It looks like my site is being blocked by Wireless Ypsi… I wonder why…

I’m trying to give them the benefit of the doubt, but I just got word from a friend that, as of this evening, our local free wireless network, Wireless Ypsi, is blocking this site. My hope is that it’s an oversight on the part of Steve Pierce and Brian Robb, the men who run the local initiative, but it seems like one hell of a coincidence, given that, just a little before they pulled the plug on me, I left a comment on Facebook essentially saying that Steve, and his associates involved in the Stop City Income Tax campaign, were showing themselves to be less than forthright by refusing to debate the merits of a local income tax in a public, neutral forum. (Steve, for those of you who don’t know, is one of the primary figures behind the SCIT campaign.)

As I try, to the best of my ability, to keep my personal views on Ypsi politics private, I haven’t come out and chosen sides publicly on the local income tax debate – personally I think there are valid arguments on both sides of the issue – but there’s one thing that I can’t stand, and that’s dishonesty. And, to be frank, that’s what I was seeing. So, I spoke out, and indicated that I’d be writing something on my site about it… And that’s when my site got blocked.

The folks on the other side of the debate, who are urging Ypsilantians to vote in favor of a local income tax and a millage to cover the debt resulting from a long-ago bungled real estate deal, had put the word out through multiple channels that they were looking to debate the issue, in a public forum, with representatives from SCIT. They sent emails Steve, and everyone else that they knew to be involved in SCIT leadership, and, when those emails didn’t elicit a response, they started posting things earlier this week to Facebook and other online public forums. In spite of this, they still received no response… until today. Today, when representatives from SCIT finally did respond, they said that they hadn’t received the repeated requests for debate, as they hadn’t been sent to the generic email address of the campaign. (They apparently don’t read their personal email.) They then went on to say, “With just over four weeks before the election and where one weekend is Easter, there is little time left to do anything more than to get out the vote. The time for debates has past.” With all due respect, that’s bullshit. And I don’t care if saying so gets me bumped from a network that was launched with the stated intention of creating “a richer sense of community in Ypsilanti by encouraging groups to work toward a common goal.”

If you are funding a campaign, and putting yard signs up around town, urging people to vote against a measure, I think it’s incumbent upon you to stand up, in front of your friends and neighbors, and explain your position. Or, failing that, I think you should at least have the decency to say that you don’t feel as though debating the facts would help your chances of winning come election day. But, don’t lie to the rest of us, saying that you didn’t get the repeated requests for debate. It’s insulting.

Now, please unblock my site, or explain what I’ve done to deserve being singled out for censorship.

And, once that’s done, have the balls to stand up on a stage, face everyone, and tell them what our options are as a community if we don’t pass these taxes.

update:

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82 Comments

  1. XXL
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    If this turns out to be true, and if your site was blocked based solely upon a political disagreement between you and Mr. Pierce, this is a big, fucking deal. Unfortunately, AnnArbor.com won’t touch it, as they’re terrified of Pierce, who has taken them to court in the past.

  2. Mike G!
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

    Dayum, you put them on blast! Nicely done.

  3. Erp
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

    I wonder if everyone who has a Wireless Ypsi router in their house, or place of business, knows that Steve is exerting his control over the network to silence people that he disagrees with? I’ve got to think that some people might not be too crazy about that.

  4. T
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I very well may vote against the tax, but I’ll agree with you that Steve has proved himself repeatedly to be a petulant little child.

  5. Posted April 6, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    I hope this is just a weird quirk…really. Please keep us posted.

  6. Glen S.
    Posted April 6, 2012 at 10:23 pm | Permalink

    The reason SCIT doesn’t want to debate is simple: They know that the more “No” voters learn about these two proposals — and the serious consequences Ypsilanti will face if they don’t pass — the more likely they are to change, or at least reconsider, their position.

    Those of us who plan to vote “YES” vote on May 8 believe this election represents a crucial opportunity to keep “Ypsilanti as we know it” by making sure our City stays financially sound — and therefore able to continue providing core services that are necessary to maintain everyone’s health, safety and quality of life — including a strong Police and Fire Department, clean (and safe) parks, etc.

    That the “No” side thinks there’s nothing wrong with having Ypsilanti voters make this important decision without having an opportunity to hear from both “sides” on this issue is extremely disappointing, to say the least.

  7. Pro Ypsi
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:01 am | Permalink

    This is the definition of pathetic. Steve Pierce and crew really need to man up and face this debate or admit that they’re just lying.

  8. Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:22 am | Permalink

    What’s the update on the Wireless Ypsi blacklist– fluke or censorship? It seems that regardless of political standings, the fact that Wireless Ypsi sees fit to stifle basic freedom of speech is truly frightening.

    And for what its worth, I’ve opposed the income tax previously but after looking at Schreiber’s latest update, it sounds like the time has come.

  9. Jiggs
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:03 am | Permalink

    I’ve previously experienced “outages” from this site on wirelessypsi. I’ve not put any thought into the timing, however. Just FYI. And curious.

  10. lorie thom
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 5:58 am | Permalink

    This is explains why my buddy was unable to show your site to another person at lunch yesterday. made a joke about this being why I refuse to use wireless Ypsi.

    Now, I live in a neighborhood that beset by criminals coming from the high school during school hours. 10 Break-ins and countless cars – another neighborhood had an equal number. It sure would have been nice to have a little more manpower with the police to process these criminals fast enough to keep them in custody long enough to prevent some of those crimes AND push the high school to do a better job tracking their students during school hours.

    We need our own cops and we need more of them. Spring has arrived and we’re targeted again.

  11. Posted April 7, 2012 at 6:08 am | Permalink

    I will not enter Ypsilanti until Mark is unblocked.

  12. Posted April 7, 2012 at 6:09 am | Permalink

    Not that I ever go to Ypsi nor that anyone would care whether I go there or not.

    But still, I maintain my personal boycott.

    For Mark.

  13. Erika
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 6:18 am | Permalink

    I’m guessing this is why:

    http://markmaynard.com/2010/08/unbiased-newsman-steve-pierce-weighs-in-with-the-fair-and-balanced-facts/

  14. Anonymous Mike
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 6:23 am | Permalink

    Anyone who knows Steve Pierce could have seen this coming. He’s absolutely the kind of person that would launch a for-profit entity, making it look like a non-profit, dedicated to facilitating community interaction, and, then, when it serves his purposes, using his position as gatekeeper to restrict information that doesn’t serve his political ends.

