Delaware County Commissioners
This is going to be a rant. A full-fledged rant. Most of it centers around the state of the city and how we feel about a city-run EMS and even an elected official or two. It may be all over the map, who knows? Let’s begin.
In 2015 Mayor Tyler decided to repair Fire Station 1 on Jackson & Madison. Two bids were submitted. S.A. Boyce for $98,700 and Mayor Tyler and Muncie Board of Public Works favorite company Walls and Ceilings came in at $99,000. The bid went to Boyce. The cost was $100,000 and the city taxpayers and grant money paid the bill.
In 2017, Mayor Tyler decided to reopen the station for use. Everyone applauded his decision. The neighborhood and downtown could now be fully protected. Mayor Sharon McShurley had closed the station due to budget constraints, fireman lay-offs and the building wasn’t structurally sound. Closing the station created quite a firestorm and Nora Powell led the charge. We were all going to die.
So for $180,000, Tyler was able to open the station for business once again. In the November 2, 2017 article “Fire Trucks to move downtown again”, Chief Eddie Bell was quoted as saying this will cut down response time and would be good for downtown and the Courtyard hotel.
Not so fast, Jack.
At the August 5, 2019 city council meeting during Chief Bell and Councilperson Moore’s not so friendly dialog, Chief Bell spilled the beans. Firestation 1 has not been a working station. It never opened as a fully staffed, fully functioning firefighting station. The reason per Bell was the city didn’t have the money to staff it. WHAT? This station is just sitting there just as it did in 2009?
Chief Bell, Mayor Tyler and likely the chair of the Finance Committee, Councilperson Nora Powell had to know the station was just sitting there looking pretty.
The non-staffed station didn’t appear to upset Powell as it did in 2009. She is fond of the current mayor. But it did matter to her when it closed. You would find her at city meetings badgering the previous mayor on such things as LOIT and the SAFER Grant. Powell would show up, with several laid-off firemen disrupting Chat with the Mayor meetings. The June ’09 meeting became so contentious it ended 90 minutes early. You see, Powell accused McShurley of not being transparent about raising income taxes. However, McShurley had authored a guest column that same month stating she was not inclined to raise income taxes. I’m sure that Powell read the column. (Larry Riley and Nick Werner both penned articles on the meeting.)
At the May 2019 council meeting, a citizen, Audie Barber, asked a simple question. “Where are the finance committee meeting minutes?” Cool as a cucumber Council person Powell stared at Barber. After the meeting, she was escorted to her car by two MPD officers. The police report stated Powell was visibly shaken after seeing Barber in the parking lot. So what upset her? Did she receive texts, emails, phone calls from Barber that led her to believe he was a danger to her? Did she file a report he was harassing her? However, her step-son, a police officer, did run an illegal check on Barber.
What goes around comes around.
Here’s the breakdown. We have a fire station where tax dollars were allocated to make it fully functional, The kicker is, there was no money to man it. A council member feeling threatened by the same actions she employed as a citizen. Drama.
- Lame-duck Mayor who is pursuing a city-based EMS. Guaranteed to provide fewer services and end some county jobs. (Based upon his history as mayor.)
- A mayor who was handed $8 million earmarked for MFD once the SAFER grant ended. Gone.
- 2015 he passed a 43% income tax to fund MFD when he had the money once.
- Prairie Creek once self-sustaining running in the negative.
- A building commissioner funneling monies to his companies with the blessing of Mayor Tyler.
- City properties are overgrown with no money to mow.
- Breaking ordinances like the Wheel Tax ordinance. Submitting paving plans months after the deadline (as written).
Here’s a forgotten fact. In 2009 the Delaware County government became majority Democrat and immediately went to war with the Republican mayor. If it wasn’t the restructuring of the 911 board, making it a political football, it was the county working to take over animal control. And on and on it went.
When the city finally got their treasured Democrat mayor, he immediately handed over 911 monies to the county. Although, Tyler claimed there was nothing he could do about 911 since McShurley signed the ordinance in December 2011 and he took office January 1, 2012. This was just not true. He should know since he was a State Representative for six years. One person does not a bill make. Both the county commissioners and the county council signed off on Tuesday, Jan 2, 2012, and City Council called a special meeting on that Friday. They signed off, too. 16 elected officials all Democrats except for three or possibly four Republicans and he couldn’t do anything?
He planned on handing over the millions held in escrow from the start. The city and county were under 214 Democrat control. The night Tyler won, the County Democrats were planning on how to spend the 911 money.
True to form when the county became Republican, Mayor Tyler repeated the same as his friend and former Commissioner Todd Donati.
