Sunday, September 30, 2007


Freedom of Speech supports the following :

Resolution and Ordinance

R-07-34 & A-07-28


WHEREAS, bonds were issued to provide funding for the cost of building the State Street Parking Garage in the amount of $3,500,000.

WHEREAS, it has been necessary to use EDIT Funds to make the bond payments because TIF collections were not sufficient to meet the bond payments.

WHEREAS, it is recorded in the New Albany Redevelopment Commission Minutes of November 14, 2001 that approximately $3,696,350 of Edit Funds would be used to make the State Street Parking Garage bond payments due to the fact that the Downtown TIF Funds collected would not be sufficient to cover bond payments.



We think it is necessary that the COUNCIL be informed about the financing and bonds for the State Street Parking Garage.

All Downtown TIF Funds collected be used to repay EDIT Fund in the amount that EDIT funds were used to make the Bond payments on the Downtown Parking Garage.

Another "pie in the sky" to save downtown!

Build it and they will park there...Right?

Several weeks ago there was an article in the paper with the suggestion of building a new parking garage near Scribner Place with an estimated cost of $6 million dollars. A statement was made that a new parking garage could be paid for with the "profits" from the State Street Parking Garage.

What profits?

At this time, the State Street Parking Garage OWES the EDIT Fund $3,613,698.46 for Bond payments made out of EDIT because downtown TIF "DID NOT" produce sufficient money to make the Garage Bond payments.

Here we go again!

We, the taxpayers, are footing the bills for the utilities, and the maintenance because the parking garage does not take in enough money to pay for itself.

How do you think that we taxpayers can afford to pay the bills on another parking garage?

The Downtown TIF needs to repay $3.6 million to the EDIT Fund for the State Street Parking Garage Bonds.

EDIT Funds could be used for projects all over our city and save our General Fund tax money.


EDIT expenditures must be approved by the City Council.

TIF expenditures are approved by Redevelopment Commission. Council Candidate Caesar heads the Redevelopment Authority. And Council candidate Messer is on Redevelopment.

Is this why they are pushing for the TIF money to stay in TIF so REDEVELOPMENT can CONTROL the MONEY?

The State Street Parking Garage was built during the England administration.Should we have named the State Street Parking Garage the England Parking "mistake" Garage?

Are the concrete supports still cracking?

Did the Mayor's Secretary really get stuck in the State Street Parking Garage elevator?

Is candidate England pushing for this new $6 million dollar nightmare Parking Garage?

Taxpayers -- we are being screwed by the parking garage project and the request to spend millions of dollars to build another downtown parking garage.

The Funds involved are: EDIT, TIF and our Tax Dollars!

Could our Mayor USE a few more "kick backs" before he leaves office?


Freedom of Speech would like to say: This city needs to wake up and realize if it wants to GROW it will have to grow in all of the city. Another parking garage will be just a waste of money either way.

We simply believe as many others in this town do that an independent feasibility study would prove without a doubt that this city could not support two parking garages and DRAMATIC operating losses would again be paid for by us...the tax-payers.

More tax money down the drain!

Our final thought... This whole project is full of questions and few answers.

The big red flag went up Wednesday when Redevelopment Director John Rosenbarger said:

"That a developer wants to build a business on the public Scribner Place property IF the CITY builds a PARKING GARAGE there as a BASE."

It has the smell of kickbacks all over this project!

See what happens when "you do" your homework Council members Zurschmiede, Messer, and Gahan.

We deal with FACTS and not political agendas!

If your not outraged, you're not paying attention
~Thomas Jefferson

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


The Indiana property tax system is complicated, costly and confounding.
Tweaking of the property tax system by the General Assembly won't be enough. It needs to be overhauled. A court-ordered reassessment in 2002 turned the process for local financing of public services on its head.

Do not assume that reassessment and its hurtful consequences are a one-time headache and that things will return to normal next year.

Hardly. Between the high numbers of assessment appeals being reported, the difficulty that many people will have in paying taxes, and the fact that "trending" a property value updating process mandated by state law, the headache is here to stay.

Governor Daniels criticized the number of boards in Indiana whose members are unelected but still have the ability to raise taxes. He stated. "no one is in charge" and "they [local government] match your pocket book to their spending, and it should be the other way," pointing to the fact that local government set their budgets, which later become the levies which are paid for through our property taxes.

