Watchdog Lebanon

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Watchdog Lebanon was founded by Aaron Smith on November 14, 2001.
Aaron's home address is 2625 Countryside Drive, Lebanon, IN 46052 and his phone number is 765-891-1439.

Watchdog Indiana Candidate Ratings: 2014 Boone County Local Primary Elections
Watchdog Indiana has posted online an individual candidate rating web page for each of the Boone County Commissioner, Boone County Council, Center Township Trustee, and Center Township Board candidates in the May 6 primary election. As defined next, each candidate was rated as Taxpayer Friendly, Taxpayer Uncertain, or Taxpayer UNfriendly.

Taxpayer Friendly candidates are results-oriented, compassionate, and fiscally responsible, and are not expected to support regressive tax increases on Boone County working families.

Taxpayer Uncertain candidates have candidate questionnaire responses and a public record that are mixed and cannot be fairly rated as either Taxpayer Friendly or Taxpayer UNfriendly.

Taxpayer UNfriendly candidates do not respect the need of Boone County voters to know the candidates’ positions on matters of important county public policy and/or believe the greatest good is served when the fist of local government is shoved ever deeper in the wallet of everyday Boone County working families.

The Watchdog Indiana candidate ratings, together with the URL address for each individual candidate rating web page, are listed next.

Boone County Commissioner
Marc Applegate
(Taxpayer Friendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_applegate_marc.htm
Julia Evinger (Taxpayer UNfriendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_evinger_julia.htm.

Boone County Council District 1
Tom Santelli (Taxpayer Friendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_santelli_tom.htm
Gene Thompson (Taxpayer UNfriendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_thompson_gene.htm.

Boone County Council District 2 (uncontested primary)
John W. Hamilton (Taxpayer Friendly): http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_hamilton_john.htm

Boone County Council District 2 (contested primary)
John W. Hume (Taxpayer Friendly): http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_hume_john.htm
Jim Hundley (Taxpayer Uncertain): http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_hundley_jim.htm
Jay Schaumberg (Taxpayer Friendly): http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_schaumberg_jay.htm

Boone County Council District 3
Ken P. Campbell (Taxpayer Friendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_campbell_ken.htm.

Boone County Council District 4
Jon “Chip” Cravens (Taxpayer Friendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_cravens_chip.htm.
Steve Jacob (Taxpayer Friendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_jacob_steve.htm

Center Township Trustee
Randall “Randy” Large (Taxpayer Uncertain): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_large_randy.htm.
Eric R. Ping (Taxpayer UNfriendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_ping_eric.htm.
Adam Walker (Taxpayer Friendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_walker_adam.htm
Robert L. Wirey (Taxpayer Uncertain): http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_wirey_robert.htm.

Center Township Board (choose three)
Penny S. Bogan (Taxpayer Uncertain): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_bogan_penny.htm.
Larry Hysong (Taxpayer Uncertain): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_hysong_larry.htm.
Benjamin “Benjy” Johnson (Taxpayer UNfriendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_johnson_benjy.htm.
Tami Richardson (Taxpayer UNfriendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_richardson_tami.htm.
Richard “Dick” Robertson (Taxpayer UNfriendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_robertson_dick.htm.
Jane Ann Taylor (Taxpayer Uncertain): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_taylor_jane.htm.
Brent Wheat (Taxpayer UNfriendly): see http://www.finplaneducation.net/rating_wheat_brent.htm.

Every Boone County voter is eligible to vote for a County Commissioner. Every Center Township voter is eligible to vote for a Center Township Trustee and three Center Township Board members. County Council District 1 includes the following precincts: Eagle 1,2,3,4,7,8,9,11,12,14-18 – Zionsville. County Council Districts 2 includes the Center 2,7 & 14, Clinton, Jackson 1-3, Marion 1-2, Sugar Creek 1-2, and Washington precincts. County Council District 3 includes the Center 1,3,4,6,8,9,10,11,12,13,15 & 17 precincts. County Council District 4 includes the Center 5 & 16, Eagle 5,6,10,13,19 & 20, Harrison, Perry, Union 1-2, and Worth 1-2 precincts. General Boone County voting information is available at http://www.boonecounty.in.gov/LinkClick.aspx?fileticket=NxjA3Y0-Ieg%3d&tabid=630.

The candidate ratings were assigned using candidate questionnaire responses and public records. Unedited candidate questionnaire responses, any public record information, and candidate contact information are included on the individual candidate rating web pages.

