Sunday, March 29, 2009



This agreement for Services (this "Agreement) is made and entered this 1st day of January, 2009, by and between Shane L. Gibson d/b/a/ Gibson Law Office, LLC (the "Gibson"), and the City of New Albany (hereafter referred to as "City"). Gibson and City agree as follows:

1. Gibson is an independent contractor for the City and shall be paid $12,500.00 per month.

2. Gibson shall be the head of the Legal Department.

3. Gibson has agreed to not take on additional clients in his private practice in order to devote his ultimate time to the City.

4. Gibson shall be responsible for all his federal and state taxes. The City is not responsible for any obligations with respect to taxes for Gibson (i.e. employer contributions) since Gibson is an independent contractor.

5. Gibson shall be responsible for any retirement of his choosing. City shall not be participating and/or making payments to PERF on behalf of Gibson.

6. City shall provide Gibson with a 1099 for tax purposes.

7. City shall provide Gibson space for an office and the use of the City Attorney's budget for costs associated with the City Legal Department and it's operations.

8. City shall provide Gibson an administrative assistant to assist in the duties relating to the legal Department.

9. City shall pay and/or provide for professional liability insurance for Gibson. Gibson shall pay all other costs associated with maintaining his attorney license.

10. Gibson shall pay for all continuing education requirements which are not directly related to Municipal Government and its operations.

11. Gibson and/or his family shall participate in the health insurance and other insurance policies and plans offered by the city.

12. Gibson's duties and responsibilities shall include, but not limited to, attendance at respective board meetings for the City Departments, City Council meetings, research legal issues and render legal opinions, and draft legal documents, enforce ticket and ordinance violations.

13. Gibson shall be available during normal business hours for work related to the City.

14. This contract shall terminate at the will of either party upon notice of two (2) months.

Date: January 1, 2009 - Douglas B. England, Sr. Mayor City of New Albany
Date: January 1, 2009 - Shane L. Gibson, Attorney

Freedom of Speech would like to say:

* Our calculator shows: 12 months X $12,500 = $150,000 annual cost to us taxpayers, not counting insurance benefits, an office and cost of an administrative assistant.

* Was this contract advertised to take bids?

* Will Mr. Gibson also receive commission on bonds or the refinancing of bonds by the City of New Albany?

* In our opinion, the truth of this whole sorry ass agreement should be: that until everyone sees England for what he is, inept, arrogant, and a danger in any position of power...

Let your council members know what you think, "it's your money!"

Contact information for:

City Council President
Dan Coffey
Home: (812) 949-1262
Cell: 502-797-8347

Diane Benedetti
Home: (812) 945-6240
Cell: 989-7179

Jeff Gahan
Home: (812) 949-9314
Cell: 987-3262

Patrick (Pat) McLaughlin
Home: (812) 949-9140
Cell: 987-5218 or 421-3257

John Gonder
Home: (812) 944-3121
Cell: 502-500-3333

Jack Messer
Home: (812) 949-9638
Cell: 727-6809

Steve Price
Home: (812) 941-9032

Robert (Bob) Caesar
Home: (812) 945-8744
Work: (812) 944-3133

Kevin Zurschmiede
Home: (812) 945-7827
Cell: 664-9181

Our final thoughts.

To our City Council members:

You each took an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States, the laws of Indiana, Charter of the City of New Albany, and to represent us taxpayers. It is NOW time for YOU 9 members to stand up and DO the job we PAY you to do!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Mark to market rules requires firms to account for the price that individuals in the market are willing to pay for a given asset. In other words, if you own a car that Blue Book [which averages willingness to pay for car buyers] says is worth $10,000, you are required to list that asset as $10,000 on your balance sheet. You cannot claim, for example, that the car is worth $200,000 today because someday it might be worth the amount in the future.

The rule prevents the over-valuation of assets, and gives investors a clear view of the value of the firm as if the market were to value firm assets today.

The idea that removing " mark to market" rules will somehow do away with our current problem is fundamentally wrong.

The underlying assets, [i.e., the mortgages] are simply not worth what the banks thought they were worth.

This came about from a breakdown of sound business protocols in terms of assessing both value and risk on the part of several market players--loan originators, debtors, bundled loan buyers, and rating agencies.

First, anyone who believes that a house selling for $200,000 in January is suddenly worth $300,000 in June is a fool.

Banks who gave loans of $300,000 for such properties were just plain dumb.

Secondly, anyone who took out a loan for $300,000 on a house that had been sold for $200,000 a few months before is a fool.

Opponents of mark-to-market argue that the "true value" [what ever that is] of the assets are not being "properly" assessed at this moment in time, and so we should allow firms to make up a "better" price for these assets.
Did the stock price drop following the Sept. 11 attacks in NYC really reflect the true value of the firms pulled down by the reactions?

Of course not, and those with the calmness of mind and the strength of pocketbook at the moment in time made out like bandits when the market subsequently rebounded.

The same thing happened when the Dow fell 770 points after the failure of the House to pass the Paulson bailout bill, then rebounded 485 points the day afterward.

The problem, or course, is that no one knows what the value of these mortgage-backed assets in the future will be. We rely on the pricing mechanism to discover this, and there is no way of knowing how the market might price these assets in the future.

The economy can only work out this situation in one of two ways--it can have a massive deflation of asset values [which is what is happening now, and is what smothered the Japanese economy for over a decade] or it can have massive inflation in wages to bring wages into line with these overvalued assets.

Anyone who believes that the aforementioned house will go back up in value to $300,000 is selling something--most probably a mortgage-backed security.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


"REVOLT AT THE STATEHOUSE" to be held on Wednesday, March 25, 2009, from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the North Atrium.

Now more than ever,
Hoosiers need each other.

Dear New Albany Taxpayers:

The state of our country, state and city is in CRISIS!

The focus of the "Revolt" is the anger the average citizen has with government at all levels which has been captured by big money interests and does not listen to ordinary citizens.

People are angry as they see their hard-earned money being taken to give out to failing companies, like AIG and others.

"In Indianapolis, leadership of both the Republican and Democratic Parties is deeply involved in a corporate welfare culture that silences even the most well-meaning party member who dare speak out for the interest of the taxpayers."

Citizens are fed up with the back door deals and lack of transparency in how government operates.

"The Revolt will include a call for ethics reform, including conflicts of interest, many of these politicians have need to be exposed and ended.

We should not have our elected officials using their positions to make themselves and their friends richer at the expense of taxpayers."

Come join your fellow Hoosiers for the Revolt at the Statehouse!

Bring your families and share with them, history in the making.

You've relied upon this blog and others, for updates on the property tax crisis. As you read this, be assured that friends in the legislature have made it perfectly clear, that, public presence on Wednesday will make all the difference, and bolster the confidence of legislators to do what is right...

For better or worse, history is made by those who are present!

One group that's been missing from the public debate and therefore consideration, isn't a lobby or special interest group. It's a "general interest group" of citizens, who call themselves Hoosiers, who have been missing for far too long.

This is one of "those moments" in history, a designational crossroads that will be viewed retrospectively; from either a vibrant altitude of possibility, or a condescend platitude of the status quo "can't do attitude."

That very decision, concerning the destination of our country, state, and city.

Real people are being oppressed by our government and powerful people are standing in the way of immediate relief and permanent reform.

Our friends in the legislature tell us that public presence makes a big difference. Shining the spotlight on the legislature frightens the crooks into honesty, persuades those who are wavering, and gives courage to our friends.

We need to fill the inside of the Indiana State House so that our legislators have to go through a crowd to get to the House chambers.

We're all busy making a living...Right?

We know ~ we all are!


"Too busy" is not a good answer to an emergency call, when you're imperiled and need someone to respond.


As you consider this request, hear that person's voice of reason and recognition, who has always been able to rally "your conscience" when it's important for you to be there.

Make no mistake about it, the time is now for you and all of us to be there.

