powell nora

Muncie Sanitary Sewer System…can it handle the flow?

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For those of you which live in the Univeristy Avenue area, you may want to take note of a citizen and homeowner who is shedding some light on Muncie’s aging storm/sewer system.  You may just think “It’s not in my neighborhood…”   It very well could come to yours.  Sure, we have a lot on our plates, however planning ahead and preparing for the future can save a lot of headaches down the pipe.

The following letter was published in the Muncie Star Press on September 27th, 2013.

JOE MUMPOWER

Muncie

The city of Muncie has allowed and approved the construction of an apartment/commercial complex between University Avenue and North Street, and between Martin and Dicks streets, without proper sewage connections to the only 12-inch (inside diameter of pipes are only 9 inches) combination storm/sewage system that is 100 years old.

This line is too small for present use, much less adding extra sewage and runoff with new construction. The $50 million-plus project (200-plus apartments and maybe 10 retail stores) has not allowed any new sewage lineage.

It seems no one is willing to discuss this future problem with me as a local taxpayer.

Many of my neighbors cannot use their basements or flush their commodes in heavy rain in the area with combination storm and raw sewage.

No one wants to hear me complaining about this future problem. I think EPA should bring an injunction to stop this construction until Muncie invests and installs a new sewage system.

It seems the city only wants the new tax money from this project, yet refuses to install new sewage lines for all the additional development.

We have problems when most neighbors take the plug out of their basement drain, the water pressure in the sewage line will hit the basement ceiling. Pressure has cracked some basement floors.

Why will no one talk to me about this future problem?

Please help me before it is too late.

Muncie Sanitary District – Bill Smith  (765) 213-6412

Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler  (765) 747-4845

Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) 

Saturday Ramblings ~ Double standards and Hypocrisy

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The greatest rationale to become a Leftie is immunity from the rules they impose on the rest of us. The sanctioning of the double standards and hypocrisy. Andrew Breitbart

MC900439169

Lately, I have been feeling slightly disenchanted with the state of human events.  Actually, it has been brewing for some time.  So, when I came across this quote which exemplifies my feelings, I filed it away for later use.  Today is the day.

In Sunday’s paper (6-30-13), current city council member, Nora Powell had a letter published.  The gist was she came back from vacation to find not one, but two articles  in the paper where she was mentioned.

 Recently, my family returned from vacation to discover we’d been mentioned in two of Larry Riley’s opinion columns.

The first instance of a double homestead, and the second  a correction to the first article.  She wasn’t really the focus of  either column, only a mention.  Nevertheless, she felt compelled to clear her name possibly recalling the firestorm this created back in ’09 when the former mayor, a former council member and current council member all were found with double homestead credits.  However, only one person was targeted while the two council members basically went unscathed.  It’s the double standard in all her glory.

Which lead me to another time when she didn’t feel compelled to clear her name.  It was the 2011 election.  Nora filed her candidacy with “Evans” as her middle name.  With the ballots printed she was moved to the top seat on the ballot.    The name that moved her to that number one spot  on the ballot, Nora “Evans” Powell was mysteriously absent in this letter .  No doubt, it will be back next election.  We’ll see.

Many people felt the local Democrat party was giving Powell an edge.  Marilyn Bennington-Smith filed her candidacy with her maiden name hyphenated and since she wasn’t a Democrat  party insider she had to get an attorney to represent her.  Ask yourself if this isn’t a classic case of double standards.

Powell’s letter took me back a few years to another elected official which came back from an economic junket  in Japan.  I respect former mayor, Sharon McShurley’s need to be private, yet this is a crucial point of this blog entry.  The double-standard.   The moment the McShurley’s plane took off, the rumors hit the runway.  Filthy, vile, disgusting ranging from abortions to alcohol abuse to something as mild as her resignation.  Imagine had Ms. Powell come back from her vacation to face 1/1000 of what she and others contributed in just a short four years.

One would hope that Powell has gotten a small taste of what it’s like and perhaps even those which helped the rumors blossom would think twice next time.  I doubt it, though.  Because in their eyes, the actions over a series of years are acceptable, and if it should happen to them it becomes the Cardinal Sin.   Imagine if we critiqued Powell using the same standards (rumors, lies and innuendos)?   Of course, we don’t because it was just to vulgar to recreate.

