Todd Donati

Missing Larry Riley

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As we get closer to the November elections we are beginning to see the 214 Democrats hard at work.  

Earlier Muncie Politics wrote about the unintentional candidate for a position as a Democrat precinct committee member.  Although, no elected officials, not the County Clerk Mike King or the County Prosecutor Jeff Arnold and neither of the political party chairs felt the need to pursue how the unintentional candidate was able to beat the intentional candidate.  Score 1 for the local Democrat Headquarters.  How to unintentionally win a race

Next on the list is the swinging door for the commissioner’s race.  Phill Peckingpaugh withdrew early on – citing health issues.  The seat for commissioner remained unfilled for several months until Brock Reagan stepped up to run.   A few weeks later Reagan dropped from the race.  He cited lack of time and money. providing an opening for the third time in the commissioner’s race.

As luck would have it, the Democrats immediately found a replacement in Jason Donati,  MSD Stormwater educator, and MCS advisory board member.  Jason was nominated by Mayor Tyler for the new school board but wasn’t chosen.

Asked if he had another candidate to fill the commissioner vacancy on the fall ballot, Craycraft said, “They’re talking to some people.”  Candidate resigns another files

Wonder if “they” talked with Dave Ring?  He ran as a Democrat, albeit, an outsider.  Now Ring is running as an independent for commissioner.    

Here is the timeline of the commissioner’s race:

  1. Phil Peckinpaugh files and drops out.
  2. The position sits vacant for several months.
  3. Brock Reagan drops from the recorder’s race and runs as commissioner.
  4. Jason Donati is not appointed to the MCS school board.
  5. Reagan quickly resigns from the race.
  6. Dave Ring files as an independent.
  7. Democrats immediately pick Donati.

Let’s go back to 2012.  Todd Donati lost his bid for a second term as commissioner.  A few weeks later, Muncie Redevelopment director retires unexpectedly after 20 years.  As luck would have it Mayor Tyler appoints the former commissioner and longtime friend, Todd Donati to the position recently vacated…as luck would have it.

So why the blog title Missing Larry Riley?  We lack solid political commentary in this county.  No one gets to the meat of an issue.  Perhaps there is no need.  We all know what’s what in Delaware County politics.  Here is an example:

Yet we’re facing stranger times. Once Dennis Tyler took over the Muncie mayor’s office in 2012, and then saw no Republican opposition in his re-election, the floodgates opened up for people running Democratic Party Headquarters. Nothing stopped Democratic HQ from using reins of Muncie government for its own purposes, including to line pockets.
That’s what the FBI has been investigating since late in 2015, and resulted so far in one arrest, that of the Mayor’s building commissioner, the son of the man in the seat of power in Democratic Headquarters. That FBI investigation remains ongoing in Muncie, recently heating up.
I’ve always liked Dudley, and he’s always been cordial and willing to talk with me. But joining your star to that particular Headquarters, a corrupt party and city administration, is treacherous. Larry Riley May 1, 2018

The only way Delaware County is ever going to advance beyond the corruption, poverty, absence of fruitful economic development, and 214 political appointments is to vote NO! to anyone who is affiliated with the 214 mainstream Democrats.

  #No!to214Dems

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Saturday Ramblings: Corruption? Political agendas? No way!

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Lots of things have been happening in good old Muncie, Indiana.  Some have been not so good and some has been very good.  Not so good for our local administration very good for the people of Muncie.

Let’s begin with Halteman Village.

Halteman Village is where the Mayor of Muncie as well as two City Council members live.  It has been near and dear to Mayor Tyler, so much he donated $10,000 to fix Halteman Pool.  $10,000 city tax dollars, that is.  Oh, it was to pay for swim lessons, except the privately-owned pool permanently closed a few days later.   We have a nice public pool, it’s called Tuhey Pool.  It was quite a battle to get Tuhey Pool up and running.   Questioning the Mayor why Tuhey Pool wasn’t used for the swim lessons “I don’t remember” he replied.

Halteman’s pool and clubhouse went up for tax sale and somehow the city acquired the property.  The city has been maintaining it and spokesperson for the city, Sarah Beach, said the city didn’t want to see the neighborhood run down.  Hmmm.  Not sure where it’s at today.

