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Police, Fire, Parks, Millage Funds & Pools Soaked By City’s IT Fund For Millions of Dollars In Assessments

Scam

by P.D. Lesko Dan Rainey, the City of Ann Arbor’s IT Director, raked in a six-figure salary as one of the highest paid employees in the city. Now, he’s off to work for former Ann Arbor Director of Public Services, Sue McCormick. Shortly after former City Administrator Roger Fraser took his pension and decamped for [...]

March 19th, 2013 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Best of A2P,City Council,City Services,Econ,Featured,Investigations,Money,Politics,Taxes | Read More »

While Fire & Police Cut, Taxpayers Paid Over $1.5M Dollars For City Employee Cell Phones

cellphone

In Ann Arbor, despite repeated cuts to services, cuts to police and fire, and hikes in fees for parking, parking fines, water, sewer, solid waste and city programs, cell phone allowances for city staffers, many of whom have desk jobs, continue to be paid out like clockwork. In fact, between 2009 and 2012, the amount paid annually for cell phone allowances almost doubled.

January 24th, 2013 | Posted in Best of A2P,Econ,Featured,Interviews,Money,Scoops & Scores!!,Taxes | Read More »

High Overhead & Debt Load Push DDA Parking Revenues 98 Percent Below National Average

No-Parking-Sign

by P.D. Lesko “Hieftje gives out seats on city boards and commissions at parties, like they were candy,” says a political insider. John Hieftje’s propensity to populate the city’s boards and commissions with yes men (and women) and unqualified political cronies has long irked political insiders and haunted city residents, whose input and feedback Hieftje’s [...]

January 4th, 2013 | Posted in DDA,Econ,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

At the University of Michigan Hospital, the 1 Percent Tell the 99 Percent To Tighten Their Belts

Greedy1

by P.D. Lesko Republicans, Tea Partiers and malcontents have blamed Obamacare for the rise in health insurance premiums. Republicans in Washington complain that Obamacare will result in soaring costs for health care providers. Progressive Washington DC think tank Think Progress offered a different explanation for the rising cost of health insurance premiums. In August 2012, [...]

December 10th, 2012 | Posted in Econ,Edu,Featured,K-12,Money | Read More »

So, How Much Did AATA Spend on Its Failed Regional Transit Scheme? It’ll Cost Ya $1,538 to Find Out.

Derailed train

by P.D. Lesko Freedom of Information Act requests are governed by the notion that public government has the obligation to err on the side of transparency. It is also governed by the principle that if public records released would benefit the public, then those records should be released. In other words, when a FOIA request [...]

November 27th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Econ,Featured,Money,Politics,Taxes,Transportation | Read More »

Library Tax Proposal Goes Down In Flames—And the Political Firmament Trembles

in_flames

by P.D. Lesko On November 6, 2012 the firmament trembled in Ann Arbor—the political landscape opened up and swallowed local politicos and their monied donors whole, casting the owner of Main Street Ventures, members of the Downtown Development Authority Board of Directors, and local political bigwigs down to Dante’s 4th Ring of Hell, where the avaricious [...]

November 7th, 2012 | Posted in Ann Arbor Politics,Econ,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

AADL Executive Director’s Fuzzy Math and Alleged Violations of Patrons’ Privacy Raises Red Flags

JosieParker

by P.D. Lesko Librarians are all about the numbers—exact numbers: Dewey decimals, due dates, number of copies, and call numbers. The Executive Director of the Ann Arbor District Library (AADL) is all about numbers, too. However, her numbers are far from precise; in fact, one could argue that Ann Arbor District Library Executive Director Josie [...]

October 31st, 2012 | Posted in Econ,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

Was Council Aware of the Successful Class Action Lawsuit Against Seattle’s Percent For Art Program Before Approving Ann Arbor’s Art Ordinance?

gavel

By P.D. Lesko In 2007, Ann Arbor City Council passed the Public Art Ordinance that sets aside one percent of funds from all public construction budgets for art projects — to a maximum of $250,000 per project. On the City of Ann Arbor web site, it says that John Hieftje “championed the Percentage for Art Program to [...]

August 22nd, 2012 | Posted in Art,Econ,Featured,Money,Taxes | Read More »

Ann Arbor Mayor: “Closing 1/2 of City Fire Stations Will Result In Much Better Fire Coverage.”

Chuck_Hubbard

At Monday’s City Council meeting John Hieftje evidently wanted to make sure he understood exactly how deep in his own personal pile of horse manure he was standing. So, Hieftje pointedly asked the new Fire Chief, Chuck Hubbard (below), a 20-year member of the AAFD, “if the city would actually experience better service if it [...]

March 13th, 2012 | Posted in Featured,Fire,Money,Safety,Taxes | Read More »

Green Energy Programs in Michigan Rely Heavily on Federal Subsidies—Some U.S. Senators Want To End the Flow of Money

greenenergy

by Rob Smith Federal funding for rail. Federal funding for roads. Federal funding for green energy. Between 2009 and 2011, the state of Michigan has been the recipient of over $17 billion dollars in federal stimulus money also known as “recovery” money. In Wayne County, local K-12 school and governments received over $2.4 billion dollars [...]

March 9th, 2012 | Posted in Econ,Economic Development,Featured,Michigan politics,Money,Politics,Taxes,U.S. politics | Read More »

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