The race is finally shaping up like we would expect.
The mix is in.
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.
Family gatherings & Politics together are the best, aren't they?
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.
Fast Times At The Detroit Public Schools Community District
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?
Orwellian titles alone should give pause to voters given the 'pitch.'
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.
Detroit Water & Sewerage Division Has Colluded With Trial Lawyers To Avoid A Constitutional Test Of Their Outrageous 'Stormwater Fee'
The Detroit Water & Sewerage Department’s Non Residential Drainage Rate became a political hot potato in 2013 when the City finally started applying this breathtaking, disguised tax to all non residential properties within the City. Mayor Duggan is scraping the bottom of the barrel for every revenue dollar he can find.
Prior to 2013, the City of Detroit only extracted this rate from 12,000 non residential property owners, although 41,237 non residential property owners should have been paying it. They also extracted this rate from the State of Michigan and Wayne County for roads in Detroit, after a lengthy appeals process which ended in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Detroit shielded politically preferred and connected property owners from this tax for 35 years, notably the politically powerful black churches. But that ended in 2013 when the City of Detroit “discovered….that there are some errors with respect to our billing of stormwater charges”.
This rate, which is often referred to as a stormwater fee or the rain tax, is not inconsequential. It is now $ 660 – $ 750 per acre, per month. Run of the mill churches with on site parking were rudely surprised with $ 3,500 monthly charges in 2015, on top of their already expensive water bills. They thought as religious entities they were tax exempt. Tee-hee. No one in Michigan is truly tax exempt! Michigan Public Act 178 of 1939 (MCL 123.161 et seq.) converts unpaid DW&SD stormwater fees into a property lien, same as unpaid property taxes, so these fees quickly result in property foreclosures.
Ever wonder why Detroit has such a problem with commercial property blight? Now church blight is in the offing.
Non residential property owners in Detroit have just received a legal notice in the mail announcing a proposed settlement of a Wayne County Circuit Court class action case filed by Michigan Warehousing Group LLC and Midwest Valve and Fitting Company against the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department over the DW&SD’s outrageous stormwater fee. This case is identified in the Wayne County Circuit Court as 15-010165-CZ. The parties reached a settlement agreement which is carefully constructed to cripple legal challenges to the constitutionality of the stormwater fee in higher courts and handsomely pay off the trial bar.
The settlement notice fails to inform non residential property owners that another, far more comprehensive class action law suit is progressing in the Michigan Court of Appeals.Detroit Alliance Against The Rain Tax v. City Of Detroit in the Michigan Court of Appeals, Case Number 339176, just got consolidated with a similar suit on 24 October and appears ready for litigation – also as a class action.
“They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety."
- Benjamin Franklin
This piece started off when I was asked for my $0.02 this weekend on something in the local paper (which I freely admit that I do still read), written by someone whom I consider an absolute imbecile (which I’d told my friend on multiple occasions what I thought of this particular writer).
Still, if this wasn’t coming from a friend of mine, it probably would’ve ended differently.
Frequently, the wife and I find ourselves at an event which is dedicated to, or populated by our local veterans.
Neither of us served, however we each have family members who have, and can only respect the sacrifice one makes to be a part of the bigger picture. We understand that it is through the strength and love of God, Family, and Country that those who take up arms are able to do so.
The first district of Michigan is well populated by those who have served at different times. There is no shortage of opportunities to associate with those who risk it all in defense of a nation that still holds the promise for the greatest liberties attainable by man.
But the veteran population is roughly 60,000 out of about 570,000 and it is aging fast. The great number of those who served in wartime are already reaching retirement, and moving on to a ‘better place.’ Michigan’s average age for veterans is in the low to mid 50’s, and with few WWII vets remaining, it remains one of the states with the higher aged veteran population.
They won’t be with us forever.
Take each opportunity today, as well as all others to show your appreciation to those who serve. A simple “thank you,” volunteering to assist in veteran events, showing up at the airports when a currently serving serviceman returns home from a long tour can remind those who have put the uniform on that they are appreciated, and valued.
We applaud those of you who have served, are serving, or have suffered for your commitment. We honor you for the sacrifices you have made, and appreciate your investment in our nation’s future.
If Karen Weaver survives the Flint Mayoral ‘recall’ contest,will anyone be particularly surprised?
Weaver, supposedly a solution to decades of infrastructure neglect and poor city service planning, became the target of big city politicos because of the normal big city shenanigans. From Global financial Market Review:
” Mayor Karen Weaver sailed into office two years ago promising to clean Flint’s lead-tainted water and to restore trust in government, after previous leaders brought poisoned water to the city and ignored residents when they complained. Ms. Weaver declared a state of emergency, met with the president and made the rounds on cable television, quickly becoming one of America’s most visible mayors.
But as her celebrity grew, so too did a revolt within her own City Hall. She now faces City Council members accusing her of corruption, a court battle over Flint’s long-term water source and, on Tuesday, a recall election that could snuff out her four-year term at the halfway point.”
Once upon a time, a recall actually meant something however.