All Boone County voters are encouraged to contact the candidates directly to assess their credentials to become our public servants. Your candidate analysis approach and rating criteria may be very different than what is utilized by Watchdog Indiana!

  City of Lebanon Interchange Land Use Plan
03/25/2014: The City of Lebanon Interchange Land Use Plan “outlines the City’s short- to long-term plan for improvement, development, and growth” for a study area whose northeast boundary is I-65, west boundary is SR 39, and south boundary is County Road 250 South.” The Interchange Plan is presented as a “foundation for future decision-making regarding land use and infrastructure development and transportation circulation.” The Interchange Plan study area is about 2,500 acres, with 1,500 acres within the City limits and 1,000 acres outside the City within unincorporated Center Township. Agricultural land in the Interchange Plan study area today totals 2,190 acres and is “actively used by a select number of owners that have held the properties for several generations.” None of this farm land is preserved because the Interchange Plan provides, “Growth within the study area is desired to be in the form of mid- to high-end residential, business, office, retail, technology, research, light industry, or a combination of these forms.” Detailed information about the Interchange Plan can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_interchange_plan.htm

Immediate action needed!
04/15/2014:
All Lebanon and Boone County residents concerned about Lebanon's I-65 and State Road 39 Interchange Land Use Plan are encouraged to submit written objections and let their opinions be known at the April 21 Lebanon Plan Commission public hearing.

The Lebanon Plan Commission has scheduled a public hearing this Monday April 21 at 7:00 PM in the second floor Council Chambers of the Lebanon Municipal Building at 401 S. Meridian Street to consider Interchange Plan. Written objections and comments can be submitted before the public hearing by hard copy and E-mail (kspencer@cityoflebanon.org) to the Lebanon Plan Commission Recording Secretary, 401 S. Meridian Street, Lebanon, IN 46052. For maximum benefit, any written objections and comments should also be copied to Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis at mayorlewis@cityoflebanon.org.

The proposed Interchange Plan stipulates: (a) “The cost of the recommended infrastructure is intended to be shared by Lebanon as well as the developer” and (b) “All infrastructure developments will defray development costs associated with private developments and make the study area more attractive for private investment, as well as reduce the risk and time for development.” The cost estimates for the nine categories of Interchange Plan infrastructure subject to taxpayer and utility ratepayer subsidies are summarized as follows:
$ 26.614 million for 3.9 miles of 4- lane Arterial Roads
$   8.019 million for 2.5 miles of 2-lane Collector Roads
$ 26.584 million for 5.3 miles of 3-lane Roads
$   8.743 million for 6.1 miles of Water Main Lines
$   1.767 million for 5.8 miles of Sanitary Sewer Trunk Lines
$   2.486 million for 2 Sanitary Lift Stations
$   4.200 million for an Electric Transmission Line
$   1.910 million for an Electric Substation
$ 28.802 million for the Lebanon I-65 Corridor Master Drainage Plan
$109.125 million TOTAL Subject to Taxpayer and Utility Ratepayer Subsidies

To put the $109,125,000 total Interchange Plan infrastructure subject to taxpayer and utility ratepayer subsidies in perspective, the total 2014 City of Lebanon budget certified by the Indiana Department of Local Government Finance is $12,762,558. Mayor Lewis expresses his municipal growth philosophy in the City of Lebanon April 2014 Newsletter when he states, “Many entities are reluctant to locate in Lebanon without being ‘offered’ something.” Lebanon and Boone County working families cannot afford the mayor’s desired quid pro quo for the Interchange Plan infrastructure.

Another important concern is that the long-term uses proposed by the Lebanon Interchange Land Use Plan for the 1,000 Acres of the study area located in Center Township (outside the Lebanon city limits) are in conflict with the Boone County Area Comprehensive Plan. The proposed future industrial and single family residential land uses included in the Interchange Plan for the 1,000 Acres are not compatible with, and appropriate for the farmland uses identified in the Boone County Area Comprehensive Plan until the year 2030. Also, including the 1,000 Acres in the Interchange Plan would make it easier for Lebanon to involuntarily annex the 1,000 Acres. The 1,500 acres within the Lebanon city limits that is included in the Interchange Plan are sufficient for Lebanon’s development needs without including the 1,000 Acres.

The “Lebanon Interchange Land Use Plan” web page at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_interchange_plan.htm has been submitted to the Lebanon Plan Commission as a written objection and comment.

