News From Terre Haute, Indiana

Local & Bistate

January 6, 2013

Gov. Daniels enters final days in office

New Purdue president drew on past experiences to shape his 8 years as governor

INDIANAPOLIS — For those wondering what Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels may bring to his next job as a public university president, it may be helpful to consider the details of a story he tells about window washers.

Twenty years ago, the then-corporate executive Daniels was head of a commission assigned to figure out how to make Indianapolis city government operate more efficiently. Among the many questions the commission asked was why the windows on the city-county building were being washed weekly — much more frequently than nearby similar structures owned by private companies.

The answer: It wasn’t because the windows were so dirty, but because the city had four window-washers on its payroll and had to do something to keep them busy.

“This is the power of the tiny example,” said Daniels, during a break from cleaning out the Statehouse office he’ll vacate within days.

The commission’s findings triggered sweeping changes in the delivery of city services — including many that were contracted out to private companies — and resulted in a 40 percent reduction of city employees and about $230 million in savings.

That experience came after Daniels had intimate exposure to both local and federal government; experience that ranged from working for Richard Lugar, when the now-retired U.S. senator was Indianapolis mayor in the early 1970s, to working for Ronald Reagan in the White House before becoming President George W. Bush’s budget chief.

Experiences, coupled with his years as a top executive at the pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lilly & Co., that helped shape the views that Daniels brought to his eight years as Indiana governor.

“I developed along the way some sense that government, absent results-oriented management, absent the transplanted accountability (of the private sector) would just drift on ….” Daniels said. “It was ‘Well, we’ve got four people, so I guess we’ll just wash (the windows) once a week, even though they don’t need it.’ ”

Daniels isn’t ready to say much about whether there are too many window-washers, or other inefficiencies, at his next place of work: Purdue University.

“We’ll just have to wait and see,” said Daniels, diplomatically, before noting Ohio State University’s recent decision to lease out its parking lots to private investors to operate for the next 50 years, in return for a lump payment of $483 million.

That deal, one of the first of its kind at a large university, is a lot like the deal that Daniels made in 2006, after he took office the year before as Indiana’s first Republican governor in 16 years.

Daniels’ decision to lease the money-losing Indiana Toll Road to private investors for $3.8 billion was part of a series of decisions he made to turn over a wide range of public services – from prison food to welfare payments — to private entities. In 2007, the New York Times dubbed him “Governor Privatize.”

The label has stuck, but Daniels argues it’s a misnomer. Much of what he’s done, from consolidating procurement across state agencies to selling off a fleet of unused state vehicles, was about making government more efficient, he said.

“I can’t get it through the thick heads of some people,” Daniels said. “They want to talk about privatization. I say, ‘You got the wrong p word. The p word we use is practical.’”

Daniels said his mission, when he took office eight years ago, wasn’t to make the state government smaller – though he has, by reducing state personnel rolls to where they were in 1970s.

His mission, he said, was to make state government better, faster and cheaper.

He’s earned some sharp criticism for how he’s done that.

Labor leaders howled in protest when he ended collective bargaining for state employees and put performance-pay measures into place. Teachers and school administrators reacted angrily when he cut education spending to help balance the budget. Former Democrat House Speaker Pat Bauer called the toll road lease “a very, very bad deal,” and state legislators in his own party were among his toughest critics when efforts to privatize the state’s cumbersome welfare system went awry.

Daniels said there’s room for argument about how to make government better, faster and cheaper. But no argument about the goal.

“If you’re a believer in limited government as I am, you should think that the sphere of its activity is limited and government shouldn’t get outside it. But inside it, you should be really determined … that every dollar be well spent,” Daniels said.

“And, on other hand, if you believe in a large and very active government, I would think you’d be the most offended of all if it’s botching the job and wasting money, because then it’s failing to serve people. You also should want every dollar spent well.”

Too often, he argues, ideologues on both sides fall short. “Too many in the first group stop when they think they’ve limited the government,” Daniels said. “And the second group acts like they don’t care at all if government is ridiculously wasteful and inefficient.”

When Daniels took office, he inherited an $800 million deficit and eight previous years of unbalanced budgets. As Daniels is wrapping up his final days in office, Indiana has $1 billion surplus.

“The good news is government can shoot straight,” Daniels said, adding: “But it is not the natural order of things.”

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Local & Bistate
  • Purdue Shooting2.jpg Purdue shooting leaves one person dead

    A Purdue University engineering student opened fire inside a basement classroom Tuesday, killing a teaching assistant and prompting officials to put the campus on lockdown, police and the university said.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Former Parke County teacher, president of teachers’ association, arrested for alleged forgery, theft

    A former Montezuma Elementary teacher — who also had served as president of the Southwest Parke Education Association — was arrested this morning on various felony counts related to alleged missing funds, according to Indiana State Police.

