IS IT TRUE December 13, 2012


The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE December 13, 2012

IS IT TRUE that today is the 35th anniversary of the plane crash that killed the University of Evansville basketball team?…to commemorate this tragedy the Office of the Mayor has chosen to make the announcement that the home of that team Roberts Stadium is on schedule for demolition and that soon we can all watch the destruction of public property on webcam?…the CCO thinks linking the anniversary of the plane crash to a formal announcement of a webcam of the demolition of Roberts Stadium exhibits about the most out of touch and obliviousness to life’s realities that could possibly come out of any elected officials office?…that on a day of remembrance our leadership has turned the intentional destruction of public property into an internet cartoon?…we could go on all day about this but the oversight to connect these events really makes one wonder if anyone in the Office of the Mayor is even thinking before they act?

IS IT TRUE that one of our end of the year articles planned will be dealing with the dumbest things to go on in Evansville politics during 2012?…that seems like an easy task as we are certain that things like the drunken City Council fest fueled by Indianapolis bought alcohol and Earthcare Energy that got our year started will be among the dumb things?…in the spirit of Christmas we would also like to include a list of things that the City of Evansville did right?…we indeed have a short list of things that deserve accolades but we are having difficulty in coming up with very many?…we would appreciate it very much if our readership would make some suggestions on things to include in this end of the year article?…we will also be doing an article on 10 things to do right in 2013 and that the #1 item will be a COMPREHENSIVE DEVELOPMENT PLAN FOR THE CITY OF EVANSVILLE?…when you do not have planning you pretty much get the emotion of the day and the long list of dumb things is an artifact of the failure of our leaders to plan?…the need for a plan has been #1 on the wish list of the CCO now for 3 years?…the last attempt at a comprehensive plan happened in the early 2000’s and was commissioned by then Mayor Russ Lloyd Jr.?…ex Mayor Weinzapfel never ever followed that plan and never made one of his own?…instead he had a singular focus on a downtown arena which he did find a way to get?

IS IT TRUE according to a Wall Street Journal poll a month after the presidential election highlighted divisions over taxes, spending and political stewardship, Americans now solidly back compromise to solve the biggest budget challenges facing the country?…about two-thirds of Americans of all political stripes would like Congress to strike a deal to REDUCE THE FEDERAL BUDGET DEFICIT, EVEN IF IT MEANS CUTTING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICARE AND BOOSTING SOME TAX RATES?…an even larger share — more than three-quarters of Americans, including 61% of Republicans — said they would accept raising taxes on the wealthy in order to avoid a “fiscal cliff” of large spending cuts and tax increases now set to take place in January?…the practical nature of the American people is playing out right now regarding this issue EVEN THOUGH THE PRESIDENT AND THE REPUBLICAN LEADERSHIP ARE STILL SQUABBLING OVER CRUMBS THAT WILL NOT SOLVE THE DEFICIT AND DEBT PROBLEMS?…the CCO has no doubt that the people of this country at all economic levels will be willing to make sacrifices to save our country from insolvency?…seeing ads on TV from paid special interest panhandlers is becoming truly offensive to those of us who want to see this country saved from dying and idiots death?

IS IT TRUE that if a deal is to be made with President Obama the it will be a quick deal as he has a long vacation in Hawaii planned to start next week and last until after New Year’s Day?…we doubt that Congress can decide on which flavor of milk shake to buy in 4 days so do not be surprised when January 1, 2013 comes and the so named “fiscal cliff” is breached?…you should also not be surprised when the sun comes up on your first paycheck of the new year that will be less by between 2% and 6% depending on your earnings?…nearly all of us can afford that and will survive with some easy decisions on which non-necessity to cut from our budgets?…the only solution to the deficit and debt problem is for every last American to learn to live with less whether that is a lower paycheck due to tax increases or less government handouts due to spending cuts?…both are necessary to solve our problem so get on with it while it is still possible to fix?…SOAK EVERYBODY is the solution!!


  1. To some extent, the list of Positives could be bigger, if one considers the the things that were stopped by the reaction of the Citizenery. From that angle, The “Vandygrab” Defeat would have to be my #1 on the Positive list.

  2. “Is it true … the last attempt at a comprehensive plan happened in the early 2000’s and was commissioned by then Mayor Russ Lloyd Jr.?”

