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.
City Council Meeting
Monday, February 4th, 2019
7:30 PM Muncie City Hall
The rumor has finally been put to rest. Did the City of Muncie Building Commissioner, Craig Nichols, get the remodeling contracts for the City of Muncie’s City Hall? This very rumor had been circulating for months, and finally a rumor that has truth attached. Yep, folks, he got it. In fact, other city projects, you know, the ones that have received city as well as State tax dollars may have his company written all over it.
Unfortunately, we won’t know how much his company made. That’s private.
Mr. Nichols signed a conflict of interest disclosure, so everything is O.K. I wonder, the person responsible for the construction code, as in the position of Building Commissioner, will cite his own company for violations? Or will it just be disguised as a change order, and payment submitted so the Advanced Walls & Ceilings won’t lose any money? I don’t believe the Board of Public Works will even consider questioning any bills from Mr. Nichols, the Building Commissioner a/k/a owner of Advanced Walls & Ceilings.
Advanced Walls and Ceilings Indiana Secretary of State information
Just last year, the attorney for Muncie Sanitary District, Mike Quirk, started a business and began collecting payment for services rendered. His business was filed with the State of Indiana several months later. As with Mr. Nichols, we have no idea if this is saving us money or costing us money. SOS
However, there is a bit of history which can help you determine if this is beneficial.
The County purchased a truck from a county’s highway employee’s son. Cash for Clunkers, Delaware County Style. I’m glad as a taxpayer, we could help a poor fella out of his upside down truck loan.
The county dog catcher resigned after the County animal control truck was stolen by a drunk neighbor. The ex-dog catcher later received a contract to roof a county building. The contract was rescinded and he threatened to sue the county. But, never fear, the City of Muncie, saved the day. How, you ask? Simple. Fire a company that did building debris clean-up and hire the ex-dog catcher. Problem solved.
Remember the rumor the previous mayor would fire anyone that disagreed with her? MITS board member, Karl Kizer, felt it first hand. 25 years on the board, well-respected and knowledgeable had the audacity to question the mayor. Out he went. Oh, this was done by the current mayor.
Does anyone remember Culpepper insurance? If you don’t, being a big Democrat party supporter, the commissioners hired the company to take care of the county’s insurance. Boy did he, as costs skyrocketed out of control. 2003 mayoral candidate Dennis Tyler said there was no place for Culpepper in his administration. Tyler won in 2011 and take a guess who showed up to offer us insurance? No word if he saved us money on our liability policy.
We take care of our own here. We’re loyal like that.
What a fiasco when the commissioners tried to pass an ordinance limiting the area that Center Township Fire could service. Kind of like if your house is located in Muncie but closer to CTFD station, they were not allowed to go put the fire out. Oops, some 911 calls got misrouted, too.
Friendships and loyalty run deep here. In fact, it is the backbone of our very existence. Take for example, when the Democrat Chair was being indicted for forging papers to remove a candidate from the ballot. The chair, Phil Nichols, resigned and appointed Dennis Tyler, the now current mayor. Mr Tyler then appointed Phil Nichols to the election board. Let nothing like an indictment stand in the way of a friendship.
Time doesn’t allow for everything in complete detail, as that would really take a book. But consider these things:
The Fair Board ordinance requires an even number of members from both parties. This didn’t happen so solving the problem was simply rewrite the ordinances to match the appointments.
The Justice Center which was filled to the brim with party favorites, made national news and cost a pretty penny for the taxpayers.
Royerton Sewer, again a board filled with wives of party members, cost the taxpayers some dough. And it hasn’t stopped costing the residents.
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.
$$Five Million Greenbacks and Some Change$$
Is there a $5 million operating budget or not? His inquiring mind wants to know. So, Dennis Tyler has asked his staff to not make any “spending commitments”. Mayor Tyler has his doubts and it is clear, he wanted to know the financial state of the City of Muncie. He asked the controller to quickly give him “an accurate picture of city finances”. We haven’t heard the new controller’s report update, though.
Looks like Mayor Tyler is confident the finances are there as he has begun work on the Mock Street fire station and preparing for it to re-open. There should be no doubt the city has the money or Dennis Tyler wouldn’t be spending. Obviously, he didn’t feel comfortable with the previous controller or the independent audit.
