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Reading Between Tea Leaves- What Did We Learn?

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acclaro View Drop Down
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    Posted: Nov 07 2013 at 9:25am
After a few days of digestion, the defeat of the school levy, and defeats of council members offers great hope that Middletown residents may recapture their city and are just as concerned about theor own well being financially, as city hall and offers, in padding theirs.
CONSIDER 1- Defeat of School Levy
With many prominent residents leaving and Chris Fiora moving to be near his West Chester position (easy commute for many current Middletown residents), my tea leaves said the levy would fail. I was so confident, for the first tome in 25 years of voting, my family chose not to vote at all, to test the hypothesis. It proved correct. Since that time, and a period of two weeks prior, I know and sampled an additional NO voters whom simply avoided the polls, or defeat would have been closer to 8-10%. The good news: a May levy will fail, an August levy will fail. Why? The message is flawed, the results dismal, and even in Middletown, when cash has to be put out, there better be a return. Note to Sam Ison- just because you say a district needs to move in the 21st century and our neighbors have them and we must keep up, is a woefully dismal, inadequate message. Bring it on School Board, it will fail again. You had the All Star team with Ann Mort, former Board member, bringing in votes, Tyus, rallying 2nd Ward, huge votes for Marcia Andrew, who could easily win a Mayor's race in the city (and should), and it was defeated. It won't pass until results move forward.
 
Parsing of words doesn't win, simply put, its not a willing formula.
 
CONSIDER 2- COUNCIL, Dan Picard, Dora B., Ann Mort, Josh L.
 
What we learned:  Middletown is a union town, and the union will go down screaming, hollering, and threatening. Pander and sell out to them, and you at least will get a seat at the table. Ann Mort effectively accomplished splitting the Ward 3 vote, and knocked out Laubach, although his confusion over national tea party interest and realities over local interests and issues. He lost many votes NOT for telling the truth- we all know the truth----but for supporting cash wasdted downtown. The apathy towards Mr. Laubach was greater the enthusiasm for the union getting two 'champions' for their objectives to keep the union strong. I add: Dan Picard may be on council, but unless he runs unopposed, he will never be a judge in Butler Cty in my opinion. He won because he talked without pen and paper, was prepared? No, people know his parents, their paper business roots, second generation, and more importantly, his willingness to shill for the union. Add the tarnished AK union guys, and its pretty easy to round up more votes than the other two (bundle DB in mix), as Laubach was a marked man and MANAGES union guys and Ann Mort, who is still battling the Forbes wind mill.
 
CONSIDER 3- I have known taxes were the only revenue gain the city could accomplish, hence MMF, 5 council members, and so on, their shills. The defeat of the school levy demonstrates even as clique driven and 'care out', quid pro quo Middletown is, future levies with failure to perform, and throwing out nonsense of revitalization is not selling.
 
The GOOD NEWS- people think with their pocket book and on occasion, their brain- Great! Getting a 2.25% tax rate is much harder than expected, so now the council and city will make hard choices.
 
So....what did we learn from Tuesday and events prior?
 
1. Large companies left knowing Middletown was dying.
 
2. Small companies left seeing big companies left knowing Middletown was dying.
 
3.  Rich residents left and are leaving knowing Middletown is dying who have incomes and assets which allow them to take a capital loss and buy new property.
 
4. Middletown class and upper middle class residents are leaving knowing their house asset is a capital loss, and will have to rebuild what they lost in 25-35 years in Middletown, but its worth it, because Middletown is dying.
 
5.  We learned FORBES was right.
 
6. We learned as Abe Lincoln once said, 'you can fool all the people some of the time, you can fool some people all the time, but you can't fool all the people all the time.' Even in Middletown.
 
7. We learned fire and police are reactionary, and passing the public safety levy did not prevent or reduce crime as it was advertised, but simply puts more in place to respond. We learned people and businesses don't want crime to be responded after the fact, but PREVENTED before it occurs.
 
8. We learned Bill Becker may be brought back to act as city manager (his contract expires soon with Libert Township), to deal with the union issue in 2014 and beyond.
 
9. We learned Thorn Hill Drive residents are coveted, and get nice favors.
 
10. We learned Middletown fire fighters run and respond as care transporters 5x to fire runs; and the ratio of income to capita costs for funding ratio is higher than any surrounding community. Should not EMT's through private entities be a logical alternative?
 
11. FORBES was right----Middletown is dying.
 
12. When running an election campaign- messaging is important. Even in Middletown, dummy down tactics and nuances don't sell. Lets all chip in $55 Mm for a failing school to get $40 Mm for a building.....just is a loser, PERIOD. More so in Round 2 and 3, when the sit at home voters like my family, will vote.
 