Freedom Of Speech again has organized another large group of New Albany taxpayers to make the trip. Come join all of us this Wednesday March 25, 2009 in Indianapolis and show yourselves to be the "little people" they've forgotten.

New Albany Taxpayers!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Hoosiers are tired of working hard for their families only to see politicians with the same failed answers of more spending, more government, and more debt.

We must not tolerate it any longer!

On March 25th, join us in Indianapolis and declare "NO MORE!"

Are you fed up with LOCAL government?

Then take it back!

We, the People own our government.

On March 25, WE, are going to have a talk with OUR wayward public servants!

Revolt At The State House

Where: Inside The Indiana State House

Date: March 25, 2009

Time: 11:30 am

Are you Republican, Democrat, Independent or Libertarian?

Bring your signs, and we will let them know "We are mad as hell, and were NOT going to take it anymore!"

In case you were wondering, the line-up of speakers for the March 25th "Revolt at the Statehouse."

Speakers and Topics:

"Increasing Debt: Mortgaging our Childrens Future"
* Lisa Kelly, former Libertarian candidate for Lt. Governor

"The Colts, Pacers, and the Capital Improvement Board"
* Gary Welch, Attorney at Law and Publisher of Advance Indiana Blog

"Government Grants & Public Corruption"
* Rev. Solomon local political activist

"Property Taxes: How our Property Taxes are sold for Votes"
* Vicki Denhart, President, Citizens for Accountability, and taxpayer activist in New Albany, Indiana

"Pay to Play Politics"
* Mark Small, Author and Attorney at Law

"Transparency and Accountability in Government"
* Diane Vice, Lafayette-area, house wife and publisher of Welcome to My Tea Party

"Lobbying and Ethics Reform"
* Julia Vaughn, Common Cause

Topic TBA
* Jim Premeske, Team Hammond Taxpayers Group

"Conflict of Interest in Government"
* Chris Hiatt, Delaware County Taxpayer Association

"A Call to Action"
* Paul Ogden, Attorney at Law, and publisher of Ogden on Politics Blog

"How to Get Involved & Make a Difference"
* Melyssa Donaghy, publisher of Hoosiers for Fair Taxation Blog

" Run Over By the Speedway Redevelopment Commission"
* Jo Ellen Dotlich, SPEED

Government corruption is so broad that it does not give us the luxury of focusing on just one point.

The theme of the Revolt is Transparency. With transparency, and the ENFORCEMENT of transparency, many of our problems would disappear.

But you know those cockroaches running our government don't like the light of day!

As promised the Revolt At The Statehouse will shock you with our experts knowledge of corporate welfare, greed, immorality, cronyism, and lack of transparency within Indiana government.

The immorality of our state and local governments will be called out in public by statewide activist in the very house where The People's business is done!

As you consider this request to attend the "Revolt At The State House" , hear that person's voice of reason and recognition, who has always been able to rally "your conscience" when it's important for you to be there.

Make NO mistake about it, the time is NOW for YOU and ALL of US to be there!

Freedom Of Speech again has organized another large group of New Albany taxpayers to make the trip. Come join all of us next Wednesday March 25, 2009 in Indianapolis and show yourselves to be the "little people" they've forgotten...

Saturday, March 21, 2009


Here we go again!

House Financial Service Committee Chairman Barney Frank demanded that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac cancel retension payments being paid to thousands of employees, but the federal regulator that authorized the payments is refusing to comply.

In an email to Chairman Frank, Lockhart said that Fannie Mae has offered 5,000 employees retension payments averaging $21,000, and that Freddie Mac has offered 4,000 employees retension payments averaging $19,000.

Fannie Mae also plans to pay retension bonus of at least $1 million to four key executives as part of it's plan:

* Michael Williams, Washington based Fannie Mae's executive vice president and chief operating officer: $1.2 million

* David Hisey, the deputy chief financial officer: $1.2 million

* The other two executives receiving the bonus are Thomas Lund, who oversees the company's single-family mortgage business and Kenneth Bacon, who heads up housing and community development. Both are receiving about $1 million.

