Livingston County taxpayers are about to bail out Republican Reps. Cindy Denby and Bill Rogers for decisions they made while holding local elected positions. Our tax dollars are going to go to cover up the multi-million-dollar mistakes made by this pair of "fiscal conservatives."
The taxpayer bailout amounts to $2 million, in the form of a special fund being set up by the all-Republican Livingston County Commission to loan money to townships that can't make the payments on sewer and water projects paid for by bonds backed by the county.
Handy Township is one of the townships in the most dire straits. It approved multiple new subdivisions, financed by bond issues backed by the county, when Denby was township supervisor. Rogers was chair of the commission when it decided to back the bonds for more subdivisions even though the Michigan economy was struggling, auto makers were losing money and laying off workers. Developers never finished the projects and walked away, leaving the townships and county holding the bag.
According to the Livingston Press and Argus, the county commission will take $1.6 million from money set aside for a new jail and $354,000 from the county's general fund to set up a fund to loan money to townships to make their bond payments. The same general fund that has had to be cut and cut, meaning fewer services for county residents paying the same amount of tax dollars.
So now, county taxpayers in townships like Hamburg and Putnam, which didn't participate in the risky overbuilding, are going to have their tax dollars going to bail out other parts of the county and paper over Denby and Rogers' mistakes.
Democrats running for county commission raised the issue of these toxic Special Assessment Districts during the 2010 county commission races but board Chair Maggie Jones insisted there was no problem at all. Everything was under control. Not to worry.
It worked until after the election, but Denby and Rogers' chickens are coming home to roost and pick the pockets of Livingston County taxpayers.