S.O.S. Save Our County!

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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 Garfield

I begin today’s post with a quote from James Garfield, the twentieth president, for one reason. Delaware County needs to take heed to these timely words. We are in big trouble, folks. Big enough to consider it a S.O.S. Sure, we are facing a financial crisis, and if that is not bad enough, Delaware County is facing a moral crisis. We have elected and put in place those who have been reckless with our vote, our money, our trust.

We all know the county has received a surplus of tax dollars (8.3 million to be exact). The refund from the state was first believed to be used as property tax relief. Instead, during the special session, the requirements on how the money can be spent was loosened…considerably.

Did you know the Morrison Tax Increment Fund can be retired, saving taxpayers interest and depositing 2 million dollars (so I have been told) into the City of Muncie General Fund? Another 2 million back into the county?

We were told the people of Morrison TIF were o.k. with the funds being used for other than the Morrison area. I don’t believe this was a truthful statement, not at all.

“The TIF funds are being raided,” Stephen McCulley told commission members.  “I do not believe the TIF districts should be a slush fund for the rest of the county.” Larry Riley’s column “Trucks get wet, but funding questioned”

Next on the agenda, and something we should all be concerned with, is Delaware County Emergency Communication Center. Has this important department become a political hotbed. In my estimation, it has.

Which is why we find it somewhat troubling that Delaware County Board of Commissioners have decided that the 911 advisory board will play no part in hiring the replacement for retiring director Bill Gosnell, effectively eliminating the city of Muncie from the process.

At its organization meeting Jan. 1, the Democrat-controlled county board said it wouldn’t reappoint Gosnell as director of the 911 emergency communications center. Instead, commissioners announced he would continue in the job during an “evaluation” period.

Our View: Commissioners Shouldn’t Play Politics with Emergency Operations, Star Press July 10, 2009

Bill Gosnell ended a 30 year career.

Tim Hutson was appointed.

In effect, the commissioners now have complete control over the center with the power to promote and demote at their fingertips. Let’s hope they place competent people in these positions…after all, President Donati was gung-ho for additional income taxes all in the name of public safety.

Mayor McShurley wants to see the interlocal agreement where the city pays $850,000.00 and yet has NO say in its operation. This agreement is about 20-25 years old. It has not been produced as of yet. 

The county budget was adopted on September 18th. Still no sign of the budget on the website. I am curious to know if the 25% budget cuts Chris Matchett requested were met. Don Dunnuck was clear when he told the county council, “If they can’t find the cuts I have confidence you will find it for them.”

How much money have we spent in interest because the property tax bills were late and monies were borrowed? Somewhere around $200,000.00 in interest, just for Muncie.  My property taxes were paid through escrow and 30+ days later it is still showing as not paid.  Makes one just a little nervous.

So now you have the latest of yet another long line of problems facing the citizens of Delaware County.  We are responsible for the elected officials, we put them in this place of power. 

Sobering…

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