Why I’m Running For Mayor

Why I am running for Bicknell Mayor; I firmly believe that the only way to develop Bicknell is to cut the cost of living here.

My first priority:

Our water and sewer bills have a combined total minimum billing cycle of about $50.00 per month which means that no matter what a person or a family does to conserve water it is impossible to change the cost below that dollar number.

This city program causes great hardship among the residents of Bicknell and actually creates a non-growth atmosphere that is causing people and families to leave our town; every time a family leaves or a family chooses not to move here it multiplies the problem.

The only way to restart growth is to reduce this cost; so I propose to cut the cost of water/sewer to a point where a family of 5 or 6 can survive here; I plan, if elected to maintain a maximum cost of water/sewer at about $50.00 per month instead of $200.00+ per month for a large family with a minimum billing of around $19.00 per month which will cover our retired citizens on a fixed income; then over the next 4 years of my term to actually lower Continue reading

Council Under the Guidence of Councilman Gugiotta Forgets to Read Contract and Cost the Bicknell residents $72,000.00

City council members were surprised by a $72,000.00 bill for new downtown lighting; how can they be surprised didn’t they read the grant?
“The grant project included new curbs, sidewalks and – or at least the council thought – lighting but the council members were surprised Monday to get a $72,000.00 bill for the new lights.”
They thought?
What does that mean; did they move on with the work without understanding what it was for?
We were under the impression that the lighting was covered Gugliotta said the project must include new lights so if they really aren’t a part of the original grant, the city will have to come up with some way to pay for them.”
Some way to pay them, well we could start with the council members, mayor’s, city clerks and the city attorney’s payroll until they leave office; maybe then the next people will actually read what they are voting on.
Gugliotta said “the project must include new lights;” why does the project need new lights? I mean Main Street is nearly gone; where did it go; this very same bunch tore it all down.
Why not use the old lights?
They are free that is unless the dumb asses destroyed them; I know odds are they did; let’s look over their record or at least part of it.
Gugliotta decided that the water bills in Bicknell were too low so he investigated and found that he was right; of course his investigation kind-a went like this “hey water people do you need more money” and they replied “yes” so he went to the council and told them that he had investigated the problem and found that they did need more money; now the other council members without looking into anything voted yes on his word alone; this is not unusual they normally vote yes when anybody who is not a member of the Bicknell community asks them to vote for something.
I looked at the ballot and found that nobody is running against Councilman Gugliotta; why!!!
How can the mayor sign a contract without knowing what he is signing?
How can the Board of Works agree to something that they had not read?
Why would the Bicknell City Council members pass something that they had not read?
Why didn’t the City attorney read the damn thing?
It is obvious that the city attorney should be replaced; the mayor is being replaced and such power should be removed from the Bicknell Board of Works; Bicknell will most likely need a babysitter for the Bicknell City Council at least until the next group is sworn in.
Gugliotta says we need lights so we will just have to find the money somewhere; I guess like he searched to keep the water bill down or why he agreed to charge us for storm sewer work that we do not need.
At my house $72,000.00 is a lot of money but I guess it isn’t around the Gugliotta household; at his house I guess when he finds an unexplained additional charge of over seventy thousand dollars he just says well dear I guess we actually do need the widget so let’s find the money somewhere.
Suggestion: don’t try to find the money send the lights back and cancel the project for now; maybe the next mayor will understand business more than those selling Bicknell down the financial river.
Hint the people you are relying on to advice you and guide you are the very same people who are being paid for installing the storm sewers, the sidewalks and the lights; never ask the dog whether you should buy a steak for the dog; it’ll always say yes and pick out the most expensive.
John R. Stanczak
Republican for Bicknell Mayor
Much of these facts was copied from the Vincennes sun-commercial dated March 26, 2015.

Road Damage Warning To Bicknell Drivers

On Mary Street where all of the pot holes are between 4th and 5th streets the road is caving in on the ditch side so try to not drive on that side if possible it could give way and cause your car to slide into the ditch; also the culvert crossing under Mary Street is collapsing on the end on the ditch side end at the intersection of 5th and Mary Streets making a very narrow passing area. By viewing the missing rail of blocks on the bridge crossing the ditch at Mary Street and 4th Street appears to have never been locked into place by rebar anchoring being set into the culvert so the blocks wouldn’t just slide off the bridge if bumped. I imagine that the other side is also just a pile of blocks just setting there waiting to be shoved into the ditch.

Be careful when driving on Mary Street.

John R. Stanczak

The cost of living in Bicknell can’t be helped!!! “It’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it.”

