Saturday, December 30, 2017

Here Comes 2018

Ready or Not, Here Comes 2018

2017 has proven to be an interesting year. From North Korea, endless fake news, Trump actually having a fairly strong year completing campaign promises to some local stories such as failed referendums, downtown schools, business growth, new school superintendents, old names exiting politics and new names coming online; I can't wait to see what 2018 brings! It is an exciting time in Southern Indiana, for sure.

I want to take a moment and thank everyone who has made a positive impact in Southern Indiana. I understand that is a subjective statement so allow me to clarify...

If you have had issues and worked in a productive way to reach a compromise, I'm talking about you.

If you brought ideas to the table and have achieved success that has improved our community, I'm talking about you. 

If you are someone who has only worked against everything and talked badly about why something shouldn't be or about someone else, then I am not talking about you. At all. Ever. You need to do a lot better. (Everyone reading this has someone in mind. Reach out to them and help them understand they could be more productive by taking a different approach.)

So here's to 2018! May our future be bright. May we all work together for the common goal of improving our community. Even if we can't agree what it is, at least we are working together by hopefully being Open Minded!



Wednesday, November 29, 2017

MobilePatrol: Showcasing the Underbelly of our Community

Has anyone ever heard of MobilePatrol?

It's eye opening. You should take a look but be prepared, you may not like what you see.

Consider this a spoiler warning.

It is an app that you can download onto your smart device that shows you who has been arrested and why.

I downloaded the app about a year ago and occasionally peruse Clark County Inmates. It is amazing the amount of meth, paraphernalia, and common nuisance arrests there are. So I dug in deeper.

I selected a few of the people on there as a test. Then I got onto the Indiana Court Records were you can look up current and past cases then read through them to see the outcome.  

**Insert very graphic language HERE describing feelings of anger and disgust**

Every single one of my sample group had either current pending cases and been released or had previous convictions and been released. RELEASED being the main word in that sentence.

REVOLVING DOOR of tweaking meth and heroine addicts! You know what else these people are? THIEVES! The two go hand in hand. These people will do ANYTHING to get the next fix. B & E, car theft, shoplifting, you name it.

So now I have to question the elected judges in our community. I have to question our laws. I have to question our ability to enforce them. It's time to be President Washington during the Whiskey Rebellion where, for the first time in our nations' history, the government showed it's people it had the resolve and ability to enforce its' laws. It's time to make an example out of some of these people. It's time to put the fear of God in them with punishments that truly give these people pause before going down the path. At some point these people were not addicts. At some point had a choice to make. Give them a harsh reason not to choose that path.

I agree there is an epidemic going on. I agree we must come up with ways to attack the addiction. But I also agree most of these people have no interest in getting or wanting help.

Most of these people have been before the same judges again and again. Again and again these people are released. WHY!?! All they are doing is going back out there then not coming back for their court hearing. Then you know what happens? They skip their court date and the judge has to issue a warrant. So these people continue on unless the police happen to run into them somewhere and the circle starts over. WHY ARE THESE PEOPLE BEING PUT BACK ON THE STREET?

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me. Fool me more than that, I am a fool who has no business making any decisions that effect other people EVER.

Why are these people put back out there to steal change out of unlocked cars?
Why are these people put back on the street to drain our society?
Why are these people allowed to maintain a common nuisance that forces all of us to feel helpless?

In my opinion, we are all sitting ducks for one of these people to strike. Not if, but when they do, they take so much more than a few dollars out of your unlocked car.
They take more than what ever you accidently left outside.
They take more than what was in your jewelry box, or tool box, or trash can, or store shelf.

They steal from us something things that can not be replaced. They steal from us piece of mind. They steal from us security. They steal from us our sleep at night. They steal from us trust.


We are harder on drunk drivers then we are on meth users, heroine addicts, and thieves.
We are harder on habitual traffic offenders then we are on meth users, heroine addicts, and thieves.

It's time we as a community, neighbors, constituents, friends, residents come together. It's time we look at all options within the law to protect ourselves and each other. I would rather be physically injured than to have my piece of mind taken from me. They are stealing my personal Liberty. To me, that is the greatest harm one person can inflict on another.

What's your thoughts?
Do you have the scoop?
Post them in the comments below.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Community Leadership Awards

Community Leaders: The ACE Awards

I always like to see the different awards that are handed out each year by different organizations locally. Rotary International has theirs as does Leadership Southern Indiana. I'm sure there are countless other groups that name leaders as well from their point of view.

I find it interesting to see who they are and how they are contributing to make our community a better place. I will say though, the ACE Awards from One Southern Indiana are always my favorite. This is because One Southern Indiana, being the chamber and economic development group, has the widest reach and broadest base of people within Southern Indiana of all the local organizations. 

As I understand it, there are open nominations that are then narrowed down to three in each award group. A small part of judging is then done based on an online voting system while most of the scores are based on the merit of the applicant's application. 

Here is an explanation of the Ace Awards from One Southern Indiana's Facebook page:

"The ACE Awards celebrates remarkable individuals who exemplify the character and acumen of exceptional leadership, making them outstanding citizens in the business and regional community. This signature event aims to celebrate the accomplishments of individual business leaders who are members of One Southern Indiana.

