Letter To Editor: by Evansville Mayoral Candidate Michael Daugherty  

SEPTEMBER 21, 2023

I would like to thank the Vanderburgh County Auditor, Brian Gerth, for being transparent and responding to my “Public Records Request” in a timely manner.

When a government is not open and transparent and operates behind closed doors, it can only lead to a lack of trust.  A transparent government is more likely to be trusted and extremely effective, as it encourages officials to make decisions based on public needs rather than personal gain.

I have utilized the “Access To Public Records Act (APRA)”, to find information about the spending habits of the Winnecke Administration and current members of the Evansville City Council.

Attached below is a copy of a current “Public Record Request” bond debt for Evansville as of September 15, 2023. 

The above image shows that the City Of Evansville currently has an outstanding bond debt of $950,434,816.00 (Almost One Billion Dollars).  This figure does not include any joint City/County bonds.  This report doesn’t include any impending capital projects: such as Roberts Park, the building of a new Water and Sewer Treatment plant and the original construction estimate cost is mind-boggling.  Also, completing the massive water and sewer replacement project currently being done throughout our city will also be extremely costly. Some of the bonds were issued because of the Federal (EPA) mandate to correct the massive issues concerning our outdated and dilapidated Water and Sewer systems. Repairing the issues concerning our parks and city streets will also be a big financial burden facing the city.
Excessive city bond debt can be a significant financial burden for a municipality. When a city takes on too much debt through bonds, it can lead to higher interest payments, strained budgets, and limited financial flexibility. This, in turn, may result in reduced funding for essential services like public safety, infrastructure maintenance, and employee salaries and healthcare benefits. It’s crucial for city officials to carefully manage and monitor their bond debt to ensure it remains at sustainable levels, allowing the city to meet its current and future financial obligations without compromising its ability to serve its residents effectively.
If you have a question please contact Michael Daugherty at 812-777-8050.
FOOTNOTE:  This letter was sent to the Evansville Courier and Press and the City-County Observer.
The City-County Observer posted this letter without bias or editing.


  1. It’s unreal how the tax payer’s money has been so mismanaged. I guess 12 years of incompetence will get you that.

    • It’s amazing that, to my knowledge, there has never been a request for records and a revealing of those records in all the years that I’ve voted. Good job Michael for your research… now let’s roll up our sleeves and get things turned around. I am confident that you (we) will!!

  2. Oh my GOD!! How can we have that much debt??? Mr Daughtry opened my eyes and will now get my vote! He is a fighter for the people!!

  3. If anyone votes for Winneckes puppet, Natalie, you can expect the exact same to continue!! This spending has to stop!!! We will be, if we aren’t already, BANKRUPT. I heard Evansville can’t get any more bonds, which is why they are selling streets to another made up entity, which can get bonds. Creative Financing means turn over every elected position on City Council.

  4. Interesting Fact since we are talking about how to manage money:

    Nearly 60% of American citizens have a College Degree.

    Trump voters? 12-15% have College Degrees.

    This guy has an advanced degree from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania (Daddy paid for that, not him.)
    Trump’s children, go to Kindergarten at schools that cost more per year, just ONE YEAR, than the cost that an entire 4-year College Degree for his own Voter’s costs.

    • According to the latest US Census, 35% of all Americans have a bachelor’s degree. There are no statistics on Trump voters. Given that you are quoting facts that are documented and easily found, I must conclude that you are either a lying troll or an idiot. I hope you are not one of the one’s who has a degree, because if you are you wasted someone’s money on it.

  5. As everyone can see, Winneke has done a horrible job the past 12 years as Mayor. OUR city is bankrupt. How could he do this to the City of Evansville. If Natalie Rascher gets voted for Mayor, we all know how this will turn out. She’ll follow in his footsteps. I’ll definitely be voting for Mr. Daugherty.

  6. If you read today’s front page of the newspaper, how could anyone vote for Terry or Rascher? They are both sucking up to Centerpoint. Michael is standing up for us on a fixed income! Catch more flies with honey? Really Natalie? Centerpoint has donated money to her campaign. See the connection yet???? Michael is absolutely right. Politics are for sale in Evansville.

  7. We’ve known for years that we were going to have to fix our sewers. Administration after administration took a pass on meeting the requirements of the Federal Clean Water Act, each causing the price to go up and up. In 2002, the cost was said to be $496 million but when it was finally forced upon us by consent decree the cost has risen to about $1 billion.

