Finally, We Have Certainty

It has been a long hard brutal election with spin, attacks and demonizing on all sides. I am very happy this silly season is over and we now have certainty.

It has been a long hard brutal election with spin, attacks and demonizing on all sides.  This approach in choosing our leaders have done nothing to solve the problems, it only caused more confusion, turmoil and chaos.  I am very happy this silly season is over and we now have certainty.

This is not a debate about the choice that was made in the election, as they say “the people have spoken.”  We now have a “New Normal,” we need to understand it and devise our own personal and business plans to meet our goals and aspirations.

If I look up the word “Certainty” in Webster’s dictionary this is what it says:


  1. The quality, state, or condition, of being certain
  2. A fact or truth unquestionable established
  3. Clearness; freedom from ambiguity; lucidity

We need to know the direction we are on as a Country, State and Rochester Hills.  From this understanding of the path we can all make our personal and business plans to secure our future.  Depending on your personal desires combined with your age and plan for retirement many will choose different paths.  Some will choose a course to survive; others will formulate a plan to thrive.  This will be based on their own personal decisions and appetite for risk.

To understand the “New Normal” we need to look at what is certainly going to happen.  I choose to look at the National, State and City levels and what they are going to do that affects both my personal and business finances.  Once I understand what is certainly going to happen I can formulate a personal plan for me.  I expect most people and businesses are doing this.  As they all move in their chosen paths we will see the combined effect it will have on the economy.

United States of America

We have elected President Obama who has a plan for his second term.  Based on his plan we can be certain of the following actions:

  • Taxes will go up on $200,000 / $250,000 income earners.  These are double income families, executives in corporations, investors, small business owners and many professionals (doctors, lawyers, CPAs, etc.).
  • Capital Gains taxes will go up from 15% to 30%.  This is stock investments, venture capital, angel capital, personal investors and 401Ks.
  • Obamacare will be implemented.  This is certain, but the details are not certain.  It will impact everyone; we just do not know exactly what the impact will be.
  • The 3 houses of government will be in the same deadlock we have experienced in the past years and big things will not get done.
  • We will continue deficit spending and continue to grow the total national debt.
  • The entitlement programs will continue to be unsustainable and further grow our debt.
  • More governmental regulations will continue to be designed and implemented to control our personal and business actions.

The State of Michigan

We have elected the same mix of leaders and will not see a major change in direction.  We rejected the constitutional amendments for many special issues.  We rejected the Emergency Manager proposal and allowed the State to decide on a new bridge.

  • We continue to move in the direction to make us more competitive with other States to attract new businesses; we are not at the top of that list.
  • The cities in financial peril will find it difficult to get money from the State to continue and their spending, there only choice will be bankruptcy.
  • We will have a new bridge to Canada.
  • We will eliminate the property tax on businesses for equipment investments.

The City of Rochester Hills

We have been recognized for a great budget format and presentation that has been passed by the City Council.  In the August primary vote we passed a 2.5 mill increase that can be implemented immediately at the direction of the city.  In the November election we passed movement of money that was saved to be spent elsewhere.

  • The city roads are in bad shape and we do not have the money in the budget to fix them.
  • We have no plan in the budget when the State eliminates the property tax on businesses for equipment investments.
  • We are almost out of reserve money for RCS with an unsustainable budget going forward.
  • Almost every departmental budget was passed with a vote of 100%.

Now is the time when the opinions are formed.  We will all have an opinion on the effects of each of these certainties and how they will impact our personal and business budgets.  If you are not a business owner you will still feel the effects based on your employers decisions to survive and/or thrive.

I am 57 years old and have a short runway to retirement, the decisions I make right now will impact me in the very near future.  I am developing my personal and business plans and in many cases I am already taking action.

I am asking for an adult conversation on this subject and ideas on people’s different plans:

  • What certainties did I miss in my lists?
  • How will these certainties impact your workplace and/or business?
  • How will these certainties impact your personal plan?

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Scot Beaton November 21, 2012 at 04:51 PM
Lee... You know our water sewer system is our/city's responsibility... zero outside government help not even from Detroit... LOL -- and you know a water sewer system is just like roads and will not last forever. This system will grow old and will have to be replaced -- will grow old all at one time because most of the city's growth happened during a 'boom' in development. Where are the millions going to come from to replace it? We paid for this system with our 30 year mortgages and would have hoped after that bill; we would not be stuck with a new bill to replace it. Lee there is no 'benefit' when government... even at the local level kicks the can down the road for some future generation to pay for it. note: The city will not need a new tax to replace and maintain our water sewer system they can just 'up' your water sewer bill without your permission.
Scot Beaton November 21, 2012 at 06:23 PM
 Wow -- your a great writer... do you write for a living? My background; 30 years in the advertising business... your good. Dee... when I made the business decision to invest in Rochester Hills -- buy a house -- there were some principles that even our 'founding elected officials' 30 years ago... even to this day need to still be recognized to uphold and protect that investment. 1. Protect our community's natural beauty -- one of the reasons we still today have a woodlands -- steep slope -- and wetlands ordinances. There is now new talk to weaken those ordinances. 2. Protect our historical past -- recently our current Mayor and members of City Council totally ignored the recommendations of our Historic Preservation Committee and voted to let a developer tear down a historic house on Rochester Road -- in exchange for a new Strip Mall development. note: The land was zoned office -- when I was on Council the land was zoned residential. 3. Protect our community's density -- our Mayor's new master plan now encourages neighborhoods like Christian Hills to combine two home lots and divide into three home lots.
Scot Beaton November 21, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Dee... 4. Retail development was zoned to only handle our community needs... look at our Mayor's City Council voting record -- many YES votes have turned residential zoning to strip mall development. Many YES votes have turned Office Research Technology into Strip Mall development. Our City is now over zoned commercial that is why we now have empty storefronts. When I left Council you had to own an acre of land to build fast food drive-through restaurants -- just recently I found out that our Mayor has changed too, now you only need a half acre. Our current Mayor's own voting record proves disregard to those 'founding elected officials' wishes 30 years ago -- and now our City is on a path to be nothing more than faceless Detroit urban sprawl. Dee... thanks for your post Happy Thanksgiving.
Lee Zendel November 21, 2012 at 06:58 PM
Scot- A water system has a much longer life that the street. Cast iron water pipe is considered to have a 75-100 year life. The newer ductile iron water pipe is estimated to have a 125 year life. Either way the U.S. as we know it will be bankrupt and destroyed before those pipes need replacing. As has been said civilizations are destroyed when the majority of its citizens learn they can vote themselves monies from the public treasury.
Lee Zendel November 21, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Scot- " This system will grow old and will have to be replaced -- will grow old all at one time because most of the city's growth happened during a 'boom' in development. Where are the millions going to come from to replace it?" Wrong again Scot- The city is including a depreciation expense in the water charge to the residents. The systems is being depreciated on a 50 year basis, even though the life of the major parts of the system have a 75-125 year estimated life. So far the accumulated depreciation is well over 40% of the current book cost of the system. that's where the money will come from. Assuming this society exists another 45 years the fund will have 100% of its original cost. The years after that would pay for any replacement inflation.


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