Nearly every candidate that I have ever talked to has told me this; you know “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it.” It started with the mayor and council members who placed this huge sewer plant burden on all of us; I along with a few others spent hours and hours trying to get them to not put us in so much debt so that the rates wouldn’t go through the roof, their answer “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it.”
Even a lot of city workers wanted to just let it raise our rates because “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it.”
Back then candidates who I talked to including the current mayor said “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it.”
Now many of the current candidates has decided that the cost of living here is just that a cost of living here saying –you guessed it “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it.”
Now I’m of the opposite view and I believe that there is something that can be done about it; besides how can all of these people know that “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it.” Since nobody in the last 12 years has ever tried to do something about it.
A long time ago 3 of us went to Indianapolis and spoke to Mr. Tom Easterly; we had a plan to repair the old plant and still get into compliance with the State and he agreed that if we could get some engineering figures to back our plan he would be Ok with repairing and up grading the old plant.
Of course the then mayor said “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it” and refused to even discuss the plan or hire an engineer; the council then listened to the plan and told us “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it.” Of course they may not count since they believed that they were working for the mayor.
Things don’t seem to have changed very much because everybody at the city level believes that “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it.” The only difference now is that it has grown to include property taxes, sewer cost, water cost, storm water cost, trash stickers, bridges, culverts, ditches and street resurfacing.
My question is if you believe that “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it” then why are you running for office?
If it is true that “it’s a done deal, there is nothing we can do about it.” Why not shut down the city government and turn everything over to the county and the State; after all as I look around Bicknell they already seem to be in charge so why not cut our overhead costs and get out of the city government business.
I believe that “it’s a done deal; there is nothing we can do about it” is an obsolete way of thinking and it’s time to try an “it can be changed for the good” saying in our city government.
John R. Stanczak

Annexation Code in Indiana

It seems that the State of Indiana has decided that annexation by a city as it has been done for many years will change sometime after the first of the year; after the first of the year the people being annexed will be able to vote on it and it will required a 75% positive vote before the annexation can go through. I certainly understand how difficult it is to get people to vote yes for change in their live; so if Bicknell has been thinking about expanding its tax base it is something that must be done now.

I have been asked if I’m for annexation to help Bicknell and I do think that it could be used to increase the Bicknell tax base but time is short and in the future it will be a lot more expensive and take a lot more time to do it.

It appears that Vincennes is moving along with annexation right now trying to beat the change in the Indiana Code.

John R. Stanczak

To the Bicknell Mayor and the Bicknell City Council “STOP”

I drove by the little restaurant down on Main Street this morning and I could see that the Mayor and at least one council member were sitting in there having a meeting of sorts; since you are having a meeting maybe I can chime in for a minute; Stop destroying Bicknell!
Now this involves several poor decisions that have been made by our elected officials and the list appears to be getting larger and larger; but I want to narrow this discussion down to Main Street sidewalks and Main Street storm sewers.
I just wanted to test my thoughts on the subject so I decided to ask a sophomore at North Knox High School; the question: if you could get a grant to replace the sidewalks along Main Street with new ones but in order to do that Main Street would be required to be made narrower by two feet and parking would only be allowed on one side would you agree to it?
Now the answer without any coaching; no I wouldn’t, why would anybody sign anything that would make the street narrower and why would I want to make less parking?
So it appears that even a 14 year old has a better grasp on life and business than our elected officials; take the time to think about this sidewalk grant and either give it up or move the work off of Main Street.
Why would any city agree to give up so much; it is time to think about your actions having consequences and so far either the city is not aware of the consequences or they simply do not have enough business sense to recognize a bad deal.
I suggest that you repair the Main Street sidewalks a section at a time so that the two foot cut is not required. This is a simple solution that will get new sidewalks and maintain the wider street which will payoff in the future especially if people get into office who will work to build Bicknell’s population and businesses.
Second do not replace anything that requires tearing up the sidewalks; this means stop replacing storm sewers along Main Street.
If possible use the grant money to replace and repair grates and actual damaged storm sewers around town; if they are unable to find these places I’d be glad to accompany them around town and point out such places.
To sum it up STOP!!!
Read the grants before you sign them!!!
And for the sake of Bicknell please quit listening to the experts who are being paid for the grants; whether finding them or executing them, instead maybe you should talk to the business owners along Main Street, you just might learn something.
There are people living all over Bicknell who can be contacted for their needs and opinions about things needed around where they live and work; use them.
John R. Stanczak

Some thoughts from our conversation on 3/22/15

John you and I and Bill Kitchens led a fight to cut down on infiltration and salvage the existing sewage plant back before obligating 2500 citizens to pay off a 5 million dollar loan for a new plant.

