Wednesday, July 30, 2008


Governor Daniels should provide bold property tax relief leadership during the remainder of his reelection campaign.

He should tell Hoosier voters that he will work to get the constitutional property tax caps in Senate Joint Resolution 1 passed during the first week of the 2009 General Assembly session.

Passing SJR1 next year would allow we the people to vote in 2010 for a state constitution amendment that permanently caps property taxes at one percent of our home's value.

We would be protected from shocking property tax increases that force us to make terrible choices between three meals a day, necessary medicine, and property tax bills.

The property tax tax relief promised by this year's sales tax increase would not go away.

We would have a great starting point to eliminate some or all property taxes.

The cost to our governments would be cut because we would be able to keep the home we worked all our lives to buy.

SJR 1 would also protect other property taxpayers from abuse.

The property tax caps for all apartments and farm land would be lowered to two percent of their value. The existing business property tax cap of three percent would never be increased. Farmers and businesses would be able to safely predict their property taxes so they can stay in business.

The constitutional property tax caps that Governor Daniels originated in SJR 1 represent the best effort in more than twenty years to make the state and local burden of Hoosier working families more fair and affordable.

Hoosier working families win next year if our governor leads our General Assembly to pass the constitutional property tax caps.

We all want to protect our homes and jobs.

Candidates will have to tell voters whether they stand with the property tax payers or property tax spenders!

Mitch Daniels isn't a man who rests on laurels or is content to merely tread water and hold station.

He pushes forward...

Freedom Of Speech appreciates Governor Daniels leadership and enthusiastically and proudly endorses Governor Mitch Daniels!

Sunday, July 27, 2008


District 3's Councilman Price said he would rather see the officers keep a mileage log and be required to reimburse the city for the personal miles they put on their cars.

Source: Newspaper-June 30, 2007

Price has stated several times: the city offers one of the area's most generous take-home car policies, with taxpayers covering the gas cost of many city-issued cars used for commutes far outside city limits.

City leaders told Price they have no plans to change that!

Is Councilman Price right or wrong?

City owned vehicles were furnished to 11 employees to be used for City business and for driving to and from work. The vehicles used were not considered "qualified non-personal use vehicles" as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. The use of these vehicles to commute to and from work is considered personal use and is a taxable fringe benefit. During 2007, this fringe benefit was calculated using the Internal Revenue Service "commuter rule" and included as additional compensation on 10 of the employees' W-2's. The city did not calculate and report this taxable fringe benefit for 1 "control employee' as defined by the Internal Revenue Service.

Source: 2007 State Board of Accounts ~2007 Audit of the City of New Albany

Does anyone remember the $10,000 Parks Department cell phone bill in June of 2007?

Look what the 2007 Audit reports:

City owned cell phones were furnished to 68 employees to be used for City business.

The City does not have a written policy concerning the personal use of city-owned cell phones and records are not maintained that distinguishes between business use and personal use.

Personal use of City owned cell phones is considerate a taxable fringe benefit and is to be reported on the employee's W-2's.

Source: State Board of Accounts ~ 2007 Audit of the City of New Albany

Charlie Pride of Indiana State Board of Accounts stated to Freedom of Speech: whenever an item or other asset owned by the political subdivision is entrusted to an officer or employee, to be used at times outside the normal work time for business purposes, such as cellular phones, or vehicle, a log should be maintained which clearly shows the business use.

Pride also said: Each governmental unit is responsible for compliance with all rules, regulations, guidelines and directives of the Internal Revenue Service and the Indiana Department of Revenue. All questions concerning taxes should be address by the following agencies.

As gas prices continue to go up it's more important to keep our police cars inside city limits.

According to the 2007 Audit Report, records are still not being kept on take home cars and cell phones.

Councilman Price has been calling for a review of the cost of take home cars. Councilman Price has also been trying for two years to set up a city policy on take home cars.

Some cities in Indiana are now eliminating all employee take home cars and police cars.

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

If we have to pay for gas to go to the mall and grocery, they should pay their own way like taxpayers.

If you work for the city you should live in the city. Let all employees pay for their own gas, cars and insurance.

Maybe Crabtree and England should look at less spending in the City and our Police Department such as the big salaries and perks.

We find it appalling and an absolute waste of taxpayers dollars for New Albany police officers and City employees to use cell phones and city owned vehicles for this purpose, especially considering the salary of some of these individuals.

Right...Deputy Mayor Malysz?