The categories for the awards are:

Axiom Financial Strategies Group of Wells Fargo Advisors, LLC James W. Robinson Young Professional of the Year ACE Award

Duke Energy Kevin Hammersmith Community Leader ACE Award

Kightlinger & Gray, LLP Sam Day Professional of the Year ACE Award."

So many times we hear about awards named after people. I thought it was important to give a snapshot of who these awards are named after and why they are named after them.

  • James W. Robinson: Jim was firm believer of the free enterprise system and a strong advocate for young people in the community, and his words of wisdom over the years will be remembered by many. A dedicated family man, Jim leaves a legacy of faith, integrity, hard work, generosity, and loyalty. He was co-founder of Robinson-Nugent, Inc., and past chairman of the board of Caldwell Tanks, Inc., Stemwood, Inc., and Niemco, Inc. Jim was inducted into the Junior Achievement of Kentuckiana Hall of Fame in 1998, earning the distinction of being the first father-son duo of inductees (his late father having been inducted in 1984). Jim was a S.C.O.R.E. Counselor, an investor in Rocket Man, Inc. and a past board member of Your Community Bank. He also served on the board of Kentuckiana Junior Achievement, Cedar Lake Foundation, and New Albany/Floyd County School Board. Jim was a Kentucky Colonel, an Indiana University Southeast Medallion recipient, a member of the Windsor Society, a Rotarian Paul Harris Fellow, and was toasted at the 15th annual benefit of the Rotary Club of New Albany.

  • Kevin Hammersmith: Killed by a drunk driver in 2011, Kevin was the director of government and community relations for Duke Energy in Southern Indiana. Kevin was instrumental in shaping the Southern Indiana community through his involvement and contributions to many local organizations. He was a member of the New Albany-Floyd County Parks Board, former president of Harvest Homecoming, a Past Chairman of One Southern Indiana, and a board member of the IUS Board of Advisors and the Carnegie Center for Art and History.

  • Samuel Day: Sam was treasurer and chairman-elect for the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce, on the advisory board of Indiana University Southeast, past president of the Floyd County Bar Association, a member of the Board of Governors and past secretary for the Indiana State Bar Association. He was a member of Leadership Southern Indiana, past president of the Kiwanis Club of Historic New Albany and he was the Southern Indiana Chamber of Commerce Professional of the Year in 2002. He devoted over 500 hours per year to volunteer work with many organizations, including the New Albany Floyd County School Corp., Project Peace, Highlander Youth Recreation and the Ogle Center.

For a list of this year's ACE Award Finalists, click the link below. There are videos for each person and you can vote for your favorite.

What are your thoughts?
Do you have the scoop?
Let us all know in the comments below.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Matt Owen is the Lone Candidate

Jeffersonville City Councilman Scott Hawkins
not Seeking District 71 Seat 

Councilman Hawkins

The SI Open Minded has confirmed that Councilman Hawkins will not be seeking House Seat 71 formally held by Democrat Steve Stemler. This leaves Councilman Matt Owen unchallenged in the May 2018 Primary and poised to win the seat in the November 2018 General Election.

This news has to be a relief to the local party leaders as Hawkins is well liked. With Hawkins being a long time teacher at Jeffersonville High School, he would surely have had lots of support from former students and parents setting up a potentially contentious primary. Not only that, should a strong democrat materialize out of nowhere, an internal and potentially negative primary would do nothing but give democrats ammo to against the winner of that contest for a November showdown.

...But I digress... 
None of what I said in the previous paragraph matters now! My bet is there is no one else from the Republicans to announce with the support that has been put behind Owen. 

Now we wait:
WHO is the Democrat Hero to resurrect the failing local Democratic party that will come forward? 

Your Future State Representative for District 71?
Councilman Matt Owen
Current odds of success: 100%

Here's my Top 10 List in order of strength titled:
"Who can win the seat based on the strength of the local Democrat Party today"
1. No one
2. No one
3. No one
4. No one
5. No one
6. No one
7. Someone
8. Maybe
9. Never mind, no one
10. But I've been wrong 1 time before

What's your thoughts?
Do you have the scoop?
Put your comments below.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Sen. Jim Smith is Out: Offically not seeking Re-Election


Senator Jim Smith not to seek Re-Election

Sen. Jim Smith

Senator Jim Smith (IN 45) announced today that he will not be seeking re-election. That leaves Candidate Chris Garten unchallenged in next year's primary. No reason was given as to why he will not seek re-election but one could speculate.

"I've been fortunate to serve the constituents of Clark, Jackson, Jefferson, Jennings, Scott, Switzerland, and Washington counties since 2010," Smith said. "While serving in the Senate, I've had meaningful experiences and worked on a variety of issues to make Indiana a State That Works. It has been an honor to represent the great people of Southern Indiana and I am grateful for the opportunity to serve in the legislature."

No word yet if the democrats will have a candidate for this seat in the November 2018 General Election.

Now that Smith is out, it will be interesting to see who comes out of the woodwork to challenge Chris Garten for the open seat.

Put your thoughts and comments below. Do you have the scoop? 

