Thursday, October 12, 2017

Vote No on Muskegon County’s YOUTH, FAMILY & COMMUNITY MILLAGE!-----Muskegon Community Events - Posts

(6) Muskegon Community Events - Posts

Vote No on Muskegon County’s YOUTH, FAMILY & COMMUNITY MILLAGE! 
Below is the millage information, what it doesn’t tell you is that it’s a ploy to fund the Sheriff’s office and its overpriced new jail that we were forced to get without a public vote, so the fine people running the County crafted a very ingenious way for you to fund it without you even knowing it. 
If the millage passes the funding will not increase any youth or family services it will maintain its current status quo and reroute the current funds allocated for it to offset the Sheriff’s office 1.7Million deficit and other county functions. 
Attached are news articles on the new jail please do your research and hopefully you to will see what this millage really is about. Below are quotes from then candidate Poulin. 
If you read the part about a public safety millage that will help you see through all of the smoke and mirrors. Sheriff Poulin is no different than the people before him he is just a better con artist.
If elected, he would look for grant funding for special programs in the Sheriff’s department in order to free up more money for the jail. 
But he doubted there was a spare $1.8 million in the sheriff’s budget, either.
“There’s a lot of little things we can do,” he said. 

“It doesn’t really add up to what you need.”
He said the issue would likely fall back on the Muskegon County Commissioners to decide.
“There’s some talk of a public safety millage,” he said
********Please reshare this so the information can get out there.
COUNTY OF MUSKEGON
YOUTH, FAMILY & COMMUNITY MILLAGE QUESTION
For the purpose of funding Muskegon County’s enhancement of existing youth programs and for the development of proven youth prevention and treatment programs; family based programs; school based services; increasing the number of foster care and therapeutic foster care homes; respite care; crisis housing; transitional and community aftercare; psychosocial activities; residential treatment; employment services; and assessment and stabilization treatment programming, and/or other youth services and operations pursuant to or authorized by Public Act 179 of 1967, shall the constitutional limitation on the total amount of taxes which may be assessed in one (1) year upon all property within the County of Muskegon, Michigan, be increased and the County of Muskegon authorized to levy a new tax of up to 1.5 mills ($1.50 per $1,000 of taxable value) for a period of ten (10) years, from 2017 to 2026 inclusive? The cost per $100,000 home is $75.00 per year. If approved and levied in full, this millage will raise an estimated $6.2 million in the first calendar year of the levy based on taxable value.
That the general outlook for Muskegon County’s General Fund for the next five years is unsustainable.
Expenditures however are expected to increase significantly due primarily to the Jail/JTC debt service obligations
The consultant’s report recommended that the County explore special millage options to support specific services to alleviate the need for the General Fund to subsidize these operations.
The Jail/JTC debt service payments which were funded by the General Fund starting in FY2017 also represent a significant impact on the financial outlook. For FY2017 and FY2018 the payments total over $1.8 million annually. In FY2019, the payments increase to $2.8 million and continue to increase thereafter.
The largest appropriation historically has been to the Child Care Fund which is approaching $5.0 million. Therefore, the Board approved to place on the November 7, 2017 ballot a Youth, Family and Community millage request asking for 1.5 mills that would generate approximately $6.2 million dollars as recommended in the financial forecast, this millage revenue would be used to fund the specific services associated with the Child Care Fund and eliminate the need for the General Fund appropriation. Therefore, included in the recommended FY2018 budget is a new fund called the Youth, Family and Community Millage Fund. The fund has $6.2 million of anticipated revenues and expenditures which includes an appropriation to the Child Care Fund of $4.8 million.

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From MuskegonSpotlight-----Scandal Over Youth Millage: Will Money Go to Jail Instead? | muskegonspotlight

Scandal Over Youth Millage: Will Money Go to Jail Instead? | muskegonspotlight

Scandal Over Youth Millage: Will Money Go to Jail Instead?

October 5, 2017
Suspicions have swirled around Muskegon County's "Youth Millage" with allegations the money will be diverted to pay for the new jail. While millage backers downplay such rumors, recently surfaced documents tell a different tale. Muskegon Spotlight has obtained a letter between the County Administrator and Board Chair Ben Cross that reveals this millage will do almost nothing for kids. Nearly all of the money raised will instead bailout the budget crisis caused by overspending on the jail.

But didn't they say this won't be spent on the jail?
It's a bait and switch. Remember when the state lotto money was promised to go to the schools, but then politicians just cut the school's other funding?  It's the same trick. Nearly all the new millage money will go to programs that already exist and are already being paid for with $4.8 million/year from the Child Care Fund. But an examination of county documents shows that as soon as the new millage starts funding these programs, that existing $4.8 million will likely be yanked away and redirected to fill the budget hole caused by the jail. One hand givith, and the other hand taketh away. That's no way to treat kids. 

Perhaps they didn't think we'd approve a jail millage, so they just called it something emotionally appealing like "youth" and created an accounting gimmick to shuffle the money.  

So why is there a budget crisis to begin with?
The County needed a new jail. But instead of being upfront and asking the public for approval and getting proper funding back in 2013, the commissioners just went ahead and built it. The problem is they made it bigger and more expensive than was needed, and with no plan to pay for the $45 million cost. Now the bill is coming due and they don't have the cash.

Is there proof?
Yes. Internal 2018 budget documents from the County Commission (available here) include a detailed description of their consultant's analysis of the budget crisis, the jail debt, and the need to find new money to fill the hole. The documents also describe their plan to seek a millage to raise new money for existing programs that are already funded so that the current funding can then be cut and redirected to the budget crisis caused by the jail. The documents specifically identify the $4.8 million Child Care Fund and the youth programs as a top target for this scheme. 

