Tuesday, August 27, 2019

DDA Informational Meeting August 27th, 2019

On the agenda:
Review of Projects Completed and On-going
1. Beautification Sub Committee (Flowers) begins at 0:15
2. Dixie Hwy. Resurfacing Phase 1 begins at 2:18
3. Cass River Trailhead Park begins at 5:53
4. 4418 Williamson begins at 9:40
5. Update of DDA Board Bylaws begins at 11:15
Projects Proposed for 2020
1. Dixie Hwy. Resurfacing Project Phase 2 begins at 12:05
2. Proposed Parking Area next to Post Office begins at 12:16
3. Possible Business Grant Program begins at 15:48
Public Input begins at 16:52
© 2019 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



This was an informal and very informational meeting.  They will be holding another informational meeting later this year, possibly in November.  There were some business and residential people at the meeting that came and asked questions and provided input.  It would be nice to see all the seats full at the next meeting.  The items discussed involve our community and this is the communities chance to ask questions and provide input.  You can always contact anyone in the township anytime you have a question, concern, or suggestions; but this is also a very nice platform for doing it all at one time with more people and the information is shared with a larger audience.
One of the items discussed was the resurfacing of the Dixie Highway from I-75 to Airport.  I will say I think it is very nice and am glad it is done now.  It is really nice to drive on and looks fantastic!  They also discussed the future plans for the resurfacing to be done next year which will be from Airport to Junction, and maybe sometime in the future it would extend farther on Dixie to the Bridgeport Township boundary line it sounds like.  That would be fantastic!!  Especially if it was also done all the way into Birch Run.  It would be lovely to drive that section of Dixie without it pounding on your back & wearing out your vehicle.
Another item that would probably interest residents is the discussion of putting in a parking lot next to the post office.  I know it is a nightmare there for residents trying to get to the post office or other businesses there.  I don’t really have an opinion because I can see, and argue, both sides of the debate on this issue.  If it happens then there will be some happy residents.
Some of the other items discussed were the possible grant program to help local businesses, updates on the property and some possible future plans for the land next to the park area by the historical bridge, updates on the old hotel behind Night Flight Fireworks, Candlelite, and the gas station by Damores toward BV, the portable speed limit signs around Bridgeport.  Please take the time and listen to the meeting, and hopefully more residents will show up at the next meeting.

Bridgeport Township DDA Meeting August 14th, 2019

On the agenda:
Presentation by Marissa Irish - Saginaw County Road Commission per the Dixie Hwy Project Update begins at 2:00
New Business -
1. Miller Group Listing of Properties begins at 9:26
2. Business /Facade Grant Program begins at 12:54
3. Saginaw Future Contribution for 2020 / Budget Discussion begins at 15:42
4. Business Survey begins at 22:47
Old Business -
1. DDA Informational Meeting Tuesday, August 27th @6:30pm begins at 26:08
2. Demolition 4418 Williamson Update begins at 27:00
3. Proposed Parking Lot State Street (next to Post Office) begins at 28:01
DDA Coordinator's Report begins at 40:12
DDA Board Comments begins at 41:15
© 2019 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved


Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Bridgeport Spaulding School Board Meeting August 12th, 2019

On the agenda:
1. Building& Grounds/Finance Committee Report begins at 0:44
2. Atkins and Thomas White roof replacement discussion begins at 2:57
3. Consent Agenda - check registers and meeting minutes begins at 4:09
4. Strategic Plan Timeline with MASB Representative Debbie Stair begins at 4:44
5. Facilities Update - Superintendent Whelton begins at 49:58
6. Board and Superintendent Comments begin at 55:58
© 2019 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



This meeting was over one hour long because there was a workshop with the MASB representative.  Every minute of this meeting is worth listening to and I hope the community and family members of students will take the time to listen.  The building & grounds, roof replacement, and facilities updates are very informative and shows where the taxpayers money is going and the major progress our school system is making.  The workshop with the MASB rep was very interesting and this is one part that I really hope everyone will take the time to listen to.
Some of the things that were brought up were the lack of community and parental involvement and support, the misperceptions about our schools and students.  I have seen multiple outright lies told and shared online about our students and schools and it makes me angry. 

