Wednesday, August 29, 2007

City's most recent Harrison Square "information request" response

I have copied my original information request that I submitted to the City of Fort Wayne on July 20th. I received the City's response by mail on August 25th. I decided to take a few days to "cool off" before I wrote this post. After four days I think I can post my response in a calm and collected way. My information request is listed below in italics. The City's responses are listed in red. My comments for this post are in purple.

Dear City of Fort Wayne:

I have attached this letter to my recent “Information Request” since there are so many items I would like copies of.

Please expedite this request as allowed by Indiana Code.

I ask that the request be expedited since this information will be voted on by our elected officials early next week.

I would like copies of the following items:

Note that I would also accept items uploaded to the City website as long as you contact me and let me know that they have been posted.

City Controller Pat Roller made a presentation to City Council on Tuesday July 17th, 2007. In her report “Sources and Uses of Funds (Present Value) I have several specific items I would like:
a. What Present Value factor was used in the calculations?

The city answered this question by providing the current estimated amortization
schedules.
b. There are several summary figures used in the presentations that were calculated
by the city. I would like a copy of how the following numbers were reached. I
would like all spreadsheets used to calculate the below figures as well as any
notes, reports, etc. These numbers were clearly calculated from something.
I am so upset about their answer to this that I am posting City Attorney Tim
Manges' response here in quotations. You have to read this to believe it. "There
are no responsive documents. The following is a breakdown of
amounts relevant to your requests. In general, these figures were either
the product of negotiated or oral estimates."
I have no idea how to even respond to this. We are spending over 60
million dollars of public funds based on oral estimates and do not
have documents showing how we derived these numbers! Good grief.
1. The report lists that 24.9 million of public funds will be used to construct a
ball park.
"For the mixed-use stadium, 24.9 million is a negotiated amount."
2. The report lists that 1.2 million of public funds will be used for Condos/Retail.
"For the condos and retail, $1.4 million is a negotiated amount."
So it looks like we are spending .2 million in public funds beyond
the amount presented to City Council.
3. The report lists that 4.3 million of public funds will be used for the hotel.
"The breakdown for the hotel is 2.3 million for land acquisition,
1.0 million for infrastructure, and 1.0 million for the bridge/
walkway."
4. The report lists that 12.6 million of public funds will be used for the parking
garage.
The City provided some documents to explain the $14,000 estimated per
parking space in the parking garage.
"For the garage, see the enclosed excerpts from the excerpts of
reports from Hock Associates and Carl Walker Inc. Hoch
originally estimated $12,000 per space. The estimate was
adjusted to $14,000 per space to reflect design changes. The total
of 12.6 million is based on 900 spaces."
5. The report lists that 21.1 million of public funds will be used for the land
and public infrastructure.
"For the land and public infrastructure, 21.1 million is comprised
of 10.7 million for the purchase of land, .7 million for demolition,
2.0 million for project administration, 3.4 million for capitalized
interest, 1.3 million for negotiation and issuance costs, and 3
million for infrastructure.
c. What are Cum Cap Revenues

"Cumulative capital improvement fund, or cum cap is defined in I.C.
6-7-1-31.1."
City provided a copy of this piece of Indiana Code.

Thanks in advance for your prompt response to this request.

Mike Sylvester, CPA


So we are going to spend over 60 million dollars of public funds and The City's cost estimates are based on negotiation and oral estimates in general per The City Attorney.

It just gets better and better. I have no doubt that the popularity of this project is going to continue to drop the more information that is released to the public.

Please remember that according to the last Zogby poll 2.45 resident oppose the Harrison Square Project for every one person who supports it.

Does anyone believe that they really do not have excel spreadsheets showing things like:
The total amount of money spent on land acquisition broken down by parcel?
Etc.

What do you think?

Mike Sylvester

Monday, August 27, 2007

City Council Meeting Tuesday Establishing Funds and Districts, and More

Tuesday's City Council meeting may be interesting:

5:30 p.m. City Council Meeting Room 128 City County Building

Full schedule:
http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/images/stories/clerk/files/AUG28.pdf

Highlights of what is going to be covered (big list online, this is just what caught my eye):
Sign Ordinance Change Proposed

A proposal for an amendment to the City's Municipal Code, Chapter 99: "Streets and Sidewalks; Trees and Shurbs" that governs placing signs on public land.

The amendment now defines Public Land and gives a broad group of city employees the charge to take down signs, posters, and notices that are illegally placed on public land. Penalties under the amendment allow for citations to be issued through the mail to any offender of the ordinance by the Right-of-Way Department. Fines range from $50 for the first offense; $100 for the second offense; and $250 for the third and subsequent offenses.

Z-07-07-03
AN ORDINANCE amending the City of Fort Wayne Zoning Map
No. G-23 )Sec. 30 of Adams Township) – Councilmanic District
#6
Northwest corner of Hessen Cassel Road and Frosch Drive
– This rezoning would allow for the construction of a retail
facility – The Family Dollar Store


Z-07-07-05
AN ORDINANCE amending the City of Fort Wayne Zoning Map
Nos L2, L10, M3 & M6 (Sections 2 & 11 of Wayne Township) –
Councilmanic District #5
Multiple properties within the Harrison Square Project
between W Jefferson Blvd, So Harrison St, Ewing St and
Baker St – This rezoning would accommodate the Harrison
Square Project which will include a minor league baseball
stadium, a hotel, residential and retail development as well
as a park and a parking garage


R-07-08-25
A RESOLUTION finding, determining and approving an
Inducement Resolution of the Fort Wayne Economic
Development Commission authorizing the issuance and sale of
Economic Development authorizing the issuance and sale of
Economic Development Revenue Bonds of the City of Fort
Wayne in an amount not to exceed $4,738,000 for the purpose of
inducing the applicant, Eastern Sleep-Fort Wayne LLC, to
proceed with the acquisition, construction and equipping of the
project
Total cost of $4,738,000

R-07-08-24
A RESOLUTION approving credit for past service with another Indiana
Political Subdivision for Nishantha “Shan” R. Gunawardema

DO PASS S-07-08-17
AN ORDINANCE establishing the Harrison Square Project Fund
Accounting for financial resources/pledges for the
Preparation, development and construction of Harrison
Square Project Fund
DO PASS S-07-08-18
AN ORDINANCE establishing the Affordable Housing Trust
Fund

Z-07-07-05
AN ORDINANCE amending the City of Fort Wayne Zoning Map
Nos L2, L10, M3 & M6 (Sections 2 & 11 of Wayne Township) –
Councilmanic District #5
Multiple properties within the Harrison Square Project
DO PASS S-07-08-08 (AS AMENDED)
AN ORDINANCE designating a Historic Preservation District
The Grace E. Crosby House 413 W. Dewald Street
DO PASS S-07-08-09 (AS AMENDED)
AN ORDINANCE designating a Historic Preservation District
Sauerteig Block 1122-1124 and 1126 Broadway
DO PASS S-07-08-10 (AS AMENDED)
AN ORDINANCE designating a Historic Preservation District
Broadway Commercial District
1006, 1010. 1012 & 1014-16 Broadway

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Smart Plan Mr. Daniels..

