Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Bridgeport Spaulding School Board Meeting December 12th, 2016

On the agenda:
- Consent Agenda - payment of bills etc... begins at 1:33
- Organizational Meeting Date Discussion begins at 5:10
- Board And Superintendent Comments begin at 5:41
© 2016 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved

The meeting was short and there were no speakers during the public comment period.  There were only a handful of members in the audience like usual.  They were either staff members, myself, a reporter for the Herald.  I am always disappointed when I don't see members of the community show up at these meetings.

The longest part of the meeting was the comment period by the board members and Superintendent.  Dempsey Allen talked about his disappointment with the performance of the dance team at the seasons first basketball games.  He felt there was too much gyrating going on.  I wasn't able to attend those games so I don't have any first hand knowledge of what went on but I do sympathize with Mr. Allen's feelings on the matter.   For years I have read about others complaining countrywide or watched videos of other high school age performances like this one and was slightly shocked at some of the performances myself.  I was like WOW, things are sure different than back in my day!!  I won't tell you how long ago that was.  I think there are things that are acceptable based on age level or the forum it is performed in.  I agree with Mr. Allen that there are things that are acceptable at a Beyonce performance but should not be acceptable at a high school performance.  Does anyone out there have any thoughts on this?  Feel free to share them in the comment section.

Two of Bridgeport's football players have been honored by being nominated to the Michigan High School All Star Game. They are Javaris Jackson and Kody Burton. Congratulations to these two young men!!

They discussed repairs that will be made to the playground at Thomas White School.  Sounds like this project will be done by this coming spring.

There was some discussion about taxes for the school district.  There had been talk that Bridgeport would get some of the non-homestead taxes from Buena Vista but it sounds like that will not be happening.  So the Saginaw school district and Bridgeport are looking at having a 18 mil non-homestead tax put on the ballot in May 2017.  They will be meeting with the Saginaw ISD and working on this plan more.  Not much information available now, but they will be sharing more in the future.

Monday night was the last meeting for board member Larry Long.  He chose not to run for re-election.  I am sorry to see him go.  He did talk about some of the reasons he chose not to run again.  I understand his feeling that it was a waste of time but I am sorry he feels that way.  I don't feel his time spent on the board was a waste of time.  I know he is someone that truly cares about the Bridgeport community and tried to do what he could to help. I hope that the Bridgeport community understands that his leaving the school board is a loss for this community and that they appreciate the time he spent on this board and the work he tried to do.  Mr. Long was the Treasurer and also the Chairman of the Buildings & Grounds/Finance Committee.  Melissa Cabine shared her thoughts during the comment period about how she felt working with him on the Finance Committee and that she will miss him.  Mr. Long brought years and years of business experience to his roles as Treasurer and Chairman of the Finance Committee and his expertise and dedication will be hard to replace.

 Monday night would have also been the last meeting for Marti Sageman.  She was not at the meeting.  Superintendent Selby talked about how many years Mrs. Sageman has served on the school board.  She said that Mrs. Sageman started in 1997 but I believe it was actually 1987.  I first became familiar with Mrs. Sageman when she was a member of the committee that worked to save the Little Red Schoolhouse.  That was back in 1986/1987. I believe that she had been involved in other community activities and organizations for years already before that.  I think it was in 1987 when she first started on the school board.   Mrs. Selby also talked about how Mrs. Sageman had over 1,000 hours of credits earned through the Michigan Association Of School Boards.  The MASB offers the Certified Board Member Awards Program which offers training on everything that a board member could possibly ever need to know to be an effective board member.  Mrs. Sageman is probably the longest tenured board member to ever serve here in Bridgeport.  She is also probably the most qualified of any of the current board members.  She was the person that did the outreach to parents, organized the phone calls to voters for things like school millage's, worked towards getting new softball diamonds.  Her love for the students and her involvement with them has touched many lives.  Her love for and her dedication to the students is maybe her greatest legacy.  I don't know everything that she has done for the Bridgeport schools and the community and I suspect that if I did, the list would be too long to list it all here.  Her dedication to this school district and to this community can never be denied by anyone.  The loss of Mrs. Sageman with her knowledge and her dedication, is a loss that will be felt in many ways and probably for many years to come.  I don't believe that Mrs. Sageman can ever truly be replaced or her shoes ever filled.

