Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Merry Christmas

Wishing everyone a Very Merry Christmas!  Hope your holiday is filled with love and peace.







Und eine ganz besondere Frohe Weihnachten nach Deutschland, der Heimat meiner Vorfahren.



Friday, December 4, 2015

Bridgeport Township Board Meeting December 1st, 2015

I was planning on writing a blog post for this meeting, had a few things to comment on, but I have a family emergency right now so I have not and will not have time to write anything.  Just wanted to get it shared here in case anyone was interested in it.....

On the agenda:
Public Comment begins at 3:35
New Business -
- FY2016 Water Department Budget begins at 11:15
- FY2016 Waste Water Department Budget begins at 12:10
- Resolution R15-25 2016 Water Rates & Fees begins at 13:00
- Resolution R15-26 Annual Exemption Option Public Act 15 begins at 14:50
- Resolution R15-27 2016 Waste Water Rates & Fees begins at 16:29
- 2016 Boards & Commissions Appointments begins at 18:35
- 2016 Boards & Commissions Meeting Schedule begins at 20:06
- Township Policies & Procedures Updates begins at 21:25
- Administrative Staff Wage Scale Updates begins at 23:36
- Police Department Union Contract begins at 25:03
- Bridgeport Township Employees Association Contract begins at 27:20
Board Member Comments begin at 33:42
© 2015 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

December Meetings in Bridgeport Township

There was a Township Board of Trustees meeting December 1st which I will be posting the video of.  There will be another Township Board meeting held on December 15th.  The meetings are held at 6 pm at the Governmental Center offices.

The Downtown Development Authority meeting should be on December 9th at Noon at the Governmental Center offices.

The BOE schedule shows that there will be two Bridgeport School Board Meetings this month, December 14th and December 28th.  The meetings are held at 6pm at the Bridgeport High School
** There will also be a special School Board Meeting held on December 7th at 6pm at the high school.  The meeting is being held to hold a "closed session". **

Friday, November 13, 2015

November 15th


Looking forward to Sunday morning, opening day of Firearms Deer Season!!  Hopefully the inbred morons that damaged my blind, and probably left the dead raccoon in my blind, won't be bothering me on opening day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Meeting November 9th, 2015

On the agenda:
- Citizen Participation begins at 00:42
- Agenda Adjustments/Ad Hoc Committee Discussion begins at 14:33
- Technology Committee Report begins at 18:11
- Professional Learning Center And Professional Development Update begins at 25:33
- Personnel Report begins at 40:41
- Consent Agenda: Payment Of Bills, Budget Report, Minutes begins at 44:26
-Policy Committee Report begins at 45:15
- Finance Committee Report - Further Discussion of Finance Committee Recommendations And The Ad Hoc Committee begins at 45:51
- Board And Superintendent Comments begin at 1:12:00
© 2015 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved.


I missed the last school board meeting on October 26th and it sounds like it was a "unpleasant" meeting.  When I read about the meeting in the October 28th issue of the Birch Run/Bridgeport Herald I was so upset that I was going to write a blog post about it.  I was so angry though that I decided it would be best to wait before writing anything.  I had attended the Finance Committee on October 21st where they discussed the problems facing the school district.  They have the current deficit problems, the added financial loss of over $600,000.00 due to student enrollment losses, the changes that will be coming when the Michigan State Treasury Dept takes over the monitoring of the schools in deficit. It was a depressing meeting because of the problems they discussed, but at the same time I heard a lot of good discussion and saw that they wanted to work to find a way to deal with these issues and to do so in a timely manner.  They knew they had to at least show the state that they were working on a plan to handle the deficit.
If they can't show the state that they are, then what will the consequences be?  More state control?  An Emergency Manager placed in control of the district?  If this district can't show that they are capable of handling this situation and the state starts making the decisions, those decisions will most likely not be pleasant.
So after almost two hours, the Finance Committee came up with some recommendations to look at.  One was to start taking bids on the possible outsourcing of jobs in several areas.  They needed to put this out for bid now so they had the time to review all the facts and figures.  If it wasn't going to provide a significant savings, then they would not go with outsourcing.  Two other options they wanted to start looking at was possibly closing Thomas White and negotiating with the union over the five percent wage concession.  The recommendation from the committee was not to just do this, but to look at these options now, get all the facts and figures, and have the time to make a decision.
I was shocked when I read that the full board voted this down at the October 26th meeting.  I thought "these people can't even make a simple decision", there's no hope!
If anyone would like to hear the discussion at the Finance Committee Meeting, you can view it on youtube or here on the blog.  There was no microphones set up for the meeting so the audio is very hard to hear.  You can use headphones and turn the volume all the way up.  If there are any doubts about what was discussed at the meeting, take the time and make a little effort to listen to it.

There is also another issue in Lansing that may impact the problems Bridgeport is facing.  That is how the state will deal with the $700 Million Deficit that the failed Detroit Public School System is facing.  The plan proposed by Gov. Snyder involves taking $50 per student away from every other school district in the state for the next 10 years.  So to try and save a school district that is probably beyond saving, he wants to make every other district in the state suffer.  That would probably mean a loss of around $70,000 to $80,000 per year for Bridgeport.  Here is the original news article about his plan - http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2015/10/how_snyders_plan_to_fix_detroi.html
Thankfully it looks like there is not a lot of support in Lansing for this plan, and there is going to be fighting over this plan.  But I don't have much faith in Lansing.  Didn't the voters say No to Emergency Managers?  They're still doing it.  Didn't the voters say No to the Bridge to Canada?  He is building it anyways.  Didn't the voters say No to more taxes for the roads?  They did it anyways.  If Snyder wants this plan, he will probably get it, one way or another.

Now onto last nights school board meeting.

There were three speakers during the citizen participation segment.  Please take the time and watch them!  I was not surprised, but was disappointed, by some of the comments made by Sue Rutherford.  She talked about some of the options that the MEA has presented to the board and district in the past to help save money, a lot of money, but it sounds like those suggestions were just blown off by the board.  And so here we sit.  Hopefully this board and district will listen to them this time.
UPDATE:  I found some information since I originally wrote this blog post about part of the proposal presented by the union to the school district and I talk a little about it in the comment section below.

