Thursday, May 29, 2008

Fishers / Geist Annexation / Property Taxes

Under the old Annexation and property tax rates it was estimated that if Fishers, IN annexed the Geist area the property tax increase at 16.4 %. Many people have assumed under the new law that all property taxes would be capped and we would all pay the same amount. Some of the infamous Fishers 7 Council Members even made statements to that effect.

It’s far form the truth. Here is a way you can prove it for yourself. In my case my taxes would be 13.4 higher if we are annexed.

Here is how you find out your tax rate.

Go to:
Select tax district – 007 Fallcreek Township
Put in the value of our home, etc. and get your tax rate.
The change the taxing district to – 020 Fishers Fall Creek Twp
Get you new tax rate.
Notice the jump in taxes.

To me a 13.4% jump is a big jump. Approxumately 80% of the Geist homeowners have remonstrated against the annexation, but that fact has had no effect on the Fishers 7. They do not care about people and the will of the people. It's time we change the government in Indiana, it's time to remove those in office and replace them with new faces.

My name is Joe Weingarten and I approve this message.
Weingarten for 29th District State Representative.

Solar, Wind, Net Meter-- Watts up Indiana

Is Indiana ahead of others? Yes in net metering. But shouldn’t we be doing a lot more?

We have all heard about people installing solar panels on their roof or a windmill in their back yard. Well these systems keep dropping in costs and I expect more and more of these systems to be installed. I really expect them to pop up on one farm after another as that where it makes the most sense to reduce the cost of operation.

What is net metering?

This is where a special metering and billing agreement is established between a power user, who also installs power-generating equipment and sells back to the utility excess power. Lets say you install solar panel on your roof and while you are gone during the day, the panels generate more power than your empty house uses. That extra power is fed back into the power grid and in essence your meter runs backwards. You would then be charged for only the “net” amount of power you used.

Federal rules allow for up to 100kW of power to be returned to a utility at the avoided cost. But the limits of what a utility has to accept are set by each state. Some how the limits set by each state do not make any sense, in Arizona the limit is 10kW, in California it far exceeds the Federal limit with 1000kW, In Arkansas its 25kW for residential and 100kW for commercial systems. In Indiana you can have 1000kW per month that’s 1 Megawatt per month the same as California. But not as good as Ohio which has no limit.

Should we be doing a lot more? Yes. Indiana also exempts solar, wind etc residential units from property taxes. But many other states offer rebates and other incentives to install this type of equipment Indiana does not.

In the Indianapolis Star on May 29, 2008 the front-page headline “Indy’s big footprint.” “Study ranks metro area second-worst in U.S. for carbon emissions, due in part to use of coal.”

Shouldn’t Indiana take immediate action to reduce this carbon footprint and encourage installation of both solar and wind power by homeowners? We need to do this and do it fast. We need to pass legislation that exempts solar panels and small wind turbines from residential covenants. Most homes can’t install these items due to artistic restrictions. If multimillion-dollar California homes can have solar panels so can we.

We also need to provide rebates at the state level similar to those offered by other states. Many states offer rebates. Loans, and property and sales tax exemptions for different kinds of renewal able energy sources. Why not Indiana?

A way to reduce our carbon emissions is to encourage Hoosiers to install alternate energy systems. Its time the state works towards that end.

If elected I will move to pass legislation to encourage sound energy management programs.

My name is Joe Weingarten and I approve this massage

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Every child left behind........

The following is the 2007 winning entry from an annual contest at Texas A&M University calling for the most appropriate definition of a contemporary term. This year's term was ' Political Correctness '.
The winner wrote:
'Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end.'

Somehow to me it seems it is most fitting this comes form Texas. the land of our President. But don't get me started on him.

You see I have been wondering if "No Child Left Behind" isn't because he was left behind and now wants no child left behind like he was, but he didn't understand what it stood for and didn't realize it means "every child left behind in the long run."

When you have a test, each teacher is graded on that test, so they teach to the test and stop teaching. During the Cold War I read a report on Soviet teaching methods and guess what folks - it read like no child left behind. The only difference was in Russia as the teacher if you children were left behind, you might have been taken out back and shot. At least here the shotting have not started.

We need to teach to teach to be creative, to invent, to dream, that is what has made the US the engine that drove the world, but no more. Let's get back to those days. Let's get back to teaching and let's get rid of statewide tests.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Noblesville Farmers Market

Saturday, May 24, 2008, 8:45am to noon. Beautiful day, a slight cold breeze, bright sunshine, sort of a day you would expect in California, not in Indiana. A great day to meet people in the district and talk.

It started out costing me money as when I arrived I met Ron Wilson who spotted my Vietnam ribbon on my jacket and he was selling memberships in the newly formed Hamilton County Veterans. Without question a group worthwhile joining, so if you live in the county and have a DD214, please sign up, its only $15. You can e-mail Ron at

What amazed me the most is how many people just take a card that says I am running for office and never say a word? A number had lots to say but everyone was extremely nice. I was also surprised how few even asked what I wanted to do if I get elected, what can I do for the County. Also the age of the people asking questions, most were in there 30’s. The above 40 crowd just made statements or ask questions that were not relative to positions. I loved this one – “Are you an incumbent?” “No sir” “ Well them you have my and my wife’s vote, we are going down the line and voting against every incumbent.” I was wondering if I could hire him to go door to door for me. I talked with him some more as he is the second person I have met making this statement. He didn’t care what I stood for; he feels that the people in office have lost touch with what is wrong and what the people want. He also believes strongly that we need term limits in every office. I have to agree with him, as I see too many in office forever and the power base they develop. Another funny statement – “Are you in the same party as Mitch?” “No.” “Give me your card I am voting for you?” Didn’t tell me why etc. It nice to meet someone in the Ditch Mitch group.

I only had a few say, can’t vote for you because you are a democrat. I did tell one fellow about someone in the district who told me that on election day I had to go to the cemetery with a black tarp and put it over his fathers grave when he voted for me. He got a kick out of that and then said I will take one of those cards.

Only one person said they were going to look up position on my web page.

Well I gave out about 150 cards, and spoke to a lot of people. It was a lot of fun and a great way to spend a beautiful Saturday morning.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Danger – Car Wash Ahead.

On May 20, 2008, Bob Segall of WTHR, Channel 13, Indianapolis broadcast a program on the use of hydrofluoric acid as a cleaning agent by car washes. One of the users is Mike’s Express and now a warning I got before I moved to Indiana is making sense. In Dayton, Oh a friend who owns a car wash told me never to use Mikes because of the cleaning formula they use, he said it makes a car look clean but is very dangerous. It will with long term use dull your paint and fog your glass. If mixed wrong it will do it even faster. I took his advise and don’t go to Mikes, in fact I prefer not to go to any car wash, but if I have too, after a lot of winter salt, I found this nice small car wash in Noblesville.

I also have to wonder what happens to the wastewater at Mikes and other car washes, so are we letting this nasty stuff go down the drain? I guess so. What if an employee gets the mix wrong and this stuff eats you and your car. To nasty I believe to be used in an everyday setting. Now Mikes claims that take a lot of care in the handling of this acid and being a large business I believe they can, but what about a small owner of maybe one or two car washes. Will they be able to take the same amount of care in handling of this highly toxic material?

What was very interesting was a comment by Steve Peterson a large supplier of cleaning agents that they do not carry car washing detergents that contain hydrofluoric acid. So its not like saying we don't have a choice. We do.

We should ban the use of hydrofluoric acid in products such as detergents or where the product can enter the wastewater systems.

My name is Joe Weingarten and I am running for State Representative in the 29th District and I approve this message.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Governed by a Ruling Elite- Time to change.

On July 9, 2007 Republican Gary R. Welsh wrote about a Democrat being selected to replace an Indiana State Representatives seat in “Advance Indiana: Government Bureaucrat Gets Nod To Fill Kuzman's Seat.”

While it is not surprising for a republican to take shots at anything a Democrat does one of his statements actually is true for both sides in Indiana.

“Once upon a time, the idea of tapping a government employee to take a legislative seat was frowned upon. Today, it seems to be the rule. We are increasingly becoming governed by a ruling elite of government/political professionals instead of citizen politicians who serve out of a sense of civic duty.”

A comment to this blog was by bitchette who said

“Ha, what a joke... we've asked Rep. Richardson numerous questions since moving to HER district ~8 yrs ago; to date, we've received not one reply from our representative... canned or otherwise.”

Mr. Welsh please tell me what you think of Republican Kathy Richardson; she fits the bill very well.

One of the reasons I am running against Kathy is exactly the comment by bitchette; I e-mailed Kathy a few times with no response. The concept of a representative is exactly that to represent and to respond to concerns of people of the district. She seems to have forgotten this in her 16 years of holding this post.

Vote for Joe Weingarten to replace Kathy Richardson in the 29th District of the State House. Its time after 16 years for a fresh look.

I am Joe Weingarten and I approve this message.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Fisher's Indiana - Voice of the People Award

Last October, I think, Fisher was given the Voice of the People Award, well to say the least I was dismayed. Fishers winning an award for listening to the people from the ICMA. No way. But yes they did. I can only assume they wrote the proposal for the award to give it to themselves.

Fishers Town Council has proven over and over they do not listen to anyone but themselves.

