IS IT TRUE April 25, 2013

The Mole #??
The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE April 25, 2013

IT IS TRUE the Evansville City Council received an apology last night from City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr. for not providing them with notification that any appropriation from a Rainy Day Fund 0245 for $155,000.00 for extractors and dryers for the Evansville Fire Department has to be advertised like any property tax fund?…that means 10 days prior to 2nd, 3rd and final reading the intention to spend this money has to be advertised publicly?… the earliest the ad can be placed is Friday so the first time to really consider spending this money will be Monday, May 6, when there is no City Council meeting?…Controller Lloyd committed to place it as an amendment to Finance Ordinance F-2013-4 for 2nd and 3rd reading for the Council meeting Monday, May 13?…it cannot be considered at a Special Meeting April 29 or May 1 or May 2 because it was not properly advertised?

IS IT TRUE the City County Observer would like to congratulate the board of directors of the Evansville Convention and Visitors Bureau for their decision to move forward with replacing the lighting in the Pagoda with LED lighting?…these bulbs will not only save enough money in a single year to pay for themselves but will last over 20,000 on hours?…this investment over the life of the bulbs will save the CVB on the order of $25,000 off of their Vectren bill over their useful life?…much to the surprise of many people it was Vectren that made the suggestion to the CVB to make the investment in LED lighting with a free energy audit?…LED lighting as was profiled by a recent article in the CCO and other publications by Joe Wallace has come down in price and up in reliability that there is really no excuse for anyone to purchase even one more incandescent bulb?…in some high cost areas with tiered electricity pricing LED bulbs can pay for themselves in a matter of a few months?…that similar technological advances have increased the efficiency of PV Solar as the price has plummeted until PV rooftops are a money saving home improvement as well?…for DIY types with the skills to tackle a solar project the cost per kW*Hour can be as low as 3.5 cents over 25 years?…even hiring the installation done typically results in a rate of only 7 or 8 cents per kW*hour?…that is still half the cost of the local electric rate?…of course a solar installation is expensive and lending is still tight but if the banks ever start to act like banks again and lend money against a cash producing asset PV solar has finally reached a point on the cost curve that makes it a good investment?…there will be a series of articles on this subject in the CCO and other publications on this subject?

IS IT TRUE that Mole #16 tells us that there is a disagreement between City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr. and City Council Consultant David Garrett about whether or not the City’s books are now reconciled?…Controller Lloyd asserts that they are while Garrett does not agree?…it will be interesting to see which side of this disagreement the Indiana State Board of Accountancy comes down on as the City of Evansville prepares to go into the audit season for the third year in a row where reconciliation is in a less than exemplary state?…in all fairness Controller Lloyd and the Winnecke Administration inherited a financial situation that makes chaos look great from the Weinzapfel Administration?…a hole that took 8 years to dig may take more than a year and a half to fill in?…we are satisfied that at this point the Winnecke Administration has had the good sense to stop digging the hole deeper?…the real dilemma is what to do with the people who dug the hole in the first place?

IS IT TRUE the audit of the construction of the Ford Center is expected to be made public in the next couple of weeks?…several CCO Moles are telling us that there will be several embarrassing and costly instances of mismanagement exposed for all to see?…such audits of large public works projects often reveal overpayments to contractors that have not been refunded?…underpayments seldom show up since the contractor community has a good handle on their billing?…a final tally of the number of dollars that were paid for work on the Ford Center that ended up finding their way into the coffers of Evansville politicians in the form of campaign contributions would make an interesting read?…the practice of paying contractors and service providers that turn around and make contributions to the politicians that hired them is perhaps the most dishonorable way of legally laundering taxpayer dollars into the campaign coffers of politicians that has ever been devised?…this practice needs to be exposed and stopped at all levels of government?

IS IT TRUE that any and all public officials who vocally support or vote in favor of a hotel subsidy before the Ford Center audit is public and all problems are corrected does not have the self discipline to serve the people of this community well?


  1. Forget the Ford Center.
    A full accounting of GAGE and DMD dollars spent during the Weinzapfel era is where the auditors really ought to be spending their time. Perhaps after the Ford Center audit is completed – and if they find errors in that project – they’ll focus on how FEDERAL dollars were spent (or misspent?) at DMD and GAGE. First we had the Tom Barnett under-the-table deal and now this. Where there’s smoke there’s a VOLCANO of potential discrepancies from the Weinzapfel administration. And I’m sure it’s carried over into his good buddy Winnecke’s administration as well, particularly since Winnecke kept all of the “Good Democrats” in his Republican administration. You know, like Jenny Collins, Rose Young, Ed Ziemer, etc. They’re all in line to get their 10-year PERF vesting. Wouldn’t be surprised if they got it and a month later they were all gone.

    • Good thoughts. I have posted some of them myself, especially regarding Jenny Collins. She was moved over to the Water and Sewer Department, to a position that did not even exist. And to enhance her PERF vesting, she got a pay increase to more than $80,000 per year.

      Antics like these are reasons why Winnecke’s political career ends with this term in office.

      • Not much difference in the two , but I believe it was weinzapfel that created a new job with a big raise for Collins … Winnecke = weinzapfel lite

        • The only postings that I read from “POGO” and “Evilletaxpayer” are the CRYING POSTINGS about Jenny Collins. Her pay or her vestment, do you really harbor that much jealiously? If she is a CRIMINAL, turn over all “YOUR” evidence to the Prosecutor and they the courts system put her in JAIL!!!!!

          I enjoy reading all the banter in the other postings, but the continual CRYING about Jenny Collins is getting real OLD!!!!!!!!!

    • Neither the DMD nor any other taxing unit should be allowed to create and run a 501C corporation to engage in activity that the taxing unit is forbidden by statute from doing itself!

