City Council 11-2-09 (Or Why I Like Living in Muncie, Indiana)

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After a whirlwind evening of Delaware County government meetings, Tuesday has finally arrived. Basking in the afterglow after a fantastic night of theatrics, one can now understand why I like living in Muncie.

City council members all took their respective places and after the Pledge of Allegiance and the invocation the show began.

“Slashing” Sam Marshall took to the budget with a zeal never before seen. In a loud voice and a nearly perfect recital of departments and account numbers he cut 12 jobs, water fee and utilities. No surprises on what positions were cut, but how in the world are we going to power our city? Well, since the city council governs like it is 1850, we may as well live without 21st century amenities.

Mayor McShurley took to the podium and true to form, as soon as she began to speak, Councilperson Barton had a question. The mayor asked politely if she could finish. Mary Jo Barton, with her gracious southern charm, allowed her to speak. See what happens when people work together?

The administration has finally received the insurance costs.

Insurance premiums can be increased, saving the city $1,500,000.00. You could see the calculating mind of Ms. Barton as she tried desperately to compute the figures. “Employees pay more. That’s unheard of”, she exclaimed. Perhaps it is such a shock to her because she is so ill informed on what people in the private and public sector pay.  Pay more insurance, keep your job.   Pay less for insurance, lose your job.  That is a tough call.  Not!

Brad Polk, a member of the finance committee, was unaware of these cuts. Which brings up a point, if city council is unable or unwilling to work with its own members, how can you expect these people to actually govern our city? Most have no business holding these seats.

Mr. Polk also suggested cutting 911 service by $500,000.00. Total cut 2 million dollars and no jobs are lost.

The budget was passed 7 yeas, with Conatser voting to “move it along”. Gregory and Polk voted no.  City council members are so predictable.  Most of us can see this for what it really is.  I guess they think the citizens are stupid.

Many of the ordinances received a suspension of rules, allowing city council to vote to approve immediately. Ordinance #62-09 requesting a transfer of funds from the mayor’s edit plan to have station 4’s lot paved was passed. Chief Burcham thanked the mayor for her assistance. Not to be undone, Marshall thanked Chief Burcham for keeping the council apprised on this request.

Two outdated ordinances, one from 1968 and another from 1991 were introduced.  Basically a raise in fees. No biggy.

Chief Davis spoke on ordinance #68-09. This ordinance would allow the city to collect $6.00 additional for every traffic violation. The money would be placed in an account and be untouchable, only to be used for retaining police officers. You see, Chief Davis has applied for a grant which will allow the return of 5 laid off officers to the force. Once the grant runs out, the city will need to pick up the tab. Chief Davis has brought a solution.

I have the utmost respect for both Chief Davis and Chief Burcham. I truly believe both work hard for their departments and the city. We are fortunate to have them, make no mistake about it.

Then a standard ordinance of transferring funds from the motor vehicle fund to pay for the paving bill. The rule was not suspended, which I find odd. The money is there, the company needs paid and it really is a no-brainer.

Jim Arnold asked President Quirk how they planned to pay the water bill and keep the lights on. Hydrant fee…no real answer on the lights. President Quirk fumbled throughout the evening. She was really off her game. I wonder who will be president next year?

You can almost bet your life, anything the mayor brings before the council will be delayed or voted down, but not before Ms. Barton plays the 20 questions game.

The video of city council should be on Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal.

Muncie Star Press 12 Jobs Cut article

Remember: Good government begins with YOU!

Election: 2010 Election: 2011

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