Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another Big Geist Turnout

The Geist residents who are in opposition to the Town of Fishers' forced annexation met again tonight, with about 400 present, including the local news media. This group really has it together. There is no doubt in my mind that they will defeat the Town's attempts. They had the power point presentations, tables set up for accepting charge card doantions, a block captain system set up, and one more very interesting thing-

For the first time, an elected Republican official stood up and declared that forced annexation is wrong. County Commissioner Steve Dillinger has broken the silent ranks of the GOP and spoke out.

Should he run for another term, I'm sure he will be well rewarded at the polls in the Geist area for having recognized the obvious- that these people want no part of a forced annexation.

Amusingly, one Republican precinct committeeman stood up and spoke in roundabout ways about how the annexation couldn't be all bad. Talk about not knowing your audience. The rumbling of discontent swirled through the room. I was delighted, of course. My point on forced annexation is that it is wrong, period, and that the GOP has been conspicuously out of touch. The people sitting at my table all took my business cards and palm cards, thanks to the man's comments. I do thank him kindly.

His position will probably cost him his postion. Nedra Moran, a Geist resident and annexation foe, is challenging him for the Precinct Committee post.

This is what is delightful to me: The people of the area are becoming rather politically savvy. They are looking for candidates to back, whether incumbents or challengers. The single issue is the position on forced annexation. If incumbents are unwilling to represent their views, they will back a challenger to replace the office holder. I hope to earn their backing.

Sheriff Doug Carter was there and said words to the effect that he had never seen a finer display of the democratic process in action. I couldn't agree more.

Update: Link to Indy Star coverage. Also, WTHR-TV coverage. Also, WISH-TV coverage.


JQFR said...

Actually, the best part was hearing the one lone voice questioning the "fairness" of not paying taxes like his neighbors "less than one football field away" do. A brave soul indeed. I also chuckled at all the little sidesteps by the "board" about what's to be done if some win and some lose. I was almost brought to tears over the speech Santa Claus gave about how the town council acted without "common decency"...*snif*. It's going to be interesting to see how this plays out. I predict these spoiled children will eventually show their true colors and the group will disband in a disarray of bickering and financial ruin before the end of the process.

After all, it's the HOAs that hold all of the power in those geist neighborhoods and you know how those silly "busybodys" hate to lose their control.

Mike Kole said...

Shoot- Now you're close to giving yourself away! You really should have come up and introduced yourself.

That one lone voice did reveal bravery, but also that his allegience is to his county chair, and not to his neighbors. I'll leave that to the readers to judge on whether or not that is honorable, though.

To describe the Geist people as "spoiled children" says a lot about one's view of wealth, earnings, and capitalism. It pretty fairly sums up the GOP's shift to the left.

Ed Godard said...

There's a fine line between brave and stupid. To follow jqfr's comments of the last two days, I bet Mike has a far better chance of getting his 10% than this precint boss has of being reelected. That guy should probably take his brave ass back to being a clerk at Crystal Flash, because he couldn't even be elected HOA secretary at this point.

jqfr said...

Well ed there are probably quite a few Medal Of Honor winners who were thought of as stupid at the time. Good call.

To expand on the HOA issue. In the absence of municipal services the HOAs effectively fill the void by providing a communal entity to more efficiently deliver the essentials like police, snow, common area maintenance, etc. They are also, in effect taxing authorities by way of their dues structures. EXCEPT they are not subject to nearly the oversight and public disclosure that municipalities are. The neighborhoods are governed by the "volunteers" who are elected by the small percentage of homeowners who attend the meetings (the general membership is invited only once annually, for the elections). If a resident dares to question expenses by the HOA they are soundly beaten down by the board who really doesn't appreciatte anyone questioning the wisdom of their decisions. They are, after all, the elected government of their little part of the world. The HOA leaders are fighting this annexation tooth and nail to protect their power (and possible perks from vendors to the HOA). Heaven forbid that it would make sense for some of the neighborhoods to LOWER their dues and take advantage of the municipal services offered by Fishers. Sure the snow wouldn't move quite as fast but the HOAs are not giving residents the whole picture since they aren't required to disclose just many tens of thousands of dollars of spending they control to "provide" services they could be contracting with rigged or no-bid contracts. At a minimum they annexation discussions should include the current real costs of these services (broken down on a per household basis) to present a truly accurate picture of the situation. If the residents were to become as emotionally involved in their HOA as they are in this fight they would see that these HOA leaders can be just as meglomanic as any mayor or town council member can be.

Obviously Mike, you doesn't wish to be "taxed" by this kind of authority since you choose to live in a neighborhood with strictly volunteer participation. And yes, the homeowners choose which neighborhood they want to live in and whether or not they agree to pay dues under an HOA contract. I would submit though that the choice of which community or area you want to live also comes with a "caveat emptor" in that if you choose to live in an unicorporated area, at some time you will become part of the corporation. It's the same thing as if you lived next to an undeveloped parcel of land it's likely that at some point your view will be spoiled by the development of housing or a cell phone tower or a gas station. I do agree that forced annexation carries a negative connotation but it certainly is not "wrong, period". Not in this case. The reality is that our (yours and mine) taxes will increase at a faster rate if ALL unannexed areas are not brought on to the rolls and that is not fair to us.

I'm all about capatalism and wealth mind you. My support of this annexation is (believe it or not) is in the interest of keeping more of MY aquired wealth. You really need to consider both sides.

dmiller said...

Just to set the record straight, I live in Area 4 of the proposed forced annexation. The biggest majority of the houses in my neighborhood were built in the 1950's and 60's. A large percentage of the owner of these homes are the original owners, who started out as young couples with small children, and now are senior citizen living in the same home, on a fixed income. This is a very modest neighborhood with mostly blue collar incomes. We have no HOA. I love it when people make comments, on subjects they haven't researched, and then lump people into nice little categories to fit their need. Kind of ruins their credibility when the truth comes out, doesn't it? And the name calling and making fun of people are things of children and shows your maturity level. Reminds me of high school.

jqfr said...

Yes I'm acting immature and I apologize for that. But no less so than some of those who oppose the annexation on strictly emotional grounds without requesting/getting all of the facts from the leaders who just might have something more to lose. I wish I had been smart enough to invest in a geist property in the 50's. Must be nice...

dmiller said...

The facts will come out in court and be decided there. In the mean time, I would suggest that the people of Fishers demand that their elected officials keep their spending within the town budget. Frivolity and grandiose projects should not be tolerated by the voters who put them in office, when funds are not there. I do not run my household in that manner, and neither should they run a city that way. Can we all say "bankruptcy"?

If you would like to enlighten people as to the supposed lies that the annex opposition committee is telling everyone, feel free. Just make sure your facts are correct and can be proven. Like I said, it's a credibility issue. Putting your own spin on things, is human nature, but doesn't benefit anyone in the long run. (As we have seen in politics a lot lately.)

It was good of you, jqfr, to apologize for the name calling and making fun of older men with white beards. Although the excuse, that the others are doing it, is also something that children do to shift blame when they are called out. Didn't your parents ever say to you as a child, "Well, if Johnny goes and jumps off a cliff.............???? I think you know where I'm going. I would hope that those on ALL sides (and there are more than 2 sides to this matter) refrain from "chest puffing and pounding" gorilla tactics.

Oh, and by the way, there are a couple of homes for sale in our neighborhood. That is, if your looking to downsize!