Delaware County

Muncie Voters and the Referendum ~ Voting and thoughts…It’s USA

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Since the November 5th, 2013 certified election results have not been posted on the Delaware County website, will give you the information from the local paper.

The total was 46% Yes and 54% No.  The additional tax will not be assessed on taxpayers and citizens.

The supporters of the referendum are going nuts on social media, so I would like to give you a sample or two of what is being said.

Business owners who were against this hear me now. Much of the money I might have spent eating at your restaurant or buying your products will be spent on gas money ensuring my grandchildren have a way to school. The gas stations might pick up some of my money but you won’t. I will make sure I do all my shopping outside Delaware county as you don’t deserve my money. I know many of my friends and coworkers will join me in this boycott of money grubbing, heartless businesses.

Did any of the No voters take into consideration the many disabled children that go to all the different schools ON BUSES? I guess I got my answer last night.

… you are incorrect. If the State does not grant the waiver then MCS will be forced to borrow $7 million (cost of busing for 2 years) until they can legally stop the buses.

this morning (for the first time in my life) instead of being sad that I no longer live in Muncie (forced to move when I could not find a job) I prayed my thanks that my community supports my children.

There are more, but I think you are getting the gist of social media.   I’m not sure if  some locals understand the schools and all government services is shored up with taxes from business.  If they don’t, perhaps they should go back in time when Borg Warner, Westinghouse, and others filled the government coffers with plenty of green.  They want jobs but not businesses.

Who told the poster disabled students won’t have transportation?  Excuse me, but Federal law dictates this provision.   (More on that later.)  Another threatened MCS would have to borrow…really?  If they can’t afford transportation, they can afford payments and interest?  And lastly, he moved away because he couldn’t get a job?  So, he won’t pay a penny of this tax and he expects those left behind with less disposable income in the town to pay?

You may have heard about the waiver to end school transportation and MCS had submitted it in June.  Some even believed it was a done deal.  The waiver barely scratched Indiana code and I personally can’t believe this was actually submitted to the State of Indiana for consideration.  Waiver Request – Muncie 2013.  

Let’s consider the waiver and MCS continuing transportation for disabled students.  (Told you we would get there.)  Muncie Community Schools said they would provide transportation because  it is a Federal law.  Yet, we heard countless times, and you saw one post, that this transportation would be denied.  Not so, and while the supporters spread this around town, I don’t remember ever reading MCS disputed that claim.  It goes along with claiming buses would end in 2013.

Some “Yes” supporters are even saying that one little piece of paper with information on the additional taxes turned voters away from voting yes.  Really?  One little piece of paper changed the vote?    Imagine for a minute, just a minute, if the following happened:

  1. The local newspaper ran daily pro articles on the bus referendum
  2. The League of Women voters purchased signs with their logo in support
  3. The Democrat Party came out in support of additional taxes
  4. Thousands of fliers were distributed stating the buses would end in 2013
  5. The schools bus was in the parade
  6. Muncie City closed departments so the employees could work the polls (see Facebook status below)
  7. PAC (political action committee)  spent unknown dollars, and last we knew the filing of the PAC was overdue in registering.  Nobody knows who contributed to the billboard, signs, T-shirts, etc.

Well, sounds far-fetched?  It all happened.  A media blitz of one-sided reporting, a split League of Women Voters all of the above we witnessed.  And yet, the Yes supporters would like you to believe on little piece of paper swayed the voters.  Really?  How about this one, the voters were paying attention and  understood exactly what this referendum was about.  However, we are all stupid and can’t possibly think for ourselves.

Better yet, the voter didn’t get sucked up into an emotional frenzy designed to scare the bee jeebies out of you.   Instead thought and voted with clear heads.  We aren’t falling for their claims we were brainwashed when the deck was so  stacked against those concerned about $43 million in additional taxes.

Plenty of opportunities for the 3,806 Yes voters to donate to the school district, with booster clubs, fund raisers, field trips. one wonders if they will.  It’s kind of like the tax caps.  Complaining about “less” tax dollars yet never paying more than their tax bill.  Go figure…

I’ll leave you with the Facebook status report, there was NO prior notice from the city or the newspaper the departments would close.  It was a last-minute decision by the city administration.

Muncie Animal Shelter’s status.November 4  Hey Facebook friends! Just a friendly reminder we will be closed all day tomorrow due to voting. There will be an officer on call and we will be taking emergency calls. Sorry for the inconvenience!

The $6.5 million question – Muncie Community Schools referendum-update

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“For the seven calendar years immediately following the hold of the referendum, shall the Muncie Community Schools impose a property tax rate that does not exceed 39.39 ($0.3939) cents on each one hundred dollars ($100) of assessed valuation and that is in addition to all other property tax levies imposed by the Muncie Community Schools.”

The vote is Yes or No.

On the Yes side, all the taxpayers and citizens have been offered is “Keeping children safe.”  Who in their right mind doesn’t want to keep children safe?  Not anybody I know, probably not anyone you know, either.  The Facebook page “Vote Yes for Muncie School Buses” has detailed how much the cost would be on a $100,000 home without deductions.  The referendum would add $394.00 or $33.00 a month.