The chief of police and the Mayor should be ashamed and have a better excuse than " we don't need a policy."

After all it should be up to the taxpayers not the chief of police or Mayor to authorize such a waste of our money.

Take your own cell phone and car to work like all the rest of us hard working taxpayers have too.

The free ride has to end...we taxpayers can't afford it anymore.

"Councilman Price was RIGHT again!

Since Mayor England wants a walking city, let's park the cars and put all city employees on bicyles or golf carts. Think of the gas dollars you would be saving the taxpayers!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


On December 21, 2006, the New Albany Redevelopment Commission awarded Mac Construction & Excavating a $259,447.80 contract for the "Elm Street and Other Spot Basis Curb and Sidewalk Improvement Project."

During 2007, change orders were approved in the amount of $82,007. Change orders totaling $74,436 were for additional work that actually exceeded the scope of the original project and increased the amount of the original project and increased the amount of the original contract by 28%.

Indiana Code 36-1-12-18 (d) states: "The total of all changes orders issued that increase the scope of the project may not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the amount of the original contract. A change order issued as a result of circumstances that could not have been reasonably foreseen does not increase the scope of the project."

Indiana Code 36-1-12-18 (e) states: "all change orders must be directly related to the original public work project."

Source: Charlie Pride - State Board of Accounts

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

This is one small but significant skirmish in a much larger transaction.
You should be ashamed of yourself, Mr. Rosenbarger. Very ashamed.

Where is the accountability John?

Sunday, July 20, 2008


After attending the last council meeting Thursday July 17, 2008, we at Freedom Of Speech decided to have a wait and see approach and do some more research about the issue of the Redistricting of New Albany.

Several comments have been said by both Council members, elected officials, private citizens, plaintiffs and the Redistricting committee.

Our intentions are to put the pieces together and see what we come up with.

Maybe if your lucky Mr. Cassidy, your name might stay out of the Courier-Journal.

We seriously doubt it.

So Mr. Wimp, you just want it over with no matter what happens?

Mr. Smith did you really think you had control over the council?

Back on topic: Is this Smithgate or Watergate?

May 12, 2006:

"City Council District 2 contains thousands more residents and registered voters than any other districts, records show. But the council president says important issues on the agenda trump any redistricting, even with the threat of a lawsuit. Through the Council redistricted in 1992, it failed to do so in 2002. Two proposals lacked the support to pass, former Councilman Maury Goldberg said."

Plaintiffs spew their venom:

the new albanian aka: Roger Baylor plaintiff said: Councilman Coffey, have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last? Have you left no sense of decency?

signed Roger A. Baylor, Jeff Gillenwater, Randy Smith

Source: blog

all4word aka: Randy Smith plaintiff said: City Council member's can only be removed by death or conviction for a felony, or conviction of a misdemeanor germane to the office and duties...or on May of 2007

Source: blog

the new albanian aka: Roger Baylor plaintiff said: Is it not your responsibility to speak out and expose the patent dishonesty of Dan Coffey, Bill Schmidt, Larry Kochert, and Steve Price?

Source: blog

all4word aka: Randy Smith plaintiff said: CM Price's parents and teachers failed to inculcate in him even the barest inkling of the word "counterintuitive."

Source: blog

all4words aka: Randy Smith plaintiff said: And how anyone can project how the districts will be reapportioned is beyond me. And don't be coy, KT. Who do you know is crossing his or her fingers to be reapportioned to a new council district?

Source: blog

bluegill aka: Jeff Gillenwater plaintiff said: Although I did not and will not vote for Price, I feel compelled to apologize for his presence on the Council, if for no other reason than to let the rest of the city know that his behavior and ignorance don't accurately reflect the current intelligence and hopefulness of his district at all.

Source: blog

the new albanian aka: Roger Baylor plaintiff said: First Jeff Gahan was in bed with Dan Coffey (sewers), and now Steve Price (redistricting). Do they sell full body condoms down at Cleopatra's adult book store?

Source: blog

You be the Judge!

July 12, 2006: Newspaper

"State code dictates that second-class cities such as New Albany must split into six council districts that, among other distinctions, must "contain as nearly, as nearly as is possible, equal population. "

August 12, 2007: Newspaper

"Beardsley wrote his plaintiffs asking for feedback, and Ulrich expects to discuss the proposal with the council in closed executive session if necessary. We've discussed some rough parameters said Ulrich. The prospect of the council - rather than a special panel appointed by a judge -drawing up the new districts boundaries did not appeal to Randy Smith. The proposal "would be less than a slap on the wrist...I doubt seriously that we're going to accept this," said Smith."

