On December 8th, 2017 received information Muncie City Council changed the date of the January 2018 meeting. Originally scheduled for January 8th it will be held on January 1st New Year’s Day.
Muncie City Council has never held meetings on holidays. Councilperson Doug Marshall said he was informed by the city attorney (not sure which one) having the meeting on January 8 was in violation of City Code 32.33.
Sec. 32.33. Time and place for regular meetings.The first regular meeting of the council shall beheld on the first Monday in January after thegeneral election of the members-elect of the council,at 7:30 p.m. as provided by IC 18-1-3-2. Allregular meetings shall be held on the first Mondayevening of each month at 7:30 p.m. and maybe adjourned at the pleasure of the council. Adjournedmeetings shall have all the force andeffect of regular meetings. Meetings shall be heldin the council chamber, unless otherwise determinedby the president and designated on theagenda.(Code 1968, § 31.14; Ord. No. 620-80, 10-10-80)
As proposed by Tyler, the city would enact a public safety LOIT of 0.25 percent — generating more than $1.5 million a year — and an 0.2 EDIT increase, which would generate more than $1.5 million.
The revenue would go into the city’s general fund, where a portion of it would go to offset another funding loss: The federal SAFER grant, which has in recent years covered the cost of 32 Muncie firefighters, will be cut in half beginning next year, Tyler said. Source: Mayor seeks local income tax increase Star Press 9-1-15
The city was “just notified” that it will receive $2.1 million in SAFER grant funding for two years that begin in February 2016, Tyler said. That’s only enough to pay for 16 of 32 firefighters, he said.
“We have to cover the cost of 16 firefighters,” Tyler said. The department has 110 firefighters. Source: Muncie Star Press 8-31-15
You can view the video of the city council at:
Citizens for Good Government – Delaware County Facebook page.
City Council had their regular meeting.
Can you believe the council (all but three) voted for an ordinance with no information and no line item in the budget?
So many people spoke and I have to say, every one of them had some worthy piece of information to bring to the table. Proud of those people who did their homework. Citizens are paying attention.
One man said he email all of the members and only three responded. I don’t think Peters has an email, or she didn’t have one last time I contacted my representative. He did get back to me, though.
This is exactly like how city council used to be. They didn’t listen then and they are not listening now. “Bye, bye, Miss American Pie…..
I hope people remember this and the fight to have our voices heard at election time.
Bad streets, FBI investigation, arrest, lack of transparency, the high cost of attorney fees (if would could get that information), city parks and spending $6.5 million for a start-up idea. Can it get any worse? And the audits…anything left out? Probably.
For those of you voters living in the City of Muncie, there doesn’t seem to be much to draw you to the polls. In the majority of seats, there is just one Democrat running and no Republican. The exceptions are as follows:
District 2: The Republican ballot is incumbent Mark Conatser and Dan Ridenour. The Democrat ticket is Todd Smekens.
District 6: Democrat ballot is incumbent Julius Anderson and Richard Ivy.
At-Large candidates include three incumbents, Linda Gregory, Nora Powell and Alison Quirk. Three hopefuls Philip Gonzales, Marwin Strong and Robert York. This may be the hottest race – you can only vote for three and only vote if you select a Democrat ballot. Remember, just because someone appears on the ballot and you don’t want to cast a vote for that person, you are not obligated to do so.
You might be asking, where is Brad Polk? Well, he’s still here, sitting in District 4. Brad has no one running against him. Not on the Republican ticket nor on the Democrat ticket. In other words, Polk has already won the primary election.
I told you, the ballot is sparse.
“If you are unable to vote in person on Election Day you have the option to vote in person before Election Day at the County Building, 100 W. Main. The election room on the 1st floor. Absentee voting begins 29 days before Election day from 8:00am to 4:30pm and ends at noon the day before the election.” LWV Delaware County
You may remember the first meeting was canceled because the committee forgot to post a public notice. The second meeting allowed no public input as the Land & Traffic committee’s goal was to get their questions in order and prepare a guest list for the next meeting. Last night was the third meeting.
Forgive me if I seem just a little testy, a little short-tempered and little angry. How stupid is it folks, to not invite the railroad to a public meeting on….the railroad? I am trying to figure out what is going through the minds of the Land and Traffic committee. Obviously, not much.
If you had attended what could only be called an “organizational meeting”, you would have noticed the chairperson, Mr. Julius Anderson, had taken on the responsibility of contacting various representatives which would offer valuable input into the closings of these railroad crossings. The list was short, but concise. The guest list included, Board of Public Works, Police, Fire, EMS and Norfolk-Southern Railroad
You may have noticed at the second meeting of Land & Traffic most of the questions and the conversation centered around Norfolk Railroad. Chairperson Anderson, Jerry Dishman, Alison Quirk, Mary Jo Barton and Mark Conatser all came to the consensus the railroad was the important factor.
At last night’s meeting, Julius Anderson announced he didn’t want to invite the railroad, so he didn’t. I don’t know about anybody else, but I find it truly amazing he decided to not invite the representative from Norfolk Southern Railroad.
“I know the railroad wouldn’t have acted on their own,” said Anderson, adding that someone in the administration must have signed off on the closings.
So, how does he KNOW this?
