The City of Muncie is on the 12th day of rebuilding a new administration. Most of the high profile positions have been filled. The first city council meeting with nearly a complete turnover and a Republican majority came off better than expected. The meeting was like watching history in the making. The department heads were introduced. Mayor Dan Ridenour was on hand to answer any questions or provide information. Old habits die hard as former city council at-large, Linda Gregory, was quick to provide the parliamentary procedure as needed.
We had the opportunity to review the Board of Public Works (BOW) meeting and recommend any interested party to watch it on the City’s Fb page. Despite the newness of the board and lack of information, Linda Gregory, Jerry Wise and Ted Baker handled the business at hand professionally. Next meeting the board will be more prepared as well as the city controller. Everyone is working with limited information. (More on that later.)
Linda Gregory voted in as President. Jerry Wise, Vice President, and Secretary isTed Baker.
How does one define a living organism? Does it move? Grow? Change? All of these things and more. This is how we envision the local government to be. To move, to grow, to change, to be fluid.
Don’t be deceived, the past administration may have appeared to be moving, growing and changing but ultimately, it was only holding on to the past ways. We seemed shocked at the depth of corruption. To be sure, it is amazing. By far the City of Muncie under the direction of Dennis Tyler and a council filled with party operatives approved everything either by vote or by silence. It has been a revolving door of FBI personnel, economic development, gifts, and grafting reaching even into the private sector. It was bold and in your face corruption.
Muncie Proper surpasses the Delaware County Highway Department, Justice Center, Royerton Sewer and all the other minor issues that have cropped up over the decades.
Let’s take a look at some of the issues we are or will be facing.
First is the Muncie Sanitation District. For nearly 8 years the administration has taken a “hands-off” approach. Now among other things we’re facing the cost of $17 million dollars for a new building. A record increase in our monthly sanitation bills. You ready for that, ratepayers? The three-person board makes decisions with absolutely no oversite. The president is still expecting the District Administrator to return to her job after the FBI arrested her. US Attorney Josh Minkler says Grigsby used her authority to approve contractors to steer work to Franklin’s company, in exchange for kickbacks. And we have paid for “working lunches” as if kickbacks weren’t enough…sheesh. Madhouse. So adding three paid board members may seem to be government overreach, but in this instance, it seems warranted.
Then there is the Muncie Redevelopment Commission and you talk about millions of dollars in debt. The MRC was out of control. And Human Resources and Street Department and Parks and, and…..
So while some moan and groan over Ridenour’s picks or obsess over who gets the office with the window or the new coffeemaker or the newest iPad …have at it if these are the most important issues. Know this, change has come to Muncie, Indiana and change will continue, like it or not.
Considering every department head, the city council and the board appointments are fairly new and considering the ongoing FBI investigation, there may be changes and where we are at financially, projects administration’s records, Mayor Dan Ridenour has put together a solid team.
And if you want to see more, simply visit Indiana Gateway info online.
We would like to make this small observation about the 2019 election. Comparatively speaking, this has been a mild campaign season. Yea, a few “bad rumors”, a few little lies nothing like we have seen in the 2010 or 2011 campaigns. I wonder if it would be acceptable to contact candidates who lost and sing “Ding, dong the witch is dead”. Sure, it’s all fun and games until it happens to you.
That’s all for today. Happy Hunting!
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!
The people have been up and down, over and under by Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler and his City Council. It’s called “his” City Council because the majority of the members will do as the party dictates. We don’t want another bloated and costly department. We want to keep the service which has done an excellent job for 40 years. We don’t trust this administration to work for the best interest of the people. We want to know that DCEMS will come when we call. Listen up, we DON’T want Tyler’s ambulance service.
Keep Delaware County EMS on the streets of Muncie.
Muncie is always in the news. If it’s not the Muncie Community Schools, it’s the City of Muncie. Necks are hurting from all the shaking of the heads or SMH for short.
