Monday, August 30, 2010


On Tuesday, November 2, 2010, Hoosier voters will decide in a referendum whether or not they want the property tax caps placed in the Indiana Constitution.

The referendum requires a majority to make the caps permanent and place them in the Constitution.

If voters approve the referendum, property tax rates would be capped at 1 % for owner-occupied homes, 2 % for rental properties and farmland and 3% for business and industrial properties.

Property taxes have impacted most Hoosiers throughout the state; some counties have been hit harder than others. It should be up to the voters to decide whether or not the caps should be made permanent and just how much local government they can live with and live without.

Vote Yes!!!

Sunday, August 29, 2010


The issue that caught our attention was the recent attack on School Board Vice President Mrs. Gardenour at a recent School Board meeting.

We thought the School Boards primary responsibilities are to:

* Set the vision and goals for the district

* Adopt policies that give the districts direction to set priorities and achieve it's goals

* Hire and evaluate the superintendent

* Adopt and oversee the annual budget

* Manage the collective bargaining process for employees of the district

We have attended a few school board meetings and found a typical meeting will include many business items, such as approving the school calendar, adopting curriculum, overseeing construction, and approving contracts without side vendors.

Maybe the following School Board members: Neal Smith, DJ Hines, Mark Boone and School Board President Roger Whaley needs to figure out what the real definition of transparency is.

In fact we'll do it for them.

Definition of transparency: the condition in which nothing is hidden.

What others had to say:

Elaine wrote: "Yes the Superintendent was picked by the board and they are his boss. For him to insist that they be his puppet is ridiculous. And the media and the public has every right to know what is going on during the meetings."

Gail Parish wrote: "This is America this is a democracy not a dictatorship and every person be they on the board or not has a right to disagree with the superintendent AND speak to the press. I think it's called Freedom Of Speech."

Mark said it best: "I find it odd that a majority voted to remove Gardenour from her VP post but then voted to remove or severely edit most of the items that she objected to. Perhaps some of the majority may want to examine their own hatred. They obviously agreed with her points."

Source: New Albany Tribune

We totally agree Mark!

Freedom Of Speech would like to add and state our position on this issue:

In our opinion, it is sad and unfortunate that D.J. Hines, and Neal Smith did not have enough confidence in their own arguments that they resorted to behind the scenes tactics along with School Board President Roger Whaley to attempt to oust Mrs. Gardenour as Vice President.

Unfortunately, Mark Boone new to the School Board chose to be a part of this misguided effort.

We also believe the citizens of New Albany, for whom they are accountable need to understand what happened and why it must not be tolerated.

Was this political or personal?

We say both!

Is the School Board now fracturing into an us-versus-them mentality that will result in bruising power struggles over key decisions?

Board members aren't elected to warm seats, build power bases, belittle other school board members, dole out personal favors or take advantage of what few perks come with the office.

Board members are elected to ask questions, to closely scrutinize budgets for waste and make difficult decisions about spending limited funds. They're supposed to hold staff accountable for explaining proposals so that the public understands what's happening in their schools.

Our community needed to know that these four school board members and Asst. Supt. Brad Snyder was about to pull the wool over their eyes and Mrs. Gardenour was not about to let this happen!

If you know anything about Mrs. Gardenour, she would never be a rubber stamp for the School Board or any board she might sit on.

And if you ever think this woman is a "coward" you are in for a fight as she has never been one to back down from a fight or what she believes in.

She makes her decisions based on facts, and believes in accountability, checks and balances and transparency.

We applaud School Board Vice President Rebecca Gardenour for standing up and taking those personal attacks.

Most citizens knows this was nothing but a set up and these School Board Members were out of their league when they chose to take Gardenour on.

As Kevin Bacon said in "A Few Good Men," those are the facts of the case and they are not up to dispute.

Footnote: To all our readers. We ask that you contact the following School Board members and voice your opinion on their personal attack of Mrs. Gardenour and transparency:

Roger Whaley, President:
D.J. Hines, Member:
Mark Boone, Member:
Neal Smith, Member:

Sunday, August 22, 2010


General Fund Year End (Deficit)/Surplus:

Mayor James Garner:

2004 - Deficit.....$2,794,627
2005 - Deficit.....$640,833
2006 - Deficit.....$1,695,512
2007 - Deficit.....$2,218,707

Mayor Doug England:

2008 - Deficit....$2,335,047
2009 - Deficit....$2,558,158
2010 - Deficit....$1,778,766

Like no one saw this coming?

England Plan 2011 - Deficit....$752,056
England Plan 2012 - Surplus..$200,596

We sure hope he didn't purchase any pain medicine from our favorite Assessor. Because this guy is totally fried if he thinks people will buy his recent scam and besides he'll not be elected again, he's as toxic as Obama is to the Democrat Party.

