A story appeared in The Shelbyville News on May 11, 2009 concerning the possible loss of certification for Intelliplex, Shelbyville's probational technology park. The article contained a number of thoughts and opinions from Mayor Scott Furgeson and Major Hospital Board Attorney, J. Lee McNeely. If you want to review that news story, it has been reproduced on this site in an article titled: "Unintelligible Intelliplex." Or, go directly to the article here
Following publication of the newspaper article, citizen activist, Mike Carpenter, submitted a set of additional questions addressed to Major Hospital CEO, Jack Horner and a separate set of questions were submitted to Mayor Furgeson and the city's Redevelopment Commission.
Carpenter wants it known that despite charges to the contrary, his questions are intended to be constructive and his motives are to help achieve re-certification for the park and to achieve new jobs for the community. He has received answers to his latest questions from Major Hospital and they are reproduced below. I think you will agree that there's an impressive amount of civility that exists between these two gentlemen about a topic that is sometimes contentious. How refreshing. Incidentally, as of today, there has been no response from the city.
The following questions were submitted to the hospital on July 30, 2009:
Jack Horner, CEO Major Hospital
150 W. Washington St.
Shelbyville, IN 46176
Dear Mr. Horner:
Since the Intelliplex Certified Tech Park is a public-private partnership and more information has been given to the May 11 newspaper article, I am requesting a written response to the following questions. Please provide documentation wherever possible.
QUESTION #1: In the May 11 newspaper article, the Mayor noted that city, county and hospital officials discussed the other 17 Indiana tech parks. Did this discussion take place during a board of directors meeting?
ANSWER: The discussion referenced in the May 11 newspaper article did not take place at a Hospital Board of Directors meeting.
QUESTION #2: Are there any city or county officials on the SIPAP (Secret Intelliplex Park Advisory Panel)? By suing the word 'secret', I mean the public not being informed nor invited to participate. Is there a reason why the people on this panel have remained anonymous? Please explain.
ANSWER: I am not sure what you mean. There is no secret Intelliplex Advisory Panel. There is an Intelliplex Park advisory group whose purpose is to provide structured input from citizens. The advisory group is a collection of responsible citizens who volunteer their time to offer positive suggestions for marketing, park improvements and further park development. The Hospital Board wants and seeks community input related to Intelliplex Park. The advisory panel is a structured mechanism to receive public input. I will not release the names of these volunteers, because I do not have permission from them to do so. I will tell you that there are both elected and common citizens on the panel to provide community input. I will also tell you that one of the members works for the Shelbyville News. It is hard to say these meetings are secret when the press attends the panel sessions. These concerned citizens meet on their own time, at their own expense, and their mission is to assist in the development and success of the park, While I do not speak for them, it is my supposition that they do not want to become embroiled in public disputes with critics of the development effort.
QUESTION #3: Will the recommendations of this SIPAP be made available to the general public? If so, will we be informed before the IEDC re-certification vote?
ANSWER: If their recommendations are brought to the attention of the city, county or hospital, it will be done at a public meeting. Whether this happens before or after the IEDC re-certification vote depends on when recommendations are made.
QUESTION #4: Has the hospital examined other tech parks in the state for examples of job creation success? If so, will you share your discoveries with the public sector of our public-private partnership?
ANSWER: The city administration will spearhead the re-certification process. I am not sure how much data they have concerning the other tech parks in the state and I am not sure if they are planning this as part of their presentation to the IEDC.
QUESTION #5: Has the hospital made any changes to their Intelliplex marketing strategy during the past two years? Please explain.
ANSWER: Our marketing strategy is constantly changing. We have not been happy with the efforts of CB Richard Ellis. We are currently looking at two other marketing firms to handle Intelliplex.
QUESTION #6: Does the hospital currently employ the CB Richard Ellis marketing firm tp promote and market the Intelliplex park? Do their efforts include anything more than the following one-line listing: "90 acres in Shelby County for 9 million dollars"? Will you please explain?
ANSWER: As stated in the answer to Question #5, we have not been happy with the results produced from our relationship with CB Richard Ellis and we are currently looking at new partners.
QUESTION #7: Can you produce any examples or evidence of any success as a result of your current strategy? If yes, will you please be specific?
ANSWER: The park currently has more than $35 million in investments and has hundreds of employees working in the park. Work is currently being completed on more specific details for the presentation to the IEDC. When the work on the presentation has been completed, it will be made public.
QUESTION #8: Will you please describe the land sale deals currently offered to prospective employers? Examples will do.
ANSWER: I think you can understand that current competitive offers to prospective employers are confidential. The potential agreements contain letters of non-disclosure and statements of confidentiality for both parties.
