Wednesday, June 28, 2006
1. David White- Gone
2. Kay Garry
1. David White-Gone
2. John Rosenbarger
* Economic Development Director
1. David White-Gone
2. Paul Wheatley
* Building Commissioner
1. Eddie Hancock-Gone
2. Paul Roberts-Gone
3. Ron Hartman
* Sanitation Department
1. Jody Johnson-Gone
2. Privatized Department
* Street Department
1. Randy Hampton-Gone
2. Jody Johnson-Gone
* Board Of Works
1. Cory Earl-Gone
2. Don Gibbons-Gone
3. Steve LaDuke-Gone
4. Shane Gibson-Gone
5. Matt Dennison
Looks like to us Mr. Mayor you have hiring problems.
Freedom Of Speech would like to ask Mr. Mayor: Do we have selective trash pick-up now? The following addresses need service:
* 1221 Culberson Ave.- 4 weeks no trash pick-up. The customer has contacted the proper dept. and the Mayors office several times.
* 38 E. 11th St.- 6 weeks of no trash pick-up.
* 16th & Dewey- 8 weeks- all of the residents who place there cans in the alley have contacted the proper dept. and the Mayor's Office and no phone calls have been returned.
We have an entire list of citizens who have not had service for weeks. As we explained to the residents. Contact your Councilman or contact the local TV Channels. And of course refuse to pay your bill!
Tuesday, June 27, 2006
* "We are the servants of the people, and they should have access to their government."
* "Not only that, but we have to listen to what the residents have to say."
* "The current adminstration used poor management and planning, and thus cost the taxpayers much more than they should have," and I will do everything I can to save taxpayers money where that is possible."
If you guessed the Mayor of our almost bankrupt city, your wrong. It was Jimmy before he took office. You know when he was just a taxpayer like the rest of us.
* Were among those who said they also want to take a hard look at Scribner Place. We want to make sure taxpayers don't have to pay for Scribner Place.
If you guessed one of our Council Members, your wrong. It was Donnie Blevins & Beverly Crump before they took office. You know when they was just a taxpayer like the rest of us.
* "It's our duty to lower sewer rates if we can" by finding possible savings.
If you guessed one of our Council Members, your wrong. It was Beverly Crump before she took office. You know when she was a taxpayer like the rest of us.
* If there's a way to lower rates and get the job done. The council must do so for the city's taxpayers.
If you guessed one of our Councilman, your wrong. It was Donnie Blevins before he took office. You know when he was a taxpayer like the rest of us.
* We should be on a pay as you go plan.
If you guessed one of our Councilman, you were wrong. It was Jack Messer. You know when he was a taxpayer like the rest of us.
"The good news" about winning an election. "is you won" And the bad news is you won and now you have to deliver!
Monday, June 26, 2006
2004: Councilman Price wanted to go line item by line item to help cut the General Budget. But did not have the support from this Administration, nor other Council members. Mr. Price had a fair suggestion on the "take home cars policy" He suggested that employees maintain a milage log & pay for their gas to and from work. He also saw a problem with this issue months ago.
2004: Garner is currently reviewing the take home car policy for all city employees. (06- Mr. Mayor are you still reviewing this policy ?)
2004: Mr. Price agreed to freeze the Budget. And Mayor Garner disagreed.
2005: A request for 6 new police cars & 2 sports utility vehicles. Councilman Steve Price said "I think it would be in the best interest of the city to find out exactly where we're at financially."
2005: Councilman Schmidt ask for an investigation. And Councilman Steve Price supported an investigation.
2006: Councilman Price continues to fight for accountability to the citizens of New Albany.
Councilman Steve Price will continue to stand up to Garner's out-of-touch Administration and hold it accountable for mismanagement of the taxpayers money. And he also refuses to be a "rubber stamp" for this Administration.
Mr. Price is truly a Councilman for the taxpayers of New Albany.
Thank You Steve... For doing one hell of a great job defending us taxpayers!
Sunday, June 25, 2006
Garner's C-J letter an embarrassment to all New Albanians
I wrote to the Courier-Journal to express shame and dismay over the Mayor's letter.
In his meandering, illogical and semi-literate letter to the editor of the Courier-Journal, New Albany's Mayor James Garner achieved nothing so much as foolishly embarrassing himself and confirming the city's long-held position as regional joke.
Does Garner really believe that a newspaper's community obligation somehow does not extend to scrutinizing his abysmal personnel record since taking office?
Does Garner really believe that reducing an employee's hours and denying him benefits somehow does not constitute a "demotion"?
Does Garner really believe that the citizens of New Albany will not stand for the Courier-Journal's "lack of common decency," but will somehow continue to tolerate a glasical learning curve that threatens to last for the duration of his mayoral adminstration?
