April 13, 2014

PUBLIC FORUM: Letters for Sunday, April 13, 2014


---- — Housing repair grantis not welfare

While it is a consistent Republican trait to criticize welfare, and I can recognize his desire to score cheap political points at the sake of our community’s less fortunate; it is an unavoidable truth that Bob Bishop is the biggest welfare queen in Logansport.

Mr. Bishop enjoys taking money to not work. His role as executive director of the TIF district is the equivalent of the famed welfare queen Cadillac. The city replaced a group of successful business professionals with a man who has never run anything. So of course he hired more consultants. The citizens of Logansport are paying this man $30,000 a year to hire consultants; he is in essence taking money not to work.

He doesn’t seem to understand the housing refurbishment program isn’t welfare. It isn’t money for nothing; it is reinvesting in our community, something his handing money to out-of-town consultants has never done. It’s money going to people who have invested in Logansport to help maintain that investment. These people have invested in Logansport not just by buying a home here, but by also paying property taxes on those homes. Nobody is getting a handout.

It’s similar to Mr. Bishop’s union pension. Thousands of workers are currently paying into the system so that Mr. Bishop can draw his retirement; a pension that is worth far more then he paid into it. In the same way using a pittance of tax money ($43,000 is chickenfeed compare to the $1.5 million he’s paid consultants to accomplish nothing on the Pyrolyzer project) to help residents keep their homes. If it’s good enough for Mr. Bishop, why isn’t it good enough for the residents of Logansport?

Mr. Bishop’s problem with this program seems to be he doesn’t get anything out of it. There are no consultants to give him campaign contributions, no job to hire more consultants to do the work for him. The rich won’t get richer with this program, and that really seems to rub him the wrong way.

Maybe if instead of sitting at home waiting for his constituents to call him he drove around his ward he might see there are houses in need of repair and that his constituents need help. And maybe he might figure out that being a city councilman is about serving everyone, not just the people who agree with him.

Matt Meagher


Thankful for mayor’shelp with problem

I just wanted to say what a positive experience I just had with the city of Logansport, specifically with Mayor Ted Franklin. I contacted him with a small problem and he helped me within a two-hour time frame to solve the problem.

I was trying to get four tires removed from my property on North Street that someone had dumped in my backyard. I really appreciate his speedy and helpful response to my problem. I am a Democrat, but I just might have to vote for Mr. Franklin, a Republican, in the next election as he is doing a good job to keep Logansport clean and crime-free.

Brenda Hohman


Board owes the publican explanation

An open letter to the Utility Service Board and majority of the City Council:

You Board members, and majority of the City Council, have charted an ambiguous course for providing the City with electricity in the coming years.

You issued a Request for Proposals in early 2013 for electric generators using waste (trash) as the fuel, and you required prospective vendors to demonstrate that they had the capital to fund the project. The Utility Service Board’s published recommendation to the City Council, that the Memo of Understanding be awarded to Pyrolyzer, stated that Pyrolyzer had the funding. Then in December 2013, we learn that Pyrolyzer did not have the funding after all.

No one yet has taken responsibility for wasting time while LMU is losing a million dollars per year, wasting $1.5 million of taxpayers’ money on consultants, and wasting untold hours of the mayor’s and utility superintendent’s time devoted to this losing proposition.

You have not offered any explanation of why the conversation with Pyrolyzer was not terminated at the end of the year, as your own Request for Proposals specified.

Instead, with zero discussion, the City Council majority voted to extend the mayor’s authority to negotiate with Pyrolyzer and any other vendors! This in spite of the fact that the City (and Pyrolyzer’s lawyers) had insisted all along that the Memo of Understanding prevented anyone from talking to any other electricity vendors.

You have no plans, no specifications, no engineering as required by the Home Rule law and Lease-To-Purchase law which the Council’s amended ordinance references. Since you had no public discussion, there is no way for the public to discern your reasoning.

You continue to authorize this mayor to negotiate to privatize the supply of electricity to LMU customers, yet there has never been public discussion regarding such an important social-economic question.

Now the mayor has realized that natural gas is better than trash. We said that at the beginning.

You owe the public an explanation for your change of course; you owe the pubic an explanation of how you spent so much money. Otherwise, you appear reckless.

Jim Brugh


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