If tomorrow is like previous election years we will have a hard time getting 30% of the registered voters to get out and vote. If I had my way it would cost each voter $50 if they missed an election. There is no excuse for not voting.
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.