  15. Anonymous Mike
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 6:27 am | Permalink

    Nice link, Erika. This part especially resonates:

    “I try my damndest to stay objective about local politics, and keep my cool, but it bothers the hell out of me when people treat this stuff like a fucking game. Beating your perceived enemies is not all that matters. And bullshit like this isn’t what the City needs right now. There are significant issues that need to be addressed, and these kinds of baseless attacks only serve to further confuse the real issues at hand. I know both Pete and Paul, and I like them. I’m proud to have them both serving the City at a time when no one in their right mind would volunteer to do so. And I wish them both all the best in tomorrow’s primary. But there’s no place for this kind of behavior, and I would hope that each of these men would perhaps learn from this that there are forces at work within out City that do not have our best interests at heart. And I’ll leave it at that for now…”

  16. Anonymous Mike
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 6:38 am | Permalink

    Their side, from Facebook, as articulated by Rodney Nanney:

    “Supporters of ever more and higher taxes are trying a new stunt: Crying wolf to the media that they want to debate and no one from the Stop City Income Tax and Vote No On Water Street Millage committee (SCIT) will respond. Ridiculous.

    Read the real story here: http://www.StopCityIncomeTax.com/news/ .

    This is nothing but a stunt from a desperate campaign.

    Those advocating for this huge new 30% tax increase made no attempt to contact the SCIT campaign office via the campaign phone number [(734) 252-YPSI (9774)], campaign email address [SCIT@ypsi.com] or by mail [309 Oak St, Ypsilanti, MI, 48198].

    All of this information is clearly available on the SCIT campaign website and materials.”

    Is it really a 30% tax increase? I wish there were a debate so that they could explain their numbers.

  17. Posted April 7, 2012 at 6:49 am | Permalink

    From the outside, Ypsilanti, an insignificant town of 20,000 people, is so petty, it doesn’t even need the Heartbreakers.

    Blocking websites is something that China does.

  18. Anonymous
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:34 am | Permalink

    Not sure if the “blocking’ is intentional or not, but I wouldn’t be surprised. This would go right along with Steve’s other tactic of “generously” offering to host websites and e-mail distribution lists for neighborhood associations and other groups — then blocking access to people he doesn’t like and/or removing them from the list.

  19. Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    The quote that Anonymous Mike posts reflects my feelings precisely. That’s why I felt so enraged when the Climate Action Planning process was targeted by the anti-tax people. They used this grant funded process to suggest that the city was wasting staff time – blah, blah, blah. It also bothers the hell out of ME that they will sacrifice anything — even so precious a gift as the CAP process — just to win. The comments on the Facebook Ypsi Tax Discussion page and on an event page for a neighborhood meeting to gather citizen input show how the anti-tax people are willing to sacrifice CAP to win by any means necessary.

    Even having witnessed them stooping to trash CAP, I am appalled and shocked that they would stoop to block markmaynard.com. This is anti democratic — and I am disgusted.

    Climate change is something that we will all be dealing with, whichever side wins on May 8. I feel incredibly blessed that Ypsilanti was chosen as a model city to benefit from this grant that’s helping citizens come together and plan for it on the local level — since we are seeing so little leadership on the national level.

    I will be voting YES on May 8 because I believe that it will increase the tools that we will have to improve our city’s resilience in the face of economic crisis, climate change, and spiraling energy costs. In this “new normal,” we have to come together as a community! That is the greatest tool in our toolbox! Thus I reject the anti-tax arguments and their non-positions.

  20. Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    [I tried to link those two Facebook pages — but I guess I did it wrong. Sorry!]

  21. Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    As a data point, I’m reading via Wireless Ypsi right now.

  22. Amy Morgan
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:57 am | Permalink

    I recognize that it confirms my status as a left wing nut job to say so, but I’m with Margaret Wheatley in that I believe conversation – the kind where we actually remain curious about one another – is the basic way people think together. I’ve had a lot of those conversations in Ypsi; not the “I think this and you think that therefore we are not the same and I can write you off as crazy,” kind, but the “I think this and you think that and we both love our city and isn’t life interesting see you at the coop/bar/park/farmers’ market” kind.
    Thinking together is what we NEED if this city is going to survive and be the kind if place we want to live in. While I have come out in favor of the income tax, what I’m REALLY in favor of is a productive exchange of ideas. A community where everyone has enough confidence in our collective ability to THINK for our city that we debate (converse) respectfully and passionately in public forums (actual and virtual) with confidence that THINKING TOGETHER we can create solutions that don’t leave anybody out in the cold.

    Is it REALLY too late for a debate?

  23. Curt Waugh
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    My two-income family will experience at least a 30% tax increase. I can show you the numbers. We are the very type of family that this city needs and this tax will do nothing except make me furious for imposing this on my family. You want some mythical hip Ypsilanti that has never existed and probably never will and you think it’s a cute little game to have my family pay for it.

    I’m sorry that the state government has turned against the local municipalities. I’m sorry that the state loves to spend all our money on prisons that don’t make us safer. I’m sorry that general economic conditions have drained this state of way too many people to repopulate Ypsi. I’m sorry Mark and Steve want to drag us all into their little personal spat. I’m sorry our former leaders ruined us with their horrible idea to be land barons. But its not OK to ask my family to fix it.

    Why would any of you think that throwing more money at the very people who oversaw this mess is the way out? As I understand it, the first sign of insanity is doing the same action and expecting a different result. How is this any different? I do not trust any of you. THAT is the sane position based on history.

    I will debate any of you any time in any venue. I do not belong to any group but I feel someone needs to speak for those of us that all of you are asking to pay for this folly. I’m voting NO. I’m asking everyone I know to vote NO. I will speak with facts about my position and I do not have any personal spat with anybody in city government.

  24. Ypsi Lover
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 8:51 am | Permalink

    I was kind of on the fence about this income tax but after reading Curts comment, I am now leaning towards VOTE NO

  25. b
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:15 am | Permalink

    troublemaker…

  26. Glen S.
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:22 am | Permalink

    @ Curt

    The purpose of these proposals is not to raise more money to build some mythical “hipster” paradise — the purpose of is to make sure we can continue paying for basic services that benefit everyone: Sufficient police protection to prevent and combat crime. A fire department capable responding quickly in an emergency. Making sure there is someone “there” at City Hall when residents or business-owners need assistance.