After decades of frustration, throughout which you'd have been better off looking for forward thinking political leadership in North Korea than in New Albany's City Hall, finally there are compelling reasons to believe that the goal of revitalizing New Albany's persistently moribund downtown area may be within reach.
A progressive, articulate and charismatic mayor could do much to help this process along. Instead, we're rewarded with more of the same tired, petty political games, this time artlessly played by thin-skinned amateur who has nothing better to do than whine about "disrespect" from journalists doing their jobs.
New Albany does not need yet another genial and well-meaning figurehead to pose at flag raisings and Little League banquets. We need vision, aggressiveness and chutzpah. Judging from Mayor Garner's pathetic letter, he's completely, utterly overmatched.
Boy did the Democrats get more than a learning curve. Seems More like the Democrats were blind sided by Jimmy.
Example, Tribune Quote: On 10/01/03 Garner said the current adminstration has spent the taxpayers money irresponsibly over the last four years, something he said he will change. If he was mayor, he would have either followed the same path or "bankrupted the city."
"RESPECT" you've got to be kidding! I was always taught you earned respect not demanded it!
Freedom Of Speech would like to ask how can Garner go from a so called "embarrassment to all New Albanians to Saint Garner?
We also highly recommend if Saint Garner pens a book after leaving office he should have a book signing at The Dementia Booksellers on Spring St.
Saturday, June 24, 2006
Councilman Mark Seabrook stated June 15, 2006 Council meeting:
The Sewer Board had their own Independent Audit on the Sewer Utility.
Could you be wrong Councilman Seabrook about your statement regarding a sewer audit?
Did you mean a financial statement or a complete audit?
BASIC ECONOMICS 101 teaches you that you must prepare a financial statement at the end of every month.
You, Mr. Seabrook, should know the difference between a financial statement and a complete audit.
Melhiser Endres Tucker, CPA'S, prepares a monthly Financial Report to the Sewer Board.
The cost of the Financial Report is paid by the Sewer Funds...
Friday, June 23, 2006
Freedom Of Speech felt we needed to look at the process of approval of the city claims for 2006. We also feel we need to look at what is currently going on with the taxpayers' money.
Are we making the same mistakes over and over again?
As we were told you start at the beginning!
It is Kay Garry's job as Controller to submit the claims to the Board of Works for approval. Members of the Board of Works are Tony Toran, Chairman and Chas Hunter, Vice Chairman. After approval by the Board of Works, Mrs. Garry then cuts the checks. And the claims are paid.
Sounds simple right? Wrong....
The minutes do not reflect any review of any of the claims!
Take a look at this taxpayers and form your own opinion.
Board of Works & Safety minutes Jan. 17, 2006:
Mrs. Garry presented claims for the approval of the board in the amount of $6,565,527.69 for the time period of 12/16/05 to 1/19/06.
Mr. LaDuke moved to approve, Mr. Hunter seconded, all voted in favor.
Board of Works & Safety minutes Feb. 21, 2006
Mrs. Kay Garry presented claims for January 20 through February 23 in the total amount of $5,104,536.75
Mr. LaDuke moved to approve, Mr Hunter seconded, all voted in favor.
Board of Works & Safety minutes March 21, 2006
Mrs. Garry presented presented claims from 2/24/06 to 3/23/06 in the amount of $5,067,367.44
Mr. Gibson moved to approve, Mr. Hunter seconded, all voted in favor.
Board of Works & Safety minutes April 18, 2006
Mrs. Garry reported that she had claims to be approved for the time period 3/24/06 to 4/20/06 in the amount of $4,362,583.34
Mr. Hunter moved to approve, Mr. Toran seconded, all voted in favor.
Now you do the math.
Total claims approved up to 4/20/2006:
We also question where the Board Of Works minutes for May and June are located.
Now citizens take a look at the 2006 Budget & Funds:
2006 Budget & Funds:
General Fund- $14,868,524
Self Insured Fund- $100,000
Fire Pension- $2,392,963
Police Pension- $1,904,118.00
LRS Fund- $400,000.00
MVH Fund- $1,297,100.00
Parks & Rec. Fund- $1,194,734
Cumulative Parks Fund- $295,000
CCI Fund- $200,000
Edit Fund- $1,291,600
Riverboat Fund- $697,000
Total - $24,641,039.00
Can someone tell us what is wrong with this picture?
We feel the Board of Works is nothing but a "rubber stamp" for the mayor.
Freedom Of Speech has questions:
Do the Board of Works members even look at the claims or a claims list to see what they are approving? NO
Do they ask the Controller if the funds are available to make the payments? NO
Do they ask if these payments are within the approved allowed budget for the current year? NO
Can the City carry over bills from the previous year to be paid out of current funds?
