The November 28 Board of Trustee meeting had as an agenda item: the preliminary budget for 2012-2013. The Board did not discuss the budget nor did they address my comments and questions for the most part at the meeting. Why?
The next day, Supervisor Savoie sent me an email:
On Nov 29, 2011, at 2:26 PM, Savoie, Leo C. wrote:
If you would like to forward me those questions I would be happy to get the answers for you. If you would like to meet and go through the budget just let me know.I responded to Mr. Savoie and the other Trustees:
From: Marcia Robovitsky
Subject: Re: From Leo Savoie
Date: November 29, 2011 10:30:04 PM EST
To: Leo Savoie <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Cc: Jan Roncelli <JRoncelli@bloomfieldtwp.org>, Dan Devine <email@example.com>, David Buckley, Neal Barnett , Brian Kepes , Corinne Khederian
Leo,There has been no communication from anyone on the Board of Trustees and the Preliminary Budget is still not found on the budget page or home page of the Township website for all to review. WHY?
My questions can be found on the archived audio/video taping of the meeting of the Board of Trustees of November 28. http://www.bloomfieldtwp.org/Services/cable/Videos/BoardOfTrusteeMeetings.htm
Those were the only questions I could fit in my 3 minutes of allotted time.
Those questions only start the conversation of the budget.
I met you and 6 others at the PUBLIC MEETING at the Monday Board of Trustees 11/28 meeting to "go through the budget". Why didn't you "go through the budget" and why didn't I get the answers then?
I expected to hear discussion by the board on highlights of the preliminary budget, what the board learned, expected, needed..how decisions were arrived at,etc. ..... BEFORE public comment. That didn't happen.
I rattled off comments and questions....going so fast that some got blended.....in my 3 minutes.
I took the time to come to the meeting to hear the AGENDA item being DISCUSSED.
I expected my questions to be answered or explained. For the most part ...there was silence from the Board of Trustees AFTER public comment on this issue. This was an agenda item. You should respond to the questions concerning the agenda item.
I thought it was insulting to infer that the citizens have 90 days to come to the Township for private talks to go over their individual issues with the budget.
The budget covers all in the Township. The discussions need to be in public, not behind closed township office doors.
Having NO study session with the Schwartz & Co. to discuss FIDUCIARY REVIEW in September, at a public meeting that has traditionally been done before the Board submits the next year's budget in December is surprising and extremely worrisome as to the Board's knowledge of the financial status of the Township since the last study session meeting June/July 2011. Or, did you get that September information behind closed doors? I think it is important to see ALL the funds that the Township holds. Just the mere fact that the Board chooses to do fiduciary review at a study session.....and not a regularly scheduled meeting is disturbing. And this year, did you choose not to do third quarter fiduciary review at all?
The fact that the Gregory Schwartz Co. donated $20,000 to the February 2010 S.O.S. campaign to encourage the citizens to vote yes to raise our taxes for the next ten years is disturbing. The fact that the 2010 S.O.S. was $85,000 + in donations from mostly employees of the Township and assumed vendors is disturbing. With all the vehicles owned or leased in the Township I wonder if the $30,000 donation to S.O.S. in 2010 by the owner of several car dealerships is the one getting the purchase orders... is disturbing. When the employees and the vendors and the financial advisors were the ones footing the bill in 2010 for literature to promote a yes vote for tax increases for 10 years....that is disturbing.
So, the expiring 2012 public safety millage that conveniently is NOT being mentioned at this time.....will that be a stealth election .....with employee/vendor donations again? All the newly "appointed" board members did pledge (of sorts) to work toward a public safety millage in 2012. So, what if it fails? What contingencies has the Board planned?
I'm tired of the phrase: "service we want and expect". This Township has lost touch with the Taxpayers and caters to the 4 day a week employees. I have no confidence in the Board and many of the actions you take. How much time have you taken with the department heads and employees to budget their wants? ....versus the taxpayers allotted 3 minute comment time ? My money stays in my pocket and my vote cast this year will be no....NO MORE TAXES and NO RENEWALS. I am looking for CUTS in the Budget. I'm also looking for the employee contracts that David Payne signed just before resigning...giving the employees a 6 year deal....negotiated way ahead of any contract renewal date.
What I want and what the taxpayers want is open and transparent government. You had the agenda, you had the microphone, yet you HAD NO ANSWERS in a televised public setting at the Board of Trustees meeting.
I will not come and meet privately to discuss issues in your Township office. Public issues should be discussed at public meetings. Just because I do the asking, doesn't mean I'm the only one wanting answers.
I will continue to express my opinions and ask my questions in any public forum that I can participate with.....I know you have seen my blog: http://theoaklandpress.com/blogs/news/ and my comments and blogs at:
http://bloomfield-mi.patch.com/ . I would hope to get future letters into The Detroit News, The Detroit Free Press, The Eccentric, Downtown Publications and the Eagle. If you want to know what my questions are concerning the budget and other Township issues, please listen to my questions in the 3 minutes allotted, or read them in public forums...and if you so choose, answer them in public.
Click here to read about how to find the preliminary budget for 2012-2013.
The next Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for December 12, 2011 @ 7pm. I will ask the budget questions again during public comment. Also, I wonder who the Board will appoint to the various expiring ZBA, Planning Commission, and Board of Review positions? The Board did NOT notify the public of the expiring terms and the openings available. Click here to learn of the openings at the Township. The agenda will not be available until late Thursday afternoon.