Muncie City Council: Frustration and Politics Before People

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In council woman and current at-large candidate. Alison Quirk’s recent political mailer she says it hs been frustrating for all of us.  Yes, Ms. Quirk, especially for the people of Muncie, Indiana.

The October 3rd, 2011 City Council meeting was filled with frustrated city residents.   Last month Ordinance 34-11 was introduced to amend zoning ordinance from  residential zoning to  variety business zoning for property located on Nebo Rd. 

For those not familiar with the area, it is where Meijer’s is located.  What a stink they made about how a strip club could be built on this property.  The stink stemmed from a casual comment from the nearby church.  It wasn’t even an issue.  Let’s forget the other three corners are zoned variety business, too.

I considered it a no-brainer last month, and a silly attempt by the council to show concern for the residents.  However, it did pass last night.  Duh.

Ordinance 36-11 was replacing chapter 76 addressing abandoned vehicles.  The new ordinance mirrors the state law and allows for a non-reverting fund.  In other words, the money generated from these vehicles would go into a fund to only be used in this area.  Dan Gibson, city attorney explained this fund could go for expenditures and perhaps even hiring personnel.  Well, that perked up Mary Jo Barton’s ears.  Hiring?  She seemed ill-informed on non-reverting funds, although it has been a staple of government for years.  Attorney Gibson explained the non-reverting fund and how it iw would be some time before any personnel hiring could be done.  I hope that Mary Jo Barton would realize this would be a self-funded position if revenue materialized.  I fear she didn’t.

President Sam Marshall was confused about code enforcement.  Didn’t the MPD handle this?  Deb Davis, Chief of Police, spoke to his concerns explaining the police and code enforcement worked together.  Marshall said he thought there was no more code enforcement officers.  The Chief explained to the veteran city council member, and president, the code enforcement was from the Street Department. 

Next on the agenda was Ordinance 37-11 discharging firearms in the city parks.  State law changed in July to allow weapons (guns) in the parks.  The city had to amend the ordinance to what the State of Indiana passed or face hefty fines.  Some cities and town were already being sued.  Jerry Dishman said if he was being attacked, would he not be able to discharge his weapon in a park to protect himself?  First, there has been a ordianance  for decades on discharging weapons in city parks.  Second this new law was in the paper and I believe Mayor Sharon McShurley spoke before the legislatures.  Third shouldn’t the city council be aware of the changes.  It was introduced last month.  Surely, 30 days would be enough time for the council members to get up to snuff and informed.  Apparently not.

The zoning of the Layne Crest area to include 216 apartments was tabled.  Even though the auditorium was packed with residents from this neighborhood.  A spokesperson for the people addressed many issues.  Mr. Sam Marshall said he gave her enough time to speak, and anyone which wanted to address the issue should stay at 1 minute.

Looking back at the spokesperson from Albany which addressed the city council numerous times about animal control, she was allowed to speak as often as she liked.  Never mind she was rude to a council member and said the mayor was lying.  Never mind her town would not be using this animal control.  Any friend of current  Democrat candidate Nora Powell, is a friend of city council.  See a pattern?

Sam Marshal was attentive and considerate of the people opposed to the annexation and said it was the “Right and Moral” thing to do.  Perhaps.  But again, these people didn’t live, vote or pay city property taxes and Layne Crest resident do.  Why does city council continually support legislation and ideas that hurt our city and favor those which don’t pay one penny of taxes to our city?  They can’t vote for the council, so the only other explanation is their pattern of working against our city.

So much for Alison Quirk’s campaign mailer “People before Politics”.  She will continue to search for common ground.  Always searching, and never finding.  It must make her head spin as it did on the Tuhey Pool.

The last ordinance #40-11 was to change the signage on Cardinal and Hawthorne Drives from a yield to a stop.  I am not familiar with this intersection, but a tree is in the line of sight and because of the round-a-bout on Morrison the area is seeing more traffic.  This was Marshall’s shining moment, as Stan Hiatt, contract city engineer approached the council.  He asked Mr. Hiatt “Who told you to do this?” Mr. Hiatt said he didn’t know as it just came across his desk.  Marshall jumped on the opportunity to try to discredit the Mayor, yet again.  “You don’t know who told you?”   What is so interesting, is the city council doesn’t know much and it shows in their lack of progressive movement, but yet Marshall was hoping he could get a dig in on the Mayor.  Gimme a Break, Sam.

Putting aside,the small exchange with Stan Hiatt, shouldn’t this fall under the newly rejuvenated Land and Traffic Committee?  This looks like land and this looks like traffic, to me.  Oh, but since this isn’t high on the radar as a political football, it doesn’t mean much.  Funny, how we can invest so much time in the crossing after nearly four years, but a new issue which should involve this committee draws not much attention. 

Julius Anderson is having another meeting, and this time he will have a representative from the railroad present.  This make it meeting number five.  Nobody from the Land & Traffic Committee offered to drive by the intersections to assess the need for a stop or made any indication they would discuss it with Stan Hiatt afterwards.

I can’t understand why people of Muncie don’t see these council members have done nothing in the past four years except to tear our city down.  I spoke with two people after the meeting which aren’t even city residents and they said it was embarrassing to have these people govern your city.  I concur.

Watch the video.

Correction:  Jerry Dishman didn’t say if “I” was attacked, he said if “somebody” was attacked.  Sorry about that.  This was written from memory and notes early a.m. 

Had enough?

Vote informed.

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2 thoughts on “Muncie City Council: Frustration and Politics Before People

    Pat said:
    October 4, 2011 at 3:21 pm

    Got a little dizzy from all the spinning!

    Why didn’t you mention the poor signage issue occurred within District 2, or a Republican’s district? Why didn’t Mark Conatser speak on an issue within his own district, or defend the Mayor’s honor? It is because nobody was blaming anybody for anything.

    To respond to your statement, the reason people cannot vote informed is because they read stuff like this and then vote…any wonder they get it wrong most of the time!!

    Like

    munciepolitics said:
    October 4, 2011 at 8:04 pm

    Thank you for commenting on the blog. I welcome other views.
    I did go back and view the video of the meeting. The link to the video has been posted on this entry. It can be watched on Channel 60 (Public Access) for Comcast subscribers. I am not seeing any spin, and those which watch it can make that determination.

    Not sure what poor signage issues are in District 2 or a Republican district. The proper flow of the meeting was to address the Ordinance 40-11. If there are issues in these districts, then present it to the Land & Traffic committee, if you don’t feel comfortable reporting it to the city administration.

    Like

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