By: Todd Smekens
Blog – When I previously wrote about the financial problems at MadJax – a makers place, I suggested that the abandoned Ball State project now run by our corrupt mayor’s economic development office might eventually come back to local taxpayers for more money to finish the project. It didn’t take a month for Todd Donati to approach the city council asking for $4.6 million. Based on political insiders, the democratic party minions on the city council have already cast their four votes in favor of funding. Everything going forward is a procedure and political theater.
In the same July article, I recommended that our city council request an independent audit of MadJax, owned by Muncie Sustainable. If mismanagement of public dollars occurred, those responsible should be held accountable. Accountability isn’t a mainstay within our corrupt local administration or the minions on the city council. Democrats, Allison Quirk, Doug Marshall, and Julius Anderson, have already given their approval for the project without seeing the first financial statement.
Maybe they figured, why audit financials when they know it will reveal misfeasance. They will have a hard time justifying a yes vote if an audit shows misfeasance. It would also show they weren’t monitoring the project they lent $1 million to.
More hilarious, Allison Quirk referred to the project as “economic development.” It’s rare I agree with Michael Hicks, but he did drop this truth bomb recently in our local newspaper about the downgrading of Muncie Community Schools by the credit rating agency, Standard & Poors:
The new ranking [S&P] is further proof that “this is far and away the most pressing economic development problem in Muncie,” Ball State University economist Michael Hicks told The Star Press. “Every economic dollar spent elsewhere is wasted as long as the local public schools are in crisis.”
I asked several school board members how much money has the City given the schools through our economic development department (Muncie Redevelopment Commission) headed by Todd Donati. They all said, “Not a penny.”
Don’t forget; this project was to be “self-sustainable” and funded by “community partners.” From Muncie Sustainable’s website:
“Ball State University is pleased to join with Mayor Tyler and our community partners in working to revitalize the Cintas facility as a major aspect of downtown economic development, “said President Paul Ferguson. “This project has the potential to contribute in a sustainable, meaningful way to One Muncie.”
Where are all those community partners who praised this project? <crickets>
Maybe they all scattered when Ball State fired Dr. Ferguson over this initiative. It surfaced that Tom Bracken had plans to bulldoze this “eyesore” and replace with a city park. Tom was buying surrounding properties to make this happen. Is this why community partners scattered? Or, was it because the city administration is corrupt? Maybe both.
Steve Moore, the CEO of First Merchants Bank, is on the Madjax board and according to Muncie Sustainable’s website. It also lists a Star Bank employee.
If MadJax was a legitimate entity, I can guarantee First Merchants or Star Bank would be assuming the risk and loaning Muncie Sustainable the money. Banks love lending money and making profits off the interest. Steve is doing the opposite by asking local taxpayers to pay off the loan he made to his organization. Bravo!
You would think transparency would be a new rule for a Mayor under investigation by the FBI. Not with Dennis Tyler. The package given to our City Council was missing financial statements, project plans, and projected income statements. How do our representatives on city council determine if the project would cover their bond payment?
For those interested in not becoming a debtor to Madjax, there is a public meeting at 4:00 pm on Thursday, September 7th.
Corruption tops common sense in Muncie – Little Chicago lives on with Dennis Tyler at the helm. Theft of taxpayer dollars continues despite one arrest by the FBI and an ongoing two-year long investigation. While “community leaders” spoke openly about how this project would “unify the community,” it’s done exactly the opposite.