Election

3.50 Mills is Too Much

For the past several months, Wixom Mayor, Kevin Hinkley, and Wixom City Manager, Clarence Goodlein, have painted a picture of “gloom and doom” if a new special millage is not passed on November 8th of this year. The current special millage of 3.50 mills expires at the end of 2016.

During the Wixom City Council Regular meeting on 06/14/16, the council, discussed, debated, and voted on placing ballot language for the renewal of the current Special Millage in the amount of 3.50 mills on the November ballot.

Council members Kennedy, Gottschall, and Smiley made several attempts during the discussion portions of the meeting to lower the amount of the proposed new special millage. Mayor Hinkley, along with Councilmen Ziegler, Beagle and Rzeznik, were set firmly on 3.50 mills.

Council members Kennedy, Gottschall, and Smiley made a case for reducing the millage amount to be put before the voters of Wixom to 1.75 mills. They argued that 3.50 mills equates to about $2.3 million, of which an average of $1.1 million has been “tucked away” to the city’s Budget Stabilization Fund each of the last four years. It made sense to these councilman that the city government could maintain its services with essentially half of what the current special millage was currently collecting. Simply put, 3.5 mills is too much.

Kennedy, Gottschall, and Smiley have stated publicly that they did not want to take the tax increase decision away from the people of Wixom. However, they also wanted to put a better proposal on the ballot than what was being presented to them.

Unable to come up with a super-majority vote, Councilman Gottschall proposed an amendment to the ballot language. Instead of “3.50 mills”, it was changed to “up to 3.50 mills”.

This change to the millage proposal passed.

Council members Kennedy, Gottschall, and Smiley didn’t want a 3.50 millage renewal/increase, but they didn’t want to take the decision-power away from Wixom’s citizens.

This change to the wording of the proposal will allow the annual special millage amount to be less than 3.50 mills each year (but no higher). If passed, the amount will be debated, discussed, and determined by the City Council each year during Wixom’s budget sessions.

So, Wixom has a choice: vote for the 3.50 mills on the Nov. 8 ballot and hope that the council can or will go below the 3.50 mills allowed, or vote it down and make the council come back with a proposal that will be acceptable to the residents of Wixom.

7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. John Brody

    October 21, 2016 at 10:44 pm

    This is fascinating since neither Smiley or Gottschall pay property tax. In fact , neither are home owners in a wixom. Both live in their respective parents homes. These are the individuals we elected to represent us? Please don’t glorify these individuals….let us follow those who have become productive, valuable assets to the City…Not grown men living in their parents basement……

    • mrwixom

      October 24, 2016 at 12:31 am

      Thanks for the comment.It should be noted that where a resident lives within the community is of little importance. What is noted and important is the record of facts for the dedication,determination,devotion to detail, and their personal integrity invested on behalf of the taxpayers. Mr. Gottschall, Mr. Smiley and Mr. Kennedy have demonstrated for the responsible Legislative and Fiscal responsibilities to the community and taxpayers.This statement cannot be said for the Mayor and other members of the Council

      • j Brody

        October 30, 2016 at 10:59 pm

        I sent a reply. I hope you post it

      • j Brody

        October 30, 2016 at 11:09 pm

        I disagree. in fact, I would contend that the three individuals you named are not interested in the best interest of Wixom but rather are using their small town political positions as a stepping stone for some potential delusions of grandeur of future political posturing. I’m sure you will delete my post like usual but please use better judgment when selecting your representatives..

  2. Robert Smiley

    October 25, 2016 at 9:59 am

    Mr. Brody,

    In regard to your comment about my tax payer status, please know that I do pay Wixom property taxes.

    As is the case with many stories, there is often another side.

    In 2009 my wife lost her job. The company I worked for was teetering on the edge of bankruptcy and my father had lost his job a few months earlier. The Smiley family, like so many families at that time, were in a vulnerable situation. With the future uncertain, we decided to combine resources. It was a very difficult decision. I wanted my parents to move into my home, however their house was larger and could accommodate more people. We decided to “ride out the storm” of the “Great Recession” in the bigger house. We shared in all of the expenses (including the tax bill) and it worked out wonderfully. So well in fact, that we stayed together even after things had improved. My wife and I have since bought the home from my parents and the seven of us (we have three young sons) continue to live together very happily as a multi-generational home in this great community. We thank God for guiding us through a difficult time and to a better life.

    I certainly don’t blame you for not knowing the circumstances of my unique case, and I would have preferred that you had reached out and asked me, but I completely understand. It is difficult to find the truth, or complete truth, in the “information age”. Everyone has a story, and everyone seems to like to tell their own versions of other people’s business. I can only guess where you heard that I “live in my parents’ basement”.

    Similarly, you are probably unaware of Councilman Gottschall’s circumstance. I know he pays rent. Certainly you would not condemn other Wixom residents who rent, as opposed to own, their homes and declare them unqualified to serve their community. If you’d like to know more, you should reach out to him.

    Feel free to contact me if you’d like to discuss this topic more or to discuss anything else. I’m here to serve.

    ____________________
    Robert Smiley
    Wixom City Council
    rsmiley@wixomgov.org

  3. J Brody

    October 30, 2016 at 10:56 pm

    I commend you and Mr. Gottschall for your perseverance. You are both very fortunate to have parents to bail you out when the going gets tough. I appreciate both of you giving your time and efforts to making Wixom a better community. However, it is difficult to entrust these important responsibilities to individuals who are still struggling to be successful. I look at our past leaders …Henry Mack, Wayne Glessner, John Momberg, Wayne Glessner, Kevin Hinkley, Richard Ziegler etc……all successful men who built their lives on their own, and led the City with integrity. They may have different views and opinions, but all share two important qualities … Success and respectability. …
    We all have hard times sir…our response is what incapsilates us….

  4. BOGDOG

    November 2, 2016 at 2:51 pm

    I have a problem with the residents of the apartment complexes being able to vote to raise my taxes. It doesn’t seem right that people whose rent is less than some people’s property tax have a say in the amount of homeowners taxes. Especially since many don’t stay in the city very long.

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