County officials say reductions may continue in light of proposal defeats

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ARENAC COUNTY — Arenac County voters rejected two county proposals during the Nov. 2 general election, and county officials say some county programs may have to be reduced in light of those rejections.

County voters defeated the first proposal, which was a renewal of an operating millage that would have provided funds for Arenac County and the Bay-Arenac Intermediate School District, 3,421 to 2,034. The second proposal, which was a proposal to levy 0.1 mills for a period of the next five years for operating, maintaining, and improving of the county parks, was defeated 3,166 to 1,961.

Regarding the first proposal, Arenac County Treasurer Dennis Stawowy said it would have brought the county back up to a full millage collection, and would have made up for the Headlee rollbacks. He also said the proposal would have meant about $165,000 in revenue for the county if it had passed.

Stawowy said some county programs might have to be cut back since the millage has been turned down.

“The things that we do that aren’t ordered by the state of Michigan might be curtailed,” he said. “They may be open less.”

Stawowy said those departments that might be affected are: building, housing, the public guardian, and health department.

Arenac County Commissioner Michael Snyder said he also expects some programs to be cut as a result of the proposal’s defeat.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed,” he said. “Our hope was that with these revenues we could stay even. We’ll have to continue on our reducing ways.”

Snyder also said the proposal’s rejection might have an effect on the county’s negotiations with its labor unions.

“We are in the process of negotiating with all six of our unions,” he said. “Obviously, the loss of any revenue will be reflected in our labor costs. To what extent, I couldn’t tell you.”

Snyder said he does not expect the county to put a similar millage on the ballot anytime in the future.

“It’s pretty clear the community feels the funds are not needed,” he said. “I think that the voters have spoken loudly. I think it would be a significant amount of time before we put those on the ballot.”

Regarding the parks proposal, Stawowy said the millage would have raised $55,000 for the county’s parks and recreation department. He said that as a result of that proposal’s defeat, the department would not be able to purchase any new items, but would be able to repair any current items that are broken.

“They will be able to operate at the status quo,” he said.

Snyder said the department would have to look at another sort of revenue stream to offset the proposal’s defeat.

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Enough is enough! It's about time our community leaders quick complaining about MONEY and the lack of it. Lack of money isn't the issue; it's the lack of respect and dedication towards working with residents and home owners. Anytime more money is needed, it's the people who are expected to foot the bill.

Banks and Wall Street caused this mess! As an entrepreneurial and independent business community, we do not need outside sources to live a good life. We need community unity and support. Yes, it is that simple! As a state or local leader of our community, if you expect the voters to support your issue, get off your ass and support them.

Without using the word "money", look at ways to make this community a family friendly place to work, live and raise a family. What are the problems we're seeing each day? Why are these problems continuing to occur? What is taken so long and what are we as a community living together waiting for? There are many questions and zero answers. For many, solving the problem means cuts or layoffs. Negative action will not yield positive results; it's like putting a band-aid on a wound that requires stitches.

The Holidays are near!

I'm still seeing almost a whole page of foreclosures listed in the paper every week. Why, because mortgage bankers and creditors rather enjoy the high interest paying as long as they can and when the payments become too much of a burden, they'll just take the house.

As debtors pay-down loan and credit card balances, creditors raise interest rates, lower lines of credit and add ridiculous penalties such as fees for not using the card.

Purposively, both mortgage loans and property taxes are based on comparable value. However, property assessed values for tax purposes are approximately 25% higher than mortgage loan appraised values. Example: Buy $100,000 home, the home owner will pay taxes based on that value. Go to refinance and the bank will appraise the property at $75,000 value. And at an 80% loan to value ratio, the home owner would only be able to refinance the home for $60,000.

Our own community banks and credit unions, which are privately backed (underwritten) are turning good and descent people away rather than helping. They continue to follow on the coat tails of Wall Street and Government Banks, who, where bailed out of their financial mess they put themselves in. The government isn't going to bail out private lenders; they rather buy them out or close them out.

Being your own boss, an independent business owner, is a job and way of life. Self-Employment is a secure venture and entrepreneurs are a growing work force. The sooner our local financial lenders and community leaders realize "people come before money" and work with rather than against the self-employed businesses and home owners, the sooner this madness will stop!

"Sometimes; in order to find a solution, you must first remove the problem from the equation."

Money has been the main focus of this whole financial and economical crisis, yet it's also the problem. If this is so, why have people been removed from the equation instead of money? People are the SOLUTION, not the problem as Wall-Street and the Big Banks run by government would like us and are leading us to believe. The great thing about democracy is, our state and its individual communities are independent and privately run. We don't have to live our lives based on government. We don't have to listen to it on the radio or television. We don't have to take it home with us. We are free to live the American Dream of getting an education, having a job of one we choose, buying a home and living life the way we want.

Too many, my home is just a house, but to me, it's my castle and place of serenity.

The future is now, time to catch up!

Jim Shaw

Sterling

Entrepreneur and Independent Business Owner

Wednesday, November 10, 2010 | Report this

As far as the Parks are concerned, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that all is needed is a raise in entrance fees versus TAX All THE PROPERTY OWNERS IN THIS COUNTY...WAKE UP COMMISSIONERS!....WR

Thursday, November 11, 2010 | Report this

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