government meetings

City Council Meeting January 8, 2018 -until further notice….

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Nora Evans Powell

The January 2018 meeting of Muncie City Council will be moved to Monday, January 8th at 7:30pm in City Hall. City Council will hold a special meeting this Thursday, December 14th to amend the City Codes sec. 32.33, 32.44 and 32.37 which stipulate when Council shall meet each month. Last Friday, after reading Councilman Polk’s email, I suggested Council consider moving the meeting date due to myself and two other Councilpersons having family plans on New Year’s Day. I also felt holding the meeting on the holiday may prevent people from attending that otherwise would attend. Thank you to President Marshall for bringing it together and to my fellow Council members for accommodating this schedule change.

 

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Hopefully, this will be the last and final date for the Muncie City Council January 2018 regular meeting.

Last call for Larry Riley

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The local Muncie newspaper has lost a valuable resource.  Larry Riley,  a local journalist, has penned his last column for the Star Press.

For decades Riley has been educating the public on local, state and sometimes national happenings.  He was a true investigative journalist with a talent for writing.  To be honest, at times his columns could be controversial, sometimes whimsical, sometimes boring.

The columns offered more than just insight, it gave you a wealth of information lacking in many of the articles we read today.  He attended several government meetings and you would often see him visiting the local library.

He had his critics especially when he wrote about events such as the infamous city demolitions (the target of an FBI probe) or when he jogged our memories with his yearly “Famous Quotes” columns.  I would venture to guess he had more fans than critics, though.

He wasn’t so arrogant to not admit he made a mistake or two.  Reporting the correction usually as soon as possible normally in the next column. In one instance he had written city council person, Nora Powell, was sporting a double homestead credit.   She corrected him in a letter of her own.  He responded with a retraction.

Riley was also well-versed on the working of TIF districts. I remember reading his blog several years ago when he did an essay on the Mall TIF.  This TIF Riley penned was how a successful TIF should function.  Of course, most of it was like trying to decipher Greek to me.  It was an introduction and he did not disappoint with subsequent columns over the years.  So, he was an educator as well as a columnist.

He was and still is a well-respected writer.  I know his columns will be missed by those interested in learning more about our local government.  I hope he continues.

Last Call Over and Out

Muncie 2017 Budget ~ public hearing

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mouse trap & money

Notice is hereby given to taxpayers of MUNCIE CIVIL CITY, Delaware County, Indiana that the proper officers of Muncie Civil City will conduct a public hearing on the year 2017 budget. Following this meeting, any ten or more taxpayers may object to a budget, tax rate, or tax levy by filing an objection petition with the proper officers of Muncie Civil City not more than seven days after the hearing. The objection petition must identify the provisions of the budget, tax rate, or tax levy to which taxpayers object. If a petition is filed, Muncie Civil City shall adopt with the budget a finding concerning the objections in the petition and testimony presented. Following the aforementioned hearing, the proper officers of Muncie Civil City will meet to adopt the following budget:

Muncie Budget 2017 (8-17-16)

 

More on MSD rate hikes

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The Star Press has an article in today’s paper.  Rates likely to go up.

MSD rate hikes.

Don’t forget, Thursday, July 7th at 10:30 AM.  Muncie City Hall.

MSD RATE INCREASE – PLEASE READ Updated with rate increase

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Muncie Sanitary District Public Forum – Rate Increases-

When: Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Time: 10:30 AM

Where: Muncie City Hall

 

 

 In case you missed it, there is a public meeting scheduled for July 7 that many might not be aware. This public forum begins at 10:30 a.m. at Muncie City Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to let property owners, ratepayers and other interested parties be heard in reference to current and proposed Muncie Sanitary District rates. The published figures recommended by the Muncie Sanitary District include some sizable increases in charges going forward including a 50 percent increase in the stormwater rates.

The resolution was introduced at the June 23 board of MSD commissioner’s meeting. The Star Press printed the meeting notice in the paper the next morning, which is how I learned of the rate increases.

 

All interested parties should attend.

Muncie City Councilperson Dan Ridenour

MSD Rate Increase 6-23-16

 

Muncie’s Financial Reports

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Knowledge will forever govern ignorance; and a people who mean to be their own governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives. James Madison

Please take a look at Muncie’s financials.

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DEBT

These two reports ran in January 2016 and February 2016.    The latest report shows a debt increase of $10 million.

Muncie debt 2-26-16

January 2016 debt

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REVENUE

Muncie revenue received for the years 2011 to 2015.  The revenue sources includes property taxes, federal taxes, state taxes, local taxes, fees, donations and grants.

2015 $96,344,555.40

2014 $101,147,218.97

2013 $100,696,634.05

2012 $124,112,776.60

2011 $90,393,089.58

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Detailed Receipts 2011 to 2015

If you would like to look at the revenue streams the reports below give details.  As you can see, property taxes have been on a decline since 2011.  This should have been the first clue.

Muncie Detailed Receipts 2015

Muncie Detailed Receipts 2014

Muncie Detailed Receipts 2013

Muncie Detailed Receipts 2012

Muncie Detailed Recepts 2011

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SUMMARY

When revenue begins to decrease while debt increases it would be wise to consider the cost of debt and what it means.  The first cost was public services which could only be fully funded with a tax increase.  The second cost is economic development and it will only partially be funded with the recent tax increase.

You do need to consider the cost. If the debt can not be met, and there are no more taxes to increase what then? Fees?  Fines?  You don’t need to be in the dark when it comes to Local and State government finances any longer.  In fact, it is imperative, for our future, to be well informed.

James Madison was a wise man giving wise advice which is still relevant today.

Source: State of Indiana Transparency Portal