Muncie: Delaware Advancement Corporation

Dark Shadows of Oligarchy - Economic Development

Delaware Advancement Corporation (DAC) is a non-profit in Muncie that receives revenues from both the taxpayers and Jud Fisher at the Ball family. This reposed entity in Delaware County runs the Horizon Convention Center and the Chamber of Commerce.

It also seems to have played a more assertive role in the last few years. I noticed it has been receiving property transfers from both the Muncie Sanitary District (MSD) and the City of Muncie’s Redevelopment Commission (MRC). It likes to operate in the shadows, which is always a red flag for me. It should be a red flag for all journalists, but we have a very lame media environment in Indiana – specifically in Muncie. If you are paying a nickel for The StarPress, don’t waste that nickel.

This will be an evergreen story that I will keep growing as I add more information from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests and other legal ventures. I’m currently working through one request now which is being blocked by a high-priced lawyer at Defur Voran. This lawyer is claiming that DAC is not a public entity. The State’s Public Access Counselor disagrees. A formal complaint has been filed with the state and served to Defur Voran. The clock is ticking with a due date of 1/26:

Form 990s – IRS Financial Statements

Over the three years I reviewed (2017-2020), the most glaring line items were investments and their corresponding liabilities and their advertising expenses. I immediately asked for a breakdown of those items since the investments and loans were over $14 million. Advertising dollars were well over $100 thousand for a couple of years and then declined in 2020 to around $76 thousand. I got no response from Ashley Surpas, so I hand-delivered her a FOIA request on 12/10 with a due date of 12/17.

I got a letter from Nicholas M. Tokar at Defur Voran (the fixers). As a side note, when I got banned from the YMCA for calling out their wellness scam on the Southside of Muncie, it was Steven D. Murphy at Defur Voran. When I caught Ball State University trying to hide their $13.1 million in swindling losses, it was Scott E. Shockley at Defur Voran and The Star Press who fixed it up. Every oligarch family has a fixer.

Muncie Redevelopment Commission and DAC

Anyway, back to DAC. In the November 2020 online packet for the Muncie Redevelopment Commission (MRC), the following exchange between Mayor Dan Ridenour and the Muncie Redevelopment Committee is a little unsettling. Why is the City transferring properties to a non-profit? Why is the Muncie Sanitary District also transferring properties to this non-profit?

Last Monday, I asked the City Council about this, and Ro Selvey’s head about flew off. As I mentioned above, the request from DAC went from Ashley Surpas, Economic Development Coordinator at Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance, to the fixers at Defur Voran. According to the Indiana Code for Open Door Laws, they claim that DAC isn’t a “public agency.”

However, according to Luke Britt, Public Access Counselor with the State of Indiana, DAC is a public agency. Therefore, I’ve asked for the list of investments transferred from our other government bodies to DAC and their corresponding liabilities, and the advertising dollars paid to the ‘propaganda spreading machine’ aka ‘The StarPress and Muncie Journal’ here in East Central Indiana.

I attended the Muncie Redevelopment Commission hearing and the appointed committee members didn’t have a clue. We got sidetracked talking about the YMCA deal with the Mayor bragged about and then lied about. He said he knew nothing about the deal between the YMCA and Muncie Community Schools (MCS) even though the deal was approved during the October board meeting. The Ball State University-controlled school board gave away the property at Muncie Central High School for free. Yes, free.

Not only was the property free, but there was no discussion about the major conflict of interest between the donor Jud Fisher and recipients, Muncie Family YMCA, and Muncie Community Schools. Not to mention Ball State University.

I’ll be attending the MCS board meeting in January to ask about the “deal” given to the YMCA. I will also attend January’s MRC meeting and ask about property transfers to DAC that disappear off the City of Muncie tax rolls. Here is the video from December’s meeting:

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Todd Smekens

Journalist, consultant, publisher, and servant-leader with a passion for truth-seeking. Enjoy motorcycling, meditation, and spending quality time with my daughter and rescue hound. Spiritually-centered first and foremost. Lived in multiple states within the USA and frequent traveler to the mountains.

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