IS IT TRUE September 13, 2013

Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics
Mole #3 Nostradamus of Local Politics

IS IT TRUE that Fort Wayne Mayor Tom Henry came to Evansville yesterday for photo-ops strolling around downtown Evansville with our Mayor Lloyd Winnecke?…the purpose for his trip was to promote the giving away of $37.5 Million to HCW of Branson, Missouri for the favor of building a convention hotel on the site of the Executive Inn that was demolished by the Weinzapfel Administration?…it was recently made public that the occupancy rate of hotels in Fort Wayne has slid to 57.2% in 2013 from an already low 58% in the same annual period of 2012?…these occupancy rates lag Evansville’s current rates and the average daily rate for a room in Fort Wayne is over $10 less than it is in Evansville during the last year indicating a glut of rooms that has set off a race to the bottom?…in spite of these statistics that came from a respected 3rd party data analysis company called STR Global and used by Convention and Visitors Bureaus everywhere including Evansville, the CCO Mole Nation tells us that Mayor Henry of Fort Wayne was touting a 70% occupancy rate and great success for the handouts his city made to a hotel developer 5 years ago?…one thing for sure is that either the Mayor of Fort Wayne made an  inaccurate statement that was “misunderstood” or an internationally respected data analysis company was wrong?…we will leave it up to you to decide?

IS IT TRUE there is a fine line between irrational exuberance and mis-statement?…Mayor Winnecke dances at or over that line in his claim that the hotel will create 250 jobs when his own consultant states the number will be 41?…Evansville businessman John Engelbrecht claimed in a letter to the members of the Evansville City Council and others that if the IU Medical School comes to downtown Evansville it will bring 1,600 medical student with it?…the reality is that all eight of the IU Medical Schools do not have 1,600 students and the Evansville campus can expect a number closer to 150? …then comes Mayor Henry of Fort Wayne with an occupancy claim that is refutable by hard data compiled by a highly respect analysis company?…this is no way to start or sell a project to a public that is typically not very sophisticated when it comes to numbers? …we hope the people of this town have enough sense to read the numbers and reject the mis-statements of these visible supporters?

IS IT TRUE it has been widely reported that downtown Evansville has been experiencing a graffiti spree that includes the Ford Center, CMOE, the McCurdy Hotel (or whatever it is these days) , and the Riverhouse?…graffiti is a form of vandalism that is often associated with blight and squalor and we encourage the owners of these properties to make haste in getting this graffiti removed because it has a way of being contagious?…if anyone thinks the graffiti at the McCurdy is a new phenomena they are wrong? …the CCO featured many pictures of graffiti on the McCurdy over a year ago that still graces our waterfront?…that the graffiti artists need a taste of SINGAPORE JUSTICE if they are caught?…that is as many of you will remember a good a– whipping with a cane?…in Singapore that same cane is used on people who use lies to deceive others in matters involving large sums of money?…Evansville has a need for caning and an official flogger to dispense justice?


  1. At first I was confused by a Mayor from a competing city for convention business coming here to help get a subsidized hotel built, then I figured he must know how big of a disaster this is going to be for us and decided this hotel would make an excellent Trojan Horse for his downstate competitor.

    Mayor Henry’s visit seemed like an awkward and surreal publicity stunt. Who’s next, Ben Bernanke?

  2. I want to give a HUGE shoutout to Mr. Conor O’Daniel for the bold and gutsy political move he made yesterday. He went on the tour with the mayor and the mayor from Fort Wayne, smiles and walks around, and then announces again that he’s voting NO to the press which ends up completely running Winnecke’s photo-op.

    That took a lot of guts, and personally knowing how much hell one takes on when they do something like that here, I can’t help but to personally say thank you. Like Mr. Friend, if Mr. O’Daniel came out and said he wished he would have voted against the 2013 budget (like SBR did so eloquently in her article to the CCO after the vote), and its subsequent demo of Roberts, I would definitely like to see him take a shot at the mayor’s position as well.

    I’ve been really impressed with O’Daniel & Friend on this hotel project. This has really been the first time I’ve looked at an issue here and thought “Gee somebody(ies) on the City Council geniunely give a damn about this city.”

