Mike Jones

Economic Development – Riley style

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There is no doubt in anyone’s mind Delaware County Economic Development is a hard area to follow.  Both financial and in practice.

Today, Larry Riley, a regular columnist in the local newspaper lays it out for us.  I’m not sure anyone could have done a better job at explaining.  Nevertheless, here it is in all her glory.  Enjoy.

Development of economic development.

Saturday night and I ain’t got no money

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It’s a Saturday night and the past few weeks have been exciting.  Here are some awesome highlights of what’s been happening! Take a peek, if you dare.

We’re getting new landscape at City Hall.  Yep, the old landscape was removed and new is on the way.   A few months ago, we were privileged to get $5 million additional debt.   Some of the bond  debt was to go for needed repairs of the Hall.  Certainly, this was an awesome way to spend tax dollars.  New landscape…woo hoo!  I guess it wouldn’t matter if it was included in Todd Donati’s bond presentation most city council members wouldn’t question the expenditure.     “Let’s spend some more.”

Here are the before and after pictures of the landscaping done in 2009.  All native plants which require low maintenance and water have been removed to make way for the new landscape which nobody has a clue what it will look like or how much it cost to remove the previous and replace with whatever the city is replacing it with.

city hall circa 2008muncie city hall landscape 2009

City Parking Garage with caption 9-25-13Finally,we got the first glimpse of the $5 million parking garage, which is surrounded by stores and apartments.  No swimming pool on the top as promised.  A big bummer, but I don’t think it would be a public pool anyway.    Here’s the rendition of the $60 million complex and I have pointed out the $5 million garage we are paying for.

Here is the architectural drawing of the $1.5 million bathhouse.  Originally we were told it would be privately funded.  Nobody donated, so we get to pay for it.  Yea…

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Sorry, the city hasn’t released the drawing yet.  We have to build it before you know what’s in it. 

Gee, you would think we are the Federal Government or something.

The good news is we are so broke, we can’t afford to build the $4 million Visitor Center located smack dab in the middle of a couple of car dealerships.  Looking for a car?  Stop in at the Visitor’s Center for some brochures of our county after or before you shop.  Jim Mansfield Director of the Visitor’s Bureau, was disappointed he wasn’t getting any new digs.

As most of you know, the county had to hire a firm to study our financial situation and give us an assessment.  It was pretty darn rosy.  Although, the county cleaned out the Rainy Day Fund (surplus) and cut $300,000.00, we still are teetering on the cusp of being broke or being broker.  (Is that a word? Oh well, it fits.)

The good news is the county passed a budget higher than last year.  I think they must have some money stashed away.  Anyway, it confused us because if you can’t meet last year’s expenditures without borrowing from the RDF (Rainy Day Fund), it makes perfect sense to increase the budget.  I mean, that’s what we all do in our budgets, right?

Well, no biggie, we’ll just borrow until we get property tax revenue. Except, we still have a higher budget than 2013, so exactly how is that going to work out?

Mike Jones, county council, isn’t the president, but may as well be as he is the lead spokesperson for the council.  I look for him to be president next year.  I mean, he spends some time on the public chats.  His comments on the budget weren’t well received.   “Yes way” Mr. Jones exclaimed when putting in his vote for the unsustainable budget.

Divided council and split vote

By the way, according to Jones, everyone that disagrees with him is a member of the Tea Party and every Republican that beats out a Democrat is a Tea Party, too.  (Sigh)

Kind of reminds you of the NSA thinking millions of American Citizens are terrorists.  So, we do mimic the Federal Government just a tad bit.

Mayor Tyler said that both the city and county were now controlled by one party.  He said there would be no excuses and we would be pleasantly surprised.

Wrong on both counts.  The excuses continue, at least on the county side…what’s new?  Yawn.  And nothing the Tyler administration does is a surprise.  How can it be, when it’s same old, same old?

That’s about it, folks.  See you soon!

Do you know what time it is? It’s Wheel Tax Time!

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At the county council meeting on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, the wheel tax again came up for introduction   The three year sunset clause is expected to expire in December, and the county must have the wheel tax approved and shipped off to the State of Indiana by July 1st.    As can be expected, it is getting a wave of comments, ideas and criticism.

Do we need it?  Probably.  Do we feel we are getting our money’s worth?  Nope.  Is there any transparency as promised in 2009?  Hardly.  It’s as murky as a swamp.   The big discussion is the sunset clause.  The tax may have passed unanimously had this been in the ordnance up for adoption.   It was removed.  After all, even a smidgen of transparency is better than none

Council person Mike Jones posted on the local newspaper:

Frankly I’m not inherently opposed to a sunset clause, but feel it does nothing to enhance or detract from County Councils ability to implement or rescind the tax at any point in time. The requirement both on the city and county remain to submit paving plans are intact in the ordinance by April 1st of each year. If at anytime the Council determines that the Highway Garage is not performing as it should or other monies become available, the wheel tax can be rescinded at any time. “

Wheel tax still controversial April 24, 2013 Muncie Star Press

If it doesn’t add or detract, than what’s the problem?  Include it and move on.  The people want it. Read the rest of this entry »

Saturday ramblings – 1%; Silence is golden and the LLL Club

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The snow is white, the sky is pale blue and the air is crisp.  Despite the return of the head cold, life is pretty good.  Saturdays are sleep in, casual cleaning and cinnamon French Toast with real maple syrup.   Sipping a cup of yummy Free Trade java, don’t know about you, it’s the simple things I find so rewarding.  This is a long Saturday rambling. Read the rest of this entry »

Money ~ It doesn’t grow on trees, or does it?