    The most recent “Evansville-Vanderburgh Comprehensive Plan” was compiled and published by the Area Plan Commission in 2004, and covers planning goals for 2004 – 2025. The publication includes a 9-page chapter highlighting the Downtown Master Plan completed by Dept. of Metro Development some time around 2000.

    The 2004 APC Master Plan is based on Year 2000 census data, and the newer census data has just recently enabled a newly drawn Urban Area that extends farther out into the townships than the previous urbanized area.

    Now that local planners and the U.S. Census Bureau are operating on the same population, demographic, and geographic data, yes it may be time to update the Comprehensive Plan. Three years ago, before all the new census data was gathered, processed and published it would’ve been a bit premature to grind out a new comp. plan.

    As to the Weinzapfel Administration’s execution of the comp. plan, in particular for the downtown district, I don’t see how anyone can deny progress in that regard; particularly with regard to the new arena, and downtown loft and condo development.

    Maybe the only thing lacking, considering the lagging economy, is a more agressive branding and marketing of the Downtown TIF District, and the Evansville Arts Redevelopment District, the latter of which appears to be imminent … at least with regard to the area known as the Haynie’s Corner Arts District.

    Push Positively!

    • Bill, I appreciate your offer yesterday to stop by your office to see the Hi Rail map. I have a lot of FOIAs to file at the Civic Center this week and may stop by if I get through with all of the offices.

      Do you know if this plan from 04 is still online? The 2001 was on GAGE’s website but they deleted. Thankfully, I printed off all 100+ pages of it.

      • Jordan, I have a fresh copy of the 2004 Comp. Plan on my desk, awaiting the new county surveyor, who as you know will serve on the Area Plan Commission.

        When you come to the office to view the map, ask Pam, or whoever may be at the front desk, to let you see the plan. You may copy what you need from the plan, or you might get a full copy of the plan from APC. I don’t know their distribution policy, but their office is right across the hall from mine.

      • I just reread your post. We may be talking about two different plans. The plan I have is APC’s 2004 – 2025 Comprehensive Plan for all of Evansville and Vanderburgh County.

        If you are looking for the “2001” plan, that may be the Downtown Master Plan published by DMD. That’s different than the 2004 – 2025 Comprehensive Plan, which as I said in another post, includes a 9-page chapter of highlights from the Downtown Master Plan.

        I suppose you can get a copy or a look at the Downtown Master Plan at the DMD office, or maybe at GAGE. I don’t really know at this time.

        • Yea I was talking about two different plans at the same time. Haha. I was talking about both the 2001 plan that would probably still be somewhere in the shelves of the DMD( I have it printed off already so that doesn’t matter), and I was also talking about the 04-05 plan for all of Evv and VC. I appreciate you directing me to that plan in your office as well!

  3. On the master plan, it was a campaign promise of the mayor’s to update the current plan from 2001, not form a completely new one. I sure hope the mayor lives up to this promise although I’m not too optimistic about it.

    • Jordan, I think your pessimism may be premature.

      A few points:

      There is no sense in updating a comp. plan until all the census data is available. The data all became fully available this year … 2012.

      The mayoral elections was 2011. The promise to update the comp. plan was made in 2011. The promise cannot be fulfilled until 2013, because the data only became fully available throughout the year 2012.

      In 2012, the APC staff already began the process of updating the comp. plan. Fact is, APC staff began the process sometime in 2010, because the comp. plan had become 5-yrs. old by that time. Unfortunately, the update process has slowed a bit due to the departure of the APC director, and will relaunch more aggressively when the new director assumes administrative duty.

      Most cities in most growth management states update their comprehensive plans every 5 years or so. The exact chronology for updating comp. plans in growth management states is dictated state by state according to statute.

      Indiana is not a growth management state, and there is no statutory requirement in Indiana for cities to update their comprehensive plans. Our APC just happens to model their update chronology on a general rule of thumb comparable to growth management states.

      I hope that helps understand the process and the status of updating our comprehensive plan.

      • I don’t quite understand all the emphasis on the Comprehensive Plan. The APC are not obligated to stick to it and neither is any Mayor or Council. It’s basically another form of campaign promise, is it not?