Muncie Community Schools closed Mitchell School (in Halteman Village) and put it up for sale.  It became quite complex because the city, as well as Ball State University, submitted offers.  The city was higher and the university pulled back.    The City of Muncie with the Muncie Redevelopment Commission wanted to demolish the school and build condos.  As you can imagine, that didn’t please the residents of Halteman or city taxpayer who financed a remodel of the school about a decade past.

Next, we found the city had commissioned a housing study, citing the need for new housing to draw people to Muncie.  Muncie Redevelopment director, Todd Donati, posted on his Facebook page “all the facts were in” and all the facts were based on this one study.   Michael Hicks the director of the Center for Business and Economic Research at Ball State University examined the city’s housing study.  The Muncie Star Press reported the City’s Study was based on incorrect data.

Economist: City of Muncie used ‘fabricated’ data to push housing

The city is no longer interested in building condominiums on the Mitchell School land.   Todd Donati in charge of Muncie’s economic development was cited several times in State Board of Accounts audits for years 2014-15.  Donati used a study calling it “facts” to push millions into the condo building project.    Fortunately, for the stakeholders of Muncie, his plan fell through.  Something else will come down the pike, count on it.  He’s more than willing to spend money on pie in the sky ideas.

Besides the ongoing FBI investigation, the Bracken, and Stewart lawsuits against the City of Muncie we have one pressing issue that is still on the table and at anytime Mayor Tyler can direct his City Council to proceed.  And the City Council Democrat majority will proceed simply because they have never denied Mayor Tyler or their political party anything.

Delaware County EMS is hanging in the balance.

You see, Mayor Tyler wants to start his very own EMS claiming it will bring revenue into the city.  No, it won’t.  This administration has gone over budget at Prairie Creek Reservoir, nearly $100,000 over budget for Tuhey Pool,  increased the city’s tax levy every year and passed a 43% income tax in 14 days back in 2015.   And just look at Halteman Village as proof they have no idea how to be fiscally responsible.  Really, you could list other items of senseless spending and budgeting of this administration.

City Council member Alison Quirk and city attorney Megan Quirk have used the wear and tear of firetrucks when they go on a first responder call as leverage for city-run EMS.  For six years the trucks have been used to run errands, go out to eat and grocery shopping and not a bit of concern was shown on “wear and tear” until the city wanted an EMS of their very own.

Not to mention the council’s attempt to schedule a City Council meeting on New Years Day.  Oh, on the advice of the city council’s attorney, which just happened to find a 40-year-old city code requiring all council meetings to be held on the first Monday of the month.  I’m sure the council was hoping for a low turnout on a holiday.

Wrong again. Guaranteed the message was broadcast on every form of social media and the meeting would have been a packed house.  Proving once again, the only people in favor of city-run EMS would be the Mayor, the Fire Chief, and the six Democrat  Headquarters’ council members and anyone who was concerned about losing their city positions, party support or city contracts.

Make no mistake, the Mayor has been able to systematically remove anyone who hinders his personal and political agenda.  And without a doubt, DCEMS is caught in the sights of a political agenda and the collateral damage will be the people of Muncie and Delaware County.

Self-serving are they.

 

 

 

MRC = Muncie Realestate Commission

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todd donatiDirector of the Muncie Redevelopment Commission speaks to the issue of Mitchell School.

Todd Donati shared his first post.

There is a lot of misinformation and confusion going around that needs to be addressed. We are going to invite all the entities involved with the misinformation and either clear this all up and determine if the MRC will continue with the projects in play. The MRC had always shown interest in some of the properties that the MCS had to offer, including Mitchell, Storer, Sutton and land on Cornbread Rd.

The MRC had been contacted by a demolition company out of Richmond, IN that wanted to demo the schools for salvage. The MRC could not really do anything with the properties with buildings in place. The demolition company said they really did not want the land. So the demolition company offered the land to the MRC, for free, once they removed the buildings. The MRC board agreed to this only after we contacted BSU and asked them if they were interested in any of the properties. They had the right to buy them all.

