THE MADISON COUNTY ALERT

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City of Anderson is over $100 Million in debt and has the highest municipal-owned electric rates in Indiana.

City of Anderson is over $100 Million in debt and has the highest municipal-owned electric rates in Indiana.

According to documents obtained from the State of Indiana, the City of Anderson is over $100 million in debt. When minimum lease and interest payments are included, total outstanding debt obligations now exceed $160 million.

Anderson now has one of highest debt loads of all Indiana cities. In fact, Anderson’s total outstanding debt obligations now exceed those of Gary, East Chicago, and Muncie, Indiana, combined.

The average family of four living in Anderson will be burdened to pay $12,000 to extinguish the current debt. According to credit giant TransUnion, average family credit card debt decreased from 2013 to 2014. Not so for the City of Anderson. New debt proposed READ MORE

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_MG_9774+Steffanie-OwensMadison County 4-H fairgoer’s are getting their first glimpse of Madison County Commissioner Steffanie Owens (R), this week. The freshman commissioner debuted a flag swept parade float in Alexandria on Sunday. Ironically, the whopping patriotic display seen from nearly one-half mile away steamed through the middle of the hometown of Danny Hayes. Mr Hayes is the 75 year-old Alexandria senior citizen who was kicked off the courthouse square last summer by order of the county commissioners.

 

Danny Hayes back at the courthouse after the Madison County Commissioners buckle under pressure from ACLU

Danny Hayes back at the courthouse after the Madison County Commissioners buckle under pressure from ACLU

Danny Hayes was READ MORE

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R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith (R)

Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith (R)

A recent meeting of the Anderson City Council morphed into a civics lesson directed toward Anderson Mayor Kevin S. Smith (R).  During a meeting about utility rate changes, Councilman Ollie D. Dixon (D) took exception to how members of the audience and fellow councilors were being addressed by city administration officials.  Councilman Dixon made it clear to the Mayor that he wasn’t going to be talked to in “that kind of way.”

Recently, Mayor Smith has READ MORE

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ALERT the VOTE 2014
ALERT 2014 County Primary Endorsements (thumbnail)

ALERT Endorses 2014 County Primary Candidates

The Editorial Board of the Madison County ALERT has endorsed candidates in county races in both the Democratic and Republican primaries. In races where a candidate is unopposed, we have listed the candidate’s name and make no endorsement.

In many of the races, the Editorial Board was divided over whom to endorse. READ MORE

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Controversial political carpetbagger Rod Autrey gives an interview to a local radio station

Big money politics has made its way to Madison County in the form of a modern day carpetbagger from North Carolina.

Rod Autrey, a four-term county commissioner from Charlotte, North Carolina, moved North after his political career went South. In his latest political endeavor, Autrey, now an Anderson resident, formed a political action committee in 2012 called The Friends of Madison County. READ MORE

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Russ Willis

County Republican Chairman/Mortician Looks to Bury Conservatives

Russ Willis, County GOP Chairman, Lincoln Club PAC Chairman and Anderson City Councilman

Russ Willis, County GOP Chairman, Lincoln Club PAC Chairman and Anderson City Councilman

Madison County Republican Chairman and licensed mortician Russ Willis notified local media Monday that the local Republican Party had slated candidates to support for the May 6 primary election.  It is unclear, though, by what authority he is making the endorsements.  He didn’t bother to solicit the input or obtain the approval of the county party’s precinct committeemen.  Willis claimed to have the support of the township and ward chairmen.  Those positions, however, are non-voting positions and are appointed by him.  From the incendiary language in his press release, it is clear that he desires to bury the conservative candidates in his party.

In fact, The ALERT conducted an interview with a long-time Republican party insider who verifies Willis’ intentions.  The source, whom we will refer to as Mr. X, does not wish to be identified for fear of retaliation by Willis.  Mr. X claims to have heard Willis say, “If I can beat David McCartney, Rick Gardner, Mike Phipps, and Kelly Gaskill, then I think conservatives will go away.” READ MORE

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The Tide is High (Salaries)

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Illustration by Gabriella Fabbri

Rate Hike Helps Meet Burgeoning Pay Demand

Anderson City Council members will attempt final passage of a compounded 47 percent water rate increase today. Residents concerned about back-to-back water rate increases of 21.18 percent in 2015 and 2016, along with assuming another $14.3 million of debt, are also questioning city leaders about their pay after a recently issued financial audit of Anderson by the State of Indiana. READ MORE

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Happy Birthday

ALERT Happy Birthday

This week marks the first birthday of the Madison County ALERT. Ironically, it also marks a time when the ALERT surpasses all other local media for having the largest readership following on Facebook!

A year ago, the ALERT led with its first READ MORE

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