    I don’t know if you’ve had a chance to see any of the City’s budget presentations, or to review the charts/graphs in the Mayor’s recent “State of the City” message, but the facts are pretty sobering. The bottom line is that unless we find some source of additional revenue, the City will have to begin making drastic cuts — and quickly. And, since the City has been cutting steadily for over a decade, and, because the Police and Fire Departments make up the great majority of the General Fund budget, those two areas are really the only place left to cut.

    So, while I can understand people not wanting to pay more in taxes, I have to ask: O.K., THEN what?

    Are the “No” folks seriously suggesting we should just “let the chips fall,” and risk a downward (and accelerating) spiral of cuts that ultimately leads to a fiscal crisis, gutting our Police and Fire Department, and the imposition of an “Emergency Manager” from Lansing? How, exactly, would that be good for individuals, families, or the community as a whole? What would this do to property values? To insurance rates? To business development?

    As for “throwing more money at the very same people who oversaw this mess,” I have to say: Three of the City Council members who voted to put these two measures on the ballot ran on an “no new taxes” platform — but have now agreed that our budget situation is so dire that that the additional taxes are needed. Do you really think they would do that — and risk the wrath of supporters and voters — if there were any other way out of this situation?

    The choice we face on May 8 is difficult, and the options are far from perfect — but I think a “YES” vote is our best opportunity to keep our community financially stable, and safe, while we wait for the economy to improve, and for things to get better, eventually.

  27. Glen S.
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink

    Sorry … FOUR City Council members — a majority, in fact.

  28. S_Lane
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:46 am | Permalink

    This 30% increase number is a scare tactic. It’s a 1% income tax. That means it is proportional to your income, if you don’t make much, you won’t be taxed much. My husband and I are by no means rich- we made about $45,000 together last year, meaning our income tax would be about $450. In the three years we’ve owned our house our property taxes have decreased by over $2000. Even with the income tax in place we will still be paying quite a bit less than we did in 2009, and we’ll have city services to rely on.

  29. Steve pickard
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:55 am | Permalink

    I Believe Markmaynardotcom.

  30. Walt
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Richard Murphy is lying.

  31. Charlie Hoffmann
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    Curt Waugh
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 8:40 am | Permalink
    My two-income family will experience at least a 30% tax increase. I can show you the numbers.

    Thanks for the comment Curt. I’m curious about the numbers. Can you show them to us?

  32. Curt Waugh
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    Glen, I have read all the letters and examined all the presentations given so far. I am fully up-to-speed on all facts here. I guess I just don’t see the same doom and gloom in living within our means that the rest of you do.

    Yes, the city will have to make cuts. So has my family over the past several years. So have all of you. Whatever the IRS hasn’t taken, DTE picked up. Whatever DTE didn’t get, my insurance company scooped up. And yet my family hasn’t fallen apart and neither have yours. We adjusted. We found a way.

    If we get our house in order, there is no emergency manager. That’s not even up for debate. Ypsi has no need for one. That you throw it out within a statement about something else just reveals that fear is your motivator here. You are scared of the unknown and all those demons just tumble over each other in no particular order in your words. The only thing that scares me is the foolish things the Ypsi government has done with my money – provable FACTS. The FACT is that they just can’t help but go back to the well for more. Our money is crack to these folks.

    You ask about property values. Property values have already tanked, negating that point entirely. Thanks to that fact, property is actually incredibly affordable in Ypsi. (I saw a 4-bedroom on Summit for $72k.) Has this created a housing boom? No. Even with the larger police force, even with a robust fire department, even with no income tax, Ypsi still got into this housing mess. And yet your main point is that we have to keep funding these things or the city is in trouble. We tried that already. We tried it and yet here we are. I see no correlation between funding these departments beyond our means and the growth of the city. Before you continue to go on about this issue, prove that this works. Show me the data.

    You ask, “Then what?” I don’t have all the answers. Paraphrasing Thoreau, “I do not want to spend my life trying to make the world a better place. I simply want to live in it and experience it.” It’s not up to me to have all the answers and it’s not up to me to pay for others’ “answers” when they have no data to show that they will work – when their proposals run counter to the very obvious facts about our own recent history. I do have one example of a huge improvement when the city got out of the way: When the city got out of the community pool business, we got a great new pool. Say what you will, but the city would never have built that pool. PEOPLE built that pool and I definitely have faith in the brilliance of the masses acting in their own self-interest. I do not have faith in government, but these wonderful, passionate, caring people have shown us, “Then what.”

    But I really love this statement: “…while we wait for the economy to improve, and for things to get better, eventually.” You have not one shred of evidence for this. I just don’t get the concept that we’re supposed to keep throwing money into the belly of the beast and sit back and cross our fingers. I think we’d be better off pooling our money and heading down to the casino for a spin of the roulette wheel. This just sounds like gambling to me.

    Yes Lane, this is a 30% increase for my family. My taxes will go up 30%. It’s absolutely painfully unfair for you to tie this income tax to our property taxes in any way, shape or form. This tax is not indexed to property taxes. There is no end date and no end trigger. This is a permanent tax increase. If it isn’t permanent, then why is there no end date on it?

    I will vote NO. I encourage everyone to vote NO. I ask those of you who want to vote for this to ask the people who proposed this why they aren’t being up front about putting an end date or an end trigger on this tax. This is nothing more than an attempt to use fear to lock up a permanent supra-Headlee revenue source. It puts us in the same boat as Detroit. It didn’t work for them and it won’t work for us. Vote NO.

  33. Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:24 am | Permalink

    That’s cool if it’s back up. Hopefully it was just a temporary glitch. Given that it’s the first time it’s happened since the launch of Wireless Ypsi, I’m inclined to think it wasn’t a coincidence, but I’m happy to move on, and put it behind me. As for the debate, though, I don’t see how they can seriously say that “the time for debate is over.” We need tons of debate on this issue. It’s probably the most important decision many of us will ever be faced with, as pertains to this community in which we live.

  34. Glen S.
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

    @ Curt

    You mention the May 8 proposals as putting us in the “same boat as Detroit.” In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

    The budget drama we are seeing in places like Highland Park, Pontiac, Benton Harbor — and Detroit — is a good example of what happens when cities don’t want to face reality of their changing situation, or aren’t willing to take positive steps to deal with it.

    Unlike those communities, Ypsilanti has recognized the magnitude of the situation and has been, and continues to be, proactive. We’ve been making cuts for well over a decade … eliminating the City’s Recreation Department, slashing City Hall staff and combining multiple jobs into one, outsourcing things like IT services and police dispatch, trimming total City payrolls, and making staff pay more for healthcare. However, we’ve now reached the point where there really isn’t anything left to cut without hacking away at “core” services, like Police or Fire — or instead, facing the very *real* prospect of a financial crisis, and eventual State takeover.