    Also, as most people know I have been no fan of the We Are Evansville movement for the simple reason that I think the city and all its power brokers have genuinely taken advantage of a bunch of thoughtful USI students while turning them into artificial sunshine pumpers. However, the corn maze that has been recently constructed at Mayses’ farm is nothing short of amazing. Excellent job to this group on that project as well.

    • Don’t forget Al Lindsey. He has not sought the spotlight but has been consistent with his opposition.

      • Absolutely! His article that was on here a few weeks ago really shined a spotlight on how those on the west side who wear a blue collar feel about a blatant waste of city funds.

        Al’s one of the greatest people I have ever known and probably will know. He’s easily the most down to earth person you’ll ever meet. The battles he fought to get to where he is now were nothing smaller than the grand canyon. Yet, here he is leading the entire 6th Ward while those who have mocked, laughed at, and caused trouble with him simply because he doesn’t have a prominent political name can now only hope to have the opportunity to kiss and shine his shoes. Al is proof that persistence always pays off.

      • I wish Al Lindsey would be more vocal. He has really done a good job on City Council when very little was expected of him by many, including me. When thinking of Democrat Chairman, names of Steve Melcher, John Friend and Connor O’Daniel come to mind.

  3. Off topic, but can anyone tell me what was the deal with the 10+ brand new police jeeps on S Green River Rd all with the lights on was all about? It was about 8pm. More toys to go with the hummers, tanks, etc? Where’s the outrage on that frivolous spending.

    • Are you talking about the Jeeps that are decked out in each high school’s colors and logos? If so, I’m pretty sure Bennett Motors donated those. It’s a cool idea actually. I’ve been trying to figure out when they will all appear together next to go see them.

      One mistake a driver made on Franklin last month was thinking one of those jeeps wouldn’t pull him over. He thought wrong.

  4. I’ve noticed that the CCO hasn’t touched on the situation with North Green River Road and the County Attorney’s failure to release a report of the findings. Is it true that Mr. Harrison is an advertiser on the CCO? Is it true that if this same situation would involve Mr. Ziemer that it would be front page news on the CCO?

    • That situation is one that will be addressed. We recognize the public’s right to that information but only have so many words per day that we have time to post.

      • I’m not buying your response on this one Mr. Editor. You have plenty of ink when it comes to the Mayor, Mr. Ziemer and certain council members!

        • I’m not following you at all on this one. You’re saying that Harrison withholding confidential data that will lead to the county being able to sue whoever screwed up that boondoggle road from the media is as bad as a city attorney intervening in a hotel vetting process that is suppose to be non biased and neutral? I just don’t see it.

          Nobody, and I mean nobody, hates the Green River Road widening project more than I. Paying $26 + mil for a stupid urban sprawling road while cutting employees and other county departments is just plain dumb. And I’m also no fan of the county commissioners who have approved the Parkway development, the ball fields, and the mess going up on Felstead. All 3 should be ashamed in their votes.

          However, the county using a loophole to withhold info that can be used as leverage to save the tax payer money should never be compared to an attorney intervening in a hotel vetting process that could end up costing the city $37.5 mil.

          I just don’t see the double standard there. Please commissioners, don’t cost the taxpayer any more dollars on this pointless and idiotic road.

      • Maybe if Joe didn’t spend so much time posting on the Courier and Press, he would have more time to write for the CCO! Easy as 123 (hint, hint)!

        • Ah yes, the good old Evansville Courier&Press, the local protector of the reputation of the 4th estate, the organization that sat on the news that the financial ledgers of the City of Evansville were not reconciled or reconcilable for a year and a half and across two mayoral administrations.

          Now there is a news organization one can hold up as an inspiration.


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          • Love that last sentence, and can say that the City_County Observer appears to subscribe to it much more so than the Evansville Courier&Press does.

  5. Great point. “Race to the bottom”…Remember Executive Inn’s condition and clientle after it won the the race.

  6. I am really tired of people misstating the amount of money the taxpayers will be “giving away”.

    It is not $37.5 million. It is $80+ million when the interest on the bonds is included. So our “GIFT” to the developer/owner will be about $82. million, which is the amount that will be added to the City of Evansville’s already enormous debt load.

  7. I commend Mr. O’Daniel for coming out in opposition to THIS proposal for a hotel.

    For the record, I feel we need a hotel close to The Ford Center.

