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 Wake up, Michiganders. 
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
mineral723 wrote:
mineral723 wrote:
This is not going to go down without a fight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJbT0sgaFnI

Let me reiterate this...

The Gov can declare your city in a state of financial emergency, then Dow Chemical can essentially "buy" your city and elect its own mayor, make up its own laws and policies... All without your approval. You vote for NONE of it. You own land and a house in the city, pay taxes in the city, send your children to school in that city, but you don't elect the official that's appointed to run your city. They are appointed by a corporation. It will cease to matter if they are corrupt or if they are incompetent because you'd have no choice.

I don't care if you think I'm a liberal queer or a communist, this isn't an issue between Dems and Repubs. This is an issue of basic democracy. Freedom of our elected officials? Come on.

Does anyone else notice that this doesn't line up with a so-called "democracy?"


From what I understand, this isn't how it works, at all.

The "state of emergency" only lasts as long as the financial crisis. Further, the "agency" or person appointed to run the city has to do so in a manner that REDUCES costs, and runs the city in a manner to BALANCE the BOOKS. They can't go in there and change laws, etc., and from what I understand they can't alter budget neutral objectives. They only take control over financial matters, and likely break up union contracts and over-paid "civil servants."

This bill is put in place much more to avoid the California $300k a year city manager scandal and to correct union contracts that are choking municipalities than it is to allow some weird corporate takeover of a city. If you think Walmart or Dupont wants any part of running a failing city, you're dead wrong.


March 15th, 2011, 12:05 pm
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
wjb21ndtown wrote:
mineral723 wrote:
mineral723 wrote:
This is not going to go down without a fight.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJbT0sgaFnI

Let me reiterate this...

The Gov can declare your city in a state of financial emergency, then Dow Chemical can essentially "buy" your city and elect its own mayor, make up its own laws and policies... All without your approval. You vote for NONE of it. You own land and a house in the city, pay taxes in the city, send your children to school in that city, but you don't elect the official that's appointed to run your city. They are appointed by a corporation. It will cease to matter if they are corrupt or if they are incompetent because you'd have no choice.

I don't care if you think I'm a liberal queer or a communist, this isn't an issue between Dems and Repubs. This is an issue of basic democracy. Freedom of our elected officials? Come on.

Does anyone else notice that this doesn't line up with a so-called "democracy?"


From what I understand, this isn't how it works, at all.

The "state of emergency" only lasts as long as the financial crisis. Further, the "agency" or person appointed to run the city has to do so in a manner that REDUCES costs, and runs the city in a manner to BALANCE the BOOKS. They can't go in there and change laws, etc., and from what I understand they can't alter budget neutral objectives. They only take control over financial matters, and likely break up union contracts and over-paid "civil servants."

This bill is put in place much more to avoid the California $300k a year city manager scandal and to correct union contracts that are choking municipalities than it is to allow some weird corporate takeover of a city. If you think Walmart or Dupont wants any part of running a failing city, you're dead wrong.

Are you telling me that the property along the world's largest fresh water reserve is not extremely desirable to major corporations? You're right, Walmart or DuPont doesn't want to run a city, but they would love to have access to the great lakes with little or no restrictions on what they do with that land. They want the land, so they'll just sub-contract the actual "running the city" portion of the deal out to someone else.
Sounds like a really big governing body, huh? I thought you guys liked small government.

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March 15th, 2011, 7:30 pm
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
In reading the summary of House Bill 4214 (S-4), which would repeal the Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act, and create the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act, the bill would do the following:

* Require the plan to provide for, among other things, the modification, termination, or renegotiation of contracts, and, for school districts, an academic and educational plan.

* Authorize an emergency manager to reject, modify, or terminate the terms of an existing contract or a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

* Exempt a local governing body in receivership from collective bargaining requirements for five years or until the receivership was terminated, whichever occurred first.
* Provide that a local government that entered into a consent agreement would not be subject to collective bargaining requirements during the remaining term of the agreement, unless the state treasurer determined otherwise.