The first round of SAFER grants have been awarded, and Muncie is missing from the list. The SAFER grant of which Muncie received $3.5 million dollars used to recall 25 firefighters will be expiring this year. Center Township will increase its payment to Muncie from $250,000 to $400,000.
A video interview with Mayor Tyler on his first week as Commander-in-Chief, Mr. Tyler points to the messages he has received about the Mock fire station. Accolades, he said, from people praising the painting and re-opening of the station. If you are a fiscally conservative citizen and if you pay attention to local government, you may find yourself with more questions than answers.
Congressman Mike Pence showed up to congratulate and offer his support to Mayor Tyler. From there the two men went to a local high school where Dennis Tyler gave the students a brief history of his experience and a student asked a question.
“What are your goals for Muncie?”
Tyler: “His main goal of Muncie, like all mayors across the state and nation, is to create decent paying jobs. And hold on to the decent paying jobs we got and create newer, decent paying jobs, you know.”
This has kind of been his mantra since 2006.
The first week of December a group of economic and elected officials traveled to Germany to meet with a prospective business. Prior to the junket to Germany, then Mayor Sharon McShurley said the representative should be the future mayor, Dennis Tyler and she wouldn’t be going. Commissioner Don Dunnuck, who is not running for re-election was selected to go. No long-term relationship building there.
Fortunately for us, Dennis Tyler has promised his full support.
“What I’ve told the chamber is that I’ll partner with them in whatever ways we can to entice investors to Muncie and Delaware County,” Tyler said.
He said his administration — which takes office on Jan. 1 — would make representatives available for meetings with potential developers. SP 12-7-11
Well, at least there is a five-year park plan which should give the ex-county highway department employee plenty of time to get up to speed on running a $1,424,000.00 park system. We still need to put the final touches on Canan Commons and this will be the first full season for Tuhey Pool. Cardinal Greenway will be expanding and the grant money has been allocated.
“It’s been busier than I could have even imagined.” Dennis Tyler on his first days as Mayor of Muncie.
Moved to archives – no longer available for viewing.
It is getting close to primary election day and Scary things are happening.
Check out who is a Ghost candidate and why you shouldn’t scare yourself into voting for them.
After the filing deadline for candidates, a few illusive people showed up on the Republican ballot. No one knows who they are, they have never attended any Republican functions, have no fund-raisers and never even bothered to meet with Republican Headquarters. One candidate was being tracked down by a Star Press Reporter, yet before the interview could even begin, the poor guy dropped out of the race.
So be very careful when you venture out to the polls in May….you just may encounter a ghost.
Who ya gonna call? Republican Ghost Busters! That would be every concerned registered voter. You are the Ghost Busters!
Get Out And Vote! Help to preserve the integrity of our elections!
Help Bust the Ghosts:
- State Senate District 26: Republican Kevin J. Barrett
- Delaware County Commissioner District 3: Republican Traci L. Conner
- Center Township Trustee: Republican Luke Alston Jones
We have no news on whether Muncie will be awarded the SAFER grant.
What we do have is a column in today’s paper (4-4-10) by Larry Riley. According to Mr. Riley, the City Council will introduce a resolution asking Mike Pence, Evan Bayh and Dick Lugar to put in “a good word” for us. Don’t forget, this is the same council which voted in another “resolution” condemning Mike Pence for his stand on earmarked funds. The council said it was on behalf of the citizens of Muncie. If my memory serves me right, Conatster, Gregory and Polk voted against it.
Anderson is already slated to receive $609,000 in grant money.
Mr. Riley states the grant application had some odd numbers. Apparently, the total amount of people serviced by Muncie Fire Department is 119,000. This is the total population for Delaware County.
In addition, it looks as if the MFD is wanting to expand their borders and include the residents of the county. There is also a question of the amount of fire hydrants. Nothing new in Riley’s article about Kay Walker, Center Township Trustee, wanting to close their fire station. She campaigned on it.
The LOIT is not going away, folks. It was included as a creative way to retain the firefighters after the grant money runs out. I guess we can understand why Vice President Alison Quirk has refused to table it. That is a whole ‘nother story.