13. As known in business, 'think global, act local', works in politics/. Don't think like a global tea party fiscal guy, and stray off on downtown revitalization. Of course, the unions still bring out their megaphone, and yield same results JL.
 
14.  Middletown is a union town, with AK, police, fire, and teachers. Who wins? You decide.     
 
15. When city and schools are coupled, one cannot be saying we are rebuilding downtown, when the other (school) states its moving east. When you don't speak out about failures, you go down by the same failures. City fails, schools fails, and residents take the hit. No more taking hit until exit strategy in place.
 
16. School want to pass levy, same with city? Better have some 'carve-outs' just like ObamaCare, because the horizon shows large companies left, small companies left, rich residents left, and the only Robin Hood left in the resident.
 
Exit stage right becoming a very attractive option.       
   
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote over the hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 07 2013 at 10:47am
But Acclarro, I guess you are not inclined to run for city council and be a voice of reason for the down trodden and working class people of Middletown. If you are stuck here like many of us are why not go for it.???
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acclaro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 07 2013 at 10:51am
No time, no interest, no belief of a turn around Nelson. 
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Vivian Moon View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Vivian Moon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 07 2013 at 12:04pm

The Council Members and Miss Judy know that they can not get the votes to pass a tax increase…sooooo…now they are now going to get council members to vote on a street light charge of 3.50 a month and also an increase in the water and sewer bills.
However City Hall has never answered the question of where all the money that has been collected and set aside for years for the separation of the sewers has been spent. Now we get to give them more money for the same project? And where will this money disappear to and on what projects will this money be spent?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ktf1179 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 07 2013 at 12:18pm
You know what they will say $3.50 is how much beer costs at a bar. So if you give up your Beer, you can pay the Street Light Fee. Heck they might as well add a snow removal fee and a street maintenance fee to the water bill as well.
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acclaro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 07 2013 at 12:27pm
Such actions will backfire for several reasons:
 
1) It will put them in box to account for sewer collection funds.
 
2) It will put them in penalty box to charge huge fees for the 5:1 ration of utilization of few population using fire depart5ment for ambulance runs (spread true costs overt to those whom actually use services, not all.
 
3. It will drive down demand for housing and businesses in city even further, which hinder and effect school system and other directly correlated entities. So goes city, so goes school district.
 
Detroit is here. Middletown is where the US is projected in 2040 where % GDP is 40% just servicing debt interest. Middletown always leads in categories that are harmful, a laggard in those that are beneficial.
 
 
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote over the hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 07 2013 at 2:50pm
It would be nice if Bronston or Picard would ask "WHERE'S THE MONEY"???
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HdMechanical View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HdMechanical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 8:28am
Just my thoughts......Well actually it will be the future, just people are stubborn.

We pay taxes for Fire , EMT and Police.....The problem comes from maintaining those services. All responses from the services should be billed at a cost recovery rate to the end user. Fire response a hourly rate is billed to the person who is liable. Response to auto accident, Services are billed to driver at fault. Police response, services are billed to the guilty party.
And collect them, no soft billing.........Gain judgement, attach bank accounts or liens on property......

Look at those services the same way we look at water/sewer, the tax pays for the infrastructure/equipment...But the city bills for the use of the water/sewer....Why should other public services be any different. 

The people who have no need of those services are penalized by paying for use of them by others.

Like the other day, I went to doctor ...........Because I try to eat good and exercise, I am penalized for it. Because I had no need for my doctor, after 2 years I am considered a new patient and must pay a fee.. 

The schools are now slowly slipping into an ECOT format, everywhere. Children are learning math via YouTube videos, we are slowly creeping into the electronic teaching, which should lower costs...Computers require no raises, benefits or breaks. 

People will cry that computers will leave behind those who have a learning disability.......That is fine then the teacher can direct their resources to those in need with one on one instruction as needed. If additional intervention is needed, bill the parents or seek out grants...
 
Many cities are already doing this........ 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HdMechanical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 8:40am
Originally posted by Vivian Moon Vivian Moon wrote:

The Council Members and Miss Judy know that they can not get the votes to pass a tax increase…sooooo…now they are now going to get council members to vote on a street light charge of 3.50 a month and also an increase in the water and sewer bills.
However City Hall has never answered the question of where all the money that has been collected and set aside for years for the separation of the sewers has been spent. Now we get to give them more money for the same project? And where will this money disappear to and on what projects will this money be spent?



Ironically , years ago I was the one who presented this solution to my hometown of Trenton , they had made the statement about moving the police dispatch to county if funding could not be found. They said a tax increase to pay for the streetlights would free up enough from the general fund to keep the dispatch. I proposed a street light fee on every water bill, everyone has a water meter so the tax was spread evenly to all residents, not just those who have income or property.

Personally I like the dark, wish there were no lights at night...........it is so peaceful. 