And then there's this little feature of the legislation:

* Authorize an emergency manager to disincorporate or dissolve a municipal government with the approval of the governor; or recommend consolidation with another municipal government.

There's also this from Senate Bill 158 (S-1) amending the Public Employment Relations Act to:

* Require a new collective bargaining agreement between a public employer and public employees to include a provision allowing an emergency manager to reject, modify, or terminate the agreement.
* State that the provision required by the bill would be a prohibited subject of bargaining.
* Specify that CBAs could be rejected, modified, or terminated pursuant to the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act.
* Provide that the Public Employment Relations Act would not confer a right to bargain that would infringe on the exercise of powers under the proposed act.
* Exempt a local government from collective bargaining requirements during the term of a consent agreement entered into under the proposed act.

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents/2011-2012/billconcurred/House/htm/2011-HCB-4214.htm

Here's the bill, read it for yourself.
I don't care what it's designed or what Jase Bolger tells you it's designed for. I'm speaking of what it allows. And it certainly allows all that I've mentioned.

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March 15th, 2011, 8:18 pm
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
Mineral, this bill doesn't allow a company "water access" the right to it, property, the right to pollute, etc. You're being ridiculous.

It doesn't ALLOW for it either.


March 15th, 2011, 10:13 pm
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
Mineral, I found the same version of the bill you posted earlier tonight and I skimmed through it. Nowhere does it say that a corporation can be appointed as an emergency manager or that an EM can arbitrarily fire the mayor or school district superintendent. Those things were included in earlier versions of the bill, but were eliminated. Now, they're nothing more than liberal scare tactics.

Since you casually brushed off what Speaker of the House Jase Bolger said about the bill, I'm gonna post it so others can see:

Quote:
I am writing to ask your help in dispelling misinformation being shared regarding the emergency manager (EM) legislation (House Bill 4214) currently before the Michigan House of Representatives.

Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of sensationalism occurring in many venues that is based either on earlier versions of the legislation or deliberate attempts to mislead people about the content of the bills under consideration. I welcome robust debate, but I fear the inaccuracies are being spread by some to protect their current status quo; a status quo that clearly is not working in Michigan.

Although not widely reported, the EM legislation adds many proactive steps to our current structure of dealing with municipalities and school districts teetering on the edge of financial insolvency. Under these new provisions, appointing an emergency manager is the last step in trying to prevent a financial collapse, and prevent the unit of government from passing their burden to other taxpayers or falling into bankruptcy.

Contract Concerns

In many local units of government and school districts, up to 90 percent of their expenses can be related to contracts for labor and services. Under current law, emergency financial managers are not able to address these contracts. The proposed legislation would allow for renegotiation with the bargaining unit. If resolution cannot be reached to save the local government, the EM could dissolve contracts and then negotiate the contract's replacement. Collective bargaining is not eliminated.

Without the ability to adjust 90 percent of a unit's expenditures, there is little the EM can do to avoid insolvency and potential bankruptcy. That's why the EM legislation must include provisions to renegotiate and address contractual obligations of the municipality or school district. Those who argue against this ability seem content to allow a local government to be forced toward bankruptcy, leaving the taxpayers with the associated tab in order to preserve their own individual status quo.

Voter Representation

The legislation originally would have dismissed local officials and prevented them from serving for 10 years. This was suggested for inclusion to make sure there were significant consequences for the management side of any labor contract that needed to be abandoned. While that was a compelling point, the provision was removed from the legislation due to concerns that the unintended consequence might be the will of the voters not being exercised at the ballot box. This issue was addressed during a robust committee process that involved four hearings, as well as a vibrant debate on the House floor. Those who continue to raise this issue are not basing their claims on the current form of the legislation.

The only remaining provision that would allow dismissal of a local official is if they repeatedly refuse to comply with requests for information. Even then, a number of steps must occur before that could happen. Further, the official would be replaced either by appointment or election, as provided by existing law. The replacement mechanism is not being adjusted.

