Thursday, February 24, 2011

Get Over It

West Bloomfield stress may not have given me a heart attack, but I swear that the City of Pontiac may.  I should just ignore all the articles in the Oakland Press, but it may be too late for that.

Here it is in a nutshell to the citizens, especially the elected officials:  GET OVER IT.

The new piece of legislation that has passed the House in Michigan, HB 4214, would establish new procedures for Emergency Financial Managers.  Specifically, the act, if passed in its present form, would give power to an EFM : to revoke labor contracts, suspend collective bargaining for up to five years, become the sole trustee of an underfunded pension system, and suspend the power and authority of city managers and local elected officials.

Where does it say in this legislation that people will lose their pension?  The pension board chairman has confused the Municipal Employees' Retirement System with the (State of) Michigan Employees' Retirement System.  I mean, my head starts spinning when I read these stories and I wonder if perhaps I am the one who is confused.

If residents do not like that idea that someone will come in and run their local government, then they need to make better choices about who they elect in the first place.  We cannot continue down a path of voting for our friends, or the guy we want to share a beer with, and then allowing them to run a municipality into bankruptcy.

We do need to get back to only supplying services mandated by law and charters and not all the perks that residents want, unless the residents are willing to vote extra millage for doing so.

Is this new proposal scary?  It should be.  It should be meant to scare every elected official who thinks that getting elected to run a government is the same as leading the neighborhood block club.  That we can make up the rules as we go and that there are no consequences for poor choices.  This proposal should serve as a wake-up call to the millions in this state. 

Everyone thinks government would be more efficient if we ran it like a business.  So I ask you, would you want any of your local elected officials to run the business you own or have a vested interest in?

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