By Nancy Dingeldey
Former Wixom City Councilwoman and Oakland County Commissioner
During the Aug. 15 Wixom City Council meeting, Councilman Rich Ziegler chose to point blame on the “has beens” for the recent millage election defeat. I fall into that “has been” category as a former city councilwoman and Oakland County commissioner.
The finger should not be wagged at six former office-holders who pointed out questionable ballot language to their neighbors, but rather to themselves and the city administration for presenting a poorly written, ambiguous ballot question. It wasn’t the “has beens” that caused the defeat, but rather the residents who were too smart to accept what was presented.
But the outcome of the millage defeat shows the true colors of the City Council and administration … defensive, disdainful, downright rude. How do you flex your muscles and get back at the “has beens” and those who voted no? Simple … threats and punishment to the residents. Close the community center, close the senior center, cut the reported needs of police and fire, parks and recreation, and gosh golly, snow removal just might be curtailed. Threats.
The mayor and City Council are elected as the community leaders. Their major function is the fiduciary stewardship of the city. That is their job, not one to be glossed over, ignored, or as was said on the record by a councilman during a budget study session, “I don’t know why we’re wasting our time on this. Just do what administration wants.” It’s easy to do the easy thing … just cut things people want and they will turn around and vote yes.
Stepping back and examining all facets of the budget, including the internal operations of the city, is a difficult process but one that absolutely needs to be done. Life at City Hall can’t be operated in the same old same old way. Operations need to change within before asking for more tax money. Yes, it’s likely the city will need more money, but they need to prove it first.
But what do I know? I’m just a “has been,” upgraded to a “has been wanna be” by Mr. Ziegler.