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Facebook "Friends" And Your Privacy

How many of you have hundreds of people on your Facebook "Friends" list?  Are they really all your friends, real friends?  Are some of them just acquaintances, some maybe even enemies?  How much personal information do you share on your Facebook page and do you expect it to be private?  It is not private!
I will share with you one example of why it is not private and then discuss how to keep some things more private on Facebook.

In July of 2015, I had sent someone a email asking for information about events that were going on in Bridgeport with the Bridgeport School Board.  In this persons response to me they shared this photo.  This person is not friends with Marti Sageman on Facebook but my understanding is that someone they knew is or was at that time.  That person that was friends with Mrs. Sageman took a screenshot of something that Mrs. Sageman had posted on her Facebook page. This post was not made "public" by Mrs. Sageman, it was shared only with her Facebook "friends".

I can't speak to why this person took a screenshot of Mrs. Sageman's private post and thought to share it with others.  I don't have a smartphone so I can't be sure but this looks like it was taken by a smartphone?  This photo was sent to me along with some comments by the sender of the email.  In those comments they said "..... Thought you might get a kick out of it..... Made me laugh".
This was probably a very trying time for Mrs. Sageman, probably very stressful and emotional time for her.  This was the time when there were accusations made against her and a lawsuit filed that was later thrown out by the courts.  Most people would post something like this and expect their "friends" to be supportive and not expect anyone to share that with others that may find it funny or use it in hurtful ways.

So how do you protect yourself and your posts on Facebook from being shared with others?
My first bit of advice would be to choose wisely who you accept as your friends on Facebook!
But you will never really know for sure who you can trust and who you can't so the next best bet is to learn how to use you privacy settings.  If you use Facebook here is what you need to know about all your privacy settings:

On every individual post you make you can choose the audience you want to allow to see it.   You can set it to "public" or just "friends" or choose other custom options.  With the public option, everyone in the world can see it.  With the friends option, only the people that are supposed friends with you on Facebook can see it.  Under the custom option, you can select just a few friends to see it or specifically exclude certain people from seeing it.  You can also set up "lists" to sort the people into that are on your Facebook friends list.  Examples could be "Family" for your real family members.  Others could be "Close Personal Friends" or "Work Associates",  "Church Group" etc....  The list is as endless as your imagination.  Say you wanted to share a somewhat naughty joke on Facebook, it would probably be best to go to the options setting for that post and choose to exclude your church group from seeing it.  Sharing family photos of children or very personal events etc.... choose only your family and maybe close personal friends.  When ever you update your profile photo or your Facebook cover photo, those photos are automatically set for "public" and there is nothing you can do about that.  With all the weirdo's in this world nowadays, I cringe every time I see people setting very personal photos and especially photos of their children as their profile or cover photos on Facebook.  There are many security and privacy settings you can tweak on Facebook to provide you with more privacy and everyone should learn how to use them.  You can set it so no one other than your supposed Facebook friends can see your photos or even who your other friends are on Facebook.  If you ever want to see just how much of your personal information is visible to the public, just go to your personal timeline page on Facebook and up in the right hand corner next to the "view activity log" tab or box you will see another little box.  In that box, you can click on that and you will see the options of "view as" and "timeline settings".  If you click on the "view as" option, that will show you what anyone else in the world can see on your Facebook profile.

So choose very carefully who you are friends with on Facebook and learn how to use your privacy and security settings.

** Edited 6:48 pm Sunday December 11th, 2016
Further thoughts on this topic:  I had to come back here and add my message to whoever took that screenshot of Mrs. Sageman's very private post and shared it with others:
You should have the decency to either fess up and apologize to Mrs. Sageman or at least remove yourself from her "friends" on Facebook.  You are not her friend!