The MRC was told that they did not have any interest in any of the properties but Northside MS. You have seen the recorded document waiving their right to buy. So the MRC board agreed to donate $658,600 to the MCS if they were to accept the $125,000 offer from the demo company. This would garner the MCS much needed revenue, this would allow the MCS to achieve their objective, illuminate the liability of taking care of these abandoned buildings and help generate at least $20- $50 million in taxable revenue on these combined properties.

The MRC board did not close these schools. The MRC board, nor the City of Muncie administration did not create the financial crisis within the MCS. The MRC board was only trying to create opportunities for the community we support. It seems that there are comments out there that we, the MRC and the City of Muncie asked BSU to give these schools up when in fact, BSU really wanted them. We have no interest in doing that. The MRC board would like to ask BSU if in fact they do want these schools.

The MRC board does not want to get involved with any form of miscommunication, especially with our community partners. And, we feel that BSU is a very valuable and important community partner. If BSU wants these schools, our board is prepared to take action. However, it needs to be BSU that openly states that this is what they want…not hearsay comments from unauthorized citizens. 


There were no lies made or personal gains made from anyone in this group. I appreciate the hard work and dedicated members of the Muncie Redevelopment Commission. They volunteer their time to make our community better.

Disclaimer: The only changes made to this public post is breaking the comment into paragraphs for easier reading.  Nothing else has been altered.

Muncie Tax & Finance Dashboard

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Have you ever wondered about Muncie’s finances or how the people on the city’s finance committee figure how to spend it?   I know, it’s a mystery, right?   Well, not any longer.  Now you too can be a pseudo city controller.  It’s easy.  We’ll show how simple it can be.  And it’s free.

The new report format is not as fancy as the older reports.  Not as detailed, either.  Nevertheless, it tells a story of Muncie from 2011-2017 in a clean, easy to read and understandable format.  Muncie Politics has prepared two reports for you to review.

The first is the Muncie Tax Finance dashboard 2011-17.   It’s Muncie at-a-glance report.

Muncie Tax Finance dashboard 2011-17

The next report Muncie Tax and Finance Time Comparison 2012-17 displays the tax rates and basic information in a clear timeline.  Yep, the tax levy has increased every year.  As well as the city payroll.  2015 wasn’t a good year for Muncie or Delaware County residents.

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September 2015 the city raised a 43% income tax.  From start to finish it took 14 days to pass that tax.  Amazing, huh?   The sad part is, no one even noticed prior to the tax increase the city finances were shaky.  That’s o.k. because the city building commissioner received a nice raise and his company demolished buildings paid from the increased EDIT in 2016.

See, folks, it’s all good.

Muncie Tax and Finance Time Comparison 2012-17

Now, if you want to explore the city’s taxes and finances all one has to do is click on the image below.   Enter your favorite government agency and then choose the type of report.  Bam! You are good to go!

Indiana Gateway Interactive Tool

You will be armed with enough information to make a wise decision at the polls come election time.   When an elected official, an appointed “public” employee, or a candidate tell you something you’ll be able to discern if it is true or if they are just blowing smoke.   A wonderful position to be: an informed citizen.   A scary thing to those who lust after monetary gain for their benefit.

Source: in.gov/itp

Bracken Vs. City Of Muncie et al

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With the City-Run EMS on everyone’s mind, Madjax has been put on the back burner.  Here is the full court document and you will be appalled at what has come to light.  Plenty of reading to do, folks.   Lots of question to ask this administration and Muncie City Council members.

Bracken vs City Lawsuit 2017

ENTRY OF JUDGMENT

THEREFORE, it is ORDERED, ADJUDGED and DECREED that

A. The Defendants acted in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority or

limitations and without observance of procedure required by law and the

Court hereby GRANTS judgment in favor of Thomas Bracken, sets aside

Defendants actions to enter into the Lease, and thereby declares the

Lease NULL and VOID;

B. The Council’s decision to approve Resolution 26-17 was unsupported by

substantial evidence and the Court hereby GRANTS judgment in favor of

Thomas Bracken, sets aside the Council’s actions relating to Resolution

26-17, and thereby declares Resolution 26-17 NULL and VOID.

