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.
Hopefully, this will be the last and final date for the Muncie City Council January 2018 regular meeting.
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.
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:
Pay and partnerships link Muncie cop, gun dealer (Star Press 7-6-16)
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
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.
These two reports ran in January 2016 and February 2016. The latest report shows a debt increase of $10 million.
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.
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.
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.
You can hardly pick up a newspaper without a columnist or an opinion piece writer telling us how fearful and sometimes even throwing in prejudice for impact. Likewise, we have our well-coffered TV newscasters, with worry in their eyes, using their best “reason” voice and in two minutes or less, our worse fears have been laid out before us. So, thank you media for showing us our fear. Without your guidance in our lives, we would be lost. Read the rest of this entry »
If you have been following the City of Muncie’s financials, a shorted till will be of no surprise. If not, you may find your paycheck missing a few pennies as the rush to fill the cash register gets underway. Yes, folks, the LOIT has entered the minds of our elected officials. L-O-I-T (Local Option Income Tax) if passed by the City of Muncie, digs into the pocketbooks of every working stiff in Delaware County. I believed it was just a matter of time before it was introduced and approved.
I’m not going to spend much time discussing the merits or pitfalls of LOIT today. Instead, I am offering two articles and an opinion piece for your reading pleasure.
The first article is the introduction of the tax, setting the tone. The second, a recap of the first and lastly a column by a local journalist (saved the best for last). Perhaps after reading, you’ll get a better understanding.
Here’s a side note: A few months ago I crossed paths with columnist Larry Riley and the chit-chat soon turned to the SAFER grant. I asked if he knew the status. Nope.
Next question, if the grant is not renewed, how would the shortfall be met? Larry responded (much to what he penned) – Mayor Tyler stated there would be enough money to cover the fire department.
The previous mayor, McShurley, was asked the question in 2011 and her answer much the same. If the SAFER grant did not come through, there would still be money to maintain the fire department. Then she said good-bye and left the city with over $7 million operating balance.
The real kicker is after Mayor Tyler said the property tax revenue was down and the LOIT tax is needed for fire safety and to shore up the coffers of Economic Development Tax Revenue (EDIT) he proposed an additional amount of spending nearing $50 million.
Here’s the short of it all.
1.) Mayor Tyler – the city would have enough money for the fire department. Never a word to the contrary.
2.) Mayor Tyler – the tax revenue is down and will need to pass LOIT to maintain the fire department and EDIT funding.
3.) Mayor Tyler – reveals the $48 million canal project.
Chew on it a while…