England claims our city is underfunded, but "we all know" he has mismanaged our money!

This is what happens when you just keep spending and spending like there's no tomorrow.

There are no pleasant (easy) fiscal options left for heavily indebted cities like New Albany anymore.

We are bankrupt.

The time to trim the bloated union payroll and cut retirement benefits is long past. Quit screwing around Doug and do what needs to be done!

Gotta love England's strong arm tactics...first, they are given generous raises, by the City Council...then he turns around and raises fees. Now, he's threatened to close a firehouse and lay off Firefighters.

Has anyone notice he never threatens the Police with layoffs?

He then comes up with a current "scam" for cutting employee insurance and we taxpayers will pick up the tab.

The Madoff caper is a drop in the bucket compared to what the last four mayors (England, Overton, Garner and England again) have done to the citizens of New Albany.

At least Bernard Madoff went to prison!

So now what, Mayor Doug????

You'd better talk to your "hand-picked" board members, your illegal Deputy Mayor and your over priced City Attorney.

What a racket you all have going on. And all at the expense of the taxpayers.

The City of New Albany has the making for a new movie that will be titled "Scam City!"

"Vote them all out in 2011!"

Thursday, August 19, 2010


Today President Clinton celebrates his 64th birthday. Given the scare he gave his loving wife and daughter this past winter, we hope he celebrates many, many more. We think Mr. President's birthday week is a good time to reintroduce his hugs and kisses with Madam Secretary.

Wishing you a wonderful birthday and many more with your lovely partner for life!

Freedom Of Speech Staff

Wednesday, August 18, 2010


Will five council members finally stand up to Mayor England this Thursday?

We believe the council will get a "wake -up call" from the public regarding Police, Fire and the Communication Department at this Thursday's council meeting.

Mayor England is banking on, but believes that with $2 million needed, "they'll hit the snooze button" and will they crumble under his threats and pressure?

Will Dan Coffey finally vote "no" against giving $2 million to Police, Fire, and Communications to save his council seat?

Will Officer and Councilman Messer stand up and vote "no" and explain how the New Albany Police Department continues mismanaging our tax dollars to pad their salaries for a bigger retirement check?

Will Diane Benedetti break the chains of bondage from Doug England, or is she just blowing smoke up our butts.... when she states she is now a "no" vote against funding the police and fire.

We only need five votes folks, do five of the nine council members plan on running for re-election in 2011?

You five sure don't want to get caught making a choice that may come back to haunt you in 2011.

We have been told if the 2011 primary was held today the Mayor and several Council members would be voted out of office.

Our final thoughts:

Who is printing up "Wanted Dead or Alive" posters against Councilman Jack Messer and is that legal?

Why is Police Officer Isom in Car - 272, hassling Councilman Price?

Maybe it's time for us citizens to file a complaint with the Indiana State Police and let them investigate the City of New Albany.

To many questions and not enough answers!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


77 Days - until the Polls open November 2, 2010 and the great "Ejection Election" begins.

We feel a tingle up our leg, to borrow a phrase from Chris Mathews.

As the time draws near we do believe the time for bleating over Obama is past. We all know what he is and is not.

In the final push to November there are great Conservative candidates out there deserving of our support.

The clock is ticking on the days of one party rule in D.C. We know the country craves the kind of leadership that will bring us back to the economic growth, fiscal responsibility, and limited government that has made this country great.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


(1) "Beyond that, it may surprise you to know that property taxes in New Albany used to be calculated at a much higher rate than they are now. Even with trending, we pay less per assessed value than the locals did even during the Depression."

"Property tax rates have not dramatically increased over the past few decades. They're actually decreased over that stretch and Indiana ranks low nationally in terms of the average tax burden on citizens."

Freedom Of Speech would like to know what city you live in, surely not New Albany?

(2) "Given the fact that the board could now see the end of rigid EPA monitoring and the end of the environmental consent decree."

Freedom Of Speech would like to say we heard from (promoted) EPA Supervisor of District Five, Mrs. Barbara Vantil that New Albany will not see the end of their rigid EPA monitoring for a long, long time!

(3) "But voting no without a legitimate plan to cut future expenses while protecting the city would be a foolish move."

(4) "The administration believes annexing the Charlestown Road commercial corridor effective in 2012 will boost the general fund in 2013"

(5) "England added that he doesn't support closing a fire house or firing employees due to safety concerns."

(6) "He said the city has no intentions at this point of paying the township."

(7) "One Southern Indiana's involvement has aided in the creation of 1,600 jobs, $62 million in payroll $82.5 million in new, taxable capital in New Albany."

