Friday, April 22, 2011

A thought, A rant, A suggestion

When I sat down at my computer this morning to check my email, I switched on the television.  This is not something I ever do in the morning unless I hear about something earth-shattering on the radio when I wake-up and check the weather report, usually gray skies with gray clouds, gloom and a chance of rain.  What's new.

So, on the Today Show I see some guys singing and dancing outside of the studio and think, "A revival of 'How to Succeed in Business without Really Trying'?"  Well, I guess it is.  When they come back for the news, they start in on six dollar a gallon gasoline and no one traveling this summer and I flip off the TV.  I do not need this early in the morning. 

So I read my email and there is my morning legislative update from the State.  I find that several new bills have been introduced including one that would cap local contributions to health care for employees. 

Seems like the State is spending a lot of time telling locals what they should do. Why do we not just let the State of Michigan run all the local governments and abolish the municipalities? How is that for consolidation?  No more union negotiations for benefits.  Big brother will just decide.   And the State can then forget about revenue sharing cause they will get to keep all of it.

Here is a State that has done a stellar job of running itself for many years.  A State that has never put one dollar aside to fund retiree health care and now talks of the huge obligation, which didn't just happen overnight. 

I, along with a few other folks from the MGFOA, wrote Public Act 149 of 1999 which allows any government unit to pre-fund this obligation and invest the money as they would a pension plan.  West Bloomfield started setting money aside in 1988.  And so did Oakland County.  And the State?  Nope.

My point of ranting is that the State government is out of control.  Yes, we have some local units that are in bad shape due to a combination of poor leadership, or entire lack of same, and declining revenues, over which they have little control.  And the shifting of school taxes to the state level under Proposal A has been a disaster in my opinion.  Are those school districts who were underfunded any better off now than they were in 1992?

Are there too many local units of government?  Yes.  Are there too many school districts?  Yes.  So why not introduce legislation to deal with these issues instead of telling them how to run their business?  You, the State, are not a very good example of decision making. 

I know that my opinions are shared by others.  I hear it everyday in the community and from businesses I deal with.  As the old saying goes, 'People who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones'.  Get your act together and set an example of good policies.  Then consolidate the locals and have them follow your lead.  If locals are to have no power in decision making, then why have them at all?

1 comment:

  1. This just pisses me off. Lets come through the back door and strip the union of its right to negotiate. Many Unions are already giving concessions. Is the working middle class supposed to bear the brunt of this whole downturn just so businesses and the wealthy walk away saying its so they can create more jobs. I'll beleive it when I see it and you have to ask yourself.....what types of jobs are they creating


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