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By JGillman, Section News
One person running for a local office up here is Cheryl Walton of Whitewater Township.
The cost to our communities from special assessments, millages and general apathy to the financial wherewithal of constituents can be appalling. Cheryl has written up in just a few paragraphs, a story that can be related and well understood in dozens of townships throughout Michigan. Examples of over-planning, a desire for the best, yet without the ability to pay, and property owners which find themselves on the raw end of someone else' ambition.
This is just one true tale, that as yet has not ended.
WHITEWATER TOWNSHIP BOARD'S "ROAD TO RUIN"
In January/February 2005, a petition for paving 4 roads (Watson, Mabel, Deal, and Lackey) was circulated to road frontage owners. A sheet accompanying the petition estimated the total cost of paving to be $1 million, to be split half and half between the Grand Traverse County Road Commission and the property owners, with the annual cost per "benefit" estimated at $200 annually for 10 years. More than 50% of the road frontage owners signed the petition.
In August 2005, a different petition listing 5 roads (Watson, Mabel, Deal, Lackey, AND SKEGEMOG POINT ROAD south of M-72) was circulated only to Skegemog Point Road frontage owners. Less than 50% of the frontage owners signed, not meeting the Public Improvement Act requirement that more than 50% of the frontage owners agree to the improvement. Despite this fact, the southern portion of Skegemog Point Road was added to the list of roads to be paved, adding close to $300,000 to the cost of the project. The signers of the 4-road petition never agreed to the paving of Skegemog Point Road.
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No, I don't want a green bagel and I don't drink beer, whatever the color. Thank you.
Happy St. Patrick's Day to you, too, though. Be careful on the roads, pals. Especially those of you who are getting an early-bird jump on the festivities at oh, 8 or 9 this morning.
Now... since I'm not a lush, Irish or Catholic, back to business.
Yesterday we discussed how Detroit Democrat Kwame Kenyatta was adding his name to the list of over 50 liberal candidates for the office of Mayor come August. Today we learn that the man just defaulted on his mortgage and isn't paying his bills.
But like yesterday, I still can't muster the cynicism and snark to discuss the foibles of Michigan Democrats with the vim and vigor the issues really deserve. Besides, I have zero doubt whatsoever that Monica Conyers will pick up the slack. Heck, the woman made fun of Kenyatta because she thought he had cancer... does anyone think getting kicked out of his house is going to be off limits?
Besides, there's this whole "light rail" thing that's sort of got me intrigued.
Republican Representatives Wayne Schmidt and Bill Rogers held a presser yesterday announcing the formation of a task force to study the feasibility of a light rail system connecting Lansing with metro-Detroit and maybe Ann Arbor, to boot.
If you've lived in Michigan long you've heard about the light-rail concept more times than you've seen the University of Michigan in the NCAA basketball tournament. Every couple of years it becomes someone's pet project but there have always been three big issues standing in the way. (Frankly, there may have been a million and three big issues, but there are three that always seem to pop to the top.)
First you've got to deal with the projects feasibility. Can anyone even construct the thing and make it work? Second, you've got the whole question of who is going to pay for it and then there are the Big 3.
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This morning, when the world wakes up and gets going, with the news on in the background, the word "Detroit" will say one thing more forcefully than anything else. Auto bailout.
The Detroit News and everyone else report that GM and Chrysler are expected to meet with President Obama's foreign-car driving "auto task-force" to ask for a fresh $21 BILLION in free cash to avoid the scarlet B. (That stands for bankruptcy. I shouldn't have to explain these things to you... if you'd been paying attention... heh.) This is on top of the $17 BILLION they took from the feds late in 2008 and on top of the BILLIONS they've taken and are hoping to take from the Canadian government.
As the Presidential administrations get more liberal the requests get bigger and there is still no end in sight. This has out-of-state GOP lawmakers crying foul and even the staunchest Michigan partisan shouldn't have a tough time understanding why. When does it end? Is there a bottom of the barrel? That's why some are urging a merger or bankruptcy.
There's a real debate to be had here. On paper, in the math world bankruptcy makes the most sense. Free the companies from the $73.50 an hour employment costs associated with Big Labor so they can compete with other American auto manufacturing plants paying closer to $25 an hour "all-in." But in real life? We're talking about literally hundreds of thousands of Michigan jobs that many believe WILL disappear should the Big 3 become the Big 1 or the Big 2. On top of the hundreds of thousands that have already disappeared under Jennifer Granholm and John Cherry's clumsily catastrophic impersonation of "leadership."
The worst part is, the plight of the Big 3 is only the tip of Detroit's iceberg.
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External FeedsMetro/State News RSS from The Detroit News
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+ Fouts rips video as 'scurrilous,' defends Chicago trip with secretary
+ Wind, winter weather hammer state from Mackinac Bridge to southeast Mich.
+ Detroit Cass Tech QB Campbell expected to be released from custody Friday
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+ Detroit's bankruptcy gets controversial turn in new Honda ad
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+ Grosse Ile Twp. leads list of Michigan's 10 safest cities
+ Wayne Co. sex crimes backlog grows after funding feud idles Internet Crime Unit
+ Judge upholds 41-60 year sentence of man guilty in Detroit firefighter's death
+ Detroit man robbed, shot in alley on west side
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+ Blacks slain in Michigan at 3rd-highest rate in US
Politics RSS from The Detroit News
+ Apologetic Agema admits errors but won't resign
+ Snyder: Reform 'dumb' rules to allow more immigrants to work in Detroit
+ GOP leaders shorten presidential nominating season
+ Dems: Another 12,600 Michiganians lose extended jobless benefits
+ Mike Huckabee's comments on birth control gift for Dems
+ Granholm to co-chair pro-Clinton PAC for president
+ Republican panel approves tougher penalties for unauthorized early primary states
+ Michigan seeks visas to lure immigrants to Detroit
+ Peters raises $1M-plus for third straight quarter in Senate bid
+ Bill would let lawyers opt out of Michigan state bar
+ Michigan lawmakers launch more bills against sex trade
+ Balanced budget amendment initiative gets a jumpstart
+ Feds subpoena Christie's campaign, GOP
+ Poll: At Obama's 5-year point, few see a turnaround
+ Obama to release 2015 budget March 4
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