Source: Louisville Courier Journal

Freedom of Speech feels considering the fiscal irresponsibility of both political parties have consigned us, and the lack of knowledge most taxpayers have through no fault of their own, the bottom line is that we could do no worse than what has unfolded, and if anything, would have exercised some fiscal restraint, since most of us have to balance our checkbook on what little we have.

The Poor and Fixed income folks need security plus relief.

This really is not about taxes alone, but being secure in our homes and property from which some earn meager living, and our homesteads are not to be treated as if they are "disposable" property owned by the government instead of the life and security they represent to those who live on them.

We have no problem with those that make good, better, or great money from "Honest Labor or Investments." Some of these business people and citizens have become successful through hard work and right choices.

No property owner should have to pay for local government mistakes.

Local government needs to be accountable to YOU the taxpayers!

There are several ways to CUT New Albany's Residential Property Taxes:

* Let New Construction carry their share of the tax burden. New Construction does not pay additional property taxes for approximately two years. They only pay property taxes on the land.

* Increase Building Permit fees, water & sewer tap on fees, design/enforce Developers and Development License Fees

* Review and enforce the fees that should be paid to the city

* Use Economic Development Income Taxes (EDIT) to fund projects to help save our Property Tax General Fund money

* Reduce the number of TAX ABATEMENT'S allowed

* Rescind some of the TIF Districts. (The original promise was that the TIF Districts would be rescinded after their Bond was paid off. This would allow new tax money collected to go into the General Fund and lower our property taxes)

Freedom of Speech believes the best agenda is the one that is right for all the people and protects the poor, middle class and the working class among us.

We as a community must stand together and decide the difference between a WANT and a NEED.


Freedom of Speech is non-partisan, as we are all in the same boat when it comes to transparency in taxation and accountability of local government spending!

Monday, September 24, 2007


New Albany Voting Districts:

District 1
1 - 1158

2 - 754
17 - 1058
21 - 2275
23 -1498

Current - 6,743
Proposed total- (Now on the table) - Total -6,743

District 2
16 - 1134
18 -1209
19 - 1406
22 - 1102
29 - 1458

Current - 9,364
Proposed total - (Now on the Table) - 6,359

District 3
3 - 1407
5 - 1049
6 - 924
7 - 383
8 - 1114
10 - 1278

Current - 5,897
Proposed total - (Now on the Table) - 6,155

District 4
11 -1020
12 - 912
13 - 982
20 - 1137
24 - 1145
25 - 1008

Current - 5,184
Proposed total - (Now on the Table) -6,204

District 5
9 - 951
14 -1175
15 - 468
15A - 1168
26 -1326
28 - 1260

Current - 5,040
Proposed total - (Now on the Table) - 6,348

District 6
19A - 1380
19B - 1625
27 - 1303
27A - 743
28A - 1167
29A - 397

Current 6,196
Proposed total - (Now on the Table) - 6,615

Freedom of Speech believes this is a fair Redistricting proposal that reflects our community and changing demographics. It is not for YOUR political interest and YOUR self interest as the Plaintiffs.


The following information was verified through Voters Registration:

Districts 3
10 - Plaintiffs

District 6
1 - Plaintiff

District 4
1 - Plaintiff

District 2
3 - Plaintiffs

District 5
1 - Plaintiff

Some Plaintiffs are members of the following:

East Spring St. Neighborhood Assn:
8 - Plaintiffs

S. Ellen Jones Neighborhood Assn:
2 - Plaintiffs

CHDO Board Members:
2 - Plaintiffs

Is there a hidden agenda here?


Freedom of Speech would like to say: After reviewing the list of Plaintiffs, that a majority of the Plaintiffs are already well represented. If 10 of these Plaintiffs are in the 3rd District, then their Councilman is representing 5,897 people.

After Redistricting, each district must contain over 6,000 people.

Is it true that at the time the lawsuit was filed that Jeff Gillenwater had cancelled his voters registration? Where was that voter registration moved to?

Is it true Plaintiff/Candidate John Gonder wants to withdraw from the lawsuit? Will his mother and his wife also withdraw?

How many other Plaintiffs have requested to withdraw from the lawsuit?

We need to ask Democrat Chairman Randy Stumler to check with the State Election Board if it is legal for a candidate to be on the ballot if he is in the process of suing the City of New Albany?

Freedom of Speech would like to ask the Plaintiffs, why have the Plaintiff's not brought in their suggested redistricting plan to the Council?

What are you hiding?

OK - Boy's, get your home work done. Lay your plan on the table. The census numbers to be used are well known.

