight projects paying over the quoted prices. The lowest percentage was 22% and the highest was 822%. The total amount over the quoted prices was $300,763. Knowing an expensive process is in the making, perhaps Mayor Tyler needs to be more cognizant of how tax money is used. Read the rest of this entry »