    Of course had any mayor tried to deal with it, most in Evansville would have stridently opposed it.

    It is good that Mr. Daugherty has put the current figures before us and they are immense. But if we were going to have new things like the Ford Center, Med School, convention hotel, new dockage for the LST, etc., there is a price to pay. Unfortunately, most of these things will rarely if never be used by a majority of Evansville residents who are footing the bill. Also, much of the economic development that results from these investments are given tax abatements that negate their usefulness in helping reduce overall property taxes.

    Evansville, used to be an “affordable” community but between the really high water, sewer, gas and electricity rates and the greed of many absentee landlords, it no longer is. But hey, we can take pride in riding on washboard streets that create jobs for tire and suspension garages in the area.

    • With the exception of the Med School, the debt has been incurred for fun and games. The Sewers before Stadium guy was right and so are you. Can we afford to spend enough to fix the sewers at this point. What is the bond limit of a town of 114,000 souls with a startlingly low household income?

  8. It boggles the mind to see how much this city is in debt and has nothing to show for it. Our parks are horrible. Our streets are bad. This is all on the current administration. A vote for the current administration’s candidate will be a vote for more of the same.

  9. I’ve been following this guy for a while now. He is absolutely getting my vote. We need somebody like him in office that will stir things up and make changes for the good. It appears as if he’s doing more work out of office then our current mayor is in office.

  10. How has this guy not been getting the attention he deserves? He is clearly the only valid candidate for mayor!! His education and experience is enough alone, but add in his work ethic and that he can’t be bought….. WOW!!

  11. This is the leader that we need to represent citizens. He is walking the walk! He is living People OVER Politics every day!!

  12. There will be history made this year in Evansville. The first Libertarian Mayor of Evansville. Let’s get away from bi-partisan politics. This is the push we need!

  13. Thank Mr. Daugherty for providing this information. Words can’t begin to describe the misconduct of the current administration. This includes the City Council members for failure to ask questions. A total lack accountability. When will the other two mayoral candidates begin to speak about this financial crisis the city finds itself? An independent, forensic, outside audit is the first step. Time to hold each individual accountable for their actions. Justice needs to be served.

  14. Everyone complains about the city getting worse, but every election we do the same thing. What if we actually try something new this time around? Not talking about something radical and far left or right, but someone with basic common sense who wants to put the city back on a solid financial path. If the city finances aren’t fixed soon, it doesn’t matter what anyone’s intentions are, there will be no money to fund taking care of what we gave, much less add new.

  15. Evansville is at a fork in the road. We need to get our city’s finances in order now, or there won’t be any way to save it later. Thank you for making this information available to the public, Michael Daugherty!

  16. I have not spoken to Michael yet as I had planned on attending one of the upcoming forums. But seeing what I am seeing the past couple of weeks, he has my vote already!!!

    I have been to Natalie’s events and completely perplexed at how she is using “Business woman” when she has only been in HR????

  17. I attended the Republicans for Terry event. I wasn’t sure what to expect. The second Stephanie said she was Pro Choice, I left.

  18. Can we get a plan from Mr. Daughtery? Can you let us know some of your thoughts? Thank you.

    • He copy and pasted Natalie raschers. His plan is the same as hers and it’s dumb.

  19. If you subtract the mandated sewer/storm water projects the debt is roughly $220M 1/5 of this “bombshell” foia request. Not saying that isn’t a lot of money but it’s not for “fun and games” like some on here have said.

  20. I have no issue with the water/sewer bond projects, as stated here before that project was kicked down the road by many. The issue at hand is that no one is wiling to step up and say this rate of spending must stop. It just continues. The current administration’s plan is no plan. The R and D candidates don’t seem to want to weigh in on the financial crisis this city finds itself. 12 years of no plan. Chasing bad money after good, as one deputy mayor has said. Sad.

    • $10.5 million in Bonds for the Parks Dept- (could have used that years ago. BUT, $3.0 million of that money went to, of all things, 16 Pickleball courts, turning our peaceful and serene Wesselman Park into a daily “rat tat tat” of Pickleball noise. I played a recording of people playing pickleball for the City Council…..didnt matter.(go to You Tube) Its incredibly annoying. You’ll see. So how’s $3 million for reckless government spending.

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