I will say that I am encouraged that it looks like most of these board members are serious about taking action and want to work with all the members of the district and will listen to their ideas.
The Finance Committee Recommendations were back on last nights agenda and this time the board voted to approve it.
There was a lot of good discussion by everyone at last nights meeting.  There was a presentation by Ms. Silvey that I hope everyone will listen to.  The closing board member and superintendent comments were Very Good and I hope you take the time to listen to them.
They have set a Special Board Meeting for Monday December 7th.  It will be a full board meeting/workshop where the board members, administration, and the various employees groups etc.  will present ideas and work together to do what is necessary for the benefit of the district and the future of the children.





Monday, October 26, 2015

Fall In Michigan


One of the reasons I love fall in Michigan.  On the path to my hunting spot this afternoon.  New from last night.  He also broke all the little overhead branches and started a scrape here.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Finance Committee Meeting October 21st, 2015

There were no microphones at this meeting so you will probably need to turn the volume up. There is a lot of great discussion at this meeting.
They start the meeting with a discussion of the Administrator contracts that were discussed at the last regular board meeting.
At 17:15 in the video they discuss the bill proposed by State Senator Ken Horn and the possibility of having to hold a millage election in May 2016.
At 21:25 they discuss the enrollment update figures and the changes that will happen when the Michigan State Treasury takes over monitoring the schools in deficit status.
At 29:45 they discuss proposed changes/concessions and the loss of students.
At 39:56 they discuss looking at outsourcing some jobs.
At 1:10:00 they discuss Thomas White Elementary School, possibly closing it and moving the children to Atkins, and some general discussion.
At 1:21:44 is a Building & Grounds update. They also discuss some possible future plans for Schluckebier and Schrah school buildings, Bridge Fest, also the old school building on Sherman St. At about 1:36:25 I had to change batteries so there is a brief break in the video.
© 2015 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



Surprisingly I don't have much to say about the meeting.  Bridgeport is facing some serious problems, and I was glad to see everyone at the meeting working together and having some serious discussions about ways to keep this school district going.  I knew when the enrollment figures were released from this years count and Bridgeport had lost students, that it meant there would be some financial loss also.  I never even imagined that the loss would be that great, a loss of close to $600,000 is a very big hurt for the school district.  The school board members, administrators, staff, all have a lot of work to do and some very tough decisions to make and I hope that Bridgeport residents will get behind them and support whatever decisions they make.  I hope people will take the time to listen to the entire meeting, I think everyone really needs to hear what they discussed.  I used a pair of headphones at home when I reviewed the video, it helps to pick up this poor audio.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Coming Up

The Bridgeport School Board had a Finance Committee Meeting tonight. It was a very good meeting, some serious discussions. It was almost 2 hours long so this will take me quite a while to get uploaded to youtube.  It probably won't be up until sometime Thursday, Sorry..

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bridgeport Township DDA Board Meeting October 14th, 2015

On the agenda:
Public Comments begin at 1:43
New Business -
- Bamberger Insurance begins at 3:38
Old Business -
1. Beautification Committee Report - Landscaping Contract 2016 begins at 6:29
2. 2016 Budget Approval - Revision begins at 12:35
3. GLDC - Update begins at 20:22
4. Bond Pre-Payment begins at 23:09
5. Car Pool Lot Update begins at 24:54
6. North Gateway - Update begins at 25:38
DDA Coordinator's Report begins at 31:52
DDA Member Comments begin at 40:45
© 2015 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



Mr. Larry Ford from the Birch Run/Bridgeport Chamber of Commerce gave a update on how Bridgeport's money is being spent for advertising.
The Great Lakes Discovery Center is almost a reality, finally after 19 years.  Someday, hopefully soon, that will be another great asset to our Bridgeport community!
Pre-payment on the bond has been made.  Work has been done on the car pool parking area.  Plans are moving along on the "North Gateway" area.  They will be working on a beautification plan with a Welcome sign.  They hope to start work on that in spring 2016.  Another project I am looking forward to seeing done!
There were some updates/information during the DDA Coordinator's Report.  There will be a Grand Re-Opening for the Bavarian Comfort Care Center on December 2nd, 2015.  Sounds like it will be a nice event.
** The next meeting for the DDA Board will be on Wednesday, November 18,2015

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Meeting October 12th, 2015

On the agenda:
There were no public comments this meeting.
- Mackinac Island Presentation and Approval begins at 1:40
- Martin G. Atkins Quarterly Report begins at 14:05
- Payment of Bills & Budget Report Minutes begins at 20:33
- Policy Committee Report Recommendations begins at 34:54
- Personnel Report begins at 36:44
- Board votes to go into closed session at 51:32
- Motion To Accept Advice Of Council Concerning Pending Litigation begins at 53:20
- Board And Superintendent Comments begins at 54:00
© 2015 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



I will start my post with a couple of good things from last nights meeting, then I will get to the rest of the meeting.
First good thing was the Mackinac Island Presentation.  The presentation was by Middle School Principal Mr. Baker and an assistant, Mr. Lounsbury.  What a fantastic opportunity this trip is for the children and I was glad to see it supported by the school board.

Elementary School Principal Mrs. Durand gave the Martin G. Atkins Quarterly Report.  From what I have heard from her updates, from what I have seen, from meeting and talking with other people, I think there are many great things going on at the school.  Martin G. Atkins also now has a Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/martingatkins

Mr. Lange presented the recommendations from the Policy Committee and they were approved by the board.  I really like these new policies.
 * First is for how the board will deal with public comments --
"It is the President's responsibility to respond to public comments in one of the following ways:
1. Directly
2. Allow other Board members to respond.
3. Direct the matter to a Staff member and /or Committee with a commitment as to when a response would be forthcoming.
4. Defer the item to the Board Comments section of the meeting.
5. Defer the item to the next Board meeting where the item becomes a part of the Board Agenda."
 * Next is the Visitors and Staff Identification Policy --  A short excerpt of the policy is:
"It shall be the policy of the Bridgeport/Spaulding Schools that all visitors and staff be identified with picture ID before gaining access to school buildings and must wear identification badges while on school property.  The purpose of the access control system is to enhance building security.
The goal of the identification procedure is twofold:
1. So that school staff may be identified by responding agencies during times of crisis as a potential resource.
2.  So that staff and visitors can be identified as belonging on campus by all those who occupy the facility.
Persons who are not student or staff shall report immediately to the sign in area upon entering a school building.  Persons other than parents, guardians, students or staff, who desire to visit a school building, shall do so only with the permission of an appropriate administrative staff member."
* Lastly is that the board will set a standing agenda item starting in November where they will review one section each month of the Board Policies.


