Resident Says No to Taxes
(FERNDALE VIEW by Sean House, President of South Oakland Area Republicans, previously published on his blog)
(Referencing Ferndale 115 Article Committee Recommends Headlee Override, and previous articles detailing the budget process)
It is quite unbelievable to me that the Ferndale City Council and their cronies just don’t get it!
We all hear things like, “We aren’t paying the same taxes as Royal Oak or Huntington Woods!”
We don’t live there either! Bruner told us last Wednesday, “Our taxes should be comparable to our neighbors in the north.” Really? Well their houses are newer, larger in square footage, and in a different area just to name a few reasons that significantly affect home valuation!
Is it coincidence that area Republicans or more correctly the folks calling for serious cuts were denied access to the “Financial Committee?” Two of them couldn’t get a second on their nomination by Councilman Lennon. This at the same time when Mayor Pro Tem Baker got six of her nominees through? Is it a coincidence that all of the members live on the northern and Central areas of Ferndale? What about the residents in the south or Southeast (East of the RR tracks and south of 9 Mile) or even the far West?? Are they not residents too? Oh wait….they have been ignored and underrepresented for years so why pay them any attention now?
( Editor’s Note: This is not a correct statement. There is at least one person from each precinct in the city on the committee. Also one member, John McQuiggin is a business representative who does not live in Ferndale. Here is how the residency breaks down by precinct:
Precinct First Name Last Name Address
1 Mark Van Dyke E Lewiston Ave
2 Daniel Harteau W Lewiston Ave
2 Scott Helmer W Lewiston Ave
2 Kathryn Hershberger W Maplehurst Ave
3 Sharon Chess Earl Blvd
4 Bob Porter Marshfield St
5 Jacki Smith E Webster St
6 Greg Pawlica E Saratoga St
7 Ben Updyke E Hazelhurst St
8 Joel Petrie Bonner St
9 Dennis Whittie Spencer St)
John McQuiggin non-resident
Is it any coincidence that the Committee is headed by former Mayor Porter, who spent the city into its current debt load prior to Covey assuming leadership? How about Pawlica & Bruner….good friends of the current Council.
(Editor’s Note: As City Manager, Bruner was required to take part and provide information to the Board. Porter is co-chair of the committee. And the characterization of Greg Pawlica as “good friends of the current Council” is also debatable. He ran against Scott Galloway and Melanie Piana in the last council election. He has volunteered for Former Mayor Craig Covey’s campaign, and he has been vocal about his opposition to consultants and the building project which those Council members have supported. They do cross paths at community events, and they are not un-friendly, but to imply that he was selected as a ‘cronie’ is not accurate and should be noted.)
Let’s be clear, we all know that the brunt of the work is done by a scant few in the community through volunteerism, but shunning the two voices of dissent against raising taxes and for deep cuts smacks of an underlying agenda.
For too many years Ferndale has had “bond issues” and short term tax increases with the promise of lowering them later, only to have some “dire need” pop up at expiration to continue the short term tax. And their pitch? Always the same; This isn’t a new tax so you won’t see a tax increase.
Actually we did. By not having the tax decrease we should have had.
The time has come for those in council to assume a leadership role and make the necessary cuts to help us weather the storm. If they can’t maybe we should find some who will. If not, we may well see everything we love about Ferndale gone….and maybe even Ferndale too!
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