Friday, August 6, 2010

Don't Shoot the Messenger

Today's Press & Argus has a front-page article on Livingston County's liability for township debt.

If you haven't seen it, here are a few key points:
  • Eight LivCo townships are in danger of defaulting on over $100 million in assessment-backed bond debt.
  • The county commission chose to guarantee the township bonds -- they weren't legally obligated to do so.
  • Things are bad enough here in LivCo that a national news agency wrote about us; the MI House has put together a bipartisan package of bills to address the problem of township bond repayment.
  • We need to have an open discussion about the extent of the problem and how we can fix it.
Thanks to the story's, ah, interesting slant, though, the average reader might come away with the impression that County Democratic Chair Judy Daubenmier is raising the issue for purely partisan reasons. ("Chairwoman upset over assessments backing by county" "Party chair slams county board).

Why blame Daubenmier for talking about an issue that affects ALL LivCo residents -- even the ones who don't live in a township that borrowed during the boom years? She's not the first to raise the subject, either: Bloomberg News and even the P&A have written about our toxic debt problem.

Whether you're a Democrat or a Republican, it seems to me that everyone should be concerned about elected officials giving the OK to speculate with taxpayer money.

Shooting the messenger won't solve our problems.

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