    Back in the day, various conventions would rotate their sites between Evansville, Indianapolis and Fort Wayne. When the conventions were held in Evansville, the McCurdy was frequently the convention headquarters. But all the other hotels and motels were full. Frequently conventioneers had to book rooms in Evansville, as well as Princeton, Owensboro, Henderson and other locations within about 30 to 40 miles from here.

    It has been mentioned that Mr. Ziemer has tried to impose his will as to the scope of an examination of the most recent financial date on the Crowe Horwath Firm. Mr. Friend has pointed out that the City Council is the hiring party for CH. He pointed out to them that there may be a conflict of interest by Mr. Ziemer. John is well aware of what conflict of interest by a CPA firm entails. He is also aware that the ethics of the American Institution of CPAs refers not only to a conflict of interest but to “the appearance of a conflict of interest.” Friend also knows that Crowe Horwath IS an ethical CPA firm.

    I used to have respect for Dan McGinn’s opinions as evidenced by his Council votes. Every day I lose respect for McGinn, but his “probable” support of THIS hotel gift seals the deal for me. Vote NO, McGinn or I will vote NO if I have a chance to vote for or against you.

    I have expressed various opinions on the overall concept, but they are all part of the same package.

  8. I looked into the convention business in the Ft. Wayne area and did find some things of interest. The convention business is trending down ,however that’s an international trend.
    Tourism is tied to attraction in my estimation. Features of attraction. Business is more tied to effective I.T.and communication today.
    What I already knew was in reference to the Maumee river Basin partnership of local Governments and what they are trying to do with their rivers discharge into lake Erie and the Great lakes moving east to the Atlantic. They are EPA targeted with that problem.
    That is the scope of the impact of the Maumeee system. The Maumee is the largest river basin drainage system headwaters into the great lakes At Toledo OH. Just southeast of them the Wabash basin takes over leading to the ole Ohio River confluence in point township Posey County In.
    Smaller communities such as Defiance and Napoleon are reacting by planning and spending funds.
    Ft. Wayne is involved as well. They have an large EPA mandate issue also.
    The Maumee River Basin partnership of local Governments is an Organization. They have information on their progress and costing on line the MRBPLG. (long for short I guess)
    After reading about the projected combined costing of approximately 2.5 billion to fix it (maybe) they up there are comparable to Southern Indiana with funding of those issues.
    This is why the infrastructure needs I’m concerned about are not just State or nationwide,they are with the climate change and clean water issues planet wide.
    I should show them my thoughts on the application of an new way to fix this. With Federal funding assistance through the clean water act,POTUS June 2013 mandate,and plain ole innovation. (10 phases)
    In checking this out I noticed that Napoleon has a couple of nice ball field’s on the river,heck it looks like a kid similar to an young Don Mattingly could smack one into the Maumee from home base.
    I have searched an visited several storm water river system basins in the studies of how to innovate the management of the outflow flux of combined sewer system events.
    We are not alone with that issue its nationwide,to have an fix for this allowing for the climate change issues across the board too myself is pure commerce in its applications.
    Lots of new skilled trades jobs,in the local,nationwide planet wide development. The jobs we already know how to do,and can do. The I.T. industry expanding will assist applications tremendously.

    I noticed that Ft.Wayne has an close by rail system at their treatment plant on the Maumee,interesting because the plan is an shot in the arm for effective Roadway and rail transportation to support its applications Transportation and Logistics are involved big time.
    I-69 and an good railroad system in place are benefits for application development.

    • Hi V-is-to-r,
      I understand that you are saying and have said in past posts that there is great economic opportunity with all the work needed to handle these complex EPA-mandated issues in an intelligent and forward thinking way. Also that the methods used must put the whole process way ahead of the curve and keep us there or we are in deep crappola. (Absolutely no pun here.)

      Are you saying that Evansville’s plans for our huge sewer/storm water project are behind before they are started? If so how?

      • Well Martha; The plan that was presented in the public meetings earlier this year has little chance of successfully holding down the combined sewer outflow events under the standard in the mandate. 12 events.
        We would have to adjust the direction of the storm water input at certain points of entry in whole metro area. The method I’m referring does that incrementally on sensed demand.
        The cost estimate is considerably less for the applications when the plan meets the directives of the POTUS clean energy &clean water directives presented by the Whitehouse in June 2013. (you can Google that.)

