Every since Mayor Dennis Tyler hired Todd Donati to spend city tax dollars, we have been writing checks left and right. For those of you that aren’t familiar with Mr. Donati, he was the county commissioner from 2009 to 2012. Despite his campaign of how well the county is doing, he left it in deplorable financial shape.
Sitting through Muncie City Council meeting as Todd Donati danced his way through nearly $10 million dollars of bond issuance. Yes, it only took six months to rack up that much debt under the direction of Todd Donati, the master of economic development.
It’s like watching reruns of a bad program. Donati standing before a different council, asking for a yes vote, and right down party lines, yes, yes, yes, yes….As Delaware County Commissioner, he stood before the council asking for a yes vote. As president of county council, he asked for a yes vote. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
The first bond of the season, a mere $5 million is needed to build a parking garage. Muncie will be the proud owner of 89 parking spaces. Mr. Donati is expecting a revenue stream of $250,000 a year from the 89 prime parking spots located conveniently in the middle of an apartment complex.
According to Donati, this will create 693 jobs. That’s what he said.
Second bond of $4 million will cover everything from the Prairie Creek bathhouse, to streetscape and City Hall remodel. Originally, it was $5 million, but thanks to some nifty grants (we don’t know how much or from whom) we have brought it down to what Donati would call a reasonable debt. Although, as a county resident, he won’t be obligated to pay this debt. Heck, as a county resident, he didn’t mind running up debt…so what the hey.
Brad Polk asked Todd about the streetlights and if there was a possibility those lights could be used. Polk was referring to the solar-powered lights purchased in ’09. Donati said they were all in use.
A little background on the lights, if I may.
VAT, a manufacturer of solar-powered lights sold us a slew of these precious gems. They were placed strategically throughout the county. One little glitch. The lights don’t work. Along with the lights, we were promised 100+ jobs and a wind vane. Yes sir, this was going to put us on the map as the green capital of Indiana. And it only cost us $1.9 million dollars. No jobs and no wind vane, either. Last I heard, someone (us) will be paying $29,000 to fix the lights.
But wait, there is more. We had the unforgivable loan of $350,000 to the trucking company. We were led to believe the loan came from the redevelopment funds (still our tax dollars). Yet, Donati came before county council asking for a bond approval. And not only that, he asked for a suspension of the rules. In other words, he wanted the bond passed now. The county needed that bond passed to make the New World software payment. Don’t ask, it is just to complicated to follow the money.
After the 2010 election, the $7 million dollar bond came up for a vote. Part of that money was for the county plaza. It’s economic development, dontcha know. Nobody had seen the plans until Donati went to his office to get the blue prints. Desoto got some sewer money. An exchange between Quakenbush and Donati about the Desoto sewer system and Royerton led to Donati saying the county had been helping Royerton customers for two years. That would not be true, but what’s a little whopper when it comes to $7 million buck-a-roos?
Just last week at the Muncie Redevelopment Commission meeting, questions on how much money was available in the checking account. All eyes looked at the director of MRC, Todd Donati. Nobody really knew the answer and the paper didn’t follow-up on the balance. That’s o.k. The City is planning on moving stone pillars, storing the pillars and restoring before they find a final resting place at some city park. After the pillars are removed, the basement underneath must be filled in.
So, you can see why it’s important our tax dollars be spent on moving pillars instead of, say, paving streets. After all, Donati did build a county building plaza, and then promptly shut down the county building one day a week. Lack of funds, you know. And despite the plaza being funded with economic tax dollars, it generated not one penny in revenue.
In case you are wondering, Muncie Redevelopment is funded by your tax dollars. They can spend it anyway they please, and even if they can’t they still will.
Back in the 80’s the county bought a boatload of Bull Computers. These computers were as useless as the streetlights. Both were kept in storage, courtesy of the tax payer’s dime.
A Vat full of Bull.