Has this administration tried to help us out of the financial mess we are in? Or just what in the hell is really going on with our money?
The bottom line is this, how long will it take before New Albany goes into bankruptcy?
Where is the accountability?
endnote: only 555 days and counting...
Thursday, June 22, 2006
The Monon Trail is 10 Yrs. Old! And were celebrating! To mark this important birthday, the Greenways Foundation is hosting an on-the-trail birthday celebration this coming Saturday, June 24. Please join us from 9 a.m. to noon along the Monon Trail at the Depot.
The greenways Foundation will be giving away free water bottles and selling Monon 10th tee shirts and posters. Proceeds from these items will benfit trails and greenways.
At noon, Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson will be present at the Depot to share his thoughts on greenways in general, and the Monon Trail in particular.
A snip of a ribbon opened the first stretch of the Monon Trail on June 23,1996. The happy people who thronged onto the new paved path formed the vanguard of many more in the decade since. Its huge popularity is the single best argument for building 100 more trails just like the Monon.
Freedom Of Speech would like to thank the Greenway Foundation for sending the following information.
Freedom Of Speech is a big supporter of The Greenway Project of New Albany.
We Also want to send our Congratulation to Valla Ann Bolovschak on your newly appointed position to the Board of Directors of the Greenway Foundation.
Wednesday, June 21, 2006
It has been quoted in your call to Councilman Blevins,
"YOU HAVE RUINED MY POLITICAL CAREER!"
And--If you mess with me, I will privatize the Street Department, and you will lose your job!
Sounds like a real threat to us.
Freedom Of Speech would like Mr. Mayor to consider:
Politics 101 Chapter 3. Lesson 1:
* The first rule of thumb in being an Elected Official is, you should do everything above board.
* If you don't follow rule No.1, you never let any employee/Councilman get any dirt on you.
* You never, never ever threaten any employee or a City Councilman.
* Always remember if you threaten someone, you take the risk of ending your political career.
* It will always come back and bite you in the ass for Re-Election!
* And the final rule of thumb, is admit it if you did it.
Is Tony Toran slipping on the job in looking out for your best interest Mr. Mayor?
And on a final note Jimmy, is it true a former Mayor left you a note on your desk around Jan. 2004?
We heard it said Jimmy you better "CYOA" because the taxpayers are smarter than you think!
Endnote: only 557 days and counting...
Tuesday, June 20, 2006
Overdrawn Cash Balance
Overspending of Appropriations
How did we get in this mess with our City finances? Who approves the claims for these OVER-EXPENDITURES?
Answer: The City Board Of Works approves the city claims at their Tuesday morning meeting. The current members are, Tony Torran, Chairman and Chas Hunter, Vice Chairman.
The Board of Public Works meeting minutes of March 21, 2006 show the request by City Controller, Kay Garry, for approval to pay claims of 2/24/06 to 2/23/06 in the amount of $5,067,367.44
The motion was made and approved by the Board at that meeting.
Do the Board of Works members even look at the claims or a claims list to see what they are approving?
Do they ask the Controller if the funds are available to make the payments?
Do they ask if these payments are within the approved allowed Budget for the current year?
Monday, June 19, 2006
THE MEANING OF THE NEW ALBANY CITY FLAG
"The Common Council adopted the official flag of the City of New Albany on October 1, 1962, as part of the preparations for the Sesquicentennial celebration-October 10, 11, 12 and 13, 1963.
Designed by artist and Sesquicentennial Committee member James J. Russell, the emblem represents, symbolically, 150 years of New Albany's growth since its founding in 1813 by Joel, Abner and Nathaniel Scribner.
The green background represents the timber-covered hills surrounding New Albany; the white shield--edged in gold--speaks of the character and courage of the many different peoples who helped build New Albany; the gold torch stands for enlightenment and liberty; the numerals --1813--represent the founding year, the 19 gold stars tell us that Indiana was the 19th state in the Union; the gold pilot wheel symbolizes New Albany's historic role as a river city.
This is our flag--drawn from the past for the future."
Freedom of Speech believes that we as citizens of New Albany should honor our "real" flag and not use it as fodder for satire.
Friday, June 16, 2006
OVERDRAWN CASH BALANCES
The cash balances of the following funds were overdrawn in 2004:
FUND & AMOUNT OVERDRAWN
Motor Vehicle Highway- $221,546
Local Road and Street- $181,407
Law Enforcement Continuing Education- $23,720
Unsafe Building- $57,608
Indiana Housing Board Rental Rehabiltation- $11,428
Reserve Liability- $34,491
TIF Park East Industrial- $50,110
Medical/Drug Fund- $72,653
The cash balance of any fund may not be reduced below zero. Rountinely overdrawn funds could be an indicator of SERIOUS FINANCIAL PROBLEMS which should BE INVESTIGATED by the governmental unit.