Double standard and hypocrisy is the breakfast of self-appointed champions of all things vile.

I’m going to take you back to the Arizona shootings.  If you will recall, the media and leftist libs were calling for Sarah Palin to apologize.  Why?  Did she pull the trigger, and there was no indication she ever crossed the path with Jared L. Loughner,  In fact he never even attended one Tea Party meeting.  It mattered not.  Yet rogue ex-cop Chris Dorner prior to his killing spree wrote a manifesto in which he praised Pier Morgan.  Morgan tweeted this:

piers morgan and chris dorner

Is Piers Morgan responsible for Dorner’s actions?  The answer is obvious.  No.   Any thinking person would agree.  However, when you live by the double standard, your ability to think clearly and reason correctly is seriously impaired.   If their standards were compared to alcohol levels, it would be 20 times over the stupid level.

After defending my views on the 2nd Amendment someone called me a supporter of murderers and criminals.  One would wonder what he thinks of the author, James Madison.   Never mind…

An article on former Governor Mitch Daniels, a local poster (although missing in action for months) had commented  he hoped Governor Daniels had a heart attack and died.    Texas State Senator Donna Campbell received emails “hoping you get raped” “hope your daughter gets raped” and so on and so forth.  An article about Mia Love saw comments she was an Aunt Tom, a house n______. Dr. Ben Carson is a pawn and n_______.

Alec Baldwin tweets George Stark (a British reporter) is a toxic queen and he wants to shove his foot up Starks’ backside, and then he made a sexual reference.  Anderson Cooper got wind of it and said had it been a conservative it would be virile in minutes.  It’s all quiet on the homefront.

anderson cooper tweet alec baldwin

While the lefties are stomping the grounds with their outrage, real or perceived (mostly perceived) against any conservative, be that conservative white, black, Hispanic, male, female, straight or not, they are  certainly silent when one of their own commits the thing they say they hate.    Which leads me back to Andrew Breitbart’s brilliant quote:

The greatest rationale to become a Leftie is immunity from the rules they impose on the rest of us. The sanctioning of the double standards and hypocrisy. Andrew Breitbart

MC900439169

City May Be Short Millions….

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At the same time, Tyler acknowledged that Democrats will now control both city and county government locally and with that control comes expectations.

“This isn’t going to be easy,” he said. “. But I think people will be pleasantly surprised.”

WALKER/ROYSDON REPORT: Tyler: No ‘good old boys club’

tyler

The cats out of the bag now.  The newspaper reported today the city might be millions of dollars short in property tax revenue.  Ouch.  Back in ’09 the city was $4 million dollars short and by the time the past administration left office, there was $7,596,218 balance and the tax levy decreased in 2012 from 2011. Read the rest of this entry »

Another Saturday Night – Dig it!

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Property Tax helpdayThe annual Property Tax Appeal Help Day on November 17, 2012  had an extraordinary turnout.  With nearly 150 people in attendance and some with stories of increased assessment, we can’t call it a success until every property owner receives a fair assessment.  Rest assured we are working diligently to get the ear of our legislatures to address this issue.  It may be this year, or maybe not, it’s hard to say what the future holds.

alexanderAs you all may know, Scott Alexander won the County Council At-Large seat.  Scott has been attending county meetings for nearly seven years and brings to the table a wealth of information and practical experience.    With that being said, welcome Scott!

todd donatiDistrict 2 Commissioner, Todd Donati, lost his re-election bid and his last day will be December 31, 2012.  Prior to being commissioner he spent 12 years on county council.  Unfortunately, most people ignored his performance on council and elected him in 2008.   After four years of the most viral political games and outrageous spending, the people of Delaware County ousted him from office.  I heard the day after the election, many of the county employees had a smile on their faces.

christmas in september 1

The Christmas Season is upon us and it looks like the downtown area will be decked out in lights.   Muncie has come a long way since that cold winter night in 2009 when Council President, Sam Marshall, announced he was cutting the streetlight budget in half.  Yes, 50% of the lights were scheduled to be shut off.    No Christmas lights for us , bah humbug.  And just about no streetlights in 2010 either.    Yet, despite the not so bright future, Muncie was able to leave to the new administration $7,596,218.00 to take into 2012.  Nobody got a bonus and only one person in the Tyler administration got a raise, but there were new copiers purchased and some other sundry things along the way.  So, now Muncie is flush with money and the budget has been increased by $2 million.  So much for Nora Powell, finance chairperson, getting the department heads to consider fiscal prudence.  Hey, if you got it, might as well spend it.

