Mayor Dennis Tyler
As we get closer to the November elections we are beginning to see the 214 Democrats hard at work.
Earlier Muncie Politics wrote about the unintentional candidate for a position as a Democrat precinct committee member. Although, no elected officials, not the County Clerk Mike King or the County Prosecutor Jeff Arnold and neither of the political party chairs felt the need to pursue how the unintentional candidate was able to beat the intentional candidate. Score 1 for the local Democrat Headquarters. How to unintentionally win a race
Next on the list is the swinging door for the commissioner’s race. Phill Peckingpaugh withdrew early on – citing health issues. The seat for commissioner remained unfilled for several months until Brock Reagan stepped up to run. A few weeks later Reagan dropped from the race. He cited lack of time and money. providing an opening for the third time in the commissioner’s race.
As luck would have it, the Democrats immediately found a replacement in Jason Donati, MSD Stormwater educator, and MCS advisory board member. Jason was nominated by Mayor Tyler for the new school board but wasn’t chosen.
Asked if he had another candidate to fill the commissioner vacancy on the fall ballot, Craycraft said, “They’re talking to some people.” Candidate resigns another files
Wonder if “they” talked with Dave Ring? He ran as a Democrat, albeit, an outsider. Now Ring is running as an independent for commissioner.
Here is the timeline of the commissioner’s race:
- Phil Peckinpaugh files and drops out.
- The position sits vacant for several months.
- Brock Reagan drops from the recorder’s race and runs as commissioner.
- Jason Donati is not appointed to the MCS school board.
- Reagan quickly resigns from the race.
- Dave Ring files as an independent.
- Democrats immediately pick Donati.
Let’s go back to 2012. Todd Donati lost his bid for a second term as commissioner. A few weeks later, Muncie Redevelopment director retires unexpectedly after 20 years. As luck would have it Mayor Tyler appoints the former commissioner and longtime friend, Todd Donati to the position recently vacated…as luck would have it.
So why the blog title Missing Larry Riley? We lack solid political commentary in this county. No one gets to the meat of an issue. Perhaps there is no need. We all know what’s what in Delaware County politics. Here is an example:
Yet we’re facing stranger times. Once Dennis Tyler took over the Muncie mayor’s office in 2012, and then saw no Republican opposition in his re-election, the floodgates opened up for people running Democratic Party Headquarters. Nothing stopped Democratic HQ from using reins of Muncie government for its own purposes, including to line pockets.
That’s what the FBI has been investigating since late in 2015, and resulted so far in one arrest, that of the Mayor’s building commissioner, the son of the man in the seat of power in Democratic Headquarters. That FBI investigation remains ongoing in Muncie, recently heating up.
I’ve always liked Dudley, and he’s always been cordial and willing to talk with me. But joining your star to that particular Headquarters, a corrupt party and city administration, is treacherous. Larry Riley May 1, 2018
The only way Delaware County is ever going to advance beyond the corruption, poverty, absence of fruitful economic development, and 214 political appointments is to vote NO! to anyone who is affiliated with the 214 mainstream Democrats.
Muncie newspaper published an article today with reactions from Muncie City Council President Marshall. As well, Mayor Tyler voiced his concerns. We would like to highlight some of best quotes and respond.
Marshall: “We haven’t really made any decisions yet.”
MP: House Bill 1315 passed on May 14, 2018. Council has done nothing in 15 calendar days. Although the same council was able to pass a 43% income tax in 14 days. The same council was able to fast track DCEMS. In other words, when the council wants to be expedient they will do so.
Marshall: “We want to make sure we do the best we can for this school board,” he said. “With our appointment, at least we will have a voice (on the board), a bigger voice.”
MP: Yet, they have sat on their collective rears and did nothing. Sounds like doing their best, right?
Marshall: “Nobody reached out to council from Ball State that I know of, not to me as president,” he said. “Nobody’s reached out to me and said this is on the fast track.”
