IS IT TRUE March 12, 2013


The Mole #??
The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE March 12, 2013

IS IT TRUE that last night’s meeting of the Evansville City Council was filled with contention and anxious moments as many have been lately over the aggressive nature of Councilman Jonathan Weaver and the apparent alliance between Councilman Weaver and Councilwoman Missy Mosby together in opposition to any form of outside financial oversight that other members of the City Council support?…in another vote of 7 – 2 in favor of hiring outside financial oversight Weaver and Mosby found themselves once again as standing alone against outside financial oversight?…this time the object of outside oversight being considered is the Ford Center construction project?…City Councilman Dr. H. Dan Adams who has consistently been a voice of reason since his election in 2007 stated that he wants to put “heavy rumors” to rest regarding the financial oversight during the construction phase of the project?…last night’s City Council meeting was not the first time that the words “Fraud Center” have been uttered with respect to the Ford Center construction project?…that without making any allegation that Councilman Weaver pushed Dr. Adams for, Adams made a strong enough case to conduct a forensic audit of the Ford Center construction project that it was passed by a clear majority of the City Council?

IS IT TRUE in defense of the position of hiring no after the fact outside oversight that Weaver and Mosby have been hanging together on, this kind of oversight SHOULD HAVE BEEN IN PLACE FROM DAY ONE THROUGH THE DURATION OF THE PROJECT?…unfortunately outside financial oversight was not one of the things made a part of the deal so now that the project is over and the financial performance is not up to the projections set forth in the series of public meetings held by the committee appointed by former Mayor Jonathan Weinzapfel, people are asking questions?…respectfully speaking, the rumors of fraud or mismanagement need to be put to rest and hopefully a forensic audit that comes up clean will do that?…this is what happens when things get shoved down the voters throat without a referendum?…let this lesson be learned by all politicians past and future that circumventing the will of the people has consequences and this “pall of fraud” that the constituency of each and every one of the 9 City Council members are concerned over will not be the last unintended consequence as a result of doing and end run to build the Ford Center?

IS IT TRUE there is one cure for the suspicions of the citizenry and that is profitable performance by the Ford Center?…the City County Observer is fairly certain that whomever conducts this forensic audit whether it is a big name CPA firm, a local bookkeeper, or a high school math project WILL FIND instances of poor decisions, overpaying for items, cronyism, and differences in the specifications and reality?…none of those things rise to the level of fraud and we do not expect that fraud will be exposed?…as with nearly every other project taken on by the City of Evansville during the last 10 years from the McCurdy debacle, the Executive Inn dilemma, the demolition of Roberts Stadium, the $20 Million ball fields, the Earthcare Energy fiasco or the dozen moronic dramas that end with GATE, what will be exposed is abject ignorance and a cavalier attitude about said ignorance?

IS IT TRUE as Metallica wrote in their classic song Holier than Thou, “Arrogance and Ignorance go hand in hand”?…that the voters of Evansville who are now disappointed in the apparent arrogance and ignorance that have dominated nearly every project brought forth by the last two administrations are no more disappointed than those who expected competence and oversight in local governance?…we have gotten neither?

IS IT TRUE we were looking forward to seeing the scheduled public exhibition of the latest round in the David Garrett vs. the Winnecke Administration regarding the report Garrett made to the City Council last week?…a reasonable discussion without the press conference staged before the event and the calling off of a private meeting last week by City Controller Russ Lloyd Jr. could have been constructive and even respectful?…in this case the pregame press conference served much like a tent revival in Salem, MA in 1692 that was well planned to froth the crowd up for a witch burning?…David Garrett chose not to attend the City Council meeting last night even after Mayor Winnecke asked him to?…Mr. Garrett’s boss in this matter is the City Council and not the Mayor of Evansville?…perhaps if Mayor Winnecke would have asked Mr. Garrett’s client (the City Council) to request his attendance he would have attended?…in the absence of a direct client request the WITCH BURNING PARTY WAS AVOIDED?


