Saturday, July 6th 2013

Holly Village Council considers staffing reductions, other tough cuts

Written by Amy Mayhew
Wednesday, October 21 2009

Village Manager Marsha Powers ...

HOLLY, Michigan – With $3,492,221 of total revenues in the village’s adopted budget, Village Manager Marsha Powers said projections of an 11.1 percent cut in state revenue sharing will leave the village with a $68,626 budget shortfall.

Village Council members met in a work session Tuesday evening to discuss ways in which they can bring the budget back into balance.

Powers said additional insurance costs for Teamsters employees as well as the legal fees for their contract negotiations added $34,650 onto this year’s proposed expenditures. Additionally, a tax adjustment for a village parcel sold through a tax sale, which was originally covered by the county, was charged back to the village in the amount of $11,356.

On the positive side, Powers said council had come up with a few ways to save money. “The fire truck – we paid that payment out of the motor pool so that saves $40,123 that was originally budgeted,” she said. “We got the $2,500 grant from Consumers Power for the trees, and if we look to not participate in the Tri Party Program this year, that’s $9,236.”

The adjusted proposed expenditures, according to Powers is $3,486,270, rendering the village a shortage of $62,675.

“I think council pretty much knows the budget was put together without extras – we took out training, we took out any memberships that we don’t need to have, we took out projects other than maintenance that we felt we needed to do to the buildings to just keep things to the point that down the road we wouldn’t have to do twice as much,” Powers said.

Powers said in addition to everything else, the village had an additional payment for the upcoming year for the new heating and cooling system at the village offices. “We all know where that boiler system was – it was a hazard,” she said.

“We feel that we’d rather have all our employees than see an employee totally laid off,” Powers said before addressing proposed staffing reductions in the way of reducing hours worked per week.

Reducing 2.5 hours a week per employee, according to Powers could save the village $3,042.84 per month, or a total of $12,932 for the current fiscal year, November through June. Accordingly, a 4-hour reduction per week, per employee would save $4,868.54 per month or $20,691 from November through June, and an 8-hour reduction per week, per employee would save $9,737.07 per month or $41,383 for the rest of the fiscal year.

Powers said she has a meeting set up with a union representative for Oct. 27 at which time she will discuss possible hourly reductions for village employees.

“I did write a letter to the union and am meeting with that representative next Tuesday because we do need to get union approval in order to cut employees’ hours,” she said. “I did reiterate to him that obviously we want to keep people working even if it’s at a reduced amount of hours.”

Additionally, Powers said she and department heads discussed possible position eliminations, including the police department’s lieutenant position currently staffed by Lt Det. Scott Fischer.

“We would be looking at eliminating the lieutenant position but making an offer that Scott Fischer would return to sergeant status and one of the sergeants would be laid off,” Powers said.

“You’re looking at eliminating a position from the police department when the police department recently went through contract negotiations – they bargained in good faith,” Fischer said. “Everyone in the department took a pay freeze and a reduction in benefits and yet we’re the ones getting hit or eliminating the only position.”

Councilwoman Reisa Hamilton also had her reservations about possible police cuts. “If we’re hoping to be able to contract with the township at some point, we can’t afford to let an officer go right now,” she said. “We need them.”

Councilman Bill Kuyk said if the village were to strike a deal with the township, he didn’t think that would happen until next year.

Powers said she spoke with Village President Pete Clemens, who indicated that the police services agreement was, “pretty much a dead issue.”

“It was something about the Holly Township Public Safety Committee making some counter offer for $98,000 and I told him we didn’t have any of that information unless they discuss it at the township meeting tomorrow night,” Powers said.

In a letter to Powers dated Oct. 12, Holly Township Public Safety Committee members Mike Gould and Mark Diaz asked council to consider a counter offer of $98,000 for the extension of police services to the township’s proposed Special Assessment District.

“We plan to schedule another community meeting as soon as possible to review both bids and the scopes of services offered,” the letter read in reference to the original bids received from the Village of Holly and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office. “However, in order to maximize our chance of success, we wish to counter your proposal of $107, 114 with $98,000 which we believe would be far more palatable to the residents.”

“We haven’t received a bid from the township for a contract on police services, have we?” Councilman Tom McKenney asked Powers.

Powers said the village had not received any correspondence from the Holly Township Public Safety Committee or the township.

“You can’t have an intergovernmental agreement by yourself,” McKenney said. “You’ve got to have the township, so I’m going to keep asking that question.”

“Well, it is what it is and if they want it, that’s the price,” Hamilton agreed

Transfers from the general fund, according to Powers, are another budgeting hurdle faced by the village. Powers said routine transfers to the parks, cemetery, major and local streets and building department add up to a lot of expenditures.

Powers said eliminating Porta Johns from all parks, and limiting mowing to one to two times per month instead of weekly could add up to a savings of $16,000.

“The mowing contract is around $22,000,” Powers said. “They mow all the right of ways, all the parks, all the lift stations, the fire department – basically all the buildings and grounds of the village."

Winglemire eventually made a motion to hold off on any budgeting decisions until Powers has the chance to speak with union officials regarding possible hourly reductions.

“Obviously, it isn’t easy having to be in this position and do this, but we aren’t alone,” Powers said. “Every community is going through the same thing – Troy is looking at cutting work staff in half, but for us this may be a Band Aid for now,” she added. “Come July, if we look at another $145,000 to $150,000 in tax revenue loss, we won’t have 2 mills of police money, and we’ll be almost $300,000 short come the 2010-2011 budget.”

Powers is expected to give council members an update at the next Village Council meeting scheduled for Oct. 27.


#1 Janet Leslie 1999-11-29 20:00
That's a great question, and I can almost guarantee that in trying to answer it I will forget someone's committee. I hope that the organizers of committees looking for volunteers will chime in with contact information.

Here's a sampling: Carry Nation Festival Committee (next meeting: March 20 at 9:30 am at Holly Township Library), Dickens Festival Committee, DDA Organization Committee, DDA Promotions Committee, DDA Design Committee, DDA Economic Restructuring Committee, and the Holly Area Economic Development Task Force (next meeting April 6 at 7pm in Council Chambers).

You can join the EDTF simply by e-mailing me at and asking me to put you on the EDTF e-mail list, or by attending a meeting. I don't know the schedule of DDA committee meetings yet, but I will obtain that for anyone interested, or you can contact the village offices.

If you are interested in serving as an appointee on a board or commission, such as the DDA Board of Directors, village planning commission, township planning commission, village ZBA, township ZBA, or village historic district commission, the village requires that an applicant fill out a citizen participation form, and the township generally requires a letter of intent sent to the supervisor.

Beyond that, there are lots of other local agencies that could use some help, such as the Holly Area Youth Coalition, Holly Area Youth Assistance, and Christmas in Action.

Thanks for posing the question.
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#2 Jason Hughes 1999-11-29 20:00
Kim, there are two accepted spellings, Carrie and Carry. The first, Carrie, is her given and legal name. Her father used the other name, Carry, in their family Bible and she chose to use this adopted spelling for her prohibition campaign.

Regardless, both are considered acceptable. It seems to always come up though, just like the spelling of Bronchos. ;-)
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#3 Goodman 1999-11-29 20:00
What are all the committees that people can volunteer for, what are the qualifications/requirements, and how does one go about applying?
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#4 Kim 1999-11-29 20:00
It would be nice if the Village government would learn to spell Carry Nation
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#5 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00

1) I don't understand your question or what relevance it has.
2) If you have knowledge of someone stealing from the DPW and evidence pertaining thereto, please forward your information to the Village of Holly Police Department for investigation.
3) The Question of Cityhood has only been voted on one time via a referendum vote back in 2002. There have been a number of cityhood efforts dating back to the 1920's that have broken down at various stages in the process, but there has been only one referendum vote. And frankly seven years later and with such a dramatic change in our states economy and the housing market that vote can hardly be thought of as still being relevant.
4) The Village Council does not and could not possibly critique every move that the Manager makes. The Manager is responsible for dozens of decisions every day most of which the Council never hears about. However it is important to remember that the Manager, Clerk/Treasurer and Attorney are employees of the Village Council and the Council has oversight over all matters that affect the bottom line of the Village's budget.
5) I don't know that I would call the Union Steward's comments bickering; never-the-less statements made during the public comment portion of the agenda are allowed by a myriad number of laws. Lastly if thereâà¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¡Ã‚¬Ãà ‚¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢s any bickering to be done it shouldn't be done in the office either, it should be done at the bargaining table.
I hope my answers were helpful.
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#6 sophia 1999-11-29 20:00
Mr Clemons- #1 Why don't you know when the Dickens Festival ends?
#2 why is the DPW employee that is stealing left and right still employed?
#3 You are wrong about how many times cityhood vote has been on the ballot.
#4 Why does the council have to critique every move that a Village manager makes? If the person was hired because of qualifications, then let them do the job. Why was the union steward allowed to bicker at a council meeting? This should all be done in the office.
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#7 Jim Clark 1999-11-29 20:00
The Village must cut staff and services. Raising taxes will not fly. When cuts are necessary, they are best received when they start at the top. Cityhood is not the panacea. When you look to the future, revenues will be down and forming partnerships is essential to maintain current standards. Cutting the budget is not fun or easy, it is just essential....
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#8 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
Dear Sophia,

