Archive for January, 2009

Jan 20 2009

A New Era Dawns

Published by under Politics

For the first time in a long while I feel proud to be an American again!  There are many daunting challenges that face our new president but I really believe that with his wisdom and energy, Americans are more than up to the challenge.  Our country has been so divided on so many issues and now we have a leader that can seemingly pull us together and help us find ways to live peacefully with our differences.  It is not going to be easy.  We dug a huge financial hole that we must climb out of now as we lost our way and succumbed to the idea that we could all get rich quickly.  Our parents and grandparents knew better, but these are lessons than we seem destined to have learn the hard way.

Whether Barack Obama is a successful leader will depend in part on how each of us does our part to help.  He cannot do it by himself.  In his Inaugural Address in 1961 John F.  Kennedy implored us all “To ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.” President Kennedy then want on to say “My fellow cirtizens of the world, ask not what America can do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man.”  Unfortunately, this is even more true today than it was in 1961.

The world is indeed a much “smaller” place than it was in 1961!  We are clearly more dependent on each other than ever before.  The Buddhist concept of “Karma” and the interconnectedness of everything is becoming more and more apparent even to us rugged individualist Westerners.  Tomorrow morning when they are still cleaning up the confetti  in Washington DC, when we wake up and look in the mirror you will see the only person that can really make a lasting difference.  Please help Barack Obama as the leader of the greatest country in the world, show the rest of the world that from now on it is not about “I ” but “We”.  What a wonderful world it will be.  God Bless America!

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Jan 18 2009

Uni-Gov idea from Paul Dimond

Published by under Ideas Good,Politics

In today’s “Other Voice’s” column in the Ann Arbor News, Sunday, January 19, 2009 pg A10,  Paul Dimond is “spot on” when he proposes that the current economic downturn is an excellent opportunity for us to reinvent local government by eliminating unnecessary duplication of government activity at the County and City level.  Mr. Dimond proposes that we eliminate “all non-school local jurisdictions throughout Washtenaw County and  substitute a Uni-Gov with an elected full-time, strong Mayor chairing a part-time council elected from 10 geographic districts.

The name given to the idea of combined governmental units is “Regionalization”.  Up to this point the due to political turf wars, only lip-service has been given to isolated instances where the City and County could combine services such as police and fire.  To my knowledge the only functioning combined County and City unit is the Office Of Community Development.

Before we start wasting time exploring a City Income Tax, a financial band-aid in my opinion, why not first take a step “back and and up” and  look at the entire County from 30,000 feet (were I spent much of my career) and we will see that that arbitrary political boundaries we have grown accustomed to are not carved in stone.

As we retool our economy to a post-auto centric model, why not take the time and re-engineer our local governmental model into a 21st century model that the supports our businesses and citizens in a manner that is more productive and one that eliminates the us against them mentality of the myriad fiefdoms that have their roots in almost irrelevant past centuries.

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Jan 16 2009

A City Income Tax? You have to be kidding!

Published by under Ideas Bad

Does anybody really think this is a good idea.  Why don’t we start trying to find ways to cut expenses first? We may be forced to soon but first we need radical overhauls in the way we continue to spend money!

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Jan 15 2009

Conference Center Downtown

Published by under Development,Ideas Bad,Politics

I am amazed that the idea of a conference center downtown keeps surfacing.  Rumor has it that the City and some other other influential people originally had their eyes on the the land at Huron Hills as a spot for a 400 person conference center.  The City even went so far as to have the land appraised.  When the town banded together and stopped the sale of the Huron Hills property, the focus shifted to the land above the newly approved underground parking structure on 5th Street next to the AA Public Library.  It seems to me that there are much better places to put a conference center if there is really a need for one.  Out near Briarwood Mall might be the best place.  If we as a City decide to build one it should be a joint effort on the part of the City, The State, The County and The University.   We need to start broadening our perspective and stop committing taxpayer funds to “Build It and They Will Come” concepts that could eventually cost the taxpayer more money.

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