  1. IS IT TRUE? … That the men’s basketball tournament at the Ford Center last week averaged only 549 fans per game? And that the women’s tournament only averaged 369 people per game? Is it true that nobody bothered to keep track of how many people were at 3 of the men’s games and 2 of the women’s games? That even when you take away the zeroes, and average the number of people per game for the games the officials bothered to keep attendance at, that the men’s games averaged only 962 people per game and the women’s games averaged only 517 fans per game… (How can that be; a brand new facility – top quality Division II basketball – and nobody came???)
    IS IT TRUE that at that pace it’ll only be 100 more years before the gate revenues pay off the Ford Center bonds? (Although the Ford Center would have been replaced twice by that time, since we love to tear down buildings at the age of 50 around here). IS IT TRUE that Curt John probably doesn’t care about those low attendance figures, because even if only 200 people per game showed up to watch basketball at the Ford Center, that meant having the opportunity of serving 200 more people at his bar across the street – an opportunity that wouldn’t have existed if the Fraud Center hadn’t been built. IS IT TRUE that John Dunn probably doesn’t care either – so long as men’s and women’s basketball teams from the GLVC filled up his hotel rooms. IS IT TRUE that means that we’re all paying higher property taxes so that two businessmen can reap the rewards? IS IT TRUE The Ford Center pays zero property taxes; but the buildings that were knocked down to build the Ford Center all paid property taxes; so we are all paying more property taxes to make up the difference)…

    • You should change your name to rumorsquad. Tickets are scanned when you go in the door of the Ford Center, I went to a couple of games at the GLVC tourney this was done. They didn’t sell tickets for games, they sold them for sessions; 2 games = 1 session. So, they have an attendance count for each session.

      Also, I don’t know how many times this has to be said but property taxes are not paying for the arena, period.

      • You are correct that property taxes outside of downtown are not being used on the Ford Center, but property taxes via the TIF District are being used although that’s a good thing as these funds would ordinarily be going to Indianapolis for who knows what.

        The only real gripe the locals could have is that general taxpayers do fund the arena via the Food & Beverage Tax and I do suppose they could argue that Aztar Funds could be used better (although I myself see no other project outside of the ballpark that would make more sense) but overall the project was a good one as long as the TIF and the other two sources can keep up with the debt service and yearly money loss because this city has not put all of their eggs in one basket whether it makes sense or not.

        As for the ticket scanning, yes the games were paired together in sessions which makes attendance figures tough to calculate since they listed some sessions twice in the box score while zeroing out others. And yes the GLVC themselves did better this year than last year as I would say it’s looking close to 3,000 + combined which is much better than the 1,000 they got in Springfield and I’m sure the local powers that be will twist this.

        However, if you look at the box scores, just about all of them that were over a thousand came from USI’s session meaning that this tournament drew mostly local people here who ALREADY generate revenue for the city. In other words, this was basically one lowly Aces game spread out over 3 days.

        And if you read that wonderful article done by the C&P about this tournament “making the cash registers ring” you will notice that the only source of revenue it brought in went to the hotels who were on the EAST SIDE not downtown. In other words, moving this tournament only shifted the same economic impact before it did not create any new revenue.

        And that goes for the whole “march on main” idea. While it’s certainly great that all downtown establishments were co-marketed it doesn’t take away the fact that was a shift in revenue as well from Kipplee’s, Western Rib-Eye, Turoni’s, etc, etc. Kipplee’s has already had to change their name from “kipplee’s stadium inn” to just kipplee’s restaurant. Drive by on Boeke and you will see this.

        So the bottom line is this. This tournament had no business being in the arena. Even one Aces game, much less a 5,000+ Icemen game, could have brought in that many people to downtown. The only reason why it happened was because the city wanted to try and make a point that they could cram any event they wanted in there. It was also another chance to feather the cap of other organizations consisting of political hacks. It back fired and they should be called out for it.

        • So if you are calling these guys political hacks and can do it better in your mind, it’s safe to say the Observer can go ahead and announce your canidancy for_________ office. Please Jordan fill in the blank and save us the suspence.

          • I already offered to do it better and it ended up with a rigged task force followed up by your buddy at Vectren standing in support of the mayor’s plan. Funny because Roeder couldn’t even defend it on this very site.