There was a discussion, and action, that took place during the board meeting last night that bothered me.  I have reviewed the video of the meeting several times since last night and each time I watch it, it bothers me a little more.
During the Personnel Report they were presented with some Administrative Contracts that needed to be approved.  This part of the report begins at 38:17 in the video.  The board voted to not approve the contracts at last nights meeting, they will send them to the Finance Committee for review and then they will be brought back up at the October 26th meeting for approval.  The whole union business is over my head a little but I do understand that these contracts fall under the "collective bargaining agreement", that were negotiated by a previous Administration with BAPA, The Bridgeport Administrators Professional Association.  You can view the agreement on the Bridgeport Schools website, under the transparency reporting section - http://www.bscs.k12.mi.us/UserFiles/Servers/Server_4467434/File/Migration/page_430_BAPA%207-23.pdf

Robert Lange did bring up that since they are union contracts they do need to be sure that they are in compliance and doing this properly.  I don't have a problem with that, sounds like a logical course of action.
Mr. Long was the first and the most vocal to object to approving the contracts at last nights meeting.  He brought up the fact that the school district has lost students since last year.  According to the article on MLive, they have lost 158 students since the 2014 count.  http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2015/10/bridgeport-spaulding_school_di_1.html#incart_m-rpt-2

 


 

Settlement Proposal Offered To The Bridgeport School District

This is the settlement proposal offered to the Bridgeport School District by Attorney Philip Ellison and his client John Rhines.  The School Board went into closed session at the Monday October 12th board meeting to discuss this proposal and chose to reject it. 

So now, either this case will go to trial, or maybe the legal representatives for the school district will come back with a counter-proposal. 

So here is a copy of the settlement proposal offered to the school board.  To view a larger image of the pages, just click on them.

Page 1


Page 2


Page 3









The Blame Game

Predictable Human Nature + YouTube = Hope You Enjoy More Of My Random Musings

Clinton Fearon - Blame Game


Dwight Yoakam - "Blame The Vain"


Into The Woods - Your Fault


AWOLNATION - Not Your Fault


 Cage The Elephant - Back Against The Wall


Cold War Kids - "Hang Me Up To Dry"


Wolfmother - New Moon Rising

  



Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Bridgeport Township Board Meeting October 6th, 2015

On the agenda:
Public Comment begins at 2:56
Unfinished Business -
- Re Set Public Hearing for 2016 General Fund Budget begins at 6:30
New Business -
- Special Town Board Meeting on October 20th, 2015 begins at 7:36
- Set Public Hearing for L.B. Transportation IFT begins at 8:43
- Homecoming Proclamation begins at 9:31
- Fire Department Equipment Purchase from Special Assessment Fund begins at 11:07
- 2016 township Attorney List, Township Board Meeting Schedule, Township Designated Holidays, Financial Institutions begins at 13:34
- WWTP Raw Sewage Pump #3 Bid begins at 14:52
Board Comments begin at 18:30
© 2015 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



Tuesday, October 6, 2015

October Events In Bridgeport

There was a Bridgeport Township Trustee Meeting tonight and there is a Special Township Board Meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 20th.  There will be a DDA Board Meeting on Wednesday, October 14th at noon.  Two Bridgeport School Board Meetings, October 12th and October 26th.

There is the Haunted Elementary going on this month.  It must be scary because you can hear the screams all through downtown Bridgeport!!  Here is their website - http://hauntedelementary.com/
and their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/HauntedElementary



The Miss Bridge Fest Pageant will be held on October 10th.  Here is the event page - https://www.facebook.com/events/1720270478202790/
And the link to the Miss Bridge Fest Scholarship Program Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/MissBridgeFest



On October 16th will be the Bridgeport Fire Department's Spaghetti Dinner and Open House.  Their Facebook page - https://www.facebook.com/BridgeportCharterFire


The 5K Zombie Run/Walk will be held on October 25th.  There is still time to register for this.  It should be a fun event and is being held in our parks along the Cass River here in Bridgeport.  The link to the event page - https://www.facebook.com/events/1079402945412156/


There is also usually something going on with our wonderful Parks & Recreation Program - Like their Facebook page to keep updated on events - https://www.facebook.com/Bridgeport-Parks-Recreation-379963902129388

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

A Fun Safety Day Event At Martin G. Atkins School September 16th, 2015



First I would like to Thank Atkins School Elementary Principal Mrs. Susan Duran and Bridgeport School Resource Officer Brent Green for inviting me to this event.  They did a good job with this event and I think I enjoyed it almost as much as the children did.
There were representatives from the Bridgeport Fire Department, the Bridgeport Police Department, the US Coast Guard, St. Mary's Hospital Flight Care, Mobile Medical Response Ambulance and Consumers Energy.  The children got to see the different crews and listen to them talk about their jobs and equipment and safety, climb on board the vehicles, ask questions, lots of questions!  They also had safety training for the groups of children on bus safety, the proper way to get on the bus, seating, behavior, and getting off the buses.
I think the representatives from the organizations did a great job talking with the children and handling all their questions. I would also like to commend the staff of Atkins for the job they did, and also the Bridgeport High School students they had helping with the event.  I got to meet and speak with some of the teachers and staff and I was very impressed with everyone I met and everything I saw there this morning.   I only captured some small portions of the morning on video.  I think one of the big hits was the sirens, but the flight care landing and the fire truck ladder going up and down were pretty popular too!  Watching the children enjoy the event was a joy for me. The first event with one of the groups of children that I videotaped was the US Coast Guard rescue air boat. I was so engrossed with their presentation and watching the children interact that somehow I forgot to hit record on my camera.  I did go back later and catch another group with them.
Again, Great Job on this event.  I don't know how many other schools do things like this but it would be nice if all schools did this.  They will be holding this event again next year in September, I believe in the third week of the school year, and I hope to be there to capture it again.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Meeting September 14th, 2015

