It’s the Final Countdown in the race for sheriff of Madison County, Indiana, U.S.A. Do you think it will be the former sheriff, the current cop or the former cop?
Enjoy this classic 80’s music video as you make this extremely important decision in the future of Madison County law enforcement.
The Madison County Council meets this week to approve the county’s 2015 budget at a time when local health department funding is under scrutiny across the country regarding Ebola preparedness. Local budget documents show the Madison County Council plans to pass a budget that includes a 27% property tax rate increase with a deficit in excess of $6 million, for the current 18 month period ending on December 31, 2015. On Monday, the World Health Organization said the Ebola outbreak is “the most severe, acute health emergency seen in modern times.”
Madison County Council President, Lisa Hobbs (D)
The county’s financial position has turned so bleak, so quick, that council President Lisa Hobbs (D) told THB that, “We can’t add people.” Councilman John Bostic (D) even attempted to cut in-half the amount of fuel available in 2015 for Madison County Sheriff Department police patrols before Councilman Rick Gardner (R) nixed the idea. An external financial expert for the council reported last month that the council has already spent $5 million more than it has received since early 2013.
This week’s budget hearing coincides with a national debate about the preparedness and funding for local health departments across the country in addressing the Ebola outbreak that has struck Texas. Reuters reported on Sunday that READ MORE
NOAA predicts below average precipitation, Jan-March, 2015.
NOAA Releases January-March 2015 Forecast
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) has released its January-March 2015 precipitation and temperature forecast. The news will come as a relief to Hoosiers after a bitterly cold and snowy 2014 winter.
NOAA predicts all READ MORE
Anderson Mayor Kevin Smith (R)
Anderson city leaders declared victory on Friday after passing a $71 million budget for 2015. The council changed Mayor Kevin Smith’s budget by decreasing pay raises for higher paid city employees and providing funding for an additional five firefighters. However, it was revealed on Friday that some amounts used in the calculation conflict with state budgeting advice.
Officials within the Smith administration touted that the budget included a “10% operating balance.” The threshold ignores advice from the Indiana Association of Cities and Towns, and other external financial experts, who say the amount should be 50%-100% larger. An operating balance is akin to the amount of cash flow needed to avoid bouncing checks and paying bills late in personal finance.
The State of Indiana, and other organizations that represent cities before the Indiana General Assembly and provide continuing education services to elected officials, recommend operating balances of READ MORE
Massachusetts City Joins Anderson in Ticketing Children on Bikes.
Smith-Crenshaw Crime Fighting Plan — Kids, Stop Riding Your Bikes in Park. 10th Most Dangerous List.
Anderson, Indiana (MCA)
Anderson, Indiana officials forced to answer media questions about ticketing children for riding their bikes in a city park.
A central Indiana mayor debuted a controversial new crime fighting technique this week after his city landed on the Top 10 list of most dangerous cities in Indiana. Anderson, Ind. Mayor Kevin S. Smith (R) asked for feedback after the Anderson Police Department began issuing tickets to children for riding their bikes in a city park.
Mayor Kevin S. Smith (R) and Police Chief Larry Crenshaw (R) have spoken publicly about the need for more effective community policing during Smith’s second term as mayor. A Massachusetts city of comparable size believes the same is needed in their community and plans to begin its own children’s bicycle ticketing program with the help of a local Dairy Queen.
Dickman Town Center park. (Photo: City of Anderson website)
The recent Anderson incident occurred when police officers ticketed a group of children in Dickman Town Center park for bike related infractions. Another group of bike-riding children using the park as a shortcut were also cited. A local pastor mediated an agreement between Crenshaw’s departmental leadership and a 13 year-old boy in the “short-cut” group. That child will perform READ MORE
There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to taxpayers. It is a dimension where politicians’ desire for your money is as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between prosperity and poverty, between economics and fantasy, and it lies between the pit of selfish leaders and the summit of personal liberty. This is the dimension of endless spending and taxation. It is an area which we call the Twilight Zone.
Madison County Commissioners, John Richwine, Jeff Hardin, and Steffanie Owens want a 10% raise.
The ALERT is first to report that several county officials are asking for salary increases next year. At the same time that many local residents are struggling to make ends meet, the county council will begin budget hearings in which the officials will ask for the pay hikes. Ironically, some taxpayers will face the prospect of losing their homes or businesses in next month’s tax sale just a few weeks after officials make their pitches for bigger salaries. READ MORE
Former Anderson Mayor, Kris Ockomon (D), opens campaign headquarters on 53rd St in quest to reclaim mayor’s office. (Photo: Ockomon Mayor)
Mayor vs. Former Mayor in 2015
Grover Cleveland (D), the 22nd and 24th and only President to serve two non-consecutive terms.
President Grover Cleveland holds the honor of being the only U.S. President to serve two non-consecutive terms. Cleveland, elected in 1884, lost a second term to Hoosier Benjamin Harrison in 1888 only to beat Harrison in 1892 and return to the White House. A former Anderson mayor would like to join a select few and do the same locally.
Though local leaders have yet to develop plans to celebrate Anderson’s sesquicentennial in 2015, next year’s election could see history made for only the third time if former Anderson Mayor Kris Ockomon reclaims the mayor’s office. In Anderson’s 150 year history, only two mayors have READ MORE
Citizens Get Their Turn to Speak about 47% Rate Hike and $14 Million More of Debt
The State of Indiana will conduct a public hearing at the Anderson City Building on Monday at 6:00 p.m. to hear comments from citizens about proposed utility rate increases.
The Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor (OUCC) is inviting Anderson Utility customers to speak about the City of Anderson’s request for a 47% water rate hike and a $14 million increase in city debt. The OUCC represents residential and business ratepayer interests in cases before the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission.
The OUCC surprised many earlier this year when it not only rejected a proposed rate increase from Indiana-American Water (the utility provider for the City of Muncie) but told Muncie citizens, and others serviced by Indiana-American, that “You deserve a rate cut.”
Indiana Office of Utility Consumer Counselor Director, David Stippler and staff will be in Anderson on Monday to hear comments from Anderson City Utility customers about a 47% rate increase and $14M more of city debt.
OUCC attorney David Stippler said, “As Indiana’s Utility Consumer Counselor, I am committed to ensuring that all Hoosier consumers, residential and business consumers alike, have their interests appropriately represented in the utility regulatory process. In each case, my dedicated staff and I are working hard to ensure that ratepayer concerns are heard and their interests protected.”
The rate increase of 47%, along with Anderson applying for $14 million more of city debt, was READ MORE