Tuesday, December 16, 2008
We are proud of our soldiers.
We also know that this year our troops will celebrate Christmas at their dangerous posts - far from home, but close to our hearts.
AT&T has set up special phone stations near all major deployments in the MID-East. Phone access for our troops are easy, but calls home remain expensive.
AT&T offers special AT&T Global Prepaid Cards which can be sent to military personnel.
Freedom Of Speech is asking our readers to join us to buy as many soldiers as you can AT&T's "Military Exchange 300 Cards." Each calling card costs $18 and gives each recipient 80 minutes in call time from Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait to the U.S.
These calling cards will be distributed by the American Red Cross to our troops.
Freedom Of Speech staff members have purchased 50 calling cards. It's our way of saying "Thank You" to our brave men and women.
God Bless America!
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Our father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come,
they will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us or trespasses
as we forgive those
who trespass against us,
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil,
For thine is the kingdom,
and the power,
and the glory,
for ever and ever.
The New Albany City Council said the Lords Prayer and Pledge of Allegiance for over 25 years. We have heard some City Council members plan to remove saying the Lords Prayer before council meetings.
President Gahan has stated he feels uncomfortable standing there saying the prayer. Has he told his Catholic Priest about this problem with the Lords Prayer?
We have been told that Councilman Bob Caesar also stated that the Lords Prayer should be removed. Where does Bob Caesar attend church?
We have also been told Councilman Dan Coffey agrees that the Lord's Prayer should be removed. Where does Dan Coffey attend church?
Freedom Of Speech would like to ask, "Why are these Councilmen listening to the Atheist?"
Will their next move be to remove the "Pledge of Allegiance" from council meetings?
If YOU are as OUTRAGED as WE are, contact these Council members and ask them WHY at:
Council President Jeff Gahan
[home] - 949-9314
[cell] - 987-8262
2nd District - Councilman Bob Caesar
[home] - 945-8744
[business] - 944-3133
1st District - Councilman Dan Coffey
[home] - 949-1262
[cell] - 502-797-8347
Freedom of Speech feels that we need to say "GOD BLESS AMERICA" and pray for God's help more so now... than ever!
Saturday, December 13, 2008
Musgrave told the Evansville Courier & Press that her resignation was effective Friday.
She was appointed agency commissioner in July 2007. She said she always intended to serve for 18 months and had privately told Gov. Mitch Daniels weeks ago of her intentions to resign.
The Department of Local Government Finance oversees property tax assessment across the state, and local government budgeting by counties, cities, towns and other taxing entities.
Freedom Of Speech would like to say:
Both the Governor and the citizens had great expectations of Ms. Musgrave. We believe she lacked the organizational skills required of those expectations.
If the Governor wants to fully attain the reformer status he deserves, he'll look outside of government, into the private sector for a replacement.
We would be very comfortable with Lawyer John Price, a leader of last years tax revolt.
We definitely need a tax reformer.
The loud applause and roar you will hear when this information gets out, will be from local officials across the state.
Is this a victory for Waste, fraud and abuse in local government?
If only you property owners knew what was really going on in New Albany...
Friday, December 12, 2008
Tony Rezko - check
Governor of Illinois - check
Bill Ayers - check
Acorn - triple check
Freddie Mac - check
Fannie Mac - check, check
Rashid Khalidi - check
Sirhan Sirhan - double check
Muslins - Ummm definitely check
Boy, he knows alot of people he don't know?
All these wonderful people...well you know what they say: When you lie down with dogs you get up with fleas.
Welcome to the big leagues, Mr. Obama!
Tuesday, December 09, 2008
We are writing to ask you to REJECT any bailout bill for ANY industry, including U.S. automakers.
When you ignored the will of 90% of the American people and passed the $850 billion BAILOUT of Wall Street bankers, we were upset.
Since then, we've seen that the bailout did NOTHING to help the American economy.
Now, you want us, the American taxpayers, to cough up ANOTHER $25 billion or so, to bail out the "Big Three" automakers. But just giving them $25 billion doesn't change anything; it just puts off for three to six months or so the day of reckoning, and hamstrings any further efforts to produce better or cheaper products that American consumers might want to buy.
The fact is, nationalizing banks and setting company practices for automakers is not called "helping" the American economy. It's called SOCIALISM.
Our final thought:
After the Congress and Senate bails out everyone else, who will BAILOUT us taxpayers when we cannot pay our bills?