On the agenda:
- Citizen Participation begins at 0:50
- Tax Rate Request begins at 9:00
- Consent Agenda: Payment of the bills, budget report, minutes begins at 10:57
- Report: Personnel items begins at 12:17
- Closed session:  board goes into a brief closed session at 15:53
- Board and Superintendent Comments begin at 16:44
© 2015 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



The meeting was very brief.  They didn't have much business and they got it done efficiently.

First up to speak during citizen participation segment was Larry Brown.  He talked about how much better this school year has started off.  Things sound good!!  There are some problems that are popping up but they are working to solve them.  I don't know all the teachers and staff here but my impression is that they deserve a lot of credit for all the work and sacrifice they have put in to make this school district better.  Thank You!!
Next up was John Rhines.  He brought up several important items and one of them was the bill that State Senator Ken Horn has proposed, Senate Bill 356.  It has passed the Michigan Senate and now goes to the State House.  This bill would allow Bridgeport, Saginaw and the Frankenmuth school districts to collect the non-homestead taxes on territory that was inherited after the Buena Vista district was dissolved by the state.  So Bridgeport got the students and a building, but they didn't get the tax dollars to go along with that.  MLive posted a article on Monday that talks about it --  http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2015/09/ken_horn_sponsored_legislation.html#incart_river

The next school board meeting is scheduled for Monday October 12th

Volunteers Needed For Special River Cleanup in Frankenmuth on Saturday September 19th, 2015

From the Cass River Greenway Blog -- "With the construction on the Frankenmuth dam/rock ramp and the low water level in the river above the dam, the Cass River Greenway Committee is taking advantage of this opportunity to also clean up the river.  The group is planning a special river clean-up on Saturday, September 19 and is looking for volunteers to help."
They list the phone number and email address to contact them on their blog post here --
http://www.cassriver.org/cass-river-blog/special-river-clean-up-during-dam-construction

Bridgeport Township DDA Board Meeting September 9th, 2015

On the agenda:
New Business -
- 2016 Budget Approval begins at 2:24
- Car Pool Parking Lot begins at 4:47
Old Business -
- Beautification Committee Report
a. Landscaping Contract 2016 begins at 10:26
b. Water Garden begins at 20:30
c. Sponsor for 2016 Rock area begins at 31:15
d. "North Gateway" - Sponsor for new project begins at 33:28
- GLDC - Update begins at 36:59
- Bond Pre-Payment begins at 38:11
- DDA Sidewalk Repairs begins at 40:14
DDA Coordinator's Report begins at 42:07
DDA Member Comments begin at 42:44
© 2015 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved



Sorry that I am almost a week late in posting this!

There were no public comments because there usually is almost no public that attends...  There is a small group of residents that attend on a regular basis, and some township employee's attend.  I just don't understand why more residents don't attend the DDA or Township Trustee Board Meetings.  Everything that goes on in our township affects every resident.  I would think they would like to be aware of what is going on and to maybe have some input.  I guess I should just be happy that some people do take the time to watch these videos and read my blog.  Sometimes I just get frustrated that there is not more public involvement in the affairs of our township.
They approved the 2016 budget, I can't tell you anything about it.  You can probably contact someone with the DDA and get information if you are interested.
There will be some needed repairs done at the car pool parking lot.  Sounds good to me.  Chuck Beck Electric, I have dealt with them and would recommend them to anyone.  One thing always amazes me about the car pool parking lot -- that is that it is usually full. It is also very nice looking, nice landscaping, lights etc...  That is probably one of those good things in Bridgeport that tends to get overlooked by many.
They had a lengthy discussion about the 2016 Landscaping Contract.  
They had talked in the past about the Water Garden that is located next to the parking lot across from Gobeyn's service station and near the bridge.  I never realized before that the garden area was not just for looks, it also serves a very vital purpose.  Sorry, sometimes I am a little slow on the uptake!!
I wanted to take a look at the plans after the meeting but once again I got distracted and forgot to follow through.  Scattered brain syndrome strikes again :-)  I will try to get the information in the future and share it here.  I am looking forward to seeing the garden area when it is finished.  Can you tell that I love flowers?  I love seeing Bridgeport looking nice.
They also talked about the sponsor for the "Rock" area.  Thank You to the sponsor!!  I really like that area.  They also talked about a new sponsor that will be sponsoring a new area, the "North Gateway" area. That will be really nice!  And again - Thank You to the sponsor!!  People with a vision for the future of Bridgeport, we need more like them.
The GLDC is one more step closer to becoming a reality.  Bond Pre-Payment plan, sounds good.  Sidewalk repairs, looking good.  Bridgeport, Looking Good!



Bridgeport Township Board Meeting September 1st, 2015

On the agenda:
Special Orders -
- Public Hearing - Create an IFT district for LB Transportation begins at 4:50
Public Comment begins at 9:29
New Business -
- R15-13 Create IFT district for LB Transportation begins at 19:20
- R15-15 Sidewalk deficit elimination plan begins at 20:54
- SPU15-01 - 4806 Curtis Rd. - Pond begins at 20:39
- Oath of Office - New Police Officer begins at 24:19
- Meritorious Award - Police Department begins at 27:14
- Set public hearing for 2016 General Fund Budget begins at 32:26
- Award 2016-2018 Brush Contract begins at 33:10
- WWTP Update by Billingsley and Canal Rehabilitation begins at 37:04
- Uniformed Investigator Job Description begins at 43:18
- Letter of Support for ROTC Program for Bridgeport Schools begins at 45:16
Board Comments begin at 47:49




Sorry I am 14 days late in posting this! 