            I have also gone directly to the offices of Bob Warren and discussed how he can make his ball fields project work for both the city and the ECVB as well as have an enormous competitive advantage over the rest of the fields in this area. Of course that didn’t matter as Warren has basically gone back to everything Dunn did and we are going to end up with yet another mess like we did this past week. He’s basically one Biaggi’s night away from being a Dunn clone.

            Fast forward to this week and here we are with what is easily one of the least attended events in the history of this city. Just look at the photo of one of the games before tip off…


            That is an ENORMOUS waste of what is a great community arena that has done a great job with concerts, Icemen games, etc, etc.

            Lastly, why in the world would I want to file for an office (Canidacy as you put it)? Politicians build careers, activists build cities.

          • Where is all this money to come from for these outside audits? these two vote against all this because they are not sure how much money the city has. the others aren’t even thinking about this

        • I disagree. I think that you would have trouble filling any arena with a ball game at noon on Thursday. I don’t see anyway of avoiding that.

          Lewis is in Chicago which is roughly 500 miles away and University of Wisconsin Parkside is a little North of there. You also had Drury from Springfield, Mo. I believe Jewell is just outside of Kansas City.

          So, with gat at 3.79 and it being at the end of a work week, you would have to really plan for it. You would also have to consider that it is possible that it will be one game and you are done.

          • I don’t think you’re following what I’m saying. I’m not saying that the ECVB/sports corp/mayor/city janitor/whatever is directly at fault for low attendance. Like you said, it just isn’t humanly possible for this tournament to attract a decent crowd when games are at bad times and are far away from league cities.

            When you are dealt those type of cards, you manage them correctly. When you have a tournament whose largest crowd is the home team USI at only roughly 1,500 fans, you don’t order a brand new 9,400 seat arena whose cost to maintain each day is astronomical for something like this.

            You place the event in a proper sized arena. A 4,500-5,100 seat Roberts would have made much more sense for the following reasons…

            1. It would have been nearly 25% full on USI sessions. I highly doubt the attendance figures would be even one person less if it was moved. (Little known fact: USI, then ISUE, first played at Roberts Stadium, not PAC)

            2. It would have still brought in the economic benefits of hotel stays, restaurant revenue, etc, etc from the teams.

            3. It would have been sustainable due to the fact that it would have been much cheaper rent due to the fact that it costs less to maintain each day.

            4. It would have freed up 3 more dates for Iceme games, concerts, etc that bring in much more people at the FC. I talked to both Sandie Aaron and Mr. Scott Schoenike myself. They both, esp Scott, indicated they could fill those dates with the greatest of ease. I have done research on both of them outside of the phone calls- They have proven this time and time again in similar markets with the most notable being Scott at Grand Rapids.

            Nobody wants to hear this but the truth still remains that if this town is truly interested in sports events like this, we are still going to need a mid-sized arena someplace somewhere. With one of them we would be able to attract multiple events taking place at multiple times while maximizing revenue in a sustainable way. Unfortunately, I fear this type of facility will be built in Newburgh before it’s built here. It nearly happened in the mid 2000s.

            • When I was at USI in the late 70’s games were played in the downtown YMCA gym. Attendance was not even 100 per game.

        • The Arena is a state of the art arena. It is starting to attract attention. I think if you asked anybody that played there this weekend or anybody who watched a game there, they will give you good reviews.

          • I’m not disputing the arena as a whole. I have long been on the record as saying it was a good idea (minus the location itself). The Icemen attendance has been up every single year. Many will argue that that is because they keep moving up in leagues but it’s not really. The majority of minor league fans don’t know much about the game itself or the opponents which is the opposite of upper level pro teams and most college teams.

            Sadly enough, they come for the atmosphere and all the side shows. That’s why it was crucial for the Icemen to have a modern arena with all the bells and whistles. Without it, there would be no Icemen hockey or minor league hockey in general-Period. There would have been no moving into Roberts, no staying at Swonder, nothing.