QUESTION #9: In past land deal offers that failed, are you aware of the reasons that caused the prospective employer to choose another location? If so, will you explain them in detail?
ANSWER: There are many reasons why prospective buyers considered Intelliplex and many reasons why some choose to go elsewhere. It would be impossible for me to speculate, specifically, on why those business decisions were made.
QUESTION #10: Please describe the method by which the hospital receives the recaptured sales and income taxes from the city. Does the hospital file a request or voucher with the City Clerk Treasurer to verify land sales? Or, does the city send the funds to the hospital automatically pursuant to RDC resolution #2005-50?
ANSWER: That process is under control of other entities such as the city, and the (Shelbyville) Redevelopment Commission. I do not fully understand their processes and that question is better answered by the City Clerk Treasurer.
QUESTION #11: After the hospital's initial land purchase price of $24,000 per acre, is the buyer required to pay additional funds to cover the negotiated selling price?
ANSWER: I am not sure I understand this question. The selling price of the land is determined by multiple factors. These include: number of employees to be hired by the prospective buyer, location in the park, the quality of these jobs, number of acres purchased, etc. (These) are all factors in the negotiated selling price.
QUESTION #12: How soon will the hospital initiate the Intelliplex association fees and regulations?
ANSWER: The status of association fees are always a function of the current economic climate. The status of those fees can change at any time when it is an appropriate business decision to change them.
CLOSING OF CARPENTER'S LETTER: If you need an explanation concerning any of these questions or if you have a concern that I can help with, please contact me.
Thanking you in advance for your time and effort, I look forward to your response.
SUMMARY STATEMENT FROM JACK HORNER TO MIKE CARPENTER: I hope this helps answer your questions. Mike, I do have one favor of you. You have told me you are in favor of the park receiving certification to help spur continued improvement in the quality and quantity of jobs available to the community. If so, I can assure you that your elected local officials of the City and County are working very hard towards achieving re-certification and those same goals of job growth. I have put my trust in them and their handling of this process. I believe they will be successful. My favor is to ask of you to put your trust in them also. The negotiations for the park's re-certification are at a very critical point. The IEDC will not look at bad publicity, letters to the editor, etc. in a positive light. I hope you can help with our re-certification by supporting the elected officials and by directing your questions to them or to me at the hospital. Handling the process of re-certification with direct communication between our local officials and the IEDC offers the community the best chance for success. Handling this process through the media will almost certainly doom our park re-certification and hurt our chances for job growth in the future.
Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Article comment by:
You want to know why we have this Intelliplex mess?
Simple answer: stupidity.
If the people of Shelbyville and Shelby County, Indiana, had any intelligence, Intelliplex would not have become the Land of Opportunity for local opportunity grabbers.
In the United States, the percentage of people past age 21 who have a college degree is 22.7 percent.
In Shelby County, it is 12.4 percent.
Now this is in a country where more than half of people polled can't name their congressman and nearly half don't know there are two senators in every state.
This is in a country where a majority polled can't name a single branch of government.
This is in a country where a quarter of the people polled couldn't name what country was America's opponent in the Revolutionary War.
This is in a country where 75 percent said they have no clue what the Supreme Court case Roe vs. Wade was all about.
Yep. We have this mess called Intelliplex because of stupidity. People in Shelbyville and Shelby County just don't seem to care that they have been getting the shaft on a regular basis from the prevailing Powers Who Are.
Now, they want us to not write or say anything negative about Intelliplex publicly.
Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Article comment by:
No, I haven't responded to the questions yet because I am hoping that Mike Carpenter and his questions will just disappear. Instead of wasting my time on the questions I have been spending my valuable time trying to convince everyone that we have a snowball's chance in hell of having Harley move here and keeping some of my dept heads out of trouble. In my opinion if I ignore something it will go away. So for the record, I am offically ignoring the question.
As for Lee, I cannot answer. He gets really mad at me if I answer for him. It's really not a mayor place to know these things but If I were to guess about it I would say that he is ignoring the questions also. Not because he doesn't have the answers but because he probably doesn't think that the answers are really anybodys business but the people who already know the answers to the questions. I don't even know the answers because he is worried that if I knew the answers I would slip and run my mouth because he knows that if I know something I have a very hard time keeping my mouth shut. So honestly when I say that I don't know the answers it is because I don't know the answers. S. F.
Posted: Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Article comment by:
I have a couple of follow-up questions for Mr. Horner:
No. 1 - Why does he feel that citizens publicly expressing their opinions about a project (Intelliplex)that is partially funded by taxpayers is something that should/can be controlled and silenced?
2. Why does the local newspaper have someone as a member of the Intelliplex advisory group when a newspaper is supposed to report the news, not make the news?
Thank you Mike Carpenter and thank you Dee Bonner.