Thursday, October 28, 2010


This update focuses on how the 2010 property tax caps will impact Indiana's city and town municipal government.

The key points include the following:

* The 2010 property tax caps will have NO significant impact on essential service delivery by the great majority of Indiana's 566 cities and towns.

* Anyone who uses property tax caps in Indiana to justify the imposition of a LOIT Tax is making or intentionally misleading you.

* The constitutional property tax caps in Senate Joint Resolution 1 must be passed to make unconstitutional any Distressed Unit Appeals Board decision that would bypass a local taxing unit's property tax caps.

Indiana Legislative Services Agency has estimated the impact of the 2010 property tax caps on all local government units that impose a property tax. The LSA estimates compare the caps impact only to those budgeted funds that receive revenue wholly or partly from property tax levies. The full effect of the 1%-2%-3% property tax caps will first be felt in 2010- they will be phased in at a 1.5%-2.5%-3.5% level in 2009.

Indiana has 566 city and town municipal government. The great majority of cities and towns- 450 or 79.5% - will have their budged funds that include property tax levies impacted 5.0% or less by the 2010 property tax caps.

The remaining cities and towns will have their 2010 property tax funds impacted 5.1% or more: 84 cities and towns will have 5.1% to 10.0% less for their budgets, 25 cities and towns will have 10.1% to 15.0% less, and 7 cities and towns rely so much on high property taxes that their budgets will impact 15.1% or more.

Anyone familiar with their local government spending knows that a 5% reduction will have NO impact on essential service delivery. That is exactly where New Albany's at with a 5% reduction.

Tell Mr. Mayor and Shane Gibson they are both full of crap, if they tell you anything different!

Friday, October 22, 2010


It seems like to us a lot of people are trying to take credit and thank the wrong people for the Quiet Zone. Just in case you didn't get the October 20, 2010 Tribune, here it is:

* "Dealing with the railroad, we feel like it's a huge achievement," said Matt Denison, president of the Board of Public Works and Safety.

* "It's taken a long time and a lot of negotiating, and the city getting involved strongly, Mayor England said."

Then we received the following email dated October 20, 2010 and wanted to share this with you our readers:

Peter et al,

This is indeed good news, barring any unforeseen hurdles presented by Norfolk Southern, as was the case with the last Notice of Intent filed.

I certainly hope that the MSPA intends to send a formal letter of thanks to our mayor and the City of New Albany for seeing this process through despite several setbacks. While many of us advocated strongly for the quiet zone, it would not have become a reality had not the administration approved our request, allocated funding and assigned staff (namely Matt Denison), to handle the myriad, tedious details involving in the establishment of the quiet zone. Matt has been extremely professional throughout this process, and we all owe a big thank you to him. and the city, for bringing this to fruition.

Ann Streckfus

Freedom of Speech would like to ask: What in the hell is wrong with you people?

This administration has done nothing other than send the Notice of Establishment out, which Valla Ann wrote in Valparaiso with Tammy Wagner of the Federal RR administration.

All the city had to do was transfer it to their letterhead and sign it.

Our question to Ann Streckfus, why didn't you give the credit to the one person who spent her own money, time from her business and we will even bet, today Valla Ann is still talking with Norfolk Southern and INDOT checking on the Quiet Zone.

Why can't you thank the one person who raised $468,000.00 to make this project happen?

Are you that jealous of her, obsessed with her many accomplishments or even her ability to make things happen?

Are you people that selfish and stupid that you would deny her that honor or a simple "thank you?"

You people make us sick!

How about Freedom Of Speech giving credit to the "one person" who made all this possible and who made our quiet zone happen.

Let us tell the real story and forget about all the above bullshit, and crap floating around and being written in our local Tribune!

So here's the real story...

A private citizen decided about 6 years ago to make a "quiet zone" happen. Most people just turn away and hope that someone else steps up to the plate and gets it done.

Especially with a project of this caliber.

A private citizen and business owner Valla Ann Bolovschak has been working diligently for about 6 years on completing the requirements in order for the crossings between Fifth Street to 14th streets to qualify for the "Quiet Zone" designation.

Now we are not talking about making a few phone calls, calling INDOT or calling Norfolk railroad or even sending several faxes.

We are talking about trips to Virginia, Chicago and hosting several meetings with Norfolk representatives at her Admiral Bicknell Inn.

That's not even counting many meetings and several trips she made to Indianapolis to meet with INDOT at her own expense.

Does any one of our readers remember that famous January 5, 2005 council meeting?

Yes, we are talking about Valla Ann confronting Mayor Garner about not attending Norfolk Southern meetings and her famous line was "Jimmy G. you work for me."

(That was truly a night to remember, one of the best council meetings we ever attended.)

When we researched the process of a "Quiet Zone" procedure we were amazed how she was able to complete this task so quickly and other various projects that she was totally committed to.

Why Valla Ann took on this project:

* Establishing a "Quiet Zone" would have a positive impact on property values and tax assessments, thereby increasing revenue for the city

* Enacting a "Quiet Zone" will greatly enhance our "Quality of Life," for area residents which is one of Valla Ann's priorities for her neighbor's and the City of New Albany

A WIN-WIN situation for everyone involved!

Valla Ann started this back in 2004. She established the good relationships with Norfolk Southern, the Federal RR administration and INDOT to raise the money

Valla Ann actually negotiated with Norfolk and INDOT and raised
$483,000 worth of improvements to make this project happen!
This does not mean that they will never again sound their horns. It WILL mean that they don't have to unless they perceive a need to do so.

This, our readers of Freedom Of Speech, is a fine example of determination, hard work, long hours, to see a project through.

It also shows that problems we have in New Albany that there are solutions.

You just got to roll up your sleeves, do your homework, over come obstacles, find solutions, and have the conviction and passion to make a project of this caliber happen like Valla Ann Bolovschak did.

Anyone interested in the other details or facts can contact Valla Ann.

She will show you her file drawers of paperwork from 2004 forward that authenticate her journey.

Nobody on Main Street or in this administration has a clue, she did this Quiet Zone pretty much solo because nobody had the patience and determination that she did to complete.

Congratulation Valla Ann our entire community benefits when it's a WIN-WIN situation like this for all of us. It has been a long journey for you in getting this Quiet Zone but we always knew you would make this happen.

Patience is a virtue and six years has been a long time, but look at the end results you achieved!

We the citizens, of New Albany would like to publicly "Thank You, Valla Ann" for our new "Quiet Zone." New Albany will be the 5th Quiet Zone in the entire State of Indiana.

Let's celebrate on November 4th and 12th when the parties involved will be here!

Freedom Of Speech Staff

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

VOTE "YES"....NOVEMBER 2, 2010

Public Question #1

Constitutional Amendment

Shall Property Taxes be limited for all classes of Property by amending the Constitution of the State of Indiana to do the following:

(1) Limit a taxpayer's annual property tax bill to the following percentages of gross assessed value.

(A) 1% for an owner-occupied primary residence (homestead)

(B) 2% for residential property, other than an owner-occupied primary residence, including apartments

(C) 2% for agricultural land

(D) 3% for other real property

(E) 3% for personal property

The above percentages exclude any property taxes imposed after being approved by the voters in a referendum

(2) Specify that the General Assembly may grant a property tax exemption in the form of a deduction or credit and exempt a mobile home used as a primary residence to the same extent as real property.

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

Why should we homeowners have to find room in our budgets for income or other tax increases? Why should we do with less so that our local government can get larger and more bureaucratic and unfair?

We want local government to find room in their budgets to cut excessive spending and stop mismanagement of our tax dollars.

If our bond rating goes down because our incomes goes down, is that necessarily a bad thing? We don't want local government borrowing more money because HELLO...we can't pay it back!

Our local debt to income ratio is out of control.

Raising property taxes is not the answer, when our local government doesn't give a damn about us property owners!

Local taxpayers are also wiser now to local government of "bait and switch" with our money. We know you use our homes as collateral, we know you are only doing something now because there was public outrage, and we know you are all afraid for your you should be!

Most of you won't see another term in office.

"VOTE ~YES on November 2, 2010."

Sunday, October 17, 2010


This is Freedom Of Speech, and we approve this message:

It's coming time for us to vote on our elected representatives but today there are so many negative ads about Ed Clere.

The negative ads that we've seen come out by Shane Gibson "dodge the real issues we face, what he really believes, and what he stands for! "

Any candidate who has to stoop to insult their opponent instead of speaking of their own ideas and voting record immediately looses our vote.

"Personally, we are sick of it."