The IDEM chief told us that if an engineering report showed how it could be done he would not oppose it and withdraw IDEM’s demand. But Bicknell’s mayor and a councilwoman refused to even consider such an idea even to the point of calling IDEM before we arrived to try to scuttle our efforts as citizens of Bicknell.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had sewage bills half or less than what we have to pay now? But it is done and we are stuck with it. Unless we can refinance the loan or bond with zero interest instead of the 2.5% that I understand we pay now.

I am not with you on the grant for downtown Main St improvement even tho it requires a match from the city as well as the grant for removal of junk houses and I’m kind of on the fence about a possible grant for storm drains that will also require matching funds from the city which would also be a bond or loan. It might be worth it but I’m like you on whether our city may be able to do whatever drain repair might be needed instead of making a million dollar project out of it or even if we can find what actually needs to be done now or even in the near future.

The $8.50 a month is likely never to be rescinded according to SIDC.

Remember when we wanted the city to try for grants for an upgrade to the existing sewage system instead of the new plant? The city said we couldn’t get grants anymore which was wrong. Lots of other cities and towns got grants but we didn’t.

I understand the new sewage plant is having overflows once in a while since being built. Of course the old plant had lots of them but the problem still remains that downspouts and sump pumps and possibly floor drains and maybe even some storm water drains may be finding its way to our sewage plant. I personally have seen numerous sump pumps going to the sewage plant. Big rains do find their way into our sewage plant.

Ron Ackman

The Bicknell money pit ‘lovingly’ called grants

We are in trouble; Indianapolis has discovered that the representatives of Bicknell; our mayors and our city council members do not have any ability to say ‘no’ to high pressure engineers and state officials; apparently we have become the money pit for everybody who is hunting for a payday especially from grants.

First it was ‘we needed a sewer plant’ and our people pushed us into a 5+ million dollar loan; then they were being pushed to redo our sewer line system at somewhere in the neighborhood of 16+ million dollars but by raising hell we scared them out of acting on it, then we needed a new Main Street so in their great wisdom they have decided that Main Street needs to be 2 feet narrower and only allowing parking on one side for some reason and now it is a new storm water system for several million dollars.

When will our councils and mayors ever stand up for Bicknell? I understand that many times the mayors are being paid extra money over and above their salaries sometimes upwards to 75 thousand dollars; a difficult carrot to turn down for sure.

The problem is that our city council members do not take the time to study the upcoming actions that they will be voting on at the city council and Board of Work meetings; most of the time only hearing anything about what is being brought to council just as the meetings are beginning each month so they are actually voting blind because they have no knowledge of the actions they are asked to do.

Isn’t it strange that these engineers who are out looking for as much grant money as they can possibly find are the same ones who are always available to determine whether or not a new thing or repair is absolutely necessary; for example they discovered that they needed a ½ million dollar worth of liners along Mary Street because of the cracks, splits and holes in the system so our esteemed mayor and council jumped to sign up for their ‘grant’ and ok’d liners; but when I spoke to the actual workers putting in the liners I was told that there was no damaged places at all; I notified the mayor and he ignored the find and went forward with the liners. We were not directly harmed but soon after that the engineers determined that we needed a sewer plant; using IDEM to enforce the project and that did cost us.

The storm water system that the engineers decided was about to fall apart; well, in the last 40 or 50 years none have fallen in and the only damage to them was when they hired engineers and contractors to put in the sanitary sewer system, no supervision equaled contractors cutting our storm system in two so they could put in the sanitary sewer sections, then they weren’t required to repair the damages; anyway which part of Bicknell is underwater?

So at the next council meeting or board of works meeting the members will walk in sit down be given the agenda one way or the other; some will read it but all will vote ‘yes’ on saddling Bicknell water customers with another monthly fee adding an additional $8.50 to our enormous monthly payment for sewer/water, trash stickers and now storm water; of course you understand that this will be the first step for storm water, a source of ready revenue so they will soon follow it up with a square inch fee aimed at businesses in Bicknell who have the audacity to have a roof and a parking lot.

Now I really believe that Jon Flickinger loves Bicknell; if I’m right and he is a proud Bicknell resident then he needs to show it and he needs to stop these additional fees, stop the storm sewer work and if nothing else leave things alone until the new mayor and council are seated after the first of the year; this way they can determine whether or not such work is necessary and the new mayor will not be saddled with the burden of trying to unravel poor judgment.

John R. Stanczak