The Conservative Tree House may be called a Last Refuge for each of us for different reasons. Whatever trail through the woods brought us here, we have shared the turmoil of storms as we have been finding our voices as individuals in this growing community. Read more by clicking on the link.
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The annual Property Tax Appeal Help Day on November 17, 2012 had an extraordinary turnout. With nearly 150 people in attendance and some with stories of increased assessment, we can’t call it a success until every property owner receives a fair assessment. Rest assured we are working diligently to get the ear of our legislatures to address this issue. It may be this year, or maybe not, it’s hard to say what the future holds.
As you all may know, Scott Alexander won the County Council At-Large seat. Scott has been attending county meetings for nearly seven years and brings to the table a wealth of information and practical experience. With that being said, welcome Scott!
District 2 Commissioner, Todd Donati, lost his re-election bid and his last day will be December 31, 2012. Prior to being commissioner he spent 12 years on county council. Unfortunately, most people ignored his performance on council and elected him in 2008. After four years of the most viral political games and outrageous spending, the people of Delaware County ousted him from office. I heard the day after the election, many of the county employees had a smile on their faces.
The Christmas Season is upon us and it looks like the downtown area will be decked out in lights. Muncie has come a long way since that cold winter night in 2009 when Council President, Sam Marshall, announced he was cutting the streetlight budget in half. Yes, 50% of the lights were scheduled to be shut off. No Christmas lights for us , bah humbug. And just about no streetlights in 2010 either. Yet, despite the not so bright future, Muncie was able to leave to the new administration $7,596,218.00 to take into 2012. Nobody got a bonus and only one person in the Tyler administration got a raise, but there were new copiers purchased and some other sundry things along the way. So, now Muncie is flush with money and the budget has been increased by $2 million. So much for Nora Powell, finance chairperson, getting the department heads to consider fiscal prudence. Hey, if you got it, might as well spend it.
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Public question: Shall Delaware County, Indiana and City of Muncie, Indiana, reorganize as a single political subdivision?
Supporting consolidation and modernization, vote Yes.
So, here we are at the brink of voting for reorganization and modernization in our county. After nearly five years, it’s on the ballot.
You might be asking, why do I support consolidation? I believe it will usher in a smaller and more transparent government. Currently, there are 47 separate taxing entities in the county. Most can’t recite even four. I can’t. Nevertheless, we have on the table a plan for reorganization.
To give you a little background. The reorganization began in 2007, when a group of citizens garnered over 2200 signatures to get the ball rolling. From there it was voted up, voted down, board disbanded and new appointments made, until the finished plan was completed in 2010. From there it sat gathering dust for nearly a year, as neither Muncie City Council or Delaware County Commissioners bothered to meet and modify the plan. One wonders if they even read the plan. I know members of City Council were asked their thoughts on the reorganization, and they sat looking blankly at the citizen. Where’s the Democrat handlers when you need them?
Finally, Linda Gregory spoke and defined the plan perfectly. She would as she spent time explaining the plan to citizens at her monthly meetings.
But today, we have a wealth of misinformation being circulated by those that have never even bothered to read the plan. You ask how I know this? I’ve been out and about listening to people explain why they are voting No. So, I wonder, are these elected people ignorant of the plan or does their agenda include spreading as much false information as possible? Don’t know. Either way, it does the citizens a disservice.
To make it fun, let’s discuss some of the things being said.
“Public safety is in danger and we won’t have a sheriff.” No, public safety won’t change. Muncie will still have MPD and the County will still have Sheriff Department The sheriff position is in the constitution, so this position is here to stay.
“Dennis Tyler will control the county.” No, the mayor position will be eliminated and Dennis Tyler isn’t qualified to be the county executive.
“Your taxes will go up.” That may be a possibility and really has nothing to do with reorganization. Remember, your property is capped, so you do have a level of insurance.
“They just want to get rid of the elected officials.” I’m not sure who “they” may be. Consider this, the reorganization began in 2007 and there has been a turn over of elected officials. Realizing the comment lacked credibility, it was continued to single out along-time city council member. Yep, we spend all our time on modernization and consolidation to rid ourselves of Mary Jo Barton?
Some of the reasons are comical, as the Barton one, some are serious accusations with no basis in fact. I would suggest you read the plan, if you haven’t already and decide for yourself.
I’ll leave you with this opinion piece from the local newspaper.
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A few weeks ago, penning the lighter side of politics in an entry titled “Dis-FUNctional – Are we having fun in Delaware County or what!” outlined some of the fun things involved in a dis-FUNctional government. Thursday evening, I had the opportunity, like 79 other residents, to listen to candidates who want to be the next commissioners.
Most of the evening was centered around poverty and what could be done in Delaware County to combat the growing problem. Sherry Riggin, I believe best addressed the issue and was more familiar with Team Work for Quality Living. So, I learned something new about Sherry Riggin. James King grew up in poverty and at the age of 24 made a decision to break the cycle. Steve Fields, current Yorktown Council, and Mt. Pleasant Trustee for eight years, spoke on the increasing needs presented to him as the trustee. Todd Donati said he believed education was the key factor and cited Vision 2016 and Early Child Development (a key component in Muncie Action Plan). Read the rest of this entry »
Delaware County is so political, it takes the fun out of being dis-FUNctional. It doesn’t matter what the topic, or flavor of the day, it’s political. Payback can be good or a detriment, depending on what side of the “dis-FUNction” you sit, stand or walk on. Sometimes you get a job, or your truck paid off or even a construction contract.
Case in point. The Muncie Sanitary District and Mayor Dennis Tyler. Mayor Tyler claimed at the mayoral debate, he was able to work across party lines, he just can’t seem to do it. Supporters of the mayor never said a word about Economic Development Income Tax funds going to pay for a law firm just so Mayor Tyler can gain the last bit of control over the $168 million dollar storm-water project. So, the political games continue and the taxpayers and citizens will be forking over more money. That’s the way it has always worked.
First we had the Justice Center, talk about the political football!
With the political appointments made to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) was filled to over-flowing with party supporters. By the time it was all said and done, Delaware County was on the hook for additional bonds (covering the cost overruns), purchased a boat-load of Bull computers…and even got to pay for storage of the dis-FUNctional pieces of modern technology and a lawsuit in which one attorney lost his license to practice. The County Commissioners, even gave the poor unemployed attorney a pass on his fines. Later he won his appeal on a technicality getting his license reinstated. Witnesses for the prosecution were placed in the same room…that’s a no-no. He was good to go.
We made national news on that one. Along with the lady who shot her toe off because she had a corn. No, I’m not making this stuff up.
Are we having fun yet? Read the rest of this entry »