    Difficult situations sometimes require difficult choices. In supporting these proposals, I’m not necessarily trying to “make the world a better place,” I’m merely doing what I think is right to protect my family and my neighbors — by making sure Ypsilanti remains a stable, and safe, place to live.

  35. Glen S.
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

    @ Curt

    “I do have one example of a huge improvement when the city got out of the way: When the city got out of the community pool business, we got a great new pool. Say what you will, but the city would never have built that pool. PEOPLE built that pool and I definitely have faith in the brilliance of the masses acting in their own self-interest. I do not have faith in government, but these wonderful, passionate, caring people have shown us, “Then what.””

    FACT CHECK: The Friends of Rutherford Pool has indeed saved this precious Ypsilanti resource — primarily by putting together an application for a GOVERNMENT (TAXPAYER FUNDED) GRANT! What’s more, they could not have achieved this without utilizing City staff for technical support, and the City itself, as the “agent” to apply for that grant. I applaud the efforts of the Friends of Rutherford Pool … and we definitely will need more of these kinds of citizen-led projects going forward. But without a viable City Hall (and staff) available to help “leverage” such efforts, these kinds of successes will become more and more difficult.

    So, sorry … but trying to paint the new Rutherford Pool as solely a triumph of individual efforts over government incompetence is a bit like when Tea Party-types scream about wanting to “keep the government’s hands off my Medicare.”

  36. Posted April 7, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    Glen makes a good point that four city council people who originally opposed the income tax now agree that it is a necessary step. These are not “the people who got us into this mess.” These are people who ran on an anti-tax platform and then (1) the situation continued to get worse and (2) they were forced to face up to the responsibility of hard choices. Curt, these people are part of the “brilliant masses” you have faith in — you don’t take up a council office and then suddenly become the devil or an idiot. It’s a hard job — I’m glad I don’t have to do it. They can’t just fold their arms and proclaim, “Just say no.” I say YES, I’d rather fight than quit. I’ll fight for my city by voting YES.

  37. karen
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    isn’t glenn lying to everyone? robb refuses to publicly say if is in favor of an income tax. this is just more lying from the yes side.

  38. S_Lane
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 12:46 pm | Permalink

    @Curt:

    I’m linking property taxes to income tax because the decline in one has directly lead to the need for the other. Why is it unfair to mention that? I appreciate the fact that my taxes have gone down so much.

    If your property taxes are anything like mine (about $3500) a 30% increase of your current taxes would be $1,050 meaning at a 1% rate that you would be making over $100,000/year.

    Assuming your house is less valuable than mine (and my house is lovely, but pretty small) Lets say your property taxes are $2000. That means a 30% increase would amount to $600 putting your annual income at $60,000/year more than twice the median household income in Ypsi ($28,610.)

    Sorry, but I’m just not buying the sob story that contributing 1% of your income to keep cops on the street and city services running is cruel and unusual. The truly impoverished are exempted from paying, and the rest of us should be willing to do our part to help our city pay its debts and weather this recession.

  39. Watching Laughing
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Put a casino at Water Street.

    WL.

  40. j
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    This is frustrating. Still haven’t got an alternative from the “No” crowd.

    Off the top of my head, we could go volunteer or hybrid fire department and cut deep in contract negotiations with police. We could raise city inspection fees so the inspectors pay for themselves and a few others at City Hall. Are these good ideas? I dunno. All we are getting is “I don’t wanna pay.” The frequently repeated line is we’ll give Water Street to the bank as if that’s a possibility.

    I’ll be voting Yes unless I get some reasonable alternative.

  41. Glen S.
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    @ Karen

    You may certainly feel free to disagree with me about the tax proposals, but before you accuse me (or the YES campaign) of “lying,” you might want to check the meeting minutes, on the City website.

    http://www.cityofypsilanti.com/Government/MayorCityCouncil/MeetingRecords

    On February 7, 2012, City Council took three votes:

    #1 – A motion to adopt a 5-Year Budget Plan (including the City Income Tax and Water Street Millage.) This motion *which was, in fact, introduced by Brian Robb* passed unanimously (7-0).

    #2 – A motion to place language on the May 8 ballot to enact a Water Street debt retirement millage, as a part of the 5-Year Budget Plan. This motion also passed unanimously (7-0).

    # 3- A motion to place language on the May 8 ballot to enact a City Income Tax, as part of the 5-Year Budget Plan. This motion also passed unanimously (7-0).

    I support the 5-Year Plan — including both the Income Tax and Water Street Millage — and I continue to applaud City Council for taking a bold, united stand in supporting these measures.

    I also find it disappointing that the “No” campaign seems more interested and running away from opportunities to debate — while accusing their opponents of lying — than in having an honest conversation about these important issues.

  42. Posted April 7, 2012 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    The accusations are baseless and not true. It is too bad that Mr. Maynard did not bother to even call or email to find out what is going on before making his accusations.

    Here is the complete story.

    Wireless Ypsi and Content Filtering
    http://hdl.com/2012/04/07/wireless-ypsi-and-content-filtering/

    – Steve

  43. j
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 3:29 pm | Permalink

    Huh. Weird. I actually agree with Steve about something.

  44. Posted April 7, 2012 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Thanks, Steve. As I said in the post, I’d hoped that it was just a glitch. Given that a few people mentioned being blocked from the site, though, and, as, to my knowledge, this had never happened before in the history of Wireless Ypsi, I thought that it was odd. This was especially true given that, in a public online forum, I’d just indicated that I’d planned to post something about your refusal to debate… So, yes, I thought that there could be a connection. Add to this the fact that you have a history of shenanigans when it comes to local elections, and I think you can appreciate why I might have suspected the worst. At any rate, thanks for unblocking my site, explaining the problem at Wireless Ypsi, and leaving a response here. It’s nice to know that, in certain circumstances, you can reply to questions posed online… Now, how about that debate?

  45. Posted April 7, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

    And I especially liked this part of your post, Steve. It was inspired.

    This particular bloggers website, while often times very funny, is not for kids. It is an adult -only website with topics like testicle shavers and washing and there is no filter on the language used so foul language including the F- word are used on a weekly basis by both the blogger and the people commenting on this site. By definition of teh Child Online Protection Act, COPA, this bloggers website is an Adult only site.

  46. 734
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 4:10 pm | Permalink

    Steve, the audience here doesn’t only talk about washing their balls. They also talk about washing their butts.

