Thursday, December 5, 2013

Restaurant Tax

I always hear that Republicans are for reducing taxes, but so far all I see, in Fishers, are Republicans that want to raise taxes and give tax breaks to rich Republicans. The 1% Restaurant Tax is a good example. When they first started talking about it was to raise money for the 911telephone system. Oh you didn’t remember that, well after a while they found the money elsewhere. So then it became a need for money to have economic development. Well that didn’t fly too good with the voters. After all why are apartments on town property being given tax breaks for the developer? Why am I supporting luxury apartments? Is my 1% going to support other developers? The Town Council has not been able to clearly define what they mean by economic development. My guess is because the money was going to be used to support their local buddies. Time to shift gears then they told us the tax was to help reduce property taxes. OK is any body is buying that story? The tax rate is set and it is not going down. Then the real funny story it would reduce property taxes about $35 a year per home. That is one visit to a restaurant. Maybe instead of enacting a new tax, if they want us to buy this story, just reduce taxes. Now they are starting to claim it will be used to help the schools. The School Board even approves, I have to wonder if the school board was told the whole story, since one of the highest paid executives of the school corporation is a paid consultant to the Town of Fishers. I have always wondered about the legal but morally wrong conflict of interest. If the Town wanted to help the school board they would stop the TIF districts and let the real property tax money flow to the schools. Now the town announces a new office building in the downtown area. Pay attention folks, it is being build on land that the town is buying up very quietly and being basically being given to the developer to use for free and on top of that they are giving him about $1.4 million in tax breaks. In return this developer is going to use the first floor for his offices and then rent the second floor to the town. Sweet deal. BTW- this developer’s name and address can be found on the candidate political contribution forms that were filed by the many of the candidates sitting on the town council as well as the effort to block Fishers becoming city. On top of all of this the word is the Fishers Redevelopment Commission is paying top dollar to buy up this land. Did you know the Town is buying up all the downtown land? Since when is the Town in the real estate business? What happen to private business? Notice how these deals all of a sudden pop up as a done deal. So here we have a Republican Town Council wanting to raise taxes, just to raise taxes because they think they can. Then they give land and tax breaks to certain developers, I call them their buddies. Isn’t it funny how these developers donated a lot of money to political campaigns?

Saturday, November 30, 2013

How much to buy Fadness?

Mayor candidate Scott Fadness or someone for him has sent out an invite to a fundraising event on December 10th. To be a "Host" at this event requires a small donation of $5000.00. Of course you can be a Gold Sponsor at $2000.00 or just a Silver at $1000.00, then for you ordinary people, or as Town Attorney Doug Church use to call them "Little People," the "Individual Contribution" is $25.00. I am wondering is he running for Mayor after he and his team worked so hard to keep Fishers a Town or is he running for Governor? Seems to be trying raise enough money for Governor. This comes after last years arm twisting effort to sort of force those doing business with the town to join an insiders group where you paid thousands and in return you got Town information before you see it in the media. What will be interesting will be the finance reports to see which law firms, engineering firms and developers folk over the five grand for an inside seat in the new mayor's office? Brings new meaning to "you have to pay to play." Maybe they should inscribe this over the entrance to city hall.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Fishers Town Council once again is showing its true colors.

Fishers Town Council once again is showing its true colors. Some how I can’t understand the concept of helping the rich developers get richer at the expense of the citizens of the town. It seems everything is aimed at helping developers. The real questions becomes why? If Fishers is such a great place to live and one of the fastest growing places in the state, do you need to hold out a carrot to a car dealership, to a food market, etc and then to pay for some of these carrots with tax the citizens who want to go out to eat at a restaurant. The Town Councils has set up is called TIFs - Tax increment financing, is a public financing method that is used as a subsidy for redevelopment, infrastructure, and other community-improvement projects. TIFs were originally sold to state legislatures as a tool to redevelop blighted areas. Places like Gary or Detroit would be prime examples not Fishers. Abuse of the TIF concept is where development would have occurred anyway. In Fishers a prime example are the new car dealerships, with 80,000 well to do people in the community do you believe the car dealerships would not have come without tax help. The dealers will come where the buying public has a checkbook and Fishers is one such place. Most of 116th is a TIF district, do we need tax incentives for 116th street development. Does Fishers need TIFs at all. Would the Town Council please show me a blighted area in Fishers. One of the major criticism about TIFs is that “The TIF process arguably leads to favoritism for politically connected developers, implementing attorneys, economic development officials, and others involved in the processes.” Now that would never happen in Fishers? Hmm. Oh I think it has. Another adverse effect is on school districts, lets say a tif is used to expand housing, such as a large apartment complex and the result is more school age children, yet the tax income is frozen to repay the TIF. Also the tax structure could be frozen as the needs for more police, fire protection increase and the revenue doesn’t meaning the others of the town will have to pay for this. Another example of what is wrong. Then the Council wants to have a new tax to help get more development, like loaning over ten million dollars to build the ugly depot apartments in front of town hall. Part of this was the concept of mass transit and up and coming people would live in the apartments and hop the train downtown. Well it looks like mass transit is slowly dying and the apartments could become a white elephant and in a few years go out of business leaving the $10 million up in the air for the taxpayers of Fishers. Look at their fancy design but who is going to want to live in an apartment above a restaurant or by the road when fire engines roar out at 2 or 3 am. (Firemen please make sure you ring your bell and siren full blast as you pass the apartments.) Another example of what is wrong. It seems that they willing to grab at anything to try and use the current buzz words. And anyone who does not lock step with them comes under serve criticism. Maybe we need more people to question what they are doing. But then again this is Fishers where the elected official forgot to listen. They are the only ones who best.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Comcast - the zombie's are in charge

Having to deal with Comcast is like having to deal with a bunch of Zombie's but maybe it would be easier to deal with Zombie's. It started a while ago with a TV that was having problems the picture would go digital and then back to normal, a call to Comcast and after three days they figured it was something on their end. But was it? A few weeks later no sound on Channel 13, another call to Comcast and after an electronic refresh everything back to normal. Then 10 days ago no sound on 8 and 13 again an electronic refresh but after the “please wait 30 minutes” no sound. So a call back to Comcast. Call one - cut off after two minutes on hold. Call two - cut off after 29 minutes on hold. Call three - a live person after 14 minutes on hold. Not sure if this person was in India or China or gods knows where a lot of please repeat that. You can always tell when talking to an overseas center when they address you as Mr.Joe. So after 29 minutes she agreed I had a bad digital adapter, you all other TV's worked fine. Then she said you could take it to our repair center. I said no, "we can ship you one but that costs $9.95 again I said no ship it for free since it is your equipment that failed and I paid for it to work every month. I told them they could send out a repairman and that would cost Comcast even more. After two supervisors they agreed to ship it for free. Being a rocket scientist and aerospace engineer I took an adapter from the guest bedroom and put it on the TV that was not working and guess what it now works- dead adapter. Fast forward one week later no new adapter. I called Comcast again but not on a weekend and during business hours. After a one minute wait a real person. He looked up my account etc and then said yes it was marked for free shipping but they can't ship it in their system free even after they said it was waived. He could not explain this, two alternatives I could go to their repair center or sent out a repairman. OK lets waste Comcast money and sent out that repairman. Then I asked to be transferred to billing and told them what happened. They refunded 13 days of service they knew we had service to the other TV’s. But they understood the Zombies in service department were in charge. So lets see Comcast lost 13 days of revenue, 2-3 hours on the phone, and a service call for the “cable guy.” So if you are not doing anything Monday between 2 and 4 stop over and join me and the cable guy for a cup of coffee. It only takes 2 minutes to install a new adapter. Wouldn’t have been a lot cheaper to just mail me the adapter? Joe

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Fire in Fishers next to unmanned fire station

Well, well, well. Across the street from the fire station on 116st a house burns to the ground and no one responds from the station. Oh, the fire truck was on reserve and all the firefighters were moved to the new station. You mean Fishers build a new fire station and didn't hire any new firefighters. Yup that appears to be the case. Instead they are going to remodel the old station and then who knows what they will do with it. Now the problem is that they could have kept a crew at the old station and worked around them, but not Fishers. They should have hired new firefighters when the new station was completed but not Fishers. Or maybe the firefighter were out on Geist on their boat. It seems they love to spend money in all the wrong places. I heard they are going to waste more money on an $8,tear down. It seems the current Town Council is going spend crazy. Maybe they want the new City to start with zero in the bank. Or maybe in debt and say we told you not to become a city. Well Mr. Fadness you want to be Mayor but it seems you didn't manage you Fire Department too well. How can you manage an entire city. Next time any of you meet Scott Fadness ask him why the fire station on 116th was empty on August 27th.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Fishers Mayor Race to get Interesting

Rumor’s are flying, quiet evening meetings being held and another person about to announce a run for Mayor. The rumors all are about Scott Fadness, Fishers Town Manger. He joins Walt Kelly and has something in common with him. Both were opposed to having a real city and a real Mayor, now they want to be Mayor. Could they be a real Mayor or is this just another way for the old guard to keep power and things very much the same. The Town has already announced they are going to lobby the state to delay the election, give them more time to try and kill the real city. So for Scott this makes sense, he might lose his job if a real Mayor came to the city. But in running he keeps his job, may have to take a pay cut as Mayors make less than City Managers around here. Or would the new City Council reward him with his being the highest paid Mayor in the state. His buddy and best man at his wedding is our Fire Chief so I guess he is counting on the support of the fire department. I wonder how he got the chiefs job? Will the Town Council allow him to stay in his job while running for Mayor, I hope not, but I am sure they will. Also as a member of the International City/County Management Association, he has agreed to a code of ethics that states “Refrain from all political activities which undermine public confidence in professional administrators. Refrain from participation in the election of the members of the employing legislative body.” Well so much for ethics. I guess he can resign from the association and it makes it all OK. So here we have Walt Kelly a throw back to an old era and now Scott Fadness who has shown a lack of leadership and vision but then again he would do the bidding of the no change Town Council due to become the City Council.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

July 4, 2013

Did someone forget it’s the 4th of July? The citizens of Fishers recently voted to become a city, the Town Council figured they had until 2015 to convert, giving them time to plot how to stay in power, how to mold districts, how to plan who is to become Mayor or how to screw up things to make the new mayor look bad. Then along came a new state law that because of old Fishers tricks set time limits on when things needed to be accomplished. Vote to change to become a city then the next year you have to vote in the new government. This was done because the old law did not have a time limits and a government could wait forever to go to the next step just as Fishers did when the request for the election was submitted. They waited and waited to put it on the ballot hoping to trick the voters but the people were smarter than the Council. Rumor was they expected to win to stay a town or a fake city by 80% and then lost by 70%. So much for evil plans. So here we are on another 4th of July when citizens of the land in 1776 told King George we want to govern ourselves. Dear Fishers Town Council – we the citizens of Fishers in the year 2013 want to govern ourselves, it is time for you to stop playing your games. What are you waiting for to set up the new six districts? Oh are you waiting to the last minute to prevent others from running. Must be. The tricks kept on coming. The latest rumors on who’s running: the list is now down to three names: Reene Cox John Weingard Walt Kelly (backed by Scott Faultless) (More on this later) And hopefully an outsider. Someone just told me John Weingard, Scott Fadness and Fire Chief Orusa are all on vacation and by chance wound up at the same place in the Virgin Islands.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

And Scott again - two days in a row. But New Topic.

