Thursday, November 18, 2010

Elected Officials Who Didn't Pay Their Taxes

While they are usually happy to raise YOUR taxes, some elected officials around Central Indiana aren't paying what they owe.

WRTV reporter, Kara Kenney, ran a story on Monday night, listing 8 Central Indiana officials who had not paid their own property taxes and fees and were in arrears by $1000 or more. (click here for transcript and video) Kenney has previously reported on the $21,000 owed by Wayne Township Trustee, David Baird, who has since paid up. Of the 8 Kenney followed on Monday night's report, 2 hold office in Marion County - both school board members - Cathy Wiseman of Decatur Township and Scott Veerkamp of Franklin Township. Roughly half of all property taxes paid in Marion County typically go to the schools -- and the School Boards are the ones that vote to raise those taxes.

Kenney reports:

Decatur Township School Board member Cathy Jo Wiseman’s home was sold in a tax sale when she didn’t pay $3,427.24. Her home phone was disconnected, and she did not respond to e-mails. Her husband told 6News he hadn’t worked in two years.
and
Scott Veerkamp, a realtor and Franklin Township School Board member, owed more than any other official we found. As of the end of October, he owed $7,825.82 on his Beech Grove business and $922.23 in sewer bills on three other properties. His house was all paid up.

"He's taking care of his own property, making sure it's current, but he's not taking care of the other things," said Creasser [Marion County Deputy Treasurer].

Veerkamp refused an on-camera interview but wrote in an e-mail, “As I am sure you are aware, school board members are paid a meager amount of money to serve public $3,000-$4,000 per year. In the full time job that I hold, real estate sales, it has been a pretty tough road the last few years, as you know. That being said, we are doing our very best as we navigate these challenging economic times.“

All but Wiseman and Schmidt paid their property tax bills as soon as 6News started asking questions.

Veerkamp paid some, but not all of his property tax bills.
and
Veerkamp told 6News via e-mail, “Our company has remitted payment for the property taxes on our building located at 626 Main Street,” but Creasser said Monday that Veerkamp still owes $7,632.24 in taxes and penalties on his Beech Grove business, which includes the 626 Main St. address.
In Wiseman's case, she has voted to raise taxes by some astonishingly high percentages in the last few years. In 2007, she voted to raise the property tax rate for the Decatur School District by 46% for the following year. (see Department of Local Government Finance tax rates for Marion County 2007-2010) At that point, the State of Indiana took responsibility for paying the operating expenses for all Indiana School Districts. Of what remained, Wiseman voted in 2009 to raise the property tax rate by 14% for taxes collected this year. If she could not afford to pay the huge tax bills, why did she foist them on others in our Township?

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

I suspect that Our Cathy Jo fell under the spell of Diamond Don Stinson and his Travelling Troop of snake-oil salespeople. It's hard to not acquiesce to Don's "needs" when he showers you with all-expense-paid trips and other perks, and sumptuous catered meals before each board meeting. At least Cathy Jo's position as a bobble-head supporter of Stinson's shake-down of the township has its privileges. Susan Adams hired Cathy Jo's husband as a custodian at the DILC school. There was an opening after Susan's son decided to leave his position as an MSD custodian. It's good to see the right people getting taken care of. Ya just gotta have the right connections.

Had Enough Indy? said...

It's funny you bring up Cathy's son. In 2002, on election day, when I lost for reelection, I was at the main firestation, where a bunch of us candidates were shaking hands and asking for votes... Wiseman was talking with Susan Adams, then Prez of the Teachers Union (DEA); Cathy talking in an overly loud voice that was too easy to overhear. She was demanding of Adams, a summer job for her son as payback for winning election.

In the end, what you think is adequate payback for election, should you be the type who runs for payback, is only temporary. Meanwhile, the important things are slipping through your fingers.

I am sorry that the Wiseman's lost their home. Given that it was for back taxes and not through a Sheriff's sale means that they owned the house outright -- the American Dream.

So true, do I have heartfelt concern for all Decaturites who lost their home through foreclosure, sheriffs' sales', whatever...

But, we simply have to remember who has the authority to vote aye and nay for that increase that causes our neighbors to lose to the bank or the taxman. I am sorry that Wiseman lost her house because of her votes to increase taxes, and to increase taxes, and to increase taxes. But, I feel a real injustice for those who did not get the power of her vote; who lost their house or could lose their house because she never met a tax increase she could not support -- no matter who suffered as a result.

Who we elect, does matter – in a very personal way for some.

Anonymous said...

Did Cathy Jo vote to hire her husband? Conflict of interest? When was Susan's son hired - before of after she was in charge of custodians? Oh, the questions????

Anonymous said...

Susan Adams hired her son after she was placed in charge of buildings and grounds, despite the MSD's handbook prohibiting relatives supervising other relatives on the job. She has also hired Judy Collins' daughter as a custodian, and then Cathy Jo's husband, who recently told Channel 6 he hasn't worked for two years.

One supposes Susan is expecting little opposition from school board members when the time rolls around for another boost in her salary and benefits package. One wonders what she has to do to curry favor with other board members to get them on board with her next raise.