            The Ford Center has also done a great job maintaining the concert list that we have had over the years. There were several upon several bands that were going to take Evansville off the list due to lack of amenities and lack of roof structure support. This arena addressed that issue while creating life for Downtown Evansville AND increasing revenue beyond what was expected. As bad as it is crammed into a bad location, it has done everything the city has asked of it.

            What I am disputing is putting anything and everything into the new arena. When you place a GLVC Tournament that makes an Aces game against Buffalo look like a standing room only event, you’ve got a problem. This isn’t sustainable. If the city wants this tournament to remain here, they are going to either have to take a loss, maintain a ton of sponsors (and whose to say they wouldn’t be sponsors anyways?), or try to get the GLVC to pay more (not happening).

            Back in Nov of 2011, I sat down with Winnecke in his campaign office on Main and told him this. He countered with “shouldn’t we put as many events as possible into this one arena instead of two?” Well, let this past week be your answer.

      • Read that last paragraph again.
        We ARE PAYING HIGHER PROPERTY TAXES because the buildings that USED to be on the property of the Fraud Center PAID TAXES. The Fraud Center DOES NOT pay property taxes. So we’re missing those property tax revenues from the for-profit businesses that occupied the property before they were knocked down – meaning the rest of us pay higher property taxes as a result.

        Think about it. You can apologize any time you’d like. I’m a night owl … I’m up late.

        And the ATTENDANCE FIGURES I got were ALL FROM THE GLVC. They were listed on their web site in each box score. Do your own math if you’d like.

        • The buildings that were tore down were all vacant and the effect of tearing them down on your property taxes would be minimal. The people from out of town who are parking in the parking garage are paying $5 to the city, when they eat in a restaurant in Vanderburgh County they are paying food and beverage tax to Vanderburgh County. If they are from out of state and fill up their car with gas, they are paying State Sales and gasoline taxes.

          So, its not like we are not getting revenue from the Ford Center.

          • Here’s a link for you…
            The Executive Inn paid $200,000 in property taxes in 2009 – shortly before the wrecking ball came. How many homes in Evansville would it take to make up that difference? 200? That was just one business that was there. There were others that WERE NOT empty – and if they were, it didn’t matter – because EMPTY BUILDINGS pay property taxes, too. So do empty lots. Government owned buildings like the Fraud Center DO NOT – and we residents have to make up the difference.

          • Truthsquad, that is an excellent find. Right there we have over $77,000 in innkeepers tax revenue. How much is being lost from the time they shut it down to the day the new hotel opens? Methinks that right there was enough funds to have raised the floor at Roberts right there.

            And another thing, how much $$$ is the city losing by making the horrendous decision to place the arena on the footprint of the Exec? That article clearly shows that there were investors interested in the Exec due to it being next to the arena not in the way of the arena. Now, we’re talking what $30 mil/$40 mil to completely replace it (plus the demo costs which were incurred twice)?

            Everyone thanks Ford for sponsoring the arena, yet when you think about the fight DPatrick Ford put up, they actually cost the city much more than they helped the city.

        • I don’t have a clue why the GLVC attendance did their attendance in the box scores like that. In 2 games of the same session, they have the same figure some times which would be right. I noticed once that they had the 2nd game of a session as 0, I don’t why they did that but it should be the same attendance as the other game of the session.

          The attendance is the number of people who bought a ticket for that session and entered the building.

  2. Heavy Rumors are what they are, heavy rumors, not FACTS! Why is the City Council going to spend MORE money to try and put someone in jail!! Is this not what they are after? Too much time and money is being spent on such matters that I think it is becoming personal with the City Council and The Witch they are trying to Burn. Has Dr. H. Dan Adams become a puppet of John Friend now? Did you know that there are “HEAVY RUMORS” that Elvis is in the Building? Did you know that there are “HEAVY RUMORS” that Big Foot was sighted at Garvin Park? Did you know that there are “HEAVY RUMORS” that Jimmy Hoff is buried in the concrete at the City County Building? How much money is the City Council willing to spend to check on these HEAVY RUMORS? Really, so much time on one person? Why doesn’t the City Council file their HEAVY RUMORS and concerns with the Police and let the Prosecutor’s Office handle the investagation.