The Downtown development, the Geist Annexation, the Airport, the Twin Toners of Allisonville Rd and the list goes on. Now they do listen if you are a builder or developer, but to the common everyday citizen. No way. With over 70% of the people who live in Geist against annexation, did Fishers listen; no they are going ahead full speed to annex. Did they listen to the people of course not?

I wanted to contact the ICMA to ask that they rescind the award. So off to Google to find out who the ICMA was? Here are a few answers to my search:

International Cement Microscopy Association
International Card Manufacturers Association
International Computer Music Association
International Center of Medieval Art
International Capital Market Association
Institute of Certified Management Accountants
International Commission on the Middle Atmosphere
Indiana Concrete Masonry Association
Illinois Country Music Association
Illinois Cast Metals Association
International Classified Media Association

Finally on page 4 I found it:
International City/County Management Association
777 N Capitol St NE
Washington, DC 20002
I also found the e-mail address or Mr. O'Neil,, their executive director and I sent him an e-mail requesting they take back the award. If you agree, why not send him one also.


Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Can it

Maybe the title should be aluminum can it? I need about 200 thousand dollars and fast, well it be nice for me to have, but I am trying to help raise money for a non-profit organization. We were brainstorming and I said what about scrape metal, I had heard a VFW group in Michigan raise over100 grand collecting metal. Right now even people are stealing all kinds of metal form copper to iron manhole covers for a fast buck. So the more I though about this the closer I came to an idea, why not cans? Aluminum cans currently bring 98 cents a pound. Now that means if I want $200,000 I need about 98 tons of cans.

Americans use 200 million aluminum cans a day. The average person uses 43,371 cans in their lifetime and that is 1434 pounds of aluminum. So for every person, if we were to save every can it would be worth $1405.32 in their lifetime at today’s prices. So if I need $200 grand I would have to find 142 people to use up all their cans in a weekend. Ok that’s 6,172,402 cans. Man, that’s a lot of cans. But Americans use 200 million a day, maybe its possible.

If you live in the Geist, Indiana area, start collecting your cans. More details to come in a few days. If you live near Geist and want to help, start saving your cans. Lets go green in the Geist area and start a massive canning operation.

Monday, May 12, 2008

Mr. Smith its not Black and White Property Tax Reform

Too bad the world is not black and white, but to some people it is black and white and that is one of the things that is wrong with our political system.

Do you believe in this or that and you can’t say anything else. Let me give you an example of someone trying to be good but at the same time is causing harm with his black and white approach.

The question of taxes in Indiana and specifically property taxes is a hot issue.

Mr. Aaron Smith runs a web site,, and to be very frank he is black and white, you are either 100% with him or you are no good. Well I am 99% with him and therefore no good.

That is a basic problem we currently have in government and people like Mr. Smith that add fuel to this fire and that is one of the primary factors of what’s wrong and what needs to be changed. He wants everyone to stand up and vote for a constitutional amendment to cap property taxes at 1%. While a great idea, its not going to achieve what he wants in the long run. Instead we need to look at what he wants. The real objective is to reduce government spending and to cap a tax doesn’t reduce government spending, what will happen is that spending will continue, bonds will be issued, and all of a sudden, the government leaders will say the amendment was wrong we have to vote to remove it or no more police and fire protection. Anyone want to take this bet? Or will the next session of the state legislation, all of a sudden change the property tax law again, after all it will be after the election and the special interest groups will be at it, especially the Association of Cities and Towns. They will do everything they can to get this changed back. We need meaningful reform not just a reduction. In the long run it won’t work. But Mr. Smith is so mad; he can’t seem to see that. If I had my magic wand I would do away with property tax, as we now know it altogether.

Don’t get me wrong I would vote for the cap, but it does not have to be in the constitution. If you take the time to read HEA 1001 you start to find one hole after another. Local government will bypass the property tax and enact other taxes by a different name; one local government that claims to have low property taxes has all kinds of fees, some of which belong in with the property tax since each and every property pays the tax.

So Mr. Smith you and your web site have lost all creditably with your philosophy. The same kind of philosophy that President Bush has when he told the world you are “either with us or against us.” You listed me as Taxpayer Unfriendly. You state unfriendly candidates believe the greatest good is served when the fist of government is shoved ever deeper in the wallet of ordinary working families. The problem is I want to go further than your statement and reduce government spending. A concept you don’t seem to understand. I am far from taxpayer unfriendly.