August 26, 2007: Newspaper

"Plaintiffs Jeff Gillenwater and Randy Smith accompanied attorney Stephen Beardsley; president Larry Kochert and attorney Jerry Ulrich represented the City Council. Beardsley's plaintiffs proposed weeks ago that the council redistrict by August 2008, after it hears advice from a five-member study group appointed by both sides. Those five people would be paid $50 a day and Beardsley paid a flat fee of $5,000, all out of city coffers. Friday afternoon, the council countered with a proposal reached at a closed meeting Tuesday. The council would draw the boundaries and vote on the issue, but by November of this year and without an advisory committee."

"Plaintiffs insisted that the negotiations take place in public meetings, and Ulrich and Kochert agreed."

"Hussman strode back and forth between two closed rooms containing the two parties as the clock crept toward 6 p.m. Finally, all six men convened in one room, than departed with news of the "agreement in principle." Smith called himself "very pleased...I think it's a great day for New Albany."

September 15, 2007: Newspaper

"The lawsuit is still in its pretrial phase and parties have an, "agreement in principle" in which the council will vote on new districts by November 22."

"However, plaintiffs say that if they don't like what the council approved, they would like to see a Dec. 3 trial commence. Those feelings were conveyed by resident Randy Smith during the hearing Friday. He complained that the districts proposed were not drawn by a residents' advisory group, but rather by council and behind closed doors."

"Floyd County Clerk Linda Moeller also spoke, urging the council not to approve a map in which political districts split precincts. Doing so would force the clerks office to have separate poll books, ballots and voting machines, she said, something that would cause unnecessary expense."

"Smith said that the law doesn't address trouble, confusion or expense. "it just says 'as equally as possible."

"In an interview after the meeting, Kochert said. Now that a hearing has taken place, the council will publicly discuss the map in upcoming council meetings before any vote is taken. Kochert said it was the charge of the City Council to draw the map, not a panel of residents. "They're wannabes," Kochert said. "They want to be leaders of the community. The law says that the council does the redistricting."

Calendar of Council Council Action on Redistricting Lawsuit 2007-2008:

October 9, 2007 - R07 -35A : pertains to Lawsuit about redistricting. Approved: 5 aye, 1 nay, 2 abstained

Source: Public record

December 20, 2007 - G07-19 an ordinance dividing the city into six Districts. Approved 5 to 3. G07-19 was approved by city council on December 27, 2007 and became Ordinance G07-59

Please note: According to our research of city council minutes, we did not find any council action that has rescinded G07-59 which divided the city into six districts.

1st DISTRICT which shall be composed of PRECINCTS 1, 2, 17, 21 and 23;

2nd DISTRICT which shall be composed of PRECINCTS 16, 18, 19, 22, and 29;

3rd DISTRICT which shall be composed of PRECINCTS 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 10;

4th DISTRICT which shall be composed of PRECINCTS 11, 12, 13, 20, 24 and 25;

5th DISTRICT which shall be composed of PRECINCTS 9, 14, 15, 15(A), 26, and 28; and

6th DISTRICT which shall be composed of PRECINCTS 19(A), 19(B), 27, 27(A), 28(A) and 29(A).

So...We already have a Redistricting Ordinance on the books!

Footnote: Part 111 of: Is this Smithgate or Watergate?

Saturday, July 19, 2008


After attending the last council meeting Monday July 7, 2008, we at Freedom Of Speech decided to have a wait and see approach and do some more research about the issue of the Redistricting of New Albany.

Several comments have been said by both Council members, plaintiffs and the Redistricting committee.

Our intentions are to put the pieces together and see what we come up with.

Are these the key plaintiffs in lawsuit?

Randy Smith
Roger Baylor
John Gonder - Council member
Jeff Gillenwater
Lloyd Wimp

Ruthanne Wolfe - wife of Councilman John Gonder


Stephen Beardsley - Attorney for Plaintiffs
Jerry Ulrich - Attorney for Defendants

Source: Federal Court document

Freedom Of Speech would like to point out:

for well over a year our previous City Council had been trying to resolve the redistricting problem before this committee was even formed.

We feel that when an elected officials take the oath of office they should be held liable and accountable for THEIR actions.

This underhanded way of doing the PEOPLE'S business in New Albany is unacceptable.

