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A workout for your tax dollars

Out Loud

April 07, 2010 - They're kidding, right?

That's what Orion Township wants to use its 100 percent fund balance for? Employee gym memberships?

They're kidding, right?

Late last year the township laid off 20 percent of its workforce just a week or so before Supervisor Matt Gibb asked the board for a $42,000-plus-benefits "supervisor's assistant" (now called "operations manager"). The board's agreement, as with most of the supervisor's requests, was unanimous.

Township powers consolidated departments and outsourced assessing to Oakland County.

Recently, they catered at least two events—Gibb's look-at-me-state-of-the-township address, and his recent appearance before three other local boards, where, after making sure the township fed everyone well, he lamented the need to cooperate and consolidate services in order to survive the continuing economic storm.

How does that even make sense?

The township's gravel road program has been axed from the budget, and yes, residents are likely to notice.

Less hands mean less care for some township parks, and the parks and recreation department is working on self-sustaining ideas because the general fund just can't support the parks much longer.

Orion had 210 sheriff's deed foreclosures in 2009, township revenues came in $1.3 million below projected levels, and the board of trustees approved a roll-up of millage rates, meaning you pay more taxes.

Unemployment is still sky-high and Gibb has spoken on numerous occasions about how he's approached township contractors and demanded—yes, that's the word he uses—"demanded"—a 10 percent reduction in fees to coincide with the economic decline.

For what? So the township can hand out perks under the guise of saving money on health insurance?

Really? Maybe it's time to "demand" something else.

Lake Orion Review Editor
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