        • I view the comprehensive plan as a guide that incorporated public input and presents professional planning concepts, tailored by APC staff for Evansville/Vanderburgh, and published by APC.

          I think some folks view the comp. plan as a wish list, some as a pipe dream, and some as a planning bible. I’ve always viewed it as a guide, but not as commandments written in stone.

          A campaign promise? Hmmmmm. I guess if I were running for a municipal executive office, and someone asked me if I intended to update the comprehensive plan, and I knew from experience that it’s updated every 5 years, and the process already had started a year earlier, of course I’d answer “yes!”

      • For this post, we are talking two different plans. I’m referring to the 01 plan for just downtown. I know ppl aren’t hungry for capital improvement projects right now but we do need to go ahead and bring back the 01 plan and tweak it by moving the ballpark over a street and redoing the Main Street design. The rest still seems doable. I wouldn’t have a problem with shelving all of the plans for a few years or more if they were actually showing that they were still trying to make it work.

        OKC did a temp 1% sales tax and let it collect for 7 years. After it collected they drew interest on the stored away funds AND built all of their projects debt free. That’s gotta be the goal here…

        I say start with necessary infrastructure for MAPS I, like sewer, smart meters (only if it’s a real plan not that Johnson Controls mess), parks, trail connectors, etc, etc.

        Then MAPS II could be the downtown stuff.

        • If the ’01 Downtown Plan has any more spending on downtown in it, which I suspect it probably does, there was probably a good reason for scuttling it. How about NOT spending more money downtown right now and focusing on our own Evansville fiscal cliff coming up in the form of an EPA sewer mandate?

          Shouldn’t that be part of the plan rather than more frivolous luxury items like ballfields? I’m not trying to harp on you, Jordan. I really want to hear your answer.

          • The core of the Downtown Master Plan published by the Russ Lloyd, Jr. Administration, if I remember correctly, was a professional baseball park to displace the huge Aztar surface parking area (now The District), and development of the adjacent downtown from there toward the Civic Center with street level commercial topped by upper floor loft and condo development. The plan included “promenade” sidewalks, which of course would necessitate significant purchase of additional rights-of-way to widen sidewalks and set existing buildings back several feet.

            That’s about all I remember from casual discussions of the plan. I’m sure there must’ve been much more to it.

          • It was a minor league ballpark not a 8 plex of youth fields, not that there really is anything different in terms of capital imprvment spending.

            Bill pretty much described most of it. Only things I would like to add are the Wabash & Erie Canal redug at First and the Lloyd, a marina at Mulzer (should be the ball field now) and a redeveloped area around Pigeon Creek.

            I don’t really think it got shelved bc of the sewers, I think it got shelved because there were too many pet projects that took up their time- i.e winnecke dog park.

          • That sounds like a total pipedream that would require a huge amount of eminent domain, doesn’t it?

          • Are you referring to the canal or the master plan in general? The canal would follow 5th street and would need to purchase the land that currently has a for sale sign on it by Goebel Realty. The ballpark would be a problem because Mulzer Stone would have no problem selling if you could find them some other land supposedly. Problem is, our slack water port isn’t ready yet.

        • I see you did mention that at the end of your comment, but you can’t have your cake and eat it too. Austerity means giving up some pet projects for necessities. It doesn’t mean you can still do everything you want and magically the important stuff will care for itself.

          A 1% sales tax in Evansville, IN would result in a flood of business across “that money saving bridge”. It would be a disaster for Evansville retail.

          • No it wouldn’t. They said that about OKC and it didn’t pan out. KY and IN have all kinds of different tax rates on different items. Some do take the trek each way but as a whole they don’t. Why isn’t everyone living in Henderson and working in Evv to avoid Vectren?

          • Not to say that a current revenue couldn’t be substituted, I’m just telling you what OKC did and is now being duplicated by other cities and has yet to fail.

          • Oklahoma City is in the middle of the State. And it is pretty much the ONLY large city for quite a radius. Not so with Evansville. You could already save 1% sales tax by crossing the bridge, your plan would make that savings double. Not to mention the gasoline state tax already puts Henderson gasoline well below ours, cigarettes, alcohol, etc.

