By Pete Waldmeir
"Bed sheet" is hardly an apt description for the Nov. 6 General Election ballot that hit Grosse Pointe Woods' absentee voters' mailboxes Wednesday afternoon. This years' two-page, double-sided ballot is more like the infield tarp at Comerica Park!
In case you can't find them, the Grosse Pointe Woods' two humungous 4-mill, $20 million-for-10 years millage increase proposals are buried in spaces 12 and 13 - at the tail end, on the back of the ballot's second page.
How come they're plunked way back there, where over-taxed seniors and others could have trouble finding them?
Probably just the luck of the draw.
This whole bloated ballot is ridiculous. There are 14 individual state, county and local ballot proposals on Page 2. That, of course, is in addition to all the federal, state, county and local elected offices on the double-sided Page 1.
If you're going to the polls Nov. 6 you'd better bring your lunch.
Those of you Woods' residents who are voting absentee, however, have a definite advantage this year. When your AV ballots arrive, flip quickly to the back of Page 2. Go to where the subhead says CITY.
Directly below CITY is a text block labeled Millage Proposal. This headline is misleading. It's actually a city-backed 10-year (and then some) Override of the state-mandated Headlee tax limit. It will cost you 2 mills a year over and above the high taxes you're paying now. The money is a BLANK CHECK for $1 million each year for the city administration to spend as they please, on whatever they choose, including their plush perks and appointees' parties. The mayor and council refused to officially call it what it is - a Headlee Override.
The next proposal is labeled Road Improvement Program Bonding Proposition. This is another 2 mills for 10 years commitment where Woods' residents must guarantee them $1 million a year for 10 years, supposedly to "repair" crumbling roads. Problem is, they've had roads money budgeted for years in the past but obviously never fixed crumbling roads with it. They always found somwhere else to spend much of the roads money. Why give them $10 million more over 10 years to shift to other projects, like higher salaries, better perks and travel expenses? Make them come back with something reasonable, like $3 million for 3 years - absolutely dedicated for roads. You'll have much less waste and lots more control that way. And they might even fix some crumbling roads!
WARNING: Be sure to sign, date and seal your AV ballot. And drop it in the mail or bring it to City Hall. This is your money they want. It's within your power to tell them NO. Tell them to go back to the drawing board and prove that we can believe what they promise.
Want a NO NEW TAXES, NO BLANK CHECK lawn sign? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.