Something  I have never commented on before is the fact that I like how these meetings start out with a prayer by one of our local pastors and also the Pledge Of Allegiance,  Please don't ever change that.

The meeting starts with a public hearing for creating a IFT district for LB Transportation.  I was going to research this and share that info on my blog but I have not had the time to do that.  If anyone is interested in what this is, you can check out information like this -- http://www.michigan.gov  and look at Taxes>Property Tax>Property Tax Exemptions>Industrial Facilities Exemption  (Sorry I couldn't get the link to work directly to their page)
There were two speakers that spoke on this during the hearing.  It is always a good thing to add more business to our township!

During the public comment period there were several speakers.  First up was Saginaw County Commissioner Cheryl Hadsall with updates of things going on in our district.  She is always very informative.  She talked about the county budget, health department, animal shelter and the jail.
I knew her name, knew she was involved in politics here, but never really knew much more about her.  After seeing her come to several of our township board meetings and seeing her level of involvement, her caring about the district and the people she serves, she has definitely won me over!  

Another speaker was Sharalee Hammond. She spoke about her husband, Frederick Hammond.  Mr. Hammond was in a motorcycle accident I believe on June 16th, 2015 at King/Old King Rd. here in Bridgeport.  Mr. Hammond passed away on June 22nd, 2015.  I would like to offer my condolences to the Hammond family for their loss.
Mrs. Hammond said the police report from the investigation stated that this is an unlit area.  She would like to have more lighting installed there.  I haven't driven on that area there by the overpass in the nighttime, but even in the daytime I found it very confusing.  I was use to the old layout but went to check it out after the new overpass was built and reopened and just thought how that will be confusing to someone that does not know the area.  I can understand how there could be accidents there, especially at night without the proper lighting.  Hopefully something can be done to help improve that spot and help to prevent any more accidents or loss of life.

Welcome to Bridgeport's newest police officer, Dennis Howe!  
And Congratulations to Bridgeport Police Officer Jeff Roberts on his Meritorious Award!!
I have heard that there is talk, rumblings around town, about Bridgeport hiring a new full time police officer.  Let me address that.  Knowing how the gossip and BS runs around here in Bridgeport, I imagine some of the things being said are "They are using money from the assessment passed last year to pay for this!!" ...  No they are not.  One of Bridgeport's officers, Brent Green, is also the Bridgeport Schools Resource Officer.  His salary is being paid by the school district through a special grant they receive.  This is a savings to Bridgeport, so they were going to take the money they would have spent on Officer Green's salary and use that to hire two part time officers to help cover the time that he is away from his regular duties.  But they ran into a problem in that people are not interested in being a part time officer.  So they instead used the money they would have spent on Officer Green's salary to pay for the salary for a full time officer.  Simple to understand isn't it?  
**I should also note that there were two officers hired through the assessment passed.  That was one of the requests for the assessment, so they could hire more officers and get the staffing levels up to where they should be.  Those officers were hired and sworn in months ago.
Also if anyone is interested in this tidbit -- The budgets for the police department and the fire departments, have two separate budgets.  They keep a budget for the money from the assessment that was passed and another budget for their regular operating budget.  The money for the new officer is coming from the regular budget.
I imagine some of the other things being said are things like "They don't need another officer, we have enough!!"  or "We don't have the population or crime to justify this!!"  Our population here in Bridgeport according to the 2010 census is currently at 10,514 residents.  I don't know right off hand exactly what our crime statistics are here in Bridgeport, but I do know what I see when I read the regular log that is posted of the police and fire department calls.  I know what I read in the papers about the crime here in Bridgeport.  I know that I don't live in what would be considered a high crime area, but if I don't keep the car locked at night, someone will be going through it and stealing anything they can.  I know that if I leave anything unsecured in the yard, it will disappear.  I have yard lights, gates, locks, and it still doesn't stop them. Well, the locks do help, it may not stop them from trying but it does stop them from succeeding!   I have watched crime steadily increase here in Bridgeport since I was a child.  It is a different world nowadays and if another officer helps to keep crime down then I am all for it.  I think most people would be supportive of it if it is their home that is being broken into, if it is them that is in a serious accident, if it is their loved one that becomes a victim of crime.  Hopefully most of you will never need a police officer, but if you do, then please be grateful that they are there!
If anyone would like to know more about our crime statistics or exactly what our officers do, then contact Chief Duffett.  I suspect he can tell you exactly what our stats are, what the percentage is for other townships as for the size of their force compared to the population and crime.  I think he would probably be more than happy to share any information with you that he has.  You could also contact the Township Manager Rose Licht or the Township Supervisor Augie Tausend if you have any questions about the budgets, assessments, or anything else; I think they would also be happy to answer any of your questions.  Wouldn't it be better to get the truth and facts straight from the source rather than to just believe any griping you may hear spreading around town??  Inform yourselves and think for yourselves!

The public hearing date was set for October 6th, 2015 for the Bridgeport Charter Township 2016 General Fund Budget.  Got Questions?  Show up at the meeting.

The 2016-2018 Brush Contract was awarded to Heart Tree Service.  I had no complaints with the old tree service company that picked up our brush in the past, but I will say that I have been very impressed with the workers from Heart.  They really seem to go above and beyond!  Thank You!

There was also an interesting update about our waste water treatment plant.  I am fascinated easily :-) If I had the time I would like to go through the tour of the plant, but I just don't have the time.  Maybe in the future I can go.  I love seeing how things operate and learning new things.
The Bridgeport School District is also working on possibly bringing the Air Force ROTC program to Bridgeport in the future and the Township has written a letter in support of bringing the program here.  I was glad to see they did that.
And Lastly - Once again I would like to say that everyone should take the time to listen to the board member comments at the end of the meeting!