Here's a dandy for you brought to you by the Daniels' administration:

His plan, and those supporting it, make it easier for the big business to make more money, while the Legions and VFW's and small business owners get their liquor licenses taken away and go out of business for having pull tabs and gambling devices.


ANDERSON, Ind. (AP) -- Hoosier Park's plans to add 90,000 square feet to its building so it can install 2,000 new slot machines are in the home stretch.

The Indiana Horse Racing Commission approved the plans today. Anderson zoning officials gave their approval yesterday.

Commission director Joe Gorajec says the plan still must win final approval from the Indiana Gaming Commission. That panel has given preliminary approval.

The plan would more than double the interior space of the pari-mutuel horse track.

The Indiana General Assembly passed legislation this year that allows up to 2,000 slot machines at each of Indiana's two horse racing tracks. Tracks must pay an initial licensing fee of $250 million, with the first $150 million due November first.

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Tom Henry Critique

Tom Henry has released his stances on a grand total of four issues in the course of his Mayoral campaign.

It is no secret that I am a Matt Kelty supporter; however, I want to discuss the stances Tom Henry has taken to date in his campaign.

One of the things I have been most disappointed in with Tom Henry is the lack of positions he has taken in this race. Over the next few days I will analyze the positions he has taken to date. Currently he has taken a stance on a total of four issues.

The first issue was released on July 12th on his website.

Please read it for yourself:
<http://www.tomhenryformayor.com/Documents/2007712124645.pdf>

I will summarize it for you here:
1. Tom wants the Community to meet and discuss possible uses of the Light Lease fund
throughout 2008.
2. City Employees and consultants will be used as needed. (Lets hope we do not hire
consultants from outside of Fort Wayne, AGAIN)
3. A consensus will hopefully be reached.

After review Tom Henry's stance on the expected 40 million dollars that will be available is not as bad as I first thought. I would most likely grade his idea as a C+.

My fear is that the "Steering Committee" will come up with a project like Harrison Square because of the people selected to serve on it. I would like to see a steering committee of people from outside the usual pool of about 100 people that serve on Boards in this area. Please remember that our City Council approved Harrison Square when a recent Zogby polls shows that five citizens oppose the project for every two who support it.

In my mind there are only two possible uses for the 40 million dollars.

1. The most logical use is to spend the money to fix our CSO problem and discharge raw sewage
to the rivers less often. I think this is a no-brainer. By putting this 40 million dollars towards
this we will end up having to borrow (bond) less money.

2. Our public pension funds are currently almost 1/4 of a billion dollars underfunded. I would
also consider depositing the 40 million dollars into the public pension plans.

The Light Lease Fund was brought up at a recent NWAP meeting as well. The VAST majority of residents who attended the meeting felt that the Light Lease proceeds should be used to pay for unfunded liabilities... Tom Didier disagreed with us...

I have little doubt that our politicians will end up spending the Light Lease proceeds on some new project rather then pay for past "sins."

Mike Sylvester

Can an unpopular project acheive the desired results?

Right now, the Harrison Square project is about as popular as President Bush. I certainly admire someone who is willing to stand for an unpopular cause. But I have a question. How exactly do you expect this project to acheive the desired results when most people are opposed to it? Do you hope that people who oppose the project now will shop at the retail outlets when it is completed? Are you counting on the massive influx of young professionals to keep downtown businesses in the black?

The next mayor and council will have to deal with this turkey when they take office. At that time, the debate will be "We already spent a lot of money, so let's see this all the way through" vs "Let's cut our losses." I really wish the community could have had a chance to debate this before Belmont Liquors was seized.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Harrison Square and recent Zogby polling data

In this analysis I have rounded all numbers to the nearest tenth of one percent.

I have analyzed the polling data accumulated by two recent Zogby polls of Fort Wayne residents in regards to Harrison Square and the results should scare elected officials who support Harrison Square (at least those sticking around to run in November) and it should equally intimidate those Republican and Democratic City Council candidates who have publicly supported the Harrison Square Project.

The first Zogby poll I analyzed was conducted 3/27/07 – 3/29/07 in Fort Wayne and had a margin of error of 5%. 401 “Likely voters” were asked a series of questions. Of this group of voters:
15% were self identified Democrats
64.6% were self identified Republicans
20% were self identified Independents
.5% were self identified Libertarians

The second poll I analyzed was compiled by Zogby on 7/26/07 in Fort Wayne and had a margin of error of 4.1%. 601 “likely voters” were asked a series of questions. Of this group of voters:
30.6% were self identified Democrats
41.8% were self identified Republicans
27.4% were self identified Independents
.2% were self identified Libertarians

Both Zogby polls asked the exact same question of likely voters; “do you support or oppose the Harrison Square downtown development as proposed by the City of Fort Wayne?”

In the first poll the results were:
Support the HS Project 31.6%
Oppose the HS Project 54.0%
Not Sure 14.5%

In the second poll the results were:
Support the HS Project 26.8%
Oppose the HS Project 65.8%
Not Sure 07.4%

The results show several important things that should be noted by the Mayor’s office, the City Councilmen who supported Harrison Square, the Democratic and Republican candidates for City Council who support the Harrison Square Project, and for Democratic Mayoral candidate Tom Henry who also supports the Harrison Square Project.

First is the fact that almost 5 “likely voters” oppose the project for every 2 “likely voters” who support the Harrison Square project.

Second is the fact that the number of “likely voters” who oppose the project grew by 11.8%.

Third is the fact that the number of undecided people dropped from 14.5% to 7.4%.

Fourth is the fact that “likely voters” who considered themselves Democratic showed the largest change in their opposition to the project. In the first Zogby poll 60 Democratic “likely voters” were asked about Harrison Square; 49.3% supported the project, 36.7% opposed the project, and 13.9% were uncertain. The second Zogby poll included 184 self identified Democrats; 31.5% supported the project, 61% oppose the project, and 7.5% are unsure about the Harrison Square Project.

The Harrison Square Project is very unpopular with “likely voters” in Fort Wayne and that should worry politicians and City officials; however, they really do not seem to care. The more information that is revealed to the public about the project the more unpopular it has become. At this point the voters only have one method they can use to ensure that the City of Fort Wayne stops creating boondoggles like Harrison Square. The citizens of Fort Wayne need to vote this November and they need to elect new representatives who will actually listen to their constituents.

There are several races that could well be affected by the overall level of dissatisfaction that the Zogby polls indicate about the Harrison Square project.

The most visible race is the race for Fort Wayne Mayor. Republican Matt Kelty has continually spoken against the Harrison Square Project and this should help his bid for Mayor. His opponent, Democrat Tom Henry has come out in favor of the project and I think that will hurt his campaign for Mayor.

There are 25 people currently vying for City Council; nine Republicans, eight Libertarians, and eight Democrats. All eight Libertarians oppose the project and this stance should help them connect with voters. A majority of the Democrats and Republicans support the Harrison Square Project; however, a minority oppose the project and this minority should benefit from their stance.

I think it is time that the voters of Fort Wayne take a more active roll in our community and support and elect representatives who will vote based on the desires of their constituents rather then the desires of a few real estate developers!

Mike Sylvester, CPA

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Steve Shine Strikes

I was reading Fort Wayne Left and Jeff Pruitt has a post discussing a breaking story the JG has put on their website. You should read it:

<http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070823/LOCAL/70823009/1002/LOCAL>

Steve Shine has dissolved the entire Republican Executive Committee.

Wow.

The Executive Committee was originally founded to help prevent Republican "in-fighting;" especially after contentious primaries.

Now that the Executive Committee has become part of the "in-fighting" and its President has resigned Steve Shine has abolished it.

Once again, wow.

I would have to agree with Jeff Pruitt that Steve Shine abolished it because he expected more resignations to follow; however, that is just speculation... There could certainly be other reasons.

I imagine tonight's meeting at GOP headquarters will be even more interesting at this point.

Mike Sylvester

Harrison Square approved by the Indiana Dept of Local Government and Finance

The Indiana Department of Local Government and Finance voted on the Harrison Square Project today. John Stafford is a member and correctly recused himself from the vote.

The project was approved by a vote of 4 in favor and 2 against.

12 people representing the City of Fort Wayne travelled to Indianapolis and spoke in favor of the project including Pat Roller, The Mayor, and Councilmen Talarico and Pape.

1 person went down and testified against the project; John Kalb.

Expect a good write up on this in tomorrows News-Sentinel.

I wish I would have known that the Indiana Department of Local Government and Finance could be swayed on this issue. I would have went to Indianapolis and testified against this "boondoggle" myself.

Mike Sylvester

Ken Neumeister resigns!

*Exclusive Breaking News*

Updated at 2:40 PM.
Wane TV has caught on to this story (as of 2:32 PM) and they have posted some additional information:
<http://www.wane.com/Global/story.asp?S=6973209>
Editor's note: I think there are only 15 members of the Executive Committee; however WANE TV is reporting that there are 25 and that 15 are considering resigning.

Updated at 2:42 PM.
A second member of the Executive Committee has now resigned according to my anonymous source. Her resignation will be reported by the local media soon!

Updated at 4:42 PM
Supposedly the second resignation is Cathy Gallmeyer.


This morning Ken Neumeister resigned as the President of the Executive Committee of the Allen County Republican Party.

This information was given to me by a very reliable source who prefers to be anonymous.

I am sure that a great deal more information about this will be reported by the local media in the next few days.

What do the readers of this blog think about this newest development?

Mike Sylvester

Anti-Kelty graffiti

This morning's JG has an article about vandals targeting Kelty signs posted in the window of GOP headquarters. Several holes were punched into the windows, and marbles were found at the scene. It sounds like a slingshot was used. I didn't know Dennis the Menace cared about local politics.

I of course disapprove of vandalism, no matter who is doing it. But you see, this is exactly why I allow anonymous comments on this blog. When the nameless trolls are posting here, that means that they aren't defacing public bathroom stalls.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Memorial Stadium

I will be interested in seeing how long it will take our elected officials to announce that they are tearing down Memorial Stadium and then expanding the parking lot of the Memorial Coliseum.

Here are a couple of interesting facts about Memorial Stadium:

1. As of 12/31/06 it was valued as a 10.49 million dollar asset. This asset is carried on Allen County's books.

2. The current cost of demolishing the stadium and expanding the parking lost is 2.2 million dollars.

When the existing stadium is demolished a whole lot of Fort Wayne residents will be highly upset. I also imagine many people will be upset when 2.2 million tax dollars are used to demolish something that has been in place for less then 20 years.

What a joke.

Mike Sylvester

I had a brainstorm about TIF districts

An interesting precedent may be set by the HS controversy. The project is going to be paid for with money from the Jefferson Pointe TIF. State law requires that a TIF be spend to benefit the district that it is drawn from, but city leaders argue that HS benefits Jefferson Pointe.

Just as everything has an impact on interstate commerce and is thus subject to federal regulation, any public works project would ultimately benefit Jefferson Pointe and be thus eligible for TIF money. Theoretically, Jefferson Pointe TIF money could be used to pay to fix a pothole on, say, Tillman Road as long as it can be established that a person who shops or works at Jefferson Pointe also uses that road.

Now, any attorneys reading this can feel free to tell me if I'm wrong. In the mean time, I propose that the Jefferson Pointe TIF be used to finance the police and fire pension fund. The morale of Fort Wayne's finest will be that much improved if they do not have worry about retirement, so they will do a better job protecting Jefferson Pointe.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Nation of Bans...


My children last weekend at an amusement park screaming their heads off proudly.


In New York the trademark jingle of the iconic ice cream truck has been silenced.

In Sacramento you have to use your inside voice on a thrill ride called the Screamer.

And in Murpheesboro, Tenn., the city council implemented a body odor ban on its workers. Forget your deodorant and you could be breaking the law.

With more and more schools and local governments telling people what they can't do these days, some say America has become a nation of bans.

"Bans are the easy shorthand way for people to deal with problems or ideas they don't like, or actions they think are too dangerous for folks," said Kevin Keenan of the ACLU. "And too often, it slips quickly into the absurd."

--From an ABC News report August 18, 2007


What do you think will get banned here next? What can we do to stop and reverse the trend?


Friday, August 17, 2007

Got your check ready?


Figures are in and a due date has been set for 2006 payable 2007 property taxes. Bills will be mailed by Wednesday, July 18th and the due date will be Friday, August 17th. Please view the payment methods for options in paying your taxes.

For your added convenience in payment:

http://www.co.allen.in.us/index.php?option=com_content&task=blogcategory&id=83&Itemid=264


Aren't we lucky.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Public Access TONITE

To All,

I won't rehash the detail on tonights program, they are listed below.

However, for those of you who do not have cable you can still call in and chat with Kody and/or myself at: (260) 422 - 3902.

Please don't call in right at 7PM, give us a few minutes to get situated.

I look forward to hearing from all of you fine folks who are wise enough to read this blog. :)

Respectfully,

Doug Horner
Candidate, City Council at Large

Tom Henry, "its for the children"

I have noticed that when people want to implement a new Government program it is often "for the children."

Tom Henry's latest Press Release discusses a "safe house" plan he wants to implement:
<http://fortwayneindiana.blogspot.com/2007/08/henry-brings-childrens-safety-front-and.html>

Over on the local blog Fort Wayne Left I pointed out that there is no cost listed for program implementation or continuing operation of this new Government program Tom Henry is proposing. Instead, his press release promises the program will require "minimal city funding."

What does "minimal city funding" mean?

