No public control over how DDA spends tax dollars

The DDA executive director had a 547-word guest opinion with color photos in last week’s Lake Orion Review. In those words, the director listed the wonderful things the DDA has done, or more correctly, was involved with. They are generally good things.
We mere mortals are limited to 300 words, and I didn’t know photos were an option.
It is important to note that these DDA things happened with our tax dollars: $903,236 of our tax dollars are going to the DDA in the next fiscal year and we have no control over how those dollars are spent.
As currently proposed, most of that money will go to pay the DDA overhead and Lake Orion Lumberyard bond debt, not to provide the wonderful things the director listed.
Most of these tax dollars will not be available for government services as determined by our vote. The public has never voted for the DDA and never voted for our tax dollars going to the DDA. We have never been allowed to do that and, in fact, voted for many of those dollars to fund other things.
You cannot comment on agenda items at DDA meetings, and the DDA board will not respond to issues you ask about.
They, along with the village government, believe the DDA is not subject to the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, so we don’t know what things like the new electric car charging stations are costing us to operate, or what the lumber yard purchase may cost us.
If you want some say on how your tax dollars are spent, and your vote to have some meaning, you might want a more democratic alternative than currently provided by the DDA.
Unfortunately, it seems most of the village council does not want you to have that option.
Cory Johnston
Lake Orion

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