Partisan Claims

Many arguments against the legislation are being used to make very partisan claims. To this point, it may be of interest to note that the remaining removal language in the proposed EM bill is based on the current law enacted in 1990, which was signed by Democrat Gov. Jim Blanchard. Furthermore, this language is no stronger than the power that already exists for the governor in the Michigan Constitution, which was approved by the voters of our state. The Constitution reads: "The governor shall have power and it shall be his duty to inquire into the condition and the administration of any public office and the acts of any public officer, elective or appointive. He may remove or suspend from office for gross neglect of duty or for corrupt conduct in office, or for any other misfeasance or malfeasance therein, any elective or appointive state officer, except legislative or judicial, and shall report the reasons for such removal or suspension to the legislature."

Overview and Conclusion

The legislation contains many provisions designed to avoid the appointment of an emergency manager. If necessary to prevent insolvency, however, an EM needs the power to accomplish the task they are hired to perform to protect the taxpayers of the state of Michigan. Michigan voters can hold their leaders accountable through the proposed EM legislation. The emergency manager reports to the governor, who is accountable to the people at election time. Furthermore, a provision was added so that the EM can be removed by the Legislature, which also reports to the people via elections. Conversely, if an EM is not granted the authority to rectify the fiscal distress, a federal judge would take over once bankruptcy occurs. Federal judges do not face the voters through election, thereby resulting in no local or state input into the recovery. That is why we need a strong emergency manager process to preserve accountability to voters as well as preventing the damage that would be done to the rest of the state's taxpayers because of a governmental unit's financial catastrophe.

The goal of this legislation is to prevent any local government from needing an emergency manager. If, however, an EM becomes necessary, then the goal must be to provide the tools required to resolve the fiscal crisis and protect Michigan taxpayers.

I appreciate anything you can do in your capacity to ensure the public is receiving the correct information upon which to base their decisions on the emergency manager legislation. I firmly believe in robust debates on issues, but those are only productive if everyone is using accurate information and not baseless claims or sensationalized half-truths.

If you have any further questions about this issue as you are working on your stories, please do not hesitate to contact my press secretary, Ari Adler, at aadler@house.mi.gov or 517-749-7170.

Sincerely,

Jase Bolger, Speaker of the House, Lansing, Michigan





Now, I'm going to agree with you about a couple of things here. First, I think it's wrong that the EM's salary isn't capped at that of the Governor's. How much is this guy going to make and wouldn't it add to the fiscal problems of the city or school district? Secondly, I agree that it's an attack on the public sector unions, but they're not going to come out and say that. Personally, I think it's long overdue since I don't believe they should have existed in the first place. I've stated this before and given reasons why. Thirdly, I feel the conditions required to appoint an EM are too broad and should be more stringent. This could certainly be abused by the Governor, but I guess we'll have to wait and see what transpires first before we jump to conclusions.

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March 15th, 2011, 10:36 pm
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
I should have mentioned this earlier since my ideals about the size and scope of government could be questioned. I'm a firm believer in the US Constitution and that document gives almost all powers to the individual states or the people. The federal government has limited authority (but we would hardly know that today), while the cities, counties, and school districts have none. Therefore, the only authority that those municipalities have are those delegated to them by the states. What the state has giveth, the state can taketh away.

With that said, I'm also a firm believer in the concept that the government closest to the people, governs the best. So, I also see the importance of the state delegating responsibility down to the lower levels, especially when it comes to police, fire, and education. But, when those entities are incapable of exercising that authority in a fiscally responsible manner, the state has a right to step in. Why should other state citizens (taxpayers) pay for the incompetence of another city, county, or school district?

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March 15th, 2011, 11:45 pm
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
slybri19 wrote:
With that said, I'm also a firm believer in the concept that the government closest to the people, governs the best. So, I also see the importance of the state delegating responsibility down to the lower levels, especially when it comes to police, fire, and education. But, when those entities are incapable of exercising that authority in a fiscally responsible manner, the state has a right to step in. Why should other state citizens (taxpayers) pay for the incompetence of another city, county, or school district?


