TIF

Delaware County Sequester…well, sort of.

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$700,000 Plaza with $12,000 bench.

Yesterday Delaware County Council held a special meeting.

They are broke.

The day of financial reckoning  has come (again). Another meeting scheduled for Thursday March 7th at 2:00 PM.   Despite the ridicule of elected officials and their supporters, despite the fact of being  labeled liars, naysayers and obstructionists (as some examples) those following government,  watched as the projections came true.  There is no joy in being right.  It’s really serious.

It’s not some great revelation, or a possessing of superb intelligence.  No, it is nothing more than common sense and basic economics.    You can’t continue spending money you don’t have; you don’t vote on issues without examining for ramifications down the road.   Yet, despite placing the county in financial jeopardy for decades, they never seem to learn.

Some guy named Al Einstein said “always doing what you’ve always done and expecting different results.”  Is this person for real? Read the rest of this entry »

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Somewhere over the rainbow…

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Coming up Wednesday May 30, 2012, there will be a special meeting of Delaware County Council.  Some of the topics and decisions to be had will be, returning the pay and hours back for the county workers,  bond issues and amending the salary ordinance.

Some of you may remember last fall when Delaware County  voted to close the County Building on Friday and decrease the pay by three hours as a cost saving measure.  I haven’t heard the savings and one wonders if the county has suddenly found itself solvent since last year. Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Won’t Vote for Dennis Tyler ~ Part Two

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  • In 2011 Dennis Tyler voted NO on the state budget which included provisions for no tax increases and had a satisfactory reserve in 2013. (HB1001)

  •  He voted NO to pass a bill which eliminated nepotism and conflict of interest while holding public office.  Both of these bills protect the taxpayers for two very obvious reasons. (HB1022)
  • In 2010 Dennis Tyler voted NO to delay the tax increase on business until 2011 when the economy (hopefully) improves.  . (SB23)
  • In 2009 Dennis Tyler was a member of House Committee on Government and Regulatory Reform  and combined five bills into one and then promptly voted it down   The bills included such things as moving school board elections to November, conflict of interest, provide for voter referendum on  government consolidation and establish the use of vote centers. Voted NO.

 

  • He voted YES on Regional Transportation Districts, a new taxing unit controlled by boards without restriction, unrestricted powers and can be created without a referendum of voters affected. (SB374)
  • In 2007 Dennis Tyler voted YES  which increased property taxes,  decrease in the Homestead Standard Deduction., introduced Local Option Income Tax (LOIT).  Voted YES to increase pay by 20%. (HB1478 & SB401)

Dennis Tyler said he never voted for a tax increase in his six years as state representative during the Mayoral Debate.  This comment wasn’t being fair to the people.  He did vote for tax increases.  It’s just worded in Dennis Tyler’s vernacular. 

Dennis Tyler didn’t want to have a special session on property taxes in the summer of 2007.   He voted to increase your property taxes and decrease your homestead deduction.  He voted a for a perpetual 20% raise for himself, though.

Dennis Tyler didn’t vote for consolidation as he claimed at a forum last summer.  He did just the opposite. By combining the bills on reform into one, he guaranteed the passage would be dead in the water. 

 City Council and County Commissioners placed a 67% vote threshold on the modernization, it was our local officials attempt to ensure it failed.   Dennis Tyler will not be  “new” and “improved”, but rather a continuation of what we have had for years.

Dennis Tyler has campaigned on jobs each and  every time he wants your vote. His record has shows no votes or legislation conducive for job creation.  Nor is he considered the go to guy  when it comes to making our area a strong economic environment.  Taxing businesses which creates jobs in a down-turned economy is wrong!

Dennis Tyler has received such low ratings from pro-business organizations such as Indiana Chamber of Commerce, Indiana Manufacturing Association and the Indiana National Federation of Independent Businesses.

In his mailer Dennis Tyler said “He worked to retain  the Community Revitalization Economic Enhancement District that helped attract Progress Rail to locate to the former ABB facility.”   CReEd for this area was established by Governor Joe Kernan in 2004, it has a 15 year track and it wasn’t going anywhere.  (He was the Delaware County Democrat chairperson in 2004.)

