Community Interests

Lose Individual Integrity, Lose Public’s trust?

It is a well-known fact that bad men do bad things; it is equally intolerable that good men also do bad things.  It is an unfortunate trend within the political arena whether it is at the federal, state, or local levels of governments. And there is no reason to think that this personal and political trait will stop now or in the future.

There are many examples where this is apparent, just listen to the global or local news. Significantly and sadly, there are inferences and indications where political indiscretions exist here within Wixom’s politics.

For several years there has been no enforcement of the Charter’s requirements for the position of Director of Public Safety. There have been legal opinions given and accepted by the Mayor and Council as to the legitimacy of the Director’s position. There are legal opinions written and presented for political purposes on behalf of the Administration; however, there has never been a legal challenge to the merits of those written legal opinions. There too is no punishment for elected officials that decide to ignore, or find a tentative way around the City’s Charter’s language.

But there is no mistaking of the language that is succinct within the Charter. Gunnar Mettala and those who drew up the Charter, wanted to protect the community. By structuring and organizing a Charter with words defining the positions and defining their accountability, there too was a methodology for defining the regulations of a municipal government with a ways and means for the administration of community affairs that was direct, simple, and cost effective in their Administration of governing those affairs.

There are inferences and indications where political indiscretions exist here in Wixom. The example of the dismissal, as well as the hiring of Mr. Nowicki is another example of not following the City’s Charter’s requirements for the position of the City Manager.

There is “no contract” allowed or enforceable for the position of City manager. The reason: a Charter requirement! Administrative necessity for the staffing and organizational stability of the Administration requires a methodology to hire and retain and not dismiss any City Manager without due process by Council is a mandate. The existence and development of a contract to hire Mr. Nowicki and the later procedure for the dismissal of the City Manager were not followed.

However, attorney developed legalese accepted by the Mayor and Council ignored the Charter. Again, purposelessly developed legal opinions were accepted as the whole truth and nothing but the truth! There has never been a citizen’s serious contested legal action to remedy these past transgressions as the cost is prohibitive.

When Charter protocol is not followed, when personnel records are destroyed without cause or explanation; when there is no Administrative concern for destruction of public documents; when there is no inquiry as to reason or cause, there is a genuine distrust of government. When a dismissal of competent personnel is not given justification to the public, there is a distrust of the government and the Administration of public affairs.

The distrust is as genuine as the loss of integrity for the individuals who participated in these activities. Even if their voice is not heard, the public hears and understands the quietness of unethical behavior.

What this loss of individual integrity manifests is seriously detrimental to the community. For it is these participants that are now asking the public for their trust and for their money. “Believe me,” they say, “The problems are real.” How does the public know without a public dissecting of the economic body of details within the budget?

Genuine initiatives that are not understood as being relative are created by false positives because of unethical behavior. Why should the public trust elected officials who have a disregard for the Charter, their “Oath of Office,” and when silence is given to honest questions asked?

The City of Wixom is in a difficult economic situation as to how much services are actually needed, and are   affordable. A new economic situation now exists with both revenues and expenses potentially increasing and a final budget and millage to the taxpayers will be offered up for voter’s approval.

The City Manager is responsible for the Budget and Council will review and possibly revise it. Finally, the public will have it’s say in the process, but Council will have final approval.

The distinguishing budgeting feature for the public is to “believe it or not”as misadventure and mistrust have contributed to the public’s judgement of what are the real and substance issues within the budget. A judgement that could potentially lead to the determent of the public good. Previous threats have prevailed about shuttering the Community Center and conjuring the turning out of-the-lights of the community.

Where possible, within the budgeting review process, all essential elements of providing services and reductions of expenditures are to be reviewed. Where necessary, hard choices need to be made in all departments; capital improvements realistically managed.

Yes, the low hanging fruit has been picked, but now the real work is trimming the tree for future sustainability of the community, even when that may mean a temporary loss of personnel in some departments.

Families, industries, businesses and economic  development are all predicated on paying a reasonable tax for services received.

 

 

 

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