Some aspects of the Interchange Plan might be a reasonable road map for orderly development the next few decades. However, the Interchange Plan provisions that call for the $109.125 million estimated cost of the recommended infrastructure to be shared by Lebanon taxpayers and utility ratepayers are Taxpayer UNfriendly and would rapidly erode our rural quality of life while creating the potential for eminent domain abuses. Also, the Interchange Plan does not preserve Center Township farmland as provided for in the Boone County Area Comprehensive Plan. The Interchange Plan should be tabled by the Lebanon Plan Commission unless and until (1) all Interchange Plan references are removed that relate to infrastructure cost sharing by taxpayers and utility ratepayers and (2) the 1,000 Acres of Center Township farmland are removed from the Interchange Plan's study area.

Watchdog Indiana LogoWatchdog Lebanon provides information about the revenues, spending, and long-term debt assumption of the local and county governments in Boone County. An online community is established where Boone County Hoosiers work together to help control government growth. This volunteer effort is non-party, non-connected, and non-profit. 

Watchdog Lebanon is an advocate for good government that focuses on the local tax burden of Boone County working families.

"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, ... who at the best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." - Theodore Roosevelt

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Did You Know?
04/11/2014:
Two $2 million Pool Bonds have been issued to build Lebanon’s $4.52 million new Memorial Park swimming pool (the $520,000 not covered by bonds comes from a Lebanon Redevelopment Commission grant). The $4.52 million new pool project was artificially divided into three capital projects to unlawfully avoid the petition and remonstrance process: see http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_park_pool.htm.

The Pay 2014 property tax increase to pay the debt service on the $2 million Pool Bond that closed on August 8, 2013, is $0.0354 per $100 of assessed value. The 2014 interest on the $2 million Pool Bond that closed on December 19, 2013, was capitalized – meaning that a second property increase of about $0.0354 per $100 of assessed value will be imposed next year. The final debt service payments on both of the $2 million Pool Bonds will not be made until January 1, 2028.

A committee consisting of Jerry Freeman, Jeremy Lamar, and Neil Taylor prepared a 2014 fees proposal to use the new Lebanon pool. The proposed 2014 pool fees were first presented to the Lebanon Department of Parks Board on March 5. A “courtesy” presentation of the fees was made to all of the Lebanon City Council members at their March 10 meeting. The Lebanon Department of Parks Board members Mike Burns, Jerry Freeman, Laurie Gross, and Michelle Thomas (Karen Galvin and Neil Taylor were absent) approved the proposed fees without alteration at their April 2 meeting. The approved 2014 fees to use the new Lebanon pool are listed next; also listed are the 2013 pool fees for comparison purposes.

Age 1 and Under
2013: $1.00
2014: Free
Decrease

Ages 2 to 4
2013: $1.00
2014: $2.00
100% Increase

Ages 5 to 13
2013: $2.00
2014: $4.00
100% Increase

Ages 14 to 17
2013: $3.00
2014: $4.00
33% Increase

Ages 18 to 61
2013: $3.00
2014: $5.00
67% Increase

Ages 62 and Over
2013: Free
2014: $5.00
Increase

Adults Only Swims Ages 18 to 61
(Monday through Friday with no lifeguards)
2013 (8:15 AM to 10:00 AM): $1.00
2014 (8:15 AM to 9:45 AM): $1.00
Same

Adults Only Swims Ages 62 and Over
(Monday through Friday with no lifeguards)
2013 (8:15 AM to 10:00 AM): Free
2014 (8:15 AM to 9:45 AM): $1.00
Increase

Ten-Visit Punch Card Ages 5 to 13
2013: $15.00
2014: Not Available

Ten-Visit Punch Card Ages 14 to 61
2013: $25.00
2014: Not Available

Babysitter Season Pass
2013: $20.00
2014: Not Available

Individual Season Pass
2013: $40.00
2014: $60.00
50% Increase

Family of 2 Season Pass
2013: $60.00
2014: $90.00
50% Increase

Family of 3 Season Pass
2013: $75.00
2014: $120.00
60% Increase

Family of 4 Season Pass
2013: $105.00
2014: $150
43% Increase

Family of 5 and More Season Pass
2013 (same as for a family of 4): $105.00
2014: $150 plus $20 for each additional family member above 4
62% Increase for a Family of 5
157% Increase for a Family of 10

NOTE: 2014 pool users ages 2 and up who are not Lebanon residents pay $1.00 more per day than Lebanon residents. Non-residents pay $10.00 more for season passes. An “honor” system will be used to identify non-resident users.

Babies under two years old are the only pool users whose fee will be less in 2014 than 2013. Adults Only swimmers ages 18 to 61 will pay the same $1.00 fee. Other 2014 fees will be from 33% to more than 100% higher than in 2013.

