Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Envelope, Please

We've been through the list of top political stories in Livingston County, counting down on Wednesday (Dec. 29, 2010) from Number 10 to Number 2. I've been feeling the suspense building the last 24 hours, and now it's time to reveal the top political story in Livingston County during 2010.

Drum roll, please. The top political story in Livingston County during 2010 was:

--The Livingston County Commission's debt management subcommittee was revealed to have failed to approve minutes of its meetings for ten of its meetings going back to August 2009.

The maneuver was discovered when a Freedom of Information Act request was filed for the minutes and the subcommittee had no actual minutes to release, only "drafts." At its next meeting, the debt management subcommittee suddenly decided to approve its back minutes.

The failure to approve minutes was an example of the way the all-Republican county commission tried to keep secret for months the depths of the problems that the county and many of its townships face from their decision to build water and sewer systems for developers without requiring adequate security, even as Michigan was losing jobs in its major industry throughout the decade.

The secrecy was destroyed when Bloomberg News singled out Livingston County as the center of the problem in Michigan.

County commissioners and former official, such as former chair Rep. Bill Rogers and former Handy Township Supervisor and now state Rep. Cindy Denby, continued to cover up their role in causing the crisis. They insisted there was no way to foresee slowing demand for housing in Livingston County, even as figures show Michigan lost jobs from 2001 on and even as they approved more and more subdivisions while others remained unfilled.

That's what passes for leadership in Livingston County.

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