Heck there are people who think that Harrison Square has "minimal city funding." Harrison Square will cost the taxpayers an unspecified amount of money, approximately 65 million if the city's estimates are correct.

John Good, local Democratic blogger, stated the following about my comment that I wanted to know what "minimal city funding" meant.

"Mike - So, for the record, you are pro-predator and anti-children? We can't ensure our children's safety because we might have to pay for it?"

Basically what John Good is saying is that anyone who wants to know the cost of a program that will SUPPOSEDLY protect children is pro-predator and anti-children.

Give me a break. I want to know what the program will cost. I want to know why it will help protect children.

I have decided to post some ideas here that Democratic Mayoral candidate Tom Henry, local blogger John Good, and anyone else who wants to "Protect the children" should consider before starting another "touchy-feely" program to "protect the children."

1. Sexual predators spend too little time in prison for crimes they have committed. I suggest you spend your energy changing the laws to require sexual predators to spend more time in prison. There is a cost to the taxpayers to forcing convicted "real sexual predators" to spend longer in prison. I am willing to pay that cost.

2. I would be willing to pass laws limiting where any "real sexual predator" can live. If you want to protect children then don't let convicted "real sexual predators" live in Fort Wayne.

My definition of a "real sexual predator" is a person who has been convicted of real sexual crimes; for example, a sexual predator is NOT an 18 year old boy having consensual sex with a 17 year old girl. SO this suggestion would require changing the definition of a sexual predator.

3. If you want to protect children please ensure that "Child Protective Services" do their job correctly. I have heard a large number of horror stories about "Child Protective Services." They always claim they are overwhelmed and they do not have enough people to monitor their case load. Maybe you should spend more money on "Child Protective Services." I am not sure if I would be willing to spend more money on this; however, I think that this would be more likely to protect children then establishing "safe houses." Depending on the specifics I might support it.

4. It is a statistically proven fact that children in homes that subsist on Government programs like Welfare are at a significantly higher risk then children in homes that are not on the Government dole." Maybe our "entitlement" programs should be modified to "protect the children." For example, maybe you should have to have a home inspection from "Child Protective Services" once a year if you want to continue receiving Government assistance. I might be able to support something like this; this would actually have a chance of protecting children who are at risk the most.

I could list countless more and so can anyone who thinks about it.

In my opinion we need to stop creating more and more Government programs to protect everyone. We already have a large number of Government Programs that have NO EFFECTIVENESS per the Governmental Accountability Office.

We do not need more.

Rant over.

I do everything I can to protect my kids and I will protect other people's kids as well.

Just last week I stopped my car and got a three year old girl out of the street. I went and rang the doorbell at her house and had a "conversation" with her mother.

Mike Sylvester

TIF districts and your property taxes

TIF districts have gotten a fair amount of exposure with the Harrison Square debacle.

Check out this JG piece:
<http://www.journalgazette.net/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070814/NEWS07/708140311&SearchID=73290452151312>

Per that piece:

Statewide 4.2% of the states gross assessed value is either under tax abatement or in TIF districts.

On another note 6.3% of assessed value is exempted from property taxes due to being owned by churches, non-profits, or the government itself.

That is a lot of property that has been removed from the proerpty tax rolls...

Please do not listen to the plethora of elected officials in Fort Wayne who claim that this does NOT raise you property taxes; because, they are wrong. It is common sense that if a large amount of proerpty is not paying property taxes towards the schools, libraries, etc...

Mike Sylvester

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I need some lawyers to educate me on the Grand Jury

I do not want a bunch of "anonymous said" people answering this post.

I have a legal question for anyone who understand the legal process.

I hope that one of the lawyers who reads this blog can answer my question.

Please look at the 1st two counts of the Indictments against Matt Kelty.

Do these indictments mean that the Grand Jury feels that Matt Kelty's testimony directly contradicts the testimony of Fred Rost and Don Willis?

I am not a lawyer and I hope that Mr. Barranda and Doug over at Masson's Blog can tell me more about this.

Other readers may understand the legal process more then I do and I would like to know more...

Mike Sylvester

Matt Kelty Indictment

Angry White Boy recently posted the indictment against Matt Kelty:
<http://www.turkette.com/political/kelt.pdf>

I would like to discuss these items one by one:

1. The first count is a class D felony for perjury. Basically the Grand Jury asked Matt Kelty if Don Willis had ever provided any support to your campaign other then what has been delineated in your reports?" To this question Matt answered "Not that I know of."

This means the grand jury feels that Matt Kelty made a false, material statement knowing the statement to be false or not believing the statements to be true.

So to convict Matt Kelty of this a court of law will have to prove that Don Willis did provide support to Matt Kelty's campaign other then what is listed in his campaign reports and that Matt knew this contribution came from Don Willis.

This is pretty straight forward and will be determined by the jury. I do not think Matt Kelty lied to the Grand Jury and I think he will be found innocent by a jury at his trial.

2. The second count is a class D felony for perjury. Basically the Grand Jury asked Matt Kelty "So your story is that Fred Rost, your campaign chairman, lender to you of $150,000, commissioned a poll for your benefit to determine the public's sentiments on an issue that's an issue in the campaign and he doesn't tell you about it?" Matt responds with "Yes sir."

This means the grand jury feels that Matt Kelty made a false, material statement knowing the statement to be false or not believing the statements to be true.

So to convict Matt Kelty of this a court of law will have to prove Matt Kelty knew that Fred Rost commissioned a poll for Matt's benefit and that Matt knew Fred Rost commissioned the poll.

This is pretty straight forward and will be determined by the jury. I do not believe that Matt lied to the Grand Jury.

3. The 3rd count is a class D Felony for filing a fraudulent campaign finance report concerning an $8000 loan.

We have discussed this to death on this blog and many others. Many people I respect have read the campaign finance laws and do NOT feel that Matt Kelty broke the law (Including myself and two of the three members of The Allen County Election Board). Many other people I respect have read the campaign finance laws and feel that Matt Kelty broke the law.

This one is just a matter of opinion.

4. The 4th count is a class D Felony for filing a fraudulent campaign finance report concerning a $2000 loan.

See number 3 above.

5. The 5th count is a class D Felony for filing a fraudulent campaign finance report concerning the total of the loans list in #3 and #4 above.

See number 3 above.

6. The 6th count is a class D Felony for filing a fraudulent campaign finance report concerning the source of an in-kind contribution (Zogby poll) as contributed by Fred Rost, knowing the contributors were, in fact, Fred Rost and Donald Willis.

This one is a little different.

Basically the Court will first have to prove that the Zogby poll was paid for by Don Willis and Fred Rost. Secondly they will have to prove that Matt Kelty knew that both Don Willis and Fred Rost paid for the Zogby poll.

This one is very straight forward. I do not think Matt Kelty lied.

7. The 7th count is a class D Felony for fraudulently reporting a campaign contribution of $150,000 from Fred Rost as a personal loan from Matt Kelty.

See #3 above.

8. The 8th count is a class B misdemeanor for placing the $150,000 contribution made by Fred Rost into Matt Kelty's personal checking account.

