She goes on to cite how they worked in a bi-partisan manner with the previous mayor…for the best interest of our city. I thought about this paragraph for some time and I find it to be disingenuous.
Unfortunately, Alison Quirk doesn’t give any examples. I am hard pressed to find any articles that shows (outside the normal tax abatements and what not) a truly “bi-partisan manner”.
There is nothing about city council working with the previous mayor in any articles I could find. Nothing about city council partnering with Dan Canan on Roberts Hotel. How about working with the mayor to get a jump on blighted properties. Surely, they knew the position was open. Nothing about blighted properties, except for Mary Jo Barton complaining to Mayor Canan she wasn’t advised the position was vacant. (She sat on the Unsafe Building Board, I believe.)
City Council then as now, shows a lack of involvement in the affairs of the city and her residents. Ex-Councilman Shroyer complained about the intersections, lights, street painting and signs. Yet, there was no push from City Council to work in a non-partisan way to resolve these issues.
So, how much support did the mayor receive? Did the council actively work with Canan to “move our city forward?” .
In a June ’07 meeting the controller asked how the city was going to meet the promised pay raises for ’08 Alison Quirk was quoted as saying “We haven’t figured that out yet”.
Five months later at the 2007 candidate forum the question was asked what actions would she take if there was a need to cut the budget 20%. She answered “Go back to the department heads, the police and fire.”.
President Alison Quirk did not go back to the department heads or public safety. Instead she introduced an additional tax.
Alison Quirk continues, as she is eager to get back to what is best for Muncie. (Again, see the above.) In 2007 Prairie Creek was $140,000 over budget. The city was facing the closure of Borg Warner and New Venture gear losing nearly $2 million in revenue and it was barely addressed, if at all. The city was consistently borrowing, SBA violations were ignored.
In 2007, as in previous years, the city council was warned again and again, 2008 would see a revenue shortage. Not many proactive steps were taken.
Muncie was tasked to pay $1.2 million in ’08 due to unsupported financial expenditures from the Community Development office. Certainly not all of this falls on the shoulders of city council, but since the citizens have been reminded often “We are the fiscal body” one wonders why all this wasn’t addressed. The information was available.
Is anybody eager to return to Alison Quirk’s definition of “what is best for Muncie”?
Page two goes on to say “For Alison, it’s never mattered if an idea is from a Democrat or Republican. What matters is if Muncie Residents will benefit.”
This can’t be farther from the truth. Alison Quirk, an eight year veteran, must have been aware of the problems facing Prairie Creek Reservoir. The articles detailing PCR’s severe financial problems and the perfunctory budget cut she approved in 2007 saw PCR only inches away from closure. Bonham stated he would only have money to maintain, not improve the park.
At the start of 2008 Republican Mayor McShurley addressed the council with the idea to make Prairie Creek self-sufficient and was met with hostility. Had the city council worked with the mayor’s idea, a savings may have been realized sooner.
At the April ’09 Common Council meeting, Alison Quirk said “they” (meaning city council members) would like to hold public meetings to ask the public about things “they” (the public) would like to see addressed by City Council. She listed three items.
- Education (educating the citizens on local government)
- Empowerment (empowering the citizens)
This idea was hatched after Mayor Sharon McShurley decided to take the “update on city business” out of the city council arena and take it to the people in an informal setting. Alison Quirk’s attempt to engage city council members with citizens never materialized, just like her promise at the candidate forum in 2007. If they city council wasn’t on board, she had the opportunity to go it alone. She didn’t. Still, no one really believed she wanted the people educated on local government.
In 2009, Muncie was nearly $4 million short. The Mayor found $2.5 million to cut. Instead of Alison Quirk feeling relieved the people of Muncie wouldn’t need a tax increase, she and the other party Democrats whined to the paper. If you will recall, Gregory, Conatser and Polk weren’t even invited to the “”press” conference. Yet, she claim she works across party lines?
Alison Quirk’s slogan “People Before Politics” rings hollow after eight years as an elected official.
How the candidates answered questions at the 2007 forum, and their actions after elected don’t match up. Which is why you need to look at the records of the elected officials before you fall for their campaign rhetoric.
Larry Riley: Hints of mince thrive in campaign words (click here to read the column)