Mrs. Sageman was put through hell and back over the past year because of one persons speculations and accusations.  I admit that I was a part of that due to my ignorance and believing the wrong people, and I have apologized to Mrs. Sageman for what harm I may have caused her.  An apology though will never really undue what harm was done but it is the best I had to offer.  To anyone  out there that may have either intentionally lied about Mrs. Sageman or done things with ill intent in your actions, I think there is a special place in hell for people like you.  If someone did those things - I hope that you go through hell and back too, a thousand times worse than what Mrs. Sageman was put through!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Bridgeport Township Board Meeting December 6th, 2016

On the agenda:
Unfinished Business -
- 2nd Reading of the Zoning Ordinance 16-02 begins at 4:25
New Business -
- Resolution R16-16 WWTP Rates and Fees begins at 5:03
- Resolution R16-17 Dixie Highway Road Improvements begins at 7:48
- Resolution R16-18 Storm Water Management Plan begins at 9:22
- Zoning Ordinance 16-02 begins at 13:52
- Fiscal Year 2017 Water Budget begins at 14:56
- Fiscal Year 2017 Waste Water Treatment Plant Budget begins at 16:21
- SPU16-03 - 6595 Dixie Highway - Speedway begins at 17:09
- SPU16-04 - 5959 Dixie Highway - Gales begins at 24:03
- PA495 Policy 16-01 begins at 25:45
- Detective and Sergeant Job Description begins at 27:33
- Job Description/Police Sergeant Policy 10.10.04 begins at 28:46
- McAllister vs. Bridgeport Township discussion begins at 30:08
Board Member Comments begin at 38:05
© 2016 Carla Citizen All Rights Reserved

There were no speakers during the public comment period in tonight's meeting.
The updated Zoning Ordinance 16-02 was approved at tonight's meeting.  It was first discussed in more detail at the November 1st meeting.  Now that it has been approved it will at some point in the future be posted on their website.
Dan Billingsley the plant superintendent from the waste water treatment plant discussed the cost study they did.  It will result in about a 10% increase in the rates to consumers.  It will become effective at the 1st of the new year.  If anyone has any questions about it or would like to see the study, contact the township offices.  I think some people just take our water and sewerage facilities and the handling of these for granted.  I don't.  I think there is a lot of hard work by the employees and technology that goes into the critically important job of safe handling of our water, sewage and even storm water management.
There was discussion of the Dixie Highway Road Improvements.  This was discussed at one of the DDA Board meetings that I missed.  It sounds exciting!  It would involve the section of Dixie Highway from Airport Rd. to Junction Rd. and include a center turn lane.  For anyone that has been in an accident or near accident on this section of road, this is going to be a big improvement. They are working on funding for this project right now and hopefully it will be discussed more at the DDA Board Meeting on December 14th. 
There was a presentation by Speedway of their plans for expansion and updating of their location here in Bridgeport by I-75.  It will include the removal of the abandoned facility located next to the station.  The plans sound really nice!  And anytime you talk about having more green space, I am all for it.  I believe work on this project will start in the spring of 2017.  Another step towards making Bridgeport more beautiful.
Gales Auto Repair will be expanding to include another location here on the Dixie for larger vehicle repairs.  Gales has a Facebook page -
There was discussion about and approval of PA495 Policy 16-01.  It is also referred to as the "Fire Insurance Withholding Program".  It is a statewide program.  The Libertarian in me automatically bristles at something like this, but I understand why they participate in this program.  You can find more information on this program on the Michigan State Government website,5269,7-303-13648-260234--,00.html
Lastly there was a detailed discussion about the township settling the McAllister vs Bridgeport Township lawsuit.  I don't know any details about the actual lawsuit so I can't speak on that but I will say that I agree with their decision to settle the lawsuit. I have only been selected once for jury duty and it was for a criminal case.  That trial left a bad impression on me of our jury system and my opinion now is never have any kind of trial by jury.  In today's society common sense seems to be a thing of the past, ethics and morals also seem to be long gone.  Too often when I read about the results of court cases my reaction is something like WTH?  Were these jurors on drugs?  Illiterate?  Have a personal bias?  Having a trial by jury is kind of like going to a casino, the odds are not in your favor and the risk of loss is too high to gamble on.  Settling this lawsuit was probably the safest bet for Bridgeport.
During the board member comments Rose Licht gave some updates.  Always informative like usual.
There will be another Township Trustee Board Meeting on Tuesday December 20th.
Sadly I learned that one of our police officers will be leaving us.  Officer Brent Green will be taking a position in Bay City.  He is a great guy and Bay City is lucky to be getting him.  I wish him all the best in his new position!
Rose also talked about how someone cut down four of the pine trees in the MDOT Park & Ride parking lot located next to I-75.  Really?  How low do you have to be to steal those pine trees?  And did they steal them to sell for Christmas Trees?  Do they even understand the true meaning of Christmas?

