Dear City-County Observer,steve
    Thank you for contacting me and asking me to tell my story. To begin, I am definitely a concerned citizen who has lived either in Newburgh or in Evansville for almost all of my 40 years. I have always worked with the public, mostly in restaurants and retail jobs, but have kept a very private life which makes all of this publicity very uncomfortable for me. I never intended nor desired to be a topic of discussion at the Mayor’s office, the Evansville Courier, or even on Facebook as the City Council Meeting video from June 22nd is passed around and reposted.

    Likewise, I didn’t expect to hear some of the accusations about me that I have heard coming from those sources mentioned above. I have never met Gail Riecken, nor do I work for her or her campaign either as a “plant” or otherwise. I feel that the picture that has been painted regarding my presence and motives at the Council is quite inaccurate at best, that the article in the Courier misquoted me at least once, and deliberately omitted vital information pertaining to my purpose and cause.

    What the article did not say (which I stated in the interview) was that I pray for the Mayor, his family, the City Council and their families, the City Controller, the City Attorneys, and the governmental leadership in this city (along with their families) very regularly (and with a steadily growing group of uniting pastors), that I really like the Mayor and think he is a very nice guy with a good heart, and that if there are intentionally negative things happening regarding the finances in this city, perhaps the questions that I have been presenting can help him to locate the issues.

    In no way did I make any accusations against the Mayor, his staff, nor his campaign, and my questions have more to do with the goings on within the finances (or lack thereof) in this city than some fictional “orchestrated attack” on the Mayor. I have no desire to come against and accuse someone I am regularly praying for, for I would be defeating the whole purpose of my prayers if that were the case.

    I also have no interest in the two-party system because I refuse to side with the lesser of two evils. Instead, I choose to side with God, and I pray that any evils and any corruption in this city be exposed and removed, while anything and anyone that is befitting in the eyes of God for His will and His plans will be blessed to continue in the successes of their office and purpose, but prayer is not all I am called to do. I am also called to “put my hand to the plow” so-to-speak as I step out in faith at an arena in which I am somewhat unfamiliar in an attempt to fulfill my responsibility as a believer in Jesus Christ, a citizen of this city, and holding accountable the offices which make decisions in our city on behalf of the believers and non-believers alike among us.

    I am, however, not alone in my prayers as the pastors of Evansville and the surrounding cities, counties, and ultimately the region are and have been banding together to pray for our governmental leaders, not only on a national scale, but very specifically on a local scale… and we are seeing both immediate and gradual results as God moves and works in the lives of the people, calling them to repentance, and to real relationship with Him.

    With that said, there are some key issues we are praying about, some of which are the financial conditions of this city, that we are deficit-spending, that we are asking for advancements on the advancements of future taxes that have yet to be collected, that financial reports due in January are still unavailable in May, that 20 million dollar/10-story projects are approved, then cut down to 5 stories and somehow still costs the same or even (3.6 million) more, that the water and sewer department needs 65+ million dollars to add 600 homes to the sewer system after it hires 21 “workers” who are not blue collar hands-on workers but rather top-level white-collar executives, that if they don’t get their 65 million dollars as they have already stated that they will take it out of our bills anyway, that the homestead credit that was supposed to give 8% back to the homeowner, but has only given 6.15% back for the past 7 years at a difference of 7 million dollars that went into someone else’s pockets besides the homeowners, just to name a few concerns. Clearly these discrepancies and the nature therein were here before Mayor Winnecke took office, and those who are benefitting from them know how to move money around seemingly unnoticed. As a concerned citizen, I want to make sure these discrepancies do not remain beyond his term or terms.

    While some of these issues are being resolved, the fact that we keep having so many issues regarding finances and their whereabouts seems to be a much deeper reoccurring problem in this city like a hole in the bottom of a boat. This is my chief concern.

    While these spending, borrowing, advancing, withholding, and missing monies continue, the homeless remain homeless, the transitional beds remain always full, the abandoned houses remain abandoned, a new homeless shelter at CEO that only requires $170,000 to open sits in the waiting, the impoverished remain impoverished, the potholes line the streets, the 900+ prisoners released to Evansville each year have no jobs and no place to go except back to drugs and back to prison. The drug dealers keep on dealing, the gangs keep on bangin’, the food stamp program is about to drop 20,000 Evansvillians (even those who are disabled) who will all be hitting the job market in October or they will be starving by December, and crime will be increasing… all while we’re playing “Find The Missing Money.”

