We are just weeks away from the primary and it looks to be ramping up. Early voting has begun and some of us have done the deed. Others are still undecided.
Today, we’re going to talk about the Democrat mayoral candidates. They have five on the ticket. A current city employee, former law enforcement officer, businessman, perennial candidate and one citizen (not sure of his occupation).
The BSU Democrat student organization sponsored their debate. Hats off to the students for their hard work. Below is the audio of the debate.
If you want to get a well-rounded view of the election, we would recommend you listen to all the candidates. This is often a political blog, and in case you didn’t know, there is an election on the horizon. We follow all of the candidates. We visit social media to get our fingers on the pulse of citizens’ thoughts on the candidates. We carry on conversations with the people and sometimes we even interact with the candidates. If they have a history, we review it, too.
After introductions, the candidates went into corruption. Oh, boy, do we have it. How many of those candidates voted for Dennis Tyler? How many knew the history of Tyler and his cohort Nichols and still chose to place the corruption in the main seat of Muncie governance? Until they need your vote, they stand silently by. The opportunity was there in 2015 to get the city under control. That primary saw only two city council districts up for grabs. District 2 (R) Conatser vs. Ridenour and District 6 (D) Anderson vs. Ivy. Both parties fell short that year. The corruption was just beginning to come to light. It was going to be messy. Thoughts on the lack of candidates…for another time.
Just a brief history. In 2003, Dennis Tyler ran for mayor. One of the biggest concerns was how much involvement would Phil Nichols have in Tyler’s administration? Tyler said none. However, after Tyler lost it was believed he and Nichols joined forces and set their sights on dismantling Center Township Fire Department and behind manipulating the 911 call center. Some of the old-timers would remember. Not unlike what we are seeing from the Tyler administration today. A leopard doesn’t change its spots.
Tyler and Nichols have been joined at the hip since birth. In 2012 Tyler immediately appointed Craig Nichols as the Building Commissioner. Well, we know the rest of the story. Phil Nichols was privy to the private meetings with Mayor Tyler and others as they schemed to hide the crimes committed.
Oops, I digress…
One area of this debate centered on blight. The interesting part of this is the previous mayor, Sharon McShurley, also campaigned on the blight. She addressed the blight head on, looking for monies and the newspaper did “Blight Watch” keeping the people informed of the status and the challenges of the blighted community. That all ended when Tyler took office. Why?
We wrote about the Hardest Hit Fund program. When Muncie received notice we were selected, the city sat on the funds. Mayor Tyler claimed the requirements were so stringent the city had a hard time implementing it. Most of us believe Tyler was trying to find a way to funnel the monies to Nichols’ companies, et al. Other communities were well into the program demolishing properties, and Muncie was not. Everyone was on a level playing field yet Tyler’s administration just couldn’t get the program going. Hmmmm.
That being said, here is our synopsis of the candidates:
Dale: Maybe the best of the bunch if being well spoken was a prerequisite for mayor. He was involved in city government during the McShurly administration. Not sure if he continued the same involvement under the Tyler administration. He was part of the UNISON group which wanted to engage Commissioner President Todd Donati and the Commissioners as part of the Tuhey Pool plan in 2010. Fortunately, that went nowhere. Would he continue the MRC with Donati as president?
D. Smith: Focused on corruption. Yes, this administration is filled with corruption and there are two Tyler appointed department heads on the ballot. The first step in ridding the city of corruption would be to never place any person affiliated with Tyler in a position of power. Mayor or council both would still be governed from 214 N. Walnut.
Bailey: Appointed to the Community Development office by Tyler. In charge of the Hardest Hit Funds. Consider looking at Larry Riley’s FB post and at the State Board of Accounts audits. Bailey said she did the duties of the deputy mayor with no added pay. Bailey is the only mayoral candidate that has a history with the current administration and would be privy to the inner workings of this administration.
Riley: Saul is someone you would like as a neighbor, but not for mayor.
Davenport: Was vacationing in Urbana, Il and couldn’t make the debate. (just kiddin’)
In closing: Not much dialog on the current public safety issues or how they would address the issue once in office. No mention of the debt. Or how they would improve upon the paving. Candidates are fluffy nowadays. They have lots of words but no concrete solutions.
Do you all remember Hank the Dog? If not, here’s a synopsis. Once upon a time, there was a dog named Hank. Hank was notorious for being picked-up by city animal control. You might go as far as to say he was targeted. The owner was summoned to city court, and although the details are a little murky, one thing we do know, the City of Muncie violated their own animal control ordinances. You see, there was nothing about the number of times an animal could be picked up and nothing about an owner having to appear in court. Later they did change the ordinance after they violated it.
