Let’s begin with the Democrats. As always there seems to be a full slate on the ballot.
Kenneth Davenport: Mr. Davenport is known as the perennial candidate. In other words he runs for every open office including several as mayor and even the sheriff. He doesn’t spend much money on his campaigns. He has received a decent amount of votes at times.
Ralph Smith: Ralph “Jigger” Smith has run for office before, so he isn’t a newbie. Ralph brings to the table integrity and honesty. He has run a clean campaign despite the usual shenanigans. I could get behind Jigger if he wasn’t running for the top spot. What I like about Ralph is his openness. He understands my political preference, and still shows a kind and warm attitude to me. A true gentleman.
Dennis Tyler: Dennis Tyler has been our State Representative since 2006. He inherited the spot after Tiny Adams passed away. He has yet to fill those big shoes, in my opinion. Every election, including his first stab at the mayor’s seat he has touted jobs. Same as every election thereafter. His stint as our representative has been lackluster with no progressive legislation which moved our county into a county of opportunity. Dennis Tyler’s campaign slogan: “Imagine the possibilities when we work together.” Right off the bat, Tyler is presenting a persona of something he is not able to do. When the going got tough at the State House, he didn’t imagine the possibilities of working together, he took off to Urbana to work with the other 37 or so fleebaggers. .
Muncie City Clerk:
John C. Dobelbower: John Dobelbower is a professor at Ball State University. I have only heard Mr. Doebelbower speak a couple of times. He didn’t talk much on the clerk’s office, yet, his organizational skills and willingness to work with people is a plus. I would vote for him over Phyllis Reagon.
Phyllis Reagon: Phyllis Reagon has been the city clerk since 2004. She is running because she likes her job, her experience and the support of her staff. The clerk’s office consists of five employees. Despite the size of her staff, we went for several months without the city council meetings being published on the website. At a city council meeting a citizen brought this to the council’s attention. I would prefer someone who can publish the minutes in a timely manner, and make the agenda available before the meetings. ( I Checked and the May 2nd agenda is on the website.)
Muncie City Court Judge:
Sam Beasley: Sam Beasley received his Juris doctorate in 2010 and has worked as a public defender. He is a partner in the Beasley law firm. Sam seems like a nice person, but he lacks the experience we need in a city judge.
Dianna Bennington: Dianna Bennington has a long history of education and community involvement. Her education includes a Nursing Degree from Ball State in ’96, Masters in Sociology and Counseling Psychology in ’98, Juris Doctorate from Thomas M. Cooley Law School ’03. She has experience in private practice, public defender for the YOC (Youth Opportunity Center). Her experience includes, but is not limited to, Compliance Officer Mutual Bank; Ivy Tech Adjunct Instructor Paralegal Program; Care-A-Lot Homecare General Counsel/Vice President; Registered Nurse Oncology & pediatrics. She was the President of the Board for Action, Inc. where she uncovered and reported the financial mismanagement. Community involvement includes Vice President Board of Directors for ARF, Pro Bono legal aid, member of St. Mary’s Church, Mental Health Board of Directors President and United Way at Work Committee. I hope you will agree, Dianna Bennington is the best candidate to become Muncie City Judge.
City Council District 1:
Marilyn Bennington-Smith: 22 years as a realtor, 10 years as a member of Southside Neighborhood Organization (check the name, this is from memory). Marilyn was instrumental in working with Wal-Mart South on the placement of their signage, She also can be credited with the improvement on Madison Street. She cares about the South Side of Muncie, and like most of us, knows this area can be a jewel for Muncie. She has a degree in accounting, so you know she can look at a budget.
Doug Marshall: Son of outgoing City Council member Sam Marshall, his involvement with the community is limited. He worked with the Southside Band and union activities. Current;y, his platform consists of opening the Mock Fire Station for the safety of the children, whatever that means. My fear is that Doug Marshall is as far removed from what the citizens need for our community as his father. Prior to his latest platform, when asked what his platform was he commented “Come to one of my events and find out.” I give a double thumbs down for Doug Marshall.
City Council District 3:
Mary Jo Barton: Not much needs to be said about Mary Jo Barton. She has been a sitting member on the council since 1995. She is not involved in her district at all. Was not impressed when Thomas Park received a sizeable donation for renovations, wanted to spend $30,000 for fireworks to make $2,000. Consistently ridicules the citizens, the mayor, the community director, the chief of police and local business owners. She once commented that some don’t like her style of leadership. My opinion is she has no leadership ability as when she spent the good part of 2008 trying to make Prairie Creek fail. Let’s make Mary Jo a historical figure and vote her out of office.
Todd Smekens: I have known Todd for nearly two years, maybe more. I believe he is a better candidate than Mary Jo Barton. Before Todd ran for office, he was not impressed with the Ross Center and believed it should be funded by the community. He has since come to find Ross Center as an asset to the neighborhood. Partnering with outside sources for funding, Todd posted on his Facebook page he hoped he would get elected so he could continue his work with Ross Center. Even if not elected, he can still be involved and I hope his passion will continue regardless if he is a city council member.
