Déjà-vu All Over Again in Rochester?

It was over 30 years ago when I started attending Rochester City Council meetings to try to figure out why the city’s zoning ordinance didn’t hold up in court. Single family properties were being “spot zoned” on main roads. I remember City Council Member Sam Howlett telling me that they didn’t want to rezone these properties,but when they didn’t, they were sued and lost.  That just didn’t seem right to me, so I started reading anything I could find on zoning, including court cases. Aha!  I … [Read more...]

Go Green – Recycle Congress in 2010!

I do not like this Uncle Sam, I do not like his health care scam. I do not like these dirty crooks, or how they lie and cook the books. I do not like when Congress steals, I do not like their secret deals. I do not like this speaker Nan , I do not like this 'YES, WE CAN'. I do not like this spending spree--- I'm smart, I know that nothing's free. I do not like your smug replies, when I complain about your lies. I do not like this kind of hope. I do not like it. nope, nope, nope! Go … [Read more...]

Will Brooks Use His Veto Power on the New Budget?

Oakland County has adopted its budget.  Unfortunately, Republican Kim Capello, a sour grapes Republican Primary looser (you know, the guy caught nude in Novi last year) was the swing vote for the Democrats allowing over $580,000 to be added to the budget.  Rochester Hills Democratic commissioner Tim Greimel brought all of the amendments to the floor.  One addition was a half million dollars for the tri-party road fund – sounds good and looks good on campaign literature. Oakland is the only … [Read more...]

Know the Michigan Open Meetings Act and Keep Government Open and Honest

Over the years, I’ve received several questions on the Open Meetings Act (OMA).  OMA sets rules to keep government open and honest.  Taxpayers ought to see the full process leading up to decisions that affect how their tax dollars are spent.  The courts have said that interpretations of OMA should be broad to protect the public’s right to know.  It takes a 2/3 vote for a public body to go into ‘closed’ or ‘executive’ session and the purpose for the closed session must be stated.  Permitted … [Read more...]

Tough Times Ahead for County Government’s Budget

The budget process has begun and while Oakland County has been successful at staying ahead of the curve through long term planning, it has difficult years ahead. Each year, the county adopts the first year of a three year rolling budget. This is a successful planning process but only works well because of the reasonable revenue expectations that each year is based on.   The revenue picture for government has been in severe decline with no revenue increases projected for the foreseeable … [Read more...]