They will never answer, in reality it doesn't matter now....What are you going to do..........Tar and feather them?  Quit worrying about the past, the future is on the way.......Learn from the past and lead the future. Make them tow the line and keep it tight, the problems will jump ship... 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 9:00am
HdMechanical:

.....The problem comes from maintaining those services. All responses from the services should be billed at a cost recovery rate to the end user. Fire response a hourly rate is billed to the person who is liable. Response to auto accident, Services are billed to driver at fault. Police response, services are billed to the guilty party.
And collect them, no soft billing.........Gain judgement, attach bank accounts or liens on property

IT IS BILLED TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE LIABLE IF THEY HAVE NO INSURANCE. OTHERWISE, THE CITY BILLS THE INSURANCE FIRST, SECONDARY INSURANCE SECOND AND THE PATIENT LAST FOR ANY RESIDUAL PAYMENT NOT COVERED BY THEIR INSURANCE LIKE CO-PAYS.

THIS IS ALREADY BEING DONE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE CITY MAKES A MEDIC RUN TO A HOUSE. THAT IS A CHARGE OF $732 PER RUN PLUS THE MILLEAGE TO ATRIUM OF 46 CENTS A MILE. THIS REFLECTS ON THE EOB THAT THE PATIENT RECEIVES FROM THEIR INSURANCE CARRIER/CARRIERS IF A SECONDARY INSURANCE ALSO. THE CITY CONTRACTS WITH THE PATIENT'S INSURANCE CARRIER TO PROVIDE THIS SERVICE AT AN AGREED UPON FEE. THE CITY CHARGES THE $732, PLUS THE 46 CENTS A MILE TO A PATIENT WITHOUT INSURANCE AND THEY ARE REQUIRED TO PAY IT. THE CITY SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH OUR INSURANCE CARRIER AND THEY RECEIVE $362 OF THE $732 AS AN AGREED UPON PAYMENT. I WOULD IMAGINE THE CAR ACCIDENT COSTS WORK THE SAME WAY. IF THE CHARGE IS NOT ENOUGH TO MAINTAIN THE SERVICE, THEN THE CITY SHOULDN'T NEGOTIATE WITH THE INSURANCE CARRIERS AT SUCH A LOW COST. THE CITY SHOULD KNOW WHAT THE COST IS THE MAINTAIN THE SERVICE AND CHARGE ACCORDINGLY.

A PERSON WITH NO INSURANCE IS YOUR TARGET FOR YOUR STATEMENTS AS TO GAINING JUDGEMENT WITH BANK ACCOUNTS AND PROPERTY LIENS. FOLKS WITH INSURANCE WOULD HAVE A SMALL CO-PAY AT BEST. THEY ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.

MdMECHANICAL:

"The people who have no need of those services are penalized by paying for use of them by others."

YOU MEAN LIKE THE NEW "OLD TYME LIGHTS" THAT WE ALL ARE PAYING FOR FOR THE S. MAIN ST. PEOPLE?





I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HdMechanical Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 9:10am
Originally posted by VietVet VietVet wrote:

HdMechanical:

.....The problem comes from maintaining those services. All responses from the services should be billed at a cost recovery rate to the end user. Fire response a hourly rate is billed to the person who is liable. Response to auto accident, Services are billed to driver at fault. Police response, services are billed to the guilty party.
And collect them, no soft billing.........Gain judgement, attach bank accounts or liens on property

IT IS BILLED TO THE PEOPLE WHO ARE LIABLE IF THEY HAVE NO INSURANCE. OTHERWISE, THE CITY BILLS THE INSURANCE FIRST, SECONDARY INSURANCE SECOND AND THE PATIENT LAST FOR ANY RESIDUAL PAYMENT NOT COVERED BY THEIR INSURANCE LIKE CO-PAYS.

THIS IS ALREADY BEING DONE. FOR EXAMPLE, THE CITY MAKES A MEDIC RUN TO A HOUSE. THAT IS A CHARGE OF $732 PER RUN PLUS THE MILLEAGE TO ATRIUM OF 46 CENTS A MILE. THIS REFLECTS ON THE EOB THAT THE PATIENT RECEIVES FROM THEIR INSURANCE CARRIER/CARRIERS IF A SECONDARY INSURANCE ALSO. THE CITY CONTRACTS WITH THE PATIENT'S INSURANCE CARRIER TO PROVIDE THIS SERVICE AT AN AGREED UPON FEE. THE CITY CHARGES THE $732, PLUS THE 46 CENTS A MILE TO A PATIENT WITHOUT INSURANCE AND THEY ARE REQUIRED TO PAY IT. THE CITY SIGNED A CONTRACT WITH OUR INSURANCE CARRIER AND THEY RECEIVE $362 OF THE $732 AS AN AGREED UPON PAYMENT. I WOULD IMAGINE THE CAR ACCIDENT COSTS WORK THE SAME WAY. IF THE CHARGE IS NOT ENOUGH TO MAINTAIN THE SERVICE, THEN THE CITY SHOULDN'T NEGOTIATE WITH THE INSURANCE CARRIERS AT SUCH A LOW COST. THE CITY SHOULD KNOW WHAT THE COST IS THE MAINTAIN THE SERVICE AND CHARGE ACCORDINGLY.