The records presented for audit indicated the following expenditures in excess of budgeted appropriation.
FUND & EXCESS AMOUNT EXPENDED
Motor Vehicle Highway- $285,788
Local Road and Street- $356,564
Park Nonreverting- $6,916
Ambulance Runs- $6,916
Park Cumulative Building- $277
Indiana Code 6-1.1-18-4 states in part "...the proper officer of a political subdivision shall appropriate funds in such a manner that the expenditures for a year do not exceed its budget for that year as finally determined under this article."
The citizens of New Albany are concerned about the findings in the 2004 City Audit. Why is Mayor Garner saying there is no need for further investigation?
Thursday, June 15, 2006
Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Monday, June 12, 2006
Councilman Steve Price gave a heartfelt "thanks" at tonights council meeting to those who have spread his philosophy throughout the city. It appears Councilman Price's popularity has grown since numerous articles have appeared in the local paper about his position regarding the city's fiscal status.
Councilman Price stated "I want to sincerely thank Mr. Baylor, Mr. Smith, Mr. Tucker and Mr. Whitlow for your articles in the newspaper. I've gotten more support in the last week in all my 2 1/2 years put together. Calls, emails and letters thanking me for standing up for their taxpayer dollars and some people who called in support of the financing actually agreed with me on money management." Price ended his statement with "I appreciate it"
Well guys, I guess it's back to the drawing board.
Freedom Of Speech says the way Mr. Price handled the situation was absolutely Priceless!
Sunday, June 11, 2006
New Albany Redevelopment Authority Legal Ad May. 7, 2006
"Notice of Public Hearing"
New Albany Redevelopment Bonds of 2006-$15,000,000.
"payable from City Edit Pledge, County Pledge and Caesar's Foundation Grant proceeds, and to the extent the City Edit Pledge, County Pledge and Caesar's Foundation Grant proceeds are "not sufficient", from the Edit Revenues (as defined in the ordinance)
So-this could mean that we pay unlimited Edit Funds and special property tax for the Scribner Project.
$15,000,000 ("Bonds") to be used for the purpose of providing funds for the construction of an approximately 30,252 square foot natatorium, parking lot, and percentage of first and second floor lockers, and an atrium, as a tenant in common with the YMCA in, serving or benefiting the Main Center Redevlopment Area (Scribner Place) in the City, and to pay certain cost associated with the issuance of the bonds.
* EDIT revenues of $400,000 in 2005 and 2006, increasing to $700,000 annually from 2007 through 2022.
Freedom Of Speech would like to say to you Mayor James Garner Sr:
You Sir, are raping and robbing the taxpayers of New Albany. And you Mr. Mayor might win the "battle" for Scribner Place "But you will NOT win the War."
You will finally hear all the voices and see the will of all the people on Election Day 07!
Saturday, June 10, 2006
You said in your June 7, 2006 column in the Tribune that Councilmen Coffey and Price must have been joking about rescinding the resolution on Scribner Place.
Again, we must repeat ourselves. Mr. Coffey has often said that he is not against the YMCA itself but he is against using property tax dollars to back a bond issue for a 17 million dollar swimming pool.
Mr. Price is often criticized for his frugality but he watches out for the tax payers' dollars. And many tax payers appreciate that.
We have not heard anyone say they are against the YMCA. Other cities have had YMCA's built without costing the taxpayers a dime. Why not New Albany? We already have a swimming pool which is ran by the parks dept. and it loses money every year.
As you must know, the EPA is here to investigate the problems with our sewers. Do you think these guys are joking too? Who knows what's going to happen by the time they are finished? You and others have your heads so far in the sand you can't see what is going on around you.
This city is in serious trouble. Some of our citizens have been saying that for years but their warnings have fallen on deaf ears. We agree the topic of the sewer dept. is not a pretty picture, especially when compared to a gleaming new YMCA building. But as adults we must face the facts. Scribner Place is the icing on the cake but you must break a few eggs and deal with the mess first.
Mr. Tucker, we realize you have only been a New Albany resident a short time. Please don't just listen to a portion of the population. There is a "silent majority" and we here at Freedom of Speech intend to give them a voice.
Mr. Mayor, Mr. Fifer and Mr. Gahan you need to get together and agree on your facts!
1. Fox News-June 6, 2006
Quote: "Mayor Garner says he will recommend a 24% Sewer increase to council in June or July."
2. Courier Journal June 7, 2006
Quote: "Without a rate increase next year, Fifer said, "We will be bouncing checks."
3. Courier Journal June 7, 2006
Quote: "The New Albany sewage system can survive financially this year without a rate increase, but it's reserves will be dangerously low after a $5 million bond payment in September, sewer board lawyer Greg Fifer has told the council.