Freedom Of Speech can only present to you our readers the FACTS of the redistricting matter.

Federal and State laws have been broken, taxpayers have been billed for Plaintiff's Consent Decree, and illegal meetings and much more.

What we have been reading, hearing and seeing over the last 1 1/2 years, is nothing but purely a political movement "to influence an election or to take out certain elected council members" in our opinion.

You be the judge!

In 2007 the Elected Council members were as followed: Larry Kochert , Dan Coffey, Bill Schmidt, Steve Price, Beverly Crump, Jeff Gahan, Donnie Blevins, Kevin Zurschmiede and Jack Messer.

On or around September 2007 Plaintiff Jeff Gillenwater reply's to Council President Larry Kochert's remarks in Saturday's Tribune:

Kochert accused the plaintiff's in the case of being political "wannabes" Gillenwater stated in his response " But, allow me to be blunt, Council President Kochert's bad faith bargaining thus far has created a strong impression that the council has no intension of committing to a fair and legal redistricting process."

What the plaintiffs weren't telling were the entire facts. Deep throat told us: "every time they meet at the federal court house meetings the plaintiffs would change to a new or additional demands."

On September 20, 2007:

Lloyd Wimp [plaintiff] presented another proposal for the redistricting.

Let's look at the facts:

Attorney Fee date - October 4, 2007 - Description: Tele. conference w/Mr. Messer re: resolution

Attorney Fee date - October 5, 2007 - Description: Conference w/ Mr. Messer re: amended Consent Decree; Draft Amended Decree; revise original Decree; prepare Resolution; prepare Ordinance, forward to Mayor
Attorney Hours: 3.80
Attorney Amount: $570.00

Attorney Fee date: - October 9, 2007 - Description: Re-draft Resolution/Consent Degree, Conf. w/Mr. Messer, meetings (2)
Attorney Hours: 3.80
Attorney Amount: $570.00
Attorney: Ulrich & Vidra

Source: Bills submit to Controller Garry

Taxpayers, are you still with us?

Atty. Jerry L. Ulrich was defendant's attorney, not plaintiffs attorney and he was drawing up agreements for Councilman Messer for the plaintiffs. Was he doing work for plaintiffs and defendants and charging us taxpayers? Did Mr. Messer take it upon himself with out council approval to do this?

Question Mr. Smith: Why didn't Plaintiff's own attorney Bearsley draw these agreements up?

What authority did Councilman Messer have to negotiate and who gave him the approval to run taxpayer's tab up?

October 18, 2007: Mr. Kochert stated the way Mr. Messer got to be chairman of the redistricting committee was that he came up to him after the meeting and told him that he was going to be the chair.

Source: Council minutes

Check out the date of legal services and the date of Mr. Kochert's comments.

Is this not a case of Conflict of Interest on Council Attorney Ulrich's part?
Whose side was he on anyway?

Based on legal bills submitted to Controller Garry by Attorney Ulrich, we taxpayers carried the tab without approval by our council.

Hell fire, whose side was Messer on anyway?

Did Councilman Messer cut a deal with the plaintiffs before the November election?

Taxpayers, are you still with us?

Keep reading: this is starting to get interesting!

R07-35A states: IT IS SO ORDERED, Response: All discussions and deliberations on the issue of redistricting between members of the City Council shall take place only at regular or especially called meetings of the Council with notice to the public at least 48 hours in advance.

Source: Public record

On December 27, 2007 Mr. Messer stated that they did have a piece of paper that the plaintiff's signed and they could have been done with this lawsuit and the judge isn't happy with this ordinance and if they don't rule in favor then they will still be dealing with it next year and they had to push this through at the last hour makes no sense and that they option to take care of this and they chose not to take it.

Source: council minutes

What paper is Councilman Messer talking about?

Document B - Consent Decree

Reviewed, Signed and approved by the following:

Peter A. Vogt
Jeff Gillenwater
Roger Baylor
Randy Smith
Lloyd Wimp
Stephen Bearsley - Council for Plaintiffs


Reviewed, Signed and approved Document B by the following:
Councilman Jack Messer
Councilman Kevin Zurschmiede
Council women Beverly Crump
James Garner, Sr. Mayor - City of New Albany

Again, go back to our legal fee list: for date of this Consent Decree.

Source: Public Record

We have a question for Councilman Messer: Why weren't the other Council members notified of this Consent Decree until after it had been drawn up and signed, then it was provided to the other council members?

