IS IT TRUE August 20, 2012


The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE August 20, 2012

IS IT TRUE with all of the posturing about the IT Budget and the need for an audit by City Councilman and Budget Chairman John Friend, CPA we are expecting to hear some discussion about this budget pretty soon?…that some members of the Mole Nation have told us that Vanderburgh County is backing out of their commitment to pay their part of this consolidated department and cutting Councilman Friend off at the knees in his quest to add some accountability to the IT Department that recently lost their head?…there are many questions about past IT spending that need to be answered with the solution adopted at the Ford Center being at the top of the list?

IS IT TRUE that the merged Lexington-Fayette Urban County government found that before their consolidation, there was one full time public employee for every 85 residents?….that twenty years after consolidation there was one public employee for every 100 residents?…that due to consolidation Lexington-Fayette appears to be getting more mileage for the same dollars?…that while Lexington’s consolidation appears to have worked in achieving efficiency and streamlining government, there is no guarantee that would happen in Evansville?…that ultimately, whether a decision to vote for or against consolidation is not the most important vote to achieve good public policy and efficiency?…,the people we elect will have the biggest impact on the city’s success?…if the City of Evansville has a legacy if poor public policy it is the people who have been elected AND the people who did the electing that are to blame?…it was the late great comedian/philosopher George Carlin who is credited with saying “the sure way to assure that fools are elected is to have a majority of fools casting the votes”?

IS IT TRUE the resolution floated by Dr. Dan Adams to limit any increases in salary to non-union City of Evansville employees to 3% or less is alleged to have stirred up some union leaders?…there are a couple of City Center Moles who have told the CCO that union leaders are of the opinion that such a resolution would violate existing union contracts?…we wonder why a union contract would have any clause in it that had something to say about the wages of people who are outside of the collective bargaining units it represents?…that seems to be over reaching on the control system?…in a recent bid for a quasi public entity to do a small construction job there were two prices quoted?…if the job is required to comply with Davis-Bacon laws (prevailing wage) the quote is $420,000 and if the job is exempted from those laws the quote is $140,000?…that federal funds for this project are going to be refused because it is a 50/50 matching situation and the local funding is less expensive by choosing to turn down the governments offer of a $210,000 matching grant with Davis-Bacon strings attached to it?

IS IT TRUE that the University of Evansville just announced that it will be freezing tuition for the incoming freshmen so that they will pay the same price for the four years that they attend?…that tuition is currently just shy of $30,000 per year?…that this writer is a proud graduate of UE and remembers writing those tuition checks in the late 70’s and early 80’s?…the tuition at that time was closer to $3,000 per year?…that my co-op job at the time paid well enough that a year’s tuition at UE from my earnings alone could be paid for with roughly 500 hours of work after taxes?…that a typical student today would have to earn $60 per hour after taxes or about $80 per hour before taxes to be able to pay for a year at UE from working at night and on weekends?…that at a more typical co-op student paycheck of $15 per hour, today’s students would have to work more like 2,500 hours (48 hours per week) to pay for their tuition as they go as I was able to do?…that in terms of the hours worked to cover the tuition prices have increased by 400% since 1980 at UE and many other campuses around the country?…prices for education are now so high that the value proposition is being questioned?…the same things have happened to the purchasing power of the parents of students during the last 30 years?…that most students do get financial aid but the value proposition is still dubious in today’s economy where lawyers, engineers, and other educated professionals find themselves competing for retail jobs to make ends meet?…that at today’s prices that this guy may very well have had to make different decisions in the pursuit of an education?


  1. Is it true that the public employee to citizen ratio most probably has fallen the same 15% or greater in many municipalities besides Lexington, Kentucky? That reduction of workforce and increase in population figures might reflect the same or greater lowering of public employee ratio to citizen population for Evansville and Vanderburgh County between the 1970s and 2012 as for Lexington/Fayette County if the CCO bothered to look into it?

    Is it true that reduction of public employee job slots may be due more to money pressure on account of tax policy and economic decline more than government efficiency in consolidated government? That along with reduction of workforce comes a lowering of the amount, quality, and delivery speed of public services? That the loss and lowering of the quality, amount, and speed of public service delivery is a constant topic of both the CCO editors and their faithful bloggers with the water/sewer dept., the two public cemeteries, and the city parks department being prime examples?

    • Your post is true but quality work is all about quality people so the poor performance by local government may not be completely attributable to being short on staff. It may well be ambition and pride of workmanship that Evansville has been short on. As for Lexington much of the truth behind the stats is coming from serving a growing population as opposed to a shrinking one. It is much easier for a politician to grow employment as a rate just slowing than population growth than it is to have a layoff to make up for losing people.

      • Is it true that Izzy agrees with the editor’s assessment that in general quality people = quality work? That while ambition and pride of workmanship historically are embedded Evansville values, but is in short supply today when compared to yesteryears?