The Village has only voted once on the cityhood issue and was defeated largely because of a well run campaign of lies and falsehoods. I'll ask you the same question that Mike was unable to answer regarding the poor job that we have done governing, give an example or two, more if you can.
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#9 Sophia 1999-11-29 20:00
It seems that the majority of these comments reflect the desire to have the village and township be one form of government. The discrepancy is which type. The village has voted 3 times for cityhood and all 3 were defeated. That is the voters voicing thier opinion. So now I think it is back to the drawing board. If all of the township is not included in a new entity that is going to create more divsion and nothing will have been accomplished. When you remove the state land from the township there is very little left to govern. Also remember that the township has property near I-75 which could create a new business district. I think we should get a committee together of residents from both the village and township to sit down and see if they can come up with a plan. No one should be on this committee if they currently hold public office or were involved with prior cityhood attempts. New ideas and personalities may be good for our "town"! The old ones sure haven't done a very good job.
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#10 Mike 1999-11-29 20:00
We can't include the township to become a city because everyones taxes would skyrocket to provide services and infrastucter to the township. As a Village, someone has to pay for and manage the maintenence of our infrastructe. I think that we can all agree that the Village has been and coninues to be grossly mismanaged. They all need to take a 10% paycut until performance improves.
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#11 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
Dear Mike,

Grossly mismanaged? I'd love an example or two, more if you can.
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#12 Janet Leslie 1999-11-29 20:00
Golf isn't much fun for spectators. I think Brian's instincts are right, and during the festival we should have a big noisy game at Cyclone Park that invites community participation, both as players and as spectators. A golf tournament during the festival would take the participants away from the merchants and vendors for too long.

However, a golf tournament could be an excellent fundraiser for the festival earlier in the season.
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#13 Janet Leslie 1999-11-29 20:00
Okay, I could see having a golf tournament at a slow time for the festival, like Friday morning, especially if players were given incentives to go spend money elsewhere at the festival.

Now-- how do we get participants in addition to the usual local suspects who play in all the other golf tournaments in Holly?
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#14 Ryan 1999-11-29 20:00
Both would be possible, and likely very profitable. A golf tournament could be on Friday morning (what golfer hesitates to take a day off of work to golf?), ending by midday, when there are other activities going on (like a beer tent with free admission for tournament players). Plus, with partnership from the course, friday tournament golfers get half-off greens fees on Saturday.

Softball games can be afternoon or evening on multiple days. And again, tournament-minded golfers have a great deal of disposable income.
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#15 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
I could get on board with a Village Vs Township golf tournament at Carrie Nation. It would be the perfect warm up for the John B. Clemens Golf Classic on the 19th of September.
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#16 Brian 1999-11-29 20:00
Ok everyone grab a bat and ball because, we will have a Village Vs Township softball game this year at carrie nation
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#17 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
ContinuedÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ ’¢â€šÂ¬à ƒÆ’‚¦

Is there disagreement between the Village Council and the Township Board? Of course there is. But you can find disagreement just between our seven Council members. Seven people, seven opinions, but in the end we still manage to get the job done. Iââà¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¡Ã‚¬Ã¢à ƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¾Ã‚¢ve said it before and IÃÃ��’¢âà¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¡Ã‚¬Ã¢à ƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¾Ã‚¢ll say it againâà¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¡Ã‚¬Ãà ¢â‚¬Å¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¦Disagreement leads to compromise and compromise builds strong legislation. I couldnâà¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¡Ã‚¬Ã ¢â€žÂ¢t give a hoot in hell for a bunch of yes men who agree on everything and question nothing; you need look no further than your water bill to see what a disaster that kind of undertaking produces.
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#18 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
Dear Bob,

