The Economic Development Committee of the Macomb County Board of Commissioners will be voting to place a millage on the August primary ballot to help fund the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA). The ballot initiative already stalled once in the Economic Development Committee but is coming around again for a second try.
The committee’s vote will take place on Friday April 20 at 1 p.m. The first vote was split 4-4 with Commissioners Flynn, Miller, Moceri and Tocco voting for the millage while Commissioners Carabelli, Gralewski, Sabatini and Smith voted against the initiative. It is expected that it will be a close vote again and the outcome is not assured. Please consider the following when deciding whether this vote to give Macomb County tax dollars to support the DIA is money well spent:
- Taxpayer money will be collected by the “DIA Taxing Authority”.
- This money will be spent by an appointed board with no input from the voters. Commissioners want to let the people decide the DIA issue. However, if the millage passes, authority over the DIA funds will be given to a panel, 2/3 of which must be appointed and/or approved by County Executive Mark Hackel.
- DIA officials want to place the millage on the August ballot because of the historically low voter turnout. (DIA officials “only” have $1.5 million to spend on promoting this millage and want to leverage their special interest votes.)
- The DIA Director makes “under $500,000″ per year (The President of the United States makes $400,000). In addition, the DIA has 10 curators listed on their 2010 audit. This does not include assistant curators or internist curators who are also listed on this audit.
- The DIA has been financially self-sustaining for the past two years. Why do they want the money?
- Macomb County taxpayers already pay a Zoo tax, a Cobo Hall tax and are slated to pay to upgrade Belle Isle. The County Board of Commissioners are also considering a regional bus rapid transit system (BRT). Should Macomb County write another check to an external entity?
- Many municipalities in Macomb County are considering tax increases to address the shortfall in revenues from falling real estate values and subsequent property tax losses.
- The City of Detroit is set to receive massive bailouts from the state.
- In the prior Economic Development Committee meeting discussing the DIA issue on April 11, the Macomb County corporation council referred to “possible mis-use of taxpayers funds from the zoo millage”. The DIA millage is being modeled after the zoo millage.
Examples of fiscal irresponsibility, massive corruption and criminal activities by the elected officials of Detroit and Wayne County has been documented for decades. When will it end? Why should Macomb County taxpayers enable Detroit and Wayne County to continue their dysfunctional administrations by sending taxpayer money to them with no accountability?
Grab the attention of the County Commissioners on the Economic Development Committee regarding this continued push toward more big regional government spending by attending the meeting.
Date: Friday, April 20, 1 p.m. Citizens may speak for five minutes each at the beginning of the meeting.
Location: Macomb County Administration Building (corner of Main St. & Cass), Mt Clemens, MI. Parking is available South of the building (metered parking, bring quarters).
If you can’t attend, contact the County Commissioners on the Economic Development Committee as follows:
|Macomb County Board of Commissioners – Economic Development Committee|
|1||Toni Moceri||586-469-5125 or firstname.lastname@example.org|
|4||David Flynn (co-chair)||email@example.com|
|5||Ray Gralewski||586-469-5125 or 586-925-3075||Ray.firstname.lastname@example.org|
|6||James Carabelli (co-chair)||586-469-5125 or email@example.com|
|9||Fred Miller||586-469-5125 or firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com|
|12||Bob Smith||586-469-5125 or firstname.lastname@example.org|