 
This is another little rant I have.  It is not related to this meeting but it is related to the township.  
You can find amazing things on the Saginaw Circuit Court Website.  I was there looking on the status of the lawsuit involving the schools and came across this - http://www.saginawcounty.com/Apps/ClerkSearches/CircuitCivilDetail.aspx?caseNo=14-025378-AW
The information shown here doesn't really give the details of the basis of the suit against Bridgeport Township but I believe it is about the Police and Fire Department Assessments that passed by a 60+ percentage voter approval margin in 2014.
I know that there are a few that were not happy that the assessments passed, I remember them vividly from a meeting that was held last November.  I understand that more taxes are a hardship on some and that no one really likes paying more taxes.  I am not a big supporter of taxes, but this is one that I did support and voted for.  Being the suspicious and pessimistic person that I am,  I have to wonder what really is behind the filing of this lawsuit?  There is no doubt that there are times when a lawsuit is necessary, but then there are times when it is not.  This one seems like just another frivolous lawsuit to me, just my opinion.......  Maybe it is just time for some people to admit defeat......
It is easy for someone to file lawsuit after lawsuit when it doesn't really cost them anything, or little, because they represent themselves.  But how much does it cost the person or entity being sued to defend against these lawsuits?  Lawsuit after Lawsuit?  Maybe at the public hearing for the 2016 township budget, the township could give a breakdown of how much suits like this are costing them.  Are costing the Bridgeport Taxpayers......
On the general topic of lawsuits, the public should ask these questions:  Is the public good really being served by this suit?  Is it right and justified?  Do the benefits outweigh the costs?  When it is the taxpayer money being spent to defend against lawsuits, I would hope the public is asking these questions!  Would the public support such suits if it was done just out of malice?  Just for harassment?  Just for entertainment?  Just for a feeling of self empowerment?  Just because someone is bored and maybe has too much time on their hands?  Anytime there is a lawsuit filed, by anyone against anyone, I would hope that the filer and the general public would take a good look at it and decide if it is really worth it, is it really right?






Thursday, September 10, 2015

To Dwell In Darkness

 In Darkness Let Me Dwell

"In darkness let me dwell; the ground shall sorrow be,
The roof despair, to bar all cheerful light from me;
The walls of marble black, that moist'ned still shall weep;
My music, hellish jarring sounds, to banish friendly sleep.
Thus, wedded to my woes, and bedded in my tomb,
O let me living die, till death doth come, till death doth come.
My dainties grief shall be, and tears my poison'd wine,
My sighs the air, through which my panting heart shall pine:
My robes my mind shall suit exceeding blackest night,
My study shall be tragic thoughts, sad fancy to delight.
Pale ghosts and frightful shades shall my acquaintance be:
O thus, my hapless joy, I haste to thee, I haste to thee."

~~ A poem by an anonymous author in the 1600's ~~

People dwell in darkness by choice often, though I can't understand why they would.  The world around us is what we choose to make it.  If we see the beauty in even the littlest things then we will make everything in our lives beautiful, happy, peaceful.  If we dwell in the darkness then all we will have is a life filled with lies, deceit, hate, anger, adversity.  If someone chooses to live their life in the darkness it would be nice if they didn't try to drag everyone else into that darkness........................

Green Day - Basket Case 


Queen - Liar


Joan Jett - Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap


Linda Ronstadt - You re No Good 


Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Theft Is A Form Of Flattery?

My videos of meetings here in Bridgeport have become popular enough that now people are downloading them and sharing them with no credit given to me.  I have the Township Board Meeting from Sept 1st to share here and am uploading the video for today's DDA Board Meeting, but instead of working on these two videos I now have to spend the afternoon notifying these sites that my  copyright on these videos is being violated! 
Get A Life People!!    Make Your Own Videos!!
I don't mind if people share my videos as long as they give me credit for them and preferably link back to my YouTube channel, but when they just download them and share them as theirs, I have a problem with that!

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Reminder: Meeting Videos On YouTube

When I video tape any of the school board or township board meetings, I always upload them on YouTube first then when I have time I share them here on my blog.  So if you are looking for a meeting and it is not here, then go and check on my YouTube page. There are 79 videos on my page.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC9CDuA3sJJPg8uWmmwZHLKA

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Dreary Day Musings

 I have too much time on my hands today....Hope you enjoy my ramblings 

Narcissistic Delusion

I'm a total f**k-up, delusional, hated and scarred
Narcissistic and needy, can't stop what I start
But the blood won't come off, my hands won't come clean
Beauty grows in the hearts of the cold and obscene

Obligations are weathered with doubt and regret
I bring down every person and soul that I've met
But I'm apathetic, and nothing hurts me
Emotionless B**CH as far as you can see

I'm relentless, uncaring, I keep secrets and hide
From the passionless demons eating me inside
I never did care, and I throw away trust
I give into the heart of the man that I lust

Raging, intensive, I WONT bite my tongue
You can't try to control me or change what I've done
I'm angry and spiteful, he stole me away
I'm a monster containing a heart of decay

Tripping on power and low self-esteem
Like a razor I cut at your hopes and your dreams
Unholy, deceiving, pathetic and weak
Aggressive and forceful when words do not speak

Flawed and distorted, lackluster and lies
Carving hearts into skin that you hate and despise
Parasitic and lonely, lacking self control
The darker side that never did seem to show
By Kristen Weaver

© 2006 Kristen Weaver (All rights reserved)


 Delusional (Original) by Olivia Thai 


Uriah Heep - Look At Yourself 

 Rolling Stones- Sympathy for the Devil 

Uriah Heep - Stealin  

The Beatles - The Fool On The Hill  

 

Humble Pie-30 Days In The Hole  

Led Zeppelin - Nobody's Fault But Mine 

Foo Fighters - The Pretender 

Buffalo Springfield - For What It's Worth

I'd Love To Change The World - Ten Years After  

The Doors - When The Music's Over 

 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Meeting August 24th, 2015

The video starts before the board meeting actually began. You will see a summons server serving four of the school board members with legal documents pertaining to a amended lawsuit against board member Marti Sageman. The amended suit now includes these four board members and also there is another lawsuit seeking to have the courts invalidate the resolution that was passed on July 20th by these four board members.

