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 -

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 -

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.



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 -
and their Facebook page -

The Miss Bridge Fest Pageant will be held on October 10th.  Here is the event page -
And the link to the Miss Bridge Fest Scholarship Program Facebook page -

On October 16th will be the Bridgeport Fire Department's Spaghetti Dinner and Open House.  Their Facebook page -

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 -

There is also usually something going on with our wonderful Parks & Recreation Program - Like their Facebook page to keep updated on events -