Incumbents respond to concerns about city spending

Last Updated on October 31, 2015 by cassnetwork

The “Analysis” of the City of Logansport’s General Fund by those claiming to have an understanding of government budgets and cash balances illustrates their level of desperation and total lack of knowledge of government budgets on all levels.

The press release issued by a consortium of partisan political newcomers attempts to lead you to believe that Logansport is on a collision course with financial disaster. That couldn’t be farther from the truth.

On December 31, 2014 Logansport had enough cash on hand to operate the city at current levels for 314 days.

“Trusting Dave Kitchell with city finances would be similar to trusting Dr. Jack Kevorkian with your health care needs,” Mayor Ted Franklin said.

Several shining examples of their lack of understanding are revealed after examining other cash balances. In typical “half-truth” fashion Kitchell has decided to magnify the General Fund cash balance while ignoring huge cash increases in other funds. Some examples include:

A 473% increase in cash balance of Local Option Income Tax from $277,000 on Jan 1, 2012 to $1,312,000 on September 30, 2015.

More than doubling the cash balance of Non-Reverting Host Community Funds from $898,000 on Jan 1, 2012 to $1,945,000 on September 30, 2015.

Motor Vehicle Highway Fund balance has increased by nearly $400,000.

“In an attempt to confuse the voters, the partisan Democrats have decided to talk about the General Fund cash balance just three days before Election Day, and coincidentally, just three weeks before the city will begin to receive the fall tax payments that are due and used to replenish the General Fund and increase the amount of cash on hand. The timing of this exercise is either intended to confuse the voters or the candidates responsible simply lack the knowledge to understand government budgets. Neither is acceptable,” Mayor Ted Franklin said.

In addition to increasing these cash balances, our responsible money management practice has allowed us to finally repair the Logansport Municipal Pool at a one-time cost of approximately $1,000,000. We have also eliminated the duplicative and burdensome “Trash Tax” that was unfairly levied on our citizens in 2009. Those costs have been absorbed by our city government and have saved our residents more than $3,000,000 in just three years. We have also added police officers to every school (something Kitchell proposes to eliminate), increased the number of firefighters from 30 to 34, managed to demolish 40 blighted structures and received grants to demolish another 37. We were awarded another grant to repair the homes of 24 senior citizens. These accomplishments have not been easy but, all have been accomplished by paying with cash on hand and grants.

Kitchell’s statement that money for an ill-advised 18th Street reconstruction project no longer exists further illustrates his delusional way of thinking and his willingness to distort the truth for his political gain. The proposed $30,000,000 project was never funded, and would have caused Transco Railcar and their 92 jobs to leave Logansport. Kitchell again attempted to mislead the voters when he stated that no fiscal plan exists for the Memorial Home that we acquired from Cass County. Kitchell failed to mention that his attorney, Mr. Brugh has delayed further progress on restoring the local treasure by suing to reverse the transfer of ownership.

Kitchell again lied when he mentioned his perceived “lack of accountability” in detailing city expenditures. Kitchell and his attorney asked for and received a very probing examination of all city expenses for calendar years 2013 and 2014. The Indiana State Board of Accounts ordered two auditors to examine city financial records. That audit lasted for 3 months and found absolutely nothing pertaining to irregularities or improper payment of claims.

Kitchell opposed our plan to establish a Planned Unit Development near the Logansport Mall and even went as far as to contact the Bank of Algonquin to offer a sweet heart purchase deal if he is elected as Mayor. “It has been well documented by various government agencies that Dave Kitchell can’t be trusted to properly manage his personal finances. He should refrain from becoming involved something as complicated as the sale of the mall,” Republican Mayor Ted Franklin said.

Since becoming Mayor in 2012, Logansport has left more than $11,000,000 in available tax money to be returned to our hard working tax payers. In 2013 the City of Logansport began to work with a government finance specialist who assists with long term financial planning for local governments. This decision has resulted in a more than $12,000,000 benefit to Logansport.

“Based on Dave Kitchell’s dismal financial record, including writing enough bad checks to wall-paper the Mayor’s Office, 12 years of paying his property taxes late, being sued by a church, a bank, and who knows what else he should consider doing the same,” said Franklin.

First Ward City Councilman Bob Bishop stated the following: “Our team of dedicated public servants is looking forward to returning our focus to the needs of our citizens. Our accomplishments are something that we are very proud of and we are confident that Logansport has returned to sound financial footing because of the professional guidance that has been provided”.

City Council President Joe Buck said “Our decision to seek expert financial advice has allowed us to replenish a decimated and neglected fleet of public safety vehicles”. Buck continued, “We inherited a 30 year old ladder truck that had failed numerous safety tests, aging fire pumpers and a fleet of 30 police vehicles that were unreliable and unsafe. Our efforts have resulted in a return of pride by our police officers and firefighters and respect by our citizens. It needed to be done and I am happy to have been a part of it,” Buck said.

SOURCE: News release from Franklin for Mayor

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