The candidate filing has ended for the 2015 primary. Few surprises to be found. Davenport dropped his challenge against incumbent Mayor Dennis Tyler. Nora Powell back on the ballot tossing aside her pen name Nora Powell for her ballot name, Nora Evans Powell. She appeals to the 7% voter base who chooses the first name on the ballot. Hey, a girl needs to get a vote where she can.
Three Republicans running in two Republican districts. This is as exciting an election as one can get, folks. I didn’t expect any R’s to run for other offices, no one did. The Republican chair is likely to turn-off prospective candidates as he has done in the past. It’s kind of a waste of money, time, and effort. This may be lower than last year in regards to voter turnout. The interest is not there, the candidates are lacking, and creative plans are missing.
I miss the old election campaign stumping, when candidates actually had a platform. Nevertheless, the city is facing a looming $62 million in debts and we will continue to imagine the possibilities. I would prefer to have the incumbents continue their place at the table to see creative budgeting in action. Last time the elected officials faced a mere $3 million deficit, the street lights were scheduled to be shut off, animal shelter closed and 12 employees cut from the payroll. They saved a ton of money by cutting the Mayor’s Office copier and supplies.
Ex-president Sam Marshall wanted to cut Tuhey Pool utilities in his last month of office. Although, his cuts were asked to be read into the Muncie City Council minutes, it never happened. Maybe with a new city clerk, one can get that information. Emails to the office never get a response. Maybe that will change. Maybe, maybe, maybe…
I guess it is safe to say, the $2.00 hydrant fee never materialized. Instead, we saw over $3.00 charge on our water bills. Local Option Income Tax was not passed at the highest percentage. It’s still waiting to make a comeback. Muncie ending for the second time with a sizable operating balance increased the tax levy and the budget. A line item added to the budget for a newly created position while an employee of Prairie Creek was let go due to budget restraints. Lack of revenue caused the mowing crew to stop mowing.
Five weeks into 2015, we already earmarked $500,000 spending. Nobody outside of Muncie really cares how Muncie runs. Well, until they find $250,000 of Federal bucks to fix up three houses worth pennies on the Federal dollar. The Mayor said visitors to Central High School would see these homes and perhaps want to invest here.
There is a bright side to all this. No longer are we bombarded with accusations of affairs, nepotism, cronyism, embezzlement, drug addiction and we finally settled the closing of Ninth & Tenth Street railroad crossings. Barton lost her hard fought battle when Mayor Tyler took the reins.
Two of the five lawsuits have been settled against the mayor and the city. Nothing on the Mayor’s appeal to the State of Indiana’s $12,500 fine against Advanced Walls & Ceilings. The newspaper reported on it along with the $50,000 City Hall landscaping a year after the fact.
I sure hope the economic investment kicks in to generate some revenue soon. We surely need jobs, living wage jobs.
Tomorrow is another day…stay tuned.