Hurry FBI, we can’t take much more and we certainly can’t afford their self-serving and greedy actions any longer.
Good morning to all of you fine people. Much to be grateful today as the Polar Vortex train has left the station. Good riddance, say we!
On to more pressing news. Mayor Dennis Tyler announced he would not run for mayor of Muncie again. However, it has not stopped him from keeping his beloved dream of a city-run EMS program alive. It appears Dennis Tyler will do as much damage to this city and county as he can before we say “Adios Amigo” come December 31, 2019.
But, you never know if the FBI will come knocking on his door. After all, he was privy to the meetings where the elite of City Government schemed to cover Craig Nichols’ crimes. Tyler was an eye-witness, a willing participant in protecting Nichols’ rear.
Exactly how is Dennis Tyler going to pay for his dream? Why it’s simple. Rumor has it he will be tapping into the $400,000 Center Township pays the city for Muncie fire protection. What, say ye? Center Township is one of the many taxings entities the City of Muncie supports with property taxes. (Check your bill.) So, we’re assisting Center Township with city property taxes to provide fire service.
Kay Walker, Center Township Trustee on board with Mayor Tyler? Is she earmarking the $400,000 for the city-run EMS when a perfectly good DCEMS is already paid with Delaware County taxes? How will the MFD budget make up the $400,000 decrease in funds? Talk about double taxation. We will be paying for not one but two emergency medical services.
Does this stink to high heavens, or what? Is it not a typical shell game of shuffling funds from here to there? You bet it is. Don’t think for one moment Tyler’s last-ditch effort is anything less than a political move and one which causes serious harm to the City and County.
The funding Center Township receives to pay for Muncie fire protection is from Muncie property taxes. We shift money to Center Township and then Center Township pays the City of Muncie. Tyler claims concern for the city in reference to being double dipped (the concern is feigned, of course). Center Township is owned by Democrats for years. Delaware County is controlled by Republicans and this explains Tyler’s motive in a nutshell. Politics before People. Always has been with this crowd.
(On a side note: this makes for a good argument to abolish township governments. It really is just another layer of bureaucracy.)
Let’s just walk down memory lane.
In 2010 Muncie was facing a financial crisis. Firemen were to be laid-off and other cuts were needed just to keep the city afloat. The previous mayor Sharon McShurley and Kay Walker came to an agreement. This is it in a nutshell:
- The move to apply for the grant was tied to Center Township turning its firefighting force over to the city, and in turn, paying Muncie $250,000 a year through 2011 and then $400,000 a year after that for fire protection. Earlier news articles said the city would save $750,000 over the next two years and then $700,000 thereafter because of the Center Township agreement and concessions from the fire union.
Star Press 5-5-10
Dennis Tyler took office on January 1st, 2012. With this office came an inheritance from the previous administration…a goodly sum of $8 million earmarked by McShurley to cover MFD when the SAFER grant expired. For three years Mayor Tyler claimed enough money to support public services and would not pass LOIT.
That all changed in August 2015 when he and city council proposed the LOIT tax at the highest rate. No one seemed to remember how or when the $8 million was spent. The officials didn’t just pass one tax, they increased the EDIT tax, too. A 43% increase in income taxes was passed in a mere 14 days.
Today we have Mayor Tyler working to resurrect the city-run EMS. We’re hoping the FBI picks him up before he can create additional damage to the city and the county. The legacy of Mayor Tyler will continue long after he is gone. Don’t think for a moment the city will go unscathed. It’s going to be painful to fix this topsy turvy ship.
We decided to provide a small pictorial timeline of Dennis Tyler. We’ll begin with State Representative Tyler hightailing it to Urbana, IL. A failed attempt to shut down Indiana government. Then as now, he avoided the people. Every time Tyler is placed on the hot seat he disappears. And Urbana was no exception. This is where the phrase “Tyler is vacationing in Urbana” began. You may hear it said when Tyler refuses to speak or be interviewed by the press.
Next, we see candidate Tyler asking for your vote. He won by approximately 7,000 votes. 1,000 more votes than McShurley received in 2011 and in 2007.
Picture three is Mayor Dennis Tyler with a caption addressing one of his campaign promises “For the People” and the cost of his administration a 43% income tax. Well, the EDIT tax needed to be increased to fund Nichols’ property demolition companies.
Moving on is a meme created when Mayor Tyler first introduced his EMS project. It is meant as humorous satire. Although, there is nothing funny about his proposal.
