Post Number: 125
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 6:09 am: || |
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=/20080117/M ETRO02/801170369/1411/METRO02
http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20080117/NEW S05/801170470/1001/NEWS
So the seat of Michigan's wealthiest county is facing receivership...somehow I doubt they'll try to fix the problem through consolidation of nearby communities.
And so goes our older cities?
(Message edited by GreatLakes on January 17, 2008)
Post Number: 3202
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 7:15 am: || |
The reasons for this are two-fold:
First: This is what happens when Lansing won't set priorities. Since around 2001 Lansing has cut state shared revenue for cities in order to prop up it's skewed agenda up in Lansing.
Second: While I can't speak directly for Pontiac since I haven't seen their budget, I do know that many cities in S.E. Michigan have been living the Life of Riley dolling out pay increases to its employees year after year, while taxpayers incomes have remained stagnant or fallen. I'm not even going to include the foreclosure debacle or oncoming credit disaster. Many cities are also reticent regarding having their employees pay a portion of their health care costs much like everyone who doesn't work in government has done.
What's going to happen in Pontiac, will be happening to several other cities across Michigan in the next few years.
Post Number: 68
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 7:23 am: || |
This could be the best thing to happen to Pontiac.Over the last 20 years,mismanagement,corruption ,and thieves working in the city admins. have wrecked this town.Maybe if the state or an outside auditor steps in they can find where the money went.Charges should be brought.
Post Number: 349
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 9:00 am: || |
"Maybe if the state or an outside auditor steps in they can find where the money went."
This is exactly what is wrong with Pontiac. People there seem to believe that there's all this money there, it's just that the politicians are hiding it from them. If Pontiac falls into receivership, the voters have no one to blame but themselves. They had a chance to fix things on Tuesday by either increasing taxes or dumping the fire dept. minimum manning standards. They did neither.
Post Number: 69
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 9:48 am: || |
I don't believe for a second that there is all this money waiting to be found.Just want an accounting on where and how it was used in the past.
Post Number: 1522
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 9:57 am: || |
Pontiac is not alone in its troubles. As a result of the state's poor economy and a system that funds local government mostly through property taxes, many older cities with little room to grow are financially teetering. As falling property values start to drag down the tax base over the next few years, experts predict, there will be more Pontiacs on the horizon.
"Without exaggeration, there could easily be 10, 20, 30 communities or more that are facing similar straits," said Paul Tait, executive director of the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. "It's flat-out unsustainable."
This sort of thing could be just what Michigan needs to cut away some redundant bureaucracy. These types of severe and recurring budget crunches will force local officials to find ways to save money and regional cooperation is going to be one of the first places they look. You might not see cities merge but you will see more regional fire, police and recreation departments. Downriver is already taking steps toward forming a regional fire department as a way to save money. Farmington Hills is talking about merging with Farmington. All of these budget problems are not necessarily a bad thing.
Post Number: 6986
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 10:11 am: || |
Pontiac is doomed city! and L.B. Patterson is blaming black folks who are living there.
There is a slum in the middle os the 2nd richest county in the U.S.
Post Number: 351
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 10:41 am: || |
"I don't believe for a second that there is all this money waiting to be found.Just want an accounting on where and how it was used in the past."
You may not believe that although your earlier comments say otherwise but I can tell you that there are plenty of Pontiac voters who do and when the city goes into receivership, it's going to be a rude awakening to see what all gets cut by someone who has no ties to the community and couldn't care less about what has been done in the past.
Post Number: 4366
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 11:18 am: || |
Hmmm that LBP has a great track record. The city center of his county is in bigger trouble than Detroit.
Post Number: 1056
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 11:57 am: || |
LBP doesn't give a running bleep about Pontiac. He is only interested in exurban growth. He's not interested in Ferndale or Hazel Park or Berkley either.
Post Number: 277
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 12:08 pm: || |
Seems like we've been down this road before with Pontiac?
Post Number: 10015
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 12:11 pm: || |
With regards to Professorscott's post. People think that exurban growth is "progress" and therefore LBP is doing a great job in their eyes. It is our perception of life that has to change. These politicians are only giving what the people think it good progress.