Dennis Tyler has mentioned on more than one occasion, the pools of money available.  He spoke about EDIT, grants, Community Development funds and TIF.   So, I wonder if he is eyeing these areas as just another avenue to spend more.

Dennis Tyler is intertwined with the Democrats that are supported by the Democrat Central Committee.  What we have seen once they have been in office, has been costly for the people of Muncie and Delaware County.  Some of the most hideous expenses to the taxpayers, along with poor management and embarassing moments have been through their governing.  A few examples would be the Justice Center, Royerton Sewer, Muncie City budget cuts, tax increases, and currently the county’s debt of $8 million dollars.

Based on Dennis Tyler’s voting record and what we have seen so far coming from elected officials fully supported by the local Democrat party, do you really believe Dennis Tyler will be any different? 

Do you really?

Had Enough?

Vote informed!

Why I won’t vote for Dennis Tyler Part One

Mayor Sharon McShurley or Dennis Tyler

Saturday Ramblings and an Election Year

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Hello, October!

I love the fall season, except for the fact we have to say good-bye to summer and it’s a constant reminder winter is at our doorstep!  I feel melancholy and in the mood to just ramble.  It’s perfect morning for it.

Sipping a hot cup of Trader Joe’s java and bidding you all a top of the morn.

As you all know, this is an election year for municipalities and Muncie is nearing her peak of the season.  I take elections very seriously.  This is one opportunity as American citizens to have our voice be heard.  I encourage everyone to get out and vote.  Just as important is knowing your candidates, understanding government and the issues facing our city.

Often times, the public on-line forums will give us some insight into voter’s minds, other times you wonder if you have returned to the beloved high school student council elections…In other words, its more personality than issue based.  It seems easier to discuss the superficial while the weightier things are left untouched. 

Yesterday a letter to the editor in support of Mayor McShurley was published in the local newspaper.  One poster commented the letter was staged, and then proceeded to list the following: 

The mayor’s quest to shut down Muncie. 

Hired friends from Anderson for leadership positions.

Endangered residents by cutting public safety.

Lied about her residency.

Lied about her taxes.

 It’s obvious this was more rumor than fact.  In other words, it packed a punch, or at least the person hopes it does.  So, let’s take a look at these five allegations.

The first would be the quest to shut down Muncie.  I am not sure what exactly the quest may be, nevertheless, if any will recall the 2010 budget cuts crafted by some members of the city council you may wonder how the person arrived at his or her conclusion.  Excluded in the final budget cut meeting was one member of the finance committee. .  Go figure. (He probably wouldn’t be welcomed at Democrat Headquarters where the budget cutting was done, anyway).

 The city council cut street lights, fuel for MPD, animal control, water hydrants, personnel and then created a “Rainy Day” fund which was illegal.  This is a brief listing, I’m sure you get the picture.

My favorite one is the hiring of friends for leadership positions.  As opposed to what?  Family members or political supporters regardless of their abilities or lack thereof? 

 Doug Zook as the Park Superintendent took a failing parks system and turned it around.  He came to us with a wealth of knowledge and experience.  He couldn’t vote for the mayor.   He provided excellent leadership and “gasp” he didn’t live here. 

Pete Heuer the current superintendent of Streets and Public Works, is an Anderson resident, too.  Like Zook, he has come to the table with qualifications, knowledge and experience.  With the influx of tax dollars for maintaining our streets, Mr. Heuer has done wonders with the paving and snow removal.  He tackled the big job of addressing the city council’s street light budget cut in the professional way.  It was really a waste of our tax dollars as he was forced on a quest to correct the council’s inability to understand the budget.

Two professionals which don’t live in Muncie working diligently to help her succeed.   Go figure.

 Let’s move on.

Public safety has been addressed ad nauseam.  One full year with a decreased force, and certainly if public safety was such an issue, one might wonder why the city council voted down the purchase of trucks in April ’09.  Perhaps, it was the “quiet” deal between President Alison Quirk and President Todd Donati to use funds from the Morrison TIF.  Another “Go figure”.

