Phil In The Blank
Phil in the Blank
A column by Phil Custodio
December 29, 2010 - This has been a crazy year.
The year 2010 was the year the status quo no longer held. Chickens came home to roost. People tasted their own medicine. Elvis left the building.
Early this year, school administration announced it had to make $13 million in cuts. This, after 2009 with all its spending, raises for all, fancy new technology programs, all kinds of stuff. This led to...
Al Roberts, the esteemed former superintendent. The veil was off, wheels off the wagon. A few weeks of media scrutiny and the good doctor called it quits, though taking as much taxpayer money with him as he could. I check up on him occasionally. Superintendent of a school district near Chicago, he's trying to sell a $75 million bond referendum, threatening $6 million in cuts if it fails.
More resilient was Independence Township Supervisor Dave Wagner, surviving a year-long recall effort against him. Not surviving, though...
Clarkston Police, falling victim to budget cuts. City officials offered to save it, provided residents agree to a tax increase. They declined. Also facing the axe, actually a paint roller with a really long extension...
Main Street mural, on the north side of the Clarkston News building. Whatever the reason – negative public opinion, missed deadlines, vandals – its time was up, and a project in its fourth year was erased in less than an hour.
There were many more cuts – parks and recreation, public comment at Independence Township meetings, school and government staff – but there was good news in 2010 too.
Clarkston Optimists took it upon themselves to rescue Friendly Forest, an earlier victim of township budget cuts. They made a profit, too.
Community service isn't just a sentencing option here – kids and adults do them all year long, helping out families at home and abroad, troops overseas, all without government help.
The Clarkston News stepped into the technology age, with online programs on ClarkstonTV.com, and our own page on Facebook. My show, Phil in the Blank, has been on ClarkstonTV.com for months now, from a half-hour inaugeral show where I go over every page of the newspaper, to the leaner 8-10 minutes now.
Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.