So, I would suggest you pick up a copy of today’s paper and read the column in its entirety. I believe it is an eye-opener.
The Past, Present and Future, it would take pages and pages to even begin the story. So instead, let’s focus on just a minimal amount of information. I hope you will agree, this is something to pondering during this election season.
Past: Sometime back in the early part of 2007, then Commissioner Mr. John Brooke chose to tackle the age-old problem of health care. His plan was to merge both city and county health plans, thereby reducing costs to both the taxpayer and the employee. I believe Mr. Brooke’s consolidation of health care was two-fold. One to show that Delaware County can be progressive. Two that Delaware County under Democrat leadership can be cost-effective.
No fruit from this tree, so to speak.
Mr. Brooke’s plan was not only dismissed by the leadership, it was lobbied against by the very same leaders. Not once was he contacted. In fact the health plan consolidation was not considered simply because it was his idea. Proving without a doubt, the leadership is not concerned with you, me or the citizens of this county.
Present: 2009 has come and gone. What a year Muncie has seen. We know the City Council leadership has made some of the most outrageous cuts from the City budget to date.
With a budget shortfall of roughly four million dollars, Mayor Sharon McShurley made some tough decisions. Alas, the city was still lacking 1.5 million. As a last-ditch effort to preserve the city from what appeared to be a devastating effect from City Council’s mindless cuts, she present the council with a proposal to increase insurance premiums. The increase would have prevented the lights from going out, fuel for police, saving 12 jobs and our animal shelter staying open, just to name a few. It was not to be. Because again, it was her proposal.
Still think the current leadership has our best interest in mind?
The county should not be left out of the equation. What with the windfall of 8.3 million dollars from the welfare levy, the two million dollar surplus left from 2008 by the previous administration there should have been no reason for the county to end in the red.
But we did.
Donations here and there, purchasing of a used truck, hiring, raises, raiding the Morrison TIF and passing of the Wheel Tax is how our county has chosen to manage our hard-earned tax dollars. A far cry from the past commissioners which consolidated departments, dropped expensive insurance policies and worked to make Delaware County a place where we can be proud to call our home.
Still think our leadership is looking out for our interests?
Future: What does our future hold? We have been told the county may be short three million dollars and the city a few million dollars less in 2010. What we need is the beginning of responsible and responsive government; moulding it into a fiscally sound and citizen oriented county. It takes strong leadership, men and women having the knowledge, experience and a willingness to move us out of this down-ward sprial going no where.
Let’s take a good hard look at the ones which are soliciting our vote and those which want to retain office. If there has been no progress, we can take control and replace the men and women with those which have the capability to move our county forward. Vote informed.
We are a strong people. Let’s take ownership and expect High Performance Government.
Remember this: Good Government Begins With YOU.
Let’s get to work!
Mayor McShurley has applied for the SAFER grant. For those of you not familiar with this grant, it is Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Responses. The grant is sponsored by FEMA.
If approved, the grant will allow 25 of the 32 laid off firefighters to return to work. The money will pay salaries and benefits for two years. After the performance period ends there is no requirement to retain the personnel.
The two stations closed last year will remain shuttered.
The mayor has been aware of the grant, but for the most part did not commit to applying. For good reason. The city had just gone through some of the toughest budget crunches it has seen. Although, Muncie has never been a stranger to budget shortfalls, this one was particularly brutal. Past budget crunches have always ended with an increase in taxes and in some years it also included 4% raises. This year the people said no to new taxes. (LOIT)
As part of the bargain, the union has dropped the minimum staffing requirement from their contract. Basically, minimum staffing would include as an example, 30 firefighters on duty in any given shift. If the shift drops to 29, then a firefighter will be called in to work and be paid overtime.
Center Township Trustee, Kay walker, has agreed to dismantle the township fire department and pay the city $250,000 in 2011 and $400,000 beginning in 2012. Combining both the union concessions and Center Township the city hopes to save $750,000 over two years and $700,000 per year after the first two years.
In 2008 Center Township had estimated the budget to be $850,000; the paper reports Center’s budget is $775,000.
Union president, Mike Whited was quoted in the newspaper saying many of the laid off workers have already found other employment and he is unsure how many will be returning.