Please, vote to REJECT any bailout bill for ANY industry, including U.S. automakers. We will be watching your stand on this matter. Thank you.
Freedom Of Speech Staff
Sunday, December 07, 2008
The Human Resources specialist for the city informs me that full family medical insurance coverage for a city employee cost $1,664.21 per month and dental $80.76 a month. The city picks up 90% of the medical premium $1,540.62 and $22 of the dental insurance premium for a monthly cost to the city of $1,562.62 per council member.
Council members are paid $816 per month with a take-home amount of about $744. Council members who take advantage of this new benefit for full employee and family coverage--at annual cost of $18,751.44 would triple their cost to taxpayers of New Albany over the current salary of $9,792. With full health insurance coverage, a council member would receive around $28,543.44 in salary and benefits.
That is a heck of a raise.
Council member Diane McCartin Benedetti signed up for the full package and by so doing claimed that 200% raise!
Benedetti's money-grab should not surprise anyone, though. In a budget hearing on July 29, Benedetti asked the Council to give her a raise and had her request shot down. Jack Messer made it clear to her that he considered serving on the council as a public service, not a money-making proposition. Intentionally or not, Councilman Dan Coffey came to her aid and found a way to get the council to give her thew raise she wanted. He was the sponsor behind R-08-39.
To be fair, Kevin Zurschmiede, the only Republican on the council, failed to show the fiscal restraint one would expect from a member of his party. He signed up for coverage-for himself and his wife--at a cost to the taxpayers of $11,547.36 annually- giving himself of nearly 120%.
Council member Steve Price also signed up for coverage for himself and his daughter at the cost of $10,971.36 a raise of just over 112%. In Price's favor, he has realized how unfair it is to ask the city's employees and departments to make sacrifices when the Council is bellying up to the trough.
He has informed the city that he is cancelling his coverage.
Maybe it is unfair to pick on just those members of the Council who signed up for the coverage. After all, every member of the Council except, ironically, Price voted to give themselves these benefits. Each one Coffey, Caesar, Price, McLaughlin, Benedetti, Gonder, Messer, Zurschmiede and Gahan is responsible for the additional $41,270.65 that the taxpayers are going to have to pay for our representatives on the Council this year.
Next year, at the whim of each council member, that figure could go even higher.
The council tells us that the city is in a financial crisis.
The Council has voted to freeze or even cut the budgets for the city's departments. Just last month the Council passed a resolution that forces the most critical of city services-fire and police-to cut thousands out of their budget. We are told that the fire and police departments are going to cut the number of these public safety officers hours to make up the loss.
That's right--salary and personnel cuts.
Last year the Council gave the mayor and city clerk huge raises in the midst of financial crisis (neither mayor or clerk voiced any complaints).
This year the City Council gives itself a huge raise.
Maybe the citizens of New Albany have heard that times are tough out there for workers.
Well, it's not for the elected officials of New Albany--not when they can vote themselves raises from money we thought we were paying for city services and public safety.
Freedom Of Speech would like to add the following information:
Humana Plan One
$200 Individual-Network Deductible
Humana Rx: $7.50/$12.50/$25.00
Non-Union Active Employees
Total Premium per month - $513.51
per month - $494.60
Single Employee pays - $19.01
Total Premium per month -$1,027.63
per month - $940.28
Employee/Spouse pay - $87.35
Total Premium per month - $976.24
per month - $892.28
Employee/Child(ren) pay - $83.96
Total Premium per month - $1,644.21
per month - $1,540.62
Employee and Family pay - $103.59
Source: City of New Albany
coverage from 9/1/08 - 8/31/09
How could Council member insurance be paid if insurance was NOT included in the 2008 Budget?
Why did the City Clerk NOT enter any council discussion about Council members insurance in the August 21, 2008 minutes?
Freedom Of Speech would like to say: This is your money taxpayers and they wonder why our city is in a financial crisis!
Saturday, December 06, 2008
The city can't afford bus service or health care but can afford fish for a salt-water aquarium.
You've got to be kidding, right?
On October 24, 2008, a claim was submitted to the city council in the amount of $423.00 for purchases made at Pet Playground, 6944 Kennedy Avenue.
A variety of tropical fish, (Black Bar Soldier, Yellow Angel, 2 Blue fin Damsels, Pajama Cardinals) were purchased for a salt-water aquarium.