I am going to share my opinion on something here, fence-sitters, and it may offend some people, but that's life, and you can't please everyone all the time.  Back in the day, many years ago, when I attended Bridgeport schools our community and parental involvement and support for our schools was fantastic.  Our student involvement and pride in our schools was outstanding.  Nowadays there are too many people in this community that say they support our schools, support our community, yet they send their children to schools outside our district. I do understand a parents desire to do what they feel is best for their children, but what about the rest of the children?  When students that live in our district attend school in another district, it hurts our school system and our students.  I believe it also adds to the misperceptions about our district when others see that happening.  Especially when it is done by so called leaders in our community.  If you truly feel that our schools are not good enough for your children, then why don't you get involved and help make our schools the best around our area?  If you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem!
And then there are those that just praise our students and programs like the athletic programs, at least sometimes they do.  If there is a little incident that wrongly gets blown up into a major controversy, then they suddenly pull their support from things like the athletic programs. You never truly supported them did you?  You see all the "rah rah" cheering for our sports teams, as long as they are winning anyways.  If they are not winning, then are you trash talking them?  You people really get on my nerves!

There is No Fence Sitting when it comes to supporting our students, schools, and community.  Either you support them or you don't.  Bridgeport residents need to be part of the solution, not part of the problem.



Friday, August 9, 2019

Bridgeport Spaulding School Board Finance Committee Meeting August 9th, 2019

This was a meeting of the Building & Grounds and the Finance Committee. The school board members met with representatives of the Wolgast Corporation to discuss current and future projects for the school system, like roof repairs and remodeling projects inside the schools like kitchen and lunchroom facilities.
© 2019 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



I have to apologize because it was a last minute decision to attend this meeting and I went unprepared.  Had 2 cameras, one with no memory card, the other with a low battery and no external microphone.  I got all but the last 10 minutes maybe of the meeting recorded. There will probably be a summary of today's meeting presented at the regular school board meeting on Monday, August 12th.


Friday Musings


And You Will Often Stand Alone 

 

The Truth Behind Lies

 

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Bridgeport Township Board Meeting August 6th, 2019

On the agenda:
Adoption of Agenda begins at 1:32
Approval of Minutes - July 2nd, 2019 Regular Meeting begins at 4:58
Special Orders -
1. Public Hearing - Truth In Taxation begins at 5:42
2. Rezoning Request RZ19-02 Parcels 09-11-5-25-1002-003 & 09-11-5-25-1002-001 begins at 11:21
Public Comments begin at 14:03
New Business -
1. Mid Michigan Waste Authority - Katharine Tessin begins at 21:50
2. Resolution R19-09 Truth In Taxation begins at 40:13
3. Special Land Use SPU19-01 - 3795 Broadway begins at 41:20
4. Addendum to Police Contract begins at 45:07
5. Truck Bids begins at 47:22
6. Manager's Report begins at 48:27
Accounts Payable Checks begins at 1:10:05
Board Member Comments begin at 1:10:55
© 2019 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



Overall it was a good meeting, at least until one of the board members had a discussion with me afterwards about my attitude.

They were going to present a resolution on the water rates and fees but will hold some discussion before they bring that back to a board meeting.  I saw an article online about how & why Saginaw City will be increasing the water rates by 2% each year until 2022.  You can read that article here - Saginaw plans water rate increases to pay for state-mandated lead pipe work
The presentation given during the public hearing on the Truth in Taxation was very well done and informative.   No residents spoke for or against it so it was passed.
There was a presentation by Katharine Tessin from the Mid Michigan Waste Authority about the contracts for and the future of recycling. Another good presentation and informative.
The township manager Rose Licht has always given updates of information, events, etc... during the board member comments at the end of the meeting.  They will now be listing that as a separate item on the agenda for the meetings.  And as I have always said in the past, it is worth listening to her because of the information she shares.  She covered everything from the Hoffmann Community Park canoe launch, construction projects, the future of the governmental center, to local community events.
Two good Facebook pages to keep updated on local community events are the
https://www.facebook.com/BridgeportHistoricalSociety/
https://www.facebook.com/BirchRunBridgeportCOC/

I will also be posting the check registers each month. The register will be in a separate post by itself.  You can find the July check register that they voted on in this meeting here - http://bridgeportmusings.blogspot.com/2019/08/july-2019-bridgeport-township-check.html

And A Third Discussion With Another Township Official

After the township board meeting Tuesday night, another board member approached me to talk about my opposition to them bringing back Lee Carpenter, the man recalled from the board by the voters.  This conversation didn't go any better than the other two.



