Wednesday, May 7, 2014 articles on wolf hunt ban and millage elections

It's time for me to follow up on Wolf hunts and millages with reports from  First, Michigan's Board of State Canvassers approves second wolf hunting ban proposal.
While voters were going to the polls to decide millage and bond questions Tuesday, Michigan's Board of State Canvassers decided two issues that will affect what will be on the November ballot.

The board certified a second ballot initiative to stop the wolf hunt in the Michigan's Upper Peninsula.  This will join an existing measure that will appear before voters in November.

The commissioners also approved the language for a petition to get a new party, the Independent Non-Affiliation Party of Michigan, on the ballot this November.
So I was right about the wolf hunting initiative and wrong about the petition to put a new party on the ballot.  The latter still may not happen, as it needs 32,261 signatures from registered voters at least 100 signatures each from seven of Michigan's 14 congressional districts to get the party on the ballot this November.  Also, there is the possibility of a pro-hunting measure getting on the ballot or, worse yet, having the legislature approve it, making both anti-hunting initiatives pointless.  That written, that this second proposal will be on the ballot is a small victory for sustainability.

Next, Voters approve Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority millage overwhelmingly.
Voters in Ann Arbor and both the city and township of Ypsilanti overwhelmingly approved a millage increase for the Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority (AAATA) Tuesday.

With all precincts reporting in a light turnout of 12.74%, the proposal to increase property taxes 0.7 mill to improve bus service earned 13,949 yes votes (70.69%) to 5,783 no votes (29.31%).

Other millage proposals being voted on in Washtenaw County did not fare as well, as two school millage proposals went down to defeat while one millage was renewed.
The overwhelming approval of the AAATA millage is another blow in favor of sustainability and against austerity.*  On the other hand, the school millages being voted down I find somewhat disappointing.  Stockbridge's would have funded improvements to the buildings and purchased equipment and buses.  Those are probably necessary and the school will have to do without.  On the other hand, Pinckney's would have funded playgrounds and public recreation.  I can see why that would have been turned down.

Follow over the jump for more news on the struggle between sustainability vs. austerity from last night's elections.

Another disappointment was the vote against the Birmingham library millage.  From the Detroit Free Press:
Birmingham voters gave a resounding defeat to a proposal that would have expanded the city’s library.

There were 1,167 yes votes and 3,775 no votes, giving a 76.4% margin to opponents of the $21.5-million bond to enlarge and improve the Baldwin Public Library.

The proposal was controversial because it required demolishing 69% of the library’s floor space, including a 1981 addition, then building new space while restoring the original 1927 slate-roofed structure.
The same Free Press article tells the story of a sustainability-related issue that I hadn't been aware of until yesterday.
The New Haven village president and three trustees were recalled by a majority of voters tonight. Village President Jammie Kincaid and Trustees Jennifer Podgurski, Jaremy Davis and Daniel Stier were recalled.

Kincaid was replaced by Selena Passeno; Podgurski was unseated by Kevin Chandler; Davis will be replaced by Ann Pridemore; and Daniel VanDeKerkhove will replace Stier. They will serve a partial term, ending Nov. 20.

The special election stemmed from a controversial 2013 vote to execute an agreement with Rizzo Environmental Services for a proposed landfill in the New Haven-Lenox Township area. Most residents were against the proposal that was eventually nixed.
A landfill is definitely a sustainability issue and that it was cancelled is a small victory for sustainability.  That the people responsible were recalled is also a victory for accountability and democracy.

*Even more heartening was the response in the comments to the Ann Arbor News article on the election result.  The anti-sustainability mission posters are trolling there and getting slapped down by the majority of readers.  I actually recommend reading the exchanges to see what the opponents are resorting to in order to discredit the result and how well their points are being refuted, including by Ryan Stanton, the reporter who wrote the article.

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