        Is it true that Izzy still believes that reduction of municipal workforce is a regionwide phenomenon for the Midwest for a variety of political and economic reasons? That consolidation of city and county government indeed has been used as a means to reduce municipal workforce, but is only one factor among several reasons that municipal job positions have decreased over the past couple of decades?

        Is it true that municipal garage superintendents and parks directors routinely give workforce reduction as an excuse for lack of street maintenance, poor right-of-way and median mowing, weed and hypodermic needle infested park properties, and disgraceful cemetery upkeep? That all things condidered, whether municipal workforces are consolidated or left as is, it’s likely that visitors to Evansville will continue to arrive along gateway thoroughfares that are overgrown with weeds and lined with abandoned buildings with broken windows and surrounded by rusty fences.

  2. Stick by your guns city Councilman, John Friend.

    Wonder how much money the people who own and run the Vanderburgh County IT Department gave to the Mayors and Marsha Abells political campaigns?

    That Abell lady isn’t to be trusted. Didn’t her step son just got a big paying county funded job? Nothing self serving about that!

    • True indeed that “Headline Marsha” slid her own household member into a nice cushy paying job with the county… bypassing pretty much every spirit of any nepotism policies (whether they be written or assumed).

      We’re seeing that she’s all talk when it comes to trying to grab headlines as “community advocate”, but she’s always looking for the boondoggle herself. What a hoax.

  3. CCO maybe it time you post copies of Marsha Abell’s financial reports for the world to see! As they say-“follow the money”!

    What a big disappointment both the Mayor and Marsha Abell have been.

  4. Just vote No to consolidation!!! As it would mean the crooks that run the city would then control the county too!!!!!1

  5. Starting today County Commissioner Marsha Abell shall be known as the “The Queen of Political Nepotism”!

    So much for the title of the “Taxpayer Friend”!

  6. The City of Evansville alone and combined with the County already have well under 1 employee for every 85 residents. If we were to combine and hire up to Lexington’s ratio there would be over 2,100 employees combined or the City alone could hire 400 more now. How about we compare spending as opposed to employees. Weinzapfel outsourced everything he could to cronies. Check the dollars please.

  7. Great post equal treatment about Abell Abell.

    Worth repeating-Marsha Abell the “Queen of Political Neptpotism”!

    So long for her political campaign statement – Vote for Marsha Abell “Your Political Watchdog”!

  8. Does anyone body know what county department or agency did Vanderburgh County Commissioner Marsha Abell hired her step son to work for?

    Also would like to know his official title and was this position advertised in local newspaper?

  9. I am definitely not a fan of Marsha UnAbell’s and never agree with family being hired in such a manner but shall we start naming names of various elected officials and their wives, sons, daughters, in-laws that work for the city or county? I daresay the CCO doesnt have the bandwith to list them all.

  10. The Lexington Fayette Urban Country Gov’t model is the model that should be the goal of this area as well. They are keeping their government ratio low because they put in an urban growth boundary that keeps their city from sprawling all over the place with one level development.

    In turn, they are having to spend less on all forms of their infrastructure. Why the city of Evansville can’t see to do the same I will never know.

    The Vandigov plan is nowhere near the LFUCG plan but I am reluctantly voting yes because I really don’t want to be a prisoner of the moment.

    Every time I see Winnecke doing jump rope with a YES! shirt on I question if I’m making the right vote because I know people like him will NEVER fight urban sprawl because they have too many friends and supporters who are developers and the mayor has proven time and time again that the last thing he’s going to do is stand up to those people or even tell them no.

    But thankfully, there will come a day when a new crop of leaders will take over after the current ones have been put in a nursuing home after the city decided to forget this entire period of Evansville history. At that point, a YES vote would at least give us a foundation to build the LFUCG plan.

    • Is it true that the type of thinking demonstrated by YESonHSR should make everyone very leery to vote Yes on Unification? That if the referendum passes, the plan mandates that the unified government then would have to enact a unified zoning code for the entirety of Vanderburgh County?

      Is it true that if the zoning code is opened up for revision and unification that wild-eyed, anti-development NIMBY thinkers like YESonHSR then might force code changes that would limit property development rights thereby grossly decreasing the value of real estate outside an arbitrary “uban boundary?” That owners of large tracts of agricultural land in the unicorporated areas and their heirs would be deprived of their right to market their property freely and in accordance with the Hoosier tradition of “highest and fullest use?” That the housing and real estate market should drive land development and not anti-free market, social engineering notions that will drive up land prices inside an arbitrarily drawn urban zone, and depress land prices outside that zone?

      • No its not true Bill, go create your millionth user name and vote Republican!

        • This post sucks, and so do personal attacks. How about attacking the message and not the messenger?


          • I guess you haven’t been reading the posts they’ve been putting on here this past week have you?

  11. Not a demo you didn’t answer my questions to the CCO readers.

    It seems to me that the other elected officials didn’t campaign on being the peoples “Financial watchdog”!

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