$98 Million in reserves, but Bloomfield Township wants to continue high tax rates. There is enough in reserves to retire the renewing 4 millages. (One millage doesn't even expire until 2016)
Of the 85 Townships within the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, The Charter Township of Bloomfield, with total expenditures of $76,366,077, places 2nd in terms of total expenditures for fiscal year 2013. The Township spent $1,859 per capita; $1,115 more than the Regional Average for Townships.
Bloomfield Township management continues to OVER SPEND.
WHY should management ask for 10 year millages... then BANK a lot of that previously collected money... and then continue to ask for more money for another 10 years claiming the township is broke? The Bloomfield Township AAA rating is because there is money in the bank.... and some of that money is in DEDICATED funds... meaning the money may only be spent for a specific department.
Recently, the local media has begun to weigh in on how the taxpayers should vote. They take the Township leadership spin position. I disagree with the Township spin. The media gives a mere mention that I disagree.
Recently, the author of an Oakland Press article wrote this:
"Robovitsky believes that the millage is unfair because even non-members
would have to pay it. She thinks a better solution is to charge each
member of the senior center $100 per year, including non-residents who
use the center."
That statement doesn't go far enough.
The "non-members" as the author wrote it.... are the Township residents... that are NOT OLD ENOUGH to be members of the Senior Center. Why should the younger generations have to pay the operating costs? Everyone in the township is obligated to pay the costs for the BOND for the Senior Center building construction.
There are other "non-members" who do NOT LIVE in the township, yet benefit from our tax dollars. At the present time, they only pay $10 extra to attend programs, classes, and trips. No millage tax payments, no construction bond payments. Why is our local government giving outsiders better deals than the taxpayers?
The Senior Center leadership says there are 11,000 "profiled" members. MY suggestion was to have a FEE/ or DUES for those 11,000 "profiled" members....say $100 annually. That fee would raise $1,100,000, which would be $300,000 MORE than the millage money would generate ($800,000). The "non-members" that do NOT live in Bloomfield Township should have a fee/dues at least twice that or be excluded altogether. They can always move and live in the Township and pay the high taxes.
Why hasn't this fee/dues plan been discussed by township leadership or the senior center leadership?
Perhaps the 11,000 "profiled" members... really don't attend the center. Perhaps part of that number is a lot of NON-residents. Perhaps the figure of 400-500 daily usage is not really correct. There has NEVER been, in the ten years of collecting millage money for this senior center, an ANNUAL REPORT. Why give another 10 years of millage money when there has been NO accounting to how the money has been spent for the last ten years? There is $2.4 MILLION CASH (saved from previous millage money) in the Senior Services Fund that can only be used for the senior center. The millage brings in approx. $800,000 a year. That means there is $2.4 Million currently SAVED to operate the senior center for the next 2 years WITHOUT the need to raise more cash via the August 5, 2014 "stealth" election.
- THINK !
- the township citizens should vote NO on this proposed millage on August 5, 2014
- Vote NO. The November 2016 election is the time for money issues to be on the ballot.
- the township leadership should demand an Annual Report from the Senior Service Dept.
- the township leadership should consider and discuss a FEE based policy to generate the approx. $800,000 revenue that is needed for employee wages/health benefits/pensions
- MUCH of the operation of the Senior Center is via grants/fee based classes/trips and volunteer generosity
- the taxpayers should not be burdened with this 10 year dedicated millage
- there is absolutely NO reason with the current funds in savings to shut down any part of this senior services for the next two years.... there is money in the bank
- Senior Service FUND balances on March 31 at the end of the fiscal year for the years 2013, 2014, and estimated 2015 numbers from a FOIA document I obtained:
- I recommend a NO VOTE on this and the other Bloomfield Township millages because Supervisor Savoie stated that IF all the millages fail... his 2014-2015 budget is good... no cuts needed... as I did find out with this FOIA document of approx. $98 MILLION In FUNDS at the township:
Article in Downtown Publications:
Two articles from The Oakland Press about the millages: