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Posted on Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

'Everyone has to cut': Ypsilanti looks at $520K in alternative budget reductions

By Katrease Stafford

At its special budget meeting held Thursday, the Ypsilanti City Council discussed alternative budget reduction ideas and said tough decisions need to be made in the coming months following the May 8 election in which voters rejected the proposed income tax and Water Street debt retirement millage.


Michigan Avenue in downtown Ypsilanti.

Steve Pepple |

“Everyone has to cut,” Council Member Michael Bodary said. “No department can be immune.”

Revenues are down 2.6 percent from fiscal year 2012 and expenditures are down 5.85 percent.

Some of the proposed alternative budget reductions include the elimination of two full-time positions totaling $177,000 and not filling two vacant police positions because of retirement — that would save about $160,000. Council also is looking at the potential elimination of purchasing a $40,000 police vehicle.

In other areas, it was proposed to delay repairs totaling $68,000, not fill a $51,000 vacant records clerk position, and to eliminate a $20,000 purchase for a building department vehicle. These alternative budget reductions in total might save the city nearly $520,000.

The council was particularly concerned following Fire Chief Jon Ichesco’s presentation. Ichesco said the elimination of seven firefighter positions is likely. Ichesco said following cuts, there may be only four fighters per shift.

Council Member Peter Murdoch said the change will have a great impact on services.

“It’s a big fundamental change from what people are used to,” Murdoch said. “It’s going to change how we do business.”

Ichesco said the fire department has applied for a SAFER FEMA grant to fund potential staff recall.

After consulting an auditor, Ypsilanti Finance Director Marilou Uy said the city was advised to redistribute cash reserves as they “see fit.”

The city has nearly $10 million in reserves but Uy said that may be depleted by the end of fiscal year 2014 because of payments to the Water Street debt and transfers to cover general fund shortfalls. The city might have to pull $620,000 out of its savings to cover expenses.

Uy said the Water Street Committed Fund balance will be used up in fiscal year 2013-14 with a deficit of $3,415— which will be paid for by using general fund money.

The city might seek temporary uses for the Water Street redevelopment site though it is unclear what those may be.

Uy said the city is looking at a potential elimination of yard waste services and the recycling program. Uy has looked at the possibility of contracting out recycling to Waste management but she said that would require cost analysis to determine its feasibility.

Also on the table is the possible elimination of the Sanitation Millage. Uy said the city would seek proposals for this but essentially, residents would be billed directly for all services such as garbage and brush and yard waste.

David Kowal, director of administrative services, said he is expecting staffing levels to remain the same, yet additional interdepartmental position consolidation is possible. He said that would result in further cost savings.

Kowal said the city will see a decrease in temporary wages because the department intern will be working fewer hours following the completion of the new city website project in fiscal year 2011-12.

City Clerk Frances McMullan said City Council has realized a reduction in compensation and will carry that reduction through the 2012-13 fiscal year.

In an effort to further reduce costs, McMullan said the Council has eliminated membership to the MMAC and national League of Cities. Additional memberships and dues may be eliminated.

No council action was taken on the budget. Council will have two more budget meetings throughout May and there will be a first reading of the proposed budget on June 5. A second and final reading will be held June 19.

Noticebly absent from the meeting were residents—particularly supporters of the Stop City Income Tax group that campaigned against the two tax proposals.

Council Member Brian Robb said earlier in the week that he “looked forward” to a lot of people showing up at the budget meeting to offer suggestions.

Mayor Paul Schreiber said he didn’t have “expectations either way” in regards to them coming to the budget meeting.



Mon, May 14, 2012 : 1:59 a.m.

So glad that Glen S. has declared that I am one of the "wealthiest residents" in Ypsilanti since I am a part of SCIT. I had no idea I was wealthy. After I pay my City Taxes I don't have two dimes to rub together. Also confused about how he would know anything about my finances?????? Something tells me he didn't research his facts before posting.


Sun, May 13, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

Last thing: I read the 66 page budget presentation. One option listed is getting rid of recycling / yard waste pickup but for 2011 the portion of my property taxes that went for sanitation was $130.00 and change. Is money supplementing that from the general fund or something? Why would you cut those services if they are funded and make up such a small part of the property tax revenue? I can contract trash service as an individual for less than $190.00/year. This doesn't make sense to me.


Sun, May 13, 2012 : 6:59 p.m.

As you suggest, I recall that a portion of trash and recycling is paid out of the general fund since the sanitation millage doesn't cover all costs anymore.


Sun, May 13, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Also, the Water Street property is so poorly marketed that the signs on site do not even say WATERFRONT on them. A realtor stands to make a ton of money on that property. I have never seen evidence that there are any public marketing reports. What is the current listing agent doing to market the property? It would be easy to just sit on it, waiting for their half of the commission if a buyer comes forward. A listing agent is free, have a realtor competition.


Sun, May 13, 2012 : 5:04 p.m.

People work and have other commitments that may make it impossible to attend these meetings. If they were serious about hearing people's ideas they should hold multiple sessions for just that purpose. There are council members who have no email address or phone number listed on the city website. How are you supposed to contact them? P.S. When I'm broke I know the LAST thing I do is buy new vehicles.

greg, too

Sun, May 13, 2012 : 4:43 a.m.

I did not read through all 84 comments, but I think the question that begs to be answered is: Did the city actually think the proposals would be passed? Did they have some form of evidence, either through straw polls or actual person to person polls that the millage and income tax would happen? If not, why did the city waste 7-8 months on something that they did not know was going to pass when they could have been working on alternatives? Why not spend those months working the townships to see if some kind of mergers could happen? And finally, the biggest question. If they did just blindly throw these proposals out thinking that they would pass and miraculously save the day, do you want them as your elected officials anymore?


Sun, May 13, 2012 : 12:09 p.m.

Good questions, all of them... And I think the answers are fairly clear as well. It's just time to move forward, crunch time if you will. People in this city are definitely moving towards changes, be it through the current electoral process or by other means, but they are definitely concerned and do care, are organized and will see this through but we need everyone's help. A 21% voter turnout for this last vote though shows that the message isn't getting out to everyone, or isn't being delivered in the right way. I remember getting a total of 1 flyer from the Yes side and probably 5 or 6 from the No side so both sides were working, just one harder than the other. I don't know the right answer to getting the other 79% concerned with the urgency needed to make the changes we require, but with enough people getting together on this, it will happen...


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 11:02 p.m.

I hope everyone has gotten the sniping, flaming or whatever out... the vote is over, it is what it is and everyone needs to move forward. Take all of that energy and put it into creative solutions, not insults... remember, every time you point a finger at someone, you have three pointing back at you. It's okay to have opinions but for every one, you should be thinking "how can we fix this?" The last council budget meeting was poorly attended by all sides, that is a fact. So going forward, think about what we can do, go to the council meetings and for 3 minutes, give your proposals to the council... they will become a matter of public record. Get together in groups, brainstorm, generate ideas, write them down... no idea is stupid, just get them going. We've got a ton of work to do to make this city flourish as it should and wasting it in petty tit for tats ain't gonna solve a damn thing. Ciao


Sun, May 13, 2012 : 12:02 p.m.

There was really only one cliché in there, the rest you might describe as rhetoric if it wasn't sincere (which is very much was.) So John Q, do you have any ideas or suggestions to this point? I'm all ears!

John Q

Sun, May 13, 2012 : 4:29 a.m.

How many cliches can you pack in a paragraph?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

YpsiCityResident, is your group really that incompetent? *Unscheduled* speakers get 3 minutes. Get yourself or your group on the agenda prior to the meeting and you can have all the time you want. Please.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 9:04 p.m.

I business land, there are often 15 or 20 iterations of a budget a month before it is supposed to be approved. Not everyone will have every idea all at the same time, it takes some analysis, thought, conversation, action... repeat accordingly both individually and in a group, but the process isn't "here's the budget, where are your ideas???" All sides really need to get together on this and come up with the best alternatives A, B and C... maybe even to Z.

Ypsilanti City Resident

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 8:57 p.m.

City Council will hold a budget presentation on Thursday, May 10, 2012 in the Council Chambers at City Hall. The election was May 8th.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 6:30 p.m.

@Ypsi City Resident: "There needs to be public meetings." There are four coming up. "Council will have two more budget meetings throughout May and there will be a first reading of the proposed budget on June 5. A second and final reading will be held June 19."

Ypsilanti City Resident

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:23 p.m.

YpsiVetran and YpsiDoodle How much could we say in 3 minutes. There needs to be Public Meetings. Public Participation at City Council Meetings: All interested persons are invited to attend open meetings of City Council. Council holds an Audience Participation hearing at the beginning and end of each regular meeting. Speakers are allotted 3 minutes to speak on any topic of concern.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 9:10 p.m.