Indy Star June 20, 2013 Fishers to hold elections sooner than expected; former council president Faultless unhappy "But Town Council member Scott Faultless, who was council president for 11 years before Weingardt replaced him in January, said the new, shorter timetable creates problems for potential candidates and said Weingardt should have seen it coming. “I think it’s unfortunate that the leadership on the Town Council didn’t catch this sooner,” Faultless said. “That’s the job of the council president, to monitor everything that is going on in the Statehouse that affects the community.”" The Town of Fishers pays a lot of money to a lot of lawyers including a bunch of lobbyists. This is the same bunch that tried to trick the citizens of Fishers to set up a fake city. What I find very interesting is Scott Faultless is ready to blame John Weingardt for not knowing about the legal change. Scott seams to think he is the only one who knows how to run Fishers. It was the job of the Town attorney and Town manager to advise the Council of what is going on. Clearly they are not doing their jobs not Mr. Weingardt. Mr. Faultless wanted to keep this inefficient form of government in place the citizens of Fishers knew better and have chosen to have a Mayor and a real City. A city with a City Attorney on staff instead of a contracted attorney, a City with a full time Mayor instead of a part time Council member who is chosen by the other council members to be a part time President of Council and not the head as implied by Mr. Faultless. It is time for the voters to remember that Mr. Faultless is one of the roots of the problems in Fishers and show him the door in the next election. Another reason he is unhappy - he would have to run in two elections - one in 2014 and then again in 2015. That gives the citizens two changes to throw him out.

Scott is at it again

Scott is at it again. It looks like Scott Faultless is at it again. When the fire contract came up this year. Scott once again said the people in the Townships are not paying their share for all their Town of Fishers benefits. This is the same old story. “The people in Giest are not paying their fair share.” We heard this over and over. The Fire Contract is overcharging already to the people living outside of the Town. The basis of the fire services is the value of the home versus the number of structures. Only in Fishers is this being done this way. So here we go again the people with a New York License plate driving up I-69 through the Town of Fishers should pay a toll. If they stop to get off on exit 5 (or whatever the new exit number is, stopping to eat will have to pay the new restaurant tax) Grandparents visiting and taking the kids to the park should pay. Maybe anyone driving on township roads should pay the county for use of the road. Scott wants everyone to pay for every service if they use it or not, if they live in the town or not. He was all wet during the Geist annexation and now he is trying to force everyone living outside the town limit to pay full payment for all services without regard to have the right to vote in the Town. This is another way around force annexation without annexation. Folks remember 2014 elections it is time to throw Scott out of any office he may run for.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

The first Mayor for Fishers

A newly enacted State Law calls for the election of a Mayor in 2014. Of course this is very upsetting to all the Town Council members who were expecting to stay in office until 2015. What this does is set up two elections for Mayor and City Council one year apart, 2014 and 2015. If the citizens elected a Mayor that turns into dud in one year they can replace him or her. Same for the Council members. It also means they have to raise money to run for two elections. So I see a lot of arm-twisting and if the past is any indication – town contractors and law firms will be hit hard. After all this is Fishers. The mad dash is coming. The Town Council is going to have shortly pass an ordinance with new districts and call for an election of a Mayor. I expect a lot of candidates for this new office and it is going to be very interesting to see who runs. Concerning the new districts, under a City there are six set districts, currently we have seven, so one of the current council seats will have to go. But if any of the current council members run for Mayor they can’t run for Council. So finding one to drop out should not be difficult. I am certain the behind the scenes discussions are going on right now. After all this is Fishers. The Republican Primary will be overflowing; so far I have heard several names and even a posting on Facebook asking the same question. Names that have been mentioned and or whispered so far: Dan Canan Renee Cox Wayne Crane Scott Fadness Scott Falutless Walter Kelly Pete Peterson John Weingardt The City Council seats are going to be even more interesting. Under a City Charter six of the seats are going to have to be firmly defined and not all at large as in the past. This means you for the first time actually elect someone from your district. It also means that a current seat holder may have to run against someone who is know in that district and who does not have to run at large. One more thing. I am certain the Town Council is trying to figure out how to get around the new law and delay the election until 2015. After all this is Fishers.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Are you ready for next May?