 Lied about her residency.  Now, this one really has me puzzled.  I think the commentator is confused between where the Mayor worked and where she lives.  Personally, I find this one hilarious.

She lied about her taxes.  I am sure he or she is referencing the double homestead.  No, the mayor didn’t lie and neither did the other 59 people.  Included in the group were two city council members.  Alison Quirk and Monte Murphy.  The mayor sold the house in 2006, filed a quit-claim or  quick-claim deed as it is sometimes referred,  and moved on.

 I suppose if one has lived in Muncie all their life and been a die-hard Democrat local party loyalist, they would feel comfortable voting in candidates which have benefited from tax dollars.   Like current candidate Nora Powell, which was allowed to live in a home designated for low-income families, courtesy of the director which was also her mother.  Or Dennis Tyler which voted himself a raise, then received $86,000 as a retirement benefit, and voting for a state budget overloaded with spending, all at a time when the homeowners were battling an overwhelming increase in property taxes. 

Or why it is a cardinal sin for one to have a double homestead (before taking elected office) and perfectly acceptable for others (in an elected office).

All this aside, here is what really needs to be understood before we cast our votes. 

First, we should look at the voting records and  what the candidate has or will bring to the table.  We must understand the people we elect will be spending and allocating nearly $30 million dollars in tax money.  They will make decisions which will affect our city for the next four years and beyond.  The elected officials will have the ability to increase your taxes, or use revenue wisely or unwisely.

The elected officials will be appointing department heads and board members. 

I personally feel, returning to the past, which some candidates and elected officials feel “was the good days” would be a step back into the stone age.  I suppose if one feels federal investigations, tax increases, constant borrowing to make ends meet, poor roads and city filled with blighted properties is the “good days” puts into question their ability to think progressively, be pro-active and place people before politics. 

Had Enough?

Vote Informed.

Dennis Tyler from Urbana, IL “It’s about the children”

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Dennis Tyler Indiana State Representative for District 34 talks about why he is in Illinois and abdicated his duties at the Indiana State House.

Dennis Tyler speaks to you, Indiana Hoosiers. Click here for the video.

Mr. Dennis Tyler has served as an Indiana State Representative since 2006. He is running for mayor of Muncie, Indiana. As you can see by the video Mr. Tyler is all about education and the children. He has not written or voted for any progressive legislation or outlined a plan in which to improve our schools. If there was a defining moment for our public education system, it has been lost on the public he serves. I say, what has been doing for nearly five years?

Let’s take a look at the one of the school corporations in his district, Muncie Community Schools.

• Muncie Community Schools spends $12,081 per pupil in current expenditures. The district spends 66% on instruction, 30% on support services, 4% on other elementary and secondary expenditures. Education.com

• Did you know Education.com TestRating is a number (1-10) calculated by Education.com that provides an overview of a school’s test performance for a given year, by comparing the school’s state standardized test results to those of other schools in the same state. For Indiana, the TestRating is calculated using a school’s 2010 ISTEP Results and End-of-Course Assessments Results for all subjects tested. MCS is a 3 rating.

• Retired South Cook superintendent Eric King receives a $166,608 Illinois state pension and earns another $168,343 salary as the superintendent of the Muncie, Indiana school district, for a total of $334,951. Chicago Tribune 1-30-11

• Indiana spent $94 million dollars in 2009 for students not enrolled in school. Associated Press 10-3-10

In Muncie we have a TIF (Tax Increment Fund) commonly known as Morrison Road TIF District. The fund is also called a “slush” fund. In other words, the tax money which was deposited into this TIF district was to be used for improvements in this area. Instead money was used for purchasing fire trucks, economic development outside of the district and other things like street lights. At one time the fund had a balance of $8.3 million dollars, of which $1.1 million dollars went to purchase trucks for the Muncie Fire Department.

About this time you may be asking “What’s this got to do with schools and Dennis Tyler?”. It will all come together, I promise.