Maybe council needs to appoint a special committee that is representative of all sides in the matter... government, citizens "yes", citizens "no" and citizens "?" I don't know the right answer there but until meaningful, constructive dialogue begins, it will continue to just be deconstruction and internet sniping and nothing will get done...


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Cash, I'm not assuming Ypsi Twp. wouldn't talk to the city. In fact, they've been talking to the city. I don't know if any talks have been established with Pittsfield, but if there were to be some type of consolidated/joint dept. established, Pittsfield would, in my opinion, be a much more a) likely, and b) desirable partner.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:32 p.m.

Sorry, the above was supposed to be a reply. I placed it incorrectly.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:55 p.m.

"not fill a $51,000 vacant records clerk position" Really $51K for a clerk, plus insurance, retirement, etc..................Why did I go to college and work my ass of for not much more?

greg, too

Sun, May 13, 2012 : 5:04 a.m.

There is a 51k position that I can walk to work. Where do I send my resume?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 7:37 p.m.

I'm sure if you walk into the actual budget they'll have all the fringe line itemed...


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:31 p.m.

I believe the $51K includes the benefits. It's also quite possible the paper got the number wrong.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:28 p.m.

the economy fell apart,please don't be envious of others in the middle class.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:25 p.m.

All, the proposed budget presentation is here, please review and make informed comments going forward: The full proposed budget is also available here: Regards


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

Go ahead and cut, and then see if the increases don't pass!

Hk kid

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 3:58 p.m.

Why is it that my $6400.00 a year in taxes, for my 780sq. foot house is not enough? Please cut my services, so when I walk away from my house at least I can justify not feeling bad about it. Over the last seven years I've seen nothing but diminished services. I'll be sure to buy a house in Saline twp. next time. Hey Ypsi, thanks for nothing!!!


Sun, May 13, 2012 : 10:46 a.m.

Hk Kid did not mention the size of the property or the location or what else is on the property (if there is anything else)--that might be a factor. Is it solely a residence?


Sun, May 13, 2012 : 2:51 a.m.

I pay $3,100 for a 1,500 sq foot house in Normal Park. You should appeal your assessment.


Sun, May 13, 2012 : 2:16 a.m.

You need to appeal your assessment. Your house isn't worth that much.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 10:55 p.m.

Ypsi currently has a higher millage rate than Ann Arbor so yes, it's that bad...

Jay Thomas

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

I didn't realize it was that bad. Just stunned...


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 3:28 p.m.

So who in this comment thread will be running for office this August?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 6:34 p.m.

NO but i will be keeping a close eye on who does. The days are over for running for office because i know so and so .


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:58 p.m.

Nobody would want that job. Because in order to fix the problem you would have to piss off the special interest groups and they would make your life and your family's life a living hell. Who wants to have their house marched upon? Until the citizens are willing to support and protect someone who will make real change we'll just have to settle for the hope part.............


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 3:29 p.m.

Or perhaps you're waiting for 2014, please let me know so I can't support your solutions.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

I am "disgusted", not "discussed. I must apologize to my Ypsi Hi School English teacher of 1940s.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Council Member Peter Murdoch said the change will have a great impact on services. "It's a big fundamental change from what people are used to," Murdoch said. "It's going to change how we do business." Okay, how? Where is the analysis for plan B?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

How about let's get rid of the current City officials starting with the Mayor who stated he did not have expectations either way and take the council with you !!!


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 3:17 p.m.

Will you run for office?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:43 p.m.

As a resident of Ypsilanti since 1937, I am discussed that only 2,800 eligible voters took the time to cast a ballot in this very crucial election! Only 21% have decided the fate of our wonderful City.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:46 p.m.

You are correct sir.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:38 p.m.

It would be nice to see the city, or the Michigan Municipal League or SOMEBODY, sue the state for the money the state is required to pay cities for fire protection services on state university campuses, money the state hasn't been paying for some time. There has to be hundreds of thousands, if not more, owed that's not been paid. Let's go get it.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 7:36 p.m.

How do we get that process rolling, I'm not familiar enough with it...?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:33 p.m.

u812, that would be a good argument if the bulk of the non-payment hadn't occurred under the previous governor. This governor has also proposed paying less than the formula calls for, but the state has been underpaying for years.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:27 p.m.

Doodle, it is true, and according to this article ( "...the state is meeting less than half of its $942,381 obligation" to the city of Ypsilanti. There's lobbyist who's supposed to be advocating in the legislature on behalf of A2 and Ypsi. Either we need a new one, or another one, or we need to quit asking nicely and file a lawsuit.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 3:30 p.m.

So u812, I can expect to see you on the ballot this year or in 2014?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:48 p.m.

that's the republican way to get EFM's and hurt the middle class,bust unions,contract services to there buddies that pocket the riches,start the the class-warfare mantra,to gain votes for them.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:47 p.m.

If that's true, it's an awesome idea and I say go with it!!!


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:35 p.m.

"Also on the table is the possible elimination of the Sanitation Millage. Uy said the city would seek proposals for this but essentially, residents would be billed directly for all services such as garbage and brush and yard waste." If they do this. I want to see the small percentage of my city taxes in writing off of my tax bill. I am not going to be double billed. They say they will eliminate it. But I can not see them doing so. Now. with that said. As bad as urban blight is already here. What happens when you get a ton of people that wont or cant pay for the garbage collection? Will the treash just sit there and pile up? Or will the people that do pay get a heavier monthly bill form the sanitation service provider? This is a lose lose situation.


Tue, May 15, 2012 : 8:59 p.m.

Ypsidoodle. Apparently you have not been out of the west side of the city then. Mihgt I redirectr your attention to east Mi Ave, Ecorse and the surrounding areas. It already looks like detroit.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:50 p.m.

No offense but compared to a lot of other cities, Ypsilanti is not wrought with urban blight... please take a trip through Detroit, especially the east side. Maybe Ecorse. Or how about Flint? You want to see true urban decay, then go to those place and come back to Ypsilanti and feel relieved... If I have to pay for my garbage to be picked up, then I will do it, we're not those other places nor will we be.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:04 p.m.

Maybe it's just me but I think the first step is to develop Water Street!!! One other suggestion is to not waste money on a May ballot when we will be at the polls in November anyway. Oops too late... just another example of city council's fiscal irresponsibility.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 7:35 p.m.

Yes, and perhaps this manager forms a special non-partisan committee with some citizens as well as council to really have a go at making this budget work and generate some new revenue ideas. I really think that just cutting people is the easy way out... there are alternatives, I just don't know what they are yet. Need to benchmark other cities, think outside the box, etc...


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:22 p.m.

Ypsidoodle, I agree with you there 100%. An experienced city manager is critical to the success of Ypsi's financial recovery. I would like to see the council stop everything until they get one hired and that person has a chance to get up to speed.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 3:46 p.m.

Well if the council took this city manager position a little more seriously, they might find the right person to get many of these issues resolved. I don't have the right answer for this one but I think that as a leader, you are only as strong as the team you build around you and that's the kind of person we need managing this city.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

It's great, and responsible, to be on top of projected deficits, but I think this council has developed tunnel vision on the subject. A little less obsession with cuts, at least in the immediate future, and a little more attention toward attracting and securing development and investment in the city, and Water Street in particular, could actually head off the problem. I don't agree with this perception they seem to have that doom is inevitable.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:03 p.m.

Fat Bill, you are right. Anyone paying even a little bit of attention would know that the Twp. has a long history of wanting more police service that it's willing to pay for. Hence the lawsuits they are currently involved in with the county over this very issue. Ypsi Twp. is more than 5 times the size of the city and currently has no public safety infrastructure other than a FD. It's almost comical that all these posters think no one's thought of this already, or had discussions about it, or already been investigating it for many months.


Tue, May 15, 2012 : 3:57 p.m.

and yet somehow the township survives.

Fat Bill

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 1:47 p.m.

What makes you think that Ypsilanti Township wants to consolidate? Maybe when the city finally goes down the tube they can disincorporate, thus becoming part of the Township by default. That would be poetic justice considering how much of the problems of certain cities were exacerbated by the inability to expand due to the Charter Township Act.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 1:28 p.m.

"Revenues are down 2.6 percent from fiscal year 2012 and expenditures are down 5.85 percent." Was this supposed to say revenues are down "from fiscal year 2011"? How can they be down from this year?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 1:02 p.m.

