Friday, June 19, 2009

It's past time for Hamburg Township's government to start acting like men

One thing Livingston County is known for is Republican government. While I'm not a big fan of government in general, for the most part it is run well. We don't have the taxes of our neighboring counties. The quality of life here is better than our neighboring counties. The government is less intrusive than our neighboring counties. We also seem to tend to have less clusterbleeps than our neighboring counties. All of those neighboring counties are dominated by democrats outside of Somewhat Republican leaning Jackson County (which we barely border), Competitive Shiawassee County, or slightly democrat leaning Oakland County. Ingham, Washtenaw, and Genesee County are all democrat.

The main exception to the rule, outside of school boards which have more democrats on them, is Hamburg Township. Hamburg Township's government is an embarassment to my county, and my party. Right now as of today, I would not vote for the incumbents on that board, in any of the cliques. I would be voting for non-incumbent related primary challengers, 3rd party candidates, or as a last resort, write in Mark Dantonio. I don't know his politics, but he conducts himself with a lot more class and professionalism than the individuals collectively running Hamburg Township. Lucky for them, I'm in Green Oak Township next door, so I don't have to make that decision.

The Argus has the lastest in this clusterbleep. It was another bitchfest at the the township meeting.

The Hamburg Township Board of Trustees asked Clerk Matt Skiba to resign during Tuesday night's meeting in response to the clerk taking over control of township building alarm codes against board orders.

The board also approved a vote of no confidence in Skiba as clerk, after Trustee Bill Hahn told Skiba he had lost all faith in him.

"I, personally, don't believe or trust anything you do or say," Hahn said. "You're just not capable of working with this board."

Skiba did not resign and gave no comment on the issue other than a "no" vote on the request.

The resignation request came after Skiba.....

What's this, a no-confidence vote? That's not for the board to give. Matt Skiba, love him, hate him, or in-between, does not work for the board. Why should he resign because a half-dozen people don't like him. He does not answer to the board and is not an employee of the board. He answers, as does the board, to the taxpayers of Hamburg Township. THEY are the boss. This isn't Canada where the no-confidence vote leads to a new election. Now it is no secret that several on the board and influential powers there have been trying to kick out Skiba since he won the primary in August 08 defeating an incumbent, so this is taken with a grain of salt and with the respect it deserves.

Township Supervisor Pat Hohl said the board appointed Rand-azzo to take back security of its buildings because there were 15 active, unnamed codes that would allow entrance into the buildings under Skiba's control.

Tuesday, the board also voted to have Skiba turn over control of all duplicate keys to township buildings. Hohl made an address to the public to "apologize for the embarrassment."

Sorry Pat, you're contributing to the embarassment as much as Skiba, or the entire board is for that matter. I know some are worse than others there, but right now frankly - who cares. The average citizen in Hamburg knows about as much on the board as I do. Some, but not everything. We all DO know that it's collectively an embarassment to the township, the county, the state, and my political party. I'm tired of it making the news. I've seen comparisons of this to Monica Conyers and the Detroit City Council. That is not a compliment. I'm tired of seeing that. I'm tired of the county and my political party being embarrassed. I don't give a rat's arse who is to blame anymore.

Meanwhile, Skiba took more heat from the board for a letter he wrote concerning a recall petition against him and then posted on the township Web site.

On the other side of things, that ain't smart. Recall campaigns, both for and against, are considered political campaigns and are just like election campaigns for all intents and purposes. This shouldn't be discussed either way during township meetings.

This damn bickering has been going on in some form for over two years. It did not change with the primary election where the incumbents were tossed out. It should have. As a political party, we almost lost some spots in Hamburg to the democrats. Hamburg isn't all that Republican to begin with compared to the other townships in the county like Genoa. It's time for them to man up, stop bitching at each other and games playing, and do their jobs. I've had to work with people I didn't like. I've worked with people with different philosophies. We manned up and got the job done. I did what I had to do and left when things outside of my control made it no longer a place to which I wanted to be associated. If I was able to do that at 22 and 23 years old back in the day, these individuals in their 40's, 50's, and 60's should be able to do the same thing.

