dishman jerry

Saturday ramblings: How to manage a hotel

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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 »

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Choo choo – the saga continues

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train leftThe 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.

Choo Choo meeting #1

Choo Choo meeting #2

Choo Choo meeting #3

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.

Final Choo Choo meeting 1-2-12

City May Be Short Millions….

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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’

tyler

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 »

Public Question and Delaware County 2012 Ballot

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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.

Learning from Nashville Experience

Vote Yes For Reorganization

Dis-FUNctional – Are we having fun in Delaware County or what!

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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 »

Money ~ It doesn’t grow on trees, or does it?

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Money – It doesn’t grow on trees.

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 »

Muncie Indiana – What’s happening in our city?

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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.

Read the rest of this entry »