Delaware County

Looking back…Hiring in Delaware County

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The Indiana General Assembly has closed for the season.  Not much that interests me, so I decided to take a look at one particular bill signed into law in 2012 and are we complying?

IC 4-2-6-16 or the Nepotism Rule went into effect July 1, 2012.  In other words, local government  employees are not allowed to hire a relative (s) or grant contracts to a relative (s), etc.  Sounds simple enough, right?  If it is confusing, check out this simple explanation outlining the law.

Don’t Hire a Relative from the website outlines the bill in layman’s terms.

In Delaware County, we don’t have issues with nepotism (tongue-in-cheek).  Nevertheless, local officials scrambled to get an ordinance written, signed and sealed.  But first, some hiring had to be done.

Delaware County Recorder, Jane Lasater, hired her daughter Melanie Marshall right before the law took effect.  According to the Walker/Roysdon report June 24, 2012, “more than a few elected officials” contacted the Muncie newspaper about the recent hire.  Lasater denied the hiring of her daughter, citing she had already been employed in the Recorder’s office.

The newspaper failed to report who complained.

Rumors of hiring still making the rounds. Take for example, the City Clerk’s office.  Is it true City Clerk Phyllis Reagon hired her grand-daughter?  This would be in direct violation of Indiana law, and the Delaware County and City of Muncie ordinances.

You are the hiring manager.  You may not hire a relative.  Any person within an agency who knowingly participates in a violation of this chapter is subject to the penalties set forth in section 12 of this chapter.

One can’t help but wonder, why Lasater received so much attention from the elected officials and the newspaper, but silence from both elected officials and the local paper on Phyllis Reagon.  Things that make you go hmm.

Hiring your relative is not just bad practice, in Indiana it’s against the law.

In other related news, former Muncie City clerk was fired for embezzling $11,000.00 from the Muncie Clerk’s Office.  She is waiting trial, but Attorney General Greg Zoeller has filed charges on behalf of the State of Indiana.  $10,000.00 has been recovered through the city’s insurance.

State Board of Accounts audit of Muncie City Clerk’s Office can be found here.

Muncie City Clerk SBOA 2012

Considerable amount of time has passed, and procedures haven’t been updated to comply with the audit.    Apparently a  new cash register has been purchased which none of the employees know how to use.

cash register

Clearing things up, hiring relatives and embezzling money is illegal in the State of Indiana.

Coffee with the Councilman ~ Scott Alexander

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Coffee with the Councilman

Saturday May 18th, 2013

10:00 AM to 12:00 PM

Kennedy Library

Muncie, IN

alexander 1

Google Map Kennedy Library
Google Map Kennedy Library

coffee with the councilman 5-18-13 (PDF)

Working Families Flexibility Act

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Updated with bill text.

It’s time to give working families more flexibility

Written by
Luke Messer
Luke Messer

There’s nothing more valuable than time. Time to coach your son’s Little League team. Time to care for an aging parent. Time to volunteer helping those less fortunate.

Yet too many private-sector employees don’t have as much of that precious resource as their public-sector counterparts.

That’s because the Fair Labor Standards Act, a decades-old law designed to protect American workers, prevents private employers from giving their employees the choice between taking comp time and earning time-and-a-half for working overtime. That needs to change, which is why I have cosponsored legislation the House of Representatives just passed to unshackle American workers from this law’s inflexibility.

This legislation, the Working Families Flexibility Act, will give private-sector employees the same choices that federal, state and local government employees have had for years. This bill lets private-sector employees take paid time off instead of cash wages for overtime hours worked, a benefit public-sector employees have enjoyed since 1985. Despite rhetoric to the contrary, the bill does not force any employee to take compensatory time instead of overtime pay. It simply provides American workers with the ability to choose which they value more.

It’s a choice I wish my mom had when I was younger. She raised me and my brother on her own while working at Delta Faucet in Greensburg. She worked hard. She worked long hours. Sometimes, she worked weekends. Often, she came home tired.

My mom made the best decisions she could with the opportunities that she had. She always put her boys first, and most of her free time was spent going to ball games and teacher’s conferences. But, I can say now — more than 30 years later — there were times that I would have sacrificed a new pair of cleats for a little more time with her. I bet she’d say the same.

The Working Families Flexibility Act is about giving moms and dads that time with their sons and daughters. Some workers will opt to earn a few extra dollars, perhaps to make much-needed car repairs or put a little extra away for their child’s education. Others will choose the time off so they can go to that parent-teacher conference or help their child memorize lines for the school play.