  3. Saw Big Dan from Umbaugh on TV last night. He really does take the entire width of my wide-screen tv! Him, Russ, and Schaefer are arrogant weasels! It’s time for them to go! If I was Mr. Garrett, I would sue the crap out of the City! If I was the State Board, I would disclaim, disclaim, disclaim or withdraw totally from anything that the City owns. The City acts like they are better than everyone. Let them pay 1/2 million for a CPA audit!

  4. The credibility of rusty lloyd was damaged last year when the truth came out about the lack of monthly budget reconciliations for almost two years.

    Now that some oversight is occuring, budget reconciliations, or lack thereof, are becoming a sore spot for old rumpelbeancounter. He can work all weekend and sleep in his office, but he just can’t get those books reconciled in a timely fashion.

    The days of willy-nilly beancounting have ended.

    I’d fire ’em all!

    • Really?

      The current administration was handed unbalanced books and a broken software book keeping system and it’s their fault it took a year to get it all fixed?

      The real question is where were all the City Council members who’s tenure spanned both administrations. Esp those who claim financial expertise.

  5. Why does Jenny still have a job? She started this whole mess! At least Mr. Garrett passed the CPA exam. He’s one up on her!

    • She is certainly “a person of interest” in the financial reporting of the city executive office for a good number of years now.

      It is probably a good thing that she is still a city employee. At least until we get to the bottom of some of these financial questions.


      • Mr.Garrett HAD a CPA in the 1990’s, he failed to tell anyone that those licenses had EXPIRED. Oh, and there is the matter of the BANKRUPTCY he filed about 4 years ago. But I’m sure that John Friend was aware.

        Maybe Jenny should hire herself an attorney, so when all the RUMORS are put to rest, she can sue the City Council, for all the heart ache, BULLYING, and name calling is finished. She is not an elected official, subject to public name calling.

        • When Jenny was the City Controller was she a CPA? Did she have a higher degree than a GED? That’s all I want to know. If she did then come out and show us, if she didn’t then why was she in charge of the city’s finances? No one has proven it one way or the other. I’d like to hear from Jenny herself.

          • Jenny is the root cause of this. She selected this software and didn’t reconcile the last 12 months she was in Office. Whineapple decided to create a Utilities CFO position for all her hard work.

            Jenny has an Accounting degree and that’s it. No CPA and the school that she went to is not accredited.

          • So….. Mantis Toboggan, is Jenny’s education a matter of PUBLIC RECORD? How did you get the information? Are you a CITY EMPLOYEE? Maybe you work in the Human Resource Department? Maybe you hacked the CITY Computer system? Maybe you got your information from John Friend or Dr. Adams or Connie Robinson? MAYBE YOU ARE THE “HEAVY RUMOR” MILL!!!!

  6. “David Garrett chose not to attend the City Council meeting last night even after Mayor Winnecke asked him to?…Mr. Garrett’s boss in this matter is the City Council and not the Mayor of Evansville?…perhaps if Mayor Winnecke would have asked Mr. Garrett’s client (the City Council) to request his attendance he would have attended?…in the absence of a direct client request the WITCH BURNING PARTY WAS AVOIDED?” (CCO)

    * * * * * * * *

    People around here are so used to the old machine politics of control of both the city executive and the city legislative process that they have forgotten that they are separate and coequal branches of city government. They are designed to provide checks and balances to one another.

    You are correct in your assertion that Mr. Garret does not answer to Mayor Winnecke. Mr. Garret is providing one of those “checks and balances” functions that is vital to good government. Let Mr. Garrett’s work product stand against the work product of the city controller in a public forum, and the people will work it out.


    • How can this work product be compared in an public forum when Mr. Garret does not attend the public forums. It is inexcusable that he was not there, no matter who asked him.

      • Publish both Mr. Lloyd’s and Mr. Garrett’s work. Let the public decide.

        If the public has questions for either party then they can respond.


  7. What Dan Adams doesn’t understand is that this will never be put to rest because no matter how much is spent or wasted, depending on how you want to look at it, the people spreading these rumors will continue spreading these rumors.