Four fire fighters per shift. How many are required to staff one truck? Are supervisory and administrative staff in the Fire Dept. being cut back to reflect this reduction in responsibility? Firefighters deserve decent pay and benefits. They risk their lives in their jobs.

John Q

Sun, May 13, 2012 : 4:33 a.m.

Most "volunteers" are not working for free. They are getting paid for each call to which they respond. I have no interest in being a volunteer firefighter any more than I have being a volunteer doctor. I'll leave it to the professionals to do the work necessary and stick to volunteering where my skills can make a difference.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:12 p.m.

Volunteers do work for free, my brother in law is one and they do it to gain experience and a possible paid position in the future... others do it because they care. And yes, if I had the training I would definitely do it, wouldn't you?

John Q

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:08 p.m.

Volunteers? I doubt those volunteers work for free. But feel free to delude yourself into thinking so. Or are you offering to be one of those free volunteers?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 3:24 p.m.

Then again, other municipalities somehow are able to get volunteer firefighters... not sure why they love the job but god bless them!!!


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:39 p.m.

Funny how the first thing that's considered for cuts is safety... how about utilities? How about motor pool? I'd much rather have a ratty looking park than my house burning down...


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Glen: Fair enough. 64% was it? Stipulated. My apologies. Let the record show that I should have said "64%" of us are idiots, and "64%" voted no confidence in the plan. The other numbers, are pretty clearly for illustration. I will spell it out next time.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 12:48 p.m.

Was this the "HOPE & CHANGE" that we voter for?

Ypsilanti City Resident

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 12:44 p.m.

Patrick Johnston SCIT Member states: I was there last night but only for just over the first 2 hours... (and I don't have the agenda in hand so and wrote nothing down so please bear with me, I won't go into too much detail here and leave out my usual commentary... ) Pat gave a complete report to the Committee, it was also taped. Looks like we are still on top of things. Carole Clare


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 7:31 p.m.

For the record, the vote and SCIT are both over, forget about that. The decisions I am speaking of are the alternatives to these new taxes. The current proposed budget was even based on this assumption. Prior to making any new recommendations in order to assist in balancing this budget and keeping the city out of a deficit over the next several years, people need to know what's currently in the budget and what the city is proposing as far as cuts. It's been only 4 days since the vote and people are just getting their feet back under them from all sides... we should just be Ypsilanti now, not Yes and No vote citizens.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:17 p.m.

Doodle, if you can't make an informed decision "without the facts," what has your group been basing its opposition to the council's recommendation on? If the council hadn't been almost completely turned over since the poor decisions that lead to Water Street and the current financial problems were made, you might have an argument, but since nobody but Lois Richardson is left, you don't. All you've done is add more weight to the belief that your group is about personalities, vendettas and blind obstructionism. You supposedly had "all the facts" prior to the election, which is what your group supposedly was basing its position on. Now, all of a sudden, you don't have enough information.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 3:02 p.m.

That the city needs to start running itself like any business does, with the goal of assuring customer satisfaction and being accountable to the stakeholders. If this was the board of a public company, they would all be ousted, that's just a fact. If this was the manager of a plant, he would be fired. This is the real world. You make poor business decisions time and time again and can't fix it without asking for more, then you're gone. Time for change. And facts and data are the budget. You can't make an informed decisions without these numbers. You can't generate ideas without them. 153 pages of them, it takes more than a few days to analyze then develop recommendations. Business 101.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:45 p.m.

Oh, I see Ypsidoodle. Thanks for straightening that out for me. I mistakenly assumed you had all the facts and data BEFORE your group portrayed itself as the only holders of the "real story" prior to the election. Now you need time to "get all the facts." Apparently, the "facts and data" you based your ballot proposal campaign on were....? What, again?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:36 p.m.

How about, you sit, listen, get all the facts and data then move forward with ideas that can help benefit all the people of this city. How about we don't run down the hill and get just one sheep, we walk down and get all of them???


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 1:49 p.m.

So, what it sounds like you're saying here is that none of the "committee" is actually interested in working WITH the city council, but rather maintaining some type of adversarial "alternate council" that isn't interested in working cooperatively, solving any issues or making any suggestions as much as they want to make others look bad and create a platform for their future political careers? Impressive.

Glen S.

