John Pickerill continues his fact distorting efforts to create false appearances.  I read his latest diatribe with great interest and felt the need to set the record straight.  First, I want to say that everyone is entitled to their views on local government and I fully respect that.  As a result, I listen and largely avoid responding to each statement.  However, I feel John Pickerill, and those surrounding him, weave misleading tales based on half-truths and outright deceit.  Therefore, I must respond with facts as I am hearing repeatedly from those I represent that it’s high time someone start setting the record straight by and “call them to the table.”

In his latest piece John suggests that decisions regarding contracts for professional services are made based on who is, or isn’t, donating to political campaigns.  It’s the age-old, worn out, go-to argument used by naysayers for many years.  In this case it simply doesn’t hold water.  Of course, anyone can create an appearance based on cherry picking data and merely reporting half-truths.  You see, John is well known for giving you half the story in order to slant it his way.  He carefully edits and omits the whole story because it paints a much more balanced picture based on facts. 

The city must contract for professional services from attorneys, engineers, etc. because we simply do not maintain those types of personnel on our payroll.  As I have said many times, there are those who are awarded contracts who also contribute to campaigns but there are also those contribute and never receive work and those who receive work but never contribute a cent to a campaign.  The fact remains that there is no correlation between the two. 

Despite John Pickerill’s misleading slant the dollar figures he throws around are part of state contracts awarded on behalf of the city.  Those figures are not solely funded by local taxpayers. They are largely funded through the grant dollars received.  As a result, the state and federal funding agencies have instituted strict guidelines on how vendors are acquired and how contracts are administered.  We work very hard to ensure we receive the best products and services for the money and his suggestion otherwise is nothing more than a misleading attempt to pull the wool over everyone’s eyes for his own political benefit.  What John doesn’t mention in his letter is that there is no way for him to prove that we are not getting the best products and services for the taxpayer dollar. He is simply making the assumption and looking for data to support that assumption. 

For example, he reports that HWC Engineering, a firm that has donated to my campaign, was awarded a contract to design a Stellar funded trail at last week’s Board of Works meeting.  Sadly, what he fails to tell you is that during that exact same meeting substantial contracts were also awarded to Ratio Architects for a new comprehensive plan and Patterson-Horth for the construction of a new Fire Station 2.  Neither of those firms donated a cent to my campaign.  He conveniently omits those facts to paint a picture that only those who pay will be awarded contracts.  Contracts are awarded based on quality, plain and simple. 

Fortunately, we have a new tool coming on line soon to combat the misleading efforts of those like John Pickerill who insist on cherry picking data to fit their argument.  We will soon be uploading all contracts to the State Board of Accounts website through the Gateway program so citizens can see the facts for themselves.  They will be able to see all contracts, not just those John Pickerill chooses.

The people of this community can rest assured that I will stay the course and work hard to make good things happen.  I absolutely refuse to follow the Pickerill model of sitting around arguing theory all day while doing nothing to improve the community.  The voters of this community have made it clear that they want action to prevent things from going down the drain and I will stay true to my word.

Please keep in mind that all of this is coming from someone who has never successfully run for, or held public office.  I suspect that is largely because he’s never offered a positive plan for moving this community forward, only constant criticism of those who are trying. 

Following his defeat in the May Primaries John immediately sought a different opportunity, resigning as GOP chair and jumping ship to another party.  Hardly staying the course and working for a better community.  For the last several years we have listened to his continued rants that one must strictly follow the party platform in order to be a true member of the party.  If he is going to stay the course, and true to the beliefs he’s attempted to force on others, he must now do the same as a Libertarian.  That will be interesting to watch.  Does this mean that he is now for legalizing drugs and prostitution, both of which are strongly supported by the Libertarian Party?

Just a few short months ago he asked voters to support his failed bid for county council based in part, on his stance to get tough on drugs as a conservative Republican.  Now, overnight, he is asking the same voters to support his run for the Indiana Legislature as a Libertarian, a party that openly endorses the legalization of drugs.  Which is it?  I, for one, will stay true to my beliefs and continue my work to build a stronger community.