Friday, October 6, 2017

Republican Showdown for District 71?

Councilman Owen Vs. Councilman Hawkins?


Councilman Matt Owen MAY (and I emphasize MAY in this sentence) have a Republican primary challenger in fellow Councilman of the Jeffersonville's 6th District; Scott Hawkins. This race would decide who would be the Republican on the November ballot for Indiana District 71 formally held by Rep. Steve Stemler.

The Democrats have yet to have anyone announce to try and fill Representative Stemler's fiscally conservative well respected democrat shoes. *INSERT CRICKET NOISES HERE*

Apparently Councilman Hawkins is currently doing some diligence in weighing his options and him running is one the table. However with the Republican 9th District and County Chairman Jamey Noel endorsing Matt Owen for this seat, it's already clear that Scott would have an up-hill battle within the local and potentially the state party.

But I have to be honest,  I take Hawkins as a "I don't care what you think" and "I'll do this with or without you" kind of guy. I don't mean that in a negative way by any means, only that he is not afraid to use the head on top of his shoulders for original thoughts. That very well may be the case here. 

Should Councilman Hawkins announce, it would put the May primaries on the list of races to watch. Both are strong within their bases but with Owen being an At-Large Councilman, part of his base is also within Hawkins' base. Although, on the other hand, the rest of the City is Owen's base.

IF Hawkins announces, don't count either candidate out too early. They are both strong and my prediction is that it would come down to a hand full of votes. 

IF Owen remains the only Republican candidate I'd still like to see the Democrats at least put up a fight to retain the seat. 

BUT the only way they are going to be able to do that is with some new additions to the party.

UNLESS another At-Large Councilman takes his hat and wholeheartedly throws it in the ring. 

What are your thoughts? Do you have the scoop?
Share in the comments below.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Jeffersonville Mayor

Four Moore Years?

I'll be the first to admit that I don't always agree with every single stance our Mayor makes or how he handles every situation. But I will say, in my opinion he's done a good job overall.

Thinking back on his latest fund raising golf outing, I have to wonder:

Could this be the last go?

Two terms has to take a toll on a person serving in this capacity let alone three. Let's be honest, there are not that many people who REALLY know what it's like to Mayor. If you love our city, like this Mayor appears too, it's probably a pretty good job to go to everyday. But with any job, I'm sure it has its major struggles as well. Struggles that challenge your core beliefs when you recognize how your decisions impact other people in a very real way. 

With Mayor Moore clearly primed to easily take a victory for his third term, I do not see a clear path for anyone to over take him, regardless of party. That speaks to the Mayor's strength.

Now, once that third term is up and assuming he doesn't run for a forth, who's in the pipeline? Only time will tell. I suspect when the time comes, it will be packed house to file for the paper work to be a candidate for the next Mayor of Jeffersonville.

What's your thoughts on Mayor Moore? Good, Bad, Neutral?

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Fall Time: My favorite!

Fall Festivals

Tis the season of fall festivals. Personally, this is my favorite time of the year. I always get excited for all of the fall colors, Madison Chitaqua, Harvest Homecoming, Lanesville Heritage, Art in Speed Park, Autumn on the River in Bethlehem, and just the weather in general!

Open windows, apple and pumpkin picking are like the cherry on top for me. While I'm sure other communities have similar festivities, OURS are something I cherish and one of the reasons I love Southern Indiana so much. It is at these events that you get to see the diversity and friendliness that are the building blocks of our community. 

We may not always get along or see eye to eye on everything but our differences are what make us unique. To everyone reading this, thank you for being part of my home. 

What's your favorite? What about each do you enjoy the most? Let us know in the comments below. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

"I don't like billboards but it will bring revenue"

I Believe Utica Should Be Unincorporated

There. I said it.

Let's review the last couple of years...

Police Department = Fiasco
Trucking Permit to raise revenue = Over turned by the state
Billboards to generate revenue = Lawsuit and pissed off EVERYONE (Jeffersonville, Clark County, River Ridge, everyone who will every cross the bridge only to think look how beauit... Oh look a billboard.)

There are ways for communities to fund themselves. It's call taxes. If you cannot meet the basic needs of your community, you have to raise taxes to do so or maybe you shouldn't have your own local government. You should not be figuring out ways to attack specific groups or businesses outside your community to pay the bills for what you are supposed to be providing to the tax paying citizens who live there.

"Personally myself, I do not like billboards," Town Council Vice President Jimmy Carter said. "I know that it'll bring revenue to the town [through fees]." - News & Tribute
SO WHY DO IT!?! This quote pretty much sums it up everything that is wrong with Utica. Might as well rename the town Faust so the town board can sell their soul while they are at it. 

EXAMPLE: Don't have enough money for roads then pass a wheel tax. Simple. Problem solved.
I know. I KNOW!  No body wants more taxes. I was just using an example. 

In my opinion: If Utica cannot sustain itself (which seems to be the case), then they need to seriously revert to being an unincorporated town within Clark County, like Bethlehem, Starlight, Marysville, or Otisco. The county can provide all of the basic serves and needs the Town council is unable or unwilling to provide.

