Excuse me, are you listening? 10-8
Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dear Readers,

My daily morning grind begins with checking my Facebook page.  It is like waking up, driving to the deli, being served tea and indulging in conversations about the news and politics of the week.  The best part about Facebook is that you can have multiple conversations at one time.  For multitaskers like myself, this is amazing. 

Recently, an election was held and I know that may be boring to some or you may not understand all of the dynamics involved, well I say start now.  Start reading and knowing about how not voting and being politically aware affects you. So even it you are not from Lansing, education is key.

This is my favorite post in the last two weeks:

By Melissa Missi Quon Huber on Wednesday, May 4, 2011 at 4:15am

Was the city council resolution too late to save the millage?

In a special election on May 3, 2012, Lansing voters rejected a 4 mill property tax increased tauted so save the jobs of many fire fighters and police officers and to go toward road projects.

The unofficial results from the city indicate that 52% of the total 13,359 voters went against the millage.

People voted against the millage. Is that the end of the story? It could be. But there could be more.

At the 11th hour, in response to citizen concerns city council passed a resolution to offer greater assurances the the millage funds would be spent on police, fire, and roads, as advertised by the city.

(The vague ballot language allowed for expenditures to be used on "essential services" rather than dedicated on specific areas. Some felt that open ended language gave too much latitude in how millage funds could be spent as has been alleged with past millage funds.)

But let's remember -- absentee voters cast their ballots weeks ago before that 11th hour assurance was made.

The folks voting at the ballot box on May 3 voted differently than the absentee voters.  Regular voters from precincts 1, 2, and 3 passed the millage handily (Please see charts below).

Could an earlier discussion of public concerns mattered?  If council had offered this resolution weeks ago, could it have passed?  If the city administration would have offered more specific ballot language could it have helped assuage citizen fears?

Or were those absentee voters just so demographically different from the regular voters.  After all, a lot of folks are watching pennies, not just dollars these days.

Hopefully the "real life" pollsters can weigh in these questions of interest to some of the geeks among us.

But to me this result is another example of what I see in Lansing is too little attention being paid to resident voices.  It was another example in which the city was asking residents to have faith in its word when past history has left room for doubt.  It seems that the pool of good between residents and its leaders could use some refilling.

The spirit of the law is not going to cut it in this climate which lacks good will. So to move forward we need to have the letter of the law spelled out in these budget decisions.

What's your take?

Rina N Risper
A primary part of the problem is that some residents do not trust the local government to do what they say they are going to do because of past transgressions. I do believe that an earlier discussion and assurance that the funds would go t...o police and fire would have definitely made a difference. I offered to print an article on why yes but I got no response... so how do you regain the trust of the council. I am still getting phone calls about one not returning phone calls but that same person still shows up to all the "warm fuzzy" events and acts like there is nothing wrong with not responding to residents serious concerns. This should be a wake up call for those who are self serving. Times are changing...

Melissa Missi Quon Huber
I'm not sure the community at large is aware of the variation of efforts, responsiveness, and preparation put forth by our different leaders. If community leaders, activists, and those otherwise politically engaged were to rate attributes of leaders, what categories would you want to include in the list of attributes for a good leader?

Rina N Risper
The community was not aware of the variation of efforts. Midday yesterday I posted about voting and got at least 5 extra people to vote that I know of. Too much time is being spent with the haves and the have nots are realizing the power of their vote. Very interesting. There is going to be a forum on redistricting that I have posted to my website.

Melissa Missi Quon Huber
Lots of good discussions to be held!! Thanks for your part in that.

Melissa Missi Quon Huber 
Rina N Risper -- have you seen this app? http://action.progressivecongress.org/redistricting           

Melissa Missi Quon Huber 
(p.s. I was also thinking about the general variation of efforts in effective legislating overall.

Rina N Risper
The supporters of the millage got a wake up call from the majority and that is all it takes.

Love People,

PS.  Oh, how I love Facebook.  Follow “Rina Risper”.  Message me that you read this

May 8, 2011 - May 21, 2011 Edition


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