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Phil In The Blank

Phil in the Blank A column by Phil Custodio

Getting involved hard, but needed

October 06, 2010 - My first news panel discussion is sealed and delivered, uploaded to the Internet.

Thanks to Cory Johnston and Michael Sabol for coming in last Thursday and providing thoughtful commentary on an important issue for Clarkston residents whether your city should stay a city or not.

Both saw problems with the current city budget system and had good points for their different solutions.

For Cory, the system is broken and needs to be changed, before it can even begin to be fixed. Michael still has faith residents can come together and make changes on their own.

Getting people involved aye, there's the rub (the lead I wrote for the cityhood discussion story put Hamlet on my mind).

It's not easy to get involved with local government when you're busy with family and work.

This I know.

I live in Flint Township. I have no idea who my township supervisor is, what my millage rate is, or what local issues are hot or even lukewarm.

For that, I partially blame my local newspapers. There used to be a set of community papers around Flint, covering surrounding townships and cities. I wrote for one of them, back in the day.

They would cover local issues and details the daily couldn't. Things like how much the supervisor spent on her new office suite.

Those papers are a shell of their former selves. I find that I miss that.

So I take to heart Mike's call for more budget and police details in The Clarkston News. That's what we're for.

We got a decent number of MPA awards this year, but there'll be no resting on our laurels.

Time to get to work.


This Clarkston411 discussion is the first of many, hopefully one every few weeks.

I have ideas of what to cover next, but if you'd like to suggest some, or volunteer to take part, call me at 248-625-3370 or email

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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