Dear Crabby, Why is the Promised, One Time Only, DIA Millage up for Renewal?

Dear Crabby, Why is the Promised, One Time Only, DIA Millage up for Renewal?

Sincerely, Art Vote


Dear Art,

Because voters are stupid and the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) knows it. The one time only, 10-year millage we passed in 2012 was promised to be ONE TIME. The money they were collecting would go into a endowment to create a fund that the Detroit Institute of Arts could live off of for years and years. Well, we didn’t even get to end of the 10 years did we. But that’s part of the plan.

Dear Crabby sits infront of his laptop

Dear Crabby Gives Advice

If the ballot proposal should fail, they will keep putting it on until it passes. Getting started now, two years early, gives them that opportunity to guilt the public. And just like the original millage proposal, they’re putting it on a primary voting day, not in the general election – a little trick the tax machines use.

Now, before anyone claims Crabby ain’t down with art, let me tell you that I like art as much as the next guy. And I’ve had some interesting trips to the art institute. But I don’t love taxes! In 2012, the critics said this would happen. The DIA said it wouldn’t, that this is a one time thing … but it did. A few things to keep in mind: 1. The DIA is not in Oakland County and it wasn’t even mentioned in the original millage language. 2. The DIA meetings are closed to the public. 3. Meeting minutes haven’t been posted in almost two years. 4. They have $378 million in net assets and are doing quite well. What’s up? Fooling you again, that’s what.

What do you get for this millage? You get free general admission, which doesn’t get you into the rotating exhibits, which is one of the many reasons people go. Large groups get free bus transportation. Oakland County school visits to the DIA have triple with the millage. And they’ve trained nearly 100 volunteers to bring outreach programming into Oakland County. And so now, they ask you if you want all this to stop. Or, will you please keep this all going by passing a new millage.

So vote yes if you want the DIA – who’s director makes $475,000 per year (before bonuses) – to keep reaching into your pocket to receive all of this. Or vote NO to send them a message. Be honest! Show us your meeting minutes! Let us in to your meetings! And keep your promise! Or better yet, move the collection to Oakland County – how about we call it the OCIA?

Sincerely, Dear Crabby


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About Dear Crabby

Stuck in a rut? Need some biased advice from a crabby old baby-boomer? Read regularly by thousands and loved by some, Dear Crabby answers questions weekly to life's challenges. Send him a note at


  1. Sue Ann Douglas says

    Great column, Crabby. The DIA cherry picked this election date because it traditionally has a very low voter turnout. It is a primary for the 2 major parties to trim down their fields so most people skip this election. Many people don’t like having to declare political party preference.
    There are tax questions all over the State on Sneaky Tax Tuesday’s.
    You can vote only on the Sneaky Tax Tuesday tax question not declare political party preference, just ask for the separate tax ballot.
    It is too late for mail turnaround time for a NO REASON absentee ballot now but you can stop in at your clerk’s office on Monday and get one. I suggest you vote the ballot and turn it in while you are there. Also, get on the permanent absentee voter list so that you never miss a Sneaky Tax Tuesday.

  2. Pamela A Palmer says

    I’m crabby too! Crazy to pay a Salvador Salort-Pons $27 a minute. (Being generous considering he may not work 8 hours a day 365 days a year.)

  3. Vicki Townsend says

    Vote NO let Wayne county pay for it. We dont need to. They will never stop asking for money . People dont be suckered in. This is for another 10.years. The other one isn’t up for 2 more years
    VOTE NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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