The state passed a new law because of the mess brought about by Fishers in the trick question election. As you remember the Town Council tried to trick everyone to keep them in power, not these voters. Smarter than the town council yes. Well other communities tried other mergers etc and all of them failed. Then the state lawmakers noticed. A little push from a couple of citizens including our own Brian Baehl and a number from Evansville got things moving even faster. The law passed 49 to 1 in the Senate and 97 to 3 in the House. So to the Town Council your lost again. To other citizens all over the state you will not have to go through what we all did. By the way the Town attorney travel to another town to try and sell them on this crazy plan, so the new law stopped that game. The Current had an article and Scott Fadness said the new law does not effect Fishers. Wrong again. The new law requires the Mayor and new Council election in 2014 and they wanted it in 2015. Another year to built up their war chests with money to run an election. I can't wait to see how they try and delay the election from 2014 to 2015. The Town Attorney must be up all night trying to figure this one out. Ok election 2014 and the list of Mayor candidates keeps growing, real or not real the names keep popping up. So far my count is up to seven, but I am not into the rumor spreading of candidates so you will have to figure out your own list. But what it does is open the field, lets say three of the current council members run in the primary, that means two or three seats open up depending on the new districts. If you run for Mayor you can't run for election in a district seat. That was one of the tricks they tried to play on the voters. Then three at large seats which translates into an open contest for 5 or 6 council seats. Hopefully people who want to see good government for the people step forward and run. Instead of the same old people who want government for the government and not the people.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Rep Ubelhor and his dumb propsed Law. And I mean dumb.

This has got to be one of the dumbest moves yet by a Representative in the Indiana House. Rep. Matt Ubelhor, R-Bloomfield wants to allow farm raised deer to be hunted in 200-acre fended-in farms by hunters. He claims it would result in 400 jobs and so it would be good for Indiana. Most of the hunter groups and DNR don’t agree. In fact they claim that farmed deer get diseases and if one escapes it could spread far and wide. Well I guess that is one way to reduce the deer population in the state. But not one I would want to see. Maybe he should figure out a way to bring 400 real good paying jobs to Indiana instead. But that would require someone to think and it appears that is beyond his capability. Below is a note I sent to him, I doubt I get a reply. But if I do it will be posted here. Dear Representative Ubelhor What is next Hungry Games? Are you going to propose that Indiana adopt a program similar to the ones in the books? After the hunters are done shooting deer in a cage what will they want next? Why are you even bothering to have the hunters waste their time coming to the state, just have the farmers kill the deer and ship the head to the hunter. After all that would make them even more money. Are you so eager to try and make a few dollars for a few hunters you are willing to risk disease for all the deer in the state. If in state hunting groups and DNR are against this why are you for it? Just so a few can make a few dollars you need to re-examine your position and come to your senses. Or maybe you do want hunger games next.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Fishers shoots for a new Tax

Fishers claims to have the lowest tax rate. I just love this fake claim; they make it up with fees and other hidden taxes. Such as the Stormwater Fee (tax) we all had to just pay. Now here comes another hidden tax, House Bill 1070 would authorize the Fishers town council to adopt, on or before December 31, 2013, an ordinance to impose a town food and beverage tax of not more than 1% on taxable food and beverage transactions in the town. Specifies that the revenue from the tax must be used to reduce the town's actual property tax levy (but not maximum permissible levy) or for economic development purposes, including the pledge of money to bonds, leases, or other obligations for economic development purposes. Since the Town's actual levy is above the 1% cap it means the Town can impose a 1% tax on your restaurant bill. What is very interesting is only two towns in the entire state are trying to get this. Fishers and Cloverdale. So behind our backs the Town Council is once again at it, raise taxes, sort of keep it hidden, but still claim to have the lowest tax rate. Hopefully the State Senate will stop this nonsense.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tme to tax bullets