Realize that both Fred Rost and Matt Kelty considered the $150,000 a loan from Fred to Matt. Based on that Matt put that contribution into his checking account and then loaned it to his campaign.

See #3 above.

9. The 9th count is a class B misdemeanor for placing the $10,000 contribution made by per #5 above into Matt Kelty's personal checking account.

See #8 above.

In summary I think that six of these charges stem from a difference of opinion on how 3 loans to Matt Kelty's Campaign should be reported. I have talked to several lawyers and several CPA's about this issue. They are split on the issue almost exactly in half. Half think it was reported correctly and half think it was reported incorrectly. This one issue is directly responsible for charges 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, and 9. As far as I am concerned these charges are a joke.

Charges 1, 2, and 6 are charges of a different nature and involve an accusation that Matt Kelty is lying. I certainly do not think Matt Kelty is lying; however, this is going to be put in front of a jury.

Since I am not Matt Kelty, Don Willis, or Fred Rost I cannot know for certain what was known and by whom it was known. Based on reputation alone I have heard that Don Willis is a good man. I know Fred Rost and Matt Kelty somewhat and I feel both are men of integrity.

That is my take on the nine indictments.

I would like to thank AWB for posting the indictment on his blog Fort Wayne News!

What is your take on the nine indictments?

Idiots in Congress

You really need to read and consider one of the front page articles from Monday's News-Sentinel. I could not find the article on the "new and improved NS website"; however, I did not look very hard. I found it at The Buffalo News:
<http://www.buffalonews.com/nationalworld/national/story/139925.html>

If the Democrats pass some of the items in this article they will lose a few more moderates. If the Republicans pass some of the items listed in this bill they will also lose some support.

The Family Medical Leave Act was passed in 1993. More can be learned here:
<http://www.dol.gov/esa/whd/fmla/>

Too make a long story short the FMLA requires:

Employers who employ 50 or more people to grant eligible employees up to a total of 12 workweeks of unpaid leave during any 12-month period for one or more of the following reasons:

1. For the birth and care of the newborn child of the employee.
2. For placement with the employee of a son or daughter for adoption or foster care.
3. To care for an immediate family member (spouse, child, or parent) with a serious health condition. OR
4. To take medical leave when the employee is unable to work because of a serious health condition.

I overall thought that FMLA was a decent bill when passed.

My main problem with it is that employees can take time off work and not inform their employers of their absence until two days after the absence. This is absurd and should be changed at once. How do you expect an employer to operate a business if an employee can take Monday off work without informing anyone about it until Wednesday? Stupid, stupid, stupid.

My other main problem with it is the minimum number of employees. I would have rather seen 100 employees as the minimum number.

Please read the article and consider the following excerpts:

"Before leaving Washington for its August recess the Senate approved a plan that would allow the relatives of wounded soldiers to take up to 26 weeks of unpaid leave to care for them."

Good grief. I am a military veteran and I support those on active duty, in the reserves, in the National Guard, and those who have served in the past. That being said, I think this proposal goes too far. Under the FMLA you can already take 12 weeks of unpaid leave to tend to family members. That is enough.

Even worse for America "A Senate bill would provide up to eight weeks of PAID leave for workers who need time off for a birth or adoption of children."

Now I love kids and my wife and I have chosen work so that we can spend a lot of time with our children. We are both self-employed and this allows us to schedule time with our children. I am completely against providing eight weeks of paid leave to adopt or have children. It is absurd.

"More narrowly crafted bills in the House and Senate would provide eight weeks of paid parental leave for Federal workers."

The last thing we need to do is to give Federal workers more benefits that are not available in the private sector. By giving this paid leave this will cause Federal agencies to hire even more workers. We do not need more Federal employees.

"Another Senate bill would require employers who have 15 or more employees to provide each of them with at least seven paid sick days to address their medical needs or the needs of their families."

So the FMLA concerns employers with 50 or more employees and these morons want to make a law that effects employers with 15 or more employees? Here is an idea; lets keep the number at 50 so the laws are consistent. Here is another idea, let the free market work and let employers and their employees set their own policies.

"A June study by the Department of Labor concluded that in 2005 alone up to 17% of the work force took unpaid leave through the FMLA."

I did not know that 17% of our entire workforce eligible for the FMLA used it. That is amazing.

"Verizon said 44% of the workers in its Florida network centers had medical certifications allowing them to take leave."

I find this amazing. This leads me to believe that the FMLA is being abused. How on Earth could 44% of their Florida workforce be eligible to utilize the FMLA?

"The Postal Service reported that 18% of its 620,000 employees took leave last year."

Another staggering number.

"In particular, companies complained that the law allows workers to wait until two days after absences to advise their employers of the need to take leave."

This is 100% wrong and the law should be changed immediately.

We are becoming a little more Socialist each and every day.

We should not strive to be more like France. The French system does not work. The new French President is trying to remove some of their Socialist policies...

Why is America trying to emulate a failed system?

Good Grief.

What do you think about expanding the FMLA?

Mike Sylvester

What would it take for me to stop supporting Matt Kelty?

Numerous people asked me today what it would take for me to stop supporting Matt Kelty and I think this is a fair question. I believe that Matt Kelty is an honest person and I really do not believe that these charges have any merit.

That being said, if it were proven to me that Matt Kelty actually committed perjury, then I would not support him.

I know that Bill Clinton committed perjury on National TV and got away with it; however, that does not make it right.

I do NOT believe that Matt Kelty committed perjury; however, if it were proven that he did commit perjury then I would not support him.

Mike Sylvester

LIBERTARIANS AT LARGE - Live on TV

To All,

It's that time of month again.

This Thursday on "Libertarians At Large" I will have as a guest Kody Tinnel.

Kody is doing a great job within the LPAC and has brought back the IPFW Libertarian group.

So, to keep it simple...

Who: Doug Horner & Kody Tinnel
What: Live call in program - Libertarians at Large
Where: Cable Channel #57
When: Thursday, Aug 16th 7PM - 8PM
Why: To share the Libertarian point of view with the good people of Allen County

Respectfully,

Doug Horner
Candidate, City Council at Large

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Indiana Election Law is worse then even I thought

Check this out per the Indiana Code:

IC 3-14-1-14.5
Commingling committee funds with personal funds
Sec. 14.5. A person who recklessly violates IC 3-9-2-9(c) by commingling the funds of a committee with the personal funds of an officer, a member, or an associate of the committee commits a Class B misdemeanor.As added by P.L.3-1993, SEC.231.