News Flash for our readers:

Mr. Kojak...Is Scott Wood of Redevelopment really helping your committee put a Redistricting Plan together?

Gotcha'! Say it isn't so Kojak...We bet you surely didn't want that information out did you?

"See ya' at the Hitching Post, Kojak! NOT!

"So I will say it with relish. Give me a "Hitching Post hamburger" but hold the Lawsuit."

footnote: We hope in the future some Plaintiff's decide to publish the real drafts of Freedom of Speech. It will take more than that to shut us ALL up!

"Your just Minor League players up against a Major League Team!"

Saturday, September 22, 2007


The November date that Kochert has made a redistricting issue did not come from the plaintiffs. I attended the meeting with the federal magistrate, along with Randy Smith, Larry Kochert, and our respective counsel. It was Kochert himself who objected to our proposal to set a redistricting deadline in the middle of next year and inserted the November 2007 date into the negotiated agreement. Neither the magistrate nor the plaintiffs suggested it. The plaintiffs agreed to that date solely based on Kocherts assurance, written into the negotiated proposal, that all discussions between council members concerning redistricting would occur only in public meetings with proper notice. The only sticking point left was the attorney's fees, which our attorney graciously allowed us to cut in an effort to save time, money and further argument.

Kochert noted at the time that he wasn't authorized to obligate the council to even the reduced attorney's fees without a proper council appropriation. He promised to bring that appropriation to a vote at the council's next public meeting and report back to the magistrate and plaintiffs on the results of that vote immediately following. That didn't occur, nor did any communication from Kochert concerning settlement.

Since that time, the Council has continued to discuss redistricting in private in lieu of responding to the settlement proposal. Again, the plaintiffs offered to settle weeks ago and the council did not respond to that offer. Why Kochert has chosen to emphasize his own arbitrarily imposed date as it it's a court order while ignoring the public access portion of the agreement, which the council has clearly violated, is a question that should be directed to him. There is no court order currently directing the council to do anything, although, as mentioned, the magistrate was expecting a response from the council concerning the proposed settlement immediately after the last council meeting. He never received it. If I am not mistaken, a court order would be a matter of public record. It's only a matter of time before Kochert's erroneous assertion is exposed. The results of the council both not responding to the negotiated settlement offer and not honoring the content of that offer, though, is that the agreement in principle is a moot point and the plaintiffs have to assume that the council (or at least its president) has decided to go to trial. As that's the case, we must prepare accordingly.

Some costs have already been incurred solely because the council(s) refused to address the redistricting issue in a timely manner. It's been roughly five years since the previous council chose not to comply with the original state mandated deadline and more than three since this council, including several members from the previous iteration who were well aware of having missed the deadline, took office. It's been more than a full year since the suit was filed.

Further, the magistrate made clear to everyone at the meeting that a federal judge would expect depositions from government officials who oversee elections, both current and former council members, and expect census and/or demographic testimony from both sides in order to properly decide the case, all of which is expensive. If the preparation expenses, not the actual time spent in court, that create the lion's share of the financial burden. He also specifically pointed out to Kochert that, even if redistricting occurs prior to the December 3 trial date, the council would still be responsible for bearing the cost of trial preparation for both sides up to that point, as that preparation would have to start long before, possibly as early as next week. State law precludes the council from redistricting prior to the upcoming election and redistricting immediately after the election saves almost no money, as most of the trial preparation expenses would have already been incurred. The longer Kochert or other council members delay settlement, the more expensive it becomes for taxpayers, who will ultimately be asked to foot the bill for the council to prepare for and try a lawsuit, the facts of which the Council doesn't even dispute. Kochert confirmed at the magistrate meeting that the council does not dispute the facts presented in the lawsuit--that a timely redistricting did not occur and the districts are unequal. I don't understand why Kochert seems to think that delaying the settlement process or rushing through a redistricting process will serve the public or save money.

The only reason the suit was filed in the first place is to ensure that redistricting occurs in a fair manner with public oversight. If enough council members are interested in that as well, we have good reason to talk in an attempt to reach settlement, which the plaintiffs have and offer to do. That talk has to occur very soon, however, in order to avoid the expense of trial preparation previously mentioned. Continuing to ignore our offer to settle and continuing with the current, still substantially unequal redistricting plan will be a clear sign the council intends to go to trial and expenses will start to mount. None of the plaintiffs and I doubt most of the defendants want to unnecessarily spend a significant amount of time and money on legal proceedings.