Lockhart also wrote. "In this uncertain compensation environment, it is very difficult to hire people to fill vacancies of which there are a larger number of senior ones at both companies, including the CEO, COO and CFO positions at Freddie Mac."

Source: Alan Zibel AP Writer

Completely amazing...the belief that individuals, who work for a company that is in directly responsible for millions of people losing their homes, 401k, and /or jobs, are entitled to demand bonuses to fix a gigantic economic meltdown that their company helped create.

Just how will they be derailed if they don't get bonuses?

Just another idle threat by these greedy ba$tards running the show and screwing the American taxpayers out of every dime they can.

We are sick and tired of hearing about "justified" greed!

We believe this is simply further proof that NOBODY in the industry wants to take any degree of responsibility for creating this meltdown without somehow receiving a bonus on top of still being allowed to keep their job.

We have but one question for all of the financially righteous idiots of American:

If all of your employees are such exemplary, intelligent, hard working, and morally above reproach, then why didn't at least ONE of them come forward to warn America of your utter incompetence and the coming financial meltdown?


We received an email from our Constitutional Lawyer [friends] in Washington DC:

Nancy Pelosi should have read the:

Constitution of the United States, specifically, Article 1 section 9," No Bill of Attainder or ex post facto Law shall be passed."

More smoke and mirrors from "Mrs. Pelosi" in Washington!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Our government should withdraw the bailout money and let AIG go bankrupt.

Let these greedy bastards stand in front of a bankruptcy judge and see how much bonus they could get from a worthless company.

Why are we taxpayers still paying for these failures to get million dollar bonuses while other Americans are being thrown in the streets?

We say: Publish the names, positions, bonuses and hometown of every AIG employee who is benefiting from a bailout-funded bonus. Then let disgruntled taxpayers vent their anger and scorn in words!

In China they would be swing from the, we give them bonus so they can keep their accountants and lawyers employed.

The contract stuff is all bullshit!

The way we see it, it's one crook agreeing on paper to give another crook in the same crooked company money they're stealing from you and us.

Our thinking is this:

There is no excuse for our government to not have gone over the books to see what was in these contracts, or thrown a clause into the bailout agreement.

This is our government at work, we are constantly told how great a nation we are, how we are the best, and here this great nation couldn't have some smart people overseeing a bailout?

Well folks, were not sure anyone in Washington can read. They sure don't read the bills they vote for.

Forgive us, but didn't these bonuses get paid out last Friday 3-13-2009, who was President last Friday? Bush or Obama?

We think Obama was completely disingenuous when he sent Turbo-tax cheat Geither out to "block" bonus that had already been paid out!

Their "bonus" money is plenty enough to build a max security prison for the AIG-Bunch and others.

Don't you agree?

Our final thought:

How confident now are you the Stimulus money will be spent and overseen?????

Sunday, March 15, 2009


In all fairness we will list Mayor England's top accomplishments since he took office in 2008:

1. Raise for Mayor England

2. Raise for Deputy Mayor Carl Malysz

3. Raise for City Clerk Marcey Wisman

4. Hired two Deputy Mayors

5. Mayor England:
* Bought himself a NEW city car
* Bought a NEW city car for Deputy Mayor Malysz
* Has taken three personal vacations and trip to China

6. Raise for Mickey Thompson, Street Department

7. Raise for Kelly Welch, Manager of Billing Department

8. Raise for April Dickey, Billing Department

Sorry folks, we have been watching our tax dollars for several months, and still can not come up with even one positive accomplishment.

Maybe we will have better luck in the next three years, Nahhh.

Looks like three more years of his "status quo". In other words SSDY (same shit just a different year).

Contact Mayor England at: let's all tell him what a GREAT job he's doing...spending our tax dollars!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009


If you care about race and proper equality do follow MLK's advice and look ONLY at character and be "colored blind". There is no basis for looking at skin color when character is what is at issue.

Skin color tells nothing about character!