IC 3-9-2-9
Transfer of contributions to treasurer; segregation of funds
Sec. 9. (a) Each person who accepts a contribution for a
committee shall, on demand of the treasurer of the committee, and in
any case within thirty (30) days after receipt of the contribution,
transfer to the treasurer the actual contribution if it is money or a
detailed account if it is other than money.
(b) The transfer must include the actual monetary value and the
information about the contribution required to be reported by the
treasurer under IC 3-9-5-14.
(c) This subsection applies to a committee that accepts
contributions or makes expenditures in an aggregate amount of more
than two hundred dollars ($200) in a year. All funds of a committee
must be segregated from, and may not be commingled with, the
personal funds of officers, members, or associates of the committee.
As added by P.L.5-1986, SEC.5. Amended by P.L.7-1990, SEC.31;

The purpose of the above setions of Indiana code seem fairly clear at first glance. In my opinion the point of this law is to ensure that the personal funds of a candidate and the funds of the candidates committee are separate. This is similar to corporate law that require nearly the same thing.

Per the Indiana code commingling is a class B misdemeanor if it is proven to be reckless.

Per local news reporting Matt Kelty is being accused of two counts of "commingling."
The above Indiana Code sections apply to all campaigns that spend or raise $200 a year. That is pretty much every campaign in Indiana.

I am certain that this rule is violated to a small extent by almost EVERY campaign in the state; however, I am not sure what the definition of "recklessly violates" is.

Let me give you an example.

Lets say I am running for office and I raise $1000 and put it into a campaign account. Lets say I go online and I purchase 500 Campaign Buttons that I need in a hurry. I decide to purchase them using my personal credit card. They cost me $100 and I place the charge on my visa. I have my Treasurer write me a check for $100.

Did I just commingle funds per a strict interpretation of the law?

The answer is actually yes since I charged the item on my personal credit card.

Was this a "recklessly violating the law?" I have no idea. In my opinion this SHOULD not be a problem and it should be legal. I have no idea what a Court would decide.

Mike Sylvester

Kely indictments from Grand Jury

I want to start this post by saying that my lovely wife is as angry as I have seen her in awhile. She is absolutely furious about the Kelty "indictment." She told me today that she is not sure if there is reason to vote anymore. As far as she is concerned this entire process has been orchestrated by the "good old boys" in the Allen County GOP.

I also am quite upset. Let me tell you a few of the reasons:

1. Recently Doug Foy plead guilty to FORGING signatures on campaign documents that were turned into the Election Board while he was the Executive Director of the Allen County GOP. He forged several signatures on forms and turned them in. Per the press coverage he also lied about the fact that he forged the signatures. Doug Foy committed perjury, forgery, and violated campaign finance laws. What happened to him?

2. I do not know enough about the campaign violations of Win Moses in 1985 to post details here. If anyone can send me the details of the case I would appreciate it.

3. I talked to a sitting City Councilman recently. I asked him a hypothetical question. In this hypothetical situation I told him I was running for Public Office. I also told him that he read in the newspaper that I had loaned my campaign $160,000. I asked him if he would question my loan to my campaign. He said "no." He said that he would questions Matt's loan; however, he would not question my loan because he felt it was likely that I could make the loan to my campaign while he felt Matt could not.

To me this means if you are rich, or if you are PERCEIVED to be rich, you can do things that you cannot do if you are known to have less money.

That is economic discrimination and it is unfair.

4. Political candidates of all parties constantly loan their campaigns money. It is never questioned if they are rich.

5. Matt Kelty was handcuffed and arrested. The same cannot be said of Win Moses...

6. This entire process was started by the Republican Party. It was started by some of the large donors and leadership of the Allen County GOP. Their anointed candidate lost and they decided to do something about it. This is wrong on many levels. This will backfire on the local GOP.

7. Steve Shine has been nearly invisible on this topic. Steve Shine should be fired. I watched his interview with Wane TV tonight and it was pathetic.

8. Local Republicans in elected office have not rallied around their Party candidate. They should have.

9. It is absolutely absurd that Kelty was charged with co-mingling funds. I am 100% CERTAIN that if I examine the campaign finances of many candidates that I can prove that they occasionally co-mingle funds as well. My wife thinks that MOST candidates co-mingle funds.

A dare anyone to disagree with me on #9! I will post more about this in the future...

It is not a good day in Fort Wayne. I expect part of the Republican base to rise up and "go to war" with the leaders of the local GOP.

This is going to get ugly.

Mike Sylvester

Kelty Verdict

WOWO is reporting that the Grand Jury handed down an indictment against Matt Kelty and are charging him with nine counts.

I am sure this will be all over the local news in the next few hours.

Check out local TV coverage below:
<http://www.indianasnewscenter.com/news/local/9156721.html>

Mike Sylvester

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Fall...

"After a sixth-place finish in Saturday’s Iowa Straw Poll, Tommy Thompson, the four-term governor of Wisconsin and former secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, said he was ending his presidential bid." From the New York Times.


SO, if the straw vote doesn't mean anything, why does it mean something to him?

"Mr. Thompson’s campaign issued a statement tonight confirming his decision to drop out of the race:

“I want to thank the people of Iowa who were welcoming and supportive as well as my volunteers and contributors from around the country,” Mr. Thompson said in the statement. “I have no regrets about running. I felt my record as Governor of Wisconsin and Secretary of Health and Human Services gave me the experience I needed to serve as President, but I respect the decision of the voters. I am leaving the campaign trail today, but I will not leave the challenges of improving health care and welfare in America.”"

Saturday, August 11, 2007

The Wall Continues Sunday

Posted by Picasa
The scale replica wall continues Sunday at Highland Park Cemetery.

I was fortunate enough to be at a ceremony this morning where the local Legion Riders spoke about the wall and honoring current and past servicemen.

This was a very moving experience. Anyone who visits will not soon forget.

See posts below for further information on times.

Friday, August 10, 2007

"Reason Online" editorial about bridge collapse

I thought that this article was relavent to the local debate regarding certain spending projects. Apparently Minnesota had enough money to spend on a new ballpark, yet Washington is going to send $250 million to build a new bridge.

Fort Wayne Woman Sues Over Property Taxes

From WPTA-TV:

A Fort Wayne woman has filed a lawsuit against Allen County, the City of Fort Wayne, and county and township leaders, saying property taxes in the county -- including hers -- weren't assessed properly.

Jacquline Dowdell filed the suit. In it she is asking for an emergency injunction that would freeze property taxes at their previous amounts... and order reassessments of all real estate in Allen County.

How does this compare? Is there any precedence?

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Purple Thumbs: Are We THAT Corrupt?

Iowa straw poll under attack for credibility and vows to uphold integrity
• 09 Aug 2007

From KCCI-TV, Channel 8 (Des Moines, Iowa):

Everyone must provide a photo identification and will be issued credentials. They will also have to dip their thumbs in purple ink to indicate that they have voted.

What country are we in, anyways?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Those Who Serve

There is a power to silence.

Bagpipers at Highland Park Cemetery honoring Those Who Serve

Yesterday was a very important day for me. I traveled behind an amazing group of people, the Legion Riders ,who escorted The Dignity Memorial® Vietnam Wall™. Personally affected by the war in Iraq, I felt honored to be at this ceremony.

