The Constitutional Patriots Endorse Rick Sharp for Mayor

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Why Are You Running For Office?
I believe the time has come for a change in leadership in Carmel. Better fiscal management and a more open conduct of business are required. I see a change in the person of the Executive as the only means that will lead to these changes.

What Are Your Qualifications For The Office You Are Seeking?
36 years in business both in the corporate sector and in a small family business. 4 years as a member of the Plan Commission – 3 years as Chair of Special Studies Committee, 3 terms on Carmel Council – 6 years as President and 5 years as Chair of Land Use Committee, 1 year as Chair of Parks Committee, 6 years as a member of Carmel Redevelopment Commission, 3 years on Carmel Swim Club Board – 1 year as President, Board Member and President of SpringMill Crossing HOA – 2 years Board President, Board President Thistlewood POA – 4 years

What Would You Like to Accomplish When You Are In Office?
Targeted economic development of specific business sector in conjunction with “Invest Hamilton County”, work to reduce debt and spending – make city government open and accessible to our constituents – invest in older neighborhoods aging infrastructure.

How Do You Define “Fiscal Responsibility”?
Treating taxpayer’s money like my own. Being open and accountable in city dealings. Paying as much attention to future generations fiscal liabilities as we do to current constituents.

What Will You Do To Promote Transparency To The Citizens When In Office?
Decisions will be made in public settings as will all discussions leading to these decisions. Contracts, including for personal services will be openly and fairly bid. Request for information will be quickly processed with the only reviews being for personal private information. Public documents and records must be available to the public.

If you would like more biographical information on the candidate, please contact us at theconstitutionalpatriots@gmail.com

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The Constitutional Patriots Endorse Diana Cordray for Clerk-Treasurer

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Why Are You Running For Office?
To continue to provide transparency and accountability to the citizens of Carmel!

What are your qualifications for the office you are seeking?
19 years in this position, College graduate, Recognized by Indiana Association of Cities & Towns, National League of Cities and Government Finance Offices Association for accomplishments as Clerk Treasurer for Carmel.

What Would You Like To Accomplish While In Office?
Continue to expand on every level while keeping costs to a minimum. 95 years of experience in this office. Dedicated staff.

How Do You Define “Fiscal Responsibility”?
Do the most without raising costs. Definition: Governments assurance it will judiciously spend, earn and generate funding without undo hardship on its citizens.

What Will You Do to Promote Transparency to the Citizens When You Are in Office?
Provide all documents to citizens when asked and expand on transparency every way possible. My office’s reputation is synonymous with transparency.

If you would like more biographical information on the candidate, please contact us at theconstitutionalpatriots@gmail.com

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The Constitutional Patriots Endorse John Accetturo for Carmel City Council

john

Why Are You Running For Office?
I am running for Carmel City Council because I am concerned about the sustainability of Carmel. The City’s debt continues to rise at a much faster pace than our revenue sources, while City services and maintenance are faltering. Additionally, I believe that City Council needs varied opinions on the Council to vet issues in order to make the best decision for our City.

What Are Your Qualifications for the Office You Are Seeking?
Expert on Carmel Finances & Budgeting
Certified Government Financial Manager
Financial Management Professional
Bachelors & Masters in Business Administration
Prior Experience as a Carmel City Councilman
100% Transparent
Leadership Experience in Finance & Accounting

What Would You Like To Accomplish In Office?
Reduce the debt and the size of government
Enhance City services and maintenance
Ask tough questions to vet Council actions
Help taxpayers resolve government issues
Support development through the Free Market
Provide checks and balances to the Executive Branch

How Would You Define “Fiscal Responsibility?”
I would define fiscal responsibility as being a good steward of taxpayer money by treating it as if it was your own. This requires a City Councilman to do detailed research to insure that money being budgeted or borrowed is in the best interest of the taxpayers and is sustainable.

What Would You Do to Promote Transparency of Carmel When You Are In Office?
I would promote transparency by:
Obtaining detailed information concerning issues and actions
Asking tough questions
Distributing and making available public documents
Disseminating important information via a website or the media
Responding to constituents within 1 workday of receiving an inquiry

If you would like more biographical information on the candidate, please contact us at theconstitutionalpatriots@gmail.com

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The Constitutional Patriots Endorse Ron Houck for City Council at Large

ron houck

Why Are You Running for Office?
I am running because I have deep concerns about whether our city is spending our tax dollars wisely, and I feel that my opponents are too quick to approve more spending. We need more attention given to our infrastructure and a responsible plan for dealing with our debt. I will ask serious questions about our budget and work to get more money directed to infrastructure and neighborhood needs.

•Taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent – “no exceptions”.
•We need a responsible, transparent plan for repaying our debt, especially at the CRC.
•We need to strengthen our rules about conflicts of interest and the appearance of impropriety by City Council members
•I will never vote to provide financial benefits to any business in which I have any involvement. If Lilly, my current employer, were to consider opening facilities in Carmel, I will publicly disclose my conflicts and abstain from voting.
•I will never vote to award public funds to people who own any business where I work, or in which I am a partner. if such issues arise, I will disclose them publicly and abstain from voting on such issues.
•If I am ever on the board of an organization receiving funds from Carmel taxpayers, I will vote to make all of the organization’s records publicly accessible, as required by City Ordinance.

What Are Your Qualifications For The Office You Are Seeking?
I have a proven history of community service beginning initially with formation of my neighborhood homeowners association, formation of the Clay West Information Council (CWIC, now knows as CWIC2), 11 years of service on the Carmel Clay Plan Commission, and eight years of service on the Clay Township Regional Sewer District (CTRWD) board. Serving on the Carmel Plan Commission and CTRWD required analysis of growth, development, and financial issues with a perspective of what is best for the entire township and even adjacent townships or counties.

What Would You Like to Accomplish When You Are In Office?
I would promote proper fiscal oversight of planned city projects to balance debt with revenue and reduce risk in public-private partnerships for development. City projects must have accurate cost estimates and finish on time and on budget. I would promote a standard of behavior on the Carmel City Council of professional, courteous, and respectful interactions with fellow council members, the administration, and the public. We need to direct specific attention at the CRC debt and create a solid plan to protect Carmel taxpayers from a special benefits tax caused by the CRC’s fiscal irresponsibility. The current proposals from the CRC admit that TIF revenues are $44 million less than the CRC’s debt obligations and the assumptions underlying those projections are suspiciously generous.

How Would You Define “Fiscal Responsibility?”
Fiscal responsibility to me means the prudent use of finances to achieve the best outcome at a sustainable level. I am opposed to “back-loaded” debt which pushes higher payments on our children in order to reduce the current obligations, and I am also opposed to placing taxpayers on the hook in the event that speculative projection of future revenue increases do not materialize. Too many fiscal games are being played with taxpayer funds that make it look like everything is okay today, but the risk grows in future years.

What Will You Do To Promote Transparency To The Citizens When You Are In Office?
Carmel has created different entities for economic development, such as the CRC and 4CDC. Unfortunately assets and money moves between these entities without transparency. If these entities serve the interests of Carmel then they should operate openly. Financial exchanges and operations of each entity should be fully disclosed. Our conflict of interest laws are weak in Indiana. I promise to always publicly disclose any conflicts of interest on any topic upon which I am asked to vote, and I will never hide behind legal technicalities to evade disclosure. The public deserves to know when its elected officials have conflicts of interest.

If you would like more biographical information on the candidate, please contact us at theconstitutionalpatriots@gmail.com

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The Constitutional Patriots Endorse Carol Schleif for City Council

carol

Why Are You Running For Office?
Continue to push for completion of the settlement agreement for annexing Southwest Clay
Keep spending & risky financial policies in check
Keep taxes low
Help the public get to use the resources and information they need

What Are Your Qualifications For the Office You Are Seeking?
Carmel City Councilor, SW District, 2011 to present
Chair of Carmel Historic Preservation Commission, 2011 to present
Indiana Fire Prevention & Building Safety Commission Residential Code Review Committee 2009-10
Hamilton County Plan Commission, Noblesville, 2007-09
Carmel Plan Commission, Chair Subdivision Committee, 2008-09, Commissioner, 2006-09
Carmel Plan Commission, Executive Committee member, 2008-09
Carmel Plan Commission, Chair, Design Guidelines Committee, 2006-08
Carmel Clay Historical Society Member, 2006-Present
American Planning Association, Member 2006-09
Creekside Middle School, Wildcats For Wellness Co-chair
Town Meadow Elementary School, PTO committees
Carmel Clay Schools Literacy Fund
Prevail – fund raising and phone drive
American Institute of Architects, Legislative committee, Indianapolis, 2008-present
Bethlehem House, Indianapolis, Board, 2006-2010
Dove Recovery House for Women, Indianapolis, Board Member, 2002-05
Windemere Homeowners Association, President, 2000-06
Family Support Center, Fund Raising Committee Member, Indianapolis, 1990