Now if these individuals are unable to man up and work with each other to get the job done, then there is an easy way to settle this like men, and make it a fundraiser at the same time. Get an octogon from the UFC, set it up at legendary Zukey Lake Tavern, and have township mixed marshall arts to determine the winner. Let's get it on! At least that would be entertaining. Winner stays on the board. Loser goes home and no longer runs for any township office. I'll volunteer to be the ref. Yes, I'm joking....maybe... It wouldn't be any more of a joke than the current situation happens to be at this time.

So Hamburg Township government, stop giving us all in Livingston County a bad name.


Communications guru said...

You are correct that “Livingston County is known for is Republican government,” and that is why it’s so dysfunctional. We don’t have the “high taxes our neighboring counties” because we simply have no services, and to do just about anything you have to leave the county. So that makes your statement about a higher quality of life incorrect.

Hamburg is just the latest fiasco, and I saw a few first hand when I covered them. You will remember when your township was known as Green Joke Township because of the actions of its board in the late 1990’s.The meetings were always lively. Then there was the infighting in Hartland Township around 2000-2003 that included the only recall of an elected official I ever witnessed. Then there was the raid of the township office by the MSP in Deerfield Township back in 2000 because of infighting. I’m sure there are others, but I never personally covered them.

However, you are right about Skiba, and he shouldn’t resign. It’s like he broke up an ole boy’s network, or girl’s, and he has had a target on his back ever since. Of course, some of his moves have not helped the situation. We know from the former clerk’s lawsuit against the township and police department she will not give up until he is gone.

The smartest thing would have been to add some new blood to the board and elected Debby Buckland. She can get along with just about everybody, and she is sane and level head and would not be bullied by Hohl.

kevins said...

Guru again shows his true colors. He doesn't think anything is good unless there are high taxes associated with it. In fact, he has admitted that he is always for higher taxes.

We simply have no services? None? That's an amazingly ignorant statement, even for guru. So we have no fire departments, no rec leagues for adults and children, no LETS, no ambulance, no libraries, no public schools, no Michigan Works, no snow removal on our roads, no sheriff's road patrol, get the idea. When guru says "no services" he really means: If anyone can think of anything that even a few people desire, then we should raise taxes to provide it. Fortunately, his way of thinking hasn't caught on out here.

You want to talk about a place with no about the Democratic Detroit? Recall the year we as a region were embarrassed when the international press showed up for the auto show and the city couldn't even plow the streets? The Democrats on the Detroit City Council are going to solve that...if they aren't bailed out, they are going to lose the auto show because they can't run Cobo Hall.

You must hate Livingston County. You lie about there being no services and then you say "to do just about anything you have to leave the county."

How absurd. In Livingston County you can hunt, swim, boat, fish, golf, ski (downhill and cross country), camp, jog, eat at many fine restaurants, go to comedy clubs, shop at a variety of big-box and small stores, ride bikes, sail, walk safely down a city street at midnight, attend any number of fine festivals...and the list goes on.

There are things you have to go out of the county for, such as strip clubs, illicit massage parlors and porn shops. Given guru's desires, maybe that's what he was talking about.

bluzie said...

I am just tired of the turmoil. They may all be Republican but I don't see our County Board of Commissioners carrying on the way they do and they are all Republican as well.
As a Democrat I could make that claim, but I subscribe to the 2 clique theory and I don't see it changing anytime soon.
This recall has little chance of getting the signatures, it is very tough in a township with such a high vote turnout and no city to get signatures for such an endeavor. And I don't think it would change a thing if it were successful,until the 2 cliques just give up. What is the chance of that happening?

bluzie said...

And one more thing, Kevins.
Had a Democrat won the clerk's office in Hamburg Township there would be nothing in common with Kwame Kilpatrick. That is so much nonsense! If we cannot discuss issues without throwing out such outright crap then there can never be a worthwhile discussion.

kevins said...

Interesting twist you put on that bluzie.

First, it was guru who made this discussion political. His opening line in the very first post on this thread was: Livingston County is dysfunctional because it is a Republican county.

Go back and read it; that's what he said.

Then he went on to say that this county has absolutely no services and that to do "just about anything" you have to leave the county.

My thread took his to task, listing all the services and "things to do" in Livingston.

I then mentioned Detroit as a place that lacked services...with very high taxes, I could have added.

Guru's argument was the the county suffers because it is run by Republicans; the reason it suffers, he said, is because Republicans won't raise taxes.

I countered with a Democratic-run city with high taxes that doesn't have services.