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Money – It doesn’t grow on trees.

As a teenager, my Mother would often say “Money.  It doesn’t grow on trees.”  I would roll my eyes and let her know in no uncertain terms that I knew money didn’t grow on trees.  I didn’t sleep through Biology, ya know.  At least not every class…

I would marvel at her refusal to get me the new Stingray bike with the banana seat.  “You have a perfectly good bike and money doesn’t grow on trees.”    There she goes again.  It was a great bike at 10, but now I’m 13 and EVERYBODY has a Stingray bike with a banana seat.  Their parents didn’t say “money doesn’t grow on trees.”  Of course, not everyone had a Stingray and I’m sure my Mom and Dad knew it.  So, I did what any thinking teenager would do, I got a job.  First it was babysitting, then on to the doughnut shop and then pay-dirt!  I got a job as a cashier/stocker at the local dime store.  No, I never bought the Stingray, though.  It was to expensive.

Money.  It doesn’t grow on trees, you know. Read the rest of this entry »

It’s only money…Delaware County, Indiana

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For those of us which have been following Delaware County finances and government for the past few years,  it has been one financial disaster after another.

At the end of 2009,  Delaware County Treasurer, John Dorer, stood before County Council unable to borrow $10.5 million dollars to stay out of the red.  Eventually, the county found three separate institutions to loan us the money.  This  same year Delaware County  received a windfall of $8 million dollars from the Welfare levy.    The bond rating for our county dropped resulting in a higher interest rate on borrowing.

In 2009, Larry Bledsoe , County Commissioner, contacted Jake Dunnuck, Drainage Board attorney, requesting Dunnuck obtain a ruling from the State of Indiana on then current surveyor’s practice of awarding contracts without bids, formal quotes or plans. Contracts were awarded to the surveyor’s stepson who was the deputy chief in the surveyor’s office.

No response from Jake Dunnuck.

Bledsoe brought to the attention of commissioner Todd Donati the county watershed funds were depleted and running in the red.  Bledsoe wanted a resolution and said he would not sign off on any future spending.  Commissioner Todd Donati turning his back on Bledsoe  promised he would sign off if Bledsoe didn’t.    A complaint was filed with the Attorney General by  Bledsoe.  Greg Zoeller responded the matter needed to go before the county attorney, Mike Quirk.  Read the rest of this entry »

Delaware County Ordinance 2010-39 and Requested Appropriations

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Now that the 2010 elections are behind us, and we have returned the same back into office, let the spending begin.

Ordinances 2nd Reading

Ordinance 2010-39-Authorizing the Issuance of Bonds for purpose of providing funds to be applied to the cost of certain public projects and incidental expenses in connection of the issuance of bonds.




Other Services

  1. Project 34- Full time Grant Writer per year $50.000‡
  2. Project 31- Land acquisition Fund thru 2013 $300,000
  3. Project 32- Brownfields Remediation per year $25,000
  4. Project 33-Greenfield Sites per year $50,000
  5. Project 28- Building upgrade and/or maintenance thru 2013 $500,000
  6. Project 30-Plaza Project 2011 $500,000
  7. Project 25-Town of Daleville-Infrastructure Improvements 2011 $500,000
  8. Project 26-Town of Albany-Water Tower 2011 $600,000
  9. Project 27-Desoto Sewer Project-one time allowance $1,200,000
  10. Project 29-Town of Yorktown-Infrastructure Improvements $750,000
  11. Project 35-Infrastructure Fund thru 2013 $2,500,000

 Total $6,975,000.00

If you are wondering where the remaining $25,000 of the $7,000,000.00 bond is at…there was a typo and Project 35 should be $2,525,000.00.

This is the requested approporations of the bond.  No more and no less.  Five YEAS and one NO.  It passed.

Voting YES:






Absent: King

Voting NO:


To be paid back through collection of EDIT from our paychecks.  I predict, based upon a limited financial knowledge, there will be more money going out than coming in and an increase in the tax from our paychecks will be forthcoming.

‡Grant Writer is $50,000 per year (three years) but the amount was not extended so there will be an additional $100,000 which will need to come from somewhere besides the bond as it is tapped out.  Or at least this is the way I understood it from the verbal exchange between Quakenbush and Donati.

Almost forgot.  From the Rainy Day Fund $186,167 for Property Tax System Software. 

Oh, yea, the Wheel Tax.  Collection began in January 2010 and do you know where your road is at?

Good grief, Charlie Brown!  It’s a mad house in Delaware County, Indiana.

What the full video at CDCPTR.