Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Yes votes for SMART, Detroit Library, and Wayne RESA millages

I mentioned the SMART millage renewal in Report on the 2014 Clawson 4th of July parade.
I saw a truck promoting the SMART (suburban bus system) millage renewal, which will be on the ballot in August.  I would gladly volunteer for that cause.  However, when I asked if they had any candy, the answer was no.  I told them that they didn't need me, but they would have my yes vote for the renewal.
I'm not the only one who has that opinion.  The Detroit Free Press wrote an Endorsement: Voting for SMART millage is the smart move.
On Aug. 5, voters in Wayne, Oakland and Macomb counties will be asked to approve a tax increase to support the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation (SMART) bus system.

SMART is an integral piece of the regional transit system, and it’s been hard-hit by the decline in property values — and resulting loss of tax revenue, which accounts for about 35% of its budget. Its 590-vehicle fleet is outdated, and needs replacing. Because the system can’t operate with a deficit, if voters don’t approve the millage, operations will cease, SMART general manager John Hertel says.

We urge tri-county residents to vote YES on this millage.
I'm glad one of the major Detroit dailies agrees with me.

Follow over the jump for the Free Press's endorsements of two other millages.

In the same editorial as the SMART millage renewal, the Free Press also recommended a yes vote on the Detroit Libraries Millage.
Another question on the Aug. 5 ballot, Proposal L, will ask Detroiters to renew the Detroit Public Library’s operating millage.

It’s impossible to understate the importance of Detroit’s library. And there’s no question that the library couldn’t operate without this source of revenue. If voters don’t approve the millage renewal, the library would close. We recommend a YES vote on Proposal L.
Of course I'm in favor of supporting libraries.  I've been saying so since the very first entry here.

That's not all.  The Free Press also published another Endorsement: For the sake of Wayne County's schools, vote yes for millage.
Some Wayne County schools are struggling. Plagued with years of declining revenue and enrollment, they’re hard-pressed to make ends meet. Other schools are treading water, but lack the funds to invest in things like technology or building upgrades, or to hire sufficient teachers to reduce class sizes.

That’s why the Wayne County Regional Educational Service Agency is asking county voters to approve a regional enhancement millage in the Aug. 5 primary election.

Because of the way schools are funded in Michigan, districts can’t ask voters to approve local operational millages, though millages to fund bond sales or to support a district sinking fund are kosher. Only regional entities like the Wayne County RESA can make that kind of ask. It’s the first time that the agency has asked for an enhancement millage in more than 20 years.

We encourage Wayne County residents to vote YES to approve this millage.
I can't vote yes on either the Detroit Library millage renewal or the enhanced millage for Wayne RESA, but I agree with the Free Press on both.  Vote for sustainability and against austerity!

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