MP: Timeline was published and as an elected body one should take steps to prepare If the council is ignorant on HB1315 that is of their own doing. It’s not like HB1315 has been hidden from the public eye. All of this has to be in place by July 1, 2018. Ignorance of this bill is not the fault of the bill. City Council is masters of fast-tracking when it benefits them. Lame excuse.
Marshall: “I’m just one person,” Marshall said.. “I have to bring this before council, and it has to be done publicly. We have been accused of not doing things correctly. As president, I’m following an open forum. Everybody has input.”
MP: Eight other members and the MCS appointments never discussed? Never? Again, this council was able to pass a 43% income tax in 14 days. They pulled together on the city-run EMS proposal. Collectively they worked to keep information from the public.
Star Press: Marshall is still bitter about how the state government trifecata (the Republican Party holds the governorship and supermajorities in the House and Senate) “rammed” House Bill 1315 into law.
MP: Like this administration and city council has done since 2012? Muncie City Council has been under Democrat majority for decades. There is a plethora of “rammed” ordinances, spending and taxes in their history.
“The way the Statehouse came in here and did what they did, it seems like they want to do away with public education,” Marshall said.
MP: Marshall making another ridicules political statement hoping to redeem the council from their obvious inactivity and direct the conversation away from the real issue. City Administration and Council have done nothing to prepare for this major legislation.
Tyler: When Tyler said he received information from the state, he meant Sen. Tim Lanane, D-Anderson, and his legal staff.
“There are still some areas not clear to us,” Tyler said. “It says we have the ability to nominate three, but it doesn’t say we couldn’t nominate just one or just two if we choose.”
MP: Mayor Dennis Tyler held the previous position of Indiana State Representative since 2006. He was appointed to the House after Rep. Tiny Adams died. He was elected in 2008 & 2010 until resigning to run for mayor in 2011. More than anyone he should have been on top of this bill. Playing political games again with something as nonsensical as the number of nominations? What legal staff is he referencing? Is it the Indianapolis legal staff or is the Quirk -Hunter legal staff?
When Mayor Tyler won in 2011 he was asked if he would appoint any Republicans. He laughed and said, “We have enough qualified Democrats.” (sic) . Has this changed?
Warning: It’s a long study.
Also, coming up is Mayor Tyler’s State of the City address. Visit the City’s website here. Hoping for a large turnout in support of DCEMS. The City website still has the housing study which was discredited because of the false data.
May 7th – Muncie City Council meeting @7:30 PM.
Friends and readers of Muncie Politics,
We will be taking a short break. We have been asked to help in a research project totally unrelated to politics. This is a change for us! Of course, we will update any new developments in the political world of Delaware County.
It has been an excruciating wait for the results of the City of Muncie FBI investigation, Bracken vs. Muncie and Stewart vs. Muncie lawsuits and of course what is happening with Delaware County EMS. Let’s hope Mayor Tyler and Muncie City council rule with cool heads and consider the ramifications of a city-run EMS. For once we may actually see People Before Party. Sigh.
Don’t forget Muncie City Council 1st Monday of the month 7:30 PM. City Hall.
See you soon, please don’t forget us!
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.
Yesterday at 5:26pm ·
I still meet regularly with “the informants,” the people who touched off the federal investigation of the Muncie city administration, those persistent folks who doggedly kept pestering the FBI until agents concluded they were, indeed, onto something.
Since November of 2015, FBI agents talked to them dozens of times and until perhaps summer of last year continued to solicit information from at least one of them. As recently as six weeks ago, the FBI still was interviewing other people.
Provided that one day the investigation ends – hopefully with more indictments – I will ask permission to name the informants. They are heroes in my book and deserve the gratification of an entire community. Their relentless tenacity, perhaps obstinacy is a better word, won out.
I just found out about another development that I have to suspect is connected to the FBI’s investigation: as of two months ago, Arron Kidder is no longer part of the Dennis Tyler city administration.
