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Tag: Mike Gillman
By JGillman, Section News
"Live now, pay later," might have easily supplanted the national motto of "E Pluribus Unum," instead of its supposed replacement, "In God we trust."
Aside from the obvious reference to unearned hedonism and individual irresponsibility, it should be noted that governments derived from such careless individuals as the "live now" crowd can bring all of us even closer to being debt slaves. Yet even without the notion of pleasure as an advance reward to leadership, the function of government runs unabated. One might find it differently in private enterprise however, according to Jack Spencer at Cap Con:
"In the private sector, businesses can't ignore economic reality by giving in to unrealistic union demands. They open their books and say, "look, we've had a lousy couple of years. We have to cut back or go under. We can't give you what you want." That reality check doesn't apply to government, which is always bargaining with other people's money. Those "other people" are us, the taxpayers. Over the decades, when faced with unpopular choices of cutting services or raising taxes, government officials have given unions most of what they asked for and left the tab to be picked up by future generations."
In a nutshell, that is it.
I've been there. In fact, I have been in both places simultaneously. At the business owned by my wife and I, folks haven't received raises in three years, yet as a county commissioner in 2012 I was present while union employees received automatic 1.5% increases. It made no sense to me that it should be so easy for a nearly unanimous Republican board to approve of such a thing, but over the years we have discovered that fiscal insanity is a scourge that has set upon both Capulet AND House Montague.
And it is generational too. So much so, that entire infrastructures are collapsing from the weight that has long had its supports removed. Pensions as a part of governmental financial negligence as referenced in the Cap Con piece above are responsible for cities literally falling apart, and legitimate public safety services being eliminated.
So what have we done to solve this?
Go below the fold to find out how we can actually make bad stuff, worse.
(3 comments, 2223 words in story) Full Story
This one is closer to home.
Mike Gillman (my father) on the city commission in Traverse City makes his objections tonight to the technical workers union contract that will be enacted only DAYS before Michigan's Right To Work legislation goes into effect. The bargaining unit and the city had been in discussion for nearly a year, but as the time drew closer, the union gave in to demands by the city. Likely done so as to keep the shop a "closed shop until the contract ends in three years.
Good for him!
As for the rest? - WHATTA BARGAIN!
(2 comments) Comments >>
Last night I watched an amazing thing.
The Traverse City commission voted on their budget.
I was present at probably the longest Traverse City Commission meeting I have attended. So long in fact, that protocol required the commissioners to remove the clock from the wall so as to "ignore" the new day. And with the clock removed and facing down on the table, the commission proceeded to do a couple things of note. Using a series of budget adjustments for a building fund, fire and police (a $35k consultant recommended move) and engineering/GIS, and they paid half down on a long term liability, an act 325 fund.
Responsible yes. Amazing, no.
What really is amazing in this day and age of shrinking municipal revenues, is that they cut spending, and paid liabilities AND lowered the taxes.
Its something you might not often see in Michigan or many other states, as municipalities fight to maintain programs, spending levels, and incoming revenues. However in Traverse City Michigan on 06-06-11, commissioners voted to lower the levied rate by 0.7 mils providing real relief for owners of property within the Traverse City taxing boundaries.
I'll write more as I wake a bit (been a long night), but I should not leave this without pointing out I was happy to see the board make this "progressive" move towards responsible handling of the people's affairs. I was also happy to see it spearheaded by a "liberal Democrat Mayor," Chris Bzdok, and one city commissioner, Michael Gillman.
A small amount of relief goes a long way in revealing a changing tide.
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