I suppose it depends on which side of the fence that youââà ƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¡Ã‚¬Ã ¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¾Ã‚¢re sitting on as to who the stone throwers are. I disagree with your assertion that something is âââ €šÂ¬Ã†¦ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“brokenÃÆ⠀™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â‚¬ šÂ¬Ã‚Âà ‚ in the relationship between the two governments. The Village and Township have a more open dialog today than we have had in decades; we often cooperate on programs that are mutually beneficial to the community as a whole. Specific issues such as water and sewer and police services are still being negotiated, and neither side has left the table.
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#19 Jason 1999-11-29 20:00
Janet, you can't generate revenue when operating at a loss. The township would be fortunate to receive police services 'at cost'.

Your metaphors about sale signs are weak and out of context. This would imply that the village has an opportunity to make up the loss on the police services in another area.
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#20 Bob 1999-11-29 20:00
I don't believe my statements were meant to characterize the Village as the root of all evils, but seems to me when it comes to throwing stones, the Village Council are always the first to do so toward the Township.

Mr. Clemens, surely you recognize that there is something 'broken' with the relationship between the two governments and that despite the recent growth of new businesses, things have yet to improve between the Township and the Village.

Perhaps not officially, but personally, wouldn't you believe that life would improve in Holly if there were one government, whether it be cityhood or some other better, more efficient form of government?
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#21 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
Dear Bob,

Here are a couple of facts that may help your thinking process. First a Home Ruled Village cannot be disincorporated. Second a Chartered Township is considered the weakest form of government, and receives the least amount of return on the dollar from Lansing of any of the three forms of government. Third the relationship between the Village and the Township can hardly be portrayed as the "Dark Ages". This kind of negative glass half empty attitude does nothing to add to the debate. And lastly look around the area, a lot of new businesses have opened up lately. It's hardly fair to characterize the Village as the root of all evils, unless youââà ƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¡Ã‚¬Ã ¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¾Ã‚¢re trying to perpetuate the very problems that you preach against?
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#22 Ryan 1999-11-29 20:00
Bob, I should hope that the members of the Holly community do not develop (or increase) any ill-will as a by-product of what amounts to be basic business negotiations. That kind of attitude, the "do what I want or I'm taking my ball and going home" approach, is what you find in petulant, spoiled children on a playground.

Both sides have distinct advantages: the village is the best supplier but has financial needs; the township is the sole demander, but has reduced resources. If negotiations break down and there is never an agreement, then I'd agree there's some definite dysfunction somewhere, but I have a feeling that the two sides will find their common ground with a service agreement in both parties favor.
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#23 Bob 1999-11-29 20:00
Personally, I think this whole matter does nothing more than to perpetuate the ill will between the residents and governments of the Village and Township.

I said it before and I'll say again... dissolve the Village and become one Charter Township with one government and one people. A whole lot more will get done that way and we can then move out of these dark ages we're living in and move toward making The Holly Area a better place for people to live and businesses to move to and do business in.
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#24 April 1999-11-29 20:00
Again you choose not to live in the Village so why should I pay for you to have the same services.
The costs of the services have not gone down but have grown.
Once again if you want the services why should you get them at a discount rate??????? How many times have you gone in to Kmarts and said oh gee I don't want to pay twenty bucks for this will you sell it to me for ten after all, Christmas sales are down you should be glad we shop here even if your losing money on the deal.
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#25 Bill 1999-11-29 20:00
Does anyone remember the two mill property tax increase we approved that was supposed to save and totally fund the police department and dispatch? What happened?
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#26 Janet Leslie 1999-11-29 20:00
When was the last time you stopped into Kmart, or any other retailer for that matter, and didn't see the store covered in sale and clearance signs? There is very little reason to pay full price for anything these days.

