Current incumbent, Alison Quirk’s new mailer. quirk flyer 2.
In her mailer it states she learned Muncie moves forward when we all work together. She is correct. With a city council filled to the brim with Democrat party loyalists we haven’t seen much moving forward. (Not including Linda Gregory, as she is the only Democrat which has shown any willingness to work for the people.)
So without much ado, here is a short list of how they moved the city forward:
- It took three years for modernization (2008 to 2011)
- A span of 18 months passed with only two budget meetings (2008-2009)
- Introduced LOIT (Local Option Income Tax) without addressing the budget (2009)
- Never met with department heads (in three years 2008-2011)
- Fought against Prairie Creek Reservoir becoming self-sustaining (2008)
- Foolishly and haphazardly cut the budget – reducing the animal control to nearly closing and leaving the city in the dark (2009)
- Created an illegal rainy day fund (2009)
- Over four years to revive the Land & Traffic committee – which hasn’t accomplished much (2011)
- Had the opportunity to discuss railroad crossing with Norfolk Southern, and came to the meeting unprepared to ask pertinent questions (2011)
- Refused to entertain the possibility of Muncie receiving $4 million dollars (2011)
- No incentive to update the ordinances to increase revenue (2008-2011)
- Crafted the 2010 budget cuts without the full finance committee’s knowledge – excluding the only Republican finance committee member in the final budget (2009)
- Nine months to appoint a finance committee (2011)
- Promised a more transparent government/empower the people – never realized (2009)
- Supporting an animal control plan which was fiscally unsound (2010)
- Paid $35,000 for a late-hour fiscal study on modernization – the plan was completed for nearly a year (2011)
- Voted for 67% threshold vote on modernization (2011)
- Only two city council members attended Muncie Action Plan meetings (2010)
- Asked security to remove a citizen from a public meeting (2008)
- Used their position to publicly slander local businesses at city council meeting (2008)
- Officials were invited to become involved in the Reorganization by implementing an advisory board and meeting monthly with the Reorganization Committee – City Council didn’t get involved (2008)
- Accused the controller of having “hidden” accounts-although the same transfer of funds was done in prior years (2009)
- Quirk said city council will consider an ordinance to allow quarterly accounting of probation fees – no introduction of this ordinance nothing has been done (2009)
- Ordinance to amend Residential zoning. Council persons Barton and Murphy had conflicting reports (should have done their homework prior to the meeting) ordinance 54-09 (2009)
- Council received update on Muncie Action Plan and invited city council to attend (2010-January) Only two attended. Later Barton said she couldn’t vote on Muncie Action Plan since she didn’t know anything about it. (2010)
- Council received notification a presentation would be made Feb 9, 2010 to elected official on Muncie Action Plan’s status. (See #25-Barton didn’t attend)
- Council received Notice Muncie Action Plan would be holding meetings on March 16th 2010. (See #25, #26) Ditto at the June meeting
- July 2010 Muncie Action Plan comes before the council in a resolution. Barton says she can’t vote on something she knows nothing about. Marshall said he just got the information. Please note from January to June 2010 meeting dates and time were announced at City Council meetings. Neither attended. (July 2010)
- Barton complains she has listened to taxpayer groups for years complaining – regarding the $300,000 revenue received through Comcast franchise fees of which a Public Access TV Station should be funded (2010)
- Franchise fees were placed into the general fund under Canan administration circa 2006. Marshall asked where the franchise fees go? Controller says, again ,General Fund. He should know this as the finance chairperson and 20 years as a city council official (2010)
Alison Quirk’s next paragraph addresses how frustrated we have been. (See all above for the source of OUR frustration.)
Let’s examine quickly three proposals/plans. One would be the animal control proposal. The second would be the modernization/consolidation plan and the third is Muncie Action Plan (MAP).
In December 2008 Jerry Dishman chides a citizen for commissioning a study on county-wide animal control Calling it a waste of money and accusing the citizen of not “knowing what she is doing”. Jerry Dishman voted to commission a fiscal study on consolidation. Does he or city council know what they are doing?
I don’t believe it was proper for Vice President Alison Quirk to chide the mayor, council members or the citizens because we didn’t “review” their proposal to partner with Delaware County on animal control. We did review it, and the proposal was bad news for the citizen and taxpayers of Muncie, Indiana. Apparently the City Council wasn’t aware of the county’s lack of revenue or looming financial crisis. We were and this is one of the many reasons citizens did not support their plan. We felt it was reckless to enter into a parnership, relinquish our assets, and pay a fee and taxes to an entitiy whch was broke and lacked any successful animal control.
The Modernization Plan was in the works for three years. City council never attended meetings, and there were plenty. The finished consolidation plan sat for nearly a year and the cover wasn’t even cracked by the council. City council commissioned a study for $35,000 at the final hour. City council should have been looking at the plan and making decisions. Vandenburgh County and Evansville took just five months and 51% threshold vote, compared to Delaware County’s three years and 67% vote threshold.
Linda Gregory was involved from the start, Polk and Conatser voted yes.
Muncie Action Plan – A citizen based, community oriented plan for our city. One full year of articles and meetings held all over the city at various dates and times. From January to June 2010 notice of meetings and invitations for the city council to get involved at every council meeting. Yet, as we saw, Mary Jo Barton could not vote for the resolution in July 2010 because she didn’t know anything about it. Marshall, like wise knew nothing and said he wanted to meet with his constituents. One wonders what the results of his follow-up showed. He never shared it at any subsequent city council meetings.
That’s it for the evening, friends. I hope you will consider this information and vote informed. Muncie can not continue with this type of governing. Not anymore.
- Mary Jo Barton – 16 years
- Jerry Dishman – 4 years
- Alison Quirk – 8 years