From a Star Press article on January 16th, 2010 titled TIF district change will help Delaware County school districts:

Wes-Del Supt. Steve McColley said he once before had inquired about getting access to those taxes, in part because Wes-Del school buses run through those residential areas to pick up students, but schools didn’t earn money for their transportation or school bus replacement funds. Then last April, the redevelopment commission voted to give the city $1.1 million from the TIF to buy three fire trucks.

“When I read in the paper they’re buying fire engines, I thought this is wrong,” McColley said. “If you’ve got that kind of money why not release it?”

The Morrison Road TIF was restructured so that approximately $388,000.00 was returned back to the schools and other entities. If Representative Dennis Tyler was not aware how these tax dollars were spent, he should have been as he is very close to the Delaware County Commissioners and the purchase of the fire trucks was a hot topic. Being a retired Muncie Fire Department captain would lead one to believe he did know exactly how that money was spent.

The school corporations which will benefit from this revenue are Muncie, Wes-Del and Yorktown. All schools which reside in Tyler’s district. He wasn’t the one which pushed the Delaware County Redevelopment Commission to restructure, it was citizens of Delaware County. To be more specific is was Citizens of Delaware County for Good Government. To be sure, a note of gratitude needs to be extended to the commission for their fine work.

So, before you fall for all the rhetoric being sent from Urbana, IL by our representative, take a good look at what he really has accomplished. He didn’t do anything for the schools and he had the opportunity to do so.

And all this costs you, the taxpayer, the working man and woman, you are paying for it.

What’s happening with Concerned Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal? Lots!

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Greetings fellow citizens of Delaware County!!!

There is so much going on with our Organization, Delaware County and Muncie (especially with the imminent Municipal Elections) that we felt obligated to send out an alert and give you a quick summary of the most recent happenings…..

Our organization of the past 3 and a half years, The Citizens of Delaware County for Property Tax Repeal, Inc. has recently undergone a legal identity and name change. Effective January 1, 2011, the legal identity of the organization has been amended to:

The Citizens of Delaware County for Good Government, Inc.

And we are very excited about 2011!! Thanks to you, the property tax caps are permanently in place. Our organization has now made a decision to tweak our identity with a name change. From this point forward, we will be legally registered and recognized as “The Citizens of Delaware County for Good Government Inc”. The alteration to the name represents a more encompassing identity of what out recent focus has been. We believe this change will make us even more effective and allow us to partner with other groups both locally and statewide. As, has always been the case in the past, we will continue to zero in on local and statewide issues that expose waste, fraud and abuse and general bad governing as well as those that result in favorable outcomes for the citizens.

Also, please be reminded that we are currently in our annual Voting Membership Dues and general donations drive period. The recipients of this alert are encouraged to consider their ongoing support of our efforts. This all important annual consideration for membership or donations is the primary funding resource for all our efforts throughout the year. We truly believe there is no greater bang for your buck than the positive changes that we have made together in Delaware County or the State of Indiana for that matter. Just as a reminder, a few of the primary efforts that we’re constantly involved with are:

Annual website fees and costs as well as its daily operations

Newsletters

Miscellaneous mailings and email alerts

Annual 4-Corners Community Updates

Election year Candidate Forums

Discussion Panels

City-County Reorganization

County-Township Reorganization

Assessor consolidations

Video documenting and webcasting of government meetings

Statehouse lobbying efforts

Annual Property Tax Appeal HELP DAYS!

Participation and assistance to various committees and public efforts associated with setting local construction wage packages, sustaining the Public Access Channel 60, the Muncie Action Plan (MAP) as well as County and City Redevelopment issues and efforts.

…..including all the rental, insurances, advertisement and other miscellaneous expenses associated with the previously mentioned efforts.

It’s important mention to that all of our active members and volunteers deliver nearly 100 manhours per week of personal time for the pure love and caring of our County and its communities, nothing more. They all work very hard for free. We have been very blessed to have such a group of forward thinking and hard working individuals and embrace and encourage others to get involved as well.