What Would You Like To Accomplish When You Are In Office?
See answers to Question 1

How Do You Define “Fiscal Responsibility?”
Spending only the money you have
Borrowing only what you can pay back, with a cushion, for necessities only
Live within your means

What Will You Do To Promote Transparency To The Citizens When You Are In Office?
I will not hide financial information from the public

If you would like more biographical information on the candidate, please contact us at theconstitutionalpatriots@gmail.com

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The Constitutional Patriots Endorse Eric Seidensticker for City Council

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Why Are You Running For Office?
I am running for re-election so that the integrity of the Central District representation will be maintained. I have served to protect the financial and community interests of the city. the city is in a very precarious position that, if allowed to continue in its present direction, would likely be detrimental to the tax base, both to the tax payer and business owner. Longevity of the conservative state is my goal.

What Are Your Qualifications For The Office You Are Seeking?
8 years experience watching the administration make financial decisions that are putting the taxpayer at risk. 8 years of standing up to partial truths by the current administration. Continuing to dig for the truth when common sense points that direction. I know that giving in to the unsupported barrage of how sunny the future will be is not representation but blind support and is the reason we are so leveraged and why so many “projects” depend on Carmel subsidies!

What Would You Like To Accomplish When In Office?
Continue my support of a conservative budget, encouragement of the operating scheme of the free market, support of businesses who provide jobs and needed services to Carmel, support the restructuring of the relationship between the city and the people with transparency and a fair and competitive work environment leading the list. Albeit Council’s limited, I will continue to support an efficient (and cost effective) Parks and Recreation Department (including multi-use paths)

How Do You Define “Fiscal Responsibility”?
Fiscal responsibility is the action of providing necessary and cost effective solutions to the city as a whole, while always being cognizant that the source of funding is not unlimited and is negatively impacted fiscally  every time an unfunded objective is created.

What Will You Do To Promote Transparency To The Citizens When You Are In Office?
Continue my encouragement and support of a list-server concept so that everyone knows (has access to) what’s going on in Carmel. I would support an accrual basis presentation of the city’s financial position. I would support the immediate disclosure to anyone requesting financial/contractual information from any department. I would support quarterly or semi-annual reports by Department heads as to their over/under budget predictions.

If you would like more biographical information on the candidate, please contact us at theconstitutionalpatriots@gmail.com

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The Constitutional Patriots Endorse Luci Snyder for City Council

Luci

Why Are You Running For Office?
I an running for re-election because after years on the Council and chairing the Finance Committee for the last 8 of them, I realize that the finances of this city are complex and, I believe, at a critical stage. What protections I used to think were in place were not of use as we found that there were ways around the rules….most of them perfectly legal. For those that were not, the issue was have to stop the behavior. State Board of Accounts, DLGF the Attorney General and finally legislative change. All have been explored. We learned that money budgeted for one use was taken for another….re-paving is a case in point. This office requires diligence and honesty.

What Are Your Qualifications For the Office You Are Seeking?
Every person on the Council brings a wealth of background, the more varied the better. Mine is that of a commercial real estate broker with a knowledge of values, contracts and even negotiating on behalf of the City with developers who, obviously want the best deal for their company while we are representing the interests of the taxpayer. I have served on the board of First Merchants Bank of Hamilton County, board of the Carmel Chamber of Commerce,president of my HOA and currently am a board member for the Humane Society and president of the Carmel Economic Development Commission. With that background I also have working relationships with the private sector as well as local and State officials.

What Would You Like to Accomplish When In Office?
I would like to insure the fiscal stability of the City while moving forward and investing in our growth. With the establishment of the new Stormwater Utility, the money currently secure for its intended purpose, I hope to keep up the infrastructure as the City is aging, to protect the values of our homes. I also value the varied neighborhoods, varied in size and price as our neighborhoods are our strength. I, along with Diana Cordray, put the Rainy Day fund in place. Our target is to maintain a balance equal to 10% of the General Fund budget. We have moved money out of this fund for unexpected expenses but have replenished those funds. I maintain that this money not only keeps our credit rating high as S&P now not only looks at the ability to raise taxes but at liquidity. The Mayor has for 3 years attempted to use this money for operations but to no avail.

How Do You Define “Fiscal Responsibility?”
Simple…..you can’t spend more than your income. You can’t keep borrowing for current projects, assuming maximum income to pay the debt, postponing principal payments, which payments may not be possible if the optimistic projections fall short. This is exactly what happen to the CRC. The Council had to basically become the guarantor for a new $180,000,000 loan which was backed by the residential property owner. The the CRC TIF income failed to cover the debt payment…a residential tax would be put in place. The Council avoided that, we hope, by putting in place a Special Reserve Fund and pledging the resources of the Rainy Day Fund.

What Will You Do to Promote Transparency to the Citizens When You Are in Office?
That is exactly what I have done all the time I have been in office….I don’t just make promises, I stand on a record of transparency.

If you would like more biographical information on the candidate, please contact us at theconstitutionalpatriots@gmail.com

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Candidate Meet and Greet

The Constitutional Patriots will be hosting a Candidate Meet and Greet for all of the Hamilton County candidates on Tuesday, March 17th at 7pm. We meet at Central Christian church, 1242 W. 136th Street in Carmel. Please share with your friends and neighbors and join us for an evening to get to know your candidates.

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Ball State study grades TIFs as ineffective as economic development tools

By Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly – February 5, 2015

An analysis of tax increment financing districts in Indiana counties by Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research concluded that they are an ineffective development tool for Hoosier communities.

In fact, the CBER study found TIFs are associated with less employment, less taxable income and slightly higher tax rates and noted the process needs more stringent oversight, Ball State said in an announcement Monday.

TIF districts were created by the Indiana General Assembly in the 1980s and are run by redevelopment commissions. They were designed to allow local governments to redevelop distressed areas by making infrastructure improvements, such as new roads and sewers. TIFs provide incentives to attract businesses or help existing companies expand without tapping general funds or raising taxes.

CBER examined TIF districts in Indiana from 2003-2012, evaluating their impact on capital growth, employment and tax rates in counties.

“Overall, TIFs are not an effective economic development tool,” said CBER director Michael Hicks, who co-authored the study with Dagney Faulk, CBER’s research director, and Pam Quirin, a CBER graduate assistant. “In fact, we found that in the average county, creation of a TIF district led to fewer jobs in manufacturing and retailing as well as a slight drop in the number of businesses.

“This may happen because when businesses start up operations or move into the TIF districts, it shifts the number of jobs while others in the region suffer the job killing effects of higher tax rates,” Hicks said. “TIF districts also have no discernible statistical impact on sales taxes in counties. This may be because retail activity simply shifts from non-TIF districts to TIF areas.”

Local governments appear to be shifting the tax burden from TIF to non-TIF taxpayers to maintain constant levels of public service, Faulk said.

“While we cannot conclusively report that TIFs are the cause of higher tax rates on existing taxpayers, that is a very likely effect,” she said.

Other than increasing the assessed value of property within the districts, TIFs have little impact on economic development, Hicks said.

The report found the state’s aggregate net assessed value in TIFs increased from about $10 billion in 2003 to about $19 billion in 2012.

Researchers also discovered counties are accumulating debt to manage such projects. Indiana’s TIF districts had about 20 percent of the state’s $12 billion outstanding debt in 2013.

http://www.journalgazette.net/business/Ball-State-study-grades-TIFs-as-ineffective-as-economic-development-tools-4867684

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Questions for our Hamilton County Municipal Candidates

The Constitutional Patriots are mailing out a questionnaire to all 95 Hamilton County candidates that are running for office in the May 5th, 2015 primary. This includes Mayors, Clerk-Treasurers and Council members.

The questions are as follows:

1. Why are you running for office?
2. What are your qualifications for the office you are seeking?
3. What would you like to accomplish while you are in office.
4. How do you define “fiscal responsibility”?
5. What will you do to promote transparency to the citizens when you are in office?

Stay tuned for answers from the candidates that return the forms.

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