It's time to stop being "poor little Utica" and do the right thing for the people you are supposed to represent. It may not be popular but it's the right thing to do.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Say Owen Wins... Then What?

Let the Speculation Begin

speculations (plural noun)
-the forming of a theory or conjecture without firm evidence 

So when I started this BLOG, I never meant for it to be as political in nature as it's been the last couple of weeks.
But this is the topic of the day! 

It's official. Matt Owen is now a republican candidate for Indiana House District 71. With no word on who the democrats will be fielding due to having little to no depth, one could easily assume it is very possible for Matt to pull out a November of 2018 victory.

Let's speculate what happens next!

That will leave an open at-large seat on the Jeffersonville City Council for 1 year before the council elections happen in 2019.

So who could it be? Who could be/should be caucused into that seat?

In a previous post, someone had mentioned Steve Webb. After thinking on this over the weekend, here are my thoughts on possible contenders should Owen win District 71:

Steve Webb: A familiar name on the City Council and in the newspaper due to losing in a recount to Joshua Rodriquez (may he rest in peace). While Steve could be a possibility, Steve did lose an at-large seat already. Putting him back onto the council could set up another lost republican seat during the 2019 Election. 

Bill Burns: Bill is now the president of the Parks Board and has picked up his propaganda of all things positive within the city on his social media. Bill has a good relationship with the council, is well liked in the city, and with the Mayor. If he is not in the running to be caucused into Matt's seat, I would not be surprised to see him surface on a ballot in the future.

One of the Current City Council Persons: There are several other republicans on the City Council who may be interested in filling an at large seat. Scottie Maples, Scott Hawkins, Lisa Gill all come to mind. Lisa has a history of engaging residents from across the city already. As current Council President, one has to wonder if the writing is on the wall? 

Josh Waddell: The Clark County Republicans have a history of promoting local youth to be engaged in the party. Josh is no exception. He has been in the young republican leadership for a little while so one could wonder if this would be an opportunity to allow a new young name to surface. Getting him on the council for a year could allow him an opportunity to build name recognition prior to seeking election via the 2019 campaign cycle. Admittedly, this move would be a risk but you never know.

Rob Burgess: His name may be unfamiliar to the general public but within the republican circles it is not. The current county party secretary is also the communications director for Congressman Hollingsworth. From my understanding, he also managed Mayor Moore's last campaign. Looking at his history, he is well connected to the national party and has worked major campaigns all over the country. The question is, can he win his own election instead of only working in the background of other peoples?

What does the CITY need? 

In my opinion, being caucused in is only good for the city if you intend to run for the seat when the actual election comes around. IMO, whomever it is should be qualified and committed to running for that seat the following year. A person's impact on the council would be minimal only being on there for 1 year during which they would also be campaigning. We (the city) would need a person who is not going to be a place holder (so to speak) but someone who is committed to making a positive impact for the 1 year and beyond. We (the city) need to have a someone who is not using this as a stepping block in a personal ulterior agenda but as a primer to their contribution to the City. 

So there you have it!

That is my the short list that I'm sure will change as time moves on, but it sure is fun to speculate. I have no inside knowledge of any of these people. I'm only using some deductive reasoning and reading between the lines. If I catch wind of anyone else, I will certainly add them to the list!

Have you heard any other names pop-up? 

What's your scoop?

Put them in the comments below. 

Friday, September 22, 2017

District 71 AND 66 Updates

Some Updates on possible
State Ballot Lineup for 2018

UPDATE for District 71: Word has hit the street that Matt Owen is hosting an announcement today at 11:30 about Dist.71.

I for one wish him the best of luck. Matt has always been a good representative to his constituents on the City Council to the best of my knowledge.  

(If Matt then wins in November of 2018, that leaves an open seat on the council. That could lead to a fun conversation trying to figure out who would replace him. Let the speculation begin!)

While I reported that Zach Payne, Callie Jahn, Lisa Gill and others were also considering, my bet is that Owen jumps in. It's a move that would ultimately have other local Republicans second guessing themselves about getting into this race. It is well known Matt is very close with Jamey and is also part of Clark County Leadership. Those two items together show a togetherness about the local party getting behind him. Choices are not a bad thing to have in a primary, but the R's are also going to need a lot of momentum to take that seat. Having a contentious primary could potentially be damaging to the winner during the general election. Only one way to find out!

Of course that all depends on who from the D side gets in the race. No word yet on who (if any) D's will jump into this race but it is hard to see them not fielding someone strong to try and retain this seat. Some names that have popped up include former Clark County Prosecutor Stewart and former Democratic County Chairman Bob Bottorff as I noted in a previous post.

UPDATE for District 66: In another State Representative District, it is swirling that Zach Payne (current County Recorder and former City Councilman from Jeffersonville) is seriously eyeing a run at Representative Terry Goodin's seat. Nothing confirmed if an announcement will happen, but have had multiple sources confirm his interest. 

Could this be your local 2018 primary ballot? Time will tell.

Tick Tock. Time is running out to jump in!

