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Wyandotte Council Reaches Compromise on Millage

Officials say the millage, if passed, will curb layoffs and allow savings through attrition and other cuts.

Wyandotte City Council members reached a compromise Monday night that will allow for residents to decide if they want to pay higher taxes in lieu of having city services cut.

The amount of the millage, however, has dropped from 3 mills to 1.75 mills.

Four council members had already signed off on putting a three-year, 3-mill ballot question before voters. However, the measure needed the support of at least five council members to legally be placed on the ballot.

Council members James DeSana and Sheri Sutherby-Fricke and said they had no interest in changing their vote.

When Councilman Daniel Galeski suggested the lower millage amount at Monday’s meeting, it received unanimous support.

The ballot language still needs the approval from the state of Michigan, but City Attorney William Look said he sees no issues that would cause the state to deny it.

If it gets the go-ahead from Lansing, the 1.75-mill question will be put before Wyandotte voters during a special Nov. 8 election. If approved, it will cost the average homeowner about $85 a year for three years, according to City Administrator Todd Drysdale.

The issue got heated Monday morning when about 10 marched outside , urging DeSana and Sutherby-Fricke . The firefighters returned in the evening and marched outside City Hall before the 7 p.m. council meeting. Then, they crowded into the standing-room only council meeting to see how the vote went down.

Sutherby-Fricke said she never intended to deny residents the right to vote. However, she said, she couldn’t in good conscience go along with a 3-mill ballot issue before first researching all other options at offsetting the city’s estimated $1.4 million budget shortfall.

Councilman Todd Browning, who supported putting the millage before voters from the onset, said he’s happy his colleagues changed their mind to allow residents the opportunity to decide.

Because the millage rate was lowered, however, it’s only estimated to bring in about $1 million a year if passed. That’s $400,000 less than the city’s projected deficit, meaning city officials will still have to cut costs in other areas.

That’s OK by Browning, who said it was never the city’s intention to bank solely on a millage request without also making some tough choices.

“This council will continue to look for concessions,” he said. “It’s going to be easier to cut positions through attrition rather than layoffs.”

Andrew Przytula August 09, 2011 at 09:59 AM
i was at the city council 8-8-11 and repeated ask them if they have sat down with ALL the unions to dicuss cuts and i was told where talking with them i said dont put the cart before the horse meaning sit down with unions and guarantee that what ever they do nonunion employees will do and in some cases even more such as looking at why and world we are the city engineer 100+ and others it seems a little to much since eveyone is takeing cuts.
Rich malinowski August 09, 2011 at 11:36 AM
Mr. Przytula, I can say you definitely Made a Joke of yourself, Sir, You were completely unprofessional, Definitely Misinformed, and My man I think before you step Up you should do your reasearch, before you speak.
Andrew Przytula August 09, 2011 at 11:48 AM
to all uaw members please ask bob king why he wont in a open meeting explain to me how in the world the big three got 300million from the federal goverment and for the big 3 vebia fund and thehayes lemmerz uaw members got nothing. during the bakruptcy case the union put them in a company ran veba i know how that worked out for them it didnt why wasnt their plan put under a uaw veba so they could get some goernment relief when the uaw got that 300 million could it be they where just part suppliers and the uaw doesnt care them the answer is yes iknow that uaw int. live in wyandotte please ask mr. jobs and justice where is their justice
Mary Washko August 09, 2011 at 01:34 PM
Mr. Przytula, I agree with Mr. Malinowski. Yes, you do have an opinion and should be heard but, you could have gone about it in a gentler way. You were pointing fingers and that's just not right. We ALL are hurting for money and sure we blame it on the government but, if you don't like what we have than I suggest you move to Canada. When the Millage was passed you huffed out and made a ruckus outside the room how childish!
Concerned August 09, 2011 at 01:47 PM
andrew, if you put as much effort in fighting this as you would in learning how to type a readable sentence and proper grammar we all might be able to understand half the mumblings that come out of your mouth.
Terri Havlicsek August 09, 2011 at 01:58 PM
It is impossible to make everyone happy! I am proud of the Mayor!
rdarin1 August 09, 2011 at 02:15 PM
I am glad a compromise was reached, but we will still be at least a half million dollars short of funds that will require cuts. What services are you willing to live without? IF the millage passes. The hard work is just beginning.
Ferd Keller August 09, 2011 at 03:10 PM
The compromise was the best way to solve this situation -- the budget hearings have produced some cost cutting that can be put in place and lessen the effect of the earlier budget submission by the Mayor and, if the millage passes, it will possibly save some of the jobs on the block. Things get personal when one's rights get threatened - as was seen by the events of Monday - demonstrating and attendance at the City Council meeting and speaking to the elected officials. But all in all we live in a great country and in a great city and the passion is there to keep them great. Thanks to the Mayor and Council for their work to bring this to a happy medium -- now we need to show support for the Millage vote in November.
Jim Rutkowski August 09, 2011 at 03:50 PM
While I have not viewed the Council meeting, I am pleased to here that they have come up with a compromise. Our Council reached a compromise in the course of one open meeting, something that our Federal leaders couldn't do over several weeks. Congratulations to our Mayor and Council. As for Mr. Przytula, please have someone proof-read your comments before they are submitted. I found it impossible to read and follow your train of thought. It appears to be the rantings of a very angry person. I am trying to determine how Bob King, the UAW, the VEBA
Jim Rutkowski August 09, 2011 at 03:55 PM
To Mr. Przytula, I am trying to determine how Bob King, the UAW, the VEBA and the auto bailout has anything to do with the Wyandotte millage vote. I guess I'll have to watch the rerun of the Council meeting.
Dave August 09, 2011 at 07:03 PM
Val, you seem to have local and federal goverment confused.we all pay taxes and mayor and council are looking for the best interest of all in the city without making cuts that will hurt all that live and work in wyandotte. police and fire should never i repeat never be considered at all, for people like yourself would be the first to complain if something happened and they did not respond at a timely manner.... lets all just vote yes and i would hope that we all can afford about $8 a month.
Andrew Przytula August 09, 2011 at 07:43 PM
mr rutkowski i was responding to a statement that was made to me by one of our citzens who didnt believe that the uaw received 300 million dollars from the federal government. know that i put it out their since he said he wasnt aware of who is paying some of his retirees health care. also i apolige to all of you for carrying on about how unfair the uaw is in takeing care of retirees. from ips plants . if it wasnt for those people i wouldnt had the pleasure of being there elected rep as chief steward from 1972 to 1978 and thn a bargainning committeman from 1978 till the company shut us down oct.17th 1997.

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