On the meeting agenda:
- Citizen Participation begins at 4:59
- Agenda Adjustments begins at 7:43
- Priority School Quarterly Report begins at 9:30
- High School Update By Mr. McCarthy begins at 18:15
- Searching For New Legal Counsel Discussion begins at 26:26
- Deficit Elimination Plan (DEP) Update and Approval begins at 34:43
- Personnel Report begins at 44:46
- Superintendent Search Discussion/Appointment begins at 47:34
- Board's Responses To Public Comments and Questions Discussion begins at 50:18
- Board And Superintendent Comments begin at 1:02:00


Four board members, Jay Bruns, Larry Long, Robert Lange, and Dempsey Allen were all served with legal papers pertaining to lawsuits filed by Attorney Philip Ellison.  One of the suits is against the school board for violating the Open Meeting Act by going into the closed session at the July 20th school board meeting and also to have the resolution that they voted to approve at that meeting declared invalid by the court.  Mr. Ellison has some very detailed grounds for the claim laid out in the suit.
The four board members that voted to approve the resolution have also been added to the original lawsuit against board member Marti Sageman for misappropriation of public funds, based on their vote for the resolution.  You can view the details of both of these lawsuits and the resolution passed here on my blog.  Mlive also has posted a article today about the four members being added to the lawsuit - http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2015/08/more_bridgeport_school_board_m.html#incart_river

There was a Priority School Quarterly Report presented by Mrs. Duran.  It sounds like they have put a lot of work into this plan for the future and it sounds like some very positive and good changes are being put into place.  I wish them luck and applaud all their hard work and dedication.

Mr. McCarthy had a update of some of the new things that will be coming for the upcoming school year.  One of the exciting things they have is the Project Lead The Way engineering program.  MLive did a article on this earlier this year, you can view it here - http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2015/05/bridgeport_students_preparing.html  
They will be offering things like a Computer Science class that will feature Coding, a Chinese language class, new textbooks, one hour lunch program.  They will be looking into adding the Air Force Jr. ROTC program.  I see many positive changes coming from the administration and staff of the Bridgeport Schools!

They had a discussion about looking for a new legal counsel firm to use.  They agreed they will no longer be using the firm of Masud Law Group.  They do also have another firm Clark & Hill they will continue to use and will be looking into local firms for future use.

Melissa Cabine gave a update on the current Deficit Elimination Plan and they voted to approve it.  Positive outlook for the future of Bridgeport Schools in the plan.
They voted on some new hires during the Personnel Report.

At the August 10th board meeting Board Vice President Pat Nelson presented a motion to table any decision on which firm to use for the Superintendent Search until the September meeting. 

They also discussed the board's policy for responding to comments and questions from the public.  I can't say that they actually ended up with a consensus for handling this issue in the future.  In my opinion, comments and questions directed at specifically the school board should be answered by the school board, if it is a issue involving the schools and students, that should probably best be answered by the Superintendent. 

The board and superintendent comments are also worth listening to from this school board meeting.  The next school board meeting will be held on September 14th.

Misappropriation Lawsuit Against Marti Sageman Amended To Include Four Other Bridgeport School Board Members

Let me start this post by putting the sequence of events in order here:
-- Lawsuit filed against Bridgeport School Board member Marti Sageman for misappropriation of funds.  You can view the lawsuit here - http://bridgeportmusings.blogspot.com/2015/07/lawsuit-on-behalf-of-bridgeport-school.html
-- At the July 20th Bridgeport School Board Meeting the board members voted on a resolution to approve the separation agreement and the monies paid to Jennifer McDonald.  That separation agreement and the monies are the basis of the lawsuit against Marti Sageman.
You can view the July 20th meeting here - http://bridgeportmusings.blogspot.com/2015/07/bridgeport-school-board-special-meeting_21.html
You can view a copy of the actual resolution passed at that meeting here - http://bridgeportmusings.blogspot.com/2015/08/resolution-approving-settlement-from.html
-- On August 14th Attorney Philip Ellison filed a suit seeking to have the court invalidate the resolution passed at the July 20th meeting.  You can view that suit here -  http://bridgeportmusings.blogspot.com/2015/08/lawsuit-filed-seeking-to-invalidate.html

On August 14th, Mr. Ellison also amended the original misappropriation lawsuit to include the four board members that voted to approve that resolution, Jay Bruns, Larry Long, Robert Lange, Dempsey Allen.  Some of the arguments included in the amendment are:

- That at no time did these Defendants actually investigate, conduct hearings, or interview the parties involved, including Superintendent Thomas Hill and/or Jennifer McDonald.
- That in other words, these Defendants wrongfully used their political voting power to aid in the concealment of stolen, embezzled, or converted property in the form of monies belonging to the taxpayers of the BRIDGEPORT-SPAULDING COMMUNITY SCHOOLS and/or its BOARD OF EDUCATION as misappropriated by Defendant MARTHA SAGEMAN.

You can view the amended lawsuit here.  The part where they add the other four board members begins on the end of page 4 and continues through page 7.   Click on the photos to see a larger version:








You can follow the progress of this lawsuit on the Circuit Court website -- http://www.saginawcounty.com/Apps/ClerkSearches/CircuitCivilDetail.aspx?caseNo=15-027138-CZ






Lawsuit Filed Seeking To Invalidate Resolution Passed By Bridgeport School Board On July 20th, 2015

Attorney Philip Ellison filed a complaint on August 14th seeking to have the resolution invalidated that was passed by the Bridgeport School Board on July 20th.
You can view the resolution on this blog post - http://bridgeportmusings.blogspot.com/2015/08/resolution-approving-settlement-from.html
You can follow the progress of this suit on the Circuit Court website - http://www.saginawcounty.com/Apps/ClerkSearches/CircuitCivilDetail.aspx?caseNo=15-027422-CZ
I could try to summarize his grounds for this complaint but it is better to view the entire legal complaint itself.  There are some interesting facts in this complaint, here are just a few highlights from the complaint -

-- Undertaking a political attempt to thwart the return of monies to the taxpayers within the Bridgeport-Spaulding Community Schools as misappropriated by current trustee Martha A. Sageman.
-- That it is suspected that Defendant BRIDGEPORT-SPAULDING COMMUNITY SCHOOLS BOARD OF EDUCATION did not, in closed session, actually review evidence to support the findings of fact outlined in the July 20, 2015, but rather sought ways, via a false resolution, to politically protect trustee Martha A. Sageman’s prior illegal misappropriations of funds.
-- That in support of this belief, trustee Martha A. Sageman voted to ratify her own illegal conduct, despite being a named defendant in another case and having a direct conflict of interest.