    This seems to be the same problem on a national level, that the leaders use our money to represent themselves, their campaign donors, their pocket-liners, and their closest pals, and to accomplish agendas that do not at all represent the people. The leaders themselves do not represent the people, nor the majority thereof, and they just get richer while the poor get poorer and the middle class disappears. We should all be asking if our leadership represents the people because the current financial status of this nation and this city do not appear so at all.

    The city is broke and borrowing from our future and our children’s future, playing a “shell game” with our tax money, and would not be able to afford the cost of recovering from even the smallest of catastrophes if something, God forbid, were ever to happen here. This is unacceptable, and that is why I am asking all the questions I’m asking. The greatest question of all however shouldn’t be where am I getting my information, nor why am I asking these questions, but rather, “Why is it such a problem that I’m asking, and why isn’t anyone else in Evansville asking these same questions?”

    Where are the citizens of Evansville, why don’t they care, and when will they come forward to ask the questions which must be asked in order to prevent the flushing of this city and our finances down the proverbial toilet? Will it be too late when we finally decide to do something about it? Or can we do something together about it now?

    For quite some time I have heard this city referred to as a “City of Refuge” for those who are in need, but we don’t have any funds, any more beds for the homeless, any plans, or any help for anyone in need because we have limited our own capacity to do so. It’s time for each of us to make our voice heard, stating that we care what goes on in our city, and that we will no longer accept the “shell game” with our finances, but that we will hold accountable all leadership regardless of party affiliation in order to make this city a greater place.

    If I am a “plant” as the article portrayed, it is not at all for Gail Riecken or anyone else. When I started asking questions I started getting answers that brought about more questions, and it appears thus far that these are the right questions to be asking. If I am “planted” at all as the article suggested, I am merely “planted” there by the Lord to help in setting right some things that are wrong by asking questions we should all be asking of our city.

    Finally, the Evansville Courier & Press reporter was gracious enough to ask me if I had anything else I wanted to say… but they didn’t print what I said.

    What I said was basically this, “Evansville, it’s time for us to rise up and pray for our leaders.” To take this a step further; it’s also time to reject any and all corruption in this city, and it’s time for us to declare to God and to each other that which we accept in this city as a people, as one unit, and as one body. Ultimately, the choice is ours. Will we continue to play “Find the Missing Money” in this city, or will we do what we have all been called to do, to rise up and pray for our leaders?

    Sincerely Concerned Citizen,

    Pastor Steve Ary


      Pastor Ary has given us the – up till now- missing method – in our quest for restoring accountability in local governance. When our politicos demand to know who crafted the questions we ask – we must demand that –
      in the name of GOD – just answer them! …

      • Well said . . .just imagine where we would be today if our founders failed to insert the First Amendment to our Constitution . . .the Winnecke’s of the world would have their way with us . .

    2. According to the record Pastor Ary has appeared twice to ask questions . . and again according to the record was asked by Councilman McGinn,” who do you work for” . . . and by Schaefer, “where did you get these questions” . . .apparently this Administration including their sidekick McGinn are above questioning especially about where is the money issues.

      • onceuponatime
        Pastor Ary might have been wise to ask Councilman McGinn – “who do YOU work for? –
        If not for the people – then who?” …

      • I totally agree, but I can’t help but wonder why the person who fashioned Pastor Ary’s questions hasn’t stepped forward to defend him against the attacks.

        • –disaffected–After reading this very well written, and intelligent letter, How come you feel the need to join in attacking the messenger’s veracity? My conclusion to your shallow post?—
          WHO put YOU up to insisting someone else fashioned Pastor Ary’s questions?

          • Crash, if you were keeping up with the story, you would know the pastor said he was given the questions styled in the way to ask them. Only someone with low reading and comprehension skills would read my post and derive that I was somehow attacking Pastor Ary. He was man enough to ask the questions and shield the word stylist, but apparently the stylist isn’t on the same level of courage.

            Perhaps you should set your agenda aside, whatever it may be, while you attempt to read and your replies won’t be so ignorant.

            • I did not see where the pastor in this letter put forth that someone had “styled” the questions he put forth at the Council. I do not subscribe to the C&P so if the Pastor said he was given “Styled” questions in a C&P article,– I missed it.
              Still, I do believe your post seeks to change the discussion toward “who” styled the Questions, rather than the bigger issues raised by Pastor Ary.
              –Like when will the honest answers surface from the Winnecke Regime?

            • If your opinions are formed by only what you read in the CCO, you really aren’t interested in Evansville. I don’t subscribe to the C&P birdcage liner either, but their online content is not all blocked, nor are the local TV newscasts.