HYPERBOLE ALERT: Don't worry because the fall of the western world has begun. With China and India growing at an unheard of pace we will be thrown i the dustbin of history quicker than most empires in the past.
We cannot sustain this lifestyle forever. Enjoy Big Box stores, sprawl, gas guzzlers and fast food because it isn't going to last forever.
Post Number: 1571
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 12:40 pm: || |
"There is a slum in the middle os the 2nd richest county in the U.S."
Sorry Danny, Oakland was #26 in 2005, and is likely lower now.
Post Number: 354
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 1:03 pm: || |
I wonder why Brooks has never gotten knocked on this point? It can't be said that he's done nothing for Pontiac because he did do a bailout by having the county by the Parking Garage/ampitheater complex. He also had a hand in the annexation battle that landed the new development on Telegraph in Pontiac. But other than those two items, I can't think of anything else he's done to assist.
Post Number: 402
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 1:37 pm: || |
Why doesn't Pontiac sell the Silverdome? They've had offers and are looking for the big $ in a down real estate market.
Aside from the drive-in screens... nothing has been there since it was a practice field for the Super Bowl.
Heck... I'd even buy a couple 1000 sq. ft. of astroturf to cover my lawn so I wouldn't have to cut it anymore!
Post Number: 1364
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 1:46 pm: || |
I know a few people involved in the latest bidding process for the Silverdome and many of them have backed out. They kept changing the rules and RFP criteria as the bids were coming in. They were getting greedy when the proposed plans looked better. So after a few rounds of revisions (which makes no sense to me) many of them simply backed out .
I would not be surprised if the city was stuck with the dome after being greedy. Serves them right- greedy bastids lol
Post Number: 183
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 3:26 pm: || |
Pontiac is a city with a growing population and a government that is failing that population. The vote on the Tuesday was, more than anything, indicative of a voter backlash against Mayor Phillips; this is a trend in the city, and the reason why no Mayor in Pontiac has ever been re-elected to a second consecutive term in office. If you look at a state takeover as the political endgame in Pontiac, then Tuesday's vote went the wrong way. Most of Pontiac's financial troubles stem from extremely poor accounting habits during the Payne administration, when the city was in deficit spending and did not even know it. Another reason is the city's decision to go into the entertainment business, with the Silverdome, Strand Theater, and Phoenix Ampitheater--all costly anvils attached to the city's ankles. You must also consider the loss of manufacturing tax base with the closure of several GM plants, although there has been some major investment lately by GM, the USPS, and EDS. Add that all up, and you have a financial disaster on your hands. The deficit is much smaller now than it was a few years ago, but the cuts are now going so deep they threaten the city's existence as we know it. On the subject of Pontiac, I was at City Hall today picking up voter turnout/eligibility numbers for a column I am going to write proposing that the # of City Council districts in Pontiac is decreased. I noticed a Fox 2 Problem Solvers truck parked outside of the police station.
Post Number: 358
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 3:39 pm: || |
Whatever the reason for voters voting the way they did, they've effectively flushed their city government down the toilet.
Post Number: 770
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 4:19 pm: || |
Time for amalgmation
WELCOME TO THE NEW CITY OF GREATER PONTIAC-AUBURN-BLOOMFIELD.
Post Number: 184
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 4:25 pm: || |
17.96% of registered voters turned out to vote Tuesday in what was arguably the most important election in Pontiac history. Novine is correct; the blame falls both on the people who showed up Tuesday and made a bad decision, and the scores of people who did not show up and left the future of the city to a small minority of people.
Post Number: 3205
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 6:45 pm: || |
Ah yes, raising taxes with increasing unemployment and a lousy economy is just the shot in the arm that Pontiac needs!
If size were the panacea that the big brains claim that it is, then Detroit would be a regional powerhouse in providing services to its residents for what is paid in taxes.
Post Number: 185
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 6:54 pm: || |
Yes, look at how far Pontiac got by annexing a portion of Pontiac Twp. for the land to build the Silverdome on. That really paid off!
Post Number: 359
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 7:30 pm: || |
"If size were the panacea that the big brains claim that it is, then Detroit would be a regional powerhouse in providing services to its residents for what is paid in taxes."