Funny, how the city’s attorney could find an ordinance that was decades old. Suddenly, the elected officials are concerned because they aren’t following this ordinance. City Code 32.33.
Sec. 32.33. Time and place for regular meetings.
The first regular meeting of the council shall beheld on the first Monday in January after thegeneral election of the members-elect of the council, at 7:30 p.m. as provided by IC 18-1-3-2. Allregular meetings shall be held on the first Monday evening of each month at 7:30 p.m. and maybe adjourned at the pleasure of the council. Adjourned meetings shall have all the force andeffect of regular meetings. Meetings shall be heldin the council chamber, unless otherwise determined by the president and designated on theagenda.(Code 1968, § 31.14; Ord. No. 620-80, 10-10-80)
The city council has been in violation of this for years. So, what’s to stop them from violating a 2013 Indiana State law? Or any law, for that matter? As you can see, absolutely nothing. Ah ha. Let’s have a meeting on January 1, 2018. Surely no one would show. And, and, and we’ll be following an ordinance we have never observed.
As the City-run EMS began to heat up, the elected officials, who are supposed to represent the people were hoping to find a something that would weaken the DCEMS supporters on council turnouts. Wrong on Muncie City Proper’s part.
Demolishing empty lots? No problem. We’ll change the addresses. Who said anything about bid rigging? Did you hear anything about bid rigging?
This has to be the most poorly run administration to date. Or at least it comes close. With all of the history and many of the old-timers would remember days gone by, there was quite a bit of action. Have talked with a few and the stories they would tell. Sadly, many have passed from this earth. Oral history is most effective.
So just for fun, and possibly to jog a few memories, here is a clipping from the local newspaper dated February 21, 1993. You would think the cost of corruption would be enough to throw these characters out on their ear. Nope. They are like a bad penny…just keep showing up again and again. Most have been replaced with the younger generation. Make no mistake they learn from their elders.
Well, it looks like Doug Marshall is finding himself in quite a pickle. The Indiana State Board of Accounts has levied the charge of “double-dipping”. Apparently, there is a law on the books which states you can’t hold a position of an elected official and a paid government position at the same time. Doug is contending the Muncie Sanitation District is not a city position. He has said he will resign from MSD. Either way, it’s a pickle. If he stays with MSD the salary and benefits would remain intact. However, if Republicans take control of the Mayor’s office he may lose that position. (Disclaimer: just surmising, not positive if it would be legal to dismiss him.)
He currently has a challenger for District 1 and that would be Ralph “Jigger” Smith.
If Smith beats Marshall in November, then Marshall would be out. Doug has said he will resign from the MSD and continue as Muncie City Council representative. It’s a gamble either way. Certainly wouldn’t want to be in that pickle jar. Feeling some sympathy for Doug.
Moving on. Here’s a sweet pickle. Sarah Beach is running At-Large. The funny thing is she is employed as the City of Muncie Human Resource Director and moonlighting as the spokesperson for Dennis Tyler, uh, City of Muncie.
Clearly, she won’t be able to hold both positions. The 214 Democrat Party didn’t know about the law? Yea, they did. You see, if there is a Republican mayor, she is out. Possibly, out if a Dem makes it in. The Democrat party headed up by the silent majority of Dennis Tyler and Phil Nichols need their people. They need someone who will do their bidding and take the fall, too. She votes the wrong way, Beach will be summoned to the interrogation room at Dem Headquarters.
A document filed by federal prosecutors in the Craig Nichols case reported that members of Tyler’s administration had been summoned to Democratic Headquarters in early 2016 to discuss – in groups that included the mayor and Phil Nichols – a response to allegations against the building commissioner. That document did not specify Stewart had attended those meetings.
Beach may be a plant, too. She’s at the beginning of the alphabet. Sure to gain at least 7% of the vote (statistically speaking). Some voters just vote for the first person on the ballot. No matter what, she’ll be governed by the hidden and quiet previous Democrat officials. Just because of Mayor Tyler saying he won’t run again doesn’t mean he is going away.
This is about as much political commentary we can provide today. Hope you enjoyed the humor.
And remember, a pickle a day keeps the State Board of Accounts away…
Muncie 2019 Primary ballot. Here is the first chance you have to rid this city of the 214 Democrat strongholds. Remember, when you vote for a candidate you are also voting for their appointments. Please know the candidates and spend some time researching their votes if they are an incumbent.
During an election campaign season, you will be told what you want to hear. Please keep this in mind.
It’s also good to find where they stand on the issues facing this city. Debt, corruption, infrastructure and how they will select and vote appointments, etc.
We don’t seem to ask the candidates difficult questions. They should be held to the fire. Questions should be pointed and on target. Don’t accept pat answers. There is so much at stake in this election.
As we were sifting thru the Muncie Politics files we found an editorial written after McShurley lost the election. The editorial ended with McShurley saying she is leaving the city in better shape than when she took office. The writers of the editorial concurred. This piqued our interest and decided to see if it was an accurate statement.
Mayor McShurley announced in 2011 during the Chats with the Mayor there was enough money to provide raises/or bonuses to every employee. At the end of her term, she said there would be enough money to fund the MFD if the SAFER grant was not renewed. These comments infuriated Dennis Tyler’s supporters and they lost no time calling her a liar and various other vulgar adjectives.
Was it a lie? She did leave the city with $8 million and it was confirmed by the audit Mayor Tyler’s administration commissioned. Government reports showed a minimal amount of debt. Of course, we knew the debt was Tuhey Pool.
The debt spiked in 2013 and it appears the city borrowed money and the next year paid off some debt. This is the only logical explanation minus a clerical error, which is doubtful. So, listed is the principal debt only (no interest) owed by the City of Muncie and MSD. If you want more complete detail, simply click on the link directly below each year.
Oh yea, 2013 is the year Mayor Tyler appointed Todd Donati as the MRC director.
Pulled up the Annual Financial Reports for 2011 & 2018 and searched for accounts which had a negative beginning or ending balance. The search showed 2011 with 10 negative balances and 2018 having 25 negatives. You will find the full Annual Reports for 2011 and 2018 at the end of this post.
All the data is from the Indiana Transparency Portal and based on the financial reports submitted to the State of Indiana from the City of Muncie and Muncie Sanitary. The city, knowing the revenue was declining, the debt growing and the insatiable need to use taxpayer-funded-monies for personal and party gain had no recourse but to increase taxes 43% in 2015.
If you’re reading this and a candidate for a city position, you may consider taking some time to review the documents. After all, should you win, this will be your baby to diaper.
As of 3-16-19
Debt Statement – 2011-2018
Ball State College Republicans – GOP mayoral debate
Thursday, March 14 @ 7:00 PM
Cornerstone Center for the Arts.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade starting at 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 16 @6:00 p.m.
Lineup will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Fieldhouse. The parade will proceed south on Walnut Street to Charles Street and return via Mulberry Street. (source: Muncie Star Press)
Muncie Resists, Democratic mayoral candidate forum
Sunday March 31 @4:30 p.m.
Forest Park Senior Center
“Seniors understand the importance of voting and are still active and want to have a say in things,” said Judy Elton, director of the senior center in the old Forest Park Elementary School. “They’re independent people living in their own homes or apartments, they pay taxes and they aren’t afraid to ask tough questions.”
“We are offering the candidates mini-town halls — mini in terms of only a half hour long between bingo and lunch,” Elton said. The center is also serving as host for many other campaign events, including a chicken-noodle dinner expected to draw multiple candidates 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, March 15. (source: Muncie Star Press)
Meet & Greet and other events
- Tom Bracken, Republican, a Ball State University board of trustees member — March 17 at 11 a.m., Antioch Baptist Church, 1700 E. Butler St.; March 20, 6-8 p.m., “Meet & Greet with Tom,” open invitation, Elm Street Brewery, light snacks provided.
- Nate Jones, Republican, county veterans affairs service officer — April 6, golf outing, Crestview Golf Course. Prior campaign events included the fundraiser “Under the Stars,” a prom for adults, including complimentary prom pictures.
- Dan Ridenour, Republican city council member, MutualBank regional lending manager — Taco ’bout Dan event, March 20, 5-7 p.m., Knights of Columbus. All you can eat tacos, $10 adults, $5 kids. Previous Ridenour campaign events have included Donuts with Dan and another Taco ’bout Dan.
- Terry Whitt Bailey, Democrat, director of the city’s Community Development Office — March 23, “Bowling Shoot Out,” Liberty Bowl, 3 p.m. Prior events included a voter registration rally at Kennedy Library.
- Andrew Dale,Democrat, self-employed business and design consultant — Saturday, “Pop-Up Breakfast” at Mac’s on Batavia Avenue at 8 a.m. Dale has held pop-ups nearly every Saturday since December at different locations. Other prior events have included two bowling tournaments; John “Doc” Peterson and Phil Dunn concert to benefit Dale for Mayor.
- Saul Riley, Democrat, retired on-call coordinator for home health-care service and former crisis intervention center staffer, past president Delaware County Workers for the Blind — Campaign meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m., Muncie-Delaware Senior Center; fundraiser at the center 4-8:30 p.m. April 3.
- David Smith, Democrat, former state police officer — “Dialogue with Dave at the Senior Center,” March 21 at 6 p.m. Prior events have included “Meet ‘n Greet” at the Buley Center.
Source: Muncie Star Press
Printable itinerary of Candidate sightings (PDF)
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.