  47. Posted April 7, 2012 at 4:33 pm | Permalink

    I am not convinced.

  48. Andrew Jason Clock
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    There’s just one little thing about Steve’s explanation. I know the person who reported this outage to you, Mark, and I am fairly certain they are Steve’s close neighbor, which means that the most likely person to operate the node that has been blocking you site, or accidentally blocking it, is Steve himself. I suppose its possible the person was not at home at the time, but it didn’t seem so during the FB conversation.

  49. Charlie Hoffmann
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    OpenDNS allows one to block both specific websites and general categories of websites using a list they maintain. In his blog post Steve says,

    “Did anyone specifically blog this bloggers website. Absolutely not.”

    This means that Wireless Ypsi or one of its access point providers decided to block a category in which MarkMaynard.com falls according to OpenDNS. Steve’s blog post implies that the category is something like “Adult Only.” It is rather easy to check this, of course, as OpenDNS publishes their list. Here is the OpenDNS listing for MarkMaynard.com:

    http://community.opendns.com/domaintagging/search/?q=markmaynard.com

    OpenDNS knows nothing of MarkMaynard.com. It can’t be blocked by category.

    Steve you are lying.

  50. Delilah
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

    If this were another century, we’d tar and feather the motherfucker. Nanney’s no better. Funny the vitriol and hate that religious Republicans are capable of, eh?

  51. Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

    Charlie,

    No the filter also allows to create custom blocks based on offensive words and other criteria including blocking the F word. All the person had to do was clear their cache or reboot and Marks site would have loaded fine at the beer establishment.

    BTW, this same establishment has received four of these take DMCA copyright notices from Comcast and TDS Metrocom in the last several months where people have been downloading illegal and copyrighted movies while surfing and drinking beer, all using Bit Torrent even though we kindly ask people to not use Bit Torrent.

    This block was an artifact of having cache entry.

    You don’t have to believe me but we can recreate the problem and the fix is a simple reboot and it works and the site is not blocked.

    – Steve

  52. Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    Andrew you can park out in front of my house and access Wireless Ypsi, you will find Mark’s site is not blocked here either.

    – Steve

  53. Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    Mark, you should have called or emailed to find out what happened and why before starting this sh*t storm. Two minutes would have been all it took.

    – Steve

  54. Elf
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 7:27 pm | Permalink

    This is particularly funny because, earlier in the tread, we established that Steve doesn’t respond when he’s written to. If you’ll recall, that’s how all of this started. He was written to several times about a debate and he didn’t respond. Hilariously funny. I love irony.

  55. Posted April 7, 2012 at 8:08 pm | Permalink

    Elf,

    Yes and this is not the first time. This was Aug 2002.

    http://ypsinews.com/index.php/200208-hdl-article-in-the-ann-arbor-news-is-wrong/

  56. j
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Not at all clear what DNS blocking has to do with bittorrent, but if bittorrent is a recurring problem then why not just block the bittorrent port range (6881-6999)? Sure it has legit uses, but no one is going to try downloading the latest debian distro over Wireless Ypsi.

  57. Charlie Hoffmann
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Steve, you wrote:

    This block was an artifact of having cache entry.

    … a cached entry of MarkMaynard.com pointing to the domains-that-are-blocked IP address. How did it get into the cache in the first place? And why is the DNS that served it up as blocked not doing so any more?

    By far, the simplest answer is that someone pulled up the OpenDNS dashboard where it says

    Manage individual domains
    If there are domains you want to make sure are always blocked (or always allowed) regardless of the categories blocked above, you can add them below.

    and first entered MarkMaynard.com, and then later removed it.

    You also said:

    the filter also allows to create custom blocks based on offensive words

    The only filtering OpenDNS facilitates is by category. You may choose custom “blocks” of categories, but they are all categories. And as we saw in my link above, MarkMaynard.com is not in any category.

    I’m sorry for saying “you are lying” above. I actually don’t know if you are or not. I do know that your blog post and explanations above don’t make sense. You’re appear to be attempting to explain something as if you know how it happened, but you really don’t. Rather than talking nonsense including the utterly unrelated porn, DCMA, and bit torrent, you’d be a lot better off if you simply said, “I don’t know how it happened.” Or, “I filtered MarkMaynard.com briefly but then thought better of it and removed the filter” if that’s what happened.

    If you did block Mark’s address and then got busted for it, well, I guess you’re just going to have to live with people figuring it out.

    Spouting techno-nonsense isn’t helping us move on.

  58. Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:25 pm | Permalink

    I’m still very skeptical.

  59. Hippie
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Mark Maynard and Steve Pierce … the doucheoff to end all doucheoffs.

  60. Andy Cameron
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:14 pm | Permalink

    Hey Curt, I’m still waiting to see the numbers on that 30% tax increase. You promised!

    You say we should vote no and get our house in order and live within our means, but our view is that the only viable way to do that is to vote YES on both proposals. You don’t get your house in order by refusing to pay your debts. I’m smelling some nasty Tea Party logic in some of this.

    Also, if these anti-tax people oppose taxes ALL THE TIME, as they seem to based on the rhetoric, how is their point of view useful in determining if this is the best policy in THIS case?

  61. dragon
    Posted April 7, 2012 at 10:21 pm | Permalink

    Well, because it needs to be said, and none of you smart-asses have said it…

    Shit, Piss, Fuck, Cunt, CockSucker, MotherFucker, and Tits.

    Come, and trip it as ye go,
    On the light fantastick toe.
    And in thy right hand lead with thee,
    The Mountain Nymph, sweet Liberty;

  62. Posted April 8, 2012 at 5:08 am | Permalink

    I’d be more astounded that the network works at all, and I’d make sure that I had at least one “Chinese dissident” friend to get around whatever temporary network issues there were.

    How about them Tigers?

  63. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 6:13 am | Permalink

    the most interesting comment was the statement about 4 votes needed on council…that is it 4 votes to float that Water Street millage higher.

  64. wetdolphinmissile
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 6:17 am | Permalink

    @Delilah: I much prefer any and all expletives to your gross hate speech, disgustedly wanting to soap your hateful mouth

  65. R2D2
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

    I think this pretty much sums it up.

    http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3oox7w/

    And thank you for exposing Steve, Charlie.