But again, the Village has every right to establish their own price. It seems, though, that it would be better for village residents in the long run to find a way to sell their services in order to bring additional revenue into the police department. This could help you maintain the very high level of service you now enjoy. But that's for the Village residents and your representatives to decide.
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#27 Janet Leslie 1999-11-29 20:00
I don't think it's fair that people buying homes on my street are paying half what I paid five years ago. But in this economy, I realize that "fair" has nothing to do with making the sale. If I put my house on the market with the idea that no one should pay less than I did, I would not attract a buyer. Still, the village has a right to establish whatever price suits them.
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#28 April 1999-11-29 20:00
Mrs. Powers salary is $80.000.00
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#29 April 1999-11-29 20:00
Why should the township receive police protects for less then a resident of the Village of Holly. How is that fair. Why would you call the council idiots when they are trying to protect the people who have voted them to office.
Let the township pay the same for the service. Don't move to the township and then try to grab all the services we pay for at a discount rate.
Live without them or pay your fair share.
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#30 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
Dear Roger,

Thank you for your advice, but let me assure you that the motor pool is being run as efficiently as is possible and that there is little if any waste there. In the past the Village purchased one new patrol car every year. That car was driven 24 hours a day 365 days a year. And soon the "new" car wasn't very new anymore. Under the current system the Village leases three new patrol cars per year, at a lower cost of a single vehicle purchase, (not this year due to budget cuts), the leased vehicles are driven 8 hours per day 5 days a week. Therefore at the end of the lease these cars have a much higher residual value than that one sad worn out car that we use to purchase every year. How's that for using our heads?
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#31 roger 1999-11-29 20:00
lets get rid of the motor pool and auction off some of the excess in village vechiles. this would save us repairs fuel and insurance costs. or patrol cars per capita is wat out of the norm. use your heads council members
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#32 Janet Leslie 1999-11-29 20:00
November 2, 2010.
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#33 kevin 1999-11-29 20:00
The village managers comments on the teamsters causing additional expenditures such as the 20,000 for health care change and the 15,000 for lawyer fees is rediculous. This contract was 95%done in august. It's the management and her high priced labor attorney's that are causing the delay in the contract settlement not the union. Maybe if the council had hired a college educated, professional manager instead of plugging in someone who is not experienced this would not have happend. To blame the union on the economic problems of our community is blasphemus. And for members of the council to beleive it is incredible. Maybe it's time for some new blood in the village council, when are elections.
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#34 Bob 1999-11-29 20:00
Let the Village deal with their shortfall in funds... they're so hell-bent on not negotiating with the Township on the police issue - despite their NEEDING the money - this will be their undoing.

So stubborn not the extend, what they call a 'discount' to the Township... well fine, then you can decide who gets the paycut and/or lay off slip.

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#35 Kelly 1999-11-29 20:00
I feel that both governments really need to work together, set their personal vendettas aside and find a way to help those of us left in the community to be able to remain here and afford to live here and have services that we need. With the disagreements that still remain between township and village, it seems as though both will see increased vacant houses and a lowered tax base. I cannot afford the water rates but have no choice in paying, so my family misses meals and I am sure we will lose heat this winter, then comes the loss of our home. Where does it end? Work to help the people, not just yourselves.
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#36 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
Mr. Freeman,

Just as an aside to your Mayor comment. I favor a "weak mayoral system" that would still require a City Manager to run the day to day operations of the city. The position of Mayor therefore would have virtually the same duties as the current position of President does today.
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#37 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00

A Chartered Township is considered the weakest form of government as it offers the fewest services. Charter Townships recieve the least amount of state revenue sharing of any of the three recognized forms of government. Unless you think that Lansing deserves to keep more of your tax dollars? You mentioned extravagant tax increases, but the Village has lowered taxes consistantly for years. In fact over the last year your over-all tax slug has been reduced by 3.97 mills. Sorry I can't say the same for the water rates.
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#38 Kelly 1999-11-29 20:00
I happen to recall many of the attempts to become a city. They were voted down. What about a Charter township? I heard that option a while back and it seemed the better way to go. I am not fond of our current Council..many can afford to pay for these increases while most citizens cannot afford these extravagant increases in taxes, water, etc. AND there are current council members who were involved in the decision making back when the agreement was made for the subdivisions and a bond was supposed to be purchased to prevent this problem from happening..oops
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#39 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
Mr. Freeman