      In the great city where he lived, ( the King) life was always gay. Every day many strangers came to town, and among them one day came two swindlers. They let it be known they were weavers, and they said they could weave the most magnificent fabrics imaginable. Not only were their colors and patterns uncommonly fine, but clothes made of this cloth had a wonderful way of becoming invisible to anyone who was unfit for his office, or who was unusually stupid.

      “But he hasn’t got anything on,” a little child said.
      “Did you ever hear such innocent prattle?” said its father. And one person whispered to another what the child had said, “He hasn’t anything on. A child says he hasn’t anything on.”
      “But he hasn’t got anything on!” the whole town cried out at last.

      This town must cry out! …

    4. I didn’t know that the Evansville Courier and Press did a hatchet job on the good pastor. Shame on them and Steve Shafer for accusing the Good Pastor of being a “plant” for Gail’s campaign. The Mayor’s assistant is ignorant and arrogant. And the people at the EC&P are just as much to blame for this stupid innacurate and untrue article about the Good Pastor. How dare they attack a man of faith!

      • Even if he was a plant, what difference would that make? The questions are fair.

    5. Pastor Ary can look to the SBOA dustup and what they tried and failed to do to Stephanie Brinkerhoof Riley for some insight into what these people he’s praying for are capable of. I will stand with him and render any assistance I can as needed. I do not share his opinion of Lloyd Winnecke and do not think Winnecke escapes culpability for the financial mess this city is in.

    6. Okay Pastor Ary, you see how Evansville works very clearly. You now have the baton good sir. I warn you though, the jackals that rule Evansville are merciless and will stop at nothing to shut your mouth.

    7. It’s plain for all to see,—
      Evansville’s Captains don’t know what your talking about Pastor,
      — they have NO MORAL COMPASS!

    8. Thank you Pastor Steve for the message. Thank you CCO for the News.

      I will join you in your prayer. The louder and stronger we pray, the more likely Evansville will move toward financial stability for its regular people. I believe in putting the hand to the plow as well. It is time to turn over some of the old sod that has wasted the areas resources over the years. Seems the only way to do that is exposing the stupidity and embarrassing them into doing the right thing.

    9. I believe hubris has taken over shame’s spot in these folks psyche. Embarrassing them wiil not work. They have lost, or severely subjugated, the ability to feel shame. They will deal with these things, things that would indeed embarrass most people or administrations, from a position of power. They have a 4 year track record now, it is a safe bet that they will not change.

    10. It would suspect going before the CC and facing the questions would cause Pastor Ary to be some what reminiscent of Jesus in Pilate’s court. “Who are you?”

      Well done Pastor.

    11. Prayer is not wasted but it is not enough. I am with Joe. A very strong and committed leader must step up, unafraid of the consequences of his/her speaking out, to begin exposing the tangled web that is Evansville’s “normal.” I hope it is this Paster. He seems to be a very strong man. But he will need to have the strength of many others with him. Paster, tell us how you wish others to help you. What are your plans? What church do you serve? We don’t need plants in our midst. We need people with the energy of youth and the wisdom of age. We need all of Evansville to resurrect this town from its current state.

    12. Steve Ary:

      [At age 26, he rededicated himself to Christ, he said.

      In 2005, he walked from Evansville to California carrying a cross. It took 4 1/2 months to make the walk, which he said he did by himself along with “the spirit of the Lord.”

      “Whenever I ran out of food or money, I just said, ‘Lord, I need you,’ and he sent someone to help,” Ary said. “It was an awesome experience.”]


      * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

      Concerning the future well being of the City of Evansville, I think we could all send up a prayer of “Lord, I need You.”

      “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

    13. The Courier & Pravda has 2 reporters? The C&P likely sent out a nonpaid summer intern with a paper boy while in area on paperboy collection duties. Make no mistake, the C&P is a far left leaning promoter of all things Obama, global warming scam, and typical liberal agendas.

      • Then I wonder why they quit printing how Bucshon voted a year and a half before the last election?

        To make room for more cozy stories about Obama maybe?

        Or more positive stories about my Uncle Joe Biden no doubt.

        You’re on a hot trail Joe, stay up all night and at least until this Fall Festival investigating your opinion and report back with some facts to back it up on the 12th of never.

        You de man Joe, with blood hound instincts not seen since Sherlock Holmes discovered America….

    14. Thank you everyone for your support. I hope to see you all at the next City Council Meeting on July 13th at 5:15 in Room 301 at the Civic Center. I hope that many of you will come with your own questions. lastly, please be praying for our leaders and for the finances of our city. Thank you all again for your kind words and your support. God bless.

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