Terry Whitt Bailey
We are just weeks away from the primary and it looks to be ramping up. Early voting has begun and some of us have done the deed. Others are still undecided.
Today, we’re going to talk about the Democrat mayoral candidates. They have five on the ticket. A current city employee, former law enforcement officer, businessman, perennial candidate and one citizen (not sure of his occupation).
The BSU Democrat student organization sponsored their debate. Hats off to the students for their hard work. Below is the audio of the debate.
If you want to get a well-rounded view of the election, we would recommend you listen to all the candidates. This is often a political blog, and in case you didn’t know, there is an election on the horizon. We follow all of the candidates. We visit social media to get our fingers on the pulse of citizens’ thoughts on the candidates. We carry on conversations with the people and sometimes we even interact with the candidates. If they have a history, we review it, too.
After introductions, the candidates went into corruption. Oh, boy, do we have it. How many of those candidates voted for Dennis Tyler? How many knew the history of Tyler and his cohort Nichols and still chose to place the corruption in the main seat of Muncie governance? Until they need your vote, they stand silently by. The opportunity was there in 2015 to get the city under control. That primary saw only two city council districts up for grabs. District 2 (R) Conatser vs. Ridenour and District 6 (D) Anderson vs. Ivy. Both parties fell short that year. The corruption was just beginning to come to light. It was going to be messy. Thoughts on the lack of candidates…for another time.
Just a brief history. In 2003, Dennis Tyler ran for mayor. One of the biggest concerns was how much involvement would Phil Nichols have in Tyler’s administration? Tyler said none. However, after Tyler lost it was believed he and Nichols joined forces and set their sights on dismantling Center Township Fire Department and behind manipulating the 911 call center. Some of the old-timers would remember. Not unlike what we are seeing from the Tyler administration today. A leopard doesn’t change its spots.
Tyler and Nichols have been joined at the hip since birth. In 2012 Tyler immediately appointed Craig Nichols as the Building Commissioner. Well, we know the rest of the story. Phil Nichols was privy to the private meetings with Mayor Tyler and others as they schemed to hide the crimes committed.
Oops, I digress…
One area of this debate centered on blight. The interesting part of this is the previous mayor, Sharon McShurley, also campaigned on the blight. She addressed the blight head on, looking for monies and the newspaper did “Blight Watch” keeping the people informed of the status and the challenges of the blighted community. That all ended when Tyler took office. Why?
We wrote about the Hardest Hit Fund program. When Muncie received notice we were selected, the city sat on the funds. Mayor Tyler claimed the requirements were so stringent the city had a hard time implementing it. Most of us believe Tyler was trying to find a way to funnel the monies to Nichols’ companies, et al. Other communities were well into the program demolishing properties, and Muncie was not. Everyone was on a level playing field yet Tyler’s administration just couldn’t get the program going. Hmmmm.
That being said, here is our synopsis of the candidates:
Dale: Maybe the best of the bunch if being well spoken was a prerequisite for mayor. He was involved in city government during the McShurly administration. Not sure if he continued the same involvement under the Tyler administration. He was part of the UNISON group which wanted to engage Commissioner President Todd Donati and the Commissioners as part of the Tuhey Pool plan in 2010. Fortunately, that went nowhere. Would he continue the MRC with Donati as president?
D. Smith: Focused on corruption. Yes, this administration is filled with corruption and there are two Tyler appointed department heads on the ballot. The first step in ridding the city of corruption would be to never place any person affiliated with Tyler in a position of power. Mayor or council both would still be governed from 214 N. Walnut.
Bailey: Appointed to the Community Development office by Tyler. In charge of the Hardest Hit Funds. Consider looking at Larry Riley’s FB post and at the State Board of Accounts audits. Bailey said she did the duties of the deputy mayor with no added pay. Bailey is the only mayoral candidate that has a history with the current administration and would be privy to the inner workings of this administration.
Riley: Saul is someone you would like as a neighbor, but not for mayor.
Davenport: Was vacationing in Urbana, Il and couldn’t make the debate. (just kiddin’)
In closing: Not much dialog on the current public safety issues or how they would address the issue once in office. No mention of the debt. Or how they would improve upon the paving. Candidates are fluffy nowadays. They have lots of words but no concrete solutions.
Ball State College Republicans – GOP mayoral debate
Thursday, March 14 @ 7:00 PM
Cornerstone Center for the Arts.
St. Patrick’s Day Parade starting at 6 p.m.
Saturday, March 16 @6:00 p.m.
Lineup will begin at 4:30 p.m. at the Fieldhouse. The parade will proceed south on Walnut Street to Charles Street and return via Mulberry Street. (source: Muncie Star Press)
Muncie Resists, Democratic mayoral candidate forum
Sunday March 31 @4:30 p.m.
Forest Park Senior Center
“Seniors understand the importance of voting and are still active and want to have a say in things,” said Judy Elton, director of the senior center in the old Forest Park Elementary School. “They’re independent people living in their own homes or apartments, they pay taxes and they aren’t afraid to ask tough questions.”
“We are offering the candidates mini-town halls — mini in terms of only a half hour long between bingo and lunch,” Elton said. The center is also serving as host for many other campaign events, including a chicken-noodle dinner expected to draw multiple candidates 4:30-6:30 p.m. Friday, March 15. (source: Muncie Star Press)
Meet & Greet and other events
- Tom Bracken, Republican, a Ball State University board of trustees member — March 17 at 11 a.m., Antioch Baptist Church, 1700 E. Butler St.; March 20, 6-8 p.m., “Meet & Greet with Tom,” open invitation, Elm Street Brewery, light snacks provided.
- Nate Jones, Republican, county veterans affairs service officer — April 6, golf outing, Crestview Golf Course. Prior campaign events included the fundraiser “Under the Stars,” a prom for adults, including complimentary prom pictures.
- Dan Ridenour, Republican city council member, MutualBank regional lending manager — Taco ’bout Dan event, March 20, 5-7 p.m., Knights of Columbus. All you can eat tacos, $10 adults, $5 kids. Previous Ridenour campaign events have included Donuts with Dan and another Taco ’bout Dan.
- Terry Whitt Bailey, Democrat, director of the city’s Community Development Office — March 23, “Bowling Shoot Out,” Liberty Bowl, 3 p.m. Prior events included a voter registration rally at Kennedy Library.
- Andrew Dale,Democrat, self-employed business and design consultant — Saturday, “Pop-Up Breakfast” at Mac’s on Batavia Avenue at 8 a.m. Dale has held pop-ups nearly every Saturday since December at different locations. Other prior events have included two bowling tournaments; John “Doc” Peterson and Phil Dunn concert to benefit Dale for Mayor.
- Saul Riley, Democrat, retired on-call coordinator for home health-care service and former crisis intervention center staffer, past president Delaware County Workers for the Blind — Campaign meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m., Muncie-Delaware Senior Center; fundraiser at the center 4-8:30 p.m. April 3.
- David Smith, Democrat, former state police officer — “Dialogue with Dave at the Senior Center,” March 21 at 6 p.m. Prior events have included “Meet ‘n Greet” at the Buley Center.
Source: Muncie Star Press
Printable itinerary of Candidate sightings (PDF)