Stand on your record as City Attorney and see how far you get.

Talk about the $450,000 you cost us in the Georgetown Sewer deal.

Is it true Mr. Gibson you collect 4 % of any bonds issued by the city in addition to your $150,000 salary?

Tell the people how you refused to sign sewer liens and you are for the LOIT Tax, against Property Tax Caps and you wanting us taxpayers to foot the bill for city employee health care.

And, what about the times you've mislead our council with half truths?

Here's our philosophy, Shane: If you go into a job interview for upper management (or any job, period), you demonstrate your own abilities, and you NEVER belittle your competition. Why should politics be any different? As the people doing the hiring, we shouldn't put up with this bull-shit of your... mudslinging!

How dare you blame Mr. Clere for the closing of four schools!!!

That is a damn LIE and you know it!

Ed Clere stands WITH the citizens of New Albany, but what about you Mr. Gibson?

So what if Ed Clere done something in college 17 years ago. Has anyone bothered to call him and ask him what it was he did?

We did, and it is typical College Fraternity Hazing...

Our turn is coming and it's coming November 2 and we're going to vote!

The time has come to step up and to perform our duty as citizens of New Albany and to quit
sitting on the sidelines - bitching our way through our city's issues.

It's time you talk about what you bring to the table and what your record is Mr. Gibson, Ed Clere has proven to us citizens what he can do and has done for our city.

Be an informed voter, ask yourselves one question: what has Shane Gibson ever done for the Citizens of New Albany?

Friday, October 15, 2010


Benefit Concert for Trent Waggoner
Sunday, October 17 at 12:00pm
Location: Steinert's Grill & Pub

Monday, October 11, 2010


As Hillary departs for the Balkans and Bill is campaigning in Louisville, Kentucky today.

Freedom Of Speech staff would like to wish them a "Happy 35th Anniversary" to a beautiful couple, and Godspeed Madam Secretary on your mission!

Thursday, October 07, 2010


Would Mayor England pay US for all the information we got on him?

We wonder where all of England's skeletons are buried?

Would our readers like to hear what Charlie Pride (State Board Of Accounts) told us about the City of New Albany?

Enjoy Harvest Homecoming this weekend.

We've got a lot to share with our readers and even our enemies. So check back next week!

We're taking the weekend off so we can enjoy Harvest Homecoming too.

Happy Harvest Homecoming,
Freedom Of Speech Staff

Wednesday, October 06, 2010


Answer: New Albany Police Chief Crabtree.

Rumor (fact) is over the next few days there will be a new Police Chief.

Guess who that will be?

Answer: Todd Bailey

Anyone want to put "money" on this upcoming....Dog and Pony show?

We sure hope for Mr. Bailey's sake he didn't visit Doug's tailor in Louisville...

footnote: Will England ever learn in a town of about 37,000 citizens, some people just can't keep a secret or keep their big mouth shut!

Saturday, October 02, 2010


Happy Harvest Homecoming, to all of our readers and fans!

Enjoy the parade today.

Freedom Of Speech Staff

footnote: Over the next few months we will present to you our readers: The case against Douglas B. England.

Friday, October 01, 2010


Let's be realistic. The 6 main causes of New Albany's budget mess are:

1. To many TIF'S

2. Giving to many Tax Abatements

3. Mismanagement of Tax Dollars

4. Misappropriation of Tax Dollars

5. Police & Fire get eighty five cents out of every dollar of our General Fund

6. Malfeasance

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

Our city is facing the financial abyss, and the Mayor and the council, we the voters elected to represent our best interest, either can't or won't take the steps necessary to correct the problems we face.

What has to happen before the council and the mayor get their act together?


Let's hope not, but don't hold your breath.

If England can get $70,000 for One Southern Indiana, he can appropriate another $70,000 for an audit of the General Fund, Sewers, and Stormwater!

For England to stand before citizens, Council and Councilman Price and call him a "smart-ass" who in the hell does he think he is?

For Haub to tell Councilman Price I have a message from the police officer to the citizens and him: "Fuck You!" we'll take you to arbitration and not take the health care.

Our reply, Mr. Haub: "Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out of the NAPD. You chose that job, stop whining, Charlestown, Clarksville and Jeff ARE hiring!

Why can't the police and fire be satisfied using 85% of our city budget?

Don't we citizens deserve better than this?