All Along the Watchtower – Fairness

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There must be some way out of here
Said the joker to the thief
There’s too much confusion, I can’t get no relief
Businessmen, they drink my wine
Plowmen dig my earth
None of them along the line know what any of it is worth

No reason to get excited, the thief, he kindly spoke
There are many here among us who feel that life is but a joke
But you and I, we’ve been through that, and this is not our fate
So let us not talk falsely now, the hour is getting late

Bob Dylan

With everything that has been happening and the city in a perpetual state of turmoil, it’s difficult to stay focused.  So much to watch in this crazily contradictory place called Muncie.   We have a ton of facts, even more, opinions.   Do we have an understanding of current events?   Do we see the big and bigger picture?   Are we examining the past and the present?  Are we looking at personalities, self-gratification, greed?  Is there an end goal of this administration we aren’t seeing?  Hoping we can find answers to these questions.   Even better..get our grey cells expanding and be forever watchful.

Hats off to the EMS supporters which provided information we can use.  Much of the time, we don’t give EMS a thought until we need their services.   One good thing which came from Mayor Tyler’s proposal: he helped to spotlight an integral branch of public safety.  We’ve learned about their duties, their costs, their equipment and their dedication to their jobs.  DCEMS provided clear facts, but the war is not over yet.

No reason to get excited, the thief, he kindly spoke

Mayor Tyler gave an impassioned speech asking the Muncie City Council to table ordinance 68-17.    He made reference to emails from unknown firefighters which he had distributed to members of the council.   His voice rose with emotion and determination at times.   Three council members already a no vote, Tyler needed to convince the remaining members to approve the tabling.  No doubt, the six-member party loyalists had been schooled on their vote prior to the meeting.

He needed to “correct the total unfairness to the citizens and taxpayers of Muncie, Indiana.”    He went on to say “the citizens of Muncie in 40 years has received zero dollars in a program they participated in.”  Mayor Canan began the first responder’s program in 2003.   Not quite 40 years Mayor Tyler.

Does Mayor Tyler think our payments to the county covering a portion of EMS services is going to end with the city’s ambulance service?  No, we’ll still pay the same.  In fact, we will be paying for county and city ambulance services.  Where is the fairness in that one, Mayor Tyler?

Mayor Tyler and Chief Bell believe this will be a profitable department.  They need to borrow just to get the program off the ground.    Let’s put that all aside for a minute and look at the past six years of the Tyler administration.

During the 2011 Mayoral debate, Tyler said Muncie had plenty of money.  As soon as he was voted in he began to spend it, too.  A “surplus” left by former Mayor McShurley to cover the cost of MFD if and when the SAFER grant ended.  She campaigned on keeping the MFD staffed.  Mayor Tyler, on the other hand, saw the $8 million as an open checkbook to spend.  He made no effort to prepare for the inevitable loss of the SAFER grant.  He had the money, he could have deposited it in a “safer” fund.  It doesn’t take much to add a line item to the budget.

Or pass an income tax.

Three years into his administration, the city realizes it is coming up short.  Guess no one noticed the revenue statements.  The EDIT and LOIT taxes was passed in 14 days.  That’s a record.  Mayor Tyler, where is the fairness to the citizens of Muncie?  Did you allow the citizens of Muncie time to examine the tax and question the city on their expenditures?

Mayor Tyler was it fair to the citizens and taxpayers of Muncie to filter tax dollars to Craig Nichols’ companies?    Where was your sense of fairness then?   How fair is it to the citizens of Muncie when MSD purchased the flea market well over the assessed value?  You said, “All I know is it’s an expensive project”.  It sure is, Mayor, when deals like these are brokered.   Do you believe the citizens were treated fairly?

Mayor Tyler, is your definition of fairness to withhold financial information on attorney fees?  Is this fair to the citizens who will be footing the bill?  From State agencies to news sources to the citizens no one, except maybe Tyler, believes this is fair.

In six years Mayor Tyler has never had any department become self-sustaining.  He was handed two well-organized and re-structured departments, Prairie Creek Reservoir and Building Department.  Today PCR running over budget.   The Building Department a cash cow for the on-leave building commissioner.    Tuhey Pool mismanaged by the company Tyler hired and it lost nearly $100,000 in ’16.

And all this isn’t even the half of it.

If Mayor Tyler could truly make a department self-sustaining he would have done it by now and there would be no need for increased tax levies or 43% income tax.   The environment Tyler operates in is not conducive to fairness or good fiscal management.  No one in all good conscience could use these terms to describe his administration.

What is the true purpose of Mayor’s proposal?   Is it political?   Will he involve the citizens in his political games?  Disregarding the safety and services and placing us smack dab in the middle of his childish actions?  You bet he will.    That’s his definition of fairness.

All Along the Watchtower is where we need to be standing.  Watching with our eyes every move this administration makes.

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One thought on “All Along the Watchtower – Fairness

    Marty Ballard said:
    January 17, 2018 at 11:25 am

    Well written, well composed and based on truth! It’s amazing how the facts have come to light from people outside of the city council, outside the mayors office, outside the illustrious fire department union and directly from the taxpayer….who seems to care more about truth than a good old boy network. Kudos to those who have stepped up with facts for all the residents of Delaware County not just friends of the Mayor!

    Liked by 1 person

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