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In and outs of the political campaigns, focusing on Michigan and Lansing, Tim Skubick will report regularly throughout the primary and then general election campaigns.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

If You Seek, Etc.

With apologies to the authors of the state motto: If you seek a
bunch of governments, look around you.
As the brand new legislature rolls into town this week, one of the
items on the agenda is the proliferation of governmental units in this
Senate GOP leader Randy Richardville rattled off the list recently
and it included the obvious ones such as state, city and county
governments but goes well beyond that. There are thousands of
townships, villages, over 500 school districts, a bunch of Intermediate
School Districts, county road commissions, and who knows what else.
Which means lawmakers will continue to beat the "consolidation"
drum even though previous legislatures and governors have done that,
with some success but apparently not enough.
"We have 40 police chiefs in Wayne County," Richardville reports
and then appropriately asks, do we need that many?
Well if your local berg has some cops, the last thing you want is
give them up and let the department next store patrol your streets.
Put another way if lawmakers wade deeper into this abundance of
governmental units, there will be local push back not only from
citizens but from the employees who work in those agencies.
Several years ago there was a half-hearted effort to reduce and or
eliminate Michigan townships and the township association went bonkers.
Years ago, then Gov. John Engler tried to slash state aid to the
cities and the Michigan Municipal League brought in the heavy
artillery, staged a massive rally on the capitol steps and the Engler
effort resulted in a rare override of his veto of those funds.
But Richardville opines now we are facing the prospect of forty or
more cities going into the red which should add more fuel to the fires
to downsize governments.
Once that battle is engaged, it will not be pleasant to look
around you.


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