Ron Grooms(R) - Senate 46 CONFIRMED
Chris Garten (R) - Senate 45 CONFIRMED
Matt Owen (R) - House 71 CONFIRMED
Ed Clere (R) - House 72 CONFIRMED
Zach Payne (R) - House 66 SPECULATION

Anna Murray (D) - Senate 46 CONFIRMED
John Perkins (D) - Senate 45 SPECULATION
Stewart/Bottorff (D) - House 71 SPECULATION
BLANK (D) - House 72
Terry Goodin (D) - House 66 CONFIRMED

What are your thoughts? Do you have the scoop? Let it free in the comments below.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

I am Honored

Honored to Be Considered! 

It has come to my attention via the Hoosier Taxpayer Award Winning Bat Blog that SI Open Minded is being considered for the BEST LOCAL BLOG by GAWNEWS.
(Thank you Goliath for sharing on H-T)

I am floored and humbled to say the least. Especially since I only started this blog back in July. 

My goal was not to be recognized by an award of any type. However, being considered confirms that what I am doing is true to why I started this blog.

My purpose of this blog is to have my voice heard. To allow other voices to be heard. To have real conversation and sharing of ideas. To have possible respectful debates and not arguments. 

I think I have started off nicely and have no intention of slowing down.
It's cliché to say, but the best is truly yet to come.  

Thank you to H-T Bat Blog for helping readers find me. Thank you to the team at GAWNEWS for your consideration!

Respectfully and Sincerely; THANK YOU.


Wednesday, September 20, 2017

IN Senate 45 up for Grabs

Senate District 45 Up for Grabs?

On a previous post (Stemler is Out), the comments section turned to Senate District 45 currently held by Senator Jim Smith(R). Based on those comments, I thought I'd weigh in on this coming race that will take place in 2018.

Senator Smith has struggled over the last term with constant issues, expulsion from his caucus, and lack of visibility. Add those up and it makes him very vulnerable should he decide to run for re-election. As of today, my sources state that he is "in" but it is getting late in the year especially knowing he has a very strong primary opponent. He has been noticeably MIA from all of the usual gathering events of local republicans. I think the wise thing to do for him would be to throw in the towel. But that's just my opinion. 

In believe we have a strong team of local state officials who don't always see eye-to-eye but get past it to work well together to represent us. It seems Jim does not play well with others and that ultimately does not do good things for those he represents in District 45.

Thank you to the anonymous posts on the "Stemler" thread!
Great information for sure. 

            Future Senator Chris Garten?                         Former Senator Jim Smith?

So far, the only official candidate for senate district 45 is a new kid on the block, Chris Garten. A local business owner (Signature Countertops) and Iraq Veteran who served two combat tours. He is a Gunnery Sargent in the Marines. After doing some asking around, some of the feedback says he is just an all around good honest guy. Here is the Facebook about him for your reading pleasure:

Outside of the republican party, a few names of come up on the democrat side but nothing concrete. Those names include John Perkins, Bob Buttorff, and Julie Berry. Steve Stewart was mentioned in another thread, but it is unclear if it was a statement that he was looking at Stemler's House Seat or the Senate Seat. The libertarians have been silent but they usually throw someone in the mix.

3 of 4 of those names above are strong and would make for a very interesting General Election race in November of 2018. I personally think if Perkins is seriously running, he is wasting his golden years. 

Someone in the "Stemler" thread also said Garten is "unbeatable".

Someone else mentioned how great it is to have "choices". I could not agree more.

After reading Chris Garten's bio, I have a feeling that Garten would not shy away from a challenge. I personally think he's not going to have much opposition in the primary.

What's your thoughts? Put them below in the comments.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

WCCS Referendum

What will WCCS Look Like in 10 Years?

So the efforts to support WCCS November Referendum are in full swing. And apparently so is the opposition. Over the last few months, there have been some interesting items come up via news coverage and Facebook posts.

It's no secret, WCCS has had a long and divisive history of internal conflict between communities. Most of it appears to be based on hate/jealously of another community because of fond memories of a mascot instead of what type of education the kids currently have Vs. what the kids COULD have.

(Above is some reading if you are interested.)

A couple points of concern. The story second from the bottom address future students to the district. While it is a good report, it's unfortunate the BDASI did not break it out to a per school impact instead of the total number for the school corp. If you look at where things are moving to and consider what was said in the story 3rd from the bottom, it appears WCCS needs to look at making more investment in the Memphis/Henryville area.

The last link is the one that concerns me the most. According to the author, who owns the farm next to Silver Creek, the leaders at WCCS are looking at taking that property via eminent domain. If this proves to be true: THAT IS NOT GOOD. OUCH! Just his whole statement about conversations behind close doors is enough for someone who is So IN Open Minded to pause and question if the Board is being completely upfront with their intentions.

Everyone knows there are needs at WCCS. There is no doubt the basic needs of AC and stories of mold issues need to be addresses. That is a health and safety issue for goodness sakes.

But is this referendum the right thing for the school district? 

Yes AND No. It's an loaded question to be sure. That is why I encourage anyone living in the WCCS district to really, and I mean REALLY, think long and hard about how you will vote. I warn you to be cautious of what the Board and Administration are telling you because they are all in on this passing regardless. I also warn you to be cautious of those opposing because they are all in on this failing regardless. I urge you to pay attention to your neighbors based on its' tax impact. I urge you to pay attention to the Dryer Family who may or may not be faced with the school corporation forcefully taking away their family's identity.