4. Courier Journal June 7, 2006
Quote: "Fifer said they-could and he urged the council to find a way to solve the financial problem this summer."
Question Atty. Fifer: So which is it this summer or next year? It sounds like you are talking to the taxpayers out of both sides of your mouth at the same time.
Quote: "After the Council discusses the options, Gahan said, he hopes a meeting can be scheduled to get more details about the need for a rate increase. The council might then be able to take action in August or September, Gahan said."
Good God fellows can't you all get your facts and time frames straight? Now, this summer or next year?
Our Summary of Sewer Rate increase:
* Fox News (6-6-06)
Mayor Garner says, He will recommend a 24% sewer bill in June or July 2006 at next Council meeting.
* Courier (6-7-06)
Sewer Board Attorney Fifer says, "Next Year."
Fifer projected at 26 percent to 32 percent increase.
* Courier (6-7-06)
Council Pres. Gahan says: August or September 2006
Now here is the taxpayers question: You Garner say 24% increase. Then Fifer says 26-32 percent increase on our sewer bill. So who is telling us the truth? Or do you guys even know how much of an increase your going to put on us citizens?
And please don't say "It will only be a few dollars more than what your currently paying".... "GOOD GRIEF" Jimmy! Can't you come up with a better line than this one?
Freedom Of Speech would like to actually "Thank You" Council President Gahan for finally telling us taxpayers the truth when you made this statement:
Quote: "I think it would have been very helpful to have had that conversation "90 days ago" when Mayor James Garner began talking about the need for a sewer rate increase." Gahan said.
This comment is absolutely priceless!
It tells us taxpayers all we need to know. It is another 11th hour "hurry up and do or die emergency". But the real bottom line on a sewer increase is lack of judgement in making the necessary cuts in the budget and the mismanagement. This is another example of incompetence and poor management skills on the mayors part, and most importantly not doing what is best for the taxpayers.
Where is it written the citizens of New Albany should pay for your mistakes Mr. Mayor?
Freedom Of Speech would like to ask you Mr. Mayor:
How about telling the truth about the sewer increase? Can't you just say, "We are broke and if I don't raise your sewer bills we can't fix what the EPA demands or we will:
1. Not receive needed sewer credits.
2. Be fined by the EPA.
3. Can't make the Bond payment in September.
Finally just say it Jimmy, "We are broke because I have mismanaged and over spent".
How hard is that, Mr. Mayor?
"Once the politics get taken out of the project officially breaks down, we expect more donors to jump on board,"
Yes, Mr. Ricke, we already see that happening as the City Administration keeps misquoting the figures and cost for The Scribner Place Project.
1. Why is the city going to be responsible for paying off a bond debt for YMCA?
2. Why will the City Attorney receive a percentage fee on this bond that includes YMCA?
3. When will you have the full 8 million dollars Mr. Ricke for the YMCA? Before the Mayor does the Bond Deal? Or after the Bonds are sold?
4. Is it legal to use our Edit Tax money and our property tax money to back up a bond that includes YMCA?
5. What happen with separation of Church & State?
Freedom Of Speech would like to ask you Mr. Ricke where do you get off making the statement "Does it make sense for the City Council to turn away a business that wants to build and expand in downtown New Albany?
Don't you agree Mr. Ricke it makes alot more sense for the City Council to fix the sewers first? Before we build and expand downtown?
Scribner Place has been a Political Project from the get-go. And who do you all think you are kidding! The bottom line is profit for the YMCA.
Without the commitment of back up property taxes for the "bond money" this project can not be done.
And Mr. Ricke will Scribner Place be needing a Tax Abatement?
Friday, June 09, 2006
In an interview on Fox News at 10 PM on Tuesday, June 6, 2006, the Mayor announced that he was planning to collect overdue sewer bills dating back to 1999.
Mr. Mayor you need to do your homework!
Apparently you were not listening to private citizen Valla Ann Bolovschak at Monday's June 5th council meeting as she explained to the City Council and the many citizens of New Albany that there was over 3 million dollars in uncollectable delinquent sewer bills. Valla Ann explained the IC 36-9-25-11 CODE.
(g) Fees assessed against real property under this section also constitute a lien against the property assessed. The lien attaches at the time of the filing of a notice of lien in the County Recorder's Office. The lien is superior to all other liens except tax liens.
(h) A fee assessed against real property under this section constitutes a lien against the property assessed only when the fee is delinquent for no more than three (3) years from the day after the fee is due.
Valla Ann explained that from 1999 through the end of 2003 there was over 3 million dollars not collected. Due to IC 36-9-25-11 WE CANNOT GO BACK AND COLLECT THESE UNPAID SEWER BILLS! She went on to explain that in 2004 the uncollected amount was approximately $900,000 and in 2005 the amount was around $700,000. This totals over 1.5 million dollars which you and your sewer board have failed to collect.