    No matter how many times or ways the books are looked at, these people will still be spreading these rumors and the accountants will be laughing all the way to the bank.

    So, it was with the planning stage of the Ford Center and so it is that way with the books.

  8. Is it true a late breaking news story the Mosby’s have struck again. Winnecke’s administration has just hired Ashley Mosby (David’s daughter) at the water department. The same Ashley Mosby who was fired from the Sheriff’s department. Someone forgot to tell Winnecke that Rick Riney defeated David Mosby in the last trustee’s election. This could be the one political move that could save Winnecke’s dieing bid for re-election. How many defeated Democrats does it take to get a Republican Mayor in Evansville a second term? We shall see in 2015.

    • I knew that Winnecke promoted a military reject to Fire Chief but now a reject from the Sheriff’s department to the water department. What are the qualifications to be a part of this administration? Class is for sure not a word to be used to describe this administration.

      • I was wondering the same thing…to the editor….do your job and stop this BS…you people are pathetic… Get a life.

        • Way to dodge the questions. Missy is spotted working for Carol McClintock and the only thing you guys can come back with is this? This is a good public policy website and this raises the question: Is good public policy being done in the 2nd Ward?

          • Still this has nothing to do with the article
            Good public policy
            She won 2 to 1 last time
            I think over 66 percent approve of her last election

          • Where did you read that Missy is working for Carol McClintock? Just because she works at Tucker doesn’t mean she is working for Carol.
            FYI…Missy was employed for Tucker before
            Ms. McClintock.

        • Why can’t Missy reply to me about this on here? Why can’t I ask my representative if she is employed by the same company as Carol? Now I’m seeing on her facebook that she started in 2013 at FC Tucker Emge.

          I thought you were different Missy, I thought you genuinely cared about people like me. I always felt like I could talk to you about my neighborhood and you would fight for me instead of the system. But now I’m starting to wonder if maybe I should vote against you in 2015.

          You REALLY let me down Missy!


    Marriott Millions

    State could investigate bonds for the new Downtown hotel. BY Matt Hrodey 9/25/2012

    State Sen. Lena Taylor is asking the Joint Legislative Audit Committee to look into the approval of $43.5 million in public bonds for the Downtown Marriott project.

    An audit, if ordered by the committee, could investigate why WHEDA (the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority) approved public financing for the $54 million project once it was already underway.

    The tax-free bonds are expected to save the developers, Jackson Street Management LLC, several million dollars in interest payments, the Business Journal reported in August. For administering the sale, WHEDA will receive a $212,500 commission from Jackson Street.

    The weekly also reports that Marcus Corp. president Greg Marcus tried to stop WHEDA from approving the bonds this summer, arguing they would give the Marriott an unfair advantage. “I just keep going back to why did we stimulate a building that exists,” he said. Construction was already underway when the public financing was approved. Marcus Corp. owns the Downtown Pfister, InterContinental and Hilton hotels.

    “Why did WHEDA approve a multi-million dollar taxpayer financed subsidy designed to stimulate development to a project that was already under construction and already had private financing?” says Taylor’s letter, which was delivered to the Audit Committee today.

    Local PR man Evan Zeppos, speaking for the developers, told the Business Journal the team had been working with WHEDA on the bonds since last fall.

    According to a newsletter produced by the Quarles & Brady law firm, Midwestern Disaster Area Bonds — the type approved by WHEDA — are funded by the Heartland Disaster Tax Relief Act, a package of tax incentives approved by Congress in 2008, after tornadoes and floods damaged several Midwestern states, along with Arkansas and Nebraska.

    Eligible areas of these states, including Milwaukee County, may issue tax-exempt public financing to private businesses that suffered a loss during the storms — or to businesses replacing “a trade or business with respect to which another person suffered such a loss,” according to the newsletter.

    It also says the deadline to apply for the bonds is Jan. 1, 2013.


  10. ****Removed by editor for redundancy and being off topic. The same content has been posted by this reader more than half a dozen times.****

    • **The same content has been posted by this reader more than half a dozen times.**

      Isn’t that Brad Linzy’s claim to fame?

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