It’s extremely important for the future operations of this organization to consider your economic support. If you are a property owner/taxpayer, we would urge you to take a look at your 2007 property tax expenditures versus your 2010 property tax expenditures. All of us have enjoyed some savings at least due in part by the efforts of this organization and the citizens of Delaware County.

For the record, our annual budget has ranged between $6,000.00 to $10,000.00 per year with the election years seeing more expenditures. 2011 is an election year. The Mayor’s office and some extremely important Muncie City Council seats are on the line. Please bear that in mind regarding any consideration you’re giving towards your continued support of the CDCGG. Our Core, Voting Members, pay a $200.00 annual dues. This is the threshold established in our bylaws to allow one to cast a vote concerning the annual election of our organization’s Officer and Board members as well on various other important issues throughout the year. It also will afford those Voting Members a weekly emailing of our Meeting Agendas and Minutes. We are amending our By-laws to accomodate a business membership, so if their is an interest to support out efforts through an entity other than individually, please contact an Officer or Board Member or the Citizens of Delaware County for Good Government.

We hope that our efforts, supported by YOU, to confront the many issues that face us here in Muncie and Delaware County can continue. We ask that you please continue to support us in 2011. ANY denominations would be accepted and greatly appreciated! If you have already made a donation to us this year, know that your investment will be held in the highest regard relative to the return on your hard-earned money.

On to other things!…..

As everyone is well aware of this is an election year for the municipalities. We’ve finally are coming to the threshold of being able to make some well deserved and long awaited changes. We’d like to think that our efforts over the past 3+ years have brought to light the very serious deficiencies that we suffer relative to having the elected officials capable of individual and creative thinking and the tough decisions that come with newly restricted revenues in the face of a recession and tax caps. Over the course of time (decades?) we’ve suffered through generations of the elite, hand-selected governing officials often synonymous with the ruling hierarchies of La Costa Nostra and the focus of local governing way too often being driven by sustaining familiar feifdoms.

This year, we are growing very optimistic with the propect of having several new faces step up and join in the effort to run for an elected office and serve their community.

Many carry some very impressive resumes. We are still very early in the candidate enrollment window (January 19 – February 18 (noon)) and we sincerely hope to see several other good citizens decide it’s time to make a difference and jump into the fray. If you rub shoulders with an individual who would make a good public steward, we would implore you to let them know and nurture their consideration, if any, to get involved!! The most current lineup of Primary Candidates can be found at:

http://www.forgoodgovernment.com/politics.html

Last week we had Mayoral candidate, Ralph Smith, come and visit us at our Executive meeting to introduce himself and answer some questions. This week it will be Ty Morton, City Council At Large candidate, the following week, Harold Mason, City Council Distric 6 candidate and the list grows as we see additional candidate filings and the approach of the Primary Elections. We’ve allotted the beginning of each meeting for guests and we hope that the candidates of all political persuasions will take advantage of the opportunity to attend. We realize that there are those in some of the political circles that don’t really embrace our efforts and will not voluntarily engage us, and that’s fine, we’ll just go out and engage them and report back.

Most recently we stumbled upon the total bungling of the Delaware Machine delinquent personal property taxes that saw $845,000.00 of taxes being discharged in the Delaware Machine sale without being escalated to a priority/judgement status in accordance with IC 6-1.1-23-9. As if that wasn’t enough, and to add insult to injury, the Delaware County Commissioner’s legal counsel, Mike Quirk, in collaboration from the Delaware County Commissioner’s President, Todd Donati, appeared to have overstepped their authority in manipulating the Treasurer and his duly contracted collections attorney into abandoning their pursuit of the collections of these taxes in favor of Mike Quirk and his partner attorney, Joe Hunter, assuming the collections and, of course, miserably failing to salvage a nickle’s worth….AND….in the process costing the taxpayers another $10,000.00 in their legal fees to boot. Great job, guys….we’re so glad you got to make a little “pocket change” off of us. If not malfeasance, certainly misfeasance.

