Just another day in the village

I could not attend the Feb. 20 DDA meeting. Contrary to normal proceedings, it wasn’t broadcast but is now on OrionONTV. While not on the agenda or in the meeting information, they selected a new executive director and assistant. No information was provided on who else may have applied.
Page 18 of the meeting information states $12,425.98 was spent on attorney fees to stop the vote on the citizen petition to amend the DDA funding. Their legal procedure failed but the vote went in favor of the DDA. This taxpayer-funded expense served no public purpose, was decided in closed meetings and was a waste of public funds.
The DDA has now spent their entire legal budget even though there are five months left in the budget year.
The proposed 2024-2025 fiscal year DDA budget is far more troubling. The mandatory bond payment comes from funds derived from a yet-to-be-created Capital Campaign Fundraising (packet page 114) with the claim that “This fund is balanced” (packet page 104), even though the money does not yet exist. The approval of the bond was predicated on the DDA having adequate secured funds to pay basic operating expenses and the bond.
There are many other problems with their proposed budget, but the DDA board approved it without comment.
The lumberyard plan and cost are still undefined and unapproved. The DDA director who headed up the bond and property purchase is gone, the architect who did the planning and design is no longer with the firm the DDA hired and the current use of the property remains undefined.
Trash remains in the public view throughout the downtown DDA area, in the public right of way and in violation of the Village Zoning Ordinance requirements. The DDA plans for taxpayer-funded trash enclosures has undefined construction, unknown cost, undefined approval requirements and an unknown program for implementation.
Just another day in the Village of Lake Orion.

Cory Johnston
Lake Orion

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