Monday, February 28, 2011


We spend our days, for better or worse, commenting on and studying the issues that affect and shape our country, state, and the City of New Albany.

We consider ourselves fairly informed observers, so why not tell our readers who we think is most qualified to tackle those issues?

And with so many voices out there now, from local blogs to Internet "news sites," we think it's only right for you to read it from people who care about the City of New Albany as much as you do and to weigh in on races that affect us all.

Deciding who to endorse isn't easy, either.

Sometimes, we wish there was another candidate running.

But, like you, we needed to make a decision, so, drum roll please... read who has our endorsement for the 2011 Primary:

Council At Large

* Shirley Baird (D)

District 1:

* Vicki Denhart (D)

District 2:

* Donny Blevins (D)

District 3:

* Steve Price (D)

District 4:

* No Endorsement

District 5:

* No Endorsement

District 6:

* No Endorsement

City Clerk:

* Vicki Glotzbach (D)


* Jeff Gahan (D)

Today, we offer our thoughts on the two candidates for Mayor:

So...Mr. Ethridge please tell our readers what you have done for the citizens of New Albany?

Would you like to explain to our readers Mr. Stumler why you went to the republicans to run as mayor then cut a deal with Doug England, then announce you are NOW a democrat candidate for Mayor?

Do you feel John Gonder, Bob Caesar, Dan Coffey, Kevin Zurschmiede, Diane Benedetti, and Pat McLaughlin deserve your vote after all the things they have done to the citizens in the City of New Albany?

This is also a list of unexceptional candidates of hopelessly damaged goods who have the ego to think they can go all the way and win:

* Douglas England

* Randy Smith

* Roger Baylor

It is what it is...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


Welcome to the reckoning. We have met the fiscal apocalypse and it is smack dab in the middle of the heartland. As Wisconsin goes, so goes the nation.

Let us all pray it does not go the way of the decrepit welfare states of the European Union.

New GOP Gov. Scott Walker wants public unions to pony up a little more. He has proposed raising the public employee share on health insurance premiums from less than 5 percent to 12.4 percent. He is also pushing for state workers to cover half of their pension contributions.

To spare taxpayers the soaring cost of Byzantine union-negotiated work rules, he would rein in Big Labor's collective bargaining power to cover only wages unless approved at the ballot box.

Yes, the so-called progressives truly believe that bringing American union workers into the 21st century in line with the rest of the workforce is tantamount to dictatorship.

Yes, the so-called progressives truly believe that by walking off their jobs and out of their classrooms, they are "putting children first."

It is not so shocking that the union members are fight this.

However, the White House has NO business sending "his people down" is just proof positive that the POTUS has prostituted himself to the unions.

Like our local politicians they are only concerned with the power they have and will do anything to keep!

Yes, this could happen in New Albany!

Police and Fire take up eighty five cents of every dollar of our general fund.

Between both departments, salaries, health care and pensions, well over 13 million comes out of our general fund.
That is only two departments out of 16.

They soon will be asking for 17 new police cars in hopes of getting at least 10 new cars.

The General Fund supports the following departments:

*Mayor's Office
* Controller
* City Clerk
* City Council
* City Attorney
* Board of Public Works and Safety
* Animal Shelter
* Weights and Measures
* Plan Commission
* Building Commission
* Police Department
* Police Merit Commission
* Fire Department
* Communications Department
* Fair View Cemetery
* West Haven Cemetery

The largest, non-salary, expense for the City of New Albany is insurance. Several months ago, City Attorney Shane Gibson and others came up with a bogus plan:

Health Savings Account (HSA) which they claim they can save $450,000 in 2011 and approximately $800,000 in 2012.

But the catcher of this bogus plan is we the taxpayers would pay $1,000 per employee and they had until Jan. 31, 2011 to decided.

Guess the results were not what they expected still NO word on whether the city employees agreed to this bogus plan or not.