This shell game allows them to publicly declare the millage itself isn't going to the jail, even as they still take away money that had been helping kids. 

So what should the Commission do instead?
The Commissioners need to stop playing games and be honest with the public.  They caused this budget crisis with their own bad decisions. The commissioners need to practice better management and balance their budget. If a new millage is truly needed because of the jail debt, the commissioners should be transparent about that instead of using our kids as political props and insulting voters by trying to disguise a millage as being something it isn't. 

Don't be fooled! Do your homework on this dishonest tax hike and cast an educated vote on November 7th!

References: Read for yourself the County Administrator's letter to Chairman Ben Cross describing the jail debt, the budget crisis, and the plan for a millage and come to your own conclusions: 


Update: Here are the key portions of the 2018 budget letter some have asked for:

This line basically states that the budget crisis is due primarily to the jail cost along with pension issues: "Expenditures however are expected to increase significantly due primarily to the Jail/JTC debt service obligations and pension contributions. The forecast revealed that the consistent disparity between revenues and expenditures will result in the depletion of the General Fund’s reserves by FY2019 and reach a negative $38 million by FY2022."

And this line discusses the $4.8 million that the general fund now transfers to youth programs along with some other spending and the plan to explore a millage to fund these services instead so the general fund can stop paying into them. What that means is the youth programs won't be seeing much of a gain at all. Nearly all of what the millage gives them will be negated by the cutting of the $4.8 million: "The largest appropriation is approximately $4.8 million to the Child Care Fund. Others include $1.6 million to the Public Health Fund, $1.3 million to the Family Court Fund and several others.  The consultant’s report recommended that the County explore special millage options to support specific services to alleviate the need for the General Fund to subsidize these operations."  [*underlining added]

The Ballot Language-----MUSKEGON YOUTH, FAMILY & COMMUNITY MILLAGE QUESTION

MUSKEGON COUNTY, MICHIGAN
BALLOT PROPOSALS
NOVEMBER 7, 2017 ELECTION
OFFICIAL
COUNTY OF MUSKEGON 
YOUTH, FAMILY & COMMUNITY MILLAGE QUESTION
(Expanded-same words with color and bullet points)

*********************************************
"For the purpose of funding Muskegon County’s

  • enhancement of existing youth programs 
  • and for the development of proven youth prevention and treatment programs;
  • family based programs
  • school based services; 
  • increasing the number of foster care
  • and therapeutic foster care homes; 
  • respite care; 
  • crisis housing; 
  • transitional and
  • community aftercare; 
  • psychosocial activities; 
  • residential treatment; 
  • employment
  • services; and 
  • assessment and stabilization treatment programming, 
  • and/or other youth services and operations pursuant to or authorized by Public Act 179 of 1967

, shall the constitutional limitation on the total amount of taxes which may be assessed in one (1)
year upon all property within the County of Muskegon, Michigan, be increased and the
County of Muskegon authorized to levy a new tax of up to 1.5 mills ($1.50 per $1,000 of
taxable value) for a period of ten (10) years, from 2017 to 2026 inclusive?
The cost per
$100,000 home is $75.00 per year.
If approved and levied in full, this millage will raise an estimated $6.2 million in the first calendar year of the levy based on taxable value. "
********************************************************************************
As written on county website:

"For the purpose of funding Muskegon County’s enhancement of existing youth
programs and for the development of proven youth prevention and treatment programs;
family based programs; school based services; increasing the number of foster care
and therapeutic foster care homes; respite care; crisis housing; transitional and
community aftercare; psychosocial activities; residential treatment; employment
services; and assessment and stabilization treatment programming, and/or other youth
services and operations pursuant to or authorized by Public Act 179 of 1967, shall the
constitutional limitation on the total amount of taxes which may be assessed in one (1)
year upon all property within the County of Muskegon, Michigan, be increased and the
County of Muskegon authorized to levy a new tax of up to 1.5 mills ($1.50 per $1,000 of
taxable value) for a period of ten (10) years, from 2017 to 2026 inclusive? The cost per
$100,000 home is $75.00 per year. If approved and levied in full, this millage will raise
an estimated $6.2 million in the first calendar year of the levy based on taxable value. "

The "Informational" post card.


Click on image to enlarge.


Friday, May 3, 2013











Maybe forever.
Maybe not.
Mulling the future now but the EyeOnMuskegon radio show has seen its last episode.
Most likely, the posted EOM videos will still be worth a visit as little seems to change in our local government.  
Everything old is new again......
And new county commission videos will no longer be posted.
Same old/new thing.
Thanks to Clear Channel Radio, WKBZ, my guests and co-hosts.
And especially the Legendary Oscar Osbo for an absolutely exhilarating run at political talk radio.
See ya.
Or not.
Jim Riley

Monday, April 22, 2013

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Muskegon county board meetings: April 2013-video links

No more "I can't make the meetings" excuses. 
They're spending us into bankruptcy and you sit at home.
OK.
Now you can sit at home, watch your computer screen and see them at "work".
You silence simply supports their scams.
Do SOMETHING before there is nothing left to do anything about! 

County main page: http://www.co.muskegon.mi.us/

2013-4-2 Human resources
http://youtu.be/2VCqeKYiCrE

2013-4-2 Courts-Public safety
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nK6dMN71DlE

2013-4-4 Ways and means

2013-4-9 Full board

2013-4-9 Board Planning Session
When:
 Tuesday, April 9, 2013 - 1:00 PM 
Location: South Campus Training Center, 133 E. Apple, Room #205

2013-4-11 Public works

2013-4-16 Ways and means

2013-4-18 Transportation

2013-4-18 Comm dev/Strategic planning

2013-4-23 Full board

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