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