City Council Meeting
Monday, February 4th, 2019
7:30 PM Muncie City Hall
We’re halfway thru the holidays and almost finished with 2018. It’s been a year! Of course, we often say “It’s been a year” no matter what year it is.
In 2018 Mayor Tyler’s dream was to have his very own EMS. In 2018 he is canceling the 911 contract. And in 2018 we’re seeing his 43% income tax did add new revenue to the city coffers. However, even with his increased taxes, Mayor Tyler simply outspent more than he took in. Is it possible Muncie City simply can not afford 911? Nor can we afford his EMS. We simply can not afford a corrupt government system with Tyler at the helm. Let’s just say, no Democrat supported by Dem Headquarters will be fit to serve as mayor. Party before people, then, now and forever.
You all were warned about the future prospect of having Dennis Tyler as mayor. Looky, it’s all come to pass. No one was clairvoyant, instead, we simply looked at his history.
So, that being said, let’s move on to the jail issue.
Both the City of Muncie and Delaware County is facing the new jail project. The County is looking at borrowing $45 million to upgrade the former Wilson School. We certainly need all the facts, no doubt about it. Not just costs, but alternatives. No one has full disclosure on the project so at this point it is simply opinions based on incomplete information.
The Delaware County Commissioners held a public hearing. In addition, a public forum at the Cornerstone and neither netted much additional information. The public hearing and the public forum both within days of each other had nearly the same attendance. No one walked away with new information at either one.
While the residents of the county are facing millions of dollars for the new jail project, the city taxpayers will be footing that bill along with the debt the city has amassed over the past six years.
A critic of the jail, Jason Donati, quoted the cost will be $92 million (the next 25 years). Add to this figure the debt of Muncie’s $66 million (for the remaining 21 years-if the city doesn’t take on any more debt) and we will be bearing a whopping $158 million in debt. For the jail and for the Mayor’s spending. To put it in perspective. City taxpayers will be paying for Muncie debt and the jail. Whereas the county will only be liable for the jail debt. But if Muncie can’t afford the 911 contract, the county will need to pick that up or decrease services.
Can you say…problem? Todd Donati, Muncie Redevelopment director weighed in, too. He cited property tax back-up for jail. “I might add that for the lease to be effective for that long, the developer is asking for a property tax back up on the funds. This would change the perception as to whether this could effect property taxes.”
Source: Star Press comments 12-12-18 Opinion
You would be hard-pressed to disagree with Todd Donati except for the fact, property taxes have never bothered him in the past. Not as a county council member, a county commissioner or the city’s redevelopment director.
Tax Increment Financing (TIF), especially in this county, is a thorn in our sides. When an area is designated a TIF district any additional property taxes gets dumped into a fund to be spent with very little oversight and often not even in the specific TIF district. A few years ago, MRC combined the TIF districts into one pool of money. But, enough about TIF. It is for another time.
Todd’s favorite line: “It won’t cost the taxpayers a dime”. You know it will. All revenue comes from some form of tax paid by the citizens. Period.
In closing, before one can have a public forum, they must have something to “forum” on. In other words, we need concrete information. Otherwise, we’ll waste our time hearing what we already know.
Source: Muncie Star Press 12-11-18
It has been brought to our attention certain devices are not working with the website. We are looking into the issue and apologize for any inconvenience. 10-30-18
O.K. So what if the election were held today. If you feel so inclined, cast your vote. Or not. Please remember this is not an actual vote, it is only an exercise or a poll, as it were. If we have the time, we may add the other races. Have fun! Leave a comment if you feel so inclined.
As you all know, Mayor Tyler is speeding towards a city-owned EMS. Yes, if you haven’t yet heard, he is doing everything in his power to destroy a well-oiled County EMS service. Why? Of course, we know why. Politics before people.
You may be thinking, “No way would Mayor Tyler even consider putting the citizens in danger. He loves this great city per all of his public speeches.” Would he destroy DCEMS because of politics? Let’s take a walk down memory lane.
Immediately after Tyler lost his mayoral bid in 2003, he and his pal, Phil Nichols, were right back to the political games. In a 2004 editorial “Lack of proper plan for fires scandalous” the editorial board was referencing a letter two Democrat County Commissioners authored, The editorial states:
On Dec. 31, Stonebraker and St. Myer signed a letter to the city-county 911 dispatch center, ordering that Center Township trucks not be dispatched on emergency runs within the Muncie city limits. “(Some old-timers will remember) .