    April 23, 2014

  • Purdue Shooting_Will.jpg THS grad Miller among students in adjacent building when shooting occurs

    Kris Miller and his roommate were in a computer lab of Purdue’s mechanical engineering building Tuesday when they received a call that a shooting had occurred next door.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bosma Bosma moves gay marriage ban bill to friendlier committee

    Republican House of Representatives Speaker Brian Bosma sent a bill that proposes a constitutional ban on gay marriage to a more conservative-leaning legislature committee Tuesday, because it lacked support on the first committee to which it was assigned.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET012014 snowtracks.jpg We enter the deep freeze again

    If you had to step outside to get your newspaper this morning, you might have noticed it’s painfully cold once again.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET012014busses weir.jpg Levy redirects school funds

    If the new “protected levy” legislation goes into effect later this year, it would mean “a substantial reduction” in revenue for Vigo County School Corp. bus transportation, capital projects and bus replacement funds, according to the district’s chief financial officer.

    January 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • School debt levy redirects funds across Indiana

    School officials and state legislators from around the state are searching for ways to keep the school buses running — and children safe on the streets — pending the loss of millions of dollars for school transportation.
    More than 50 school districts in Indiana stand to lose at least 20 percent of their revenues for transportation, new buses and other big-ticket projects under a new law that requires them to first pay off their debts.

    January 21, 2014

  • MET 012114 DONNELLY BOARD.jpg VIDEO: Sen. Donnelly updates T-S editorial board

    Passage of a long overdue U.S. farm bill could be completed by the end of this month, Sen. Joe Donnelly, D-Ind., said Tuesday.

    January 21, 2014 1 Photo 1 Video

  • Vigo coroner tries again for salary increase

    After being denied last year, Vigo County Coroner Dr. Susan Amos is again seeking to have her county salary increased to match that of several other county office holders.

    January 21, 2014

  • Shots fired at cars, homes of Vincennes officers

    VINCENNES, Ind. (AP) — Investigators are seeking the public’s help in finding whoever fired shots over the weekend at the cars and homes of police officers in a southwestern Indiana city.

    April 23, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: April 23, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Tuesday and Wednesday, based on jail records.

    April 23, 2014

  • MET 042214 SWIM BULL.jpg Swim by 7 program

    Swim by 7 is a collaborative effort involving the United Way of the Wabash Valley and the Vigo County School Corp. As envisioned, all VCSC kindergarten students would participate in the learn-to-swim program once the new VCSC Aquatics Facility is constructed and ready for use at Voorhees Park.

    April 22, 2014 6 Photos 1 Video

  • Candidates file finance reports

    The Democratic race for judge of Vigo County Superior Court Division 2 boasts the most fundraising of all campaigns for the May 6 primary election.

    April 22, 2014

  • MET042214 earthdaymcclennan.jpg Mayor Duke Bennett leads community discussion on litter

    Talking trash in the neighborhood can get down and dirty.

    April 22, 2014 3 Photos

  • Public hears about grant to clean up E. coli in Otter Creek

    Greg Dunham has known Otter Creek since his childhood. “I walked that creek. I lived in that creek and I was all the time fishing in it, so this was news to me” he said about the concern of Escherichia coli (E. coli) in the Otter Creek watershed.

    April 22, 2014

  • MET042214 elanco.jpg Lilly to buy Novartis Animal Health

    Eli Lilly and Co. plans to acquire Novartis Animal Health for about $5.4 billion, a move believed to strengthen and diversify Lilly’s own animal health business, Elanco.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Men: Requests by missing IU girl’s parents too broad

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Two men who were with a 20-year-old Indiana University student before she vanished in 2011 say in court documents that her parents are on a “fishing expedition” in their efforts to obtain evidence to use in a lawsuit against them.

    April 22, 2014

  • FEMA OKs aid for Vigo County

    INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — The Federal Emergency Management Agency has approved disaster aid for 19 Indiana counties hit by a January storm that brought paralyzing snow and frigid readings.

    April 22, 2014

  • Vigo County Jail Log: April 22, 2014

    The following individuals were booked into the Vigo County Jail by area law enforcement on Monday and Tuesday, based on jail records.

    April 22, 2014

  • firstcarphotoforweb copy.jpg Remember Your First Car?

