Saturday Ramblings and an Election Year

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Hello, October!

I love the fall season, except for the fact we have to say good-bye to summer and it’s a constant reminder winter is at our doorstep!  I feel melancholy and in the mood to just ramble.  It’s perfect morning for it.

Sipping a hot cup of Trader Joe’s java and bidding you all a top of the morn.

As you all know, this is an election year for municipalities and Muncie is nearing her peak of the season.  I take elections very seriously.  This is one opportunity as American citizens to have our voice be heard.  I encourage everyone to get out and vote.  Just as important is knowing your candidates, understanding government and the issues facing our city.

Often times, the public on-line forums will give us some insight into voter’s minds, other times you wonder if you have returned to the beloved high school student council elections…In other words, its more personality than issue based.  It seems easier to discuss the superficial while the weightier things are left untouched. 

Yesterday a letter to the editor in support of Mayor McShurley was published in the local newspaper.  One poster commented the letter was staged, and then proceeded to list the following: 

The mayor’s quest to shut down Muncie. 

Hired friends from Anderson for leadership positions.

Endangered residents by cutting public safety.

Lied about her residency.

Lied about her taxes.

 It’s obvious this was more rumor than fact.  In other words, it packed a punch, or at least the person hopes it does.  So, let’s take a look at these five allegations.

The first would be the quest to shut down Muncie.  I am not sure what exactly the quest may be, nevertheless, if any will recall the 2010 budget cuts crafted by some members of the city council you may wonder how the person arrived at his or her conclusion.  Excluded in the final budget cut meeting was one member of the finance committee. .  Go figure. (He probably wouldn’t be welcomed at Democrat Headquarters where the budget cutting was done, anyway).

 The city council cut street lights, fuel for MPD, animal control, water hydrants, personnel and then created a “Rainy Day” fund which was illegal.  This is a brief listing, I’m sure you get the picture.

My favorite one is the hiring of friends for leadership positions.  As opposed to what?  Family members or political supporters regardless of their abilities or lack thereof? 

 Doug Zook as the Park Superintendent took a failing parks system and turned it around.  He came to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience.  He couldn’t vote for the mayor.   He provided excellent leadership and “gasp” he didn’t live here. 

Pete Heuer the current superintendent of Streets and Public Works, is an Anderson resident, too.  Like Zook, he has come to the table with qualifications, knowledge and experience.  With the influx of tax dollars for maintaining our streets, Mr. Heuer has done wonders with the paving and snow removal.  He tackled the big job of addressing the city council’s street light budget cut in the professional way.  It was really a waste of our tax dollars as he was forced on a quest to correct the council’s inability to understand the budget.

Two professionals which don’t live in Muncie working diligently to help her succeed.   Go figure.

 Let’s move on.

Public safety has been addressed ad nauseam.  One full year with a decreased force, and certainly if public safety was such an issue, one might wonder why the city council voted down the purchase of trucks in April ’09.  Perhaps, it was the “quiet” deal between President Alison Quirk and President Todd Donati to use funds from the Morrison TIF.  Another “Go figure”.

 Lied about her residency.  Now, this one really has me puzzled.  I think the commentator is confused between where the Mayor worked and where she lives.  Personally, I find this one hilarious.

She lied about her taxes.  I am sure he or she is referencing the double homestead.  No, the mayor didn’t lie and neither did the other 59 people.  Included in the group were two city council members.  Alison Quirk and Monte Murphy.  The mayor sold the house in 2006, filed a quit-claim or  quick-claim deed as it is sometimes referred,  and moved on.

 I suppose if one has lived in Muncie all their life and been a die-hard Democrat local party loyalist, they would feel comfortable voting in candidates which have benefited from tax dollars.   Like current candidate Nora Powell, which was allowed to live in a home designated for low-income families, courtesy of the director which was also her mother.  Or Dennis Tyler which voted himself a raise, then received $86,000 as a retirement benefit, and voting for a state budget overloaded with spending, all at a time when the homeowners were battling an overwhelming increase in property taxes. 

Or why it is a cardinal sin for one to have a double homestead (before taking elected office) and perfectly acceptable for others (in an elected office).

All this aside, here is what really needs to be understood before we cast our votes. 

First, we should look at the voting records and  what the candidate has or will bring to the table.  We must understand the people we elect will be spending and allocating nearly $30 million dollars in tax money.  They will make decisions which will affect our city for the next four years and beyond.  The elected officials will have the ability to increase your taxes, or use revenue wisely or unwisely.

The elected officials will be appointing department heads and board members. 

I personally feel, returning to the past, which some candidates and elected officials feel “was the good days” would be a step back into the stone age.  I suppose if one feels federal investigations, tax increases, constant borrowing to make ends meet, poor roads and city filled with blighted properties is the “good days” puts into question their ability to think progressively, be pro-active and place people before politics. 

Had Enough?

Vote Informed.

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