Further investigation by "Team Hammond Taxpayers Group" revealed claims in 2006 for $2,239.35, in 2007 for $3,693.95 and in 2008 (up until October) for $2,766.50 for fish, salt and other aquarium related items. This comes to a grand total of $8,699.80!
Where did the money come from to pay for the $8,699.80 in fish and aquarium supplies? The mayor's discretionary gaming fund. Contrary to what the mayor believes; gaming revenue is still taxpayers' money!
Hammond citizens will lose their ability to get to work, the doctor or grocery shop when bus service is cut as of June 30, 2009 but hey...the mayor has a beautiful salt-water aquarium with tropical fish for him to enjoy.
Well you know what they say, it's all about the "RIGHT PRIORITIES!"
Perhaps in this case, swimming with the fishes wouldn't be so bad. Unbelieveable the idiocy in expenditures like these.
Great job Team Hammond, you guys sound just like us in New Albany!
Friday, December 05, 2008
The effects of the big three going under would be a catastrophic hit to our country. It effects everything from car makers to the guys at the local car wash, with parts supplies, repair shops, gas stations, tire manufactures and so on down the line. If GM went under under it would be 2.5 million, that is almost 10% of the population. That added to the current unemployment rate of 6.4% and you come up with a scary numbers.
If you are a democrat how can you vote for McCain?
My suggestion: let UAW, employees, suppliers, dealers, etc pool their money buy the companies. They can get rid of the management they don't want, and when its their own money at risk, maybe everyone in the chain will cut their wages/profit to keep the companies alive.
What does P.U.M.A stand for?
Two things...Why would we not attempt to save 15 million jobs, crucial to the US economy, but we would continue to subsidize the financial industry that imploded on itself creating this chaotic mess in the first place? If the banks hadn't stopped lending, nobody would be asking for help.
Lastly, if you have or have had clients, patients, customers, relatives, and friends that work for the big three, you need to be driving a Big 3 vehicle. For instance, a 25+ year medical professional, who has auto workers as clients and accepts their nice insurance and hopefully will continue to have these clients and make money from their insurance, who just bought a foreign car. Aren't you biting the hand that has fed you for 25 years?
Who cares who you all are? Just keep fighting for the little people.
When was the last quarter GM actually turned a profit or even broke even?
General Motors "as is" - a limp horse that should have been put down many years ago.
I have had five GM cars, I love my Chevy Suburban we should help the Big 3.
If they sold their corporate jets, they could bail themselves out.
We bailed out Chrysler once before. How many do over's do they get? I am a small business owner and we are suppose to be the heart and soul of America and I don't see the government willing to bail me out, as a matter of fact, it's going to get worse for all small businesses over the next few years.
Can you loan us some money Erik? Times are hard you know. Happy holidays anyway.
We bailed out the banks and they have done nothing. AIG came back for more after spending thousands on trips. The banks are tight and not lending still, at least the Big 3 will keep people working.
I heard Coyle Chevrolet on Spring Street is going out of business.
Who ever voted for England is an idiot! Yes I said IDIOT. Didn't those voters learn from the last time he was in office?
Surely Messer will not be dumb enough to run for mayor?
Can you research a way to throw England out of office?
You know why England has a bad back don't you? All that taxpayers money he has in his pockets... (heavy pockets -- bad back...get it?:)))).
Who is Dan Coffey trying to fool? Everyone knows he's in the mayor's pocket right along with Gahan, Messer, Gonder, Ceasar, and that women on the council. That's cut-a-deal-Dan for you.
Give'm hell Erik!!!!
Why doesn't the County Council go after Floyd Memorial Hospital if they are as broke as they say, I would, wouldn't you? Who can I contact beside my councilman?
"Freedom Of Speech Rocks"
Have you checked out John Gonder's voting record on line? He has voted "yes" on everything England has wanted. Doesn't that make him a "yes" man?
I miss the Gang of Four, how about you Erik?
See, we do read our emails.
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Let Freedom Of Speech tell you the REAL story that our local newspaper will never print:
Several months ago Mayor England went to the County Council President for a 2% LOIT TAX.
HB1001 states only the County Council can pass this Tax.
County Council President would not agree with Mayor England on this percentage amount.
County Council President Larry McAllister put it on the agenda for a smaller tax increase.
The County needs money and the City needs money.
As most taxpayers know [or should know] every Mayor and Council members all over the State of Indiana including New Albany Mayor England and some council members are blaming Governor Daniels for the local short fall.