Federal worker protection laws shouldn’t benefit some workers at the expense of others. This legislation remedies that inequity by giving private-sector employees the same opportunities their public-sector counterparts have enjoyed for years.

The Working Families Flexibility Act will give hard-working American families the freedom to choose how to spend their most precious resource: their time. That’s a long-overdue gift American families deserve.

Luke Messer is the representative for Indiana’s 6th Congressional District and serves on the U.S. House Budget Committee.

HR 1406 Working families comp time


City May Be Short Millions….

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At the same time, Tyler acknowledged that Democrats will now control both city and county government locally and with that control comes expectations.

“This isn’t going to be easy,” he said. “. But I think people will be pleasantly surprised.”

WALKER/ROYSDON REPORT: Tyler: No ‘good old boys club’


The cats out of the bag now.  The newspaper reported today the city might be millions of dollars short in property tax revenue.  Ouch.  Back in ’09 the city was $4 million dollars short and by the time the past administration left office, there was $7,596,218 balance and the tax levy decreased in 2012 from 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

Do we really need this much government? by Luke Messer

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6th District - U.S. House of Rep. - Indiana
6th District – U.S. House of Rep. – Indiana

When it comes to the sequester, President Obama is putting politics first.

The president claims that sequester cuts would be “draconian,” creating major disruptions in everything from air travel to public safety to food inspections. The truth is that, even with the sequester cuts, federal spending will be slightly higher this year than last.

The sequester calls for $85 billion in spending cuts, and that is a lot of money. However, when compared to a $3.6 trillion budget, the reductions are actually relatively modest. In fact, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office predicts actual spending this year will be reduced by $44 billion, with the remainder spread out over future years. Again, that sounds like a lot of money. But spending on the programs subject to these automatic cuts has increased by almost 15 percent since the president took office.

Listening to the president, one would think there is nothing in government upon which we could spend just a little less. How about $2.2 billion on free cell phones provided by the government? How about the $4 million taxpayers spend annually for a television studio at the IRS? How about the $1 million NASA spends each year to come up with a menu for when we live on Mars? How about the $325,000 spent developing a robotic squirrel?

These are just a few examples of the many frivolous things the government spends billions on that we simply don’t need or can’t afford. Read the rest of this entry »

OUR VIEW: Hoosiers decide transit issue

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OUR VIEW: Hoosiers decide transit issue

Watching CSpan the gentlewoman from DC spoke, waving a furlough notice and crying about the devastation of the sequester. Interesting a day before the government loosened up and $250 million will be given to Egypt and another $50 million for new uniforms for TSA employees.

For being the party of the people, they sure want to hurt the party of the people. Sounds a little like socialism to me.

We have a transit service here in Muncie. I’m glad we do and our Federal and local dollars help subsidize it. Used to be a regular on the bus. A bus which made trips to Indy failed and local commentators said the marketing was poor and the public basically unaware. Many said they were planning to use it. It went under.

I love trains and spent many a time riding. It’s great. But the love of trains doesn’t over shadow the cost associated and the perceived need. I guess we will all get to vote on the increase in taxes and that will be the deciding factor.

We want everything, but we can’t afford everything. Not in our personal finances and not in government programs.

As government grows, so does government debt. Many people have far more debt than savings and so there is a direct parallel to government and citizens. Perhaps this is why the $16 trillion deficit doesn’t bother some. Debt comes as natural as breathing.

Delaware County Sequester…well, sort of.

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$700,000 Plaza with $12,000 bench.

Yesterday Delaware County Council held a special meeting.

They are broke.

The day of financial reckoning  has come (again). Another meeting scheduled for Thursday March 7th at 2:00 PM.   Despite the ridicule of elected officials and their supporters, despite the fact of being  labeled liars, naysayers and obstructionists (as some examples) those following government,  watched as the projections came true.  There is no joy in being right.  It’s really serious.

It’s not some great revelation, or a possessing of superb intelligence.  No, it is nothing more than common sense and basic economics.    You can’t continue spending money you don’t have; you don’t vote on issues without examining for ramifications down the road.   Yet, despite placing the county in financial jeopardy for decades, they never seem to learn.

Some guy named Al Einstein said “always doing what you’ve always done and expecting different results.”  Is this person for real? Read the rest of this entry »