Speaking of the Treasurer, it has been rumored that the County and City will be out another combined $4 million next year due to declining property values and delinquent taxes. Most recently we saw the publishing of 1145 properties in the tax sale of March this year. Actually, it is our belief that that the majority of these properties constitute those that weren’t sold in the nearly 3,000 property tax sale of last year. We would imagine that there might be another tax sale in the Fall to pickup those properties that have hence since fallen delinquent as well. Who would like to wager that in all the budget-making processes each year, not one consideration is ever given towards delinquent taxes?…and we wonder why these taxing units are always falling short?

And since we brought the Commissioners into the conversation, let’s share with you their most recent annual reorganization where they move on making their appointments to various boards and commissions, generally done at the first meeting of each year. Well, it appears that Commissioner Donati, et al. had spent his Christmas Holidays attending to his quid pro quo agenda and putting together his wish list of appointments for the coming year. Unfortunately, shortly into his appointing process at the first meeting of the year, we interjected that he was in violation of a County ordinance requiring him to announce said board and commission vacancies in an open meeting affording all those interested an opportunity to apply for the appointment or position…..

Ooops. We thought we heard him mumble something to the effect of amending that ordinance. At the following meeting, when the Commissioners picked up where they had left off and came to the reappointing of the Delaware County Fair Board, they reappointed the majority of the sitting Board until we once again informed the Commissioners that, by their own hands, they had passed an Ordinance last year dictating a simple majority on the very Board where they were busy appointing 13 Democrats, 6 Republicans and 2 Independents….Ooops, again. This time, a very frustrated Commissioner Donati outright stated that he was going to instruct the Commissioners attorney, Mike Quirk, to draw up an amendment to the “conflicting ordinance”…..How convenient….Don’t like the rules dictating transparency and fairness…we’ll just change them.

The Delaware County Redevelopment Commission has been very busy over the past couple years. The $8 million reserve in the Morrison TIF has literally been exhausted, even to the point that we question whether in the current economic environment, the Morrison TIF will be able to meet its own debt service….of course that’s a debt that could have easily been retired saving the taxpayers millions and freeing up tax revenues for the taxing units that serve the area, but that would have meant that either the TIF be abolished or new debt for improvements in the TIF be authorized and this would have required the blessing of the City of Muncie that now holds over half of the TIF’s assets.

So long as the Redevelopment Commission holds the retirement of the existing debt at bay, they can effectively manipulate a huge amount of captured City taxes without the City of Muncie’s input or control whatsoever. What we were able to accomplish was the release of nearly $400,000.00 of captured residential taxes in the area, much of which went back to the local schools serving the area. Watch for further manipulation of the Morrison TIF which is a cash cow for the County…at the City’s expense. Another “bone” that we picked with the Delaware County Redevelopment Commission was the issue of their legal expenses associated with their closely held “yes man”, Tom Pitman of Barnes and Thornburg out of Indianapolis. At $465.00 per hour, Mr. Pitman has spent the lions share of his time finding loop-holes in the existing TIF laws by which the DCRC has used to move the majority of reserves out to the Park One TIF and to build a roundabout at Morrison and Jackson outside the TIF area proper.

 With routine billings to the Redevelopment Commission approaching 6 figures, we protested that this service could be accomodated for far less. Commissioner Donati (the “mover-shaker” who claims to have no control over the business of the DCRC) interjected that if we could bring someone willing to to the job for free, he would be willing to entertain a change in legal counsel. Why we obviously couldn’t locate legal counsel to provide pro-bono services, we did indicate that there was several local legal entities (DeFur Voran and Beasley & Gilkison) perfectly qualified and capable of providing the service at a fraction of the cost. Ahh…but alas…unless we could bring forth a pro-bono consideration, Donati et al. weren’t interested in a change……Huh? Just gotta love the rationalization of those spending other’s money as opposed to their own. So the exploitation of our TIFs and tax dollars continues.