If the Village wasn't paying the 1 mill to the Township then we would have it to pay for assessing and elections. There is no need to increase taxes. Plus there would be an increase in state revenue sharing, and a capture of real and personal property tax. We don't chose to become a city to make a profit. We chose to become a city to end the Townships practice of taxation without representation. As for my double secret hidden agenda, former President Jeff Miller had a great retort that is most apropos, âââ €šÂ¬Ã†¦ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…“I don't care if I'm elected the first Mayor of Holly; my only wish is to be its last PresidentÃƒÆ’Ã†â€™Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¢ÃƒÆ ’¢â€šÂ¬à ƒÆ’‚.
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#40 Sandra 1999-11-29 20:00
Yes but my taxes would stay the same. I currently pay one mill to the township. So now this one mill would be paid to the village. Same amount for me, nothing new, just one local taxing authority.
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#41 Mark Freeman 1999-11-29 20:00
cont. The Village has a budget shortfall right now. It would require at least an additional 1 mill in tax increase to cover the cost of assessments and elections. Using the word "welfare" is a misrepresentation in the context that you use it. Perhaps your true motivation is your hidden agenda to become the first mayor of the new City of Holly.
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#42 Mark Freeman 1999-11-29 20:00
Mr. Clemens,
With all due respect, "the Village is part of the Township" as you are so fond of saying. All Village and outer Township property owners pay 1 mill of tax to Holly Township each year. That's it. That is $75.00 a year on a $150,000, taxable value property. That pays for all the assessing and for the expenses for Federal, State, Local and School elections. If the Village became a City it would have to assume these expenses. cont.
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#43 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
Mr. Freeman,

A study commissioned and paid for by the Township is going to give exactly the results that the Township desires. The Village doesnâà¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…¡Ã‚¬Ãà ‚¢Ã¢â‚¬Å¾Ã‚¢t need to waste money on a study to know that we are subsidizing the Township and keeping your taxes artificially low. Holly Township has ridden the whirlwind of Village welfare payments long enough. Since you won't allow the Village to annex additional property to grow its tax base and in turn pay the Township's welfare payments, you leave little room for recourse. Remember Mr. Freeman the concept of cityhood was not born in Village Chambers, but rather in the Township Hall.
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#44 James 1999-11-29 20:00
This us vs. them attitude that both the village and the township have (both residents and representatives)...please make it stop already.
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#45 Mark Freeman 1999-11-29 20:00
I cannot speak for the past but I have not personaly witnessed any current member of the Holly Township Board exibiting hostility or antganonism towards the Village of Holly or the Village government. The past is in the past.
Of course the Holly Township Board will resist any attempt to annex land away from the Township by any governmental unit. The Village Council would do exactly the same thing.
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#46 Mark Freeman 1999-11-29 20:00
A few years ago, Holly Township commissioned the firm of VerBurg & Associates to fully investigate various forms of government for the community as a whole. At that time Mr. VerBurg estimated that at most, the increase in revenue to the Village would be $20,000.00, per year and more like only $3,000.00, or so per year. To my knowlege the Village Council has not conducted any study to substantiate its claim that these revenues would be greatly increased through cityhood.
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#47 dayne 1999-11-29 20:00
would money from the feds been available for the $18,000,000 waste water treatment plant modernization if holly had a city designation?
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#48 Janet Leslie 1999-11-29 20:00
I hate to repeat myself, but I am still getting the impression that many folks believe cityhood is equal to the consolidation of the village and the township. It isn't.
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#49 dayne 1999-11-29 20:00
has the village considered moving away from a defined benefit pension plan to a defined contribution plan? I like oakland countys healthcare for retirees plan- a yearly $5000. contribution to a health savings account.
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#50 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00

