Another round of great decisions made by our elected officials of good old Delaware County. Let’s recap, shall we?
First on the agenda is Muncie City Council and their absolutely enlightening idea on cutting street lights to save money.
- How much will it cost to shut off the lights?
- What street lights will be shut off? Have they done a study using GIS, police reports, traffic flow? Do they have a plan?
- Do they know well lighted streets have been proven to deter crime? Is City Council concerned with our safety? Which leads me to the next budget cut.
We don’t need no stinkin’ fuel. Chief Davis has found a workable solution for the return of our desperately needed laid off police officers.
- City Council in their infinite wisdom, feels the MPD needs less fuel in the budget now that we have more available police officers.
- Do they really need to patrol the darkened streets?
- Did the City Council do any research on the increase of crime?
- Interestingly enough, this was the only department to see their fuel cut. Things that make you go hmm.
How Much Is That Doggie In the Window? Another biting zing to the budget, the cutting of an animal control officer. From a department which is already on a tight staffing leash.
- Cutting the animal control officer position is in direct violation of the union contract.
- You can not cut a union protected job before you cut non-union or part-time jobs. Seems City Council stepped in some poo poo on this one.
- Now we have no animal control officer, no part-time workers and two full-time staff to run a shelter seven days a week. City Council whats your plan?
Who needs any pencil pushers, anyway? Let’s cut the controller’s office, just for fun. This department is already understaffed. So what if the controller’s office has a 35 million dollar budget? Why not have Mary Jo Barton volunteer her time and calculator? She once worked for the auditor, and she believes spending $30,000 to make $2,000 is good math. So, what’s your plan?
Do we really need a purchasing agent for 30 departments? Do we really need someone to search for the best prices? Monitor the departmental spending? City Council, what’s your plan?
Whoosh! The sound of a flushing hydrant. Let’s take maintenance out of the budget and have no revenue replacement available. We’ll show that water company who is boss.
There you have it, folks. Just a sampling of the foolish cuts made with no thought to the consequences or costs to the citizens of Muncie, Indiana. Here is the way I look at it. Not one of the of the City Council members could give any reasoning for these cuts. In fact, two of the members didn’t even know about the cuts.
Think on it for just a minute:
- The President of City Council had no answers, nobody knew how they arrived at these cuts. What data was used? Who was privy to meetings where these cuts were made? Certainly not all of the FINANCE committee.
- And if none of the City Council members knew how these cuts came about, why would they vote YES on something they know nothing about? Kind of like the Abbott and Costello skit…”Who’s On First”. YIKES!
Let’s recap what the Delaware County Commissioners have done.
Do we need to even speak of the 911 Communications Center? How the commissioners disbanded a board so that all decisions are now made by three men? Nobody else, just these three. Yet, these men who are still unable to locate the interlocal agreement which binds the city to a user fee of over $800,000.00 a year, wants our money, but not our input? I got some ocean front property in Arizona to sell you. Good price, too.
Now, just yesterday we find that the same county commissioners have decided that a long-standing agreement with the city is no longer viable. They forgot to tell the city. You can read the full article: Muncie, Delaware County Split Lobbying Ways.
If you get the Sunday print edition (11-22-09), take a gander over to Larry Riley’s column. It is well worth your time to read. Some solid information by one of my favorite journalists.
It makes no matter to these folks how much bad press they get, how many citizens address them with these concerns, they still do as they please when they please. I beg all of you to please stay informed and keep a scorecard.
Vote informed. We have to stop governing like this.
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.]
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.]