Yup, cities that grow too big are an explanation of why places like Phoenix (5th largest population, 10th largest size in US) are such a bust. I won't claim that consolidating Pontiac with its neighbors will make for cheaper or better government. But Pontiac residents would be much better off as part of a community with a healthy tax base where residents didn't have to choose between the laying off their police dept. or laying off their fire dept.
Post Number: 361
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 7:35 pm: || |
"Yes, look at how far Pontiac got by annexing a portion of Pontiac Twp. for the land to build the Silverdome on. That really paid off!"
Almost the entire Silverdome site was in Pontiac. Only a small portion of parking area was annexed from Pontiac Twp. (now Auburn Hills).
Post Number: 570
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 8:33 pm: || |
BTW, that Silverdome land was owned by the family of Federal Judge Avern Cohn.
The best thing in the world would be for Pontiac to go into receivership with the State taking over its finances; but, I doubt that Jennifer Granholm will agree as Pontiac is a hotplate of Democratic voters.
Post Number: 186
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 8:47 pm: || |
Novine, the consolidation argument is a moot point because no one is interested. You can't look at it from the point of view of Pontiac wanting to join a healthier, neighboring community. You have to look at it from the point of view that Oakland County looks down its nose at Pontiac, and that Pontiac is the dumping ground for all things unpleasant in OC. The only thing I have heard vis-a-vis Pontiac and municipal consolidation is the possible joining of Lake Angelus and Pontiac. That obviously never got past the informal discussion stage, and I'm not sure if that arrangement would benefit either one of them at this point. The fact is, with the negative amount of funds Pontiac has, it clearly is overwhelmed by things such as road maintenance & plowing, animal control, ordinance enforcement, blight control & housing demolition, et cetera. After the last big snowstorm, virtually no streets in Pontiac got cleared; I drove there a few days afterwards, and was constantly having to change lanes because everyone was walking on major roads like Cesar Chavez, because the sidewalks were nearly a foot deep. I think they might have done Woodward and the non-freeway portion of M-59, and other than that it seemed completely untreated...they only have 15 people doing snow removal for the entire city. But the population is on an upward trend...the reason the city has a negative cash flow is because of a trifecta of bad circumstances I mentioned earlier: 1) Corrupt leadership, especially several years back, combined with poor accounting. 2) Liability for properties that cost money every year (The Golf Course, Silverdome, Strand Theater, Phoenix Ampitheater, Recreation & Senior Centers) 3) Unexpected loss of funds, for example some payments from North Oakland Medical Center and also loss of some GM tax base that hurt the city.
Pontiac's most pressing problem is its government and its public school system. Many other aspects of the city are pretty solid. The continuation of minimum manning is a major setback financially, but to suggest that the city should be dissolved as we know it and morphed with another community is unrealistic and does not seem like a serious suggestion. It is already palsied by deep cuts in police & other city departments like the DPW. The state may very well take over the city, and at that point there will be a definite loss of local control and I'm sure it will be a very tight, unpleasant time while the state tries to eliminate the deficit and get rid of the long term structural deficit. I just hope that, after several years of this bare bones mentality and loss of services and police, that Pontiac has not changed drastically for the worse when it finally comes out from under its fiscal burden. It would be great if Pontiac could join some wealthy and healthy community, but that does not seem like much of a possibility. On the other hand, maybe they could share services or something along those lines someday with a neighboring community once Pontiac is no longer a financial liability.
Post Number: 187
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 8:51 pm: || |
Gnome, I think people are becoming more open to receivership, or else the ones who actually went to the polls on Tuesday would not have voted to keep MM, which brings the city that much closer to receivership. Receivership means many things, though, incl. the possible elimination of minimum manning in court once the state comes in, and the dissolution of the Police Department, to be replaced with an outside agency. Pontiac will be in dire straits when those layoffs at the PD and City Hall are made this week or next week. I'm not sure the city will be able to function with such low staffing levels, and that will probably be a factor in the takeover decision.
Post Number: 620
|Posted on Thursday, January 17, 2008 - 11:01 pm: || |
Take over is not the end of the world, in the end the will come out better but there will be a long road to true recovery. If you want to know what it will be like look at Flint a few years ago and the type of things that happened there.
Post Number: 6
|Posted on Friday, January 18, 2008 - 12:22 am: || |
Maybe Pontiac should build some casinos?