(8) "Haub said the police union didn't ask for raises this year because it knew the condition of the city's general fund."

(9) "England defended his police and fire chiefs, as he said they are managing their budgets as tight as they can."

Best comments so far:

(1) "If we don't get a mayor willing to deal with the contracts, I don't know how we can."

(2) "There were accusations made by Councilman Jack Messer that police mismanagement of staff has increased overtime pay unnecessarily."

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

One, this is the most narcissistic Mayor and dysfunctional council we've ever seen.

It's time to take politics out of the decision making. Stop the personal agendas, cutting of deals, and political paybacks and favors. It's time for the Mayor and Council members to make the hard decisions.

It is our opinion that the local newspaper (Tribune) needs to stick to reporting the news, instead of playing politics!

We've read enough lies in our local newspaper over the last two years to last us all a life time.

When is enough a enough?

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


How long has it been since you last received a raise from your employer?

Let us show you what certain employees are making an asking for more $ in 2011:

2010 Salaries -2011 Salaries with 3% Raise

2010-C. Cotner - $30,538.35 - 2011 - $31,454.80 Mayor's Asst.

2010-K. Garry - $38,522.25 - 2011 - $39,677.90 Controller (See Sewer)

2010-S. Boofter - $33,102.00 - 2011 - $34,095.05 Sep. Controller

2010-D. Clark - $26,758.50 - 2011 - $27,545.80 Payroll Clerk

2010-M. Millburn - $22,068.45 - 2011 - $22,735.50 Clerk's Clerk

2010-B. Berger - $32,146.20 - 2011 - $33,110.60 Code Enforcement

2010-T. Teives - $35,000.00 - Code Enforcement

2010-T. Zeller - $12.00 hr. part time and now full time at ?$ - Code Enforcement

2010-K. Smith - $26,000 - 2011 - $26,780 Atty. Asst.

2010-M. Dennison - $35,000 - 2011 - $33,110.60 Asst. Director Operations

2010-P. Link - $23,852 - 2011 - $24,567 Public Safety Clerk

2010-M. Jefferies - $23,935.50 - 2011 - $24,653.55 Records Clerk

2010-P. Rainey - $23,935.50 - 2011 - $24,653.55 Records Clerk

2010-S. Barger - $23,935.50 - 2011 -24,653.55 Records Clerk

2010-D. Smith - $28,597.05 - 2011 - $29,454.95 Parking Violations Officer plus 2010 - $10,384.00 -2011 - $10,384.00 Abandon Vehicle Officer

2010-T. Hammond - $24,262.20 - 2011 - $24,990.05 Fire Secretary

2010-D. Hall - $38,286 - 2011 - $39,434.55 Dir. Animal Control

2010-T. Stilger - $28,134 - 2011 - $28,978 Animal Ctrl. Coordinator

2010-C. Mooser - $26,563.95 - 2011 - $27,260.85 - Animal Care Coordinator

open position - $22,287 - 2011 - $22,955.67 Animal Ctr. Officer

open position - $22,287 - 2011 - $22,955.75 Animal. Adoption Coordinator.

2010-J. Dolan - $27,299.70 - 2011 - $28,118.70 Vet Technician

2010-R. Jefferies - $50,307.20 - 2011 - $51,816.40 Parks Director

2010-K. Wilkerson - $46,899 - 2011 - $48,306 Recreation Dir.

2010-G. Huber - $39,519.90 - 2011 - $40,705.50 Maintenance Director

2010-G. Houston - $33,805.35 - 2011 - $35,495.20 SISC Manager

2010-B. Mastin - $33,119.55 - 2011 - $ 34,775.50 Athletic Director

2010-A. Miller - $33,280.20 - 2011 - $34,944.20 Program Coordinator.

2010-S. Crispin - $30,096.90 - 2011 - $31,000.00 Operation Coordinator.
Open position - 2010 - $25,000.00 Recreation Coordinator.

2010-V. Macom - $22,501.80 - 2011 - $23,176.85 Clerk

2010-Pam Badger - $25,203.15 2011 - $25,959.25 Pay/Claims

2010-Cindy Krauss - $37,384.20 - 2011 - $38,505.75 Financial/ Compliance Manager

2010-S. Holmes - $31,074.30 - 2011 - $32,006.50 Public Services/ Facilities Spec.

2010-J. Collier - $23,849.10 - 2011 - $24,564.60 Clerk/Typist/Recept.

Open position - 2010- $24,260 - 2011 - Adm. Asst.