Stonebreaker, according to the editorial, said it wasn’t political at all. Never mind they did everything in their power to make Republican Dick Shirey’s life miserable. Definitely not political. (ROLLING EYES)
The editorial continued:
To deny political implications of the letter is to ignore the fact that chief architects of local Democratic policy are current party chairman Dennis Tyler and immediate past chairman Phil Nichols , both Muncie Fire Department officers. Their fingerprints are all over the letter, and they appear to have done little to discourage the animosity that exists between Muncie and Center Township fire departments.
Further evidence of political or government leaders being irresponsible is the report of five instances last fall when the Center Township department was not notified of 911 calls within its own territory.
Take note, MP Readers:
Shirey, Crouch and other local officials have said they believed the best dispatching procedure would be to send the emergency response order to the department that is closest to the emergency as well as to the department with official jurisdiction.
That would best guard the safety of citizens and their property. Anything short of that devalues human life and is a dereliction of duty.
Dual-response is recognized policy in well-organized fire districts across the country. Firefighting experts, consulted last year by The Star Press, agreed that dual-response is a must for Muncie and Delaware County.
‘It’s not rocket science,” said one of the experts.
Everywhere, that is, except Muncie.
Source: Lack of proper plan for fires scandalous Star Press, The (Muncie, IN) – Sunday, January 25, 2004 Author/Byline: StaffSection: EditorialPage: 2D
So, if you think for one moment Mayor Tyler is all about keeping you safe and that his EMS service will be top-notch, dear friends, think again. Tyler campaigned in ’03 and one of the big issues people had with him, among many, was Phil Nichols. Tyler hasn’t changed since then. The difference between then and now it was much easier to hide his involvement prior to being mayor. Not so much today.
To be continued…
As we get closer to the November elections we are beginning to see the 214 Democrats hard at work.
Earlier Muncie Politics wrote about the unintentional candidate for a position as a Democrat precinct committee member. Although, no elected officials, not the County Clerk Mike King or the County Prosecutor Jeff Arnold and neither of the political party chairs felt the need to pursue how the unintentional candidate was able to beat the intentional candidate. Score 1 for the local Democrat Headquarters. How to unintentionally win a race
Next on the list is the swinging door for the commissioner’s race. Phill Peckingpaugh withdrew early on – citing health issues. The seat for commissioner remained unfilled for several months until Brock Reagan stepped up to run. A few weeks later Reagan dropped from the race. He cited lack of time and money. providing an opening for the third time in the commissioner’s race.
As luck would have it, the Democrats immediately found a replacement in Jason Donati, MSD Stormwater educator, and MCS advisory board member. Jason was nominated by Mayor Tyler for the new school board but wasn’t chosen.
Asked if he had another candidate to fill the commissioner vacancy on the fall ballot, Craycraft said, “They’re talking to some people.” Candidate resigns another files
Wonder if “they” talked with Dave Ring? He ran as a Democrat, albeit, an outsider. Now Ring is running as an independent for commissioner.
Here is the timeline of the commissioner’s race:
- Phil Peckinpaugh files and drops out.
- The position sits vacant for several months.
- Brock Reagan drops from the recorder’s race and runs as commissioner.
- Jason Donati is not appointed to the MCS school board.
- Reagan quickly resigns from the race.
- Dave Ring files as an independent.
- Democrats immediately pick Donati.
Let’s go back to 2012. Todd Donati lost his bid for a second term as commissioner. A few weeks later, Muncie Redevelopment director retires unexpectedly after 20 years. As luck would have it Mayor Tyler appoints the former commissioner and longtime friend, Todd Donati to the position recently vacated…as luck would have it.
So why the blog title Missing Larry Riley? We lack solid political commentary in this county. No one gets to the meat of an issue. Perhaps there is no need. We all know what’s what in Delaware County politics. Here is an example:
Yet we’re facing stranger times. Once Dennis Tyler took over the Muncie mayor’s office in 2012, and then saw no Republican opposition in his re-election, the floodgates opened up for people running Democratic Party Headquarters. Nothing stopped Democratic HQ from using reins of Muncie government for its own purposes, including to line pockets.
That’s what the FBI has been investigating since late in 2015, and resulted so far in one arrest, that of the Mayor’s building commissioner, the son of the man in the seat of power in Democratic Headquarters. That FBI investigation remains ongoing in Muncie, recently heating up.
I’ve always liked Dudley, and he’s always been cordial and willing to talk with me. But joining your star to that particular Headquarters, a corrupt party and city administration, is treacherous. Larry Riley May 1, 2018
The only way Delaware County is ever going to advance beyond the corruption, poverty, absence of fruitful economic development, and 214 political appointments is to vote NO! to anyone who is affiliated with the 214 mainstream Democrats.