I agree for the most part, but the problem is unions bend the municipalities over and them hostage. They need a counter to lopsided negotiations. The water department, police, fire, teachers, etc. keep getting "more" until the city is strapped and there's nothing left. We've seen it everywhere. And if the city tries to play hardball its the citizens that are ultimately hurt. Kids can't start school on time, residents feel threatened by a malcontent police/fire unit, lawns at schools and playgrounds don't get cut, etc. It's ridiculous.

Another corrupt practice is city counsel members voting for raises for themselves and the mayor, etc.


March 16th, 2011, 12:39 am
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
wjb, don't get me wrong, I agree with everything you said. I probably should have stated that "in concept, the government closest to the people governs best". Unfortunately, the problems that exist today are because the uninformed voters ask what the politicians will do for them instead of what is in the best interests of the city, state, nation etc. Those who promise the most usually get elected in spite of the consequences. This reminds me of an article I read several months ago from a Brit who said that Obama isn't the problem with the US. The REAL problem is that the US electorate voted him into office in the first place. I can't remember the exact quote or even who said it, but a founding father stated that once the republic realizes that it can vote itself money and benefits, the republic will be over. This is the situation we find ourselves in today.

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March 17th, 2011, 8:26 pm
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
slybri19 wrote:
Mineral, I found the same version of the bill you posted earlier tonight and I skimmed through it. Nowhere does it say that a corporation can be appointed as an emergency manager or that an EM can arbitrarily fire the mayor or school district superintendent. Those things were included in earlier versions of the bill, but were eliminated. Now, they're nothing more than liberal scare tactics.

Since you casually brushed off what Speaker of the House Jase Bolger said about the bill, I'm gonna post it so others can see:

Quote:
I am writing to ask your help in dispelling misinformation being shared regarding the emergency manager (EM) legislation (House Bill 4214) currently before the Michigan House of Representatives.

Unfortunately, there is quite a bit of sensationalism occurring in many venues that is based either on earlier versions of the legislation or deliberate attempts to mislead people about the content of the bills under consideration. I welcome robust debate, but I fear the inaccuracies are being spread by some to protect their current status quo; a status quo that clearly is not working in Michigan.

Although not widely reported, the EM legislation adds many proactive steps to our current structure of dealing with municipalities and school districts teetering on the edge of financial insolvency. Under these new provisions, appointing an emergency manager is the last step in trying to prevent a financial collapse, and prevent the unit of government from passing their burden to other taxpayers or falling into bankruptcy.

Contract Concerns

In many local units of government and school districts, up to 90 percent of their expenses can be related to contracts for labor and services. Under current law, emergency financial managers are not able to address these contracts. The proposed legislation would allow for renegotiation with the bargaining unit. If resolution cannot be reached to save the local government, the EM could dissolve contracts and then negotiate the contract's replacement. Collective bargaining is not eliminated.

Without the ability to adjust 90 percent of a unit's expenditures, there is little the EM can do to avoid insolvency and potential bankruptcy. That's why the EM legislation must include provisions to renegotiate and address contractual obligations of the municipality or school district. Those who argue against this ability seem content to allow a local government to be forced toward bankruptcy, leaving the taxpayers with the associated tab in order to preserve their own individual status quo.

Voter Representation

The legislation originally would have dismissed local officials and prevented them from serving for 10 years. This was suggested for inclusion to make sure there were significant consequences for the management side of any labor contract that needed to be abandoned. While that was a compelling point, the provision was removed from the legislation due to concerns that the unintended consequence might be the will of the voters not being exercised at the ballot box. This issue was addressed during a robust committee process that involved four hearings, as well as a vibrant debate on the House floor. Those who continue to raise this issue are not basing their claims on the current form of the legislation.

The only remaining provision that would allow dismissal of a local official is if they repeatedly refuse to comply with requests for information. Even then, a number of steps must occur before that could happen. Further, the official would be replaced either by appointment or election, as provided by existing law. The replacement mechanism is not being adjusted.