But, allow me to be blunt. Council President Kochert's bad faith bargaining thus far has created a strong impression that the council has no intention of committing to a fair and legal redistricting process. If Kochert won't play by the rules to which he agreed and other council members won't hold him accountable if he doesn't, the plaintiffs have no real choice but to demand a framework of additional oversight to ensure that the public good is served.

In Saturday's Tribune, Kochert accused the plaintiffs in this case of being political "wannabes" while referencing the very same election law that he's knowingly broken for five straight years as justification. That reveals more about the nature of this case than any other response I could muster.

Again, if the council wishes, as we do, to avoid the unnecessary time and expense of the trial preparations currently beginning, we need to talk very soon.

Jeff Gillenwater

Freedom of Speech would like to ask: What about the legal requirement for the City Council to have a unanimous vote of approval to amend the agenda before adding an unlisted item to the agenda and taking a vote?

Councilman Messer, is your committee legal according to New Albany Code?

New Albany Code 20.23 (e) (9)

9. a motion to "suspend the rules" is a privileged question, is debatable, a two-thirds vote of all elected members, "AFTER UNANIMOUS CONSENT" of the members present to consider the ordinance, is required to pass an ordinance of the legislative body on the same day or at the same meeting at which it is introduced.

Again, the "wannabe's agenda" is purely about a $$$$$$ settlement!

Friday, September 21, 2007


How long does it take to count $9,553.00 in one dollar bills? Well just ask the New Albany's Treasurer's office employees. A long line was formed outside the treasurers office when an outraged taxpayer presented his payment yesterday of $9,553.00 in one dollar bills.

Taxpayer stated it took me a year to earn this money let's see how long it takes you to count it! 3 hours and 15 minutes later John Q Public was handed his receipt.

Source: Treasurer Darlene McCoy

Freedom of Speech would like to thank the McCoy gang for pitching in and getting the job done. As far as John Q Public goes, excellent job of showing the enormity of the average homeowner's tax bill outrage.

This is a fine example of property taxes gone wild!

The voices of the outrage taxpayers will only get louder after the discussion at last nights council meeting. Our Mayor asked the council not to approve an ordinance regarding downtown TIF Funds.

This TIF money that it owes to the EDIT Fund for Bond payments that our city EDIT was used to pay off the Parking Garage Bonds in the amount of about $3.5 million.

If that $3.5 million was returned to the EDIT Fund, then the EDIT Fund could pay for projects and save money in the general fund to lower our property taxes.

This is a fine example of special interest vs. citizens needs!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


Who should be Sued?

Warning local Blog is F.O.S. and we don't mean Freedom of Speech!


Freedom of Speech would like to say: Several citizens of Freedom of Speech attended the Council meeting on November 4th and November 22 of 2002. Not one of the Plaintiffs were present at either meeting in regard to "redistricting." It is our opinion if the City of New Albany had a stronger attorney, they could shoot holes in this lawsuit like a piece of cheap "swiss cheese." We also believe some of the Plaintiffs had personal agendas to disrupt the 2007 Primary Election in filing this lawsuit. If the Plaintiffs really gave a DAMN about their so called 14th Amendment Rights & Redistricting, then why did they not file suit in 2002?

Why we ask?

It's very simple, several of the Plaintiffs are using our U.S. Constitution as a personal vendetta against several of our Councilmen. They have border line attacked them orally, and in writing. Plaintiffs have attacked families, ... and have been thrown out of Council meetings.

If the Plaintiffs really gave a DAMN about "We the people..." [meaning all citizens of New Albany] they would have appeared before our Council members and brought this issue up. Instead, they hid behind our Constitution at the expense of us taxpayers. It is Plaintiffs like some of you that abuse our Constitution and give attorney's a bad rap.

Yes, you have a right to sue. Yes, you will have the redistricting done but, Plaintiffs you WILL NOT get it done the way YOU WANT it done to benefit your future political agendas and promote your business interests.

And you sir,...Randy Smith, have had your underwear in a wad since you got beat as precinct committee person. One minute you state you want the council to redistrict, then the next minute you state: "There is no sense in rushing into this, and we are going to trial." What happen to "all parties have an agreement in principle"? Plaintiffs say that if they don't like what the council approves, they would still like to see a Dec. 3 trial commence. Are you really upset over the redistricting map or who you think worked on it?

You quote statutes, but what about Indiana statue that states it is the Council that draws the boundaries not private citizens?

You can't bend the law to promote any one of your Plaintiffs agendas.