None of this will happen, of course, if the grant is not awarded. It may be early spring before we know.
When the grant was first introduced, the mayor took heat because she was concerned about the upfront costs and hesitated in applying. Since the questions have been resolved that is no longer an issue.
Just today I read comments from residents and one person is already gearing up for the next political attack against the mayor. He or she has begun to blame the mayor because she waited to long to submit the grant. Apparently, he or she feels this will have some bearing on the outcome.
The deadline for submitting the grant was January 15th, 2010-5:00 PM Eastern time. It makes no difference if the application was submitted three weeks ago, or five minutes before the deadline. In fact, there is absolutely nothing in the grant specifications which say as much.
So, if the grant application is denied, look for those who will blame it on late filing, when there was no late filing at all.
The article is available on-line for seven day.
Clerk: “Hello, thank you for calling the LOIT Hotline. How may I help you today?”
Caller: “Yes, I have a few questions about the LOIT tax. Is it true everybody in the county may see their taxes increased to 1.8%?”
Clerk: “Yes, sir, that is correct.”
Caller: “Oh, that adds up to quite a bit of money from my paycheck. Can you explain why this tax is needed?”
Clerk: “I would be glad to, sir. Our elected officials have been hard at work overseeing the budgets. We have had piers to fix and we even had to cancel fireworks. Twice! The finance committee has only had one time to meet in 18 months! Very busy people.”
Caller: “I see. Well, it does seem like they have a full plate.”
Clerk: “Yes. And to make matters more complicated, there is a group of people, citizens, who have to know everything that is going on. This makes life very difficult and nearly impossible to increase government employment opportunities. Still, we have been successful in adding to our employment rolls. We are almost at the 2004 level.”
Caller: “That certainly is good news, since our unemployment rate has just topped 11.7%. I will be willing to pay $300.00 more per year to keep the government running. I mean, it is our patriotic duty to pay more into the tax base.”
Clerk: “You are so correct. My uncle, Mr. Commissioner, created this job and hired me. So the LOIT is a great opportunity for government growth.”
Caller: “I see clearly now. You want 43% more of my money so that jobs in government can be retained, and the local elected officials can continue to spend. Something does trouble me, though.”
Clerk: “What’s that, sir?”
Caller: “With the unemployment rate so high, and this area being known for its poverty level, how much money do you expect to collect?”
Clerk: “Oh, millions! You understand that even at $7.25/hour, we can still get plenty of money. After all, if you just give up one or two meals at McDonald’s per week, you really won’t miss the money you will be paying into the LOIT. It’s all about learning to budget YOUR income and sacrificing for the good of a few. Besides, it is not healthy to eat out. We care about your well-being. Wouldn’t you like to see this hotline continue and keep me employed ?”
Caller: “I suppose.” (With a doubtful sigh.)
Clerk: “This is a Win-Win situation for everybody and it is a Dollar for Dollar for all taxpayers. So, it is hard to argue against it, wouldn’t you say?”
Caller: “It doesn’t feel like a Win-Win situation, but, if you say so. You are the expert. I do understand the dollar for dollar. For each dollar I give the government, that is one less dollar I have to feed my family.”
Clerk: “You are very welcome. Just remember, your tax dollars help keep me employed.”
Caller: “Can I get a job?”
Caller: “Well, thank you, I guess.”
Clerk: “You’re welcome, and sir, we even have more taxes and spending ideas in the works. Thank you for calling the LOIT Hotline. Is there anything else I can do for you?”
Caller: “Yes, if I don’t like LOIT, who shall I call?”
Clerk: “You can’t, nobody is listening.”
Say NO TO LOIT! Call and voice your opinion on LOIT, even if you live in the county!
Alison Quirk: 765-288-5319
Mike King: 765-282-3709
Linda Gregory: 765-286-2925
Jerry Dishman: 765-215-9747
Mary Jo Barton: 765-289-9494
Monte Murphy: 765-286-4154 or 765-288-0516
Sam Marshall: 765-288-0478
Brad Polk: 765-288-0571
Mark Conatser: 765-744-8862
SPEAK UP!! or PAY UP!!