  66. Curt Waugh
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

    Proof:
    Property taxes – just north of $3,000
    Gross income – just south of $100,000 (remember, we’re two incomes)
    New taxes – $1,000
    Lemme math that for you – $1,000 is 33% of $3,000

    We can wiggle those figures around anywhere between 25-35%, but we’re absolutely in that ballpark. Our house was purchased in 1992. Because of Headlee limitations, our taxable value didn’t fall nearly as much as you all imagine. We are not seeing the same drops in property tax that proponents would have you believe.

    You also all like to talk about how we’re gonna get EMU to pay, but they only pay 1/2% of their income. We pay 1% – TWICE. You might think “Hey, we’re gonna get what we’re owed from those freeloaders.” But you’re really hitting us four times as hard to get it. Are we just collateral damage?

    And I’ll cover this again: Until someone shows me that this income tax is legally tied to triggers in property taxes, these two issues have nothing to do with each other. Though you can philosophize all you want about how happy you are to kick in more money to compensate for one fund source over another, I’m not happy to pay a new tax that will never go away. Not a single city leader has commented once from what I can tell about when this tax goes away. It’s permanent. It has nothing to do with property taxes.

    The pool project was lead by private citizens. Though they utilized government resources and tax-funded grants, private citizens had a plan, not the government. I don’t trust the government (particularly one with the track record of Ypsi) to have any good ideas. The one they did have was a disaster coming and going. I’m not against government and I’m not against taxes. I’m against THIS tax.

    No one is talking about doing away with government. I only propose that we accept that we must live within our means. I have zero desire to do away with either the police force nor the fire department (nor turn them all-volunteer). I only ask that they, like everybody else – like every one of our families, shrink to fit the revenue available to them.

    For those of you spouting gloomy predictions of the Robocop-like future of Ypsi: I simply disagree. You have zero proof and zero data that we will suddenly collapse into a crime-ridden hellhole. It’s the worst sort of fear mongering and it has no place in a debate about financial responsibility. Tip of the hat to Amy Morgan for asking for debate about this issue. We must TALK and THINK this through, not propagandize.

    For those of you hurling “tea party” lines at me: You are doing nothing but making enemies and sounding foolish. I am as far from tea party as you can imagine. I believe in equality for all (including marriage). I believe in single payer. I believe in a small military and a peaceful world full of negotiation. I hate all war. I LOVED Mark’s fundraiser for Ozone House and I’m proud that our city told the anti-gay slapdicks to take a hike – TWICE. I also believe that disadvantaging Ypsi compared to its neighbors is no way to attract people to our city. I believe THIS tax is horrible.

    If you want to fix the problem, direct all this energy at the state and its obsession with prisons. (Oh, I’m also not “tough on crime” and proud of it. People need help, not punishment.) As we have learned, Ypsilanti has no comprehensive solution. Even with this tax, we will be here again in a few short years, the government crying with its hand out. Tossing in more money and crossing our fingers is what folks do at the casino – doesn’t exactly inspire confidence.

    Those of you who support this keep saying, “What is your plan?” I throw that right back at you. This very temporary patch you have latched onto like a lifeline is not a plan. You have no plan either. You just have a punt. We can hurl “you have no plan” back and forth all day if you’d like. I doubt anybody really wants to hear that. What they would like is some direction. I believe that direction is Lansing.

    I’m not against all taxes. If this was about raising the state income tax, I’m in. Let’s get back to the revenue sharing model we had and move on. I’m against THIS tax. This tax is a bad idea coming and going. Vote NO.

    One final statement about the flyer I received at my house from the Stop City Income Tax folks:

    This thing is childish, cartoonish and offensive. If you want to change minds, get your facts in order and plant the seeds of truth in people’s minds. It’s this sort of asshole behavior that starts spats like the Mark Maynard / Steve Pierce brawl. How can Mark or any reasonable person evaluate a single idea when you present yourself like this? Why shoot for the lowest common denominator? Hell, I’m with you on this issue and all I want to do is punch whoever made this flyer in the face. You are not a good representative for this issue. Please grow up and join the debate.

  67. xxx
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:11 am | Permalink

    Popping popcorn, waiting for Steve’s response to Charlie.

  68. j
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    From 2010 to 2011 Curt’s property taxes decreased more than $200, despite a 5% increase in millage rate! Curt, like most property owners in town can look forward to another 5-10% cut in how much they fund local government in 2012. How the hell can we expect local government to cut 5% year after year?

    As a renter who subsidizes all of your homestead exemptions and mortgage deductions I have a hard time mustering sympathy for the homeowners in town bitching about taxes.

    I have decided I will be voting Yes. It’s not in my best interest, my family gross income is in the same ballpark as Curt’s, but >5% reductions in general fund revenues is simply not sustainable.

  69. griff
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:30 am | Permalink

    Curt,
    Your math for percent increase is incorrect.

    Property taxes – just north of $3,000
    Gross income – just south of $100,000 (remember, we’re two incomes)
    New taxes – $1,000
    Lemme math that for you – $1,000 is 33% of $3,000

    Your are dividing inccome tax increase/current property tax
    Should be: millage tax increase/ current property tax = % millage increase

    Income tax is a 1% increase (from 0% -> 1%), no matter what.

    General Info:
    The millage rate represents the number of dollars that must be paid per thousand dollars

    How to Figure Property Taxes Using Millage Rates | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_6795594_figure-taxes-using-millage-rates.html#ixzz1rSwWZ9aF

  70. Posted April 8, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    J and Griff,

    I’m moving your comments over to the new thread, which is more specifically on the subject of the debate over the income tax.

    If folks have other comments about my site being blocked by Wireless Ypsi, please leave them here. Other comments, however, should be directed to the new thread.

    -Mark

  71. Kentuck
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    I thought that Steve learned his lesson about coming here and lying back in 2008.

    http://markmaynard.com/2008/07/the-untold-stories-of-kentuckians-brought-by-force-to-ypsilanti/

  72. H Ref
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    Here’s Steve’s explanation, for those unwilling to follow the link:

    Wireless Ypsi and Content Filtering
    Posted on Apr 7, 2012 in Blog | 0 comments
    Home » Blog » Wireless Ypsi and Content Filtering

    A local Ypsilanti blogger recently made some very serious allegations about HDL, its owner, and Wireless Ypsi that are simply not true. You always hate responding to these unfounded and baseless accusations because this is the Internet, the story will never go away.

    Sadly this blogger never contacted HDL or Wireless Ypsi via email or phone to tell us his concerns or find out what is going on. We have a 24-hour network operations center that will respond immediately to any calls or emails. This person never contacted us, but instead launched a vicious attack on his personal blog accusing us of blocking his website.