The City of New Albany is not an Atheist nor Communist City. (atheist: One who disbelieves the existence of God)

Source: Webster Dictionary~2007

Here are the many facts and questions to all the Plaintiffs:

Statement To Clarify

1. IC 36-4-6-3 (b) (4) states: "contain as nearly as possible, equal population." The term "voter registration" is not used in the IC requirements for City Council Districts.

2. There has been public discussion of the numbers being used for the redistricting plan. Some of the numbers being discussed are not correct. In November of 2002, Councilman Goldberg introduced G-02-14 for Council to adopt a proposed redistricting plan. The numbers listed in G-02-14 are not the same numbers in the redistricting plan now being reviewed and considered by the City Council.

3. In these public discussions, Precinct 18 is said to be moved out of District 2 and placed in District 1. This public discussion does not contain the correct numbers or facts! Precinct 18 remains in District 2 in the current proposed redistricting plan.


Wasn't the 14th Amendment of the Constitution ratified before November of 2002?

We feel the public is being mislead by some of these Plaintiffs.

So let's look at this lawsuit Complaint!




Come now the Plaintiffs, named above, by their counsel, and for their complaint against the Defendants, named above, respectfully allege as follows:

1. The Plaintiffs are lawful permanent residents of the City of New Albany, Indiana and are registered voters thereof.

2. The Defendant, CIVIL CITY OF NEW ALBANY, INDIANA, IS A political subdivision of the State of Indiana.

3. The CITY COUNCIL for the CITY OF NEW ALBANY, INDIANA is the designated legislative body of the City and the individual Defendants are the duly elected representative from the First Legislative District; Defendant, BILL SCHMIDT is the duly elected member of the CITY COUNCIL from the Second District; Defendant STEVE PRICE, is the duly elected member from the Third District; that the Defendant, LARRY KOCHERT, is the duly elected member of the Fourth District; that the Defendant, BEVERLY CRUMP, is the duly elected member of the Fifth Legislative District; Defendant, JEFF GAHAN, is the duly elected member of the Sixth Legislative District; and that Defendants, DONNIE BLEVINS, JACK MESSER, and MARK SEABROOK, are the duly elected members of the City Council from the three at-large districts.

4. That this Court has subject matter jurisdiction over this matter pursuant to 28 U.S.C. Section 1331 and 42 U.S.C. Section 1983 in that this is a civil action arising under the Constitution of the United States, made applicable to the States and their political subdivisions by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment, alleging a denial of equal representation and the fundamental right of every citizen to have his or her vote weighted equally with those of all other citizens.

5. That at all times pertinent to this complaint, the State of Indiana maintained a law set out at Indiana Code 36-4-6-3(b) which provides in part as follows:

The legislative body shall adopt an ordinance to divide the City into six (6) districts that:

1. Are composed of continuous territory, except for territory that is not continuous to any other part of the City.

2. Are reasonably compact;

3. Do not cross precinct boundary lines, except as provided in Subsection (c) or (d); and

4. Contain, as nearly as is possible, equal population.

Further that statute provides as follows:

I.C. 36-4-6-3(g) the division under Subsection (b) shall be made in 2002, every ten years after that, and when required to assign annexed territory to a district.

6. That according to the United States Census, conducted during the year 2000, the City Council Districts are now grossly malapportioned. According to the data maintained at the Office of the Floyd County Clerk, the Districts had the following number of registered voters in the year 2002:

First District - 3,993
Second District - 7,481
Third District - 4,572
Fourth District - 4,293
Fifth District - 4,230
Sixth District - 5,030

Total Registered Voters - 29,599

7. That if the precincts of the City of New Albany were equally divided into six districts, each district would have Four Thousand Nine Hundred Thirty-three (4,933) registered voters.

8. Despite the mandate of Indiana Law set out in I.C. 36-4-6-3(g) the City Council of the City has failed, through inertia, lack of will, or the distraction of political infighting, to redraw and divide the City precincts into council manic districts that "contain, as nearly as is possible, equal population".

9. As a result of the City Council's failure to make the division required by the Indiana Law, the rights of the Plaintiffs and all citizens of New Albany under the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution to have their votes weighted equally with those of other citizens in the election of members of the Council have been and will continue to be abridged unless this Court grants them a revenue.

10. That the City of New Albany, Indiana proposes to conduct an election for the City Council was the primary to be held in May 2007 and the general election in November 2007; further candidates for the City Council must file their declarations of candidacy no later than Seventy-four (74) days before the primary election and not sooner than One Hundred and Four (104) days before the primary election.