Open position - 2010 - $37,364 - Rehab. Services

* 5 Maintenance @ hourly Rate of $13.85

* (Some of above reimbursed when carry pager)

2010 Salaries - 2011 Salaries listed below with a 4% Raise:

C. Malysz - 2010 - $41,224.95 Plan Commission
C. Malysz - 2010 - $28,674.80 Economic Dev.
C. Malysz - 2010 - $5,100.00 Redevelopment

John Rosenbarger - 2010 - $66,238 - 2011 - $68,226 TIF Project Coordinator

T. Marinaro - 2010 - $55,000.00 - 2011 - $56,650.00 Engineer (50% Sewer, 25% Stormwater, 25% Board of Works)

Scott Wood - 2010 - $50,720.85 - 2011 - $52,242.45 Asst. Director

K. Streips - 2010 - $34,020 - 2011 - $35,721 Planner

K. Cousins - 2010 - $24,853.50 - $26,096.15 Adm. Asst.

Attorney - 2010 - $13,560.75 - 2011 - $13,967.50

* (The Plan Commission put in for an 8% raise)

D. Brewer - 2010 - $43,377.10 - 2011 - $44,699 Bldg. Director

B. Lenz - 2010 - $35,896.50 - 2011 - $36,973.40

open position - 2010 - $35,896.50 - 2011 - $36,973.40

R. Bruner - 2010 - $23,577.55 - 2011 - $24,285.10

M. Thompson - 2010 - $42,627.60 - 2011 - $44,758.95 Street Comm.

J. Johnson - 2010 - $34,627.50 - 2011 -$35,666.30 Garage Supv.

Source: Kay Garry, City Controller

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

What about the additional pay for sitting on all those boards?

We think the city employees should fore go raises for the next two years. They should thank their lucky stars that they still have a job in the midst of this deep recession, and that their job provides them with health insurance, retirement, paid holidays, vacation and sick days.

To keep asking for, more, and more when so many others are suffering is insensitive at best and selfish at worst.

Do the math, the money has run out!

EDIT will be cut 18 to 20% next year. England "does not" have the votes for a LOIT Tax, annexation will increase fees and loss of more revenue.

The Police, Fire and Communication still wants $1.8 million.

"Same ole - SHIT... just a different year."

Right, Mr. Mayor?

Our New City Slogan should be:"Hope For Real Change in 2011!"

Friday, August 06, 2010


How does a local developer run up a $17,000 Sewer Bill? We guess he's a buddy of Mayor England's!

Why is this kept a secret? Why haven't the property liens been filed on these delinquent Sewer Bills?

He has until Monday before they attach a Sewer Lien.

How many downtown businesses are on the delinquent sewer list?

We suggest you stop by the billing office and check out the delinquent sewer bills...

Tell us again, Mayor England...that we are underfunded.

Monday, August 02, 2010


The Mayor continues and claims the city is underfunded.

We don't agree!

How can we be under funded as a city when there are millions of dollars not collected?

Revenue is what keeps a city going and able to pay their bills. If the residents of New Albany are required to pay property taxes, it seems only fair that the city should follow the law and collect it.

We decided and looked at the Public Tax Records on file.

We were shocked to find, two properties on Main Street with delinquent taxes and penalties uncollected.

You be the judge:

Property No. 1

State Parcel Number: 22-05-02-807-598.000-008
Name and Address of Taxpayers:
Third Century, LLC
904 E. Main Street

Property Taxes Due: $4,467.75 Delinquent after: August 13, 2010
Other Charges (See Table 4) $1,034.81
Delinquent Tax................... $12,425.43
Delinquent Penalty............. $2,083.86
Less Prepayments: $2,100.00
Total owed: $17,911.85

Property No. 2

State Parcel Number: 22-05-00-200-772.000-008
Box Tree Inn
Property Taxes Due: $1,884.00 Delinquent after August 13,2010
Delinquent Tax................. $8,037.30
Delinquent Penalty........... $1,587.84
Less Prepayments: $1,400.00
Total owed: $10,109.14

Is it true that Doug England is part owner of the Box Tree Inn on Main Street?

Who is Third Century, LLC?

Why have these two delinquent properties not been collected or placed in the Sheriff Sale?

After searching through pages of Property Tax Records, it appears that some taxpayers are not paying their fair share.

Maybe, the city and city council members needs to review these public records and ask why certain citizens are getting special treatment.

Freedom Of Speech would like to ask:

Why are so many properties under assessed when several others are over assessed?

"Too many questions and not enough answers from the England Administration."

If WE have to PAY our sewer bills, stormwater bills, sanitation bills and our property taxes...then everyone else should pay their bills.

It's time to run this city like a business instead of politics as usual in New Albany!

footnote: to Council President John Gonder. You want an Ethics Ordinance, we taxpayers want a Recall Ordinance.

When is enough a enough?