            Everything is cheaper over there. Let’s not even get into energy and housing/property taxes. I think I just talked myself into moving to Henderson even before your new 1% sales tax.

          • If you wanted to escape OKC’s sales tax all you would have to do is move to the county (OK County). You wouldn’t even have to cross a bridge. And OKC is within radius of other cities just like Evv is. Dallas, Wichita, KC, Albuquerque, Little Rock, and to an extent Memphis are all around OKC.

            The bottom line is this: It worked not once but twice and is already approved for a third round. OKC and Omaha are the ONLY cities in America with unemployment under 5% which is why it was named the most recession proof city by Forbes Magazine.

          • Brad,

            Although what you say is true about the money saving bridge, I don’t go to Henderson to buy gas unless I’m passing through Henderson. I don’t shop in Henderson unless I’m passing through and need something from some place that is on my route or I need ASAP. The only reason I would make a special trip to Henderson to buy anything even though I would save 1 or 2% is if I couldn’t get it from anywhere else closer. Who else is the same or different than me?

            P.S. I did buy a used car in Henderson and had to pay Indiana sales tax anyway.

          • Evansville thrives in part from money outside the state coming in. Travelers from places like Henderson, Owensboro, Madisonville, Princeton, and Morganfield come here to shop and spend their money on recreation and entertainment, to see a movie, to gamble, to see a live band, etc.

            If you slap an additional 1% sales tax on everything, those people are discouraged from making that trip to Evansville. The Evansville economy thrives on money coming in from surrounding areas, including outlying areas in Indiana like Boonville, Newburgh, Vincennes, Mt. Vernon, Washington, etc. Doing something to discourage that influx of revenue is playing Russian Roulette. It can work if you are truly the ONLY game in town, such as in the case of Oklahoma City where it is the ONLY large City in the entire State and it lies smack in the middle of said State, but in a dynamic area like this, there are too many retail alternatives close by in communities like Henderson and Newburgh for outlying consumers to consider as alternatives.

            It’s a bad idea. Taken in microcosms, sure some people wouldn’t care and would still just shop wherever is closest and most convenient for them to get to. This would disproportionately be Evansville residents bearing the burden of the 1% sales tax, and it would adversely affect the influx of out of town revenue on a more macro scale.

  4. “…to commemorate this tragedy the Office of the Mayor has chosen to make the announcement that the home of that team Roberts Stadium is on schedule for demolition and that soon we can all watch the destruction of public property on webcam?”

    Wow. Just wow. I wonder if those poor souls’ next of kin are still around…maybe we could drag them out for a public flogging for good measure. Top it all off with a nice bit of salt.

  5. On the last point of this IS IT TRUE… We ARE all already being soaked. Inflation is the mechanism. The Federal Reserve’s endless QE is the mechanic.

    Until we fix that which is the true enabler and crux of our spending addiction, any debate over a “fiscal cliff” or trimming around the edges of a big, fat sh*t sandwich are pointless.

  6. I think it’s time that Jordan realizes that Evansville will NOT be Indy or like it. Jordan, you have good ideas but hey are NOT practical for Evansville. Not money wise, not interest wise. And that high speed rail thing, please give that dead horse a rest ok……..

    • What are you even talking about? No one has even mentioned Indy on here. And they’re not my ideas, they are the ideas of the city laid out in the 01 master plan.

  7. I want to add that I DO think it was in POOR TASTE that the C&P put the front page story as anything but a tribute to the tragedy of the U of E Men’s Basketball Team. Jeers to the C&P!

    • I would like to thank Mr. Bill Jeffers for welcoming me into the surveyor’s office today to show me the plan listed above. I would also like to thank his staff specifically Pam for helping me copy several of the pages. They didn’t have to do that but they did it anyways. The purpose of the CCO is to recognize good public policy. That is a textbook example of good public policy.

      Also, gcap thanks for the online link.

  8. Too late in all this to just ask everyone to think about 1977?
    Remember where you were when you heard?
    I lived in Terre Haute at the time.
    I still cried.
    I still do.

    • I wasn’t around then but I do want to say that I am thoroughly impressed with the attention the 1977 Aces got from the community today. Last year, next to no one mentioned it and I was afraid that Evansville was beginning to forget. The level of respect this year though was 180 degrees different. Thank you Evansville!

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