IS IT TRUE that we never put in a blogger post in our IS IT TRUE section?  …that a CCO posters Grateful Dead got our attention today and we felt compelled to share it with you? …we hope Grateful Dead post is over zealous, if not Evansville is real in trouble?

Grateful Dead
Apr 22, 2015 at 9:03 am
So, let’s add up the forthcoming tab: as of January 1, 2014 total City/Utility debt approximately $425 million.

Current Debt Balance For Evansville as of Jan 1, 2014 is $425,000,000

!. – Johnson Controls 42,000,0002. – ADA Crosswalks Projects 20,000,000

3. – Roberts’ Dog Park 8,000,000

4. – Master Storm Water Projects (23) 160,000,000

5. – Retiree Health Obligations 239,000,000

6. – Consent Decree EPA 540,000,000

7. – Ultimate Settlement (EPA) 135,000,000

8. – Hotel 28,000,000

9. – N. Main Street Project 15,000,000

10. – IU Medical School Project 57,000,000

11. – Mesker Zoo Project 40,000,000

12. – Water Pipe Replacement 200,000,000

Grand Total 1,909,000,000

Per Capita Future Obligations = $15,900

Detroit before mass exodus = $13,300 After Exodus = $17,000

Does anybody see some challenges ahead of this City?  Of course, there are some projects omitted from this list.

IS IT TRUE at the last City Council meeting Alan Mounts stated that the missing $400,000 from the Evansville Water and Sewer account cited in the 2013 SBOA audit review matter has now been taken care of?   …we look forward to Mr. Mounts providing the CCO details how this matter was resolved?  …if this matter wasn’t resolved in the proper manner then it looks like we have yet another campaign issue for the Mayor to defend?

IS IT TRUE it has been brought to our attention that Judge Shively has donated substantial funds to Lloyd Winnecke’s campaign both as a judge and a private citizen? …that documents show that Judge Shively before taking office in what is to be a nonpartisan position as judge, donated to Winnecke personally and through his law practice?  … that later this week Judge Shively and 6 other Judges will be hearing oral arguments in the City of Evansville Residency case?  …we want the people of Evansville to have not only receive a fair and impartial legal opinion based on law and not partisan politics? …yesterday we received a phone call from a legal friend who ask us to do additional research concerning if Judge Shively has any possible conflict of interest issues pertaining to the upcoming Residency hearing?

IS IT TRUE the CCO did additional research on this issue and found the following information? …in 2014  Judge Shively was on the ballot.   …the Code of Judicial Conduct allows a Judicial Candidate to engage in campaign activity which includes fundraising and attending political events starting one year before the election?  … in 2014 he attended political functions of  both Democrats and Republicans?  … he made contributions not only to the Mayor but also to Democrats Stephanie Brinkerhoff-Riley,  Jonathon Weaver, and Kathryn Martin.? . ..Judge Shively disclosed these contributions to the lawyers in the pending Residency  case on 2/10/15 in open court and none of the lawyers objected to his involvement in hearing this case? …Judge Shively also disclosed to Evansville City Council Attorney Scott Danks the above information and Mr. Danks had no objections?  …Its important to point out that Mr. Danks also served on Judge Shively  election committee?

IS IT TRUE we now believe that the Honorable Judge Leslie Shively has no potential conflict of interest in the pending Residency case given his track record of striving for, and apparently achieving  judicial excellence not only as an attorney in private practice but also as a Superior Court  Judge?

IS IT TRUE that we are pleasantly surprised to see the local Democratic Party Chairman, Rob Faulkner finally come alive by writing in your face letters to local Republicans about bad decisions being made on the State level? …we been telling for months that Mayoral candidate Gail Riecken is bringing splinter groups back together into the Democratic party?

IS IT TRUE the Vanderburgh County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner is scheduled for tonight?….the Lincoln Day dinner has traditionally been the party’s largest fundraiser of the year?….tomorrow’s dinner is scheduled for 7pm with a VIP reception beginning at 6:00pm?….the event will be held at Old National Events Plaza (formerly known as the Centre)?….we hear that there are plenty seats available and if anyone is interested in the Lincoln Day Dinner, they may call Republican Party headquarters at 812-425-8207.


    • The one that the city council passes and the Mayor said he was for and then turned around and vetoed the ordinance. When the City Council voted to Over Ride the Mayor’s Veto the Mayor turned around and filed suit in the Courts to determine if the law was legal or not. So now a panel of 7 local Judges are going to rule on the ordinance. Not sure what that really means! But right now the ordinance that was passed by City Council of Evansville, IN says that one has to live inside the city limits in order to be appointed to and serve on any of the city’s boards.

    • To put in terms you can understand Joadie. Both George Bush Sr & Jr along with Dick Cheney & Ronald Reagans ghost, supported by a grant from the Koch Bros are conspiring to have anyone that serves on a local board to actually live in the area they are going to serve. So if you live in Newburgh or Mt Vernon you can’t be on a board in Evansville.

      • If you live outside the city limits but within Vanderburgh County you are ineligible, even if you own a business in Evansville.

        The mayor was never in favor of this ordinance.