A Cherokee tribe of Native Americans, warned: “Don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes”

Here is my opinion

CONSOLIDATE CONSOLIDATE CONSOLIDATE should have been the go to plan here. Not sure why it was not other than political pressure on the school board.

It is easy for me to say because I have ZERO ties to any of these schools. Therefore I have no heartfelt memories to cloud my thoughts. My emotions are in check.

For a school corp of this size, there is no reason to have 3 high schools. Either combine SC and Henryville or Borden and Henryville. Memphis is the perfect location for a new HS. That would then leave 3 elementary and middle schools with plenty of room for future enrollment. Plus, a brand new HS is very appealing to people looking to move to the area. If it was Borden HS and Henryville HS being consolidated into a new school, it could also be planned to redraw the HS boundaries to move students from SC to a new school.

At the end of the day commonsense needs to prevail here. This $95M is a very expensive kick of the can. Everyone agrees something needs to be done. After reading between the lines on this, growing SC but not looking north is a short term fix. After a little research, my best guess is that WCCS will be back to full capacity within 10 years and not the 20 years some leaders are making this plan to be. Then the residents of this school district will be back at each others throats about what to do next. Unfortunately by then it will be too late because WCCS will already have the highest tax rate in the area with very little to show for it.

I feel sorry for everyone involved because either way this cookie crumbles there are very defined winners and losers.

At some point emotions need to be put aside for clear thought to what is really needed; not for right now but for the future of this district. This referendum proves this community is not even close to being there and the whole community is going to suffer long term because of it.

👍Leave your comments below 👎

Monday, September 18, 2017

What to put in the "Box"

What to put into the "Box"

The 10th Street widening project east of Allison Lane is in full swing. Good to see. The new Kroger will be a welcome addition which makes me wonder: What happens to the old location?

When K-Mart went out, luckily there was Rural King there to back fill the space. While not a 5 Star facility, it is still better than having a dilapidated empty shell sitting there. My hope is that once Kroger makes the move, we don't end up with yet ANOTHER Vendor Village or something like that.

Please not another one of these!

This is where Jeffersonville Redevelopment guru Rob Waiz and staff needs to flex the creative muscles. Here is my list of "What it could be" for the old Kroger location:

1: College Outpost - The old Kroger Building will have the square footage, parking, and mechanical needs necessary to attract an Ivy Tech, Purdue, IU, etc type of specialize facility if done correctly. Could be a good use of the space.

2: Work Force Development Training Hub - With its' proximity to Jeff High and central location overall, this could make a great facility for secondary training opportunities. Wither it be advanced manufacturing, trades, or healthcare; this could be a great place for GCCS, the City, State, and private business to invest to help strengthen our workforce needs by producing trained individuals both young and old.

3: Completely out of the "Box" (pun intended) Thinking: Here are some other great examples of what other communities have done with old facilities like this one:

Anyway it goes, I simply hope and pray the current administration has a vision and courage to step up to the plate to not allow another Youngstown Shopping Center develop on one of the fastest growing corridors in Jeffersonville. The last thing we need is another dated old shopping center that turns into the latest eye sore of 10st.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Stemler is Out. But who is In?

Reprentative Steve Stemler 


State Representative Steve Stemler went public last week that he is not seeking re-election. 

Rep. Stemler has been a consistent bright spot in Indianapolis representing Southern Indiana. He has been a common sense leader regardless of your politics. Because of that he earned the admiration and respect of those on both sides of the isle.

A heart felt Thank You goes out to Representative Stemler for his service! 

Now the $1,000,000 Question: Is he done or looking at going another political route? Maybe he just wants to with the family more and run his business. Serving at the state level has to take its toll on a family and career. Steve has been doing this a long time. It takes a special situation professionally and personally to be able to spend the time required in Indy year after year.   BUT... He sure would be a strong candidate for Mayor against Mike Moore.

So who throws in the hat?  My bet is there will be a TON of people come out of the cracks for this seat. Here is a list of who may be on the ballot in my humble opinion:

1. Matt Owen: The safe money is on Matt Owen announcing very soon. While I think he ultimately wants to be Mayor Owen, this seat would give him a ton of experience in seeking the Mayor's chair  down the road. With Moore in for at least one more term, seeking this seat could give Owen potentially 2 terms in the statehouse before the next go around for Mayor. (State Reps are elected every 2 years.) Plus, with Matt being so close to County and District Chair Jamey Noel, it would be easy for Noel to back Owen which would potentially thin the republican candidates in favor of Owen.
Odds of Running: 1:1

2. Zach Payne/Callie Jahn: One of the dynamic duo. With Zach, there have been whispers of him looking at taking on Rep. Terry Goodin in the next election. But that would require a move into that district with Rep. Goodin being a very strong and longtime incumbent to that district. As for Callie, the first term city councilwoman has spent some time completing her studies. A move to Indy could make sense for her both personally and professionally. This could be an easy race for either of them to jump in on and put an interesting spin on what promises to be a fun primary to watch. Callie is the strong choice because she has the private sector experience that Zach does not. But if Zach wants it, Callie will be in the background to support him and visa versa making either of them a potential primary contender. Time will tell.
Odds of one of them running for this seat: 6:1

