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Posted by: | Posted on: May 3, 2021

OVERVIEW OF THE NEWS

first_imgOVERVIEW OF THE NEWSIn view of what we saw in the video of the Evansville Brownfields board meeting which was posted yesterday by the City-County Observer, we are rescinding our call for Fourth Ward City Councilwoman Connie Robinson and Vectren Executive Brad Ellsworth to resign from their positions on that body.  It is plainly clear to anyone who views the video that they are the only board members who feels any obligation to allow public input to the dealings of publicly-funded “private” not-for-profit entity. We found the attitudes displayed by the other board members toward George Lumley’s wish to speak in behalf of the public interest to be totally inappropriate, though not surprising. We have re-posted the video who missed those things, so they can observe their high-handed attitude displayed by community leaders and DMD employees.In the past few days, there has been an onslaught of news reported that does not bode well for the fiscal outlook of our city and its future. We are offering a quick list of things that have been revealed very recently that deserve in-depth review, and we will be making more thorough reviews of these issues here in the coming days.• We are surprised to hear the news that the new “owner” of the hockey team that is slated to replace the Evansville IceMen next year, Mike Hall, only has a 10% share of the team. VenuWorks, which has a contract to manage the Ford Center holds a 90% piece of the hockey action going forward.  We hope the taxpayers will not have to “pick up the slack” in hockey revenues. We will be more surprised if the Icemen’s owner, Ron Geary, doesn’t seek legal remedies against the City.• There is news that the City and the EPA have reached an agreement on the decades-old CSO dispute has been reached. The City has taken on a nearly $800 million debt in order to meet this very basic community need that will almost certainly grow to $1 billion in the 24 and-a-half year period that this project is scheduled to take. The cost of this project falls on the shoulders of ESWU rate-payers, and that will have a heavily negative impact on residents and growth potential of Evansville.• News of the State Board of Accounts adverse finding in the audit of Evansville’s books for the year of 2014, and the supplement to it that points out a $6 million deficit in the City’s bank balances deserves mention. The true facts of the stewardship of public money, no matter how many reassurances we are given that everything is fine, deserve much more attention than the media has given it. We will dive deeply into the facts and how they affect the future finances of the city.• DMD is planning bike trails through the section of the city that has the highest crime rate in the city, the North Main St. area, and the accompanying spending is astronomical. The project itself has already ballooned from $13 million to $18 million. The money for this comes from a TIF, which is tax money that is earmarked for the benefit of that part of the city. We wonder if this blighted high-crime neighborhood would benefit more from another kind of project.• Last on our list, but not least, is the concern we share with the public about whether or not the spending by Evansville Brownfields Corp  is truly delivering on the promise to use HUD funds to clean up environmental hazards and return property to the tax rolls. We see big indicators that the stewardship of the federal money to meet the stated goals of Evansville Brownfields Corp may be taking a backseat to pleasing political cronies and pork barrel politics. The secrecy surrounding the spending continues to raise red flags.• As we look to the future of Evansville and what its residents will face ahead, we are hoping that you, our readers, will actively participate in our analysis of what the recent deluge of news truly means. We ask you to share with us the information and insights you may have on these issues, and we ask for your comments and questions about our findings. The City-County Observer truly appreciates our unique group of readers and look forward to examining the financial state of the City, in hopes of making the broader public aware of what is going on.FOOTNOTES: Our next “IS IT TRUE” will be posted on this coming Friday?Please take time and read our newest feature article entitled “HOT JOBS”. Jobs posted in this section are from Evansville proper.If you would like to advertise in the CCO please contact us City-County [email protected] “Readers Poll” question is: Do you feel that Evansville Brownfields Corp should be considered a public or private entity?Copyright 2015 City County Observer. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributedFacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmailSharelast_img read more