At the July common council meeting, with a representative from Norfolk in our midst, Mr. Anderson asked no questions of substance. He had done no homework. In fact, he and the others didn’t even show any interest at the prospect of our city gaining $4 million dollars. In fact, does any of the city council know we received $1.1 million for railroad improvements? Probably not.
Jerry Dishman asked if there was any documentation. Like documentation would really matter. They don’t read anything. What is so hard about taking the initiative to do some research on this issue, or any issue concerning the city?
- First meeting canceled – no notice
- Second meeting – disorganized
- Third meeting – no RR representative
So, either this was a planned political stunt, which would make their Democrats pledge to run a clean campaign 9-9-11 null and void. Or it was sloppy and lazy governing, which would make them poor representatives of our city. Or we may have heard how closing these crossings could benefit our city, and that would never do.
Regardless if it is one or all three, this is bad for Muncie City and bad news for her citizens.
All this, and we don’t even have an ordinance on the table.
Things are rolling down the track. With the second meeting of Land & Traffic since 2007 under our wheels, you may be asking “What the heck was this meeting about, anyway?”
I can fully understand why they chose this to be a venue without public input, as it was obvious they hadn’t a clue on the issue before them or what they were supposed to be doing. So, I am going to recap as best as possible on what happened.
The full committee was there, Mary Jo Barton, Jerry Dishman, Julius Anderson, Alison Quirk and Mark Conatser.
The committee’s goal was to discuss the ordinance 17-11 which is to close the tracks permantly on 9th & 10th Streets. It wasn’t about the quiet zone. Julius Anderson was the facilitator of the meeting.
Mary Jo Barton began the meeting by saying the neighbors don’t want it closed. She said she found paperwork on when it first started. She believes it began with David Dominick wanting more parking for the convention center. Mary Jo Barton said the plan was quickly shut down by the council.
I was trying to picture the convention center and the proximity of 9th and 10th streets. There must be a link to connect the two…somewhere.
When asked what year this took place, she shuffled through some papers and said she didn’t know. Why she didn’t have the articles or a synopsis available is strange. Mary Jo Barton said the railroad can’t close down the tracks.
Conster said he believed the railroad could, and I tend to agree with him. He had spoken to someone at Norfolk Southern a few years ago when he tried to address the trains stopping on the tracks in his neighborhood.
Mary Jo Barton said it was up to the city and not the railroad to close the crossings.
A link to Railroad-Highway Grade Crossing Handbook – Revised Second Edition August 2007 outlines the procedures for railroad crossings. I want to be upfront, I don’t know if this is current, but it is a read, nevertheless, on the questions of who is responsible for closing the crossings.
Alison Quirk said this is an ordinance to vacate a public street. (Something the city council has done several times.) She said the purpose of the meeting was to determine who to invite to the public meeting in September. Mary Jo Barton reiterated it was to vacate/permanetly close the streets.
Allison Quirk stated the purpose of the meeting was to put our (committee) concerns in writing. She had no opinion, just wants to make an informed decision. Then she began to list the questions/statements. Not sure if I got them all, but here is what I believe she asked.
1. Why two crossing next to each other?
2. Who is responsible for maintenance?
3. Who determined 9th & 10th Streets closed?
4. There is an agreement and wants to know who has a copy of it?
5. She wants input from Police, Fire, and EMS.
6. What is the signage if the streets are closed?
7. What is the community impact?
8. What will the closing look like? (Drawings/rendering of the closings.)
9. Impact on businesses.
10. Who assumes liability?
Now, we are getting to the crux of the matter. She heard the railroad would compensate the city. What is the amount of money, how could it be used and would the money be appropriated by city council. (I thought they appropriated the money now.) What is the estimated cost for ongoing maintenance?
Mary Jo Barton said she believed it would be $4,000-$10,000 per year. I am just going to have to take her word for it, and that makes me uneasy. (Stole that line, but it is fitting in this case.)
Jerry Dishman asked some questions. More like a recap of Quirk’s list.
Conaster had no questions.
Jerry Dishman said the sound of the engine was as loud as the horn. (Huh?) Financial was his biggest concern. (Sure it is Jerry, which is why they paid $35,000 for a fiscal study on the consolidation plan after having it for nearly a year.)
Mary Jo Barton said she didn’t understand the vacate verbiage. 16 years on the council and she still doesn’t understand the word vacate.
Dishman thought the railroad would do the maintenance and the city would reimburse.
Quirk said she thought the railroad should be at the next meeting.
Anderson asked what are the codes? Need to talk with the department of transportation.
Barton forgets her question.
Quirk has pictures of the crossings.
Anderson will work with clerk on getting people notified.
The crossings have been closed for several years, the land & traffic committee hasn’t meet since 2007 and suddenly we have this concern for the public. Nearly four years to consider the impact and nary a word said. It’s an election year.
Don’t be fooled as Alison Quirk said at the 2007 candidate forum when asked if she had to cut the budget she would look at public safety, meet with department heads and work with the mayor. None of which she has done.
Sorry if this is a little jumbled, it’s the best I could do with what little I had to work with. The spell check stopped working so I had to eyeball it. We depend on technology for everything!
Have a great evening, folks. Sleep tight and know our city is in good hands….(not).