This Christmas song is dedicated to the lowlife that stole the pine trees:

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Poll - Removing Public Officials From Office

I created a poll and would love to get some feedback on it.  So take the poll, and you can leave your comments here on the blog or on the results page for the poll.

If there is information that came out about an elected public official that showed a pattern of behavior that would be considered misconduct of their public position, or something like a crime they committed in their personal life, should that official be removed from office? 

Click here to go to poll -

Results page -

Secrets - Can You Keep Them?

The Pierces - Secret

OneRepublic - Secrets 



Saturday, December 3, 2016

Toxic People

We have all had to deal with those toxic people in our lives at one time or another.  How do you recognize them, how do you deal with them?  When I think of someone that is a toxic person, all I think of is a cancer.  Toxic people are like a cancer, they will destroy everything and everyone they touch unless they are cut out, cut off so they can not spread their destruction.

Some of the most common types of a toxic person are:

- The Straight Jacket
The straight jacket is someone who wants to control everything and everyone around them. They want to be in charge of what you do, what you say and even what you think. You know the person I am talking about–they freak out when you disagree with them and won’t stop trying to convince you that they are right and you should do what they say.

- A JJ
 A JJ is a jealous-judgmental person. Jealous people are incredibly toxic because they have so much internal self-hate that they can’t be happy for anyone around them. And typically, their jealousy comes out as judgment, criticism or gossip. According to them, everyone else is awful, uncool or lacking in some way.

- The Fibber
 Liars, fibbers, exaggerators… it’s exhausting to have a toxic deceiver in your life. Whether they tell little falsehoods or major lies, it’s impossible to trust a liar

- A Tank
A tank crushes everything in its wake. A human tank is always right, doesn’t take anyone else’s feelings or ideas into account and constantly puts themselves first. .... tanks are incredibly arrogant and see their personal opinions as facts. This is because they often think they are the smartest person in the room and so they see every conversation and person as a challenge that must be won over. They rarely see others as equals....

And a few more examples of toxic people. 

The Manipulator
Manipulators suck time and energy out of your life under the façade of friendship. They can be tricky to deal with because they treat you like a friend. They know what you like, what makes you happy, and what you think is funny, but the difference is that they use this information as part of a hidden agenda. ... They’ll do anything to win you over just so they can work you over.

The Dementor
In J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, Dementors are evil creatures that suck people’s souls out of their bodies, leaving them merely as shells of humans.
Dementors suck the life out of the room by imposing their negativity and pessimism upon everyone they encounter. Their viewpoints are always glass half empty, and they can inject fear and concern into even the most benign situations.

The Twisted
There are certain toxic people who have bad intentions, deriving deep satisfaction from the pain and misery of others. They are either out to hurt you, to make you feel bad, or to get something from you; otherwise, they have no interest in you.

The Arrogant
Arrogant people are a waste of your time because they see everything you do as a personal challenge. Arrogance is false confidence, and it always masks major insecurities.