Muncie is in a perpetual state of April Fool’s Day and the joke is on those living within the boundaries. We at Muncie Politics thought it would be fun and challenging to bring to remembrance some of the more funnier jokes.
- 2012 Muncie’s tax levy was increased. The city controller blamed it on the previous administration for not considering insurance increases. Seems they forgot Muncie City Council did not approve the ’12 budget. On a side note: the tax levy has increased every year since ….go figure.
- Consider a private pool located in Mayor Tyler’s neighborhood and his family frequents receiving $10,000 city tax dollars for repairs while the city pool operates at a $96,000 deficit.
- The previous mayor, McShurley, promised enough money was available to fund public safety and she left the city with over $8 million in funds to support her claim. Mayor Tyler assured us that he also had enough money for public safety. But, in 2015 he passed LOIT and an income tax increase in a mere 14 days. (43% increase)
- Mayor Tyler promised living wage jobs but it appears the only person seeing an income increase was his building commissioner. I mean, how many people get paid for work never performed? It’s a good gig if you’re inclined to pick the pockets of taxpayers.
- In 2016 the Mayor encouraged his street superintendent to run for county commissioner. Meanwhile, they were attempting to get paving funds yanked from the county. The State of Indiana said no, it was a minor error which the State did not catch in the approval process. The State would not punish the county. Funny how Mayor Tyler can sniff out a county issue while his administration is hosting FBI agents investigating city corruption.
- The State of Indiana awarded the City of Muncie $4 million for demolitions of blighted property. It took the city a few years to get started and Mayor blamed the late start on the State. Never mind other communities were ahead of the game. If they were making headway with the funds, why is Muncie so far behind?
- The City of Muncie approved to forgive $10,000 in delinquent property taxes for a community garden. I don’t know if the State said yes because there has been no follow-up and no community garden, either. Considering the land housed an old factory…was polluted anyway.
- Of course, who could forget the Muncie Redevelopment Director, Todd Donati, asking for a tax reduction on his personal condo claiming it was economic development. City Council voted no, but Donati vowed to return with his request when people were more “open” to the idea.
- Muncie has also ventured into the real estate business. Putting out a request to bid on a privately owned downtown building throwing in a city-owned parking lot. The requirements were stringent and no bidders came forth. So, the city is planning on “loaning” over $7 million to the owners.
- After Mayor Tyler won, he said both the county and the city was controlled by one party and there would be no excuses. However, there are excuses. If it’s not the State of Indiana it’s the previous mayor’s fault…oh well.
It’s been a perpetual April Fools Day since January 1st, 2012, and the joke is on us.
Just three reasons in three days why Delaware County has such a bad reputation.
In this article, the Mayor of Muncie has his superintendent report on a grant error. The mayor goes on to lie about it. Why would a candidate running for county commissioner, Duke Campbell, try to remove grant funding for a county he was looking to serve? He was told to do it, that’s why. Will he serve at the pleasure of the mayor or the pleasure of the people? A political stunt with the potential to backfire.
A day or so earlier, this article appeared about the voter registrations investigated by the Indiana State police. I mean, 25% of the registrations were improper and it is considered a “small” amount. Does anyone care about the integrity of our elections.
In the third article, we find the city’s building commissioner is citing the GOP for campaign signs on their property. Which depending on how you read State law it could be a violation. However, the building commissioner, Craig Nichols, currently under investigation by the FBI, has been in this position for eight election cycles and never thought to violate the GOP until a few days ago.
Closing thoughts, can we just get through one local election without the very appearance of impropriety?
Quote Posted on
“If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals — if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.”
― Ronald Reagan
Been on sabbatical, enjoying some much needed free time. Taking a break on writing political prose. Like most of us, I get fed up from time to time, yet still maintain the eye on what’s happening. After the dismal 2014 local primary, and considering the outcome and events leading up to the primary, sometimes think you may be spinning your wheels. After all, you can lead a horse to water, but sure can’t make the horse drink it. Feeling disenchanted can actually work to the good of your soul.
~See you all soon~