Could what is happening in Wisconsin happen in New Albany?


It's going to take a new Mayor like Jeff Gahan, to say, take these cuts and save your job, or break the bank and be laid off because there in NO more MONEY.

Everyone is hurting and cutting back in New Albany, why should these 16 departments be any different.

Monday, February 21, 2011


The Common Council of New Albany, Indiana, will be having a special meeting to vote on R-11-05, a Resolution Opposing HB 1507 and The Establishment Of A Floyd County Parks District. Said meeting will be held February 23, 2011 at 6:00 p.m. at the City County building, in the third floor conference room. Pursuant to the request of Councilmen Pat McLaughlin, Steve Price, Bob Caesar, John Gonder and Jeff Gahan. Should you have any questions regarding this meeting, please see the City Clerk in Room 332.

Marcey Wisman, City Clerk

Freedom Of Speech has several questions:

1.) If Gibson had NO knowledge of this issue (Floyd County Parks District) how could he respond to Attorney Rick Fox with a three page letter?

Fact: A. He claims he doesn't receive or read the local Tribune...remember? B. Gibson read Clere recent article at the hearing he attended and claimed NO one had knowledge of this bill until then.

2.) Why is Doug England denying NO knowledge of a discussion with Rep. Ed Clere over HB 1507?

Fact: To make our State Rep. look bad and attack his creditability.

3.) Did State Rep. Clere email Carl Malysz the information with the entire bill?

Fact: Yes, and he has a copy of that email.

4.) Did State Rep. Clere have a phone conversation with Carl and England?

Fact: Yes, Mr. Clere did have that discussion with them both.

5.) Did all Council members discuss and vote on a request for Marcey Wisman to represent them at the State House hearing?

Fact: NO. If the answer was YES, then this special meeting would NOT have to be called.

The 2010 election is over. It has now became personal. You lost Mr. Gibson don't we have more important issues to deal with like: why are you being paid $50,000 plus billable hours and commission on bonding?
What another sweetheart deal you got, thanks to Mayor England!

One final thought, Mr. Gibson, in about ten months you will be back in the public sector practicing law. Do you NOT realize your income will be based on the amount of clients you have? Some friendly advice, when you burn the bridges you have, and rode the City of New Albany's gravy train for the last seven years you are in for a rude awakening!

Accept the fact, it was the democrats who reelected Mr. Clere as our State Rep. get over it and move on....

Clere 2 - Gibson 0.

Monday, February 14, 2011


The New Albany Police F.O.P. is trying to convert the holiday pay to the base pay.

The purpose of this would increase the certified wage so retirement would be more appealing to the officers with higher seniority. Under the current methods officers take more than a 50% cut in pay when they retire with added cost the retirees pay toward health insurance, and because holiday pay is not figured into CW. The results is the increased number of officers with high amounts of seniority.

So what is CW and how does it work?

* Certified Wage (CW) - The figure used to calculate all police officer retirement in PERF. CW - Base pay with 20 years longevity. To calculate what the certified wages is for a New Albany Police officer it is (base pay X 1.2).

The CW is legislated by Indiana Law and states Holiday Pay is not part of the base pay. Since it is not part of the base pay it cannot be calculated into retirement.

So what is considered base pay?

* The base pay of a first class police officer that has completed their probationary period.

If Holiday Pay was converted to base pay it would not be new money the officers would be receiving it would just be a different way of paying it to them. Since they already receive Holiday Pay in a lump sum twice a year the city already budgets for the money. The change would be officers would receive the pay during their biweekly pay checks and would not receive the two lump sum payments twice in the year.

So how is Holiday Pay calculated?

* Holiday Pay is a contractual benefit to New Albany Police Officers for having to work holidays. The current holiday pay is approximately 1% of annual salary per holiday.

There are only a few ways the retirement wage can be increased. The city can give a pay raise. The city could give additional % on longevity which would increase the (CW) Certified Wage. The City could agree to convert money already being paid into base pay, such as Holiday Pay.