    Here are the facts
    Wireless Ypsi in Ypsilanti is like a cooperative. We have detailed how this works in a number of other posts on the HDL website. Our story was also published in Concentrate Magazine. It is a very cool story. Wireless Ypsi averages over 1,800 unique users every day. In Ypsilanti, we have over 300 active access points, making Ypsilanti one of the largest free WiFi networks in the country. There are also nodes in Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti Township, Royal Oak, Chelsea, New Mexico, Texas and many more. All of them proudly broadcasting the name Wireless Yspi

    How Wireless Ypsi works is local residents and business owners share their Internet connection with their neighbors. Each business pays for their own Internet connection. We then plug in a Wireless Ypsi access point and share that connection with neighbors. This is perfectly legal, as long as they follow the rules of service. One of those rules is don’t allow illegal or infringing content to be downloaded.

    What has sadly been happening with a great bit of regularity over the last year is certain people, a very small minority, have taken to doing illegal things using the Free WiFi. Mostly downloading copyrighted movies and music via Bit Torrent. The splash screen on Wireless Ypsi specifically says do not stream movies and don’t use Bit Torrent. This small but very persistent minority continues to do these things. However, these actions are not anonymous. The upstream providers like Comcast and AT&T can determine who is doing these things and will send a take down or DMCA notice about the infringement. They don’t send the legal notice to the user, nor to HDL or Wireless Ypsi, it is the business that gets the notice because they are the one paying for the Internet connection.

    The business owner immediately calls HDL and Wireless Ypsi and tell us this needs to stop or they will stop sharing the connection with the public. If the connection is turned off and business and residents are no longer willing to share, the experiment we call Wireless Ypsi and free WiFi ends. Then we all lose.

    So about two years ago we started rolling out a system using OpenDNS, a very well respected content filtering system, to develop a low cost solution to reduce if not eliminate these DMCA notices. Remember we are only doing this because a very small minority ignore the splash screen message saying don’t use Bit Torrent. We then work with the local business or resident paying for the Internet connection and help them determine what they want to block. Some only want to block Bit Torrent, others ask to block streaming of Hulu and Netflix as the video streaming sites consumes huge amounts of bandwidth and that affects their own Internet connection they need for their business. Others ask us to block pornography, hate sites and other adult-only sites.

    These people are paying for these Internet connections. They also paid for the Wireless Ypsi access points, they get to decide what things are shared and free on their Internet connection. They paid for it.

    Did anyone specifically blog this bloggers website. Absolutely not. So what happened?
    A number of Wireless Ypsi supporters, the people paying for the Internet access, are willing to graciously share their Internet connection with the community but they have said they do not want to provide pornography and other adult content via their free connection. This includes a number of religious, civic groups, local business, and residents that offer free WiFi.

    This particular bloggers website, while often times very funny, is not for kids. It is an adult-only website with topics like testicle shavers and washing and there is no filter on the language used so foul language including the F- word are used on a weekly basis by both the blogger and the people commenting on this site. By definition of the Child Online Protection Act, COPA, this bloggers website is an Adult only site.

    Now we get into the geek speak
    The way this filtering works is through the DNS, Domain Name Service queries for a website. If a business, church or resident has said they don’t want to offer free access to porn, offensive language, and adult-only website, those sites will be blocked by OpenDNS. Remember this block was not set by HDL or Wireless Ypsi, it was the business or resident paying for the Internet service that decide they don’t want to have adult-content on their network. We work with them to try encourage the widest possible use of the network, but ultimately they get to decide, because they are paying for the Internet connection
    They paid for the connection and are offering it for free, they get to decide. This only affects this gateway and those access points that route through this connection. Another business can have it wide open, and most are wide open in Ypsilanti and there is no filter. No one business can affect another business that is also sharing their connection.
    Once you move to another Wireless Ypsi node where the owner has said they don’t want to filter, the access is wide open.

    What can happen, and this is what we suspect happened earlier, is the old DNS query can still be cached locally and so it looks like you are still blocked or your didn’t realize you were blocked earlier and assume incorrectly you are still being blocked. The reverse can happen as well. You can access an adult-only site at a location that is open, then go to a location that is more restrictive and the adult site is still active. Again rebooting fixes the problem. The solution is not perfect, but it is effective and works most of the time without a hiccup. Again we wouldn’t have to do any of this if it wasn’t for the fact that a very small minority of folks think it is OK to bit torrent illegal content on a free connection.

    The solution is very easy
    All you need to do to clear the block is clear the browser cache, DNS cache, and temp files, close the browser, and then re-open the browser it should work. A second, and much easier approach is to simply reboot your tablet or laptop and the site is unblocked.
    There was no purposeful block directed at this one blog site in Ypsilanti. HDL.com and it founders have been long time supporters of EFF. We believe strongly in free an open access to the Internet. The only reason we are talking about these filters is because a small minority of folks, think they have the right to download copyrighted material and in this country that is illegal. If the business that is sharing their connection doesn’t stop this activity, they can be held personally liable penalties can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. It isn’t a risk any business or person should take just so two people drinking a beer can have free WiFi and download the latest episode of Mad Men.

    There are some blocks in a handful of locations where adult content is not allowed and this bloggers website may be blocked because of his content. It is not specific to this site, many similar sites will also be blocked.

    Are these blocks unfortunate, yes they are. But they are a fact of life because a handful of people can’t follow the rules and continue to use Wireless Ypsi to access illegal content thus the people who have graciously offered to share the Internet service with the community for free get to decide how that service is used. This is like borrowing your neighbors lawn mower. He may gladly loan it to you but if you then start a lawn service using his mower, he may want it back.

    When you see a Wireless Ypsi signal, remember it was made possible by a local business or resident that is willing to share their Internet connection with you for no charge, all they ask is you be reasonable in the use.

    Our only wish is this blogger would have taken just two minutes to call or email HDL and Wireless Ypsi to find out what was happening rather than make these baseless accusations that only work to undermine the great work all of the supporters have done to make Wireless Ypsi one of the best free WiFi networks in the country. By the end of the month, we will have hit 500,000 unique devices that have connected in 4 years, a remarkable achievement.

    We thank everyone in Ypsilanti, especially the business and residents whose willingness to share their connections with the community make this all possible. Thanks to everyone that uses Wireless Ypsi and for your continued support. We all are looking forward to our millionth connect milestone very soon.

    Cheers!

