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13801 Telegraph Road Taylor, MI 48180


Southgate, Michigan 48195
The Voice of Downriver

Wednesday, January 30, 2013
■ North Zone Edition



Housing application website is now up
By David Komer
The News-Herald

Teachers, schools reach tentative deal
Agreement includes layoffs, wage cuts
By David Komer
The News-Herald

TAYLOR — The Housing Commission’s website for housing voucher waiting list applications is up and running just two weeks after police were forced to cancel an event at the Human Services Center on Eureka Road. Officials are hoping the new site, taylorhousing. org, will lead to a smoother sign-up process for needy residents of the tricounty area to get on housing waiting lists. On Jan. 12, an in-person sign-up event turned ugly. An unexpectedly large crowd of about 4,000 became unruly, and the resulting chaos led to four arrests, multiple arguments and several physical altercations. The sign-up was shut down by police over safety concerns. A make-up date has not been scheduled. At their Jan. 19 meeting, commissioners approved proposals to hire a company to set up an online site

Photo courtesy of NASA

Great Lakes weather

This remarkable image, taken Jan. 24 from NASA’s Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer, shows the view from space as an arctic blast sweeps across Michigan and the surrounding Great Lake states.

Deputy state treasurer urges city to take quick action on finances
By Alan Burdziak
The News-Herald

LINCOLN PARK — A deputy state treasurer was on hand Monday night as discussion at a special council meeting inevitably shifted to the city’s precarious financial situation. Roger Fraser urged officials to act quickly as the city could be out of cash by the end of the current fiscal year, June 30, if spending is not curtailed. “The reason I’m here is we see you headed toward your own version of the fiscal cliff,” he told the mayor and council. Fraser, who was appointed in 2011, oversees the state’s emergency financial manager program with the official title of deputy treasurer in charge of local government services. He outlined a couple of scenarios in which the state would order a review of the city’s finances and also told

leaders to set aside differences and work to avoid a possibly worse situation. “You yourselves need to get coalesced around a strategy,” Fraser said. If Lincoln Park finishes the fiscal year short of cash or if deficits go unchecked in the water and sewerage and sanitation funds, both will lead to state scrutiny, he said. According to an audit report for the 2011-12 fiscal year, the water and sewer fund had about $7.7 million in revenue and $10 million in expenses, resulting in a deficit of about $2.27 million. The sanitation fund ran a deficit of about $221,000 during that year, but still has a fund balance of about $84,000 and total revenues of $1.7 million. Under new legislation Gov. Rick Snyder signed into law in December during the Legislature’s lameduck session, local entities facing receivership will

“The reason I’m here is we see you headed toward your own version of the fiscal cliff.”
ROGER FRASER Michigan deputy state treasurer
have four options: a consent agreement with the state, mediation, bankruptcy or an emergency manager. Public Act 436 replaced Public Act 4 of 2011, which was shot down by voters in November. It is seen as a revised version of PA 4, which caused much controversy. State Democrats and groups that opposed PA 4 also have condemned its replacement. Opponents of PA 4 said it undermined democracy because it gave emergency managers the ability to revoke the powers of elected officials and break public employee union contracts, among others. While emergency managers, as they’re known under both acts, can still break union deals under 436, an option was built in to allow officials to vote out the receiver after 18 months on the job if they are unsatisfied. In November, the law reverted to its predecessor, PA 72 of 1990, and PA 436 will go into effect at the end of March. Currently, emergency financial managers run operations in Allen Park, Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Flint and Pontiac

TAYLOR — The school district and its teachers’ union have tentatively agreed to a new contract. The agreement, which the sides reached Jan. 18, must be ratified by both the Board of Education and the Taylor Federation of Teachers. Terms of the deal were not immediately available. The district is working to meet a Feb. 1 deadline set by the Michigan Department of Education for its three-year, $19 million deficit elimination plan. All labor unions must have contracts with the district before the deficit plan can be accepted by the state. Union President Linda Moore said the deal was DOWNRIVER’S#1 CHEVY DEALER concessionary but addresses a large share of the district’s deficit. “Over the (next) three years, the agreement wipes out a significant amount of the deficit,” she said. “There will be layoffs, wage reductions. There will be a significant number of positions that we will lose.” School Supt. Diane Allen said the agreement is a big step forward for the district. “Both sides worked hard and I think we arrived at on Allen Rd. at West Rd. Woodhaven some numbers that everyone could agree with,” she 1-734-676-9600 www.rodgerschevrolet.com said. This is the second tentaChevy Runs Deep tive agreement between teachers and the district. The first was in midNovember, but was not ratified because the school board did not approve it. The board is scheduled to vote on the latest proposal by today or tomorrow. Moore said she will wait to ask her union to ratify it until after the school board does. “We need to come to something,” she said. “It was a hard-fought battle. We came to something we can live with and it resolves the deficit issue. It was contentious at times, but we have always had a good working agreement with the school board.” In a release, Allen thanked the TFT for its “significant and substantial contributions” toward improving the district’s fiscal health. “I think this will be instrumental in addressing and resolving the district’s significant financial problems,” she said. Moore said the brunt of personnel cuts will be absorbed




Wednesday’s Weather
HIGH: 57˚ LOW: 22˚ Cloudy, turning colder with a.m. rain becoming flurries later
5 Sections, 60 Pages
©2013, The News-Herald Newspapers

Inside The News-Herald
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