Mr. Smith why don’t you work towards reforming the entire system. The caps of 1,2,3 are unfair to people who rent, to farmers who will have to increase our food prices and to businesses that will have to charge us more. The new system does not take care of trending to where your taxes will increase due to value increase and will still force people on fixed incomes out of their homes. This is a band-aid and not a real fix. No, Mr. Smith sounds like this is something you just want and your website is black and white and not correct in today’s world. Mr. Smith your are the one that is Tax Payer Unfriendly.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Grandparents Day (unofficial)

Today was third grade Grandparents day and it was a day that shows you the future and how important Grandparents are to the many children of the world. Of course it was not a national day but rather one at a local school and only for the third grade. But to the kids it was a day to show off to their grandparents and the importance of being their grandparents. It was not a day made up by Hallmark to sell cards.

Some drove hours to come, a few who were far away couldn’t make it and one even flew up from Florida. Almost every child had one or more sets of grandparents in the overflowing room. If I remember correctly only two didn’t have any because of distance, but their parents filled in. That is also a symbol of how we grandparents are living longer.

It lasted about an hour, but to the children it will be a very important day, a day they got to show off their grandparents. A day that showed the children they are loved by their grandparents. A day when no child was really not left behind.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Joe W wiins by a Landslide

OK so my election was uncontested and after I voted I won. But what is interesting my opponent also was uncontested and she got about 1000 less votes and her party has 70% of the registered voters in this area.

Kathy Richardson is a very nice lady, everyone keeps telling me that, but they also say, she does nothing nor does she representative the people of the district. Kathy does not answer questions put to her nor e-mails. She votes 100% as she is told by the party.

Maybe that is why so many are willing to vote for me. I will answer questions and while we may not agree on everything, I am sure we will agree on many topics and I am sure of one other factor I will represent the people of the District.

Now comes the vary hard part, raising money to run ads, to do a few mailings and walking door to door to meet with many of you.

I do have a warning for many of you, if you are standing in line at the Post Office or Kroger, Marsh etc and I am either behind or in front of you, be ready for a political speech. And with my line standing luck, it will be the wrong line and we will have some time to talk.

I do look forward to meeting all of you around the 29th District.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Good-by Snow Blower, Hello Mower

Today was the day, the snow blower was turn on and let run until all the gas was used up and the mower was filled, oil checked and started. The snow blower moved to the front of the garage and the mower to the side near the front. Winter to summer conversion has been accomplished.

But the bad news continues, I actually had to mow the weeds, they popped up over the last few days and they and a little grass needed to be cut. So now starts the war of man against his lawn. Two shots of weed killer already applied and, one even by a professional outfit, and the weeds treat these killers as if they were fertilizer. So much for weed killer. Will have to call the pros back for another shot.

Other than that flowers are jumping up form the ground and making the place look rather nice. I was also out near here and drove past one field after another with the farmers out plowing. It’s a little late this year, we had too much rain.

Well that’s it from the heartland for today.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Geist Reservoir 2008

In 2007 Geist Reservoir was off limits to swimmers, etc, as toxic algae bloomed in the water. In 2008 we have no idea if this will happen again, but at a meeting on April 29th a number of government officials came to tell the residents what they are going to go. As a former government engineer I saw the handwriting on the wall right away. When you don’t know what to do, or what you should do will cause too much controversy – study the problem and hope people will go away nodding their heads. Well they are going to study and study the reservoir this summer and all the water sources in the Upper Fall Creek Watershed. Wow, 73 testing stations and they made a big deal about placing one buoy in the water near the dam. I am surprised they didn’t try and get a grant to buy six more buoys and place them all over the 1800 acres of the reservoir. That would be more in line with government/university thinking.

What was also interesting was that two state senators and one representative attended the meeting. All of their districts touch the reservoir, also were people from several state agencies, the water company, other cities that use the water and even people from the governor’s office. But of course missing were the Town of Fishers, who annexed the reservoir last year and Representative Kathy Richardson. I can understand the Town of Fishers, you see they only would show up if they could make money form the reservoir, if they could figure out a tax or fee to fight the algae they would be at the meeting. Just watch if they annex the homes around the reservoir they will institute a water clean-up fee, blaming the use of fertilizer from the homeowners and do nothing. Also missing was Kathy, who it appears does not go to meetings, and I am running against her in the fall election. Now I was at the meeting. Part of Geist is in Kathy’s district. But Kathy a long time ago forgot what represent the people means.

What am I going to do? The message was loud and clear one of the factors that can cause the growth of the algae is fertilizer with phosphorus in it. So my lawn has non-phosphors fertilizer being applied this summer and from now on. I have also installed a water aeration pump by my dock to add air into the water that helps with water quality.

If elected I will do something no one at the meeting was willing to stand up and do. I would submit legislation to ban the use of phosphors fertilizer anywhere in a watershed in Indiana or for sale in stores for use on properties less than five acres. This would still allow the use by farmers, but would remove the use by all homeowners and by the commercial lawn care companies.

My name is Joe Weingarten and I approve this message.
Weingarten for 29th District State Representative