Last night I watched a pretty remarkable event. The Traverse City commission voted on their budget.
I was present at probably the longest Traverse City Commission meeting I have attended. So long in fact, that protocol required the commission to remove the clock from the wall so as to “ignore” the new day. And with the clock removed and facing down on the table, the commission proceeded to do a couple things of note. Using a series of budget adjustments for a building fund, fire and police (a $35k consultant recommended move) and engineering/GIS, and they paid half down on a long term liability, an act 325 fund.
Responsible yes. remarkable? Well, maybe not.
What really is something in this day and age of shrinking municipal revenues, is that they cut spending, and paid liabilities AND lowered taxes.
Its something you might not often see in Michigan or many other states, as municipalities fight to maintain programs, spending levels, and incoming revenues. However in Traverse City Michigan on 06-06-11, commissioners voted to lower the levied rate by 0.7 mils providing real relief for owners of property within the Traverse City taxing boundaries.
It was not without a little disagreement from some constituents, however this did not deter the action.
I’ll write more as I can. I should not leave this without pointing out I was happy to see the board make this “progressive” move towards responsible handling of the people’s affairs. I was also happy to see it spearheaded by a “liberal Democrat Mayor,” Chris Bzdok, and one city commissioner, Michael Gillman.
A small amount of relief goes a long way in revealing a changing tide.