IS IT TRUE? Part 2 March 15, 2011: Consolidation Hearing #1????


The Mole #??

IS IT TRUE? Part 2 March 15, 2011: Consolidation Hearing #1????

IS IT TRUE that the first consolidation hearing before both the City of Evansville and Vanderburgh County government was last night at the Civic Center?…that the architects of the plan that dominated the lectern were Chairperson Becky Kasha, Ed Hafer, and the Reverend Adrian Brooks?…that the committee itself did not even produce a plan on which they all agreed upon or voted to support?

IS IT TRUE that Reverend Brooks was adamant at times that the number of elected positions recommended for the Common Council (11) was not sufficient to assure adequate minority representation?…that Reverend Brooks expressed support for council level representation of the African American, Hispanic, and the Gay and Lesbian communities?…that he is correct by virtue of pure demographics that eleven seats only eight of which are ward based would guarantee any special interest group representation in a free election?…that it is typically agreed upon that the make-up of elected bodies of governance function better if these bodies of governance reflect the demographics of the governed?

IS IT TRUE that there was much discussion and even some ridicule at the fact that the lines for proposed voting districts were drawn from the 2000 census as opposed to the 2010 census?…that the “proposed wards” were drawn first to preserve the 6 current city wards and then to give 2 additional seats to the presently unincorporated areas?…that in 2000 that the unincorporated areas made up 30% of the population but were proposed to have only 25% of the geographically designated representation on the Common Council?…that in the 2010 census that the unincorporated county now contains 35% of Vanderburgh County’s population making the proposed ward borders unfair and obsolete?…that for fair and equal representation with 8 wards that roughly 22,000 people would need to be living in each ward?…that if 8 is the number that will be settled on that THREE of these wards will be predominantly based in the currently unincorporated county?…that at the present rates of shrinking by the City of Evansville and growth in Vanderburgh County that by the next census the split may be 4 – 4?…that preserving the 6 Wards of the City of Evansville resulted in clear and deliberate over-representation by the City of Evansville and under-representation by the county?…that plays right into one of the biggest concerns that has been expressed by people of the county?

IS IT TRUE that term limits along with many other widely desirable features according to Becky Kasha were “not even considered” as she said over and over again and also proclaimed that Evansville has not had any dynasties?…that the facts are not so clear with respect to dynasties?…that the facts with respect to the Office of the Mayor in most people’s lives are 52 YEARS, 13 ADMINISTRATIONS, and 4 LAST NAMES?…that history books typically have some last name before the term dynasty?…that while Evansville has not had a lifetime Mayor it has certainly been prone to keeping politics in the family from the Mayor’s office to the City Council, to the make-up of the payroll of the City of Evansville through much of the last 52 years?

IS IT TRUE that Evansville City Council President B. J. Watts uttered the old cliché’ “IF IT AIN’T BROKE DON’T FIX IT”?…that if the truth is told that the City of Evansville is “broke” both figuratively and literally?…that to utter that tired old cliché’ on a day that we were advised to boil our water before consumption, a parent’s letter was published about violence and dilapidation in the parks, and a MORNING SHOOTING occurred just 7 blocks from the Civic Center is just testament to the legacy of obliviousness on the part of City of Evansville governance?…that yes President Watts, the City of Evansville is “broke” and it is in dire need of some “fixin”?…that observing the unanswered questions, the ignored features, the discomfort with the strength that has been granted to the Mayor, and the disagreement on even minor details among the consolidation committee that this plan is not in any shape to do the needed repairs?…that if this effort is to have even a shred of probability to pass it will need to be revisited if not from scratch, close to it?

IS IT TRUE that there was some humor at last night’s meeting?…that Becky Kasha got a few laughs when she and the committee “trusted the voters to do their own term limiting”?…that tax and finance committee chairman architect Ed Hafer got a few chuckles when he said that “one should never ask an architect to help in saving money”?…that the Reverend Adrian Brooks gets the Johnny Cochran “If the glove don’t fit you must acquit” award for clever rhymes for his admonishment to the City Council and the County Commissioners to “allay the fear of the constituency with you creativity”?…that the Reverend Brooks sent a very clear and correct message that more creativity is needed for this to be acceptable and that he did it in a most creative way?


  1. Is it true that Councilman Don Walker asked the committee if they would consider a referendum so the tax payers could vote on consolidation. Has Walker been asleep for the last year or did Dr. Adams, Don Mosby, Paul Bitz forget to tell him what the meeting was about.
    Why wouldn’t CCO asked the same question about what Walker asked?

  2. Yes it’s true. And it was the most comical, sadly comical, moment of the evening when Rip Van Donald awoke from his year-long slumber to mutter something like “has anyone thought about putting all this in front of the voters for their opinion?” Shocked jaw drops could be heard all around the room!