3. Former Mayor Tom Galligan: Is former Mayor Galligan is still in the background? While he has been quiet in local politics for a few years, the Dems will need a well known and established name to hold on to that seat. Don't be surprised to see Tom pop up in this race.
Odds of Running: 10:1

4. John Perkins: John took a beating in the last election but don't underestimate his ego. Based on that alone is why I think Perkins may throw his hat in the ring for one last hoo-rah.
Odds of Running: 20:1

5. Dennis Julius: Dennis, by all rights, would be the strongest person on the Dems ticket to step forward. He has the support system in place for his business, is very well thought of in the community, and would be well supported by the Dems should he jump in the race. Running against Mayor Moore was a shot in the dark with all that is going on in Jeff. An open seat scenario would look a whole lot different.
Odds of Running: 2:1

6. Lisa Gill: Lisa has put in a great deal of time representing Jeffersonville. She has the contacts throughout the state and the time to go to Indy as she is a "full time" city councilwoman. The questions is, does she want it? I could easily see her walking around the statehouse with the Rep. Lapel Pin on doing her thing. If she jumps in, it would definitely be worth looking at her as a front runner. I for one would like to see her and Matt Owen go head to head.
Odds of Running: 10:1

7. The Dark Horses: For a vacant state seat, there is no telling which political new comers from within the district could pop-up. There are a lot of local business people and such who put a great deal of time working with those in Indianapolis while working locally as well. But which of them are in the district and willing to throw the hat in is another conversation. 

What are your thoughts? Put them in the comments below. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Another group with Best Intentions

Align Southern Indiana: ANOTHER Group


Another community group. Working to pull leaders together. Interesting indeed. Maybe a little redundant but interesting nonetheless. 

Good Luck. I honestly hope it works. I really do. There is a major breakdown in a large vision for the benefit of all the communities for the items Align SI is working towards. And working to bring together all the community organizations with a common goal. Interesting. It could work, but baby steps is the way to go. 

But here is the problem. Without local elected leaders buying into this thing, it's success will be extremely limited.

Most of our city councilmen never leave their city nor care about what happens outside of it. County Council are too worried about money to have a vision. County Commissioners are either too beat down to continue or too busy trying to fix their county to pay attention. The Mayors are either too consumed with personal achievement trying to realize their vision or too proud (some would say stubborn) to work with neighbors.

The first time local community/organization leaders who are involved with this get threatened by those who are elected that don't like a plan, the organization/community leaders will back away. This is because they are scared of what might happen if they have a different opinion than their elected counterparts. They don't want to be on anyone's sh*tlist, so to speak. 

"What?!?" You say... "This really happens?"

Yes, this happens everyday. There is no healthy debate when it comes to local issues. If I'm wrong, please site an example...              Go ahead...               I'll wait...

There is no "I understand where you are coming from but... so let's move on and still be partners." Instead we have "I don't agree with you so I'm going to talk bad about you behind your back and never work with you again!  Until I need you."

A majority, not all, but a majority of our elected officials fit the description of what I stated above.

We are a small town area. Not as rural as we used to be but small town USA none the less. We are a people who are ruled by personal feelings that get them hurt when people don't agree with us. We inherently get our feelings hurt and struggle to separate personal feelings from non-personal decisions. We are afraid to say "Yes" in a tough situation or "No" in an even tougher one. But that's one of the reasons why "they" got elected from "we", to make the hard choices for us.


Here's where I hope I'm wrong. If Align can pull this off, it will be a huge benefit to the community as a whole as long as they are inclusive to all and not exclusive to a few (which seems to be how they are starting out). Sincerely, congratulations on getting this off the ground and good luck!

To the elected officials in Southern Indiana:

Thank you putting for yourself out there to serve us. I challenge you to engage with Align Southern Indiana. I challenge you to have a positive impact on areas outside your district, town, city, or county. I challenge you openly debate and not get your feelings hurt when you are not agreed with. I challenge you to be humble when you are. I challenge you to be a team player. I challenge you to be OPEN MINDED.

To the local community/organization leaders in Southern Indiana:

Thank you for all you do for your cause. I challenge you to engage with Align Southern Indiana. I challenge you to have a positive impact on areas outside your scope of work. I challenge you openly debate and not get your feelings hurt when you are not agreed with. I challenge you to be humble when you are. I challenge you to be a team player. I challenge you to be OPEN MINDED. 

Monday, August 7, 2017

Stop GCCS Wasteful Spending:

Part of the Solution or Problem?

So I've been seeing the Stop GCCS Wasteful Spending facebook page.  Seems to have a lot of sponsored ads someone is paying for. 

As I read through that page, it is all SUBJECTIVE! Everything is based on opinions with very little facts. If these people, especially Alice Butler have such a passion, step UP TO THE PLATE ALREADY and run for School Board! 

Everyone has an opinion. I get that. And by all means, feel free to express it. But the way the hateful, fear mongering, spiteful, one sided unwilling to compromise bullheadedness and childish way they are going about getting the point across is, in my opinion, hurtful to their cause. Wait, people are banned from their page for having an opposing view? Nice. Isn't that cute? So they have a problem but don't want to hear other points of view or have anyone challenge them with facts.  

