an honest assessment of our city?

I was just making my way through the discussion on the Arbor Update site following their post on the possible elimination of Ypsilanti bus routes and came across the following comment left by someone named Karen Luck. I thought that I’d share it and see if perhaps any of you had thoughts.

No way! People don’t move to Ypsi because of bus service to Ann Arbor. However, Ann Arbor does appreciate the subsidy from the city of Ypsi. The 2 bus lines from Ypsi are about the only buses in the Ann Arbor system that have significant numbers of riders. Most of the other buses in the system ride around empty for most of the day.

Perhaps the most alarming news concerning the city budget problems is that Ypsi city officials think they can get the surrounding townships to bail them out. Any township would have to be crazy to form an economic alliance with the city. They have proven that they can’t manage their affairs, consistantly spend more than they can afford, and think the township will hire their police department to protect them. The Ypsi city spends more to police 3.5 square miles than Ypsi township pays to police about ten times the area. I will work to recall any township official who endangers our finances by linking up with the soon to be bankrupt city. They (the city) need to cut expenses. Maybe they should realize that they can’t afford to pay the city manager 6 figures, or pay part-time council members, or spend a quarter million per year on recycling, or continue to allow the 3 business districts to separate their taxes from the general fund or continue to employ former state representatives as lobbyists.

The city made a huge mistake when it entered the speculative real estate market with the Waters Street project. They have encumbered future tax revenue for a residential project that needs to be considerably cut back due to the environmental contamination at the site. And where’s the accountability. They blame the State and Prop A even though their revenues have always risen faster than inflation.

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8 Comments

  1. Hillary
    Posted February 22, 2006 at 11:16 pm | Permalink

    She’s wrong that people don

  2. Tony Buttons Esq.
    Posted February 23, 2006 at 8:31 am | Permalink

    If this person really doesn’t grasp the difference between policing the 3.5 square miles of the city and the 35 square miles of the Township, I think it’s safe to assume that she can’t be trusted on the other matters either. It would be like me saying that Manhattan can be policed by two men on horseback because that’s all it takes for an area of that size in North Dakota.

  3. ol' e cross
    Posted February 23, 2006 at 9:23 am | Permalink

    A couple thoughts. First, I recommend anyone interested in this topic at least review SEMCOG’s “Fiscal Capacity of Southeast Michigan Communities: Taxable Value and its Implications.” (http://www.semcog.org/Products/pdfs/taxablevalue.pdf). Taxable value represents the potential fiscal resources a community has. The report finds that,

  4. murph
    Posted February 23, 2006 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Karen is, um, generally anti-city. See a previous comment by her on the calthorpe plan discussion, for example.

    I think she’s incorrect – incorrect about the ridership of AATA (“mostly empty”), incorrect about the ability of Ypsi to “live within its means, if only it took responsibility”, incorrect that Ypsi’s problems have no bearing on (or contribution from) the Twp, and so on.

    My phrasing of condescendingly telling Ypsi to “live within its means” invokes an image of Ypsi as the working poor of municipalities. It can go out and work two jobs, but the father of its children ran off to the Townships and hasn’t been paying child support, so, really, there’s not much it can do.

  5. schutzman
    Posted February 23, 2006 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I agree with hillary’s point about bus service. If you get onto any ypsilanti apartment complex’s website, including the one i live in, one of the first things they mention is proximity to the bus line.

    As for the township, I’ve been told that we actually blew our chances in the 1950s. Supposedly, the Twp at that point was begging the city to annex them, but our proud civic leaders, bolstered by the financial windfall of Willow Run’s effects, basically laughed at the idea of having any need for a bunch of farmers out in the sticks.

    Then, the housing developments came, and while we’re debating which city services we need least, they’re lighting cigars with $100 bills as they oversee each new groundbreaking along Huron River Drive.

  6. mark
    Posted February 23, 2006 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    Thank you all for your comments… I wonder if we could ban together to force the Sidetrack to bring back the $2.50 25 oz beer…. It wouldn’t have to be for everyone, just bloggers… As much as I like the idea of protesting in front of EMU on the first day of classes, trying to get the state to pay what they owe our community, I think that the “Ten Cents an Ounce” campaign might have more popular support.

  7. Hillary
    Posted February 24, 2006 at 1:07 am | Permalink

    The report also indicated that

  8. BrianB
    Posted February 24, 2006 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    The policing comments are really timely because I live near the western border of ypsi and ypsi twp and my home was invaded early thurs morning by an crack addict. The ypsi city police were phenomenal, responded immediately and caught the guy. But he was fleeing towards the township and the police said that they thought that the dealer was in that direction too. So maybe ypsi twp should be spending a bit more on law enforcement, and I don’t know, street lights and sidewalks, maybe? instead of pretending that they are living out on some sort of rural strip mall oasis. I guess you can just buy yourself a gun and a home alarm system with the money you save on taxes living there.

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