When I left the meeting last night I was angry about this conversation, but today I am just sad.  The board member asked me about my comment I made online that I would not vote for any of the board members that voted to bring Lee Carpenter back into our government.  I confirmed I did state that. This member said they were sad that I would say that after all the work they have done to represent the residents of this township.  This board member claimed they are not like the rest of the board members, they are an outsider.  Sadly I feel that they are not an outsider any longer, they are now part of the clique that does not represent or serve the interests of the residents.

I stated there was no excuse for bringing Lee Carpenter back, that the township never made any attempt to find another person for the position.  This board member then tried to tell me that Lee was only brought back for a temporary "fill in".  I asked a fill in for what?  Until the 2020 election they claimed.  I told this board member that I was very snarkily informed by another township government member previously that Lee would be running again in 2020 to keep his position as township clerk. This board member last evening then snarkily said to me that I should then find someone to run against Lee Carpenter if I oppose him being there.  **NEWS FLASH**  It is not my responsibility to find someone to run and defeat Lee Carpenter to keep him out of a position he has no right to be in.  IT WAS THIS BOARD MEMBERS RESPONSIBILITY TO VOTE "NO" AND NOT ALLOW A MAN THAT HAD BEEN RECALLED BY THE VOTERS TO BE PLACED BACK INTO THAT POSITION WITHOUT THE VOTERS APPROVAL!!

This board member could have voted "No" on bringing Lee Carpenter back into our government.  That "No" vote would not have changed anything, they had the quorum to bring their buddy back.  That "No" vote though would have proven that this board member was truly there to represent and serve the Bridgeport residents.  If enough board members would have voted "No" to bringing Lee Carpenter back, none of this would be happening now.  If this or any of the board members don't have the backbone to stand up to the clique, then they are not the board members the residents need.   This board member implied that they only voted "Yes" for Lee because it was just temporary and it was the best option they had.  These township government officials never even looked at any other options.  They never even tried to find another person.   This board members excuse that they only voted for Lee Carpenter because it was a temporary fill in position does not pass the smell test either.  This board member voted "Yes" first in December of 2018 to appoint Lee Carpenter to the Zoning Board Of Appeals.  I have no idea what this board members excuse is for that "Yes" vote.  Once Lee Carpenter was recalled by the voters, he does not belong in any position in our township government. Period!

This board member also told me that they had talked to at least one other resident about one month before Lee was appointed on April 2nd as the township clerk, and that this resident agreed it was probably the best option.  This comment made me suspect that I was right in my assumption that they had planned on bringing Lee Carpenter back from the very beginning; either from the time that Darlene Miller officially turned in her resignation on March 5th or, possibly, before hand.  

The conversation with this board member started out I feel with first a guilt trip about why I am so uncooperative, when they have worked so hard for the residents; then it just went to BS, and I definitely felt it was hostility coming from them towards the end.  I was still on the fence about this board member until last night.  Now I feel they have definitely gone to the dark side and they have definitely lost any support from me.  


July 2019 Bridgeport Township Check Register

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Friday, August 2, 2019

UPDATE: Notice of Public Hearing on Increasing Property Taxes

This was just posted less than an hour ago on their website and sent out by email.  This is what should have been done first, before that half-a$$ed notice was posted in the Birch Run Bridgeport Herald. At least this notice does properly explain what it is about and how it works. 
This part did catch my attention -- 
" You’ll see that the public notice also mentions revenues for the Township will increase 1.10% even if the “proposed additional millage” is not adopted. These increased revenues are due to the fact that the economy is rebounding, and housing values are up. According to current calculations, we can expect to collect an additional 1.10% in property tax revenues because property values are expected to rise."
Maybe then Bridgeport could let the automatic rollback happen and save the taxpayers some money.  Just a thought!!

 

Notice of Public Hearing on Increasing Property Taxes

The Township Board of the Charter Township of Bridgeport will hold a public hearing on a proposed increase of 0.0625 mills in the operating tax millage rate to be levied in 2019.
The hearing will be held on Tuesday August 6, 2019, at 6:00pm at 6740 Dixie Highway, Bridgeport Michigan 48722.
A resolution confirming the proposed millage rate will go before the Township Board of the Charter Township of Bridgeport immediately following this public hearing.
If adopted, the proposed additional millage will increase operating revenues from ad valorem property taxes 1.34% over such revenues generated by levies permitted without holding a hearing. If the proposed additional millage rate is not approved the operating revenue will increase by 1.10% over the preceding year's operating revenue.
The taxing unit publishing this notice, and identified below, has complete authority to establish the number of mills to be levied from within its authorized millage rate. This notice is published by: Charter Township of Bridgeport 6740 Dixie Highway Bridgeport, Michigan 48722 

