I occasionally write here at Red State about what is going on in my local community. Today I wrote an email to my local city council explaining why I believe they should be very cautious spending any money while the State of Michigan is facing historic budget shortfalls due to COVID-19.
I am encouraging people from my hometown to CONTACT these officials and also let them know how they feel. We need to do this on all levels to make sure our Constitutional Republic is working well.
Below is the email I sent today.
I had the great pleasure last night of watching the Park & Rec meeting on YouTube. There were a number of interesting things in that meeting that I will be talking about in the next couple of weeks but I want to focus on this email on an all-encompassing theme.
Let me start off reminding those of you that I have spoken to in the last week that I am sincere that I do not envy the job you have at this moment. All of you have been dealt the most difficult challenge an elected body can face at the beginning of an economic calamity the likes this country has ever seen. Trying to figure out how the County and the State are going to renege on formulas that taxes are distributed to a place like Fraser will be daunting.
I fully recognize this is not going to be, in any sense, an easy task.
According to Steve Gray, director of the state’s Unemployment Insurance Agency (UIA) we currently have 1.7 million people that have filed for unemployment claims or assistance in this state and we only have 10 million people in the state. That is a staggering number of people needing government assistance.
SOURCE: Bridge Michigan
According to the State of Michigan Treasury, the budget we are currently in ( 19-20) will be short 1 to 3 billion, and the 20-21) could be 1 to 4 billion short.
Those of you who have been involved in Fraser politics or just watched for the past decade, know-how devastating the money drying up in 2008-09 going forward was. In fact, I believe Fraser has never gotten back to the value of mills at 2008 levels to this present day.
In 2017 the Council had to make some incredibly drastic decisions to eliminating dispatch and cutting eight PSO’s that this city is still dealing with. Most other areas of city functions were spared.
I am asking you in this current climate to start looking at what other areas need to be cut or things set aside right now. Don’t wait until the State officially tells you what your cut is. You need to be proactive like the State itself has been with laying off and furloughing. This has happened in numerous cities across Michigan and it needed to start here yesterday.
I would also ask that you consider a deeper reduction in the P.A. 33 mills from seven you have set as a high bar. Undoubtedly the citizens here in the city will be shell shocked from months of being not able to work. Any way to get more money in people’s pockets will help.
As I said I do not envy your jobs at this point. These types of decisions are never easy and people are bound to get pissed. This is not a situation anyone could have really imagined.
However, with the vast uncertainty, this state and country have right now in regards to the economy, it is wiser to batten down the hatches and hope for the best. I truly hope President Trump is right about us bouncing back but you should plan on him being totally wrong.
I have often heard the term being “professionals thrown around in regard to behavior in how people in this city conduct themselves. Now I would like to actually see people being responsible for how the city spends money going forward. Do what is in the best interest of this city for once and not just a certain clique.
Please go forward carefully in how you spend any money until you or the next council has a much better picture of where the states’ finances are. Also be prepared for that to be months or years from now.
My best to all of you.