“VOTE YES IN NOVEMBER! It will give center township residents the option to raise taxes ($0.3939) cents on each $100 of assessed valuation. By doing this it will allow yellow school buses to run! THIS IS LESS THAN A TANK OF GAS A MONTH TO KEEP KIDS SAFE!!”

Sounds do-able for most, we can all add $33.00 to our monthly budget for the next seven years. Read the rest of this entry »

Muncie Sanitary Sewer System…can it handle the flow?

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For those of you which live in the Univeristy Avenue area, you may want to take note of a citizen and homeowner who is shedding some light on Muncie’s aging storm/sewer system.  You may just think “It’s not in my neighborhood…”   It very well could come to yours.  Sure, we have a lot on our plates, however planning ahead and preparing for the future can save a lot of headaches down the pipe.

The following letter was published in the Muncie Star Press on September 27th, 2013.



The city of Muncie has allowed and approved the construction of an apartment/commercial complex between University Avenue and North Street, and between Martin and Dicks streets, without proper sewage connections to the only 12-inch (inside diameter of pipes are only 9 inches) combination storm/sewage system that is 100 years old.

This line is too small for present use, much less adding extra sewage and runoff with new construction. The $50 million-plus project (200-plus apartments and maybe 10 retail stores) has not allowed any new sewage lineage.

It seems no one is willing to discuss this future problem with me as a local taxpayer.

Many of my neighbors cannot use their basements or flush their commodes in heavy rain in the area with combination storm and raw sewage.

No one wants to hear me complaining about this future problem. I think EPA should bring an injunction to stop this construction until Muncie invests and installs a new sewage system.

It seems the city only wants the new tax money from this project, yet refuses to install new sewage lines for all the additional development.

We have problems when most neighbors take the plug out of their basement drain, the water pressure in the sewage line will hit the basement ceiling. Pressure has cracked some basement floors.

Why will no one talk to me about this future problem?

Please help me before it is too late.

Muncie Sanitary District – Bill Smith  (765) 213-6412

Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler  (765) 747-4845

Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) 

Saturday night and I ain’t got no money

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It’s a Saturday night and the past few weeks have been exciting.  Here are some awesome highlights of what’s been happening! Take a peek, if you dare.

We’re getting new landscape at City Hall.  Yep, the old landscape was removed and new is on the way.   A few months ago, we were privileged to get $5 million additional debt.   Some of the bond  debt was to go for needed repairs of the Hall.  Certainly, this was an awesome way to spend tax dollars.  New landscape…woo hoo!  I guess it wouldn’t matter if it was included in Todd Donati’s bond presentation most city council members wouldn’t question the expenditure.     “Let’s spend some more.”

Here are the before and after pictures of the landscaping done in 2009.  All native plants which require low maintenance and water have been removed to make way for the new landscape which nobody has a clue what it will look like or how much it cost to remove the previous and replace with whatever the city is replacing it with.

city hall circa 2008muncie city hall landscape 2009

City Parking Garage with caption 9-25-13Finally,we got the first glimpse of the $5 million parking garage, which is surrounded by stores and apartments.  No swimming pool on the top as promised.  A big bummer, but I don’t think it would be a public pool anyway.    Here’s the rendition of the $60 million complex and I have pointed out the $5 million garage we are paying for.

Here is the architectural drawing of the $1.5 million bathhouse.  Originally we were told it would be privately funded.  Nobody donated, so we get to pay for it.  Yea…

→ Image not available –

Sorry, the city hasn’t released the drawing yet.  We have to build it before you know what’s in it. 

Gee, you would think we are the Federal Government or something.

The good news is we are so broke, we can’t afford to build the $4 million Visitor Center located smack dab in the middle of a couple of car dealerships.  Looking for a car?  Stop in at the Visitor’s Center for some brochures of our county after or before you shop.  Jim Mansfield Director of the Visitor’s Bureau, was disappointed he wasn’t getting any new digs.

As most of you know, the county had to hire a firm to study our financial situation and give us an assessment.  It was pretty darn rosy.  Although, the county cleaned out the Rainy Day Fund (surplus) and cut $300,000.00, we still are teetering on the cusp of being broke or being broker.  (Is that a word? Oh well, it fits.)

The good news is the county passed a budget higher than last year.  I think they must have some money stashed away.  Anyway, it confused us because if you can’t meet last year’s expenditures without borrowing from the RDF (Rainy Day Fund), it makes perfect sense to increase the budget.  I mean, that’s what we all do in our budgets, right?

Well, no biggie, we’ll just borrow until we get property tax revenue. Except, we still have a higher budget than 2013, so exactly how is that going to work out?

Mike Jones, county council, isn’t the president, but may as well be as he is the lead spokesperson for the council.  I look for him to be president next year.  I mean, he spends some time on the public chats.  His comments on the budget weren’t well received.   “Yes way” Mr. Jones exclaimed when putting in his vote for the unsustainable budget.

Divided council and split vote

By the way, according to Jones, everyone that disagrees with him is a member of the Tea Party and every Republican that beats out a Democrat is a Tea Party, too.  (Sigh)

Kind of reminds you of the NSA thinking millions of American Citizens are terrorists.  So, we do mimic the Federal Government just a tad bit.

Mayor Tyler said that both the city and county were now controlled by one party.  He said there would be no excuses and we would be pleasantly surprised.

Wrong on both counts.  The excuses continue, at least on the county side…what’s new?  Yawn.  And nothing the Tyler administration does is a surprise.  How can it be, when it’s same old, same old?

That’s about it, folks.  See you soon!

Common Core Summit – Muncie, Indiana

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common core summit 9-28-13


When:            Saturday, September 28, 2013 – 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (noon)


Where:          First Church of the Nazarene 

                        3101 N Benton Road

                        Muncie, IN  47304


Why:    House Bill 1427 charged the Indiana State Legislature with evaluating the new  Common Core Standards and making a recommendation to the State Board of Education who must revote on whether Indiana will keep or abandon the standards by 2014. Citizens are unaware of the new standards and their possible negative consequences on public, private and home schools.

46 states have adopted the Common Core Standards which creates a defacto national curriculum. Many of these states did so because they received federal incentives through the Stimulus Fund and No Child Left Behind waivers.

Indiana has paused implementation of the Common Core because of the low quality of the standards and the loss of local control under the governance of the standards.

States can’t change or delete any of the standards as private organizations hold a copyright on them. We may only add 15% to the content, which will not be covered on proposed new national tests.

Two members of the Common Core Validation Committee refused to sign off of the standards because they will put our students two years behind high-performing countries by eighth grade and leave our children unprepared for entrance into a four-year university. They both testified to the legislature that Indiana should reject Common Core.




Brad Oliver:            Associate Dean – Indiana Wesleyan University

                                 District 6 appointment by Governor Pence to the

                                  Indiana State Board of Education


Heather Crossin:     Parent –


Erin Tuttle:              Parent –   

Common Core Summit Flyer (PDF)

Directions to the Summit (PDF)                    

Saturday morning ramblings: MSD & new business is really old business

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toiletMuncie Sanitary District and you.  Seems the MSD appointed attorney, Mike Quirk, has a new business venture,  Small Office Solutions.  Apparently it is a collection center and the one of his first, if not his first client is the Muncie Sanitary District.

Yes, folks, you heard right.  His business SOS which was just created on August 21, 2013 was the business to grab that contract.  Sure, he signed a disclosure agreement, which isn’t worth the paper it’s written on.

MSD is $1 million behind on delinquent sewer bills.  An amnesty program failed to collect much money.  The MSD attorney creates a new business, and the MSD gives the MSD attorney the contract.  Did I mention he signed a conflict of interest disclosure form?

MSD hires collection call center

Read the rest of this entry »

Detroit’s One Man Show – George Will

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Detroit’s One Man Show – George Will

I read with interest George Will’s current column on Detroit’s plight and couldn’t mistake the parallels to Delaware County.   Although Delaware County’s financial problems are minuscule compared to Motor City, the resemblance is striking.

In March, Detroit’s City Council agreed to 21 stipulations needed for reform.  The city council ignored it.

In June,  Delaware County was handed a $25,000 study with suggestions to bring the budget in line with revenue streams.  It has been largely ignored.  One item in the study was acted on,  a move towards additional taxes.  Fortunately, that was shut down quickly.

Detroit is also in a pickle with their pensions.  Delaware County has never really gotten a handle on the sheriff’s pensions.

Detroit has bonds, so does Delaware County.  We owe.  Will’s column touches on the cost of those bonds should Detroit’s creditors receive pennies on the dollar.  It’s possible that future bond issuances may come to municipalities at a higher financial cost.

Detroit has layers of bureaucracy, so does Delaware County.  Delaware County, has a population of 120,000 or the size of an average city.  Last year voters  soundly rejected an attempt to reorganize the county, decrease the layers of government.  A campaign of misinformation by both party headquarters was amazing in and of itself.  The current mayor donated $5,000.00 out of his campaign coffer to help defeat  modernization.  His position would have been eliminated.  $5,000 from donors is a small price to pay to retain $72,000 salary plus benefits and control over millions of dollars.

Kevyn Orr, appointed to oversee Detroit’s bankruptcy observed “the fact that people had gotten used to the city like this — people were tolerating the abnormal.”

So goes, Delaware County.

I would like to believe the voters would refuse to allow the county to continue in this financial decay, yet every council member retained their positions.  One exception, Commissioner Todd Donati was ousted from office, but quickly hired by the City of Muncie.  Within months of his appointment, he has indebted the city close to $10 million dollars.    When you vote, you’re are not just voting for the person.  You are also giving the elected official the power to place people in positions to oversee millions of dollars in spending.

Is it like this everywhere?  Possibly.  Our neighboring county, Henry, advertises  their appointments and interested parties must submit resumes.    Take that procedure for what it’s worth.