C. The Council’s decisions to approve Ordinance 33-17 and Resolution 26-17

were arbitrary and capricious and unsupported by substantial evidence

and the Court hereby GRANTS judgment in favor of Thomas Bracken,

sets aside the Council’s actions relating to Ordinance 33-17 and

Resolution 26-17, and thereby declares Ordinance 33-17 and Resolution

26-17 NULL and VOID.

SO ORDERED.

Saturday ramblings…

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Update:  2017 not yet over.  Muncie changing EMS ordinance to clear the way to use the revenue for more than EMS.  Read the article!

 

Removing spending limits – EMS ordinance

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Muncie local government is so out of control.  With the debt rising, investigations, lawsuits, public hearings, arrest one just can’t seem to catch their breath.

Bracken vs. City of Muncie public hearing was held on 11-29-17 in Noblesville, Indiana.  Mayor Tyler taking the stand and under oath not recalling details of events.  Yes, it is all about Madjax.

Todd Donati was called to testify and now people are looking at the State’s audit reports of the Muncie Redevelopment Commission (MRC) for 2014 and 2015.  It will curl your hair when you read it.  The scary part is Muncie’s debt including principal, interest is nearly $74 million.

Michael Hicks testified and put into question the City’s economic development efforts.  City Councilman Dan Ridenour testified the information he received in the lawsuit differed from the information he received at the time the bond was approved.

Moving on.  A few months ago Mayor Tyler wanted the city to have it’s own EMS.  Currently, we have a county EMS.  Then he changed his mind no EMS.   Now he is actively working on a city-run EMS.  This will be a disaster.  And it’s self-serving not for the good of the community.  City or County.  Muncie was fortunate to receive federal funding for the Muncie Fire Department.  When Tyler took office in 2012 there was $8 million from the previous mayor to fund the MFD.  But, when the grant was not renewed, Mayor Tyler had no money so he passed a 43% income tax in 14 days.  Well, that didn’t draw enough money, so he wants to have a city-run EMS to keep the 16 firemen employed.

Let’s just briefly (if that’s possible) review 2017.

  • Building Commissioner Craig Nichols arrested and charged with 34 felonies.
  • Damaging financial audits of the city.
  • FBI investigation.
  • Chief of Police resigns and files a lawsuit against the city.
  • Prairie Creek reservoir substantially over budget.
  • Muncie Fire Department facing layoff
  • City acquires private property claims it was to keep the neighbourhood from deteriorating.  Mayor and two council members live in this neighbourhood.
  • The city takes over the financial records of Muncie Redevelopment after the audits.   City controller resigns.
  • Mayor Tyler and Todd Donati claim they weren’t on the board of Sustainable Muncie when the city decided to financial support with tax dollars.  (Bracken’s lawsuit said they were.)
  • Councilperson Nora Powell resigns from Sustainable Muncie’s board when Councilperson Linda Gregory said it may be a conflict of interest.  The city attorney concurred.
  • Tom Bracken sues the City of Muncie, Muncie Redevelopment and Muncie City Council.  Courts will rule in January.
  • The city of Muncie attempts to require Tom Bracken to put up a $4.5 million bond citing his lawsuit could hinder Sustainable Muncie (a/k/a MadJax) ability to get leases.
  • City refuses to release attorney fees related to the FBI investigation.   Issued public statement by city spokesperson Sarah Beach.
  • Mayor Tyler said the city has always been transparent and Beach’s statement was not accurate.  (Note: the fees still haven’t been made public.)
  • Founding members of Sustainable Muncie (a/k/a MadJax) resign citing the direction has changed.
  • Rumored the FBI is taking some interest in Sustainable Muncie.  Has not been confirmed. (Update:  Michael Hicks testimony 11-29-17 hearing.)
  • EMS
  • Delaware County has given the city over 200 properties and none have been put back on the tax rolls.  Delaware County stopped the practice.

There was a whole lot of shaking going on prior to good old 2017.  That’s for another time.  Look for a rundown on the SBOA audits and more…