News From Terre Haute, Indiana

August 24, 2012

READERS’ FORUM: Aug. 24, 2012


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The nightmare of abatements gone bad

It might have been a dream. My city council, its members sitting as if in a corporate board room, all dressed as they imagine business executives dress, lectures a small plastic-molding firm on a tax abatement gone bad. Through the dreamy haze, they seem to be saying it failed to create enough jobs.

Council Democrats, aware that a policy of handing out other people’s money to politically defined businesses is becoming unpopular, express outrage; they vow to tighten regulations and increase penalties. The Republicans, most oddly, try to demonstrate they can run both government and a business “like a business,” suggesting operational improvements.

Could it be, though, that the council itself has failed. It abides tax rates so high they press a business at the margin, making it nightmarishly difficult to secure a market position or better utilize a physical plant operating under heavy mortgage.

And who are these councilmen to be saying anything at all? The company as it stands creates more actual wealth than the entire city government. Its employees earn paychecks as productive contributors to a free market not as recipients of tax-funded stipend.

At that point the city’s abatement specialist begins explaining in that official pedagogic tone that state law doesn’t allow the recension of a tax break just because of a silly recession. Rules are rules.

The dream ends with a motion to amend the economic-development ordinance. It would make it illegal to not economically develop.

— Craig Ladwig

Executive Director

Indiana Policy

Review Foundation

Fort Wayne

More great ones in Malooley line

I would like to add to the letter from Joan (Bolin) Doan dated July 19, 2012, about the Saratoga Restaurant. My godfather, Mose Malooley, was the only brother not mentioned in the letter. Mose was my godfather and didn’t have anything to do with the Saratoga, but was a really nice man also and never met a stranger and was always willing to help anyone.

I would also like to tell you about his wife, Teefe. She was like a second mother to me and was a great cook. Her kibby was the best. I just wanted to honor them so everyone who reads the Tribune-Star will know about them also.

I also wanted people to know that my mother, Beatrice (Blaker) Marchino, the best mom in the world, went to high school with Joan Doan and I went to State High School with her son, Herbie Doan Jr.

— Bill M. Marchino

Terre Haute

A better way to handle trash

When the city of Terre Haute went to the trash containers, in one respect it cleaned the city up. But they all should be in the alley — that is what alleys were put in for.

The containers that are in front of the houses in some areas of Terre Haute make the city look trashy. If I was a newcomer and saw trash containers and trash on the ground around that area in front of houses, then I would turn around and go back where I came from.

When they are in the front yard they make the city look like no one cares where they throw trash at.

— Jim Royer

Terre Haute