        The method demonstrated during the presentation here in the public meetings was an staged marsh sedimentation bed type application.
        It would have to be the size of the whole of horseshoe bend to effectively carry the input of storm overflow during an basin one inch rain event. Also what happens when those sediments are saturated with toxic waste,heavy metals,sewer out flows ?
        The covering of Bee slough just restricts over burden capacity at maximum flow events and covers the foul smelling odor of the break down gases. (Veterans parkway city entry gateway area)
        I cannot really go into just exactly how my system works ,however it does already quite well in nature.
        Its basic Greek,Roman engineering to apply it. We tend to over complicate things in the modern world. Orbital science now makes it an snap in the system design.
        The reason the commerce will increase is many different applications in the use and control of the system. Today with smart valve technology and an couple of operators in an control room one could monitor and direct the system to accept and disperse the over burden productively automatically and with other uses and metro benefits.(new I/T jobs) (Other Infrastructure improvements shirt tailed with it.)
        The whole climate change issue is what drives the innovation and application of the commerce from it.This we can do.(new jobs)
        Think of this Martha, mankind can launch send and direct an probe on Mars to operate it striving for understanding solar system planet science.
        We can also use I.T. to control a sewer system “as needed” “when needed”. Very cost effectively.
        Real metered water in AND out/per customer service hook-up.
        Rate adjustments for heavy users such as commercial establishments,(more usage less rate/unit supplied and recovered,less usage steady rate/unit supplied and recovered. Fair and balanced so to speak.
        In other words the sewer rate is based on what enters the sanitary system to be treated not what goes on the yard. This way one unit used should be one treated and incrementally charged if not. The metered flow could even be scanned for finite elements too prevent toxic chemicals from entering the system,think a branch line sample testing flow for finite elements 24/7.
        Guess what? there goes your “meth problem” the thing can see and isolate the sanitary sewer lines trace elements transfer’s just like a urine test. Source isolation/location.
        Issues such as drought and irrigation (food production) can also benefit from this plan,its seems we either have too much water,or never enough clean water. This addresses that.
        Read up on the clean underground water supplies that are rapidly being depleted/contaminated across the country. It takes about 50,000 years to replace those levels to sustain the current clean potable ground water saturation levels.
        Read about the water rationing in San Francisco due to water supply issues caused by the wild fires this year.

        Read about the Colorado fires then the wash out that just happened.

        Think about the issues Hurricanes stress along the coast lines.

        Think about the destruction of the bay area fisheries in our river deltas and coast lines,”silting depredation”.

        Think about this, most of the skilled construction labor needed is either laid off or traveling to make ends meet
        How many miners need to use their skills,cross training with very little timing?

        Think about the rising sea levels globally (fresh water contamination)

        These are the real reasons for such an innovative plan, addressing climate change,not just Evansville’s sewer out flow problems. Like ourselves the whole nation faces this “real time now”, having the ability to apply a system and train others in the process applications creates huge openings for commerce for the community that does this first. Moving forward first has more benefits.
        The system works,its been modeled and used already,added together incrementally as one system it can drive change we only dream about across the globe.
        The costing does have methods of return funding,yes the design is planned for Sewer&water operations to sustain themselves with inputs from different forms of commerce created.

        Think Martha as if the system was the first steam engine. and it comes with its own rails,stations and telegraph lines already in place…..pure enterprise…
        “I/We” do have the Intell. Property rights on the whole 10 phase application process. Tm* protection.
        The thing grows Skilled Labor jobs that are, as of now kind of stagnate. Throughout its phases.
        The technology used is already working in other endeavors,and applications.

        This innovation can solve the Evansville waste water management problem sustaining the mandate directives and creates jobs at this location/destination.
        By the way,Ft.Wayne and Evansville were once connected by commerce involving water and construction.
        The Wabash & Erie canal The weather,floods.
        The railroads out innovated and out performed the canal,that’s what happens without open box innovation planning.

        Could of been plain old stubborn mule related…………

        If you read it thanks! I know its a large reply sorry.

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