The Village Council (or city council) cannot levy taxes without a direct vote of the people, and frankly nobody in their right mind would propose or for that matter support a city income tax. There was no "Administrative Assistant" hired for Marsha Powers. There was a Clerk/Treasurer hired, but this was to fulfill a requirement of the VillageâÃà ‚Â¢ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…Â¡Ãƒâ€šÃ‚Â¬ÃƒÆ ’¢â€žÂ¢s Charter. No these are not the same people that brought you the water fiasco, that was two councils and six years ago. The current council was left holding the bag and are stuck trying to clean up that mess. Nobody tried to sneak a water rate hike onto your bill, there were plenty of public meetings before the new rate was approved. And finally could you name a single business that the administration has chased away? While I certainly support your right to comment, I have to question your message.
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#51 Darrin 1999-11-29 20:00
To me, let's shoot for the moon (citihood), and if we end up even a couple steps farther ahead in terms of collaboration between the Village and Township, at least it's a start in the right direction.
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#52 Mike 1999-11-29 20:00
Remember, the top dogs in the village that I am proposing take a 30% paycut are the ones that consistantly chase away new business, bicker with the township and really stuck it to the village residents by tripling our water bills. They also tried to sneak the new water rates in on everyone last summer. Is there a way to legally petition to get the salaries cut? They will not do it on thier own.
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#53 Darrin 1999-11-29 20:00
The prevailing wisdom is that everything will take years. And while this always seems to be the case here in Holly, it doesn't have to be if we demand change. There are issues to overcome, but I wish we could start tackling them today, instead of sometime in the distant future. Bringing the Village and Township together will benefit everyone, and most people probably agree. I'm a Township resident, but don't mind paying a little more in taxes if the end result is a community that is unified and provides more value in total to all residents. A lot of homework is required, as is the leadership and community enagement to make it happen, but let's start taking steps today!
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#54 Mike 1999-11-29 20:00
Can't do the city thing. It gives them too much power to levy other taxes, like income tax. If I rember correctly, they just hired an administrative assistant for Marsha Powers and I remember reading that the starting salary was $52,000/ year. If that is an administartor's salary, how much is Marsha Powers salary. These are the same people that brought you the water fiasco that has tripled our water bills. All of them, starting with Marsha should take a 30% paycut immediatly. That would more than balance the budget, we would have a surplus.
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#55 Kelly 1999-11-29 20:00
Tim - I totally agree. Too many empty houses, many needing huge repairs. Also many other village residents are unemployed and are trying to hold on to their homes but with increased water bills, taxes and council continuing to fight with the township over police services, I see everyone packing up and leaving, less those on the council.
Council needs to review a counterproposal and stop being the "village idiots". Discuss, review and come to an agreement. It would benefit everyone.
Jim - you are also right about the monies in taxes..Too high
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#56 Bob 1999-11-29 20:00
If the Village and Township become one City I see large tax increases. Neither side has the personnel or equipment to handle all the streets, crime, garbage pick up, snow removal, ect. without developing larger DPW, police force and trying to combine the Fire Departments. Sure we would save on administrative cost having one person running the City but there is another question, what type of government are we looking for, City Manager or Mayor.
I would love to see the Village and Township become one again with everyone working for the better good of the community. This will take years to develop, so lets get some thoughts put together by both sides, then have a vote of the people to see what they want.
In the mean time cuts will have to occur and attitudes will have to change or none of this will ever happen.
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#57 Jim 1999-11-29 20:00
Before I get too excited here; is there anyone who might be able to estimate what a 'new' millage rate would be for us all should the Township be annexed into the Village and/or we become a city? (Nothing exact, and I wont hold you to it either.) I know there are some opportunities for shared services and consolidation, so I would assume these rates could be different and I hope lower than what the Village currently pays?
As a Township Resident, the concern for me presently is a possible substancial increase in my taxes. The Village pays 15.82 mil's more than those in the Township. Based on a home with taxable value of $75,000, this equates to an additional annual expenditure of $1187. (about $100 per month)
Thank you!
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#58 tim 1999-11-29 20:00
to all of you people that are constantly complaining and bickering in the holly chambers,you act as if this is some kind of little exclusive a high school popularity contest.holly has blight,a police dept. that compares to the KEYSTONE COPS,empty homes,taxes and water bills that are out of control,you all had better get it together before there is nothing left of holly to preserve.after living here all of my life i am about ready to leave and not come back.this is something shared by myself and many others!
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#59 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
The Village has had a desire to expand its tax base forever, but every attempt by the Village to annex property from the Township has been met with resistance. The Township prefers Act 425 agreements that allow them to continue to collect the taxes on an annexed property for a set amount of time (usually 25 years). This is the core division and root of the animosity between the two governments.
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#60 Janet Leslie 1999-11-29 20:00
"...let the township try to survive without my tax dollars?" Is this a competition? Are you so callous towards your neighbors you are actually challenging them to survive? Township residents contribute immensely to the village's economy. Do you actually think development will occur in the village if there is no surrounding community? You need us and we need you. Let's acknowledge that and work together.
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#61 Brian S 1999-11-29 20:00
As a footnote to Janet's comment, and because I was really bored, I ran a spreadsheet of villages' tax bases as a percentage of the whole townships' tax bases.