The NRA has proposed that armed officers be placed in every school as a solution to the gun problem. This is a wonderful sound bite but not a real solution nor did the NRA come forward with the funds to achieve this process. This solution places a burden on the taxpayer and even has resulted in proposals in the current session of the legislation. Yet at the same time the Governor want to lower taxes. The police protection of schools is just a transfer of cost to the local level and in essence a tax against all of us to the benefit of gun owners. I believe the State of Indiana should at once impose a bullet tax. Apply a tax for each bullet sold in the state or shipped into the state by a mail order vendor. The citizens of this state should not have to raise school taxes to pay for this protection the gun users should. We tax other direct usages or apply fees in this same manor. So it is time to tax the gun owners with a usage tax on bullets. This in no way violates the 2nd amendment or limits their rights to own guns.

Monday, January 14, 2013

Time Passes Histories Lost

As time passes on much is lost and history becomes more and more condensed. How many times have you wanted to ask a loved one what happened? Or someone who live hundreds or thousands of years ago what happened? But even in a short spam of time much can be lost. Sometimes we can get lucky and find an old document that sheds light on a question. Recently I found out when and where my maternal grandparents were murdered by the Nazi’s. It took 70 years to find out and a slip of paper in an archive in Switzerland provided the hint to start a trail that led to a forest where they were machine-gunned down. My father’s family was much luckier. A great uncle came to this land in 1905 and prospered and so in 1935 he returned to Europe to start the process to save the Weingarten Family and bring them the United States. But even mush of this has been lost to time. My father would never speak of what happened or how they managed to survive, I have been able to get some of the relatives to speak and put their accounts in a book, but the book is more than just about the survival of family. My father wrote 100 hundreds of poems and always hoped they would be published. I have taken all the poems, added pictures of family, some from long ago and placed them in a book. Today the book was published by Amazon. The following is the description from the book and should you wish a copy the ordering information. The title of the book is one letter, it is the nickname of my father, very simple and a name he was called by all who worked for him and all his friends: H Herman H. Weingarten A Collection of Poems And A Family Holocaust History "Herman Weingarten was born in Vienna during WWI, the oldest of three brothers. The family did well in Vienna until the dark cloud of Hitler came and the hardships for many Jews and almost certain death. With the help of an uncle who came to America in 1905 much of the family was brought to the land of liberty. “H” as he was known worked as the chief chemist in a pharmaceutical factory, was drafted seven times and sent back each time to continue war production. He worked in that same factory until he retired. His middle brother was unable to go to medical school because of quotas against Jews so he became an engineer and invented the color picture tube and his youngest brother went into service to his nation moving up the ranks to a high position in the Census Bureau. But it was in retirement that “H” found a new love, poetry. This book is a collection of his poems along with family pictures not in any order but a cross section of both European and American snapshots. He always hoped some day his poems would be published but unfortunately he will never see his words in actual print. Many of the relatives and friends shown in photographs in this collection will never be able to see themselves. But a new generation can and they will be able to read, see and keep alive the words. The poems capture the twinkle in his deep blue eyes and happiness in family and living in a free nation. The Holocaust and World War II killed 50 million people, yet many names will not be remembered, many stories of survival will not be known and much of what happened will be forgotten. Presented here some of the stories from just one family. How many other family’s histories will vanish in the next few years. It is time to record as much as we can. It is time to never forget." List Price: $10.00 6" x 9" Black & White on Cream paper 290 pages ISBN-13: 978-1481866569 ISBN-10: 1481866567

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The cart before the horse or how not to plan a downtown.

The Fishers Town Council is once again placing the cart before the horse. They are moving full speed ahead with a downtown redevelopment plan but forgot to do a town wide plan first. Plus the plan sets up districts within the downtown instead of one district called “downtown” so if we view these small districts as the criteria for the rest of the town we should have at least 100 districts by the time they are finished. Then they are giving away green space in front of he Town hall and Post Office for an apartment building. Just what we need more cars and congestion on 116th street and the loss of green space. Once again it shows a total lack of vision and planning by this council.