Dis-FUNctional – Are we having fun in Delaware County or what!

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Delaware County is so political, it takes the fun out of being dis-FUNctional.  It  doesn’t matter what the topic, or flavor of the day,  it’s political.  Payback can be good or a detriment, depending on what side of the “dis-FUNction” you sit, stand or walk on.  Sometimes you get a job, or your truck paid off or even a construction contract.

Case in point.  The Muncie Sanitary District and Mayor Dennis Tyler.   Mayor Tyler claimed at the mayoral debate, he was able to work across party lines, he just can’t seem to do it.  Supporters of the mayor never said a word about Economic Development Income Tax funds going to pay for a law firm just so Mayor Tyler can gain the last bit of control over the $168 million dollar storm-water project.  So, the political games continue and the taxpayers and citizens will be forking over more money.  That’s the way it has always worked.

First we had the Justice Center, talk about the political football!

With the political appointments made to the Board of Supervisors (BOS) was filled to over-flowing with party supporters.  By the time it was all said and done, Delaware County was on the hook for additional bonds (covering the cost overruns), purchased a boat-load of  Bull computers…and even got to pay for storage of the dis-FUNctional pieces of modern technology and a lawsuit in which one attorney lost his license to practice.  The County Commissioners, even gave the poor unemployed attorney a pass on his fines.  Later he won his appeal on a technicality getting his license reinstated.  Witnesses for the prosecution were placed in the same room…that’s a no-no.  He was good to go.

We made national news on that one.  Along with the lady who shot her toe off because she had a corn.  No, I’m not making this stuff up.

Are we having fun yet? Read the rest of this entry »

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In today’s paper (1-22-12) a guest writer, Brad King, penned a column. Continue to chat but drop the gag. Although I found some inaccurate information, he did bring up a the idea of continuing the Mayor’s Chat with Dennis Tyler. I want to remind the folks, we were introduced to this very thing in 2009 and it didn’t get past the doors of City Hall. It would be nice to have the new Mayor update us on what is happening as it seems information is hard to come by.   Please feel free to click in the link to read the full story from the April ’09 City Council meeting.

Muncie Politics

Updated! Check out Jim Arnold’s view on the meeting. Guarantee you will find it entertaining. Go to the Pages section of the blog.

The usual abatements and ordinances were passed and every thing seemed to be moving at a good pace. Until, a motion was brought to the table to purchase a previously owned aerial truck from Pike Township. For the people at the meeting, it was a whirlwind of comments from the city council and members of the audience spoke. The MFD is a touchy subject among many people in the city. I will spare you the details and refer you to the Star Press article: http://www.thestarpress.com/article/20090407/NEWS01/904070322/1002

The issues with MFD and funding deserve a full page spread with more information than I am able to provide at this time. Just know, Muncie is not protected as she should be. One wonders why the MFD is not able to…

View original post 874 more words

Choo Choo – The Train Has Left the Station Muncie City Council 1-2-12

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Last night was the first Muncie City Council meeting.

The closing of the tracks was not voted on…imagine that.  Yes, the Land & Traffic Committee was nothing more than a political move.

If you are interested in watching the video, complete with a guest appearance by Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler, click on the CDCGG icon below.

 Hear That Train A Comin’

Land & Traffic Part 2

Land & Traffic Part 3

~ Keep Calm and Carry On ~

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keep calm and carry on
For historical trivia on the slogan, please click the picture

The Muncie 2011 Mayoral election has come and gone. Many people have expressed concern about the direction our city may take in the next four years.    The British government, in 1939, produced a series of posters designed to motivate the people and alleviate feelings of anxiety. 

Muncie citizens, take heart.  Your property taxes will not be raised to meet any shortfall like the 11% increase we saw in 2006.  With property tax caps firmly placed in the Indiana constitution your homestead will not rise above 1% of assessed evaluation – with a maximum of 3% on other properties.  This is a bit of insurance for property owners.