But that's none of your business. So move along, nothing to see here. This blog is being monitored, you know.

Anonymous said...

Anon 6:20: Yes; this blog IS being monitored. Notice how the posts and threads about the MSD Decatur schools have stopped? All the slanderous lies and hate have stopped because it is being monitored. This thread will stop shortly.....Susan Adams did NOTHING wrong. There is NO POLICY in place that says she can't hire ANYONE she wants. She's a very capable administrator. Once again; watch for this to dissapear....

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 6:02 - Gary, stop it. Your crap about the MSD Decatur operating within the law and doing no wrong is garbage. Anyone who is really interested is free to read the volumes of documented and continuing failures of the Decatur School Board, Superintendent Don Stinson, and the self-serving ways in earlier posts on this blog.

Anonymous said...

If they did something wrong....there would be repercussions. Somehow I haven't heard about anyone losing their job because of "continuing failures". The recent School Board election shows what the township thinks of our Board and Administration. This School Board and Administration are the best in the history of Decatur schools. Once again....nothing out of place here; only the BEST INTERESTS OF THE STUDENTS AND TAXPAYERS!

Had Enough Indy? said...

We need teeth in the laws. That's the only reason they haven't been sent to jail. The board hasn't approved contracts, contrary to law, for years now. They bought property without the legally required appraisals - and when they got one of the two required, paid nearly half again too much for the property. They entered into leases without the required prior approval of the DLGF, which would have reviewed them on behalf of the taxpayers. The Board hasn't opened bids in public for years.

And, that's just some of the double dealing this Board and Superintendent have done that is against the law.

The nepotism is rampant. The lies about the number of administrators actually cut are enormous. The closing of Lynwood as an elementary school and thereby increasing the class sizes is reckless and irresponsible.

No, you are just shilling for Stinson and the rubber stamping board.

Anonymous said...

All allegations. No proof. Slander and exagerations. Enough is enough. Let them do their jobs. Dr. Stinson is a WONDERFUL administrator as is our Board of Education! All members are of the highest quailty. Not one of them would do anything wrong or illegal.

Had Enough Indy? said...

ALL documented with state and local finance and audit reports. There are none so blind as those who get paid to spin the PR.

Anonymous said...

Anyone who wishes to see the REAL proof of NO wrongdoing simply contact the MSD Decatur Township Media Relations Department. There is nothing illegal or wrong. And this blog continues to be monitored.

Had Enough Indy? said...

Sounds like you are trying to intimidate somebody with all of your 'monitoring'. Still paying somebody to go through all employees' emails and phone calls, too?

Anonymous said...

Predatory Lending is a major contributor to the economic turmoil we are currently experiencing.

Here is an example of what I am talking about:
Scott Veerkamp / Predatory Lending (Franklin Township School Board Member.)

Please review this information from U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley regarding deceptive lending practices:
"Steering payments were made to brokers who enticed unsuspecting homeowners into deceptive and expensive mortgages. These secret bonus payments, often called Yield Spread Premiums, turned home mortgages into a SCAM."

The Center for Responsible Lending says YSP "steals equity from struggling families."
1. Scott collected nearly $10,000 on two separate mortgages using YSP and junk fees. 2. This is an average of $5,000 per loan. 3. The median value of the properties was $135,000. 4. Clearly, this type of lending represents a major ripoff for consumers.

http://merkley.senate.gov/newsroom/press/release/?id=A09C6A80-537A-4EB1-83C5-31925F046B6F

Had Enough Indy? said...

anon 5:01 - if you have specific proof of your claims, you should report it to the Prosecutor's office. That is very serious.

Anonymous said...

Your admin. is lackluster at best. I still can't believe I am paying for a Athletic Center. Not for our kids but for the community. Since when does this help with education? School money should be used for schools, we don't need a Central Office filled with millions of dollars of wasted money. Principals should be in charge of the school, busses, and food. Then you have all that money left over for teachers and EDUCATION programs, do us all a favor and look out for the kids best intrest and if you are such an asset to our school system, TEACH! Quit using tax payer dollars to intimidate a simple "Freedom of Speech" website. You say we had our chance to vote we just did, and status quo isn't going to cut it anymore.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:21....what do you mean "paying for a athletic center"? What athletic center?????????

Anonymous said...

"Anyone who wishes to see the REAL proof of NO wrongdoing simply contact the MSD Decatur Township Media Relations Department."

STOP it, Gary. You're KILLING me!!! BWA-HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh.oooooh...WOW! HAHAHA-HAHA! CHECK with Stinson's "Media Relations Department", oooooh, that's RICH!!! HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!! Who you trying to kid???HAHAHAHA!!! No MORE...PLEASE! HAHAHAHA!!

Anonymous said...

Okay, when did the MSD change the employee handbook where it stated that relatives could work for the MSD, but they couldn't be in a position to supervise each other? Susan Adams functioned as her son's direct supervisor. Anyone who denies that is living on fantasy island. How many raises and sweetheart deals had Don Huffman slid to his football coach grandson?