Partisan Claims

Many arguments against the legislation are being used to make very partisan claims. To this point, it may be of interest to note that the remaining removal language in the proposed EM bill is based on the current law enacted in 1990, which was signed by Democrat Gov. Jim Blanchard. Furthermore, this language is no stronger than the power that already exists for the governor in the Michigan Constitution, which was approved by the voters of our state. The Constitution reads: "The governor shall have power and it shall be his duty to inquire into the condition and the administration of any public office and the acts of any public officer, elective or appointive. He may remove or suspend from office for gross neglect of duty or for corrupt conduct in office, or for any other misfeasance or malfeasance therein, any elective or appointive state officer, except legislative or judicial, and shall report the reasons for such removal or suspension to the legislature."

Overview and Conclusion

The legislation contains many provisions designed to avoid the appointment of an emergency manager. If necessary to prevent insolvency, however, an EM needs the power to accomplish the task they are hired to perform to protect the taxpayers of the state of Michigan. Michigan voters can hold their leaders accountable through the proposed EM legislation. The emergency manager reports to the governor, who is accountable to the people at election time. Furthermore, a provision was added so that the EM can be removed by the Legislature, which also reports to the people via elections. Conversely, if an EM is not granted the authority to rectify the fiscal distress, a federal judge would take over once bankruptcy occurs. Federal judges do not face the voters through election, thereby resulting in no local or state input into the recovery. That is why we need a strong emergency manager process to preserve accountability to voters as well as preventing the damage that would be done to the rest of the state's taxpayers because of a governmental unit's financial catastrophe.

The goal of this legislation is to prevent any local government from needing an emergency manager. If, however, an EM becomes necessary, then the goal must be to provide the tools required to resolve the fiscal crisis and protect Michigan taxpayers.

I appreciate anything you can do in your capacity to ensure the public is receiving the correct information upon which to base their decisions on the emergency manager legislation. I firmly believe in robust debates on issues, but those are only productive if everyone is using accurate information and not baseless claims or sensationalized half-truths.

If you have any further questions about this issue as you are working on your stories, please do not hesitate to contact my press secretary, Ari Adler, at aadler@house.mi.gov or 517-749-7170.

Sincerely,

Jase Bolger, Speaker of the House, Lansing, Michigan





Now, I'm going to agree with you about a couple of things here. First, I think it's wrong that the EM's salary isn't capped at that of the Governor's. How much is this guy going to make and wouldn't it add to the fiscal problems of the city or school district? Secondly, I agree that it's an attack on the public sector unions, but they're not going to come out and say that. Personally, I think it's long overdue since I don't believe they should have existed in the first place. I've stated this before and given reasons why. Thirdly, I feel the conditions required to appoint an EM are too broad and should be more stringent. This could certainly be abused by the Governor, but I guess we'll have to wait and see what transpires first before we jump to conclusions.

I read what he wrote, SlyBri, my retort to that was this:

Quote:
In reading the summary of House Bill 4214 (S-4), which would repeal the Local Government Fiscal Responsibility Act, and create the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act, the bill would do the following:

* Require the plan to provide for, among other things, the modification, termination, or renegotiation of contracts, and, for school districts, an academic and educational plan.

* Authorize an emergency manager to reject, modify, or terminate the terms of an existing contract or a collective bargaining agreement (CBA).

* Exempt a local governing body in receivership from collective bargaining requirements for five years or until the receivership was terminated, whichever occurred first.
* Provide that a local government that entered into a consent agreement would not be subject to collective bargaining requirements during the remaining term of the agreement, unless the state treasurer determined otherwise.

And then there's this little feature of the legislation:

* Authorize an emergency manager to disincorporate or dissolve a municipal government with the approval of the governor; or recommend consolidation with another municipal government.

