Residents voted to have their tax money spent toward millages, not the DDA

Something interesting, do you know what these agencies; police, Oakland County Community College, NOTA, Orion Township Parks and Recreation, safety paths, Orion Township Fire Department and Oakland County Metro Parks all have in common?
They are all agencies that you VOTED to have your tax dollars fund.
If you live in the DDA district of Lake Orion (basically the M-24 corridor and most of the Village of Lake Orion east of M-24) all taxes intended for these agencies above what was paid in 1985 has has been captured and used to benefit selected areas of the downtown.
We VOTED to help these agencies, not to have a non-elected board capture these monies for a very specific area.
Harry Stephen
Lake Orion

Editor’s Note: The “non-elected board” Mr. Stephen refers to is the Lake Orion Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors. The Lake Orion Village Council president recommends appointments to the DDA board, which are then approved by a majority vote of the village council.

One Response to "Residents voted to have their tax money spent toward millages, not the DDA"

  1. Cory Johnston   May 17, 2023 at 8:12 pm

    Commenting on the Editor’s Note;
    The Council President is selected by the Council, not the public so the nomination and selection of the DDA Board members and other positions is very much distanced from the public vote. Based on recent observations, nominations are often done as part of the council consent agenda and may not have any public discussion or review of the nominee’s qualifications and suitability.
    This is not a commentary on the those selected, the public can decide that for themselves, only on the process that in the case of the DDA, allocates over $900,000 of taxpayer funds to the DDA to do with as they wish. Yes, they do give a small amount back to the Village for administration, police, and DPW services, but with a substantial amount of overhead and based on the numbers I have seen, they give back far less than what those services are costing the Village.
    And yes, as Mr. Stephen has pointed out, some of those funds were specifically voted for by the public to go to specific services, never to the DDA, the public was not informed of this until after the vote, and then only if someone asks. Hardly what anyone would call a fair, equitable, and democratic process since the public vote is ignored and overridden by as little as four members of the Village Council.


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