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As a Muncie native, I have often times driven throughout the city, exploring its many ups and downs, back roads and alleyways, abandoned factories and struggling infrastructure. As I’ve explored the place that is my hometown, one thing is almost as certain as the sun rising; the sad state of our local government and rampant corruption that runs within it.
Many, including the author of a previous article on Tom Bracken’s now famous or infamous lawsuit against the City of Muncie, have taken the easy way out by assuming that this lawsuit is nothing but an attempt of power grabbing or political weight shoving. Sadly, I wish it was just that.
The Madjax building, located at the intersection of Jackson and Madison streets in the downtown area, has done nothing for my community but aid in the continued corruption of the well-documented Dennis Tyler administration. I, over my last 20 years in Muncie, have witnessed local government administration, one after another, continually bleed its citizens dry of precious tax dollars. The Madjax building does just this.
On the board of the Madjax project, none other than the mayor himself and Todd Donati, the director of the Muncie Redevelopment Commission. Why is this significant, you ask? Two people responsible for providing funds for this project sit on the board of the project, as well. Illegal? Technically, no. Unethical, and blatantly corrupt? Perhaps.
$4.5 million (sic) is a LOT of money. More than I, or many reading this, have. It's also more than enough that could be given to things that DO have common sense, such as paving roads, a common issue in this city that goes unfixed under the previously mentioned administration.
Tom Bracken is not suing the city for publicity, showboating, or some assumed crusade to hurt relations between Ball State University and Muncie. If anything, he’s doing it because, he, like me, and many citizens of Muncie, have seen the blatant corruption that poisons our community, destroys our infrastructure, and hurts everyone, even Ball State students who many only live in this town for a few years. And he has decided, as a private citizen, he has the power to change it.
I write this, only to ask you all to consider something, being that there is more history to this city than what we assume. That the roots of our broken town, are far deeper, and run a more painful and challenging course than what one who has only lived here for a few months or years sees. And, until we all take the courage to act — as Tom Bracken is — and decide to rid the curse of what a $4.5 million loan will do to not only us as students, but to tax payers and fellow citizens, we will continually see Muncie deteriorate, which hurts Ball State, just as well as the town it resides in. Instead of making assumptions on these issues that press on our community, let’s all use some common sense, and support those that have it as well.
-Isaac Miller, sophomore political science major