The men and women who are volunteering to bring this to Northeast Indiana are truly one-of-a-kind, caring and compassionate people. I wept from the moment the first motorcycle pulled away. The journey down I-69 from Auburn involving these motorcycles, the vehicles, the police officers and sheriff deputies is one I will never forget.

I urge you to step into the silence and 'hear' what it says to you.
Whether you support the war or any military action, this is one trip worth making. Consider supporting the people who volunteer to go wherever they are needed.


The display will be open after a ceremony at 6:15 PM on Friday, August 10, 2007, in Fort Wayne, IN, at the Highland Park Cemetery. There will also be a ceremony on Saturday morning at 9:00 AM and Sunday's closing ceremony at 4:00 PM.
The Wall will be open 24 hours a day to accommodate anyone. Readers will take turns reading all 58,178 names.



Firefighters Guard Entrance with Flag

Firefighters hung the enormous memorial flag which so often hangs at funerals for our fallen soldiers. It was a solemn and moving experience to watch the procession of Riders, Police, Firemen, and community who brought the opportunity for reflection and healing to our area.

http://www.vietnamwallexperience.com/
Posted by Picasa

The Wall Arrives --Ceremony with Community Members and The Legion Riders

From their website above: The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is the most visited National Park Service site in Washington, D.C. The monument commemorates more than 58,000 U.S. soldiers who died or are missing-in-action during the Vietnam War, and has long been noted for its tremendous emotional impact.

Although the war exacted a significant toll both at home and overseas, millions of Americans may never visit our nation's capital to experience "The Wall."

Known as the Dignity Memorial® Vietnam WallTM, the replica has been displayed in more than 200 cities across the country. Millions of Americans have visited the monument to pay tribute to the service-men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice for flag and country.

Republicans and Democrats trying to hurt America

Please read this article:
<http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/08/07/bcnchina107a.xml>

This article discusses recent "threats" from China to the United States.

To make a long story short China has "pegged" their currency to the dollar. This is extremely wrong and is partially responsible for the increase in the trade deficit we have with China.

At the same time China is buying US debt each and every year. China (and Japan) own a huge amount of US debt. China is now threatening to "dump" the debt they hold onto the market. If China does this it will have a large effect on the US, it will:
1. Make the dollar fall even further (It is already at record lows)
2. Increase interest rates in the US. This would happen because of the huge sum of treasuries
being introduced to the market.
3. Most likely put additional stress on the US housing market in a time when it is already under
pressure.

I am sick and tired of watching Democrats and Republicans in Washington ignore our current problems.

Mike Sylvester

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Letter from Charles Garnette Sr.

Common Council
1 Main St.
Fort Wayne IN 46802
August 1, 2007

RE: Rezoning of 83 acres on South Anthony

Dear Council members:

It's my understanding that on August 7, 2007 the City Council will vote up or down on rezoning 83 acres to be known as South Anthony Pointe. I am requesting that you vote not to rezone this real estate, because in my opinion it would not be in the best interest of the citizens of Fort Wayne, and only benefit the promoters of this development.

Both Fort Wayne newspapers made the statement that I was the only vocal critic of this project at the Plan Commission hearing. That statement isn't quite true, because I was not allowed to speak. When I tried to influence the decision of the Planning Commission by pointing out that rezoning this property would be detrimental to commercial development at the adjacent Southtown Crossing, I was silenced because my arguments were based on the questionable business ethics of the developers and their ability to finance the project. I was interrupted and told I had to restrict my comments strictly to the zoning issue. The Planning Commission felt that the business ethics of the developers, and their ability to finance the project was not pertinent to their decision to take 83 acres in the city of Fort Wayne out of the realm of possible expansion of the adjacent shopping center. I then challenged their authority to silence my by asking for the legal opinion of the commission's attorney. After little thought he agreed with the commission and I took my seat at the back of the room. At that point it was clear to others prepared to speak against the rezoning, that their views based on the same argument would not be heard. It's worth mentioning that I did not know any of these people, but seeing papers and notebooks in hand, it was evident they were prepared to speak against the project.

Planning Commission Bias

In addition to not hearing arguments against the rezoning issue, I believe there was additional bias in their decision to approve rezoning of the 83 acres in question. At least two of the members of the commission had conflicts of interest and should not have voted. Barney Niezer is the brother of Tom Niezer the attorney representing the project. Additionally, Connie Haas Zuber also had a conflict of interest in approving the rezoning. Connie Haas Zuber, while working for the News Sentinel, acknowledged she killed several stories involving the Fort Wayne Neighborhood Housing Partnership (NHP)- she has never denied this. After taking early retirement and cashing out her retirement fund she formed a 501(c) to raise money for NHP, and later was appointed to the NHP Board, where she still serves. Rev. Anthony Payton, the individual seeking the rezoning, also was a board member of NHP, and his attorney Niezer is president of NHP. According to published reports this organization was forced into receivership by the Indiana Attorney General, and is under investigation by both state and federal agencies. Additionally, while all three were on the board their real estate appraiser voluntarily surrendered her license after facing criminal charges- I believe that separate issue is still under investigation. The above issues are separate from the civil suits against the organization that have now been granted class action status.

My issues concerning these and other conflicts are well documented. Rev. Anthony Payton purchased a 2400 square-foot brick house on Lafayette Esplanade with no money down. The financing for the property was provided by NHP. Within days (before or after) closing on the house, Rev. Anthony Payton was made a board member of NHP, representing Lafayette Place Neighborhood Association. However, no officer, board member, or resident of Lafayette Place was informed of this arrangement.

According to published reports (newspapers and now currently on blogs) Rev. Anthony Payton's house was foreclosed on and went through a Sheriff sale on or about February 6, 2004. It is unclear if Payton ever made a payment. The Economic Development Department of Ft. Wayne has informed me that Rev. Payton also borrowed $50,000 from the City, and I have been unable to, with requests via the Indiana Open Records Act, to determine whether that debt was ever satisfied. As city councilmen, perhaps you will have better luck then me.

Tom Hayhurst's argument should prevail

At the very same Planning Commission hearing Councilman Hayhurst argued that commercial property should not be mixed with residential property, as it does not benefit either zoning use. In arguing against commercialization of property on Jefferson Blvd. he stated it decreases lifestyle enjoyment of residential neighborhoods. I totally agree.

Carl Sandburg said it best: Whether that jug hits the rock, or the rock hits the jug; it's still hard on the jug.

Now comes Rev. Anthony Payton with his in-indicted co-conspirators to undermine an emerging commercial property that the city has worked so hard to nurture. What benefit will there be for potential residents to live next door to a commercial enterprise? It's simply the same Jefferson Blvd. argument in reverse. Nevertheless, in this case both the residents and the merchants will suffer. I envision the first complaint will be that the drive-through speaker box at Wendy's is too loud and keeps residents awake. The next complaint will be that the industrial vacuum cleaners used to clean the acres of parking lots are too loud. Menard’s opens to customers at 7 a.m.- contractors an hour or two earlier depending on the store. This is the time when contractors pick up their lumber and building supplies for the day’s building schedule.