11. That the Plaintiffs and all other citizens and registered voters of the City of New Albany will suffer irreparable and UN-Constitutional delusion of their votes in the 2007 election unless this Court compels the division of the city precincts into six (6) more or less equal council manic districts.

WHEREFORE, the Plaintiff's pray as follows:

1. To enter a judgement declaring the current council manic districts to be malapportioned and thus a denial of the equal protections of the Plaintiff's Fourteenth Amendment rights.

2. To appoint a Special Commission consisting of Five (5) apolitical citizens of New Albany to study a division of the City into more or less equal council manic districts in keeping with the requirements of Indiana Code 36-4-6-3(b) and to make proposals to the Court for such a division.

3. For the Court to receive and examine the proposals of the Special Commission and conduct a hearing on the same with notice to all parties and ultimately to enter an Order dividing the City's precincts as required by State Law.

4. To award Plaintiff's their reasonable attorneys fees and costs herein pursuant to 42U.S.C. 1988.

5. To grant the Plaintiffs any and other further relief as may be called for in the premises.



Attorney for Plaintiffs

Source: United States District Court


Freedom of Speech will present the facts:

2002 Council Members:

Councilman Coffey, Goldberg, Kochert, Bliss, Gibbons, Niemier, Pearcy, Garner, and Council President Bill Schmidt. LSO: Mike Summers Council Attorney, and Keith Henderson City Attorney.



1 ..........................1158
3 ...........................1407
5 ...........................1049
6 .............................924
7 .............................383
8 ............................1114
9 ..............................951
10 ..........................1278
11 ..........................1020
12 ...........................912
13 ...........................982
14 ...........................1175
15 ...........................468
15A ......................1168
16 .........................1184
17 .........................1058
18 .........................1209
19 .........................1406
19A ......................1380
19B ......................1625
20 ........................1137
21 ........................2275
22 ........................1102
23 ........................1498
24 ........................1145
25 ........................1008
26 ........................1326
27 ........................1303
28 .......................1260
28A ....................1167
29 ......................1458
29A .....................397

Total: 38,421

Source: 2002 Indiana Census Count furnished by Clerks Office

Total Registered Voters: 29,599 VS Total Census: 38,421


Freedom of Speech would like to point out that Indiana Code states POPULATION not REGISTERED Voters.


Voting Districts


IC 36-4-6-3 (b)
The legislative body shall adopt an ordinance to divide the city into six (6) districts.

IC 36-4-6-3 (g)
The divisions under subsection (b) shall be made in 2002, and every ten years after that.


On November 4, 2002, an Ordinance to redistrict was placed on the City Council agenda for a vote.

November 4, 2002 - Council Minutes


"Councilman Goldberg introduced Bill G-02-14 for the 1st reading and the motions was seconded by Councilman Coffey. A discussion ensured about the changes being requested-and shouldn't there have been a committee formed to discuss these changes?

President Schmidt assigned Councilmen Goldberg, Pearcy and Councilmen Garner to further investigate the redistricting.

The Clerk read Bill G-02-14 in its entirety and read the roll call of membership for the first reading.

The vote for the first reading was Ayes 7 and Nays 2

"Councilman Pearcy and Councilman Garner voted Nay."

Source: Common Council Minutes Nov. 4, 2002



Councilman Goldberg introduced Bill G-02-14 for the 2nd & 3rd readings.
Councilman Pearcy suggested that this item needs further examination. Mr. Pearcy ask City Attorney Keith Henderson for his opinion. Mr. Henderson responded that the statute is clear: The redistricting process should have been completed by November 8. He advises against proceeding. Stan Robinson concurred with Mr. Henderson's opinion and the November 8 date.

Councilman Goldberg withdrew the bill from the table.

Source: Common Council Minutes Nov. 21, 2002


Freedom of Speech would like to ask the following QUESTIONS:

* Why didn't these Plaintiffs of this lawsuit appear at the 2002 Council meeting with those concerns then ~ instead of filing a lawsuit about 4 years later after the fact?

* Why didn't these Plaintiffs file suit against the following 2002 Council, Council Attorney and City Attorney listed below:

City Attorney Keith Henderson
City Council Atty. Stan Robinson - Atty. Mike Summers
Council President Bill Schmidt
Councilman James Garner
Councilman Goldberg
Councilman Pearcy
Councilman Coffey
Councilman Kochert
Councilman Bliss
Councilman Gibbons
Councilman Niemier

* Why didn't these Plaintiffs during January 2004 to April 2006 approach the current Council 1st before filing this lawsuit?