She also explained she had recently visited the Floyd County Treasurer's Office and had asked about the number of sewer liens turned over to the Treasurer for recording of same. The response was that none had been filed from January 2004- until after May 2005.
Valla Ann has been telling you and the sewer board for months to get busy and place liens on the property where the delinquent bills were accumulated. The liens are filed against the property owner, not the tenant. And the only thing sewer board attorney Fifer could says was, "Oh, they changed that process".
So we ask you Mayor Garner is this fair to us citizens who pay their sewer bills? And you have the nerve to raise our sewer rate because you and your adminstration are not doing there jobs?
Mr. Mayor where have you and your sewer board attorney been? Do you not know that Indiana Code controls that process. And just maybe you need to read Indiana Code.
Also last year, the City Council approved the position of a paralegal to be hired in the City Attorney's Office. Why hasn't that person been working on the delinquent sewer liens? The Sewer Board has now approved the hiring of another clerk for the billing office on the third floor to work on delinquent sewer bills. So how can you justify hiring additional employees when it is so obvious people are not doing their jobs?
Freedom Of Speech feels that this is incomptence on your part that the delinquent sewer bills have not been collected. We can only hold you accountiable from 2004 to present. What you are doing to the taxpayers is wrong.
It also makes us question your sincere honesty to do your job and hire the right people. And as you say the buck stops here!
We citizens are outraged that your not doing your job. But Valla Ann Bolovschak a private citizen is doing your job for free and looking out for the taxpayers. All the while you're being interviewed on Fox TV saying what you are going to do. Or did you go on TV because Valla Ann told the truth, gave the real facts about delinquent sewer bills and offered a solution? The citizens of New Albany are tired of promises. We want results!
Mayor Garner if you are not part of the solution for New Albany's problems then maybe you are part of the problem!
Thursday, June 08, 2006
New Albany Township Board,
As you may already know I will not be holding this position for the Floyd County Democratic party next year. Until that time I will continue to bend over backwards to meet your request.
Indiana Code states that the Trustee is to pay you annually. Your asking to be paid monthly is totally up to the Township Executive.
However I look forward to seeing you in August when I present next year's budget. The meeting is scheduled for Four PM Tuesday August first.
I wish all of you well in November.
I will miss your tactics, lies, dementedness and lack of appreciation for all I do for you.
Tom Cannon, Township Trustee
Freedom Of Speech would like to respond to your comments:
Mr. Cannon this is why you lost the primary election! You were offered time on WNAS to dispute Boardmember Bob Hornung's allegations. So we ask you Tom why did you not defend yourself? What did you have to hide?
You, Mr. Cannon broke the Cardinal Rule of an "Elected Official". It's called accountability. You forgot that you work for the people, and the taxpayers sign your paycheck.
And you Sir, have no one to blame but yourself!
Dad's swallowed hard behind smiles, and Moms freely brushed away tears.
This class would not pray during the commencements-not by choice, but because of a recent court ruling prohibiting it.
The principal and several students were careful to stay within the guidelines allowed by the ruling. They gave inspirational and challenging speeches, but no one mentioned divine guidance and no one asked for blessings on the graduates or their families.
The speeches were nice, but they were routine...until the final speech received a standing ovation.
A solitary student walked proudly to the microphone. He stood still and silent for just a moment, and then, it happened. All 92 students, every single one of them, suddenly SNEEZED!!!!
The student on stage simply looked at the audience and said, "GOD BLESS YOU, each and every one of you!" And he walked off stage...
The audience exploded into applause. The graduating class of 2006 found a unique way to invoke God's blessing on their future with or without the court's approval.
GOD BLESS YOU!!!
From the Class of 2006
And as we say in New Albany....with liberty, and justice "FOR ALL!"
Wednesday, June 07, 2006
"Corrections" needed on articles June 6, 2006.
1. Scribner Place article: (page 1) The $137,500 Edit Funds pledged to Scribner is wrong. The correct amount of Edit Money pledged to Scribner is $263,000 per year.
See the Council meeting minutes of September 8, 2005.
"Mayor Garner suggested that the amend this resolution to $263,000, so that the total counting the county money would be $400,000."
2. June 6, 2006- (page 1) "city oks sewer fee increase" This is not correct. The council approved a Stormwater Fee increase not a sewer Fee increase.
3. Page 1 and 4
"The Council amended the Stormwater Board bill to set the salaries at 0$ for each of the three members instead of $6.25 per meeting. Mayor Garner's administration had suggested".
This is not correct. Mayor Garner had suggested $625.00 not $6.25 per month.
O.K. Mr. Tucker-Let's correct the errors in your front page article:
* Scribner Place is $263,000 not $137,500.