A PERSON WITH NO INSURANCE IS YOUR TARGET FOR YOUR STATEMENTS AS TO GAINING JUDGEMENT WITH BANK ACCOUNTS AND PROPERTY LIENS. FOLKS WITH INSURANCE WOULD HAVE A SMALL CO-PAY AT BEST. THEY ARE NOT THE PROBLEM.

MdMECHANICAL:

"The people who have no need of those services are penalized by paying for use of them by others."

YOU MEAN LIKE THE NEW "OLD TYME LIGHTS" THAT WE ALL ARE PAYING FOR FOR THE S. MAIN ST. PEOPLE?






That is fine, but what about police and fire...........It is the city's fault if they do not collect or contract for a lower rate.....Or one option another community implemented was to charge a membership per year for services and if they had not paid, the fire dept would watch the house burn , just protecting those around it. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 10:56am
HdMechanical: "That is fine, but what about police and fire...........It is the city's fault if they do not collect or contract for a lower rate.....Or one option another community implemented was to charge a membership per year for services and if they had not paid, the fire dept would watch the house burn , just protecting those around it."

Got three ways to go. Either the city gets tougher at the negotiating table during collective bargaining with police and fire, standing firm on the offer that will reflect a workable monetary solution, OR, start charging the caller without insurance (or the insurance company of the caller with insurance(s)), more per fire, medic and police run, OR, when negotiating with all these insurance carriers, stop accepting such a low payout for the services provided. IE- Don't contract with the insurance carrier for $362 of the $732, contract for $500 on a $732 charge. If money shortfall is the issue , the city needs to get a tad bit smarter on their negotiations. The membership fee idea should only be directed to those without insurance or as soon as one loses their insurance through job loss or other means.

From a medical standpoint, I would imagine the seniors call 911 for medic runs the most. If they are over 65, they have Medicare which pays 80% of the bill as primary carrier and perhaps a supplimental insurance carrier that would pay the other 20%. Don't see an issue with that group of people. House on fire?.....It's a community thing. Everyone pays into the till to protect everyone's house from burning down.

Bottom line....fire, police and medic services are there at any given time for anyone to use, paid for by the taxpayer pot set up to support it. A commune/Socialist type program. No one ever knows when their house will be the next to burn. No one ever knows when their next step will be their last as they go down with a heart attack. And no one ever knows when just up ahead while driving, an accident or fatality is waiting for them. It is a community affair set up by everyone, paid for by everyone, for the use of everyone. Everyone who puts into the pot should benefit from that effort.

."Or one option another community implemented was to charge a membership per year for services and if they had not paid, the fire dept would watch the house burn"

KINDA HARSH ISN'T IT? HOW ABOUT PUTTING THE FIRE OUT, THEN WORKING ON GETTING THE MONEY. THEY'RE GONNA LET A $100,000-$500,000 HOME BURN TO THE GROUND JUST TO COLLECT A COUPLE HUNDRED BUCKS? ILLOGICAL. ANY LAWSUITS FROM THIS ACTION BECAUSE I'D BE SUING THE CITY IF THEY RESPONDED AND WATCHED MY HOUSE BURN TO THE GROUND OVER A FEW HUNDRED BUCKS IN MEMBERSHIP FEES.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Originally posted by VietVet VietVet wrote:

 

."Or one option another community implemented was to charge a membership per year for services and if they had not paid, the fire dept would watch the house burn"

KINDA HARSH ISN'T IT? HOW ABOUT PUTTING THE FIRE OUT, THEN WORKING ON GETTING THE MONEY. THEY'RE GONNA LET A $100,000-$500,000 HOME BURN TO THE GROUND JUST TO COLLECT A COUPLE HUNDRED BUCKS? ILLOGICAL. ANY LAWSUITS FROM THIS ACTION BECAUSE I'D BE SUING THE CITY IF THEY RESPONDED AND WATCHED MY HOUSE BURN TO THE GROUND OVER A FEW HUNDRED BUCKS IN MEMBERSHIP FEES.


Harsh but true......$75 fee
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote over the hill Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 08 2013 at 12:36pm
Posted in today's paper are a lot of resolutions and ordinances and legal notices??? I don't recall all of these being posted before. I may be wrong.
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