  1. It could the ordinance that a person must reside in the City to serve on a board.

  2. It could the ordinance stating that a person must reside in the City to serve on a board.

  3. Could it be the mayor was diligent filing the suit because the high court found it illegal to have residency requirements for city employment and a court finding in regard to appointments might be wise before full implementation?

    • I have read a number of just over $250,000 each including the non-debt recurring obligations like Social Security being reduced to a present value. Compared to that, local debt looks insignificant. There are some differences though. The federal government has the power of the printing press and the federal reserve in its pockets. Cities do not enjoy such luxuries.

  4. $2 Billion is the debt level that the CCO has been forecasting for the last years. Thanks to Grateful Dead for the tabulation.

    Given that Grateful Dead has the CSO consent decree at the $540 Million that the City proposed that has already been rejected, I personally predict that all of this stuff will eventually result in a debt of closer to $2.5 Billion. This will put Evansville beyond the reported debt per capita of Detroit before the exodus. The wages of neglect are coming home to roost.

    • Grateful was doing a worse case scenario. He has some “what may happen” in his list. The amount for Detroit you mention is actual debt is it not.

      • Yes, it was. The point being made was that Evansville is on a path to Detroit debt levels, not that it is already there. About half of Detroit’s per capita debt is because half of the population abandoned the sinking ship.

  5. The $400,000 was resolved with an eraser. I think Accountants call it an Adjusting Entry. WOW. Some adjustment. Maybe Allen Mounts, good friend that he recently hired with no experience and no financial background made the adjustment. Maybe Mayor Winnecke’s favorite CPA, Jenny Collins (not related to TOM) made the entry. She sure has made plenty of them.

  6. Greatful Dead’s list:

    Initiated by Weinzapfel:

    1. Johnson Controls–city=wide WiFi, city-wide replacement of all water meters $42. million

    3. Roberts Dog Park–necessitated by the demolition of Roberts Stadium. $8. million

    4. Master storm water projects: Weinzapfel goes to work for the law firm handling the various bond issues for these projects less than two months after leaving the mayor’s office. $160. million

    10. IU Med School Project: Made sure Industrial Contractors/Skanska spiked the job. $57. million

    11. Mesker Zoo Project: Puts McGinn in charge of theme renovation with million dollar cost overruns, causing even higher annual deficits for the zoo. $40. million


    • Item 3,

      Winnecke trumped up the ‘damage’ to Roberts in the media; put together the sham group to define alternate uses; actually tore it down; and then proposed the Dog Park.

      Hard to pin that one on Weinzapfel.

      • You have got to be kidding. Roberts’ grave was dug when Weinzapfel hatched his plan for the downtown arena. So, yes, I can hang this one on Mr. Weinzapfel.

    • Privatize the zoo and the amphitheater. Collect thick stacks in property and food and beverage tax..

  7. Regardless of placing blame, the fact is simple we have federal mandated expenditures in front of us of great proportions. . . .so, any additional debt that is discretionary needs much discussion. . . that simple. . .

    • And the definition of discretionary is the hotel. Put the money for the hotel on to the sewer bill. Where are the sound minds of these people? Do they balance their own budgets and that of their businesses in this manner? I would like the mayor’s office to complete a list of what my spouse and I will have to pay in addition to what we are paying now in 3 years — sewer and water, Vectren, all local taxes, meters, repairs to the Ford C. and that other Center, damage to new structures placed down town when the sewer repairs are being done, and on and on, plus any surprises that are on the horizon and there will be some. There is no plan, and no wiggle room for emergencies. This money is certainly not being allocated in a way that makes sense. When I stated this in emails to some of the city council members a few weeks ago they basically said that I had had my chance to speak up before now ( which I had done by the way) and they believed that this “plan” would work. Okay guys, try collecting $100.00 from the majority of citizens in Evansville as a vote of confidence and put that on the hotel bill. I doubt you will get more than a few thousand. The majority is not with you.

  8. Storm Water has been an issue for decades. . . this goes back to the McDonald Sr. days. . . the issue is Winnecke does not have a single project on the books out of 23 needed. . . but, wonder if those projects were downtown they would have been in the forefront? When we have any kind of rain my neighborhood looks like the rice paddies of Vietnem. . . .I just took my vehicle in for inspection to find out that I have damage done by our potholes. . . look around us. . . the infrastructure is in moral decay. . . and all we here about is that silly convention hotel?. . . . .while the Governor signs legislation that becomes the criticism of the decade and organizations announce their cancellation of events in Indiana and we are so crazy to think that conventions will be coming to our City? Nuts!!!

    • Thank you Meter Maid. And here is the kicker. Bob Warren of the CVB was the starting force and big proponent of the convention hotel. He was hired in from out of state so when he is done with Evansville in a year or two he will be down the road leaving this mess behind. What if the citizens just flat out refused to pay a % of their future taxes in revolt against the hotel and the other messes that are not being fixed but that we are now paying for? I can certainly understand the exodus from Detroit. There are positives of Evansville, but they decrease by the day.

    • Nuts is right. Who in the right mind would schedule their convention here in Evansville, IN. Maybe the Catfishing tournament guys but then again anyone’s NUTS to go fishing in the Ohio River especially at this time of the year with the river in flood. Although I did see a young man fishing the Ohio River at the old Newburgh Dam haul in a nice channel cat. That thing was at least 2 ft long if not over 40 lbs.

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