    Steve Pierce
    President HDL.com LLC
    Proud to be a Michigan company

  73. worker
    Posted April 8, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

    OK, R2D2, I gave it a shot.

    http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3op7ly/

  74. Shaking my Head
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 10:01 am | Permalink

    I usually enjoy your blog, Mark but I have to say that I’ve been disgusted by this thread. I left Ypsi 5 years ago because of this sort of stupid drama. I have never lived anywhere (and I’ve lived a lot of places) where people are so ridiculous and socially irresponsible. This thread has reminded me of why I high-tailed it out of there. I definitely made the right decision to leave Ypsi and this settles it; I’m not looking back… to Ypsi or to this blog. I’m done. You guys are sick.

  75. Anonymous
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 12:30 pm | Permalink

    I’m not sure that I follow, Head Shaker. Are you saying that you actually moved out of Ypsilanti five years ago, not because Steve Pierces’s bullshit, but because Mark complained about it? I find that absolutely fascinating.

  76. DD
    Posted April 9, 2012 at 2:53 pm | Permalink

    It’s fun to watch Steve overreach and get his hand hand slapped.

  77. K2
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:12 am | Permalink

    Jesus, you SCIT idiots are making Ypsi look bad.

    From AnnArbor.com.

    The two groups lined up on either side of new taxes in Ypsilanti won’t meet for a debate before the May 8 ballot question.

    The group opposed to two proposed new taxes in Ypsilanti will not accept an offer from the group supporting the measures for a debate on the issue.

    Save Ypsi Yes, which supports a Water Street debt retirement millage and 1 percent citywide income tax, invited Stop City Income Tax (SCIT) for a public debate scheduled for April 25.

    SCIT alleges it wasn’t properly contacted about the debate, while Save Ypsi Yes says that response is an attempt to avoid debating in public.

    Supporters of the proposals say the new revenue will lead Ypsilanti to long-term financial stability and avoid forcing the city to make deep cuts in its services. Its opponents say the tax increases are too steep and will drive people and businesses from Ypsilanti.

    Council Member Pete Murdock asked AnnArbor.com Content Director Tony Dearing to moderate the debate, and Murdock and Save Ypsi Yes chair Beth Bashert sent out multiple emails to SCIT leaders’ personal email addresses inviting them to debate.

    Bashert said that included the group’s registered treasurer, Steve Pierce. When Pierce didn’t respond after five days, emails were sent to Karen Maurer, Mike Eller and Carol Clare, who are also among SCIT’s active members.

    When those emails were met with silence, Bashert said Save Ypsi-Yes sent out a public invitation via Facebook.

    A SCIT response letter penned by SCIT spokesman Peter Fletcher claimed Save Ypsi Yes hadn’t contacted SCIT through the proper channels. He wrote that no one called the phone number listed on its website, sent a letter to the mailing address listed on its site or sent correspondence to the email address listed on the site.

    He claimed SCIT was only contacted through Facebook, which he said was inappropriate.
    Bashert called that claim an attempt to distract from SCIT’s refusal to publicly debate and provided the email invitations to AnnArbor.com.

    “They tried to throw a red herring out there by saying we didn’t follow proper email etiquette, which we did,” she said.

    When contacted by AnnArbor.com to inquire whether or not SCIT was interested in partaking in the debate, Fletcher first criticized AnnArbor.com for a typo in a recent article. He said his group wasn’t interested in a debate moderated by AnnArbor.com for that reason.

    Fletcher, the spokesman for SCIT, wouldn’t say whether SCIT leaders would partake in the event.

    Fletcher then said he didn’t like how Save Ypsi Yes had “behaved” or organized the event.
    “They’ve been asked plenty of questions that they dodged and ducked,” he said. “They created a circus. Sorry, but we won’t fall for that.”

    Fletcher wouldn’t say whether or not SCIT planned to debate, but a different SCIT member was able to confirm no one from the group would debate.

    Fletcher stated in his letter that Save Ypsi Yes is trying to keep the public uninformed and “sneak the election on the May ballot.”

    “With just over four weeks before the election and where one weekend is Easter, there is little time left to do anything more than to get out the vote. The time for debates has past,” Fletcher wrote.

    Murdock questioned how SCIT could charge that Save Ypsi Yes is trying to withhold information while proposing a debate that will provide more information.

    “Peter Fletcher says we don’t try to get information out there – okay, so let’s get more information out there (with a debate),” Murdock said.

    I’m inclined to vote for this tax if only to avoid the association with these morons.

  78. Glen S.
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 7:55 am | Permalink

    The “No” folks may be crafty, but they’re not stupid.

    They know that if the tax measures don’t pass on May 8, Ypsilanti will be forced to make deep, deep cuts to City services — including gutting the Police and Fire departments.

    If you were in their position, would YOU want to enter into a forum where you might be forced to publicly admit — and stand behind — these unpleasant facts?

    It seems there strategy is to lie as low as possible, and hope that most voters don’t realize what’s really at stake.

  79. R2D2
    Posted April 10, 2012 at 8:52 am | Permalink

    Steve Pierce: “Mark, you should have called or emailed to find out what happened and why before starting this sh*t storm. Two minutes would have been all it took.”

    AnnArbor.com: “Bashert said that included the group’s registered treasurer, Steve Pierce. When Pierce didn’t respond after five days…..”

    Two minutes indeed.

    http://www.quickmeme.com/meme/3oox7w/

  80. CW
    Posted April 21, 2013 at 5:06 am | Permalink

    Small town intrigue. Jesus christ.

  81. maya james
    Posted June 20, 2013 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

    thats not right

  82. Yard Dog
    Posted July 19, 2013 at 8:10 am | Permalink

    Does anyone know if Steve is going to make another run at the Mayorship this time? Has anyone else announced yet?

5 Trackbacks

  1. […] like adults… which is why it bothers me so much to hear that those on one side of the issue are refusing to debate and taking efforts to stop information from being shared. I can accept that people are against the tax. What I can’t accept is laughably-transparent […]

  2. […] on the site a few weeks ago, when it became evident that the leaders of the anti-tax initiative had no intention to debate in public, where they’d have to respond to specific questions concerning what would happen if the […]

  3. […] […]

  4. […] history of demagoguing on issues like the white slaves of Ypsilanti is completely relevant, as is the way that he uses Wireless Ypsi. This entry was posted in Michigan, Politics, Uncategorized, Ypsilanti and tagged Carol Kuhnke, […]

  5. […] the debate together for a fair, neutral forum on the subject. Unfortunately, as you might recall, that attempt failed, and the public never got to hear the facts. Sure, there were a few articles here and there, but, […]

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