Which is a big FAT LIE!
How do we know this?
Remember all the trips our Freedom Of Speech staff made to Indianapolis over HB 1001?
This LOIT Tax is part of HB1001 approved and Governor Daniels signed into law!
HB1001 was designed to hold local governments feet to the fire on accountability to taxpayers, trying to force local government to live within approved Budget and to stop wasteful spending of taxpayers money.
We agree with Gov. Daniels!
The first LOIT Tax vote was in July 2008. The vote was 3-3 with 1 County Council member abstaining.
On November 11, the County Council had the second reading, which was reported in our local Tribune.
HB1001 Law states:
(A) Permit the levying of up to 1% Income Tax to pay for Budget Increases.
(B) Permits the levying of up to 1% Income Tax to provide Property Tax Relief.
(C) Permits the levying of up to .25% for Public Safety Costs.
Note: HB1001 permits either Option A or B or both to be adopted before County Council may adopt Option C.
Source: HB1001 Sections 332 and 342: IC 6-3.5-1.1-25 and IC 6-3.5-6-31
When City and County Council members pass a budget, they should stay within that budget. We New Albany taxpayers have learned the last 17 years and four Mayors later what they are supposed to do is not what they will do!
We will give credit where credit is due because the County does follow their budget unlike the City of New Albany!
We now call this "The New Democrat Tax" because on the last vote the following democrats voted for this tax:
*Larry McAllister, Democrat
* Tom Pickett, Democrat
* Ted Heavrin, Democrat
* Carol Shope, Democrat
Hats off to the Republicans for doing the right thing for the taxpayers by voting NO:
* Dana Fendley
* Lana Aebersold
* John Schellenberger
Keep reading folks this is about to get really interesting!
Ask yourself this:
Were deals cut to "bail out" England so he could point the finger at the County Council and say: they did it not me?
Doesn't that just sound like England?
Why won't he take the blame for the New LOIT Tax on us?
Is England's pattern TAX and SPEND?
The County claims they need the money.
McAllister stated in the local newspaper "we're broke!"
If the County really wanted to do the right thing, they should make Floyd Memorial Hospital pay back about $8 million or more on a bond they owe to Floyd County taxpayers.
These facts have been verified and confirmed that the County Council did do a bond when the hospital could not obtain one. Floyd County taxpayers should be "outraged" that the hospital only made "two payments."
Taxpayers had to [eat this bond] and pay it off with tax dollars which could have been used for other county needs!
It is total bullshit that the hospital would stick taxpayers with the bill!
See what happens when you do your homework?
We think it's only fair and right that the Hospital should pay this debt back to Floyd County taxpayers!
Don't you agree?
Just think what that money could do to help out Floyd County!
We ask you our readers and supporters to contact:
Council President Larry McAllister at 812-923- 5931 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilman Tom Pickett at 812-207-6529 or email him at:email@example.com,in.us
Councilman John Schellenberger at 812-923-9057 or email him at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Council Vice-President Dana Fendley at 812-949-7001 or email her at: email@example.com
Councilwoman Carol Shope at 812-948-1491 or email her at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Councilwoman Lana Aebersold at 812-944-9823 or email her at: http://www.lanaaebersold.org/
County Council will be required to make annual decisions to increase these Local Income Taxes or to Increase Levies which opens the door to higher taxes next year.
Freedom Of Speech has several questions:
Will people working outside of Floyd County be paying the LOIT Tax approved by Democrats?
Who will collect the TAX on your payroll?
Will Social Security and Retirement Benefits be Taxed?
Part of the TAX is for Property Tax Relief. Renters will be paying the TAX and get NO benefits because they don't own property.
Where can the PUBLIC get REPORTS on the amount of this NEW TAX COLLECTION and how it is being SPENT?
In the current measure we constituents " do not trust" the England Administration and most of our Council Members!
Taxpayers should allow bad government to fail.
As long as there is personal gain overshadowing the accountability, there will always be an opportunity for corruption in local government.
How England thinks he can hold New Albany taxpayers hostage by threatening to lay off employees and threatening taxpayers by saying "The people are going to get what they pay for," or we cannot continue to give people services if we can't afford them," and your threats of raising fees and property taxes.
Our reply is this, "we are not getting what we are paying for now!"
We say lay them all off!
If you can't lead with accountability as Mayor...then we suggest you resign...
Tuesday, December 02, 2008
~Thomas Jefferson 1602