Friday, October 29, 2010

Ballot initiative has Daily Tribune editors scratching their heads, too

Today's edition of The Daily Tribune includes an editorial on Ferndale's ballot initiative titled, No reason to give city manager authority over four officials.

In it, they write,
It's unwieldy, we suppose, around budget time. It could be unwieldy in contract negotiations. But the city has done quite well under the 83-year-old setup. The city has done no worse and perhaps a little better fiscally than some of its neighbors, including the last calamitous couple of years.
In a video taped forum organized by Citizens for a Fair Ferndale, the most obvious conclusion is there are no obvious (or compelling) reasons to pass the proposal.  To be fair, there's no obvious or compelling reasons to keep it, either.

Except prudence.

Supporters of the charter amendment (which will give the city manager authority over the clerk, fire, and police departments) admit there are no certain dollars to be saved.  They admit the new arrangement won't necessarily save time.  They admit they can't quantify the meaning of "efficient."  Their strongest point is Ferndale's organization is unique among Michigan municipalities, and so we should adopt a everyone else's model theirs is a "best practice" and ours is "quirky."
(Oh, and it has something to do with the investigation between the police and county prosecutor, but it's a secret.)
How much money would you pay for a used car without any verifiable benefits over your existing car?  How much would you pay for a car that isn't newer than you have already, isn't more fuel efficient than you have already, isn't faster, isn't roomier, isn't more entertaining, isn't more comfortable, and doesn't even smell nicer than the car you already have?

I wouldn't buy it either.

Based on what we've been told so far, I'll stick with both the car and the charter I have today.  Vote no.


  1. I agree with you Tom. And as far as wanting to be like other communities, I understand that we've managed better maybe because we haven't followed suit. Being, our system works better.
    If it isn't broke, don't fix it.

  2. WoodwardTalk article from Wednesday: