“I’ve learned one thing when it comes to local government – Muncie moves forward when we all work together. The past four years have been frustrating for all of us. Whenever elected officeholders had differences during Mayor Dan Canan’s administration, we always worked together in a respectful and bipartisan manner for the best interests of our city. I am eager to get back to what is best for Muncie a collaborative effort of all local officials working together to improve our community. It is the only way we can make Muncie a city that we can be proud of. ” Alison Quirk People before Politics 2011 campaign flyer.
“Giving Volume to Your Voice.” Nora Powell 2011campaign slogan.
“Imagine the possibilities if we all worked together.” Dennis Tyler 2011 campaign slogan.
What does this have to do with current city business? Much. It’s no secret the animosity between McShurley and most city council members from 2008-2011. She just couldn’t get along with anybody, was their mantra. This is only one part of the story. The second part of the campaign was all about working in Muncie’s best interest.
There is no denying the ideologies of Sharon McShurley clashed with those of Muncie City Council. Was it the ideologies, or was it a Republican beat their candidate and therefore everything she presented created a backlash? Well, let’s see.
A shortlist of ideas hindered by Muncie City Council:
- Downtown parking
- Prairie Creek improvements
- Channel 60
- Tuhey Pool
- Quiet Zone
- Pursuing $4 million in grant money
- County Animal Control (2008 proposal)
- Repairs at City Hall
- Downtown hotel
- Purchasing firetrucks
Nearly everything on this short list would have benefited the citizens of Muncie. Note #5 and #6 would have helped to facilitate #9. At this time the downtown hotel was the Roberts. Without the quiet zone, Roberts was a hard sell. #6 would have gone a long way in financing the quiet zone.
A short list of ideas by Dennis Tyler and approved by Muncie City Council.
- Downtown Horizon Center Garage Project $14 million (2014)
- Prairie Creek improvements $4 million (City Hall HVAC and Bathhouse 2013)
- Channel 60 back on the air with an increase in funding and one employee with benefits.
- Mike King broke the vote to finance Tuhey Pool.
- Quiet Zone (see #1).
- Not pursued by the current mayor or council.
- County animal control.
- City Hall was repaired with contracts awarded to Craig Nichols, City Building Commissioner. He did many of the “emergency repairs”. He has 34 felony counts against him.
- Downtown hotel (see #1).
It seems to appear that the very requests from McShurley which made the council unable to work with her, are the very same things they gladly pursued at a higher cost with Tyler. Enough said.
Muncie City Council recently voted for the borrowing of $4.5 million claiming they had to do what MCS and Ivy Tech cannot do…training programs. No Democrat on the council struggled with the vote, they don’t need to, all they need is politics before people.
There is so much more, but for now, we’ll bring this to a close.
To be continued….
On Thursday the Muncie newspaper reported on the purchase of a property by Muncie Sanitary District. The District purchased the property for $395,000.
On Friday, the newspaper reported the property was appraised by unlicensed appraisers.
I would like to point out the quote from Mayor Tyler:
Mayor Dennis Tyler said Friday he wasn’t familiar with The Star Press report about the purchase of the flea market building in the 1700 block of East Main Street.
“All I know is that the city of Muncie and sanitary district have to get those levees recertified,” Tyler said. “It’s an expensive process they’re going through.”
In December 2014, the State of Indiana audited the District finding eight projects paying over the quoted prices. The lowest percentage was 22% and the highest was 822%. The total amount over the quoted prices was $300,763. Knowing an expensive process is in the making, perhaps Mayor Tyler needs to be more cognizant of how tax money is used. Read the rest of this entry »
For those of you voters living in the City of Muncie, there doesn’t seem to be much to draw you to the polls. In the majority of seats, there is just one Democrat running and no Republican. The exceptions are as follows:
District 2: The Republican ballot is incumbent Mark Conatser and Dan Ridenour. The Democrat ticket is Todd Smekens.
District 6: Democrat ballot is incumbent Julius Anderson and Richard Ivy.
At-Large candidates include three incumbents, Linda Gregory, Nora Powell and Alison Quirk. Three hopefuls Philip Gonzales, Marwin Strong and Robert York. This may be the hottest race – you can only vote for three and only vote if you select a Democrat ballot. Remember, just because someone appears on the ballot and you don’t want to cast a vote for that person, you are not obligated to do so.
You might be asking, where is Brad Polk? Well, he’s still here, sitting in District 4. Brad has no one running against him. Not on the Republican ticket nor on the Democrat ticket. In other words, Polk has already won the primary election.
I told you, the ballot is sparse.
“If you are unable to vote in person on Election Day you have the option to vote in person before Election Day at the County Building, 100 W. Main. The election room on the 1st floor. Absentee voting begins 29 days before Election day from 8:00am to 4:30pm and ends at noon the day before the election.” LWV Delaware County
“Are you feeling lucky, citizens? Well, are you?”
Making a play on words from Clint Eastwood’s famous movie, Larry Riley’s column continued with an outline of the debt the City of Muncie has accrued over the past few years. Read the rest of this entry »
But we need to acknowledge the extent to which we’re banking, literally, on the success of the development now that the city of Muncie is the primary financial investor in the project — to the tune of $30 million. Larry Riley – Muncie goes all-in on hotel Star Press
Riley’s column took me off guard because there was no warning. Certainly borrowing $30 million is newsworthy. Yet, the paper didn’t report on Muncie City Council’s vote. With the additional borrowing, the grand total of debt accrued since June 2013 has reached $55 million. I’m sure there is more, good luck in researching it, though.
An on-line commenter said it shouldn’t have been a shock. He had presented over the summer to City Council regarding the bond. I went to the City of Muncie’s website to review city council’s minutes. Unfortunately, the last minutes posted – June 2014. Muncie Redevelopment Commission minutes most current is 2010, too.
He went on to post the financing was a done deal, just taking longer than expected. And if the financing didn’t go through, the City of Muncie would own the hotel property. Initially we were told the private financing was a done deal. Ground was broken and no mention of the financing problems, no mention city would be the sole financer. How can we be assured of something proving to be unstable financing? We simply can’t. Read the rest of this entry »
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 »
Video Posted on Updated on
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.
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 »
O.K. I’ll make this brief. Just how much has the spending or wish list amounted to so far?
April the estimated spending (based upon newspaper articles) according to the figures was $1,490,450.00. Included in that figure was the cost of Mock Station, Downtown Development, Community organizations, Roberts Hotel, etc. Well, I was off a few bucks.
Mayor Dennis Tyler released his EDIT spending and the figure came in at $1,536,507.00 a difference of $46,057. 00. The spending plan differed slightly from the earlier newspaper articles, but really, who cares?
Next on the agenda is the purchase of a fire truck at $879,647 pending approval of City Council. We purchased new trucks less than three years ago and acquired Center Township’s well-oiled and maintained fleet.