There's also this from Senate Bill 158 (S-1) amending the Public Employment Relations Act to:

* Require a new collective bargaining agreement between a public employer and public employees to include a provision allowing an emergency manager to reject, modify, or terminate the agreement.
* State that the provision required by the bill would be a prohibited subject of bargaining.
* Specify that CBAs could be rejected, modified, or terminated pursuant to the Local Government and School District Fiscal Accountability Act.
* Provide that the Public Employment Relations Act would not confer a right to bargain that would infringe on the exercise of powers under the proposed act.
* Exempt a local government from collective bargaining requirements during the term of a consent agreement entered into under the proposed act.

http://www.legislature.mi.gov/documents ... B-4214.htm

Here's the bill, read it for yourself.
I don't care what it's designed or what Jase Bolger tells you it's designed for. I'm speaking of what it allows.


So Bolger can SAY all he wants about what this bill is for. Fact remains that it ALLOWS him to do what is outlined above. Whether the gov decides to exercise these options is another story. But it does allow what I've outlined above.
Yes, this is in response to Bolger's comments.

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March 18th, 2011, 11:33 pm
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
Mineral, you did not source whichever blog/newspaper/politician you copied and pasted that from, but I'm going to assume that it was a liberal. Therefore, I like how you dismiss what the Michigan Speaker of the House has to say, yet accept as fact what some random liberal blogger/journalist/politician has to say on the issue. I wouldn't expect anything less from you. :lol:

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March 19th, 2011, 3:06 pm
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
slybri19 wrote:
Mineral, you did not source whichever blog/newspaper/politician you copied and pasted that from, but I'm going to assume that it was a liberal. Therefore, I like how you dismiss what the Michigan Speaker of the House has to say, yet accept as fact what some random liberal blogger/journalist/politician has to say on the issue. I wouldn't expect anything less from you. :lol:

My point still stands. I've given you a link to the bill, I've given you my reasons why I dislike it, yet you still just dismiss my opinion as "libtard" or "queer" or whatever.
I've logically backed up all of my stances on this and, yes, I've read Bolger's open letter.
In essence, what I get out of it is this:
"No need to worry, Michigan. Even though we have these crazy powers to shut down your town and install a corporation's leaders without your vote (this is fact, they do have that power), we won't do that... We promise. Besides, we know what's best for Michigan." -Jase Bolger

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March 22nd, 2011, 1:52 am
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
slybri19 wrote:
I should have mentioned this earlier since my ideals about the size and scope of government could be questioned. I'm a firm believer in the US Constitution and that document gives almost all powers to the individual states or the people. The federal government has limited authority (but we would hardly know that today), while the cities, counties, and school districts have none. Therefore, the only authority that those municipalities have are those delegated to them by the states. What the state has giveth, the state can taketh away.

With that said, I'm also a firm believer in the concept that the government closest to the people, governs the best. So, I also see the importance of the state delegating responsibility down to the lower levels, especially when it comes to police, fire, and education. But, when those entities are incapable of exercising that authority in a fiscally responsible manner, the state has a right to step in. Why should other state citizens (taxpayers) pay for the incompetence of another city, county, or school district?

Are you aware that Snyder now has the power to combine entire districts?
That would be YOU paying taxes in a city, but bussing your kids to another city to go to school. Doesn't seem fair to me. Seems like you'd be opposed to it, considering that you're against taxpayers paying for the incompetence of another city. Combining school districts would be doing just that.
But you know everything, so I'm sure you've got your reasons for your support.

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March 22nd, 2011, 1:55 am
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
Combining School districts isn't consolidating all the kids into fewer buildings. It would combine districts so you have fewer administrations. And you think that's a bad thing? You hear about all the mess in NJ? The stuff that got Christie famous? Our tiny little state has 621 school districts. Its the reason there's so much overhead in the education spending. So much is tied up in $200k+ administration salaries, that less and less is available to the students. You want to fix education? Start with combining school districts.


March 22nd, 2011, 2:15 am
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Post Re: Wake up, Michiganders.
Mineral723, you do know that when school districts are combined, the mils from the previous district then go to the new one, don't you? Also, when a city contracts another for police, fire, or other services, they do pay for them. It's not like the taxpayers from one city have to fund the services of another as you claimed. Since you stated that I know everything in your previous post, I guess I'll just have to educate you on the things you do not. :cheers:

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March 23rd, 2011, 8:24 pm
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