Sometimes the best way to see the future is to dig up the past.
Larry Riley predicted the outcome of Gearbox now Madjax. His column appeared in the local paper on January 30, 2016. One community member claimed Riley was biased in this column, although Riley did provide compelling arguments.
the organization has no revenue stream, no signed tenants, no record of accomplishment Source: Gearbox vs Greenspace Muncie Star Press 1-30-16
Sustainable Muncie hasn’t been around as an organization long enough yet to file its first required annual financial report, having been organized only in December of 2014. Source: Gearbox vs Greenspace Muncie Star Press 1-30-16
Another minus to Gearbox is the cost: $1 million, now guaranteed by the city (if Sustainable Muncie can’t make existing or future loan payments this year, then the city’s money kicks in, but the organization is to pay back the city by the end of this year … how?) Source: Gearbox vs Greenspace Muncie Star Press 1-30-16
So involved was Mayor Dennis Tyler no other ideas could be considered. In fact, he was silent about another proposal, Tom Bracken’s greenspace. Which makes one wonder why he dismissed other ideas and put Gearbox to the feasibility test. Or Bracken’s proposal for that matter. Mayor Tyler brought only one idea to the public.
And that’s the end of that.
Let’s look at what has transpired since Riley’s column. At the time, City council passed an ordinance backing $1 million to be paid back by the end of 2016.
Tyler told The Star Press he wanted to loan $1 million in EDIT revenue to the group rather than just give it to Sustainable Muncie to create an obligation to be repaid. The loan is supposed to be repaid by the end of 2016.
We know for a fact the money was not paid back.
“The city has not issued any money as it related to this line of credit,” officials replied through city human resources director Sarah Beach last week. Donati, who is also a Sustainable Muncie board member, told TheStar Press that the board was “trying to decide what direction we want to go with” the funding for Madjax, including the original $1 million line of credit. “Eventually, something will have to be done with it. … It’s totally Sustainable Muncie’s responsibility to pay that back and they’re looking at how to get that done.” Source: Star Press June 6, 2017
Two months after this article appeared in the paper, the citizens of Muncie were looking at a $4.5 million dollar bond. The bond was passed with the promise of no property taxes and a training program. But, in June, Donati and Tyler were already considering bonding for this project, we just didn’t know about it.
Interesting to note: The City Council had little financial information in 2016 and just a smidgeon more in 2017 yet, they still voted a big fat YES in both instances.
- January 2016 Muncie City Council voted to loan Gearbox $1 million with no financial information
- December 2016 Loan not paid
- June 2017 Donati said it was Sustainable Muncie’s responsibility to pay back the money
- August 2017 Notice for public hearing on $4.5 million bond published
- August 2017 Muncie City Council learned of Sustainable Muncie’s debt
- August 2017 Donati said $200,000 has been set aside by Muncie Redevelopment Commission & others for $348,000 annual bond debt repayment (Muncie Redevelopment Commission & others)
- August 2017 Muncie City Council voted to introduce the ordinance
- September 2017 Public Hearing for Madjax – Sustainable Muncie
- September 2017 Muncie City Council voted to approve the bond
Madjax was not able to pay the interest-free loan in 2016 or make any payments in 2017. Muncie Redevelopment has set aside $200,000 to guarantee the 2018 bond payment.
This is the transparent government of Mayor Dennis Tyler. But I digress…
Mayor Tyler of the City of Muncie is disputing the split with the former chief of police and the city.
The Mayor provided a statement to the local newspaper unsigned, no city letterhead and delivered by an attorney. What’s that all about? Who issues a public statement like this?
Read it here:
The City of Muncie is toying with a registry for rental properties. Currently, they are looking at a $5.00 fee. How long do you think it will stay at $5.00?
The ordinance is being introduced on Monday (12-5) at Muncie City Hall – 7:30 PM.
Meanwhile, the citizens of the city paying the attorney fees for a lawsuit against several city employees, under an FBI investigation and has lost or is losing two State grants.
Just last year the Mayor and City Council passed a 43% income tax in 14 days. The director of Muncie Redevelopment Commission tried to get an ordinance introduced and passed to give his condo property a tax abatement.
And get this…the Mayor is upset with a company who managed the city pool because the business owner is not providing the city with the company’s financials. The city is on the hook for $96,000.00. Under normal circumstances, you would consider this good government. Watching out for tax dollars, right? Except it is not the case for this administration.
This has been the murkiest and crony oriented government this city has ever seen.
Notice is hereby given to taxpayers of MUNCIE CIVIL CITY, Delaware County, Indiana that the proper officers of Muncie Civil City will conduct a public hearing on the year 2017 budget. Following this meeting, any ten or more taxpayers may object to a budget, tax rate, or tax levy by filing an objection petition with the proper officers of Muncie Civil City not more than seven days after the hearing. The objection petition must identify the provisions of the budget, tax rate, or tax levy to which taxpayers object. If a petition is filed, Muncie Civil City shall adopt with the budget a finding concerning the objections in the petition and testimony presented. Following the aforementioned hearing, the proper officers of Muncie Civil City will meet to adopt the following budget:
Muncie Sanitary District Public Forum – Rate Increases-
When: Thursday, July 7th, 2016
Time: 10:30 AM
Where: Muncie City Hall
In case you missed it, there is a public meeting scheduled for July 7 that many might not be aware. This public forum begins at 10:30 a.m. at Muncie City Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to let property owners, ratepayers and other interested parties be heard in reference to current and proposed Muncie Sanitary District rates. The published figures recommended by the Muncie Sanitary District include some sizable increases in charges going forward including a 50 percent increase in the stormwater rates.
The resolution was introduced at the June 23 board of MSD commissioner’s meeting. The Star Press printed the meeting notice in the paper the next morning, which is how I learned of the rate increases.
All interested parties should attend.
Muncie City Councilperson Dan Ridenour