The Evansville Brownfields Corporation (EBC) currently has no paid staff and a Board of Directors that consists of seven members. The City of Evansville has historically funded the EBC to the tune of $50,000 to $100,000 annually with the occasional contribution that has been significantly more.The EBC buys, or accepts as gifts, primarily vacant lots within the City of Evansville. The nonprofit maintains the lots with the goal of ultimately selling the properties for development. In addition to direct funding from the City, the EBC receives periodic infusions of cash from the Department of Metropolitan Development (DMD) with Housing and Urban Development (HUD) dollars. The annual revenue of EBC is typically in the $200,000 to $400,000 range.As the City Council considers an annual contribution to the EBC that could top $2 million dollars for the foreseeable future, there are changes that must occur within the EBC to gain the trust of elected officials and the public.The current EBC Board, by its bylaws, consists of the Director of the DMD, two appointments by the Mayor with one being a City Council member, an appointment by the Growth Alliance of Greater Evansville, an appointment by the Evansville Chamber of Commerce, and two appointments that are made by the other five members. The bylaws do not require regular meetings outside of the annual meeting each March or that the meeting date, location and time be made public.As the City moves forward with a blight elimination plan, it is important that the public buy into the process and trust that public funds are being managed appropriately. Almost as bad as impropriety, is the appearance of impropriety. The EBC must avoid this appearance. The EBC can avoid the appearance of impropriety and gain technical knowledge from relevant practitioners in the community by expanding its Board of Directors, creating committees that advise the Board of Directors and setting a regular monthly meeting that is publicized.The current bylaws should be changed, and the Board of Directors should be expanded to thirteen members appointed to three year terms as follows:The Mayor appoints one at their discretion;City Council appoints one of its members;County Council appoints one of its members;County Commissioners appoints one of its members;The County Auditor or their designee;The County Treasurer or their designee;The County Assessor or their designee;The Building Commissioner or their designee;A representative from Community One/Habitat for Humanity or Echo Housing;A representative from Memorial CDC or CAPE;A representative from the Southern Indiana Builders Association;A representative from the Board of Realtors or the Evansville Association of Area Realtors; andA representative from HOPE;The Auditor determines when properties are tax delinquent, the Assessor determines property values and has significant mapping capabilities, the Treasurer will oversee the sale of vacant and abandoned properties under the new statute (SB 415), the County and City representatives determine funding, the Building Commission inspects properties and determines what must be razed and what can be rehabbed, and the practitioners listed are involved in every aspect of either building, selling, marketing, or rehabilitating residential structures. All are critical to the mission to eliminate blight.Although it has been stated that blight is finite that is not necessarily true. As we eliminate existing blighted structures over the next five years, more properties are at risk of becoming blighted. Without citizens involved on the ground to monitor structures in their neighborhood and strategic code enforcement, we could end up with a never ending supply of blight. It’s critical that committees exist to identify blight, neighborhoods that are trending to blight and the causes of blight, which typically starts with vacancy. There should initially be at least one committee of citizen advisors representing the different areas of the City and County to coordinate with neighborhood associations and monitor properties in their area.The funds contemplated for EBC for 2016 as provided by the DMD are as follows:Acquisition Costs with taxes 210,000Title services 100,000 (closing costs, title searches, etc.)Demolition/Boarding 1,000,000Trash removal/Mowing 250,000Legal Costs 275,000 (quiet title actions, contracts, etc.)Miscellaneous 25,000Salaries with payroll taxes 200,000 (3 full time employees)Benefits 30,000Utilities 20,000 (% of DMD expenses)Vehicle/Gas/Insurance/Maint30,000Training/Education/Travel 5,000Office Supplies 5,000Contractual services 120,000 (web development, inspections, surveying,appraisals, accounting services, etc.)In looking at the causes of vacancy and blight and the coordination of strategic code enforcement to protect stable neighborhoods and rebuild declining neighborhoods, it is hoped that true practitioners with experience in land banking will be hired and able to look at preventing blight while coordinate the work of the EBC with the City and County.It is critical that these final pieces of infrastructure be put in place before the City and County are asked to fund the EBC’s new budget. We cannot and should not have to live with the fear, reasonable or not, that these resources could be squandered. These changes would build public trust and avoid the appearance of impropriety while making the EBC accessible to everyone and giving it a wealth of practitioner knowledge to achieve our common goal of healthier, safer and more stable neighborhoods.FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