On July 7, 2008 Mr. Messer stated: that there was NO POLITICS played in this committee except the politics for the people and not the politicians.

Source: July 7, 2008 Council minutes

Didn't you really mean to say: there was politics played on this committee the politics for the plaintiffs?

It is what it is...Councilman Messer ~ shame on you!

footnote: Part 11 of: Is this Smithgate or Watergate?

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Deputy Mayor Carl Malysz, "What hat are you wearing today?"

Tribune, July 2, 2008


"Three New Albany streets have been marked for paving, Deputy Mayor Carl Malysz said Tuesday".


"Closing part of Scribner Drive was suggested on behalf of Mayor Doug England and Deputy Mayor, Carl Malysz".

3. "Carl Malysz, Deputy Mayor and Director of Development said the beautification may take a few months".

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

To our knowledge, the New Albany City Council has never approved an ordinance to establish the position of Deputy Mayor for the City of New Albany.

Why has the City Attorney never reviewed the Indiana Code to determine the legality of an appointed Deputy Mayor in a position that was never established?

Are the actions and decisions of the New Albany Deputy Mayor Malysz legal?

The taxpayers do not want to pay the bill for any penalties charged because the City of New Albany allowed the Deputy Mayor to perform/function/ in a position that was not established by law.

This is the reason of why we question the legality of our Deputy Mayor:

IC 36-4-9-7 : Ordinance establishing position of deputy mayor:

Sec. 7. The city legislative body may by ordinance establish the position of deputy mayor, who serves as the city executive's deputy. The ordinance must:

(1) provide that the deputy is appointed by and serves at the pleasure of the executive, and

(2) set forth all the powers of the deputy, which may not exceed the powers of the executive

See...what happens when you do your homework!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008


The West End Community Council, a residents group, will meet at 6pm today at the New Albany-Floyd County Public Library, 180 West Spring St.

Dan Coffey, a council board member and a member of the New Albany City Council, said the meeting agenda includes discussion of establishing a Community Housing Organization and West End clean up efforts. Those who want more information may call Dan Coffey at 502-797-8347.

Source: Dan Coffey

Monday, July 14, 2008


Hopefully, the Democrats will have a chance to clean up the party. We wish you well in your new position. Will Councilman Messer be the Progressive Candidate to fill the Democrat Chair or will the Progressives push for Councilman Gonder?

Sunday, July 06, 2008


First of all the staff of Freedom Of Speech hopes each and everyone of our readers had a great 4th of July holiday.

Unfortunately, we have to ruin your three day holiday with the bad news.

Should we be the source breaking this news to the citizens of New Albany?

We say... NO!

Are the Mayor, Deputy Mayor and Controller too busy trying to keep this information from taxpayers and our city council members?

We will give you all a chance to read the truth on Freedom Of Speech.

On April 10, 2008 England stated in the newspaper that New Albany has a general fund that is nearly $1.7 million in the red. The general fund finances 16 departments and operating funds.

So how about the truth now Mr. England?

Here comes -- "We told you so" way back in 2007!

The cash balances of the following funds were overdrawn in 2007:

General Fund...................... - $2,218,707

Motor Vehicle Highway....... - $85,325

New Direction..................... - $9,766

Redevelopment BAN
Charlestown Road.............. - $1,400


The records presented for audit indicated the following expenditures in excess of BUDGET appropriations:

General Fund ................. - $811,179

Stormwater Fund........... - $1,323,055

Source: State Board of Accounts 2007 Audit

So who are you going to believe taxpayers, Mr. England or the State Board of Accounts?


Why does Council President Gahan not call for a full independent audit, a full investigation and just get to the bottom of what is really going on in the controllers office?

Are these council members so weak and so obligated to Doug England that no one has the guts to do the right thing on behalf of taxpayers?

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

Our city keeps making the same damn mistakes. Why don't they follow Ordinances our Council passes? No one stays on a budget. We still don't have a 2008 city budget, but this administration continues to spend.

There is no policy for take home cars or logs kept for millage or records kept on 68 cell phones to determine city or personal use.

Where is the "accountability to the taxpayers" of New Albany?

How damn stupid do they think we taxpayers are?

Freedom Of Speech would like to personally thank the State Board of Accounts for releasing this vital information to the taxpayers of New Albany.

footnote: Freedom Of Speech will be releasing additional city violations next week from the 2007 State Board of Accounts Audit.