We are looking at a president who managed to get elected by a majority vote, but he is not WHO they voted for.


Look at character. There were SIX and the change due is not shown in Obama's agenda.

He is not seeking to fix the budget or cut taxes.

Cut taxes isn't what is needed, holding up a budget in the black is what is urgently needed for a BUDGET ON TRACK to allow American's to have their earned money to have two results, one take home pay to pay living expenses, and taxes for "good beneficial government", not red ink for unwanted trillions in debt and increases already asked for by Obama, and should not be granted.

He is sleeze politics and lies up front while telling you what he actually will do, but covering it up with lies of "hope, peace, and change" but notice he has not failed to use nasty mentality to coerce the red ink that cannot sustain anything, neither peace nor prosperity, it will increase DANGER and the RED FLAG of warning should be flaring in any sane person's face.

Skin color has NOTHING to do with our opinion of Obama.

Monday, March 09, 2009


What: Rally for Permanent Property Tax Relief

Who: Hoosier Property Tax Reform Alliance

When: Tuesday, March 10th

Time: 11:30 a.m.

Where: Indiana State House

Act now
Take a stand
Permanent Tax Relief!

Sunday, March 08, 2009


Thanks to the powerful stand taken by two Democrats, Evan Bayh, a centrist after our own hearts, and Russ Feingold, both of whom did vote against the $410 billion spending bill as long as it contains 9,000 earmarks, the Senate leadership came up one vote short this week.

Next week, the United State Senate will vote on a spending package to fund the federal government for the remainder of the fiscal year.

In a candid conversation with our favorite Indiana Senator, he explains why he voted NO and answers our other questions.

* Bayh's thoughts on Obama's promise:

Throughout his campaign last year, President Obama promised repeatedly to change the tired ways of Washington, reform the "old politics," and specifically go "line by line" through the federal budget to restrain wasteful spending.

Obama has broken that promise to the American people by signing the $787 billion stimulus bill.

Reform-minded Democrats like myself, and Republicans have exposed this especially smelly bit of old-style Washington politics.

Now, he has the perfect opportunity to make good on his words stated Senator Bayh. By announcing that he would veto the bill unless it is stripped of earmarks, the President could guarantee that the House and Senate leadership would do just that and present him with a clean bill.

President Obama would not only fulfill the spirit and letter of his campaign promises. It would also be good policy - good for the nations and good for all Americans.

* So why is he calling this "old business" and doing his best to duck the issues? Why won't he take a stand?

The old politics of Washington against which he campaigned so eloquently is alive and well.

Key Congressional committee chairs and ranking members, along with many of their colleagues, regard pork projects as theirs by right and will never part with them without a fight.

No doubt, Obama fears that these powerful people on Capitol Hill will retaliate against him in many less-than-public ways if he screws them out of their earmarks.

* Can Obama at least try to rise above these political considerations and show some courage in bringing "change we can believe in" to Washington?

If he doesn't, he will fully deserve to face the consequences of further public disappointment and gathering opposition.

It's up to him.

* Why did you vote NO on omnibus?

Drafted last year, the bill did not pass due to Congress's long-standing budgetary dysfunction and the frustrating delays it yields in our appropriations work.

Since then, economic and fiscal circumstances have changed dramatically, which is why the Senate should go back to the drawing board.

The omnibus debate is not merely a battle over last years unfinished business, but the first indication of how we will shape our fiscal future. Spending should be held in check before taxes are raised, even on the wealthy. Most people are willing to do their duty by paying taxes, but they want to know that their money is going toward important priorities and won't be wasted.

The economic downturn requires new policies, not more of the same.

The omnibus increases discretionary spending by 8% over last fiscal year's levels, dwarfing the rate of inflation across broad swath if issues including agriculture, financial services, foreign relations, energy and water programs, and legislative branch operations.

Such increases might be appropriate for a nation flushed with cash or unconcerned with fiscal prudence, but American is neither.

Our nation's current fiscal imbalance is unprecedented, unsustainable and, if unanswered, a major threat to our currency and our economic vitality. The national debt now exceeds $10 trillion.

Washington borrows from foreign creditors to fund it profligacy. The amount of U.S. debt held by countries such as China and Japan is an historic high, with foreign investors holding half of America's public held debt. This dependence raises the specter that other nations will be able to influence our policies in ways antithetical to American interests. The more of our debt that foreign government control, the more leverage they have on issues like trade, currency and national security. massive debts owned to foreign creditors weaken our global influence, and threaten high inflation, and steep tax increases for all our children and grandchildren.

* Is it true or just rumor that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel told the Republicans to go fu*k themselves?

Yes, that's true. How did you find that one out? We have friends in high places now, Senator Bayh... You must have!?!

* Is it true, Obama will be visiting Turkey soon?

Yes, it's my understanding, he will visit Turkey in a month or so.

* Is it true you voted for an amendment that would have stripped all earmarks, including your own, from the bill?

Yes, it failed by a vote of 63-32.

Our final question:

* Will you vote for or against $410 billion Omnibus next week?

I will vote "no", unless they remove the pork.

Thank you Senator Bayh, for your time, and your candid answers. We realize this isn't the most popular position, but we think it's the right one. Thank you for taking this stand against Washington's bad spending habits because we believe it's the right thing for our economy and country in the long run.

Senator Bayh's final comment:

Thanks to Freedom Of Speech, and other blogs throughout Indiana, the path is open for Indiana taxpayers to have a voice in Washington. Keep sending those emails, call me anytime.

Senator Evan Bayh

Saturday, March 07, 2009


Congratulations to the following candidates:

Democrat Party Chairman:
John Wilcox

Vice Chairwoman:
Stacy Deck

Tony Toran

Samuel Locke

Maybe now the Office of the City Clerk can now maintain and preserve the integrity of city records relating to Common Council, New Albany Sewer Board and the Board of Public Works documents and minutes.

It's time for you to earn that raise Mrs. Wisman!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009


Dear U.S. Representative Baron Hill,

As your constituents, and supporters of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare, we are writing to urge you to please oppose any legislation, plan, or commission that will in any way harm the benefits, structure, or traditional role of Social Security or Medicare. This includes further efforts to privatize Social Security and Medicare, which will undermine the principles that have made these programs so successful.

As you know, President Roosevelt and Congress created Social Security in 1935 to protect retiring Americans from experiencing a "...poverty old age." And America's more than 36 million seniors have invested their hard-earned money in Social Security and Medicare during their long working lives.

Social Security and Medicare represent a covenant between the government and it's citizens. We therefore stand against plans that in any way will harm or diminish these critically important protections against poverty and the devastating cost of medical care.

One of the top priorities as citizens and voters is the protection of Social Security and Medicare for all current and future retires. Among your top priorities as our elected representative should be the defeat of proposals that threaten retirement security.

We urge you to work closely with the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare to protect the benefits we have worked for, paid for, and earned.

Freedom Of Speech Staff

What our readers can do:

Make a phone call to
Voice Your Opinion:
Baron Hill's Washington Office at: 1-866-440-1321
Jeffersonville office at: 812-288-3999
Fax: 812-288-3873

Sunday, March 01, 2009


When local politicians care more about staying in power and their party controlling the city and council, the system is broken.

When some local Council members care more about keeping Mayor England happy than actually doing what is right for their constituents, the system is broken.

When politics become a career and not a service to our community, the system is broken.

We the people should not give up our rights and our voices to a bunch of "IDIOTS" who still feels it is "them first, and the HELL with us citizens."

Right...Mr. Mayor?

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

In fairness "to all other city employees", the newly approved salary increases for the "three employees" should be rescinded.

Is it true the Board President is not a resident of New Albany?

If so, Mr. Carroll will NOT be paying the fees to fund these salary increases.

We demand accountability from our Mayor, Deputy Mayor, Board Members and Controller.

So, clean out your desk, turn over the keys, credit cards, and get the "Hell Out of Our Town!"