      If DMD had been called to task when they started their 501C, perhaps a certain former school corporation superintendent would have been a little less bold with his 501C actions and everyone could have saved a lot of money in attorney fees.


  2. The amount of withering ridicule of Winnecke, that I am encountering everywhere is staggering, one and done is the “jury’s” verdict concerning his future in the Political arena.

    • He is a place holder for Weinzapfel who will most likely be running for Mayor again in 2015. That will be enough time for his ego to convince him that he is the savior of Evansville and plenty of time for his new bosses to tire of his narcissist ways.

      • I agree that Winnecke is a one termer. He is surely aware of this. With that said he has the opportunity to go out in style. He could easily eliminate the city deadwood with ghost jobs and use those slots for the Parks Dept. He could start with the do nothing HRC and hire 6 new people for the Parks Dept. He’s definitely improved the city parks but he could do much better.

  3. From above “…..that similar technological advances have increased the efficiency of PV Solar….” Anyone who believes using Solar cells to generate electricity for their home is going to save them money and time have bumped their head. There is no way that is correct. No way.

    • We are currently building a home in Palm Desert, CA. The quote for a 10kW system that will generate 16,000 kW*hours per year after rebates is $28,300 which works out to 7 cents per kW*hour over the 25 year life of the system. If I choose to climb up and do it myself the price is $13,600 which works out to 3.4 cents per kW*hour. The average rate in the SoCal Edison area is about 25 cents making the payback time on the investment work out to 3.43 years (29% per year) or 8.18 years (12.22% per year) depending on whether I do it DIY or hire it done. That assumes a flat utility rate. The numbers are not quite that good in Evansville but the rate of return is better than a CD by a lot. If that means I have bumped my head then I hope to bump it again. It is completely correct but I agree that given the historical pricing it is hard to believe. Perhaps the news has not yet reached Evansville about how competitive Solar PV is or perhaps local suppliers are raking people over the coals. If you could pay $13,600 and work two weekends up on a roof for 30 years of electricity wouldn’t you do it?

      • The sun only shines in Evansville 50% of the time and most other places. What do you do when it does not shine–do without electricity? You have not taken into account maintenance–30 years maintenance free?? The system is not maitenance free. I suggest you consider seeing a doctor before you invest.

        • Maintenance is minimal and is comparable to what is done with windows. There are thousands of rooftop installations that have been generating power for as long as 40 years without failure in this area. Solar generation still works when clouds go over but for the sake of arguement lets assume they don’t. Halving the output would double the cost per kW*hour making the cost 7 cents pe kWh for DIY and 14 cents per kWh for a turnkey installation. Both of those numbers are lower than the local electrical rates today. As for the cost of DIY it should be exactly the same as the banner ad in the CCO does not change prices for solar kits based on location. The numbers are clearly worth it in CA and DIY is in Evansville. Turnkey installation is marginal unless the cost of labor comes down.

          • I would think that air conditioning the house would be a huge factor given the amount of electricity that consumes and given your location:


            March to November is a long cooling season.

            I have an 8 kilowatt back-up system that runs on LP gas and I can back-feed 30 amps into the main panel. If you were powering a couple of air conditioning units while keeping your refrigerator and freezer running at the same time, you would be maxed out.

            I am all for saving money, but security and dependability top the equation.


      • Joe, very interesting. Let us know how it goes and if the payback numbers meet the estimates. I’ve been considering the idea of solar given the last few years of staggering Vectren bills

        • Vectren bills are staggering and that shouild be investigated. Indiana SB 560 is going to make it even worse.I bet you will be sorry if you switch to Solar. Also the value of your home will not increase with solar panels stuck on the roof. Only “Greenies” like Solar cells.

          • Vectren’s wholly owned pipeline company, Miller Pipeline, should be required to bid for all work done on any Vectren projects that are associated in any way with ratepayers.

            I have had first hand experience watching Miller Pipeline working on a small Vectren project and I can tell you there is ZERO incentive for Miller to do the job in a timely and cost efficient manner. They used every piece of equipment in their yard and dragged the project out for a couple of months.

            I am certain the ratepayers were picking up the tab on that one.


          • The value of a home does increase with solar panels but not by enough to cover the costs. They are sort of like pools on an appraisal meaning that $40k of either get you a $20k bump on the appraisal. Solar is really about cash flow. In my specific case $13,600 will save me about $300 per month. At current interest rates I would have to put about $100,000 into a CD to earn $300 per month so for me it is worth it. And yes Press this includes a pool pump (variable speed) and two AC units both programmed only to run when people are home to the temperature of 78 degrees. We seldom have to heat at all.

  4. The Ford Center is built and the taxpayers have to pay for it regardless what the Ford Center Audit says. A Convention Hotel is needed to help draw conventions to the Ford Center and the Centre. Without a Convention Hotel, we are up the creek without a paddle. Without substantial financial assistance from the City, no investor is going to build the Hotel. Trying to draw some kind of tie between the audit results and the hotel has no practical logic.

    It is to bad that a local hotel owner is not a bidder for the Convention Hotel. Anybody know why they are not?

    • They got where they are by suckling at the government teat. It is all they know. Ask them to pledge shares in their business/businesses to get that government handout. I would like to be around to hear their answer.


      • No doubt this is a man made mess. But it is one of those things “do nothing” is not an acceptable answer.

  5. Tub, No-one in their right mind is going to invest in a “Money Loser”, can you not see that? If there was Money to be made, private investment should be fighting each other for the opportunity to build a hotel in “Old Downtown”. The taxpayers are going to help pay for it,…AND, get this, Guaranteee a positive cash flow for the company that will run it.
    Smart Stewardship of the taxes taken from the homeowners/workers?
    “Old Downtown” continues to be an Expensive albatross around the Taxpayer’s neck…the end!

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