As yet another example of misplaced priorities, and a misunderstanding of the roles they play, the Traverse City Area public School board trustees have approved a ‘settlement’ which involves a payment from the soon-to-retire superintendent Stephen Cousins, and a gift from one of the school’s vendors to make up the difference between the $25,000 owed to the school district by the superintendent and his $14,800 cash reimbursement component.
“.. if the Secretary of State stays true to its history of enforcement, it’s likely the district will receive a slap on the wrist.”
In 2011, Michigan Capitol Confidential looked at the Secretary of State’s enforcement of school districts it found to have violated the campaign finance law from 2006 to 2010. The state fined two districts that broke the law $100 each. In the case of TCAPS for their part 57 violation, it appears there is a new sheriff in town.
TCAPS was assessed a $26,656 fine to be paid back to the district.
TCAPS officials must decide by May 30 whether to accept the ruling and prove reimbursement, which cannot come from TCAPS general fund or other taxpayer-supported funds. If TCAPS officials refuse to pay, the case could be referred to the state attorney general’s office for criminal prosecution.
The state did not specifically state who is responsible for repaying the $25,656.
Remember, Tuesday is that special voting day where your local school districts count on snowbirds to be absent from the rolls so they can get millage requests passed. In Elk Rapids, its a bond that has failed a couple of times, and last time by only a few votes in the general election. (November) They figure it ought not be hard to get it through while many of the property owners are absent.
Never mind the cost of a special election to taxpayers when nothing else is on the ballot.
Around Michigan there are dozens of examples of this type of electoral abuse, so lets not make it a rewarding venture. Do a favor, and give your over taxed friends a call and reminder. Unless there is a really good reason, off cycle elections are generally made to “slip one by” the voters as a rule.