Tag Archive for Grand Traverse County

The Forest For The Trees

Grand Traverse County Commissioners don't even understand why the county is broke.

We all like nice things.

Sometimes we have to choose which nice things we want however.  As a community, the pie is only big enough for so many parks, so many police officers, and some of the other necessary ‘amenities’ to make it all happen.  One thing it requires is choices and priorities.

Attending a board of commissioners meeting tonight, one participant noted that our Northern Michigan county had the worst pension funding situation in the state.  While probably true, the rest of the commissioners in their own ways acknowledged it, and then moved on to prove in no uncertain terms why it is unlikely to change.

In an effort to raise money to cover the ballooning pension liabilities, Grand Traverse County Commissioners voted 6-1 to sell a county property for nearly $100K less than the highest bid for the property.   They were convinced by a number of hikers, bikers, and cross country skiers, that letting the property in question into ‘private’ hands would make our slice of heaven intolerable.

You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(1)

The Bill Came Due

Grand Traverse County pension advisory board provides insight into fiscal mismanagement.

Honey, go get your credit card please. Ignore the scissors, just hand it over.

Its like that.  The Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners has a little issue that has been looming, called an obligation.  Debt by a different name, and because the Michigan constitution says it must be honored, it is little more than chains that bind our children to their parents bad decisions. From the local fish wrap:

TRAVERSE CITY — A one-page road map past Grand Traverse County’s pension debt hurdle will makes its way to county commissioners, who soon could decide whether to ask taxpayers for a millage.

Pension advisory board Chair Michael Gillman on Monday requested a broad-stroke recommendation that “the people who have to pay the bills” could understand. He and his fellow board members agreed on a set of steps to deal with the county’s defined benefit pension debt.

Past county officials offered that pension to employees but failed to fund the obligations. The bill for 276 retirees and 88 eventually-will-retire current employees is growing year-by-year and threatens to dominate the county’s budget.

“The bottom line is that the public has to somehow understand that we have received services that we haven’t paid between $50 (million) and $70 million toward those services,” Gillman said. “We got those services. We got the bill. The bill has to be paid constitutionally. And we’ve got to pay it in a way that minimizes impact, to the extent possible, on taxpayers and on current employees who aren’t under that plan.”

The solution is to drastically cut services, or get more money somehow.

So in all likelihood, a millage request will be first.  1 Mil that will raise about $5million annually, and that will add about $80 per homeowner.  A millage that will likely find spectacular defeat, as it is not something that will offer ‘instant gratification’ as would fresh roads, happy senior citizens, better school services or properly paid for libraries.

indeed, a millage of this caliber needs proper ownership.  And though there are plenty of other players responsible for over 2 decades of mismanagement on the county board, there are certain names that need to be remembered because they are still with us in elected office, performing big government feats with big government idealism.

We’ll call it the “Sonny Wheelock, Larry Inman, Wayne Schmidt, Memorial Millage.”

If the above appeared on the tax bills of Grand Traverse County property owners next to the assessed amount, I wonder how that would affect their future endeavors?

You Betcha! (21)Nuh Uh.(0)

Attack Ad On Republican Candidate Draws Sharp Rebuke

The first complaint about an attack ad by Michigan Democrats against 104th Candidate Larry Inman comes from where?

coffiaA political attack television ad aired in the 104th district (which covers Grand Traverse County in its entirety)  is drawing an immediate call for its removal. Not from candidate Inman, but by his opponent.

An advertisement that suggests Republican Larry Inman is out of touch, voted for tuition increases as a university trustee, supports higher taxes, and is guilty by association with those who voted to raise property and pension taxes is under fire by the person who would benefit from such ads. Betsy Coffia, a Democrat who has sworn off PAC money and these types of ads says “We have committed to running a positive campaign, and we consider negative ads to be part of the problem, instead of part of the solution.”

Coffia then goes on to ask supporters to call the Democrat state party directly and ask them to remove the ads.

You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(0)

Gosh! They Ask

OK Teach. This is what your dues pay for.

Why is the MEA losing members hand over fist?

Could it be because even sans a single debate between Gary Peters and Terri Lynn Land, they pick Peters; the Democrat?  And without a hug fest tournament with Rick Snyder and Mark Schauer, they choose to embrace The Democrat over the fake Republican.  And lacking a single face to face political death match between Democrat Phil Belfy and ..um liberal, Wayne Schmidt, the choice is Democrat.  Even Jerry Cannon, a Democrat, gets the love while Republican Dan Benishek is strangely absent from the MEA ‘preferred’ collection below.

MEA-Dems

The Traverse City MEA office adorned with signs of a singular political plank

Naw..  The appearance of the MEA office as a branch office of the local Democrat party is purely coincidental.

You Betcha! (8)Nuh Uh.(1)

Violators Will Be Trespassed

New signs at the fair offer a warning of violation to violators, or ...something

trespassedOpen carry folks, if you want to be ‘trespassed,’ try going to the fair.

The Northwest Michigan Fair is on in Grand Traverse County, and new signs at the fairgrounds offer a warning (Or and invitation).  We realize that everyone’s a little different, so it MIGHT be something a few operatives in the MiGOP (GLEP, Freedom Fund) would actually enjoy.

Carry with ‘pride’ boys.

The fair runs through next Saturday.

H/T to Andy Marek for photo.

You Betcha! (9)Nuh Uh.(1)

Ethics, Integrity, And Long Knives

wayne-afp009“He’s our hometown boy.” Said one of the executive committee members of a vote taken this last Thursday.

The vote, was one by the executive board of the Grand Traverse County Republican Party on whether to endorse State Senate Candidate Wayne Schmidt over Greg MacMaster in the 37th State Senate primary contest.  The vote to choose one candidate over another in partisan (GOP) races would normally be considered off the table except under extraordinary circumstances.  At least that is how it is designated in the by-laws of a number of other GOP county parties.

Questions must be asked.  Is it prudent or even a legitimate practice? Is it fair to the candidates?  Is it fair to the membership, and does it misrepresent the opinion of the party at-large?

You Betcha! (21)Nuh Uh.(4)

Friday Film Fest – 104th District State Representative Forum/Debate

Karen and RobApologies for the video and sound quality, but the decision to do the video was somewhat last minute.

On Monday, two of the GOP contenders for the 104th State Rep District; Rob Hentschel and Karen Renny, introduced themselves and answered some questions in a bit of a debate format. There were two others, Larry Inman, and Jamie Callahan who were otherwise too busy or occupied to attend this important first stage in the Northern Michigan race.

The debate was facilitated by the Traverse Bay Area Republican Women’s Club at the Park Place hotel in Traverse City.

Have a great weekend! The Video is below.

You Betcha! (2)Nuh Uh.(0)