City Council District 5:
Jerry Dishman: I am slightly confused about his campaign signs “Fighting for your property rights”. I like Jerry as a person but believe he has voted down party lines more often than than supporting the citizens. He did not support LOIT and for that I am grateful. However, he voted to not stop the annexation of Halteman Village and with a nudge from Barton, he asked to change his vote. Which he did. That vote washed away $100,00 in legal fees and future tax dollars. Mr. Dishman. like most of the council members didn’t understand the annexation, although the veteran council members voted for it in 2007, had not been involved in MAP or understood the modernization effort.
City Council District 6:
Julias Anderson: Previously elected on Muncie Community School Board. Community activist. Appointed to Muncie City Council following the resignation of Monte Murphy.
Richard Ivy: “I understand the concerns of my district and community, bringing conflict resolution experience, with the ability to maximize limited resources, for a more cooperative board,” he said (Muncie Star Press)
Harold Mason: Mr. Mason retired from 911 and has been involved in the community. I personally like Harold as he seems like a genuine person and cares for his community. So, if I lived in District 6 and was inclined to vote Democrat, he would be my pick.
Linda Gregory: Linda’s campaign slogan “Go Gregory” is simple yet describes Linda to a “T”. You will find Linda going all over the city. She attends many meetings, and is one of the most informed council members we have currently. In 2010 Linda was chosen by the Committee for Integrity Enhancement to receive the Delaware County Personal Integrity Award, actively involved in the Buley Center and the Whitely Community, nominated and runner-up for Star Press Person of the Year. Donates hand-made items and her actions above her words shows the committment she has to our city. Go Gregory!
Ty Morton: Local businessman, bartender and sometimes substitute teacher. Morton began his campaign running with the Team Democrats and later with the Democrat Headquarters. In an article published by the Start Press “It’s time to stop talking about unity, and do something about it,” Morton wrote in a letter on the issue. Morton is articulate which aids in lending credibility to his comments. Careful examination of his views will find they are far from facts. With his assessment of the 2010 budget issues, his double taxation myth, the raiding of the primaries and the confusion he presented on who can vote in the primary totally ignored the law. All designed to provoke unrest within the community. Ty does not take well to being challenged. I believe Ty Morton will be bad for our city. He like Marshall gets “two thumbs down”.
Nora Evans Powell: I don’t believe Nora will have the ability to place her personal feelings below the concerns of the citizens of Muncie. She was on the Community Action Committee (CAC) which disbanded shortly after it began. The description said it was a non-partisan group of citizens, but the make-up of the members and those that were cited for their input told another story. Nora was outraged the current mayor would place the fireman in danger should they be housed at the Center Township fire station. However, the rage diminished considerable when Kay Walker became her campaign manager. Kay Walker is the Center Township Trustee which was in charge of the Center Twp. Fire Department. Another thing which is upsetting is the use of her middle name “Evans” on the ballot. This moves her to the number one spot. The clerk said he reviewed the marriage licenses and birth records of the candidates. Sure, it’s not illegal, but it’s not ethical, either. Powell has sided with just about every decision the city council has made except for the Halteman/Brewington annexation. She, like so many of us knew, this would insure additional tax revenue and her hope was keeping the MFD fully staffed.
Alison Quirk: Alison Quirk is asking you for a third term as your representative. Let’s look at the history. At the 2007 forum she said she would look at public safety and work with the mayor. She has done neither. In April ’09 at a city council meeting she promised a more transparent government and a program to educate the citizens. She broke it down as Education, Empowerment and Action. Like her comments at the 2007 forum, this never materialized either. The April ’09 was a defining moment as the purchase of firetrucks were on the agenda. Instead of telling the citizens, the council and the mayor she was working with Commissioner Donati to secure funds from the Morrison Road TIF, she allowed the department heads and Mayor to present their case. How many hours were invested in locating the truck and getting the finance all because none knew of her plans. The same with the animal control proposal of combining services with the county. When it came to hammering out the budget, Alison Quirk, Mike King and Mike Whited of the Muncie Fire Department and county resident met privately. Alison Quirk intoduced LOIT at it’s highest percentage before she met with the department heads.
On the Republican ticket, only two races are contested.
District 4 is between Brad Polk and Scott O’Dell. This should be a non-issue as incumbent Polk is by far the best candidate. O’Dell hasn’t done much campaigning.
District 5 has two newcomers, Big Jim Arnold and Tom Reeve. Jim has the knowledge and expertise to make a fine city council member. You may have seen Jim at the City Council and other government meetings or had the opportunity to read his letters to the editor. You will find more information on both candidates in the blog under Candidates Websites.
All-in-all the Republican party has really out done themselves this election with some pretty awesome candidates.
Blog entries related to April 6, 2009:
My disclaimer:These political views are solely my own. They are not representative of any for-profit, non-profit, political, non-political organizations, or any organized or unorganized group in Delaware County or Indiana or the other 49 States