Included in the HB1478 signed in 2007 is the ability to tax the working residents a certain percentage.  This is  known as Local Option Income Tax (LOIT).  This tax if imposed, will encompass all of Delaware County.  It was first introduced in 2009, by Muncie Council President Alison Quirk, which won another four-year term.   The outcry was simply the Muncie Common Council had not considered any other options before introducing LOIT at the highest rate available.  Adding to it, among other reasons,  unemployment and foreclosures were at a record high. 

 I believe it is obscene to tax an economically down people because government couldn’t control their spending, and made no attempt to do so. We may want to keep an eye on this one should it be brought back up.

One other area which isn’t far from our minds, is the concern the city may be spent into debt.  If you have been following the county, you will understand the county had a decent financial cushion going into 2009.  At the end of that year, the county was struggling to find $10.5 million dollars. 

It only took 12 months to go into debt. 

The ramifications have yet to be fully realized.  Just a little pin prick with the county building closed one day per week.  For  those needing to use the county building services, it probably affects them more.  The human factor saw 25 people laid-off.

The city on the other hand, will feel more than a pin prick if we go from black to red in a matter of months.  Some things take longer before the pain is realized.  Like the two-year audit of the Community Development Office.  Often we find the sins of the past rears its ugly head years after the actual event took place.

With a voter turnout of 29% our fate for the next four years has been decided.

It’s time-consuming, sometimes frustrating to follow local government.  Fortunately for me, I have a wealth of information available in the form of video, documentation, resources and people.  Living in the city you almost always have to do double duty…city and county both. 

Kudos to those which keep a diligent eye on the National level.  That must be very intense.

I followed the McShurley administration closely, and I hope you all gleaned a bit of information and insight into our local government scene.  God willing and the creek don’t rise, I hope to continue in this same vein.  That being said, here is a short list of things to expect in 2012.

  1. Coming up in 2012 are two projects which have already been earmarked.  I will go into more detail as the year-end gets closer.
  2. Department head appointments.  How departments are run and their effectiveness depends on the ability and experience of those appointed to the positions. 
  3. We still have close to six weeks before the new administration begins, Muncie expects to have a $3 million dollar balance (approximately) to carry into 2012.
  4. SAFER grant ends.
  5. Decrease in EDIT funds from the State of Indiana.
  6. Opening of Mock Fire Station.

Update: Muncie During Mayor McShurley’s Administration

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A few weeks ago a blog entry titled “Not Getting Along With Anybody” I promised to expound on some of my favorite things.  Well, time has certainly flown by, so don’t believe it will be done before November 8th!

What I will offer you, is the original list of 45 things which happened during her administration updated with additional events.   Information on the Madison Street Project (#38) is at the end of this post.

I have always supported Sharon McShurley.  After doing this research and pulling together the information, I gained a new appreciation for the Administration, Department Heads and City Employees.  Folks, this is a real team of people, dedicated, hardworking and willing to move our city forward even under the most trying times.  This is my THANK YOU!  You have all been great!

Let’s keep our city moving forward, as you can see it has been progressing.  Don’t allow the naysayers to tell you different. 

1. HUD funds restored/off federal monitoring list

2. Prairie Creek self-sustaining-major improvements

3. Canan Commons

4. Tuhey Pool

5. Progressive Rail

6. Indiana Stamping

7. Brevini

8. Hamilton County officials & Mayor meet with Senator Bayh to retain 700 jobs

9. Wheel Tax spent wisely

10. Ivy Tech Downtown

11. Brought city through major budget crisis without raising taxes

12. Building Commission-self-sustaining

13. Presented before legislatures as representative of IACT (Indiana Association of Cities and Towns)

14. MAP

15. Implementation of HPG (High Performance Government paid with a grant)

16. Vetoed 67% threshold vote on Consolidation

17. Invited on economic development investment venture, paid for by private funds

18. Energy Grant –replace traffic lights, heating cooling high-efficiency unit

19. 3 year street painting (nothing done prior to 2007)

20. Blight tackled (Contracts for 39 more buildings including deconstruction awarded October 2011)

21. Governor Arts Walk

22. Muncie Police Department software upgrade, partnering with Ball State on crime mapping

23. Cable Commission active again/working to provide private funding for PAC and create an account to deposit the funds

24. Improved snow removal

25. One of three cities nationally to win “Green City Award”

26. U.S. Attorney, Joe Hogsett, toured Muncie giving “high marks” for building deconstruction program

27. White River Blvd. paved more for less

28. Paving of several streets, including Mock, 18th, 12th, Centennial, Tillotson, Bethel, Willard, Main, Jackson (list is not exhaustive)