The 911 controversy carries on, and after discovering the complaint and all the agreements associated with said services, it appears that the City has been both overcharged and unfortunately overpaying nearly $500,000.00 per year. The fourth and last amendment to the agreement, Resolution 18-87, stipulates that the City pay between $225,000.00 and $300,000.00 per year. This Resolution can be found in the 911 complaint filings on our website: http://www.forgoodgovernment.com/Misc%20Info/911%20Complaint%20and%20agreements.pdf

Little wonder why the City sued the County for $10 million.

Okay…let’s end this alert on a positive note!….Brevini is gearing up for production and has been hiring (while painfully slow), and while we have expressed concern to the local Redevelopment officials that there is a Madison County staffing operation (Continental) involved that might not be working in our local interests, there is some hiring being done through the local Workforce Development Office. Twoson Tool, while we vehemently objected to the use of $3.5 million of the Morrison TIF reserves to move them out of the Morrison TIF and the City of Muncie, appears to be increasing their numbers as well. Then there’s the huge announcment of Progress Rail moving into the old ABB facility. 650 jobs!! All said and done it looks like over the next year, we could see an influx of about 1,100 new jobs to the area and that is very good news. Let’s keep the ball rolling and do our due diligence in moving our local governing bodies towards improved, responsible and responsive representation.

That’s all for now (although there’s a whole lot more). Have a great week.

Please share this email alert with others!!

The Citizens of Delaware County for Good Government

Past, Present and Future of Delaware County

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The Past, Present and Future, it would take pages and pages to even begin the story. So instead, let’s focus on just a minimal amount of information. I hope you will agree, this is something to pondering  during this election season.

Past: Sometime back in the early part of 2007, then Commissioner Mr. John Brooke chose to tackle the age-old problem of health care. His plan was to merge both city and county health plans, thereby reducing costs to both the taxpayer and the employee. I believe Mr. Brooke’s consolidation of health care was two-fold. One to show that Delaware County can be progressive. Two that Delaware County under Democrat leadership can be cost-effective. 

No fruit from this tree, so to speak.

Mr. Brooke’s plan was not only dismissed by the leadership, it was lobbied against by the very same leaders. Not once was he contacted. In fact the health plan consolidation was not considered simply because it was his idea.   Proving without a doubt, the leadership is not concerned with you, me or the citizens of this county.

Present: 2009 has come and gone. What a year Muncie has seen. We know the City Council leadership has made some of the most outrageous cuts from the City budget to date.

With a budget shortfall of roughly four million dollars, Mayor Sharon McShurley made some tough decisions. Alas, the city was still lacking 1.5 million. As a last-ditch effort to preserve the city from what appeared to be a devastating effect from City Council’s mindless cuts, she present the council with a proposal to increase insurance premiums. The increase would have prevented the lights from going out, fuel for police, saving 12 jobs and our animal shelter staying open, just to name a few. It was not to be.  Because again, it was her proposal. 

Still think the current leadership has our best interest in mind?

The county should not be left out of the equation. What with the windfall of 8.3 million dollars from the welfare levy, the two million dollar surplus left from 2008 by the previous administration there should have been no reason for the county to end in the red.

But we did.

Donations here and there, purchasing of a used truck, hiring, raises, raiding the Morrison TIF and passing of the Wheel Tax is how our county has chosen to manage our hard-earned tax dollars. A far cry from the past commissioners which consolidated departments, dropped expensive insurance policies and worked to make Delaware County a place where we can be proud to call our home. 

Still think our leadership is looking out for our interests?

Future:  What does our future hold? We have been told the county may be short three million dollars and the city a few million dollars less in 2010. What we need is the beginning of responsible and responsive government; moulding it into a fiscally sound and citizen oriented county. It takes strong leadership,  men and women having the knowledge, experience and a willingness to move us out of this down-ward sprial going no where. 

Let’s take a good hard look at the ones which are soliciting our vote and those which want to retain office.  If there has been no progress, we can take control and replace the men and women with those which have the capability to move our county forward.  Vote informed.

We are a strong people. Let’s take ownership and expect  High Performance Government.

Remember this: Good Government Begins With YOU.

Let’s get to work!