Don't get me wrong, when their (Stop GCCS Waste...) facebook first started, it was for good reason. A person or group had an opinion and need to organize to spread the word by sharing information.

But now, it seems they've taken a good cause and shaped it into something ugly: one sided, not really wanting to make positive change because they'd lose their "fame".

So SAD. Once the personal attacks started by "Stop GCCS" facebook page, it's been all down hill from there. Not only that, their supporters have picked up the personal attacks which, as everyone was taught in first grade knows, only prevents meaningful discussion from happening.  

Now they have taken to attacking Mayor Moore? Why? Because he found a solution they don't agree with? So he put out a video laying out a solution he supports and these people attack him for it. If he didn't get the word out, the same people would attack him because he's conspiring behind closed doors with the schools. Give me a break already.   

This kills me! I bet if you gave them a stack of $100 bills, they'd complain how it wouldn't fit in their pocket! 

Here's my thing. I'm all about people having a problem. I'm all about people whining and complaining about said problem.
What I'm not about is people C O N T I N U A L L Y complaining about a problem without being open to or recommending solutions. It even fires me up more when, not only do they not have a solution, but they refuse to work with those elected to decision making positions to create one.  



  1. an agreement or a settlement of a dispute that is reached by each side making concessions:
    "an ability to listen to two sides in a dispute, and devise a compromise acceptable to both" 

The school board has the job of making the best decision for the school district's tax payers and children. JUST BECAUSE YOU DO NOT AGREE DOESN'T MAKE THEM WRONG - or corrupt - or unwilling to listen

If you truly feel they are, then put your money where your mouth is and RUN FOR THEIR SEAT

No matter what either side does at this point, the 2 schools are closing. PERIOD. The school board felt that was the best choice to make. PERIOD

Now, those people who are only making personal attacks while not working towards a solution can either:
  1. support the new school and kids have a place downtown
  2. not support and by default support the kids going on a 2 min bus ride to other schools.

Those are the solutions. PERIOD. Pick one and let's move on to making the future for our community brighter. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017


What IS and what COULD be...

This past weekend was beautiful! So we spent a good part of Saturday at the Greenway. Great views. Flowers along the path. Wildlife could be heard in the breeze. Just an overall good day.  Nothing exciting happened but after, I reflected on all I had seen... What a nice addition to the community. While we rode our bikes, EVERY SIGNLE PERSON that passed us at least said "Hello". 

There were men. There were women. There were children. There were white people. There were black people. There were people from of every color in-between. There were young people. There were old people. There were single people. There were married people. There were walkers holding hands. There were runners keeping pace. There were hardcore bikers clicking away the miles. There were dads teaching their kids how to ride on the path. 

My point is this...
Nowhere else in our community is there such a diverse mix of people who can come together and take advantage of an asset while being so friendly. 

Now, what's next?

Who is going to lead the way to take the next big step? Jeffersonville stepped up with the Walking Bridge and Big 4 Station. Nobody believed it was worth the investment, but look at how it has transformed Jeffersonville. The Ogle Foundation has dedicated untold amounts of money to projects that have helped transform our community as has the Horseshoe Foundation and Community Foundation. Thank you! 

With so much on the horizon for our area, now is not the time to say "That will never work." Now is the time to believe in our future and figure out a way to make it work. Our local cities, towns, and counties have a vision of how they want their community to grow. But they cannot and should not do it alone. 

Partnerships between government and investors can (and maybe should) be the way forward. While investors in a project to have the freedom to do as they want with their project, fitting the vision of a community should be part of the consideration. And while local government should be welcomed to the table, they have to be realistic in their expectations by not holding investors to such high demands that it kills projects. But killing a project that is allowed legally is not the role of government. 

A great example of a recent partnership can be seen in this news piece from July 26th: Click here 

While this developer could have went on to build this neighborhood without input, they recognized the city would like to have a park there, took initiative to approach the city (not the city to the developer) and come up with a mutual beneficial plan. 

Hats off to Mayor Moore and Premier Homes for coming together. This is a great example of what can happen when government and private investor both know their place, don't over step, and let investment happen.

But I digress

Let's be real here. Government does not know how to run a business. Government does not know how to spend your money better than you.
Government's job is to         (....wait for it......say it with me......)          GOVERN.

However, working together with someone who does know how to spend money and run a business to be sure the interests of the community are met is their place. Demanding frivolous investment and spending for pipedreams that prevents a return on investment by private business is NOT where Government should operate. Unfortunately, that's were they operate most of the time without realizing it.

Local government is the worst of all because they truly don't know what they don't know and (at least some of them) let ego's get in the way of understanding that. At least at the state and federal level they have resources available to them to be educated on a topic. Locally, they just go on their merry little way because "I was elected as (insert any random governing office)!" 

Time for some of our local elected officials to wake up understand they cannot govern on principle (some would say PRIDE) alone. Wisdom has to have a place in the equation. Asking someone who is smarter than you about something you know little about is a good trait in a leader.