I presented solid, verifiable points. Yet you chastise me for throwing out "outright crap" and leave guru alone.

Do you, then, agree that there are no services in Livingston County? Do you believe that there is absolutely nothing to do here? I think the crap started and ended with guru...but I would be willing to hear your response.

Also, where did the reference to Kwame come from? I didn't mention him or refer to him. The Cobo fiasco involved Monica Conyers who killed a deal brokered by Ken Cockrel. It had nothing to do with Kwame and I didnt mention him.

Odd that you chose to play that card.

Funny, if a Republican went there, it would be called race-baiting. In fact Monica and her crew called the white suburbanites plantation owners for trying to save Cobo and save the Detroit taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.

But you went to the Kwame reference. I have to wonder why.

(On the Hamburg issue, I agree with you: These are clique issues and control issues that are independent of parties. The battles and silliness are among Republicans in Livingston because that's who get elected; the silliness in Detroit is among Democrats because that's who get elected there. If you want to be fair, look at the thread: It was guru who threw out the "outright crap" and made it a Republican issue. He does it all the time. Do you really want to be aligned with that type of thinking?)

bluzie said...

Saying Kwame is no more racist than saying anyone past or present on in Detroit's City govenment, they are all black. Detroit has a lot of problems that have nothing to do with party or race. It isn't the only city that Democrats hold the elected offices in Michigan, there are a lot of them that do quite well. So I have to wonder why it's always Detroit you bring up? Doesn't really compare in anyway with Hamburg Township. In Hamburg we do not have city services that a city provides. I am happy with that or I would not live here. I don't agree that the reason Livingston County is nice is because of all Republican elected officals, that is just not true. Howell has many Democrats on their City Council and Brighton has a few as well, but these are non partisan races as they are in all cities, including Detroit. I am very unhappy with what is happening in Hamburg, they are all Republican and all men! Too much testoserone and not enough civility. They really need a mediation, it is painful to watch board members trying to humilate other board members in meetings. We can and should expect more from our elected officials, regardless of their party!
And you ask about services? If I live in Ann Arbor I have city lights, side walks, sewers, water, much better libraries,a bus service,( Lets doesn't count)and my street would be plowed the day of the snow, not three or 4 days later. I don't mind, I don't pay as much in taxes, I am not complaining about services, but there is a difference.

kevins said...

I wonder why you duck these questions:

Why do you single me out and ignore the blatant partisan ranting of guru. He is, remember, the one who called the Hamburg follies a consequence of electing Republicans in Livingston County. My Detroit Democrat example was merely to show the weakness of his argument.

Second, do you agree that there are no services in Livingston and that you have to leave the county to do practically anything worthwhile?

You refer to services you like in Ann Arbor, but guru said there were no services in Livingston and that there is nothing -- absolutely nothing -- to do here. And that the solution is to raise taxes.

I think, also, that it is a bit unfair to compare Ann Arbor with Hamburg. Large, densely populated city with high tax base, vs. lesser and more sparsely populated township with much smaller tax base, which is mostly residential. Surely you recognize the difference between getting your tax base from large office buildings and factories, as opposed to mostly from homes and cottages.

Again, you say there is a difference in services, to which I agree. But guru didn't say there was a difference. He said there were no services here...and I provided a long list of them.

Also, why doesn't LETS count? Do you have any idea of its budget? If it is ineffective at that price, then how in the world would you propose a bus service in Livingston County? Just because some people could use it, doesn't mean that government can afford to provide it. Ann Arbor has an employment base, larger population concentration and a large university to provide users. And it still needs a hefty subsidy. I have no problem with the subsidy..all transportation is subsidized. In Ann Arbor it makes sense to support a bus system. Livingston has none of those much do you think such a system would cost? Does that matter to you? Or are you like guru, who has said that taxes should always be higher? And that only selfish people don't want always increasing taxes.

bluzie said...

I did say I did not agree with Guru about the reason the Hamburg Board is so uncivil, and I did disagree with Dan that Livingston County has a low tax base because it is all Republican. It seemed like you made the discussion more openly hostile toward Democrats and being a Democrat I found that very annoying. I am a lot more sensitive to critics of my own party than I am to the Republican party. I think that is to be expected.
Did I answer your question?
I answered the service question in the last post and I am fine with what there is to do in Livingston County.