Saturday, March 10, 2012

Township Budget Vote and $12,950 Survey For ???

Hi All,
The Monday, March 12 @ 7 pm Board of Trustees meeting is jam packed with agenda items.  More blogs on this agenda coming before Monday.  Stay tuned.

It starts with a PUBLIC HEARING on the 2012-2013 budget. If it is presented as required, this could be a long evening.  The last presentation lasted 2 1/2 hours.  After the board presents the budget, anyone that wishes to comment has three minutes.  

The Board Packet for Monday's meeting has the minutes from that 2/21/12 budget presentation and summarizes the budget presentation. Those minutes are on page 54-56  out of the 117 pages of the board packet.  It is a PDF file that I highly recommend you read. The "minutes" are a version of what may have been implied or that which the township wanted you to take from the meeting.  The actual presentation can be heard here....all 147 minutes.

Included in the board packet is a letter from Assessor Bill Griffin that states this about :
"Truth in Taxation"

Can someone tell me what the #@* that means? A statement made...that means nothing to me.

Bottom Line:  The budget may be balanced...but the taxpayers are paying WAY TOO MUCH in taxes and most of the money is going to wages, benefits and pensions.  Those costs are unsustainable and the township taxpayers need to start insisting on cuts...and that needs to be done by the trustees voting NO on this budget.  The Taxpayers need to vote NO for any tax proposals and elect people that will stay within regular and defined special millage budgets.

See my other blogs archived in the right side column for more details.  Or go to PATCH for similar blogs.  Highlight my name by my picture to get to the archived Patch blogs.  There are several more written since the Feb. 22, 2012 blog mentioned above. 

AGENDA ITEM #3    Mitchell Agreement Survey
The Board Packet has a "Proposal For Township of Bloomfield Community Survey" - dated 3/6/12
page 74-77 of board packet

Mitchell Research and Communications, Inc.  Letter or Document?
The second paragraph in this letter/document states:

 Another paragraph under section II of this letter/document states:

OOPS....another paragraph under section III  says WEST Bloomfield....sorry...wrong place:

Under section IV of this letter/document is the suggested price and related work:

BOARD OF TRUSTEES:  exactly what will you be voting on?
What is it the Board of Trustees need to know for $12,950 ?  Do you think it could possibly be mentioned in this letter?  Do you think the letter could at least mention Bloomfield Township in the text instead of West Bloomfield?  This is a communications company?  What did they communicate in this letter?

THIS IS NOT OPEN AND TRANSPARENT....can't even tell us the ISSUE of the survey?
I suspect since the 2.5 public safety millage expires in 2012...the township wants to renew...or increase the amount on a ballot question in AUGUST for public safety.  Why not just put a ballot question out there and let the voters decide?  WHY pay almost $13,000  to decide to ask a ballot question?  I can tell you what 300 of my friends will say IF  the survey is for a millage renewal or millage increase:  NO.   There, done.  May I have the $13,000 ? It will help defray my annual property taxes of over $16,000 and rising.

This firm, Mitchell Research, has been used before by the township for the Feb. 2010 ballot question to raise 1.3 mills ADDITIONAL taxes for ten years.  That tax was general obligation, but promoted as a public safety issue.  This firm then worked for and collected more money from the political group that was the S.O.S. (Save Our Services) as a consultant and/or for additional work performed.  The SOS group was employees and vendors for the most part..that raised over $85,000  to send multiple literature and robo calls to get people to vote yes for more taxes.  I wonder how many of those vendors and employees actually LIVE  and PAY TAXES in the township? What I do know....because the millage passed...none of the employees lost their job or benefits or pensions and the vendors most likely still benefit at the township......and the taxpayers are deeper in debt.

Approximately 90% of the $24 million dollars in the public safety fund goes toward personnel costs.
This figure needs to decrease.  The only way for that to happen is to cut personnel...or change the contract wages and benefits packages.  The taxpayer cannot afford EXPENSIVE employees.  The only way to get to CHANGE is to vote NO and force the township to seek a more reasonable budget. 

There are other well qualified people that can do the same job for much less.  Take a look at the Village Police and Fire budget in the board packet on pp. 32-33.  Some are retired officers and/or volunteers providing extra public safety coverage to a group of approx. 1000 homes in Bl. Township known as: Bloomfield Village.  Those homeowners pay EXTRA taxes for this service.  Check out the figures.  What I wonder is:  why do those homeowners feel they need that EXTRA service?  The township certainly has enough personnel and equipment.

But back to the question of AGENDA ITEM #3
What are the trustees voting on in this agenda item?  What survey? What issue? NO and save $12,950 of the taxpayers' dollars.

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