I know that many of you would like to believe that Menards is at Southtown because of extraordinary efforts by Graham Richard. In reality Menards is there because the late Jim Kelley picked up the phone and asked his good friend Tom Menard to site a store at that location. Trust me, the owner of a store in a highly competitive market is not going to bother to keep a marginally profitable still are open if it is creating political headaches. The store will close as fast as it opened, and the same is true of Wal-Mart.

The Project

Take a look at the project and see if you see anything familiar. The residential section is going to be 55 ft. lots with houses costing between $175,000 and $250,000. That's right 55 ft lots. Mr. Niezer says that he wants a cozy little neighborhood. Who is going to build the houses, and more importantly who is going to appraise them? For that price range you can buy a very nice house on a very large lot on Old Mill Road - I have seen them; I have been inside them. Same people, same part of town, same fraud, and the same victims. When reviewing the transcript of the Planning Commission Meeting please notice that Tom Niezer doesn't use the words my client, clients, or investors. He uses the words, I, we, and us. It is Tom Niezer accepting a portion of financing or profits from the project in lieu of attorney's fees, or is Mr. Niezer an investor or partner in the project. I believe the City Council has a right to know that. That places his brother, Barney Niezer, in double jeopardy of conflict of interest, as well as certain Common Council members.

Your rezoning approval will take 83 acres off the tax rolls

It was interesting to watch the presentation made by Tom Niezer at the Plan Commission meeting. If you read that transcript carefully, it quotes Mr. Niezer as saying that the project will either be a for-profit corporation or a not-for-profit corporation. That was for the benefit of your friend and mine, Councilman Tom Smith, who sits on the Planning Commission. Niezer did not want Mr. Smith to know that the corporation developing the project will be a not-for-profit, and as such will not pay property tax. Niezer as always was very slick with his comments, he said it will be either not-for-profit or for-profit; he didn't lie. What he didn't tell Mr. Smith was that the decision to go not-for-profit had already been made. In news releases outlining the project to the South Bend Tribune and the Indianapolis Star, both papers clearly stated (30 days before the Planning Commission hearing) that it's going to be a not-for-profit corporation. Molly McCray can find both articles on the Internet (in this case I recommend searching under yahoo rather then Google). Trust me, they are there.

In reality it's the only way they can finance the project. No mortgage Company as going to loan the quarter of $1 million on a house setting on a 55 ft a lot next to lumber yard. By holding all of the project's entities under one not-for-profit umbrella, they are free to play the NHP game. They can lease to own, rent to own, and sell on contract at any price they choose, and because all the property is held by the not-for-profit corporation - they are tax exempt - no property tax. They might even try to use the shield of the good reverend’s church. However, once it is rezoned, and only a single house is built on the property, it cannot be rezoned commercial unless the house (or houses) is removed. This might be the first opportunity in the history of the Common Council for them to actually create a commercial dead zone.

In conclusion

The only remaining question is whether or not you are willing to take 83 acres of prime commercial property, which can be used to expand Southtown, off the tax rolls. With rising property taxes, Harrison Square, and the demolition of the baseball stadium, are you willing to take 83 acres off the tax roll that will result in increasing the tax levy on every taxpayer? Are you willing to step forward three months before an election and stand beside un-indicted co-conspirators of one of the largest real estate frauds in the city's history? I know Tim Pape will. When first exposed to their corrupt activities his exact words were: “It sure looks shady, but I think I could get them off”.



Sincerely,



Charles C. Garnette Sr.

PS This correspondence was generated by voice recognition software, I apologize for any errors.

New on Video!!!

Ok, maybe it's NOT new, BUT .... miraculously the minutes to the Fort Wayne City Council meeting have appeared online and there's an interesting note to anyone wanting to view the City Council on tape (see previous posts for history on this).

At the bottom of the newly uploaded minutes, you can see this tidbit:

"ALSO, TAPES OF OUR COUNCIL MEETINGS MAY BE VIEWED AT
THE CLERK’S OFFICE. APPOINTMENT TO VIEW TAPES, PLEASE
CALL ANGIE 427-1221"

http://www.cityoffortwayne.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=
view&amp;amp;amp;id=306&Itemid=494

Monday, August 06, 2007

House Erupts in Chaos

I have not had the time to check this out, so read it for yourself at:
<http://www.politico.com/blogs/thecrypt/0807/House_erupts_in_chaos.html>

The above post discusses a large controversy over a vote in the House of Representatives.

I have not had a chance to research it.

I am hoping someone who reads this blog has.

Mike Sylvester

My response

The News Sentinel published my response to the letter written by City Attorney Tim Manges on June 25th.

You can read it here:

<http://www.news-sentinel.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070806/EDITORIAL/708060321>

I still have a hard time believing that an attorney would be "silly" enough to publish something in the local newspaper that I can 100% prove is untrue...

It just boggles the mind...

Mike Sylvester

Last weekend

I did not post on the blog nor did I respond to email Thursday - Sunday since we went to Chicago to visit my brother-in-law.

My brother-in-law moved to Chicago in December of last year from Hawaii.

On Friday we split up because my wife wanted to take our daughter to American Girl and she wisely did not want me to come; instead, I took my son Graydon to watch the Cubs at Wrigley Field.

It was a good vacation and I think we will go up there for Christmas this year as well.

Mike Sylvester

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Open Thread Post

We talked the smoking ban and Harrison Square to death by now; we know where everyone stands on the issue. The one big news story recently is the Minnesota bridge collapse. Everybody is against bridge collapses, few of us actually know how to design, build, or maintain a bridge. So it's Open Thread Time! Promote, plug, or denounce whatever you like! And to the guy who keeps posting "SYLVESTER FOR COUNCIL", try endorsing somebody who will be on the ballot this year.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Kalb Asks Attorney General to Look Into HS..and other interesting reads for the weekend

You can read more about Mr. Kalb's letter to Steve Carter in today's News-Sentinel and on several blogs across the area..

To sum it up... it ain't over til ...... (insert funny phrase here)....

People underestimate the fight the public has against the tyrannical government in place not only across the city but the state and nation.

Here's some reading for you as I am off for the weekend to the Region 3 Convention for the Libertarian Party and training from the Leadership Institute in Dayton, OH. Don't know where everyone else is this week...probably walking neighborhood and talking with people...See you next week!

Article on Mr. Kalb:
http://www.fortwayne.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/SE/20070802/NEWS/708020319

Jeff Pruitt's posts about HS:
http://fortwayneindiana.blogspot.com/

S.T.O.P. Stop Taxing Our Property:
http://stopindiana.com/default.aspx

Tim Pape's rebuttal to email about smoking ban //er I mean regulation...:
http://ftwnvoice.awardspace.com/re-buttals-_city_council.htm

And finally, a great read from the Indianapolis Star I meant to post earlier this week:
"There's too much wrong to do anything but fix it" :
http://www.indystar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070729/OPINION/707290302