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PostSubject: GRIP   10/29/2010, 9:49 am

After yesterday's Times article about the Gary Region something plan to get yet more $$ for Gary, I was glad to see this: The Federal Government was on WLTH Radio this morning and said the only money the region will be getting is to tear Gary down & build industrial parks and the region will have to work together on accomplishing the task and set in motion a real plan for the future before any federal dollars are coming to the region.

He talked about all the undeveloped land by I-94 and all the ruins strong along there.

He talked about Gary has 22 miles of undeveloped lakefront .

He said Gary will not be getting any funding other than to tear down the ruins.

He said the region will not be getting any funding unless they join forces with Gary to come up with a plan to fix Gary.

He said Gary was going to have to work with the region and they don't care if Gary & the region goes bankrupt they will still not come in and give any assistance.

The Obama administrator said they want to help those that help themselves and they see Gary and the region as still doing business as usual and there are other cities and towns who are moving in the right direction who will be receiving the federal help that the region should be getting.

He reiterated several times and said he was trying to be blunt as he could he was told to come to the region and deliver the message and he was here all last week delivering it. You did not know did you ? Tony Walker said he will be rebroadcasting his show.

I hope they follow through - I don't see why anyone except Gary should spend money on Gary.
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PostSubject: Re: GRIP   12/18/2010, 5:52 pm

Hey, Karen, look what happened!

'Emergency manager' would run bankrupt municipalities
Proposal lays out plan for local governments in financial distress

December 18, 2010

BY JON SEIDEL, (219) 648-3068
Republican state Sen. Ed Charbonneau said he filed a bill this week to reinvent the state board Gary City Hall has relied on for years of budget relief.

His proposal would give the Indiana Distressed Unit Appeals Board power to appoint an "emergency manager" to help distressed Hoosier taxing units. It would also offer local governments a path to bankruptcy not available now.

Land-based casino bill

A bill to allow construction of a land-based casino in Gary has been filed by Sen. Earline Rogers, a Democrat.

The legislation would let the owner of a gaming license in Gary submit a plan for construction of an inland casino to the Indiana Gaming Commissioner.

Gary has two riverboats, but Rogers' draft would allow only one to be relocated.
"Hopefully it will never be needed," Charbonneau, of Valparaiso, said.

Though Charbonneau said his Senate Bill 105 is not aimed at Gary, no other city has sought help from that board. Budget relief offered for two years by the DUAB to Gary has come in the form of higher tax caps for property owners.

Because Hoosiers passed a referendum to write those caps into the state's constitution, though, the DUAB will become powerless to raise caps in 2012.

When that time comes, Charbonneau suggests the DUAB should be reduced to a three-member board made up of the director of the state's Office of Management and Budget, the commissioner of the Department of Local Government Finance and the examiner for the State Board of Accounts.

The new DUAB could only declare a government unit distressed if that unit or a qualifying creditor files a petition.

As proposed, the emergency manager would be able to "exercise the authority and responsibilities of the executive and fiscal body of the distressed unit." That includes reviewing budgets and salaries, developing a written financial plan and renegotiating labor contracts. It could also recommend a bankruptcy filing.

Municipal bankruptcy is governed by federal law, but that law requires states to pass an authorizing statute. It's been seen as a possible path for Gary after 2011.

Rep. Vernon Smith, D-Gary, said he supports the bankruptcy provision of Charbonneau's bill and he said previously he might file bankruptcy legislation himself. He said he'd need to review the other details before commenting.

Both lawmakers said Hoosier governments other than Gary might one day need to file for bankruptcy.

"Yes, it's Gary now," Smith said. "But there's going to be a whole lot of people in trouble before it's over with."

Republican Gov. Mitch Daniels has said he'd entertain the idea of a municipal bankruptcy bill and Charbonneau's bill will be considered first in a Senate where his party holds a supermajority.

Gary Mayor Rudy Clay said his city's trips to the DUAB mean it won't need to take advantage of the bankruptcy option.

"We're better prepared as it relates to administrating the government under these tax caps," Clay said.

Indiana's property tax caps were lifted by the DUAB for Gary in 2009 and 2010, and the city filed a petition for similar relief in 2011. Those caps limit tax bills to 1 percent of a property's assessed value for homeowners, 2 percent for landlords and farmers and 3 percent for commercial properties.

A fiscal monitor said last year that, if Gary were forced to operate under the caps, it would only have enough money to pay the salaries of its police, firefighters and EMS workers.

Gary Controller Celita Green said last week the city would be forced to operate with a levy of $30 million if it didn't seek DUAB help. It's seeking approval for a levy of $41.1 million.

The combined 2011 budget for Gary's police, fire and EMS departments is about $25.6 million.

Clay's administration has balked for years at the idea of filing for bankruptcy, but it's not clear who will be mayor when the caps go into effect. Several people are already vying to take over Clay's job that year.

Among them is attorney Karen Freeman-Wilson, who said she will attend hearings where Charbonneau's bill is considered. She questioned whether an emergency manager should take over the duties of the city's elected officials.

"You just become a ceremonial mayor," Freeman-Wilson said. "Who wants to do that?"

Another is City Council member Ragen Hatcher, D-at large, said she has a proposed budget of about $40 million she said can be implemented in January 2012 with the tax caps in effect that will satisfy Gary's creditors.

"We won't be going back down to the DUAB," Hatcher said.

Same old slime running...question is..who's gonna watch the "watchdog"?

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