    Uh, Don, did you not hear your council attorney explain the path the plan must take according to state statute? He explained it at the council meeting just prior to the hearing, and several other times over the past year. Remember? The plan must go through a referendum. That’s R-E-F-E-R-E-N-D-U-M, Don. It means “putting all this in front of the voters for their opinion” on a ballot in 2012. Remember?

    Oh well, maybe just stick to forwarding tasteless email jokes without reading them either … ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    • Does Mr. Walker even know that he is actually running for an office in this year’s primary? What could Rick Davis be thinking in running on a “slate” with Mr. Walker? Not only should Mr. Walker not be elected in his own right, its becoming more and more obvious he should resign from the City Council and run for Director of Leisure Activities at Solarbron Pointe!

  3. Adrian,

    Can we agree to cool the racial rhetoric? Read the news, we clearly need to focus on adequate “adult”, “sane” & “competent” representation, first.

    Please explain to me why governments “function better” when demographics are aligned? Are you anti-diversity?

  4. Maybe Mr. Walker didn’t know that a referendum was planned because Alberta Matlock hadn’t written it down on his agenda like she does to tell him when to speak and when to vote!

  5. Speaking of reading the news, BJ what in the world is going on?

    Classic Evansville elite… Sickening.

  6. So how did the meeting end? What did they decide their next step would be? I know there is a scheduled meeting on the 30th, but are they going to meet again to be able to present something more solid to the public to have an opinion on?

    • It was clear that there will be another meeting on the 30th. No other short term goals were mentioned.

  7. The article fails to mention that the committee HAD to use the 2000 census data in drawing its maps as the 2010 census data was not yet available in January when the committee was drawing up the maps. This was stated clearly in the meeting although one person/representative kept harping on it even though they were told twice about the issue. Are we going to poke fun at this person for not getting it? as has been done to councilman Walker?

    There’s no conspiracy here unless you count the unavailability of data a conspiracy.

    • Then why didn’t the committee make a note of this and vow to come up with new districts as soon as the 2010 data became available? They knew of the population growth that took place in unincorporated Center and Scott townships after 2000, yet they prepared no plan of contingency. At the very least, it screams incompetence.

      Also, why did the committee direct the districts to be drawn to preserve the shape of the six current city wards as much as possible?

      Is there a conspiracy? I don’t know. But the actions of this committee are doing anything but allaying the perception of one.

      • Starting with the goal of preserving the six wards existing in the city was just pandering to the city. Everybody has known for a couple of years that the population of the city had shrunk and that the county had grown. How can a ward that is shrinking in population and assessed value keep its vote on council as though all is fine? Navin is right. There either is a conspiracy by the city to take over the county with the same cast of idiots in control or the consolidation committee is being played like a bass fiddle.

      • I think the only issue here is the district map should be completed to accurately reflect the 2010 census data BEFORE the plan goes to referendum. That’s the only debated point here. Marsha Abel and other county commissioners and city council members seemed to fully grasp that concept.

        The reorganization committee instead provided for the district maps to be redrawn AFTER the referendum and then by a “transition board.” Chairman Kasha implied that the statute “REQUIRED” the transition board complete the redistricting task, but I can find her “requirement” nowhere in the statute.

        Clearly the public is entitled to see an accurate and viable voting district map AS PART OF THE PLAN that goes to referendum. That’s the issue. And I think most of the county commissioners and council members understand and agree.

        • Agreed. Further, equal representation is equal representation IF the districts all have the same population and the maps are not drawn up like a jigsaw puzzle. Slicing the pizza up into 12 or 18 slices instead of 8 as some have suggested does not result in more pizza.

          • Then again, you’re new to this game and haven’t won an election just yet. I acknowledge you’re grasp of numbers, but your experience with them is in a field completely different than ground level politics.

          • You are correct. It doesn’t result in more pizza. It does, however, result in more people having a chance to eat pizza. Please keep in mind that Vanderburgh County is not a homogeneous community. It is made up of several distinct populations who, IMHO, all deserve a voice in government. The fewer slices you have, the greater the likelihood that the weaker voices will be lost. I don’t want my voice or anyone else’s to be lost, Mr. Smith. I hope you feel the same way.

  8. Is it true that Don Walker is a great councilman that fights for what is right. So he mad 1 comment and everyone thinks it’s the end of the world. Look at John Friend and president Watts, have they ever asked any questions that mattered or made a comment that mattered, no!

    • Maybe not but they at least were aware that any consolidation effort HAS to be voted on by a referendum. It has only been a law dating back to the original VandyGov. Don Walker should remember that it was only in his 50’s back then!

    • No it isn’t true Walker is a great councilman. He is a nice man who is in way over his head.

  9. Don Walker fights for what he thinks is right? Only problem is he thinks hes back in Korea fighting the ChiComs. Stick with making fudge Don. Leave politics to those of sound mind and body

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