* Why do these so-called committee of 5 think their time is worth $50.00 per person - per day?

* Why didn't these Plaintiffs file suit against Mayor James Garner?

* The ordinance to redistrict was voted on for first reading and was approved on November 4, 2002 which was prior to the November 8th date being discussed. Did City Attorney Henderson and Attorney Stan Robinson produce the documents to verify the necessary November deadline to the City Council?

* Why didn't Councilman Goldberg table the ordinance in order to continue the discussion?

* Why did Councilman Goldberg pull the ordinance to redistrict off the table and, thus kill the ordinance?

* Why did Councilman James Garner vote NO on the first reading on the Ordinance to redistrict council districts?


No. 4 of the Complaint states: To award Plaintiff's their reasonable attorneys fees and cost herein pursuant to 42U.S.C. 1988.

One Plaintiff states on his blog Aug. 1, 2007 and we quote: Stephen Beardsley is not presenting a bill for his services but is accepting donations.

"It should be obvious by now that not all local bloggers have, shall we tactfully say, the same honorable standards for differentiation when it comes to fact and fiction."

Source: Plaintiff

Is this the pot calling the kettle black?

Why didn't these Plaintiffs:

* Bring up the Redistricting issue in October 2002 and attended the November 2002 Council meeting and filed a lawsuit at the time (November 2002) IF their 14th Amendments rights were being violated "then", under the U.S. Constitution.

* Ask City Attorney Henderson in 2002 why he adviced the Council to drop Redistricting?


Your right...Council President Kochert "They're WANNABES,"

Source: The Evening News & The Tribune ~ August 15, 2007

On the count of 3 let's all scream: "You've violated our 14th Amendment Rights!"

call 1-800 A lawyer...

"If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they do not want to hear."

~Eric Arthur Blair

Friday, September 14, 2007


2008 D.R.O.P. - BENEFITS

Police Chief Merle Harl
1925 Fund
Retirement Date: 1-1-2008

Mike Mills
1925 Fund
Retirement Date: 1-1-2008

Joe Lewis
1925 Fund
Retirement Date: 1-1-2008

Terry Griffey
1977 Fund (Converter)
Retirement Date: 1-1-2008

Dow O'Neal
1977 Fund (Converter)
Retirement Date: 1-1-2008

Howard Offutt
1977 Fund (Converter)
Retirement Date: 1-1-2008

Danny McMahel
1977 Fund (Converter)
Retirement Date: 1-1-2008

Russell Witt
1977 Fund (Converter)
Retirement Date: 1-1-2008

Total $875,525.40

Freedom of Speech would like to know how the City can continue to pay for this D.R.O.P. Program. Taxpayers will not allow our "property taxes" to be raised to support this program.

Our Council needs to pay for this program with Riverboat, Rainy Day Fund or EDIT money. The bottom line it's up to our Council how this program is funded!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


Newspapers often report on local government audits as well as bringing misdeeds into the open with investigative reporting, but not in New Albany.

New Albany's newspaper never much documents lack of oversight, and lack of accountability in the City of New Albany!


The total picture should be alarming to property owners.


Councilman Steve Price defeated Resolution R-07-31 by tabling it . Was this resolution, so adamantly approved of by Council President Kochert a set up on Councilman Price to introduce a bill to raise our "property taxes" AGAIN, by trying to force him to introduce it? If it was so important to Councilman Kochert then why didn't he introduce the resolution or have Councilman Messer or Councilman Zurschmiede introduce it?

The Resolution R-07-31 reads:

WHEREAS, a procedure and formula is available for cities and towns to partially fund their 2008 anticipated DROP payment, and

WHEREAS, the 2008 anticipated DROP payments from New Albany's fire and police pension funds total $1,776,000 and

WHEREAS, implementing the formula put forth by the State of Indiana the City of New Albany would obtain relief in the amount of $461,760 by requesting an increase in it's 2008 maximum levy.

The administration wanted to cover the underfunded pension by pledging our property taxes, adding insult to injury after a statewide recent 24% increase in property taxes!

Underfunded pension issues are a statewide problem and legislation is already in place for the state to take over and relieve the burden of these underfunded pensions from the cities within the next two years. This is why it is imperative that we find other ways to pay the difference out of Rainy Day Funds, Riverboat Funds or Hey! maybe even cut the budget!