It is particularly disturbing that Lebanon residents ages 62 and older no longer have free use of their pool. Jerry Freeman was callous enough to share his opinion at the April 2 Parks Board meeting that senior citizens have more money than families with which to pay pool fees. It should probably not be too surprising that an appointee of Lebanon Mayor Huck Lewis will have little regard for the effects of tax and fee increases on older Lebanon residents trying to make ends meet on fixed incomes.

  The Lebanon Watch
"The best defense against usurpatory government is an assertive citizenry."
William F. Buckley, Jr.

It is time for everyday Lebanon residents to assert that our elected and appointed local government officials must stop increasing taxes and utility rates on existing residents to subsidize speculative development that does not pay for itself. One way to accomplish this goal is for concerned Lebanon residents to “watch” our thirty-two Lebanon and Boone County government bodies that are responsible for the oversight of our tax dollars and utility rates. 

If you attend a local government meeting (or watch it on TV) and discover something that is noteworthy, please send a report of the meeting to Watchdog Indiana at taxless3@comcast.net or call Aaron Smith at 765-891-1439. The Lebanon Watch Report web pages for our various government bodies and their public policy decisions can be accessed through the Watchdog Lebanon Topics Index below.  

The meetings scheduled by our local government bodies between now and May 1, 2014 (together with detailed information about meeting locations, contacts, and websites) can be found online at http://www.finplaneducation.net/lebanon_watch_meetings.htm.

 

Lebanon Topics Index

Consumer Price Index
Family Meals Tax: Lebanon Food and Beverage Tax.
Greater Lebanon Community Vision Committee
Huck Lewis Campaign Contributions History
Lebanon Candidate Information:
2011 Lebanon Candidates (Lebanon Clerk Treasurer).
2007 Lebanon Candidates (November 6, 2007, Lebanon Mayor General Election).
2003-2005 Lebanon City Council Voting Record.
2002-03 Lebanon Candidates (November 4, 2003, Lebanon Mayor and City Council General Election; November 5, 2002, Boone County Council District 3 General Election; May 7,2002, Boone County Commissioner District 1 Republican Primary).
Lebanon City Expenditures Per Capita
Lebanon City Finances
Lebanon Community School Corporation Education Outcomes Comparison: Schools with Boone County Students.
Lebanon Eminent Domain Coercions
Lebanon "Gateways" - Indianapolis Avenue Project
Lebanon "Gateways" - SR 39 Bridge Project
Lebanon Growth Projections
Lebanon Hot Pond
Lebanon I-65 Corridor Annexation
Lebanon I-65 Corridor Master Drainage Plan
Lebanon Interchange Land Use Plan
Lebanon Memorial Park Swimming Pool
Lebanon Municipal Building
Lebanon Property Tax Comparison: Residential and Farm.
Lebanon Property Taxes
Lebanon Public Library Expansion
Lebanon Public Library Expenditures Per Capita
Lebanon Public Library Taxpayer Friendly Action Plan
Lebanon Redevelopment Commission
Lebanon Schools 2010 Referendum
Lebanon Schools Expenditures Per Capita & Student
Lebanon Schools Finances
Lebanon Schools Property Tax History
Lebanon Storm Water Management Board
Lebanon Transportation Funding Increases
Lebanon Utilities 2012 Electric Rate Increase
Lebanon Utilities Analysis
Lebanon Utilities Telecommunications Division Profitability
Lebanon Utilities - Wastewater (Sewer)
Lebanon Utilities - Water
Lebanon Watch Government Meetings Schedule
Lebanon Worth Annexation
Lebanon's FAILED "Vision"
Petition and Remonstrance
Population Data: City Of Lebanon; Center Township; Boone County; State Of Indiana.
Public Access Laws
Related Sites: Boone County Area Plan Commission; Boone County Chamber of Commerce; Boone County Community Network; Boone County Economic Development Corporation; Boone County E-mail Directory; Boone County Farm Bureau, Boone County Republicans; Boone REMC; Lebanon (City Of), Indiana; Lebanon Community School Corporation; Lebanon Community Vision Committee.

 

Boone County Topics Index

Boone County Appointed Local Government Boards
Boone County Candidate Information:
2014 Boone County Commissioner Candidates: Marc Applegate, Julia Evinger.
2014 Boone County Council Candidates: Ken P. Campbell, Jon "Chip" Cravens, John W. Hamilton, John W. Hume, Jim Hundley, Steve Jacob, Tom Santelli, Jay Schaumberg, Gene Thompson.
2014 Center Township Board Candidates: Penny S. Bogan, Larry Hysong, Benjamin "Benjy" Johnson, Tami Richardson, Richard "Dick" Robertson, Jane Ann Taylor, Brent Wheat.
2014 Center Township Trustee Candidates: Randall "Randy" Large, Eric R. Ping, Adam Walker, Robert L. Wirey.
2012 Boone County Candidates (Boone County Council).
2008 Boone County Candidates (Boone County Auditor Primary Election).
2006 Boone County Candidates (Boone County Council General Election).
2004 Boone County Candidates (November 2, 2004, Boone County Commissioners General Election; November 2, 2004, Boone County Council General Election; May 4, 2004, Boone County Commissioners Republican Primary; May 4, 2004, Boone County Council Republican Primary).
2002-03 Boone County Candidates (November 4, 2003, Lebanon Mayor and City Council General Election; November 5, 2002, Boone County Council District 3 General Election; May 7,2002, Boone County Commissioner District 1 Republican Primary).
2002 Boone County Council Voting Record.
Boone County Campaign Contributions History (for selected local candidates within Boone County)
Boone County Council 2014 Budget
Boone County Cumulative Capital Development Property Tax
Boone County Departments & Offices Employment: Compared With Twenty-Six Selected Indiana Counties.
Boone County Disbursements
Boone County Education Outcomes Comparison: Schools with Boone County Students.
Boone County Expenditures Per Capita
Boone County Financial Analysis (Completed by Watchdog Indiana on April 19, 2012).
Boone County Growth Projections
Boone County Highway Department
Boone County I-65 North Overlay District
Overlay District for the Northern Portion of Interstate 65  
I-65 North Overlay Zoning District Document
 
Land Owners Within I-65 North Overlay District
 
Overlay District Questions for I-65 North Corridor Land Owners
I-65 North Overlay District Map
Boone County Local Governments Nepotism
Boone County Mapleview Rest Home
Boone County Park Tax
Boone County Property Taxes
Boone County Sheriff's Office
Boone County Solid Waste Management District
Boone County Tax Increment Financing Districts
Boone County Transportation Funding Increases
Boone County Utilities
Boone County Water Resources
Consumer Price Index
Convention Center
County Option Income Tax (COIT)
Duke Realty (Anson) Project.
Emergency Telephone System (E911) Fee
Jeff Wolfe Campaign Contributions History
Petition and Remonstrance
Population Data: City Of Lebanon; Center Township; Boone County; State Of Indiana.
Public Access Laws
Recount Commission: 2002 Boone County Commissioner District 1.
Related Sites: Boone County Area Plan Commission; Boone County Chamber of Commerce; Boone County Community Network; Boone County Economic Development Corporation; Boone County E-mail Directory; Boone County Farm Bureau, Boone County Republicans; Boone REMC; Lebanon (City Of), Indiana; Lebanon Community School Corporation; Lebanon Community Vision Committee.
Wheel Tax
Worth Township-Whitestown 2012 Reorganization (Approved Plan of Reorganization Town of Whitestown and Worth Township) (defeated by November 6, 2012 referendum).

 

Watchdog Salem LogoYou Can Help.
Listed below are several ways you can help control taxes and spending in Boone County.

Bookmark this website so you can easily visit Watchdog Lebanon often to help learn about cash revenues, cash spending, and long-term debt assumption in the various Boone County governmental units.

Suggest projects for Watchdog Lebanon to adopt. Please send an E-mail if you know of something that needs the attention of Watchdog Lebanon.

Register to vote. Send an E-mail to the Boone County Clerk to request information on how and where to register to vote.

Review the Watchdog Lebanon "Boone County Candidate Information" (see the Watchdog Lebanon Topics Index above) when deciding how to vote in a local Boone County election.

E-mail to the Editor of your local newspaper a letter or opinion article about local cash revenues, cash spending, and long-term debt assumption. Use Letters To The Editor Via E-mail to find the E-mail address of the Editor of your local newspaper.

Use the Local Government Factfinding List to understand and influence the revenues, spending, and long-term debt assumption decisions of your local government.

Watchdog Lebanon summarizes my use of Boone County, Indiana, as a case study to demonstrate how you can work to help control the revenue and spending growth of your local government. Understanding the Fundamental Watchdog Beliefs will help you understand the approach taken in this website. Please send an E-mail telling what you think about Watchdog Lebanon or anything else that comes to mind. Your comments, suggestions, problems, complaints, praise, and opinions are welcome.

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This page was last updated on 04/15/14.