By Dialogo September 15, 2009 More than 4,500 personnel from 20 countries began a 12-day exercise here Friday to train in a joint, multinational effort to ensure the security of the Panama Canal. U.S. and Panamanian officials held a formal opening ceremony Fuerzas Aliadas (Allied Forces) PANAMAX 2009, co-sponsored by U.S. Southern Command and the Government of Panama, in Panama City, Panama. Representatives of the 20 participating nations joined Jose Raul Mulino, Panama’s Minister of Government and Justice, and U.S. Army National Guard Brig. Gen. Gerald W. Ketchum, Director of Stability for U.S. Southern Command, at the ceremony. FA PANAMAX 2009 is one of the largest multinational training exercises in the world, and is taking place in the waters off the coasts of Panama from Sept. 11-22 with the participation of civil and military forces. More than 20 vessels and a dozen aircraft are involved in the exercises. Participants are focusing on a variety of responses to any request from the Government of Panama to protect and guarantee safe passage of traffic through the Panama Canal, ensure its neutrality, and respect national sovereignty. Simulated ground forces are also participating at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. “This year’s exercise will continue the tradition of strengthening partnerships and building real operational capability,” said Ketchum. “It is important to all participants, that this unique engine of regional and world economic activity remain safe, secure and prosperous. “In 2009, we will collectively exercise maritime interdiction, security operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief,” Ketchum added. Minister Mulino also emphasized the importance of creating the legal, institutional and operational framework necessary to ensure the safeguarding of the Panama Canal. The multinational forces protecting the canal approaches will be organized under Multi-National Force-South and commanded by U.S. Army Maj. Gen. Keith M. Huber, commander of U.S. Army South. The FA PANAMAX 2009 exercise scenario includes sea-based training devoted to maritime interdiction operations, including visit, boarding, search and seizure. Virtual land-based training in San Antonio, Texas, will focus on command and control, stability operations, humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief operations. FA PANAMAX 2009 participating nations include: Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Netherlands, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United States and Uruguay. France and Mexico are scheduled to participate as observers. The Conference of Central American Armies, the Organization of American States and the United Nations will also participate. Honduras withdrew from the exercise Aug. 10. PANAMAX began in 2003 with three countries: Panama, Chile and the United States. Exercise participation has greatly expanded every year since. In 2004, nine nations took part; in 2005, 15 nations were involved; in 2006, 18 nations participated; in 2007, 19 nations took part and last year 20 nations were a part of PANAMAX 2008.
Last year’s Raphoe Fatstock Mart was a huge successOne of the highlights of the farming calendar, the Raphoe Livestock Mart Annual Fatstock Show & Sale, will be held tomorrow, Friday 7th December.There will be a total of 9 Classes at this ‘not to be missed mart’, with a total of 123 top quality cattle on offer. All animals are ready for the Christmas market.This is a highlight of the farming community calendar in Donegal with many buyers supporting the event from local butchers to factory agents and is one which attracts attention from all over Ireland.An animal has also been donated for auction for the charity Bothar. Hundreds of bidders as well as onlookers are expected at the Raphoe mart for what is an extremely enjoyable day.Also the Christmas Lamb Show & Sale will be held on Monday 10th December with many local butchers purchasing their Christmas lamb at this sale. Both shows will help to promote the high quality local prime beef and lamb for the Christmas market. RAPHOE FATSTOCK MART TO BE HIGHLIGHT OF LIVESTOCK AUCTION CALENDAR was last modified: December 6th, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:auctionRaphoe Fatstock Mart
Thomas Pringle TD has today introduced a Bill to criminalise the purchase of sexual services in Ireland.The Donegal Deputy says the Criminal Law (Sexual Offences Amendment Bill) will be in line with Swedish legislation in order to cut the demand for sexual services and to decriminalise the sellers of these services.The Killybegs-based Deputy has worked closely with the Immigrant Council of Ireland and the Turn off the Red Light campaign on the issue. The Bill sets out a number of offenses for the purchase of sexual services that are initially intended to act as a deterrent and lead to serious consequences for repeat offenders.Deputy Pringle said “It makes provision for the introduction of the criminalisation of the purchasers of sexual services and it will reduce the demand for sexual services thereby reducing the incidence of prostitution in society, and will therefore create a situation that will remove the attractiveness of prostitution and trafficking from organised criminal elements by creating the risk for purchasers of sexual services to be prosecuted with the element of ‘name and shame’ acting as a deterrent.“Ireland’s current approach to the regulation of prostitution is the partial criminalisation of prostitution, whereby the sale or purchase of sexual services in Ireland is currently not criminalised, provided it is conducted out of public eye and with some activities associated with prostitution such as pimping being a crime.”The Independent TD says he strongly believes that prostitution is incompatible with contemporary values and that it is a serious social problem, which can and should be abolished. “In reality, very few women choose to willingly engage in prostitution, with most who are involved having very few real choices. This issue must be addressed – we must decriminalise the victims in this trade and give them the option of rehabilitation.“One in four sex buyers in Ireland (24%) have come across women and girls who appeared trafficked, controlled or underage according to a major survey on prostitution published recently by the Immigrant Council of Ireland, with the findings showing that fear of a criminal record, jail time or name in a local newspaper have been selected as effective deterrents by the sex buyers and are only surpassed by fear of contracting disease. I believe that this Bill addresses these issues and that it will contribute to a more equal society, where the purchase of one human being for the gratification of another will be seen as unacceptable.He added “I look forward to a constructive debate on this issue in the Dáil. Sweden passed a similar law in 1999, I believe now is Ireland‚s time to follow in their footsteps.” PRINGLE TO LEAD CLAMPDOWN ON PROSTITUTION was last modified: March 13th, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:prostitutionThomas Pringle