TRUTH IN TAXATION

What IS Truth in Taxation?
Truth in Taxation (Act No. 5, PA of 1982). Any increase in the total value of existing taxable property in a local taxing unit must be offset by a corresponding decrease in the tax rate actually levied so that the yield does not increase from one year to the next. The rollback may be reversed by a special vote of the legislative body of the local unit provided that the action is preceded by a public advertisement and hearing.
Truth in Taxation (Public Act 5, 1982). This law requires that all taxing jurisdictions (including schools) that levied more than one mill in the prior year annually roll back tax rates for operating purposes to offset increases in values of existing property within the taxing unit. In effect, the levy on existing property (excluding new construction and improvements) cannot exceed the total dollar levy of the prior year. The local governing body may increase the levy beyond the prior year amount by publishing a public notice and approving the increase after a public hearing. The law is intended to inform the taxpayer that annual property tax increases are not solely a result of increases in property values but also a result of the tax rate annually imposed by the local governing body. The first step in calculating a truth in taxation rollback is to divide the prior year SEV (minus losses) by the current year SEV (less new construction and improvements). The quotient, called the base tax rate fraction, is multiplied by the prior year operating tax rate to determine the base tax rate.
In order for a local governing body to impose a tax rate greater than the base tax rate, a public notice must be issued, and a public hearing must be held. The public notice must specify the additional millage rate over and above the base tax rate to be levied. The base tax rate, combined with the additional millage rate, cannot exceed the local unit's maximum authorized millage rate (For Bridgeport Township - this number is 4.7332). After a public hearing, which may coincide with the hearing on the local unit's budget, the local governing body must adopt a separate resolution or ordinance to levy the additional millage rate.
What does that mean?
Michigan Compiled Laws 211.24e gives the Township Board the option to continue to collect our current millage rate of 4.7332 for operating purposes via a public hearing. Without this hearing, the Townships millage rate would decrease to 4.6707 (*a millage rate is the tax rate per thousand dollars of taxable value). By conducting this hearing, the Township is able to avoid the Truth in Taxation Rollback of the millage to 4.6707 and continue to collect the 4.7332 millage rate to support general operations of the Township.
The law requires we publish a very specific notice that includes words such as “proposed additional millage.” However, the proposed millage in the budget is the same as last year, and the previous 10 years. This millage rate of 4.7332 is collected for the purpose of Township Operations. You’ll see that the public notice also mentions revenues for the Township will increase 1.10% even if the “proposed additional millage” is not adopted. These increased revenues are due to the fact that the economy is rebounding, and housing values are up. According to current calculations, we can expect to collect an additional 1.10% in property tax revenues because property values are expected to rise.
The taxing unit (Bridgeport Charter Township) has the complete authority to establish the number of mills to be levied from within its authorized millage rate.
Again, there is NO proposal to raise the property tax rate at this time beyond what we have collected for the past several years. Attached is a copy of the resolution that will be presented to the Township Board.
What does this mean in dollars???
For the Township, the calculations look like this:
With the Truth in Taxation Hearing:
Taxable Value $223,406,507 x 4.7332 = $1,057,427.68
Without the Truth in Taxation Hearing:
Taxable Value $223,406,507 x 4.6707 =$1,043,464.77
Additional Revenues Collected from Truth in Taxation Hearing: $13,962.9
For the Taxpayer, the calculations look like this:
With the Truth in Taxation Hearing:
Avg Taxable Value of $50,000 x 4.7332 = $236.66
Without the Truth in Taxation Hearing:
Avg Taxable Value of $50,000 x 4.6707 = $233.54
Additional Amount of Taxes paid with Truth in Taxation Hearing: $3.12
What do these taxes do, where do they go?
These tax funds are spent on general operations of Bridgeport Charter Township. The township operating millage is only a portion of the total millage that a resident pay. A property with a taxable value of $50,000 will have an annual tax bill of $1,486.67 however, with this hearing, $236.66 of the total $1,486.97 goes to the Township for General Operations (without the hearing $233.54 goes to the Township).
This hearing does not change any other millage that is collected on property taxes (ie: Delta College, Saginaw County Intermediate Schools, Sheriff Dept, Mosquito Control, etc).


****This is the original post that appeared in the July 31st issue of the Birch Run Bridgeport Herald.  Does anyone know whether these types of notices are supposed to be signed by the township clerk?

 

June 2019 Bridgeport Township Check Register

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