Arron Mathew Kidder went to Elkhart Memorial High School and came to BSU, where he majored in political science and graduated December of 2012. While still in school, he interned for Brad Bookout’s consulting company and got involved in the Delaware County Redevelopment Commission. When Tyler took over the mayor’s office in 2012, Bookout did some consulting for the new administration and hired Kidder, who eventually handled most of the city’s grant-writing work. A year later, Kidder spun off his own consulting firm, Hawkins Consulting Inc., and contracted with the city to write grants.
In 2014, he earned $35,000 from the city, his only consulting client, who gave him an office next to the mayor’s. Kidder began assuming more and more duties that typically would have gone to a deputy mayor, a position Tyler has not filled. The next year, 2015, with a whopping contractual increase, Kidder earned more than $60,000, and in 2016, he got $55,000, an amount in excess of the salaries of all but a couple city department heads.
Kidder sat in for the mayor on a handful of boards. He regularly attended Muncie Board of Public Works meetings as the mayor’s emissary, bringing contracts Tyler wanted approved and other matters before the three-member panel, who exist to do the mayor’s bidding. Several times I recall Kidder telling the board that the city needed to tear down condemned houses under emergency conditions and that the administration had obtained quotes from two companies to do the work. The lower quote would invariably be from the private firm owned by the city’s Building Commissioner, Craig Nichols, who would have condemned the houses in the first place and declared the emergency.
I first wrote in February of 2016 that some of those houses Nichols’ firm was paid to demolish hadn’t existed: they were phantom demolitions. The administration quickly created a cover story claiming that all the addresses were mere clerical mistakes, but by then, the FBI, already probing into Muncie Sanitary District, had added Nichols’ billings to their investigation.
Six months later, The Star Press pulled the plug on my column-writing. Four months after that, the FBI raided the city building commissioner’s office and seized records. A month later, February of 2017, Nichols was indicted on 33 felony counts, almost all related to work he did for the city, including the phantom demolitions and the attempted cover-up I wrote about.
Kidder certainly was a rising star in the Tyler administration. Tyler put him on several local boards, including the Aviation Authority. Kidder lived in a house he rented from the vice-chair of the Delaware County Democratic Party and he involved himself in party activities. Last September, The Star Press wrote a glowing profile of Kidder in a section on up-and-coming Muncie leaders.
Then, two months later, Kidder was suddenly gone. No announcement.
Through November when he got his last check, Kidder had received $66,000 from the city in 2017.
Not many Ball State graduates in their first position out of college knock down $60,000-plus annual salaries, and I can’t imagine many young people in their mid-20s simply walking away from that kind of money. Not without a whole lotta motivation, that is.
Please share this with any Muncie people still hoping justice prevails.
Have you ever wondered about Muncie’s finances or how the people on the city’s finance committee figure how to spend it? I know, it’s a mystery, right? Well, not any longer. Now you too can be a pseudo city controller. It’s easy. We’ll show how simple it can be. And it’s free.
The new report format is not as fancy as the older reports. Not as detailed, either. Nevertheless, it tells a story of Muncie from 2011-2017 in a clean, easy to read and understandable format. Muncie Politics has prepared two reports for you to review.
The first is the Muncie Tax Finance dashboard 2011-17. It’s Muncie at-a-glance report.
The next report Muncie Tax and Finance Time Comparison 2012-17 displays the tax rates and basic information in a clear timeline. Yep, the tax levy has increased every year. As well as the city payroll. 2015 wasn’t a good year for Muncie or Delaware County residents.
September 2015 the city raised a 43% income tax. From start to finish it took 14 days to pass that tax. Amazing, huh? The sad part is, no one even noticed prior to the tax increase the city finances were shaky. That’s o.k. because the city building commissioner received a nice raise and his company demolished buildings paid from the increased EDIT in 2016.
See, folks, it’s all good.
Now, if you want to explore the city’s taxes and finances all one has to do is click on the image below. Enter your favorite government agency and then choose the type of report. Bam! You are good to go!
You will be armed with enough information to make a wise decision at the polls come election time. When an elected official, an appointed “public” employee, or a candidate tell you something you’ll be able to discern if it is true or if they are just blowing smoke. A wonderful position to be: an informed citizen. A scary thing to those who lust after monetary gain for their benefit.