Muncie is always in the news. If it’s not the Muncie Community Schools, it’s the City of Muncie. Necks are hurting from all the shaking of the heads or SMH for short.
Muncie is in a perpetual state of April Fool’s Day and the joke is on those living within the boundaries. We at Muncie Politics thought it would be fun and challenging to bring to remembrance some of the more funnier jokes.
- 2012 Muncie’s tax levy was increased. The city controller blamed it on the previous administration for not considering insurance increases. Seems they forgot Muncie City Council did not approve the ’12 budget. On a side note: the tax levy has increased every year since ….go figure.
- Consider a private pool located in Mayor Tyler’s neighborhood and his family frequents receiving $10,000 city tax dollars for repairs while the city pool operates at a $96,000 deficit.
- The previous mayor, McShurley, promised enough money was available to fund public safety and she left the city with over $8 million in funds to support her claim. Mayor Tyler assured us that he also had enough money for public safety. But, in 2015 he passed LOIT and an income tax increase in a mere 14 days. (43% increase)
- Mayor Tyler promised living wage jobs but it appears the only person seeing an income increase was his building commissioner. I mean, how many people get paid for work never performed? It’s a good gig if you’re inclined to pick the pockets of taxpayers.
- In 2016 the Mayor encouraged his street superintendent to run for county commissioner. Meanwhile, they were attempting to get paving funds yanked from the county. The State of Indiana said no, it was a minor error which the State did not catch in the approval process. The State would not punish the county. Funny how Mayor Tyler can sniff out a county issue while his administration is hosting FBI agents investigating city corruption.
- The State of Indiana awarded the City of Muncie $4 million for demolitions of blighted property. It took the city a few years to get started and Mayor blamed the late start on the State. Never mind other communities were ahead of the game. If they were making headway with the funds, why is Muncie so far behind?
- The City of Muncie approved to forgive $10,000 in delinquent property taxes for a community garden. I don’t know if the State said yes because there has been no follow-up and no community garden, either. Considering the land housed an old factory…was polluted anyway.
- Of course, who could forget the Muncie Redevelopment Director, Todd Donati, asking for a tax reduction on his personal condo claiming it was economic development. City Council voted no, but Donati vowed to return with his request when people were more “open” to the idea.
- Muncie has also ventured into the real estate business. Putting out a request to bid on a privately owned downtown building throwing in a city-owned parking lot. The requirements were stringent and no bidders came forth. So, the city is planning on “loaning” over $7 million to the owners.
- After Mayor Tyler won, he said both the county and the city was controlled by one party and there would be no excuses. However, there are excuses. If it’s not the State of Indiana it’s the previous mayor’s fault…oh well.
It’s been a perpetual April Fools Day since January 1st, 2012, and the joke is on us.
At the county council meeting on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, the wheel tax again came up for introduction The three year sunset clause is expected to expire in December, and the county must have the wheel tax approved and shipped off to the State of Indiana by July 1st. As can be expected, it is getting a wave of comments, ideas and criticism.
Do we need it? Probably. Do we feel we are getting our money’s worth? Nope. Is there any transparency as promised in 2009? Hardly. It’s as murky as a swamp. The big discussion is the sunset clause. The tax may have passed unanimously had this been in the ordnance up for adoption. It was removed. After all, even a smidgen of transparency is better than none
Council person Mike Jones posted on the local newspaper:
Frankly I’m not inherently opposed to a sunset clause, but feel it does nothing to enhance or detract from County Councils ability to implement or rescind the tax at any point in time. The requirement both on the city and county remain to submit paving plans are intact in the ordinance by April 1st of each year. If at anytime the Council determines that the Highway Garage is not performing as it should or other monies become available, the wheel tax can be rescinded at any time. “
Wheel tax still controversial April 24, 2013 Muncie Star Press
If it doesn’t add or detract, than what’s the problem? Include it and move on. The people want it. Read the rest of this entry »
As a child we were entertained with reading fairy tales by the Grimm Brothers, Hans Christian Anderson and a wide variety of fantastic authors. Fairy Tales held some high moral ground like integrity, honesty, compassion and character which was a reoccurring theme and easily defined. Of course, we are now adults, and for the most part, know we can’t ride a magic carpet or sleep for 100 years…still we can take the lessons taught and apply it today.
One of my favorite tales was about an Emperor who loved to style. Hans Christian Anderson wove an intricate tale of a man who loved his clothes. One day two rogue designers came to the city, selling their ability to weave magnificent garments with the most unbelievable colors. Of course, the Emperor was intrigued and imagined himself arrayed in splendor. This was a “must” buy and commissioning of the suit began. He sent an officer of the court to examine the progress of his robes but, the looms were empty. Read the rest of this entry »