The village is 42% of the townships entire tax base, the highest in the county. (ignoring Southfield's weird arrangement.) The next highest is Milford at 30% folowed by Oxford at 16%.

The village can not become a city without destroying the township. Villages seem to work best when they are just a small percentage of the parent township's tax base. For whatever historical reasons, the relationship between the village and the township and the village of Holly, in terms of development, is completely unbalanced and out of line with other villages. This, probably more than anything, seems to be at the heart of all the animosity.

Data here:
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#62 Sandra 1999-11-29 20:00
Why is everyone so bent on dissolving the Village. The Village actually has all the services and has managed them effectively. What has the township managed? They mis-managed the assessment for many years. Lets get going on moving the Village into a City and let the township try to survive without my tax dollars.
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#63 Janet Leslie 1999-11-29 20:00
I notice that when township residents speak in favor of cityhood, they often seem to assume that the whole township will join the village and become one city. But when village residents speak in favor of cityhood, they often guffaw at the notion of absorbing the whole township and becoming a 36 sq. mile city. Now, if the village annexes just the areas of dense development in the township and then becomes a city, what is to become of the remainder of the township? By law, it would still be required to have a board of trustees, a planning commission, etc., etc. Only now, it would have to maintain those positions with a greatly reduced tax base. And as both the city and the township would have to maintain administrations, there would still be redundancies. It seems to me that what would be created is a very inefficient township.

There may very well be a solution to this dilemma, but I haven't heard it yet.
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#64 Bob 1999-11-29 20:00
Mr. Clemens... what are the steps to get Holly into cityhood... is that a something that has to be voted on by both the Township and the Village residents? If so, how does it get on the ballot? Is that something officials work to get on the ballot or does it have to be taken on by residents? Or is this all hopelessly imprisoned by the opinions of the Village and Township boards, which means it'll never happen?

If the people have the power, I think there is more desire to see this happen these days than ever before.
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#65 Peter Clemens 1999-11-29 20:00
I agree with Goodman's comments. On top of what he said you should also remember that a Chartered Township receives the least amount of state revenue sharing return from Lansing of any of the three recognized units of local government. Cities receive the greatest amount of revenue sharing and a percentage of real and personal property tax. It just makes good fiscal sense for Holly to incorporate as a city. Why leave more of our money in Lansing when it could better used here in Holly?
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#66 Sophia 1999-11-29 20:00
We don't need 3 police cars patrolling during the weekdays...especially when they all can be on a lunch hour at the same time and place!
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#67 sophia 1999-11-29 20:00
the Village and Township should be one governmental unit- thus saving the cost of administation. I am in favor of dissolving the village and making it a Charter Township.
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#68 Bob 1999-11-29 20:00
Amen, Sophia... let's make Holly ONE GOVERNMENT.
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#69 Goodman 1999-11-29 20:00
I favor merging the Village and Township together as a city. You not only eliminate redundancies, but you become eligible for a host of grants and stimulus monies (either now or in the future). Not to mention that it just makes sense that we all share in the challenges, successes, and future of this great area.
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#70 Bob 1999-11-29 20:00
Add Hamilton to my list of people who should be removed from Village Government - along with Kuyk and McKenny.

Wake up people, these folks are NO GOOD for The Holly Area.
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#71 beadempress 2010-04-24 09:07
start with the police dept- crime stats for holly are as follows: Holly Violent Crimes 16
Holly Murders 0
Holly Rapes 6
Holly Robberies 5
Holly Aggravated Assaults 5

Holly Property Crimes 139
Holly Burglaries 30
Holly Larceny/Thefts 103
Holly Motor Vehicle Thefts 6

Holly Arsons 1

fenton's police budget is less than holly's- fenton has twice as many residents and much more commercial property to monitor-
linden's police budget is 560,000- they have about 1/2 the number of residents that holly has-

Does Rolly think he's still in Pontiac?

Cut on the dotted line marsha-
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#72 Elizabeth 2010-09-16 17:35
Guess you're eating those words, aren't you President Clemens?

Quoting Peter Clemens:
Dear Mike,

Grossly mismanaged? I'd love an example or two, more if you can.
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