Request for sinking fund vague

As a senior citizen in Lake Orion faced with the increased cost of living, increased taxation, on a fixed income and a reduced SS $ amount not keeping up with real inflation my wife and I try to scrutinize closely all proposed millages that want our money to leave our pocket for some reason.
This year’s elections have four proposed millages seeking voter approval for over $700 of taxation per year or higher depending on the value of your house. And if you live in the Village you are already paying $200 more a year for water with further increases planned. That’s nearly $1000 a year in homeowner taxation or imposed costs which for most home owners equates to $85 or more a month money out of pocket which can’t be used to pay for housing, cars, food, medical insurance, medications,gas, utilities, etc.
Of these proposed millages, three are for Police and Fire Dept. renewals which my wife and I consider essential to life, property protection, are specific in the service provided and are for a four year timeframe or less.
It is the 10 Year School Sinking Millage Fund which concerns me due to its length and lack of specific yearly intention. There is no priority set forth by year by facility just a repetitive laundry list by school of what school officials want to spend our money on over a ten year period which still by their own admission won’t be enough money to fix it. That in itself makes it mandatory for school management to spend our tax money wisely and publically report at each years beginning and end what is specifically intended and budgeted at the beginning of each year then at years end what was accomplished by school management within budget and the specific costs to accomplish the specific years planned intentions.
With no yearly boundaries, no priorities, no specific objectives to be accomplished within budget by year and school nor yearly planned reporting of last years accomplishments or failures, there isn’t any stated or intended accountability of when and how our tax paid money will be spent. There is no intended public published year end accounting of our tax monies spent within that years budget as a measurement of success or failure against that years specific planned budgeted intentions which must be publically published and thereby reported to us.
Those of us who are or were in business each year ask our managers for a budgeted amount of money with specific explanation of what is to be accomplished. Specified is what the money is intended to be used for and for what benefit there will be to the company and shareholders. Then at years end we would be held accountable in our report of accomplishments or failures.
That’s where we are now. The school management is asking for our tax money each year and for ten years in total without telling us, the shareholders, the specific what, where, when, and how much of our dollars will be budgeted and spent each next year against their own pre-stated specific yearly objectives. This is pitiful, insulting and disrespectful to ask tax payers to sign a yearly blank check without any yearly accountability as to the specifics of budgeted intention and a success or failure yearly report they reasonably owe us.
In view of all this mismanagement in the past, now and apparently so far intended going forward, we recommend that we reject the proposed 10 Year School Millage in Aug.
That will give the schools between Aug. and Nov.’s next vote opportunity a chance to treat us in a businesslike manner like the shareholders we are and to spell out in specific priority detail what is reasonably requested above for the next millage vote.
Then because tax payers cannot totally escape the need to invest in our schools for selfish reasons when it comes up in November we recommend that it be for a two or four year millage, not ten. That will give voters a chance to see after each year for two or four years of yearly published within budgeted success or failure and then if school management performed as they intended that would entitle them to consideration of another 4 year millage.
Lastly please understand that this financial problem with the schools didn’t just begin in the last few years. It has been festering for many years. Then also please understand that this School Sinking Millage Proposal has absolutely nothing to do with the number of teachers or their salary.
Fred Fleming
Orion Township resident

2 Responses to "Request for sinking fund vague"

  1. david abbott   July 18, 2016 at 4:32 pm

    Fred,

    Please check out the website from the school district. This has the 10 year breakdown by school, by project for all 10 years. It is broken down extremely well, probably better than most business investment plans. The proposal would not fit on the ballot and fulfill your request

    I understand that 10 years is a long time to consider, but please consider that we are also voting on a renewal of the 10 year zoo millage. That means that we have already gone through the first 10 year millage.

    The district buildings are really needing these repairs/maintenance and they are scheduled over the next 10 years and cannot be bought without any new debt incurred to us, the taxpayers.

    Please vote yes for the sinking fund, as this fund is a much more fiscally responsible than the debt that has been used in the past.

    David Abbott

    Reply
  2. Fred   July 21, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    David,

    The issue isn’t that things need to be done but would you sign a ten year contract on anything that came across your desk for $20,000 to 40,000 without a publicly published report at the beginning of each year that states specifically that years specific intentions and reasoning supporting it plus the planned budget to accomplish it? Then a year end report publically published that cites the last years intended accomplishments that were done within the budget and if the budget was exceeded detail the reasons why.

    I won’t because it isn’t reasonable especially given the schools track record that most people don’t know much or anything about part of which is why won’t they close and sell a school {pupil attendance is down now for the last seven years and forecasted by them to go down more each year} – why are they having to ask teachers to forgo next years raises {to the tune of $890,000 in lost wages} which will still leave them 1.2 million in the hole to getting up to their stated School Fund target of 10% of foreseeable operational expenses {not building repair and replace which is another financial center they are behind on.

    David their record of spending your tax dollars sucks and you want to give them another 10 years to screw that up? Cmon David. This has to be done right and in 4 year segments with full published public reporting so they are held responsible for their actions or misdeeds.

    Lets do this right – not blindly once more.

    Sincerely – Fred

    Reply

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