29. Walk of Fame Heekin Park

30. Paved Tillotson Fire station parking lot

31. Restored Deputy Fire Chief position

32. Completed Muncie Parks Five Year Plan

33. Completed inventory on City of Muncie owned properties (found properties forgotten)

34. Improved City website

35. Engaging citizens in volunteerism (MAP & government)

36. Vetoed City Council’s animal control ordinance giving all city assets to a county facing severe financial problems

37. Working on design to eliminate congestion at Chadam & Clara lane vicinity

38.  Madison Street Signal light project to begin in 2012(see below for more detail)

39. Received funds to improve railroad crossings through downtown

40. Monthly meetings with citizens (Chat with the Mayor)

41. Appointing qualified and experienced department heads

42. Madison intersections 26 & 29th upgraded

43. City administration not requesting line of credit to meet budget

44. Whiteley Community Council and administration working together on neighborhood fire station (this station will receive remodeling and Buley Center a grant)

45. Gift of $30,000 from Muncie Endurathon for PCR playground equipment

46. Sidewalk on Madison and Washington replaced

47. Park improvements to McCulloch Park, parking, playground equipment and updated basketball court

48. 2011 will end with a financial reserve

49. Mayor McShurley invited to speak at Progress Rail’s open house

50. Submitted a 2012 budget which includes staffing public safety at current levels

51. Creating a Parks Program Director (possible by combining two park jobs)

52. Downtown master plan initiated (Muncie Action Plan driven)

53. Proposed bonus for employees (city employees and department heads have helped make the city run more efficiently, this will be a minimal amount from the reserve) Contrary to popular belief this was addressed last summer at a Mayor’s Chat.

54. 30 projects funded by state and federal dollars dormant prior to 2008 were organized (paperwork was sparse)

55. Benchmarked the city to measure city’s progress

56. 2009 Street Department – used mixture of beet juice and salt on ice and snow

57.  City Hall updated landscape to “Dry” landscape.  Less water and less maintenance=less expense.

58. Member of the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, which meets monthly (see #13)

59. $150,000 grant to implement bike trails at Prairie Creek. 

Madison Street Project

The project entails improving ADA accessibility and installing new traffic signal equipment at the intersections of Madison Street that have signals from Wysor Street south to 29th Street. The upcoming construction will improve Madison’s intersections with Wysor, Washington, Adams, Charles, Kirby, Willard, Ninth, Memorial, 15th and 18th, and remove the signal at 21st street due to lack of need. (Press release 9-13-2011)

Star Press Endorsements: Muncie City Council At-Large Candidates

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Murray Bartholome

President of Midwest POS Solutions, brings a solid business and financial background to the council, which he says currently lacks skills in diplomacy. He told the board he would like to see a council action plan developed, and believes it’s necessary for the council to conduct more than one council meeting a month. He wants to foster an environment that encourages people to speak their point. A mission statement and a code of ethics for the council are facets of his action plan.

Linda Gregory

One incumbent, however, does stand out. Our top pick to serve is incumbent Linda Gregory. She has been referred to informally as the voice of reason on the council and has been ostracized by her fellow Democrats for often siding with Republicans and refusing to toe the party line. She is seeking her second term, and we hope the retired senior programmer/analyst will maintain her streak of independence

Kathie Onieal

A licensed financial investment adviser with Raymond James and a small business owner, brings a strong financial background to the table and is running for the first time. She told the board that people want to be part of something successful, which is her goal for the council. “I’m not a politician,” she told the board. “I’m not the type to drink the Kool-Aide.”

We believe she would bring a no-nonsense, “tell-it-like-it-is” quality to the council without the ugliness. Her knowledge developing and serving Muncie Action Plan is a bonus for the city. She explains MAP is not “a thing to do” but is a process for the whole community, one she would like to see repeated about every two years.

Muncie Star Press 10-30-11

ENDORSEMENT: Muncie City Council at-large requires a change

Please consider voting for these candidates November 8th, 2011.  You won’t find a better, more dedicated group of people willing to serve to the best of their ability.  It’s time for a change, it really is.  Let’s see how Muncie can progress into the 21st Century!

Had Enough?

Vote Informed.