Just click on these photos to see the larger version:










Monday, August 24, 2015

Resolution Approving Settlement From July 20th, 2015 School Board Meeting

People have commented that they could not understand exactly what was said at the July 20th School Board Meeting concerning the resolution that was passed by the school board concerning the separation agreement signed by former Elementary Principal Jennifer McDonald.  It was confusing to listen to.  I have a copy of the resolution that was passed and hopefully that will be a little easier to understand.

Here is the three page resolution that was voted on by the board members with a 5 to 2 vote.  Click on the pictures to see a larger image:




The original separation agreement signed by Jennifer McDonald was drawn up by Attorney Gary Patterson from the Masud Law Group, one of the regular law firms used by the Bridgeport School District.  At the July 20th School Board Meeting it appeared to me that it was Attorney Gary Patterson that presented the Resolution To Approve Settlement Agreement to the school board in the closed session and that the school board members then voted to approve that. 

After the July 20th School Board Meeting, Attorney Gary Patterson sent a letter to Attorney Philip Ellison concerning the lawsuit that was filed by Mr. Ellison on behalf of the Bridgeport School Board against Marti Sageman.  I wondered why he did that since he is not involved in any way with that lawsuit, except as Mr. Ellison points out in his response to him that he is a witness to the lawsuit?  I am not a legal scholar but to my simple mind it seems like Mr. Patterson has a conflict of interest in the drafting of the resolution and in the letter he sent to Mr. Ellison.
Here is the letter sent to Attorney Philip Ellison by Attorney Gary Patterson and also Mr. Ellison's response.  Click on the pictures to see a larger image:




At tonight's school board meeting the board discussed not using the Masud Law Group any longer for their legal needs.





Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Oops - Sometimes I Fail

Sometimes I can't keep up with everything going on here in Bridgeport.  There was a DDA Board Meeting today and I totally forgot about it. Sorry!!
Bridgeport Township is very good about sending out emails through their email program.  You can sign up on their website - http://www.bridgeportmi.org/   They send out notices of the upcoming meetings, the agenda's for the meetings, the minutes of the meetings afterwards.  I can't find a email about this months DDA meeting but I should have still remembered about it.  They will probably post the meeting minutes on the website - http://www.bridgeportmi.org/index.php/2013-02-01-18-52-47/downtown-development-authority.html

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Bridgeport School Board Meeting August 10th, 2015

On the agenda:
- Superintendent Search Firm Presentations
A. Metro Bureau begins at 0:55
B. Michigan Association of School Board (MASB) begins at 28:22
C. Carl Hartman begins at 1:14:00
- Citizen Participation begins at 1:24:40
- Agenda Adjustments begins at 1:32:39
- Payment Of The Bills and Minutes begins at 1:33:45
- Personnel Report begins at 1:37:06
(There is a break in the video at about 1:42:48 because I had to change batteries)
- Further Discussion On Superintendent Search Firms begins at 1:53:01
- Board Member Comments begin at 1:54:05



First up on the agenda was a presentation by three different search firms that are vying for the contract to do the Superintendent search.  I thought the presentations by Metro Bureau and the MASB were both very good presentations.  I was a little more sold by the Metro Bureau, several others I have spoken to were sold on the MASB.  I think they both are a good choice. Board President Jay Bruns was hoping to make a decision that evening on which firm they would choose.  Later in the meeting Vice President Pat Nelson made a motion to table it until September to give all the board members time to review the choices thoroughly.  I was glad to see that done.  I can agree with getting a head start on this process, but since Interim Superintendent Carol Selby has a one year contract, I am not sure what is the big hurry to do it now.  I hope when they do start the search they will look at any internal applicants that may be qualified and interested in the position.  Attracting a good applicant to this district will be hard with all the problems they have had, with the DEP and the Priority School Status.  Someone that is already in the district and knows the problems and the strengths of the district might have a good chance of success.

There were three speakers during the Citizen Participation segment.   First up was John Rhines.  I wish more residents put in the time and energy that he puts in to working for the benefit of this school district and community.  He did call out Jay Bruns for the statements Mr. Bruns made at the July 20th meeting that he felt questioned his integrity.  Mr. Rhines showed a large folder full of the documents that he has to back up all the statements he has made while speaking at the podium.  Looked like a folder full of "The Truth" to me.
Next was Donna Moore representing the Bridgeport Spaulding Athletics Association.  They will not be able to open the concession stands during sporting events at the schools because they do not have enough volunteers.  They need board members for the association and volunteers to help man the events.  I am sad to think that there are not members of this community and parents that will step in to help out.  You can view their Facebook page here - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bridgeport-Spaulding-Athletics-Association/860244367343664
Last up was Amanda Adams.  She is a Bridgeport resident and school alumni.  She talked about and asked for the board to give some clarification on the subject of the separation agreement with Jennifer McDonald and whether the board members knew or didn't know about it all.  I think there are many Bridgeport residents that are wondering about and would like to know the truth about this.  They didn't know, they did know...  They were "generally aware" of it... Yeah, Whatever.......

During the Personnel Report segment there were some new hires approved.  There was a long debate about one new hire that was not approved.  Complicated issue with valid points on all sides of the debate.  It sounds like this is a needed position and I hope they can work something out.

During the Board Member comment period there were some great comments made by Mrs. Tedi Morris and Mr. Dempsey Allen.  Their comments were an example of why I think so highly of both of them.  I was surprised by Mr. Long's reaction to Mr. Allen's comments.  I didn't have the impression that Mr. Allen was talking about the vote that night for the new hire that was not approved, so I don't understand why Mr. Long reacted the way he did?

The next board meeting will be held August 24th.