Not bad for our NAPD, they received two out of the three above in 2010:

* pay raise

* additional longevity

So let us show you how the New Albany Police Department's Retirement is calculated?

The formula for figuring the % of the (CW) Certified Wage the officer would receive upon retirement. At 20 years of service the officer receives 50% of the CW. It increases by 1% every six months after to a maximum of 74% at 32 years.

Freedom Of Speech would like to say:

This is nothing but the scam of all scams. What this will actually do is jack up their pensions and none of them will retire. The longer they stay with those big salaries the more they will make on their pensions.

It's bad enough that eighty five cents of every dollar in our general fund goes to police and fire.

It's time to renegotiate the police department contract.

What has happen is that our municipal and safety employees have lost the goodwill of the people they serve and protect.

footnote: maybe in the future they can stop following and harrassing private citizens who stand up and fight for the citizens and expose them for the lazy, greedy cops many of them are.

Oh, that's right, they do have a boss and his name is Douglas B. England.

Friday, February 11, 2011


It's been a very interesting few weeks in the City of New Albany.

Let's review:

1.) We find out the Mayor wants taxpayers to pay $18 million for a new parking garage and pay for a 600 feet hole and gates for the wall.

2.) No one bothered to put $419,600 matching funds for the Greenway Project in the 2011 Budget.

3.) Sewer increase nearly led New Albany utility out of the red last year

4.) New bill to ban public employees from certain government boards

5.) Bankruptcy bill could mean "tough love" for cities, towns

6.) State: 2011 money would be used to cover 2010 New Albany budget

There seems to be discussions everywhere and we have to put our two cents worth in.

On NAC we read: "Cops and fireman as second-class citizens. Can they still vote Ed?"

Since half the time Roger has NO clue on the issues. How can he defend the police and fire when we feel anyone who works in New Albany that makes $50,000 - $100,000 year be called second - class citizens?

My God Roger, eighty five cents of every dollar of our general fund goes to police and fire. How can we pay the other departments and city employees the other fifteen cents of each dollars?

Are you really that ignorant?

We feel if the police and fire gets eighty five per cent of our General Fund then they should do eight five per cent of the work.

Voice of the People: Bill 1022.

We agree with Shirley and some of her posters in principal. There is a big difference between Conflict of Interest and Double Dipping.

First of all, one of our major problems facing our city is the Conflict of Interest issue.

Should Councilman Jack Messer who is a NAPD employee abstain from voting on appropriation, raises, new police cars and of tax dollars for our Police Department.

Isn't that a conflict of Interest?

For the record: documents show that Messer has only abstained 1 time on issues concerning the NAPD in seven years.

Should Councilman John Gonder have voted on the Redistricting Plan, when, at one time he was a plaintiff involved in this lawsuit?

Again, another Conflict of Interest.

Should Council member Diane Benedetti be voting on her brother Gary McCartin projects and healthcare for part-time council members?

Again, another Conflict of Interest.

Should Councilman Robert Caesar owner of Endris Jewelers downtown, be voting on any bonds or appropriations for downtown when he would have any type of financial gain for money going to help the downtown area or as a member of 1SI or voted for healthcare for part-time council members?

Again, another Conflict of Interest.

Should City Attorney Shane Gibson refrain from pleading the city's case over any and all bonds if he is to collect commission on these bonds?

Again, another Conflict of Interest.

What about the Mayor's wife. She sits on certain boards collects a check and pushes her husbands agenda.

Again, another Conflict of Interest.

You as elected officials and city employees should not be gaining in anyway, shape or form receiving commission checks or as a political favors.

We hope that one day the City of New Albany will have a Mayor who can stand up and say:

"I will lead by example and put accountability back in local government."
Several city employees and Council members have forget it's our money, not theirs!

We could go and add several other infractions of Conflict of Interest on many others employed by our city.

Nuff...said, for now!