Lots of stuff to discuss. Hope you all have the patience and time to digest it all.
Interesting perspective on Proposed Senate Bill 97 in your forward. My analysis is it is typical “fear mongering”. See discussion below.
Enclosed for your convenience is a copy of House Fiscal Legislative Analysis pertaining to Senate Bill 97. Permit me to comment on the Bill and ancillary issues pertaining to Public Private Partnerships (PPP’s) and infrastructure investment.
Senate Bill 97
The Bill authorizes the State and its various agencies to participate in Public Private Partnerships (PPPs) as a means to acquire private investment and management participation in state infrastructure projects. The objective of PPP’s is to facilitate private investment in infrastructure upgrades and repairs as a substitute for using taxation and state financed bonds as the sole remedy to pay for infrastructure needs. For example: The legislature raised the state taxes on fuels to pay for highway maintenance, construction and repairs, or alternatively, it could issue bonds secured by the State to be repaid with revenue either from the project (AKA TOLLS or USER FEES,) or increase taxes on the proletariat! Gas taxes or sales taxes.
As the Analysis confirms many states (other than Michigan) have now passed legislation authorizing their respective state agencies to enter into PPP’s as a basis to fund various transportation and other infrastructure needs (water and sewage). In the past I have referenced these projects as an alternative means to fund transportation and infrastructure needs in various letters to the media and others with copies to our relevant representatives.These copies are numbered and itemized below to refresh your memories. Several of the letters contain similar allegations and claims. My apologies for any redundancy. It is apparent the letters were of little interest to the recipients. So be it! It hasn’t been the first time. But, I digress. Mea Culpa!
I wonder how many have spent time in the Pugsley Correctional Facility for the charge of selling pot?
Those days are over, as the institution has closed to it’s prison population. Any remaining dope peddlers are likely moved to other facilities, and … From today’s TC Ticker:
” In the wake of the closure of Pugsley Correctional Facility last year, Kingsley is preparing to trade prison jobs for pot jobs – an option that also is open to neighboring Fife Lake, though township officials there have so far rejected the prospect.
Fifteen months after Pugsley’s closure, Kingsley has signed off on permitting marijuana production facilities at its industrial park, a move that officials say wasn’t a direct response to the closure of the prison but should offset some of the job losses. The village has yet to approve a license for any particular business to operate a medical marijuana production facility, but it’s expected to soon receive an application from the Canadian company TheraCann that could call for the construction of a $20 million facility employing 100 people. “
Lt. Governor Brian Calley has gone for the brass ring. An email from the inbox today:
“Dear Jason, Today I formally announce that I am a candidate for Governor of Michigan. I am running for Governor to finish Michigan’s Comeback and make Michigan the most prosperous state in the country.
And not to miss an opportunity to get a little rush from the announcement is political newcomer Jim Hines, who in his own email blast says:
“I welcome Brian Calley to the race for Governor. We now have three term-limited Republican politicians seeking their next job, all pretending to be outsiders.”
Each of those term limited guys could probably write their own check quite well. So I am not sure how the term limited fact will sway anything, but Calley’s engagement in the process does shuffle the political support deck, bringing the not-Schuette candidate class into higher probability realm.
This year, our Thanksgiving gathering will be short four brothers.
No dear reader, they are all still alive as far as I know, but it is one of those years where the annual gathering in our home will have more non-blood extended family than blood related for the great repast. Its just how things worked out.
On any given year prior, the numbers present could have been between 15-20 with an ever changing roster of friends joining us. White, black whatever, you never knew what the make up would be at the table by the time we blessed the meal with prayer.
No matter the diversity or lack thereof, we could always count on healthy debate and discussion of the day’s political happenings. As much as so many fear the arguments that can happen, it has traditionally been this part of the discourse that so many of my kin cherish, and so many friends find entertaining (I suppose).
It is my hope that all of you are able to celebrate today with those whom you love and respect, and that your day is filled with wonderful conversations and interesting dialogue.
Norman Shy, the Detroit Public Schools vendor who stole $ 3 million with the capable assistance of 12 DPS principals and one DPS administrator, has begun paying his court-ordered restitution. The Detroit Free Press reported today that the Detroit Public Schools Community District has received $ 1.5 million from Mr. Shy, out of the total $ 2.7 million in restitution U.S. District Court ordered Mr. Shy to pay in September 2016.
The problem here? Mr. Shy’s scam looted the pre bailout/bankruptcy Detroit Public School District, not the new Detroit Public Schools Community District. The new Detroit Public Schools Community District was created in July 2016, before Mr. Shy’s sentencing but well after his 13 year long scam concluded.
The legacy Detroit Public School District still exists as a ward of the State of Michigan to pay off more than $ 500 million in ‘operating debts’. Debts which, in part, are directly due to Mr. Shy’s scam and dozens of other thieves. Michigan taxpayers at large are paying down those debts of the legacy DPS District, and will be paying until 2025 – if not longer.
Mr. Shy’s restitution payments should be paid to the legacy DPS District, not the new DPSC District. Its not like Michigan taxpayers owe these monies to the new DPSCD. Michigan taxpayers fronted the DPSCD $ 617 million as part of the 2016 bailout/bankruptcy, and the new, ‘debt free’ district is now being financed just as generously as every other school district in Michigan.
$ 1.5 million is real money. Restitution should be directed to those financially damaged. In this case, it is the taxpayers of Michigan – not the new Detroit Public Schools Community District – who were looted by Mr. Shy.
Anyone still wonder why Michigan residents are so ill disposed towards Detroit and its very creative government accounting practices?
Traverse City has apparently honored the wishes of the voters last night.
Good. They did the ‘right thing’ by allowing a requested exemption of the local library district from their TIF2 district renewal.
Some of you may be aware that the Traverse Area District Library received a solid 75.5% renewal vote for the millage last August. Some of you might also be aware what type of management and board makes up the library. Suffice it to say, the operation operation has in the past 6 years has found efficiency, improved technological services, and better staff competence and ability.
The district as a whole is an outstanding model of how government operations should run. We have addressed the pension gorilla successfully, stopped any growth (for-the-sake-of-growth) plans, and lowered the cost per taxable dollar. Technological services are so advanced, that the library has literally been able to market out some of its advances to neighboring library systems, providing them with value added (and lower cost) services and recovering taxpayer ‘investment’ at the same time.
We have done our part, but still have expenses, and every dollar matters in crafting the best possible response to voter intent.
And some of those who did not vote yes in the last millage made it clear why they did not support the millage. It wasn’t because they had misgivings about tax dollars being used to promote community literacy, but rather as an objection to the way in which that singular philanthropy doubles as a sieve to water ‘economic development’ efforts they have zero interest in supporting.
But with big government comes the sugar for the ants. For all the tax dollars we donate for the elected class to spend, there are a number of said class who believe they are smarter than free markets.