Saturday, February 5, 2011

New 60" TVs for the county commission!

Muskegon county commissioners approved 4 big screen TVs for their meeting room!

Two to face them and two to face us taxpayers sitting in the peanut gallery.

Well, they're now installed.

No commissioner has a clue of the cost and none has a clue why they're there.

Just another day at our Muskegon county commission.

Why support republicans who always vote as democrats?

OK, I'll admit that I don't go to every Muskegon county commission meeting.
And the official county minutes don't always (ever?) reflect the accurate votes of our elected GOPer commissioners.
But I do go to the meetings and I do read the agendas and minutes as published by the county clerk.
That said, John Snyder, Marve Engle and Bob Scolnik have voted with the union supported democrats on every union contract.
Those contracts account for 70-85% of all county discretionary spending.
They have voted with the union supported democrats on almost EVERY vote taken by the county commission.
Why should any republican support our three RINOS?
My golly, they're not even RINOS.
If we examine their votes, they are hard core union democrats!
Isn't it time we take a really honest look at who we republicans are supporting?

Muskegon county board censors citizens.....again! Part 2

"Stop spending" is something our county doesn't want to hear or acknowledge!

This was my second public comment pleading with the commission:

The county commissioners chose to keep this from the official minutes.

Will this censorship be supported by our taxpayers?

Here's what I said at the commission meeting:

"Back again.

I see that Human resources needs a new operations manager and wants to give the new hire more money than the previous ops manager.

The reason given is that the job is open because the old manager took a higher paying job within the county.

Needless to say, if the county hadn't increased the pay at the new job, this job shift wouldn't have happened.

But now, and I quote "in order to attract and retain a good candidate with the necessary skills" we gotta pay more money.
No mention at all that this job has been posted and advertised with no bidders.

Well, in the real world, our real world of 15% + unemployment I'd bet a qualified person could be found at the current pay level.

Maybe even at a lower level.

This is, after all, a management position in a county with depression level unemployment.

In private business, when someone leaves for a better position, our first thought is to replace that person at the same or lower compensation.

If that doesn't work, then we look at other options.

So, I ask, you the commissioners, to reject this pay raise and tell the HR folks to work harder at getting the job done with the precious resources, our precious resources, they already have."

The result of my brilliant plea:

WM11/02 - 17 It was moved by Engle, supported by Mahoney, to authorize the salary range adjustment to the Operations Manager BPN#59901 toNX00290.
Motion Carried.

Only Jager and Snyder voted against.

Muskegon county board censors citizens.....again!
Mr. Eric Rothof discussed motion #WM11/02-12. He requested a copy of the projected return report and requested Commissioners review the report as well.
Ms. Paula VandenBosch approached the Board and discussed specific items for consideration on the agenda.

The above is our county's official minutes for last week's commission meeting.

What was left out was my two comments made during the public commentary time allowed for citizens.

My comment about the free laptops for the commissioners was to simply ask that they not initiate any purchase process until they read the report that was the main impetus for their purchase.
All of the commissioners rejected the idea of reading the report before ordering a county employee to do a cost estimate.
Except for Alan Jager.
Don't they get Best Buy ads?

These comments were deemed by the county board as unworthy of inclusion in the official minutes:

"Administrator Hammersley and commissioners,
A little more than a week ago I attended your planning session where Mrs Hammersley and some commissioners, suggested the possibility of significant cuts to county income if projected revenue sharing from the state was to be reduced or eliminated.
And the likelyhood that our county might be forced to incur major expenses to repair or replace the county jail.
A possible financial Armageddon.
So it seems to me that every spending decision ought to be made with great care for the scarce dollars that may not be available tomorrow, if we spend them today.
And that leads me to today's agenda item, that recommends the county purchase 10 laptop computers for commissioners use.
I assume one commissioner isn't gonna get a free laptop.

But most importantly, there is a projected return on investment of 2.4 years.
In other words, if we spend it now, we'll make up the entire cost with savings in 2.4 years.
Now I don't know if spending taxpayer dollars on free laptops for you is a good idea or a bad idea.
But I do know that the county put together a study that promises a projected return on investment of exactly 2.4 years.
A very precise number.
So this study exists and ought to be available for all of you to review.
And I think that before you, our county leaders, approve the spending of so many thousands of dollars of taxpayer's money on yourselves, that before you move ahead, that you stop, take a breath and make sure the promised savings really exist.
Read the study before you vote.
Do the job we elected you to.
You are all politicians and as such, you are leaders.
And you lead by your actions.
You tell us times are tough.
You tell us decisions must be made with the best information available.
Do the job you promised us that you would do.
I ask you to postpone this vote today, this rushed vote to purchase laptop computers for your own use, until you have read and understood the study."

The result of my brilliant plea:

WM11/02 - 12
It was moved by Engle, supported by Longmire, to authorize the Finance & Management Services Director to solicit proposals for laptop computers for the Board of Commissioners.
Motion Carried.

County leaders must declare 'pension crisis'

EDITORIAL: County leaders must declare 'pension crisis' - Opinion -
"Not surprisingly, Fresno County's pension obligations have skyrocketed, while county leaders have done little to contain the cost.
The Bee just reported that the annual retirement contribution will increase 30% to $180 million on July 1.

This only adds to the county's budget crisis.
The Board of Supervisors didn't make plans for the added costs, even though it was known they'd be increasing."

There has been a belief by the voters that our elected officials have the best interests of entire population of their county in mind.

And they are using generally good judgement.

This simply isn't true any more.

Especially in Muskegon County.

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