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:35: Nothing! No one did ANYTHING WRONG or ILLEGAL! There is nothing in the handbook. It's ok to hire anyone that's qualified. Why are you so worried about it? Once again people are trying to slander the BEST board and administration in years.

Anonymous said...

"Susan Adams functioned as her son's direct supervisor. Anyone who denies that is living on fantasy island."

By "Fantasy Island", I can only assume you meant the "MSD Decatur Township Media Relations Department". Apparently they live and operate in a fantasy world where, if you only shout and threaten, the truth will go away. :)

Stinson: Thanks for your daily report on those trouble makers at Had Enough Indy, Gary. You and your staff have done a good job monitoring them. By the way, the AFLAC rep was by earlier and dropped off more goodies for my candy dish.

Gary: Wonderful, Boss. He needs to remember which side of his bread the butter's on.

Stinson: He dropped off M&M's this week, my favorite. Would you like a few for your office candy dish? Which do you prefer. Peanut, or plain?

Gary: Boss, de plain! De plain!

Keep fantasizing that MSD rules don't prohibit employees from supervising their relatives, Gary. We understand your hysterical denials, though. After all, you know which side of your bread the butter's on. Too bad it's not the side of the students and the parents who pay the taxes.

Anonymous said...

If the Anon contributions to this forum are genuinely from Gary,the man has the emotional maturity of a 12 yr old boy.

Nothing amazes me about this school system. Nothing. Everything I ever needed to learn about the true nature of Decatur Township schools was learned from an incident at Turkey Run S.P. in the spring of 1977.

Anonymous said...

1977 was a long time ago. Must have been something really memorable.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:03: LOL and the Government is hovering over your back yard in black helicopters? LOL somehow I hear the theme song of "Summer Place" in the background while I read your allegation. More slander more trouble making and more lies.

Anonymous said...

Don't be mean, Gary. You should be thankful there are "trouble makers" here and other places for you to monitor and report to Stinson. If it wasn't for us, your next big pay raise might go to Susan Adams. You'd be reduced to waiting tables at the Central Office catered dinners. LOL, LOL, LOL!

Anonymous said...

Ahhhh....Turkey Run S.P.....the spring of '77.....I remember it well......

Anonymous said...

Rumour has it....that two of our illustrioius lame duck school board members are throwing out the "Year Round School" model for Decatur. That's right folks; the same people who brought you failure at the IPS school system are in talks with a couple of our current board members. Seems as if these board members are publicly talking about this model. Might they be feeling out the folks? Just another worthless trendy program on our "Journey Towards Excellence". Do you REALLY want year round school for your kids? Oh and grab your pocketbooks....another thing they're throwing out is a pay raise since the teachers will be working more and a longer contract. Seems as if that 180 day contract isn't good enough for year round school.....

More to come..........

Anonymous said...

Tattoo said...

Anon 6:20: Yes; this blog IS being monitored. Notice how the posts and threads about the MSD Decatur schools have stopped? All the slanderous lies and hate have stopped because it is being monitored. This thread will stop shortly.....
----------------

Looks like the thread is still going, Gary. Remember, Susan Adams is monitoring how well you do your job. You, um, DON'T want to become the topic of conversation when she and Diamoind Don go to lunch, do you??? LOL!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 6:02 wrote:

Rumour has it....that two of our illustrioius lame duck school board members are throwing out the "Year Round School" model for Decatur. That's right folks; the same people who brought you failure at the IPS school system are in talks with a couple of our current board members. Seems as if these board members are publicly talking about this model. Might they be feeling out the folks? Just another worthless trendy program on our "Journey Towards Excellence".

Looks more like Stinson's vision of a "Journey Toward Mediocrity" while the taxpayers get fleeced to fund administrators' retirement packages. DCHS grads have to go to remedial classes if they're lucky enough to get into college. Stinson's bally-hooed small learning community paradigm is good at turning our kids into ditch-diggers and warehouse clerks. How proud Stinson must be!

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine Cathy Wisemans hubby being a low pay custodian for very long. i'd expect Susan Addams to promote him to a department head soon. She probly would like some extra bonus cash on the next contract the school board gives her. Sweet Life Susan.

Anonymous said...

Year round school is SO not right. Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing...over and over and over again...and expecting different results?????? I have 3 kids in Decatur schools. If they go to year round school I swear I'll do whatever it takes to go private school!!!!!!!!

How do we get these people out of there? Are the people making these decisions elected or appointed? What about this superintendant...is he elected? If so how do we UNelect him!

Anonymous said...

Uh Oh..


Hell hath frozen over.. If Stinson & Co.LLC. has proffered such an idea..I actually agree with Stinson & Co. LLC...I'm not against year round schooling.

The current schedule is an outdated model dating back to the days when teens and tykes would help with the farm fields during the summer months....Well,that ain't exactly happening any longer. The only fields the kids are receiving any workouts now are in the virtual world.

I could see a tiered schedule as relating to different school levels/grades.

K-6 or 7 - Same old outdated model.

8-12 Year round model. With several 2-3 week vacations during the duration of the school year.


Although,such an endeavor does open a new can of worms and expenses.


Just my .02