Lots of things have been happening in good old Muncie, Indiana. Some have been not so good and some has been very good. Not so good for our local administration very good for the people of Muncie.
Let’s begin with Halteman Village.
Halteman Village is where the Mayor of Muncie as well as two City Council members live. It has been near and dear to Mayor Tyler, so much he donated $10,000 to fix Halteman Pool. $10,000 city tax dollars, that is. Oh, it was to pay for swim lessons, except the privately-owned pool permanently closed a few days later. We have a nice public pool, it’s called Tuhey Pool. It was quite a battle to get Tuhey Pool up and running. Questioning the Mayor why Tuhey Pool wasn’t used for the swim lessons “I don’t remember” he replied.
Halteman’s pool and clubhouse went up for tax sale and somehow the city acquired the property. The city has been maintaining it and spokesperson for the city, Sarah Beach, said the city didn’t want to see the neighborhood run down. Hmmm. Not sure where it’s at today.
Muncie Community Schools closed Mitchell School (in Halteman Village) and put it up for sale. It became quite complex because the city, as well as Ball State University, submitted offers. The city was higher and the university pulled back. The City of Muncie with the Muncie Redevelopment Commission wanted to demolish the school and build condos. As you can imagine, that didn’t please the residents of Halteman or city taxpayer who financed a remodel of the school about a decade past.
Next, we found the city had commissioned a housing study, citing the need for new housing to draw people to Muncie. Muncie Redevelopment director, Todd Donati, posted on his Facebook page “all the facts were in” and all the facts were based on this one study. Michael Hicks the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University examined the city’s housing study. The Muncie Star Press reported the City’s Study was based on incorrect data.
The city is no longer interested in building condominiums on the Mitchell School land. Todd Donati in charge of Muncie’s economic development was cited several times in State Board of Accounts audits for years 2014-15. Donati used a study calling it “facts” to push millions into the condo building project. Fortunately, for the stakeholders of Muncie, his plan fell through. Something else will come down the pike, count on it. He’s more than willing to spend money on pie in the sky ideas.
Besides the ongoing FBI investigation, the Bracken, and Stewart lawsuits against the City of Muncie we have one pressing issue that is still on the table and at anytime Mayor Tyler can direct his City Council to proceed. And the City Council Democrat majority will proceed simply because they have never denied Mayor Tyler or their political party anything.
Delaware County EMS is hanging in the balance.
You see, Mayor Tyler wants to start his very own EMS claiming it will bring revenue into the city. No, it won’t. This administration has gone over budget at Prairie Creek Reservoir, nearly $100,000 over budget for Tuhey Pool, increased the city’s tax levy every year and passed a 43% income tax in 14 days back in 2015. And just look at Halteman Village as proof they have no idea how to be fiscally responsible. Really, you could list other items of senseless spending and budgeting of this administration.
City Council member Alison Quirk and city attorney Megan Quirk have used the wear and tear of firetrucks when they go on a first responder call as leverage for city-run EMS. For six years the trucks have been used to run errands, go out to eat and grocery shopping and not a bit of concern was shown on “wear and tear” until the city wanted an EMS of their very own.
Not to mention the council’s attempt to schedule a City Council meeting on New Years Day. Oh, on the advice of the city council’s attorney, which just happened to find a 40-year-old city code requiring all council meetings to be held on the first Monday of the month. I’m sure the council was hoping for a low turnout on a holiday.
Wrong again. Guaranteed the message was broadcast on every form of social media and the meeting would have been a packed house. Proving once again, the only people in favor of city-run EMS would be the Mayor, the Fire Chief, and the six Democrat Headquarters’ council members and anyone who was concerned about losing their city positions, party support or city contracts.
Make no mistake, the Mayor has been able to systematically remove anyone who hinders his personal and political agenda. And without a doubt, DCEMS is caught in the sights of a political agenda and the collateral damage will be the people of Muncie and Delaware County.
Self-serving are they.
Mayor Tyler claims his administration is transparent. If this is so, why is it that citizens learn of events after the fact?
Take Halteman Village Pool for example. A little background, if I may. Halteman Village is a subdivision in Muncie. The mayor and two city council members live in the subdivision. It has a private pool.
Two years ago the City of Muncie gave Halteman Pool $10,000 for repairs. Later we found it was in lieu of swim lessons. The pool closed. We have a public pool and for some unknown reason (Mayor Tyler seems to have forgotten) why swim lessons could not be offered at the beautiful Tuhey Pool. (Tuhey had $2 million and more invested and yet the mayor chooses to finance repairs on a private pool? – let it sink in.) A former board member stated after receiving the $10,000 the pool closed three days later. Do the math….$3,333/day for swim lessons.
On October 22, 2017, citizens found Halteman Pool was deeded to the city in August. Who knew? A quit-claim deed was filed, now the City of Muncie owns another pool and in Mayor Tyler’s neighbourhood. But, here is where it gets good. Halteman Pools was $16,000 in delinquent taxes and a mortgage of $30,000 (according to the paper).
So why was the property deeded to the city in the first place? You’re going to love this explanation from Sarah Beach spokesperson for the City of Muncie.
“The property was given to the city of Muncie because the owners were no longer able to maintain and operate the property,” Beach said. “The owners did not want the property to become overgrown and donated the property to the city. The city accepted it so that we could maintain it and prevent it from becoming an overgrown eyesore and devalue the neighborhood.”
But ya know, there are many properties in neighbourhoods which are run down, why is this property special? Because the mayor and two city council members live there?
The property has was been sold in the tax sale last month.
I’m glad the mayor has his best interest in mind. To avoid his neighbourhood from going to pot, he’ll just gobble up property with city money. And then he’ll have the city mow and maintain it. And then we’ll take the property off the tax rolls. And then Mayor Tyler will come to us with his proverbial hat in his hand and cry about how the caps are hurting the city. And then he’ll devise a way to increase or implement new fees like he did with the landlord ordinance.
If all this doesn’t stink to high heaven and just scream of improprieties….
Read the full article here.