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 »
The train has just pulled into the station and its tooting its horn. All aboard for the ride. Here we go….
The newspaper reported June 26, 2014 the city is wanting to implement a “quiet zone” at a cost of approximately $4 million. This doesn’t include the $237,000 study on the project. But, wait a minute, didn’t the previous administration ask Muncie City Council to consider permanently closing 9th & 10th street crossings? Wasn’t there a possibility of $4 million in funds? Yes, I think so. I won’t bother you with a lot of details, the city council would not even entertain the idea.
Read about the August 2011 council meeting here.
A committee laying dormant since 2007 was resurrected after the August 2011 meeting. The Land & Traffic Committee went into full swing. Councilperson Mary Jo Barton, representing District 3 for 16 years, was appointed to one of five positions on the committee. 9th & 10th streets, the proposed closed crossings, resides in District 3.
Talk about a speeding locomotive. The Land & Traffic Committee scheduled their first meeting two weeks after the city council meeting. Before the first public gathering started Councilperson Barton was working the auditorium. She had lots of questions and it was more than obvious she was itching to fight for those crossings to be reopened. A few minutes past the hour, the meeting canceled due to no public posting. You can read what transpired at this meeting and the subsequent meetings. Search the blog for Choo Choo or click the links below.
For months one of the biggest campaign issues was the railroad crossings closing. Of course, it was so big they were wiling to toss out the quiet zone and $4 million bucks. That just shows how important this issue was to Muncie City Council.
Of course, after the election, the train jumped the tracks and it no longer mattered. The Land & Traffic Committee stopped meeting. I don’t believe they have met or done any land and trafficking business since 2011. Now that the paper has reported 9th street may be permanently closed, will Barton put on her armor and fight for her district? I am guessing no.
On January 2nd, 2012, after six months of very little activity, the ordinance was tabled. The reasons, we were told, parking and legalities concerning the ordinance. I would think six months be plenty of time to straighten out the issues. It really was just politics as usual at the expense of the citizens.
President Dishman asked Mayor Tyler his thoughts on the street closing. A short moment of silence and the mayor gave his answer. He followed what the paper wrote and “other” things and said he was certainly willing to look at it.
The June 26th article quoted Tyler “This the boldest project to improve our quality of place in the city of Muncie in many years,” Tyler said. “And it’s the right thing to do for Muncie.”
I’m going to respectfully disagree with the mayor. This is not the boldest project to improve our quality of life. Boldness would have been for the Muncie City Council to put aside their politics and carefully consider the possibility of $4 million, and pursuing a quiet zone.
Three years have passed, no movement on the closings, no quiet zone and the taxpayers will be funding at least $4 million for this project. That’s not bold, that’s business as usual.
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 »
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As a teenager, my Mother would often say “Money. It doesn’t grow on trees.” I would roll my eyes and let her know in no uncertain terms that I knew money didn’t grow on trees. I didn’t sleep through Biology, ya know. At least not every class…
I would marvel at her refusal to get me the new Stingray bike with the banana seat. “You have a perfectly good bike and money doesn’t grow on trees.” There she goes again. It was a great bike at 10, but now I’m 13 and EVERYBODY has a Stingray bike with a banana seat. Their parents didn’t say “money doesn’t grow on trees.” Of course, not everyone had a Stingray and I’m sure my Mom and Dad knew it. So, I did what any thinking teenager would do, I got a job. First it was babysitting, then on to the doughnut shop and then pay-dirt! I got a job as a cashier/stocker at the local dime store. No, I never bought the Stingray, though. It was to expensive.
Money. It doesn’t grow on trees, you know. 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.
In today’s paper (1-22-12) a guest writer, Brad King, penned a column. Continue to chat but drop the gag. Although I found some inaccurate information, he did bring up a the idea of continuing the Mayor’s Chat with Dennis Tyler. I want to remind the folks, we were introduced to this very thing in 2009 and it didn’t get past the doors of City Hall. It would be nice to have the new Mayor update us on what is happening as it seems information is hard to come by. Please feel free to click in the link to read the full story from the April ’09 City Council meeting.
Updated! Check out Jim Arnold’s view on the meeting. Guarantee you will find it entertaining. Go to the Pages section of the blog.
The usual abatements and ordinances were passed and every thing seemed to be moving at a good pace. Until, a motion was brought to the table to purchase a previously owned aerial truck from Pike Township. For the people at the meeting, it was a whirlwind of comments from the city council and members of the audience spoke. The MFD is a touchy subject among many people in the city. I will spare you the details and refer you to the Star Press article: http://www.thestarpress.com/article/20090407/NEWS01/904070322/1002
The issues with MFD and funding deserve a full page spread with more information than I am able to provide at this time. Just know, Muncie is not protected as she should be. One wonders why the MFD is not able to…
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Last night was the first Muncie City Council meeting.
The closing of the tracks was not voted on…imagine that. Yes, the Land & Traffic Committee was nothing more than a political move.
If you are interested in watching the video, complete with a guest appearance by Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler, click on the CDCGG icon below.
The day has finally come. The day Muncie City Council will vote on the Layne Crest neighborhood.
The room was packed full of people and I wish it was packed every month. That being said…..
Linda Gregory asked the minutes of November 1st meeting be amended to include a breakdown of Marshal’s budget cuts.
Mary Jo Barton presented Sam Marshal and Mike King each a plaque for their service on Muncie common council.
Ordinance 39-11 was first on the agenda. This is the rezoning of what has commonly been called Layne Crest.
Mr. Sam Marshall, president said he would allow one spokesperson from each side to speak.
The attorney for Campus Crest spoke first. Mr. Shockley had a compelling argument. He had drawings, studies, petitions and everything in between. He presented for nearly 30 minutes. When he finished, Sam Marshall changed his tune and said he would allow 15 people to speak at three minutes each for the neighborhood.
I would say approximately nine or ten people spoke. However, there were citizens allowed to speak not in favor of the citizens of the Layne Crest edition. In my humble opinion, Marshall should had gaveled the speakers and reminded them the purpose of the last half of the meeting. This was the time for the citizens to represent their views. How can a group of people who care for their neighborhood even begin to compete with an attorney experienced in presenting an argument, let alone the commercial drawings and promises of a better Muncie?
I’ll cut to the chase. The ordinance was passed.
Voting for the ordinance:
Voting against the ordinance:
Voting to abstain:
Alison Quirk read a prepared speech, which gave some an indication of how she might vote.
Linda Gregory said she agonized over the decision, even lost sleep. She spent time reading the ordinance, the planning commission recommendation and the zoning board’s decision.
Mark Conatser gave his opinion why this should pass.
Jerry Dishman, who was elected to represent this area of Muncie, said not a word.
I didn’t stay for the rest of the meeting. I will be surprised if Ordinance 41-11 for the approving of additional appropriations for the budget year of 2011 will be approved. This includes the $1,000 bonus for the employees. I believe the employees of Muncie have done an excellent job under some of the most gruelling and trying circumstance, and haven’t received a raise some in four or more years. Some may say they are not deserving. I may say that, myself, if I hadn’t seen the extraordinary work they produced.
Good night, Muncie.
Muncie City Council Votes for Rezoning Star Press 12-5-11