Rather than raise our property taxes, we need to find another way, because as you and I know, property tax reductions are as rare a thing as getting the truth from this adminstration. These clowns have already wasted so much of our tax dollars, as we can see in the condition of our streets, our sewers in disrepair, millions in EPA fines, unsafe housing around every corner and NO ACCOUNTABILITY!

Kay you just don't get it!

Each year the state allows small growth of the property tax levy to be collected and paid by us taxpayers. The term increase in maximum levy will mean more property tax to be collected to cover your request. Which means our property taxes would go up!

Freedom of Speech would like to ask Controller Garry why did you mislead Councilman Price and tell him R-07-31 would not raise property taxes?

What ever happen to honesty in local government?

Freedom of Speech believe's that all this adminstration does is say "What the hell, it's just taxpayers money - stick it to 'em..."

On Monday, back in your office Kay, are you going to pull some tricks out of your bag for funding Resolution R-07-31?

And one final thought. Your right Valla Ann, it would be an insult to the taxpayers!

Another SCAM Foiled...

"Common sense is the knack of seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be done."

Thursday, September 06, 2007


Sheriff and Mrs. Darrell Mills
Mr. and Mrs. Nicholas Stein
Dr. and Mrs. Timothy Schmitt

Cordially invite you to attend
Fundraising reception for

Doug England for Mayor

To be held at the Woods of Lafayette Clubhouse
Floyds Knobs, Indiana

Wednesday, September 12, 2007
5:00 to 7:00 P.M.

Light Hors d'Oeuvres and Refreshments

$100 Suggested donation
R.S.V.P. 812/542-0275

Paid for and authorized by England for Mayor Committee, Ron Carroll, Treasurer P.O. Box 691, 151 W. Main Street, New Albany, In. 47150

Freedom of Speech would like to say:

First time shame on you,
Second time shame on me...

Thanks...but NO thanks!

Paid for and authorized by "Not buying" England for Mayor has changed ~Bull Shit, New Albany's Little People, Treasurer 311 Hauss Square, New Albany, In. 47150

Tuesday, September 04, 2007


Injunction: (Law) A court order prohibiting a party from a specific course of action.
Source: Law library

Memo to: New Albany Drainage Employees
From: Brian Dixon, EMC
Date: August 13, 2007
Subject: Employee Positions at the Drainage Department

On July 15th, 2007 the New Albany Drainage Board Contracted with EMC to operate and manage the drainage department for the City of New Albany (City). Their decision included all employees working in the drainage department to become EMC employees.EMC'S contract provides for EMC'S to use EMC employees to complete the drainage work necessary to keep the City in compliance with the current NPDEW Storm Water permit.

EMC'S contract with the drainage board states all current employees working for the drainage department in the City of New Albany will be offered a similar position with EMC, provided said employee can pass a physical examination, drug screen test and obtain a commercial drivers license (CDL). Employees not required to work in the field will not be required to obtain CDL.

This letter is your official notice that EMC will entertain the possibility of hiring you. Employees not wishing to become EMC employees will be allowed to return to the New Albany Street Department. If you wish to become an EMC employee please sign and date this notice at the bottom of the page. Please sign the bottom of this note by 2:00 pm. Friday. August 17, 2007. Failure to sign this notice is notification that you do not wish to become an EMC employee.

If you have any questions, concerns, or comments about the comments of this letter please contact Brian Dixon at 948-5320.

I do wish to attempt to qualify for employment with EMC as evidenced with my signature below:

Printed Name



Source: Freedom of Speech will never tell!

Floyd County court extends contract embargo

Floyd Circuit Court Judge Terrance Cody granted a local union's motion to extend by a month an injunction preventing the city from turning over stormwater drainage maintenance to a private contractor, Environmental Management Corp.

Since notice was given Thursday, the embargo extends to Sept. 6, 2007

Source: New Albany Tribune August 10, 2007

Freedom of Speech would like to ask:

Is EMC in violation of Judge Cody's Injunction?

Can EMC approach the city employees while this matter is in the hands of the court?

If the Stormwater Board turned in their resignation, how could they vote on continuing Attorney Mike Summers contract after December 2007?

Why doesn't the City just wait for the court to issue a decision on the bidding requirements?

If Shane Gibson is the City Attorney, Greg Fifer is the Sewer Board Attorney, and Mike Summers is the Stormwater Attorney, should they be fighting us taxpayers when we pay their salaries?

Now that's what we call a real - Conflict of Taxpayer's Interest!!!!!!

Again Jimmy...what do you have to hide?