* Stormwater Fee increased, not the sewer fee.
* Stormwater Board pay, $625.00 per month, not $6.25
Freedom Of Speech would like to ask you Mr. Tucker was Eric Scott Campbell even awake during this council meeting? Because he sure didn't have his facts right again! And you wonder why you are losing Tribune customers.
Tuesday, June 06, 2006
Thank you for saying what most of us are unable to articulate. I have never been exposed to behind the scenes in politics and extremely naieve about this. I know that dishonesty exists but chose not to believe it does in New Albany. I have always tried to believe that you trust those that you put in office to do what is best for all of us. I have recently learned more than I had ever wanted to know about what really transpires. I always vote and always ask about various candidates before doing so. I choose not to vote strictly along party lines.
There are approximately 250 voters that are opposed to the Daisy Lane Devlopment. I believe that most of the councilmen realize this, but some must think they are untouchable.
Thank you for being a strong voice for us. You speak our language.
Daisy Lane Resident
Monday, June 05, 2006
2006-Estimate to be short $700,000.00
2. Local roads and streets fund in the red.
3. Drop program for police Retirements
13 Applications for drop program will start in 2008 estimated to cost $1,000,000.00
(These figures are from Mrs. Garry City Comptroller)
Freedom Of Speech wonders how come there is about $3,000,000-$5,000,000 dollars unaccountable?
Just maybe we do need an investigation of mismanagement and a complete audit!
Sunday, June 04, 2006
Building has not been repaired and is now covered by blue plastic cover which is an eyesore to the City of New Albany.
1. What amount of insurance money was paid to the city for this fire damage?
2. Name of the insurance company?
3. What was this money spent for?
Saturday, June 03, 2006
* Storm water ordinance was created to comply with the EPA mandate.
* It is not necessary to create a storm water advisory board.
* Salaries for board members will only add strain to city finances and increase of taxes.
* Proposed salaries - Mayor + 2 members, $625/mo each, Secretary $525/mo. Yearly expense $22,500.
* June 5th, 2 Resolutions will be proposed before the council.
* R-06-15 $3 million dollars recieved from jail bonds should go towards sewer maintenance to decrease the amount of possible rate increases.
* R-06-16 Scribner/YMCA Bonds, $400 thousand dollars per year for 17 years with a property tax guarantee. If the city is unable to pay the bond payments, then your property tax will increase to cover the payment.
* Show your support on June 5th by attending the 7:30 pm meeting.
DO NOT RAISE OUR SEWER RATES
Need more information?
Contact Steve Price, 3rd district Councilman 941-9032
Your right Councilman Price when you say: It's time the city works for the people instead of against the people. Thanks for having the guts to demand accountability and checks and balances.
Can you still believe Councilman Steve Price that a certain group of people in New Albany think your just complaining about a few nickels and dimes?
Friday, June 02, 2006
The storm water ordinance was created to comply with an EPA mandate. While we have to comply, I do not feel it is necessary to form a new board to deal with this issue. The council or sewer board can perform these duties at no additional cost to the citizens.
Currently, there is a move to create an additional board with the mayor, and two members to be paid six hunfred and twenty five dollars a month each ($7,500.00) per year, and a secretary five hundred and twenty two dollars per month ($6,264.00) per year. That is an additional twenty two thousand and five hundred dollars ($22,500) per year. I feel that this money would be better spent on drainage problems.
On Monday, June 5th, I will be proposing two resolutions.
R-06-15: This resolution deals with the money the city will receive from the jail bonds. The amount will be close to 3 million dollars. Considering we are approximately 5 million short on our sewer funds. I would like to see the Edit Reserve from the jail bonds transferred to the sewers. This would reduce the amount needed for a sewer rate increase. The administration will argue this money is needed to cover other expenses.
What we need to do, is operate within the budget that the State allows.
R-06-16: This resolution deals with the city financing of the Scribner/YMCA bonds. We the taxpayers, are asked to pay up to 400 thousand dollars per year, for 17 years, to finance the bonds for this project. The bonds are also backed with the promise that if we run short on funds, that our property taxes will be used to pay them. This could lead to higher property taxes! I feel that we cannot afford this. We need to use that money for streets, sidewalks, and the drop retirement program, (which is estimated to be 1 million in the red), and other city needs. That is why I am introducing R-06-16. With the Edit Reserve from the jail bonds, and the money we save if we do not bond the Scribner project, we should be able to keep our finance in order and not have to ask the good citizens of New Albany for another sewer rate increase. If you have any concerns or comments, call me at 949-1262 or 797-8347.
Thank you for reading, and may God bless.
Dan Coffey 1st District City Councilman
Freedom Of Speech would like to ask Councilman Coffey to continue to fight for what is best for all the citizens in New Albany. And we thank you Dan for refusing to be a "Rubber Stamp" for this Administration.