    Tell us about it! Your memories could be part of an upcoming story in the Tribune-Star. Click on this story to find out how.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • MET 042114 NEW ISU TRACK.jpg VIDEO: Indiana State breaks ground for $4.3M riverside track and field facility

    Indiana State University officials, community leaders and donors broke ground Monday on a new, $4.3 million track and field facility on the Wabash riverfront, along North First Street.

    April 21, 2014 3 Photos 1 Video

  • Panel approves new school benchmarks

    A panel of Indiana business and education leaders were met with boos and jeers from attendees after they voted overwhelmingly Monday to support new math and English standards set to replace the Common Core in classrooms this fall.

    April 21, 2014

  • schaffer, aaron.jpg Man to face several charges in Linton shooting death

    A homicide northeast of Linton is being investigated by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • aquatic center exterior.jpg Board approves bond structure to fund central pool project

    The Vigo County School Corp.’s $9.8 million aquatics center is “on schedule” and “the budget looks good,” Superintendent Dan Tanoos told the School Board on Monday.

    April 21, 2014 2 Photos

  • Judge: Indiana hasn’t given good reason for same-sex marriage ban

    A federal judge has said that attorneys defending Indiana’s gay marriage ban haven’t given a valid reason why the state should not recognize the out-of-state marriage of a lesbian couple, one of whom has a terminal illness.

    April 21, 2014

  • Police: Death from natural causes for 2 bodies found in home

    Death by natural causes has been ruled in the deaths of two people whose bodies were found Sunday evening inside their Pimento area home in southern Vigo County.

    April 21, 2014

  • MET 042114 NEW FIREFIGHTER.jpg 10 men, 1 woman added to Fire Dept. ranks

    Eleven recruits joined the ranks of the Terre Haute Fire Department on Monday during a swearing-in ceremony at Terre Haute City Hall.

    April 21, 2014 4 Photos

  • Mayor to host Earth Day event for children

    Mayor Duke Bennett has partnered with Indiana State University and the Vigo County Public Library to invite children grades K-5 for an evening of hands-on, environmental learning at the City’s first Earth Day Extravaganza. The free event will be today, Earth Day, from 4 ot 6 p.m. at the library.

    April 21, 2014

  • City to host Arbor Day award reception Wednesday

    Terre Haute’s urban forester and Mayor Duke Bennett will host Terre Haute’s first Arbor Day Urban Forest Award reception at 6 p.m. Wednesday at The Ohio Building.

    April 21, 2014

  • Homicide investigation under way in Greene County

    A homicide northeast of Linton is being investigated by the Greene County Sheriff’s Department.

    April 21, 2014

Latest News
TribStar.com Poll
AP Video
Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Bon Jovi Helps Open Low-income Housing in Philly S.C. Man Apologizes for Naked Walk in Wal-Mart 'Piles' of Bodies in South Sudan Slaughter Raw: Man Fatally Shot During Police Standoff Hagel Gets Preview of New High-tech Projects Pipeline Opponents Protest on National Mall New Yorkers Celebrate Cherry Blossom Blooms Chief Mate: Crew Told to Escape After Passengers Stowaway Teen Forces Review of Airport Security 'Miss Meadows' Takes Holmes Back to Her Roots Raw: Royal Couple Tours Uluru in Australia New Country Music Hall of Fame Inductees Named Raw: Tesla Delivers First China Cars SCOTUS Hears Tv-over-Internet Case Obama to Oso: We'll Be Here As Long As It Takes Raw: MN Lakes Still Frozen Before Fishing Opener Hong Kong Residents Help Create Green Roofs Raw: Anti-Obama Activists Fight Manila Police Michigan Man Sees Thanks to 'bionic Eye'
NDN Video
Viral: It's Not Pitbull - It's Amy Poehler! Stephen Colbert Tells David Letterman His Plan for 'Late Show' Recycling Highlights for Earth Day Peeps Launched into Outer Space NYPD's Twitter Request For Photos Backfires New HBO Go Commercials Capture Awkward Family TV Watching Raw: Leopard Bites Man in India Rise of the Milkbots Jenna Dewan-Tatum Strips Down TRENDING: Brian Williams Raps 'Gin and Juice' on ‘Tonight Show’ Middle School heroes rescue students from burning bus WHOPPER OF FISHING STORY: Florida man catches massive Mako shark Maks Chmerkovskiy's "DWTS" Meltdown The many faces of Mike Woodson Ape Builds A Fire And Toasts Marshmallows In Amazing BBC Video Manchester Utd sack manager David Moyes "RHOA's" Dramatic Brawl High school, College Drug Ring Busted In Montgomery County High Court to Hear Dispute of TV Over Internet Raw: Keflezighi, Jeptoo Win Boston Marathon
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -

     

    March 12, 2010

activity