March 30, 2012
Our friends and neighbors in will be wise to keep their eyes open and a tight grip on their purse strings when the Woods’ mayor and council come begging for a blank check for several million dollars in Headlee Override money.
Millions? Yep. The city’s treasurer says a “Yes” vote approving the Nov. 6 Headlee Override will cost Woods’ taxpayers a minimum of $2.1 million--in the first year alone. And overrides are forever. A word to the wise: There’s no such thing as a temporary tax.
A blank check? Aren’t the mayor and council promising to use the 3.6 mill Headlee Override windfall to make repairs to our crumbling residential roads? Read the fine print, please. Under Headlee, which was designed to protect Michigan citizens from tax-and-spend leadership, ear-marked guarantees are forbidden.
All override money will go straight into the city’s General Fund. Council may fix a road or two or hire a couple public safety officers. But the bulk of their windfall will stay in the money pit for them to scatter around on higher salaries, better perks, pet projects, whatever. How do you think the Woods’ financial situation got this bad in the first place?
We, the undersigned, are long-time citizen taxpayers in the Woods. We served on the Woods’ city council for a combined total of 16 years and voluntarily declined to seek reelection precisely because of this sort of loose and misleading fiscal double-talk.
We know how the system operates and we are appalled by their brazen Headlee Override proposal. We have a financial, moral and civic responsibility to keep our neighbors from being conned by this misleading emotional appeal for a multi-million dollar bailout--and we intend to.
Make Council offer a dedicated millage proposal, not a blank check Override.
Lisa Pinkos Howle