Thursday, June 01, 2006
The issue here is a simple one: The issue here is whether the deed of 1935/1962 is valid. It is a question whether the donation of land reserved for a specific purpose and the reversionary clause is valid despite the Indiana statue of the early 1990's.
The facts are clear: In 1935, Catherine Fawcett donated this land in question to the city to be used for recreational purposes. A reversionary clause was attached not only in 1935, but also in 1962 stating that if the land was to be used for any other purpose, it was to be reverted back to the donor or the heirs. As recalled by surviving heirs of Catherine Fawcett, this land was to be her legacy; a gift to the citizens of New Albany to enjoy forever.
The public interest protected by this reversionary clause-a recreational area to be enjoyed by the citizens of New Albany-remained intact from 1935 until 2004 when the city of New Albany decided to violate the conditions of the deed. Infact, in 1999, the School Corporation of New Albany-Floyd County contracted with the parks department to upgrade the ball field for use by New Albany High School. The School Corporation spent $105,000 of taxpayer's money between 1999 and 2004 to upgrade the field.
The Linden Meadows subdivision symbolizes the local government under color of law depriving it's citizens of their rights and their property. Linden Meadows subdivision is an affront to all citizens of New Albany, rich or poor, Democrat or Republican.
It illustrates the arrogance of local officials who do not respect a legally, morally binding contract. The opponents of Linden Meadows subdivision base their opposition on the validity of the 1962 deed. A deed is a morally and legal binding contract, which protects land from unlawful manipulation.
CHDO and the City of New Albany and the supporters of Linden Meadows have created a smoke screen to cloud the issue involved here. In the November 22nd hearing, CHDO and the City of New Albany created a smoke screen based on two absurd arguments:
That Howard McLean Park was not a park and that the Fawcett heirs were paid for the land. Both arguments were not credible. The land was donated as a park in 1935, christened as a park, dedicated as a park, and used as a park.
As a matter of fact, the parks department maintained the park for 70 years.
Regarding the second argument, the Fawcett heirs deny ever having been paid for that land. In fact, the amount that was allegedly paid ($1600) in 1962 was grossly out of proportion to the total amount paid for the land. The city received $284,000 for 80 acres. The Fawcetts should have recieved approximately $36,000 for their ten acres instead of a measly $1600. But in any event the Fawcett heirs have no record or recollection of ever having been paid.
They also believed this land was preserved under the priginal 1935 deed. As for the 1962 deed, there are reversionary clauses in the deed regarding two pieces of land. One piece of land did not have a reversionary clause.
However, the supporters of Linden Meadows obviously don't care to look for the facts in this case.
The real issue (the validity of the 1962 deed) was never addressed in the ruling after the November 22nd hearing. The Judge ruling only addressed the smoke screen presented by CHDO and the city. The Judge even ruled that the Fawcett heirs should have had first right of refusal of the land if it "had been for sale" after 1962; however, she stated that it wasn't.
Interestingly, a memo in 1998 from John Rosenbarger to the mayor stated that the Howard McLean ball field, lots on Cottom and Linden as well as the golf course were for sale by the state of Indiana. It appears that the Fawcett heirs should have been approached at that time, but were denied their rights.
The supporters of Linden Meadows subdivision have obfuscated the issue with slanderous attacks. They accuse the opponents of racism and anti-family bias, which has been proved to be total without merit. They have falsely stated that residents of the area support Linden Meadows when in fact approximately 75 residents of that area signed a petition against it. It is a false statement that a "low income specialist" was approached by the opponent's attorney to testify.
The heirs of the Fawcett family cannot afford to protect their property rights therefore other interested residents in the area have joined the battle. It is as simple as that. There are no other dogs in the fight. The supporters of Linden Meadows have their pitiful conspiracy theories that there are other political supporters. We hate to disappoint them in their quest for drama, but their conspiracy theories are false.
As for someone buying the houses that now sit on Linden Avenue....good for them. We hope that both of them sell to qualified homeowners. If CHDO and the city are trying to sell the houses in Linden Meadows to unsuspecting homeowners but withholding information about the pending lawsuit, then that, my dear friends, is very deceptive.
And do you know what would be the best thing to do of all? Go talk to the six families that have been slandered during this fight. They would be happy to sit down and discuss all of this with you so you may get the facts straight. Instead of listening to the city and CHDO spin on the matter.
Are any of you brave enough to to do such a thing?
So John Miller, when you are driving past some land and hear people laughing, hear the thump or crack of a softball bat, see dugouts, fences and lights on for the infield, I guess you wouldn't describe that as a "park" would you? If that's your thought, then maybe the City and CHDO should have put the houses at Anderson Park?