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

Disappointed (but not surprised) to see that SCIT supporters -- who worked so hard, and spent so much money to defeat the tax proposals -- failed to bother showing up to provide any input into what City services should be cut. Throughout the campaign, the repeatedly INSISTED that the reason they opposed these taxes was because of their enormous concern for the "best interests" of the community. Now, however, as City Council begins to contemplate making major budget cuts -- and citizen involvement is needed more than ever -- they have once again disappeared back into the woodwork. If I were a cynic, I might be tempted to think that the SCIT campaign was never really about "what's best" for Ypsilanti, at all, but rather -- all about protecting the bottom lines of a handful of Ypsilanti's wealthiest residents and property owners. Good thing I'm not a cynic.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:34 p.m.

Oh, don't worry, SCIT was there... just because we didn't have on our red buttons doesn't mean there wasn't a presence. And until the data and facts are presented in full one would be a fool to make suggestions. Don't worry SCIT was there, just not as you think you know them...


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 12:41 p.m.

Not trying to disparage my fellow citizens, but...Ypsilanti has wealthy residents? Come on! Did you mean to say "more solidly middle class residents"?

Glen S.

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 12:40 p.m.

"70%?" "100 Firemen?" "$10,000?" Hey, Markus, the election is over. You won. No need to continue the lies and hyperbole ...


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 12:23 p.m.

Sour grapes again? You are just wrong, but please continue to say negative and over-the-top things. Is it possible for someone to disagree with you on policy and not be evil? Many of the ex-SCIT people are working on solutions - I guess you are not on the mailing list. Please forgive them for not doing in the last 6 days what council should have started 6 months ago. I mean seriously, two-to-one loss? This election never had a chance, and yet council wasted all this time and resources on it... So, please do not be surprised that 70% of your neighbors expressed doubts about its management. And, let's be perfectly clear: if and when we lose services, it is not because the tax failed. If that's the case, you might as well say we don't have 100 firemen only because all those nasty "no" people are too stingy to pay, oh, an extra $10,000 in taxes. We are losing services because our money was wasted on Water Street and pension promises. But of course, I am just one of the 70% of people in this city that are idiots, and of course I must be out to destroy it - just to "protect my bottom line." Can you come up with another theory, perhaps? No? That is the problem. You cannot see things you do not want to see. Plenty of "no" people care deeply about Ypsilanti, and are working to find fixes, so maybe shelve your sanctimonious attitude and listen for a change. Maybe get to know your neighbors - all of them - before writing them off. But, as you say, at least your not a cynic. We need more positive people like you.

no flamers!

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 11:27 a.m.

Separate fire departments for each of the several governmental entities seems absurd to me, especially given that the City and Township have interweaving boundaries.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Well, do a % utilization study of the current staff and you will find synergies, believe me...


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:09 p.m.

Two neighboring cities in Wayne County have just entered into an agreement to merge their fire departments and their recreation departments. I think I remember reading that the FD will function under one citiy's chief, and the Recreation Dept. will function under the other city's dept.head. I think this is a worthwhile experiment, and could be quite successful if managed properly. Other than each city eliminating the need for a department head, though, I'm not sure what other savings each city will realize.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 10:40 a.m.

Well, nothing new here! Why go to a meeting that rehashes the same old, same old? "It's a big fundamental change from what people are used to," Murdoch said. "It's going to change how we do business." Please DO change the way you do business! How about consolidating fire dept with the township? Fire services surround the city and yet you maintain your own dept, including administrators and trucks, etc. Please DO change the way you do business! How about pricing contract with WCSD for policing with a station in Ypsi City? Please DO change the way you do business! A "director of administrative services" for city that is cutting? How about cutting that one! Can someone tell me why the City admins do not know how much could be saved by contracting garbage services?? Can someone tell me why the City admins aren't asking for public meetings with the Township and the County to contract services pronto? Nothing new here. Move on.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 5:09 p.m.

Cash, I'm not assuming Ypsi Twp. wouldn't talk to the city. In fact, they've been talking to the city. I don't know if any talks have been established with Pittsfield, but if there were to be some type of consolidated/joint dept. established, Pittsfield would, in my opinion, be a much more a) likely, and b) desirable partner.


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:09 p.m.

Yes, I'm sure... video cameras don't lie.

John Q

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

Cash - What makes you think the Township wants to have anything to do with providing services to the city?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:05 p.m.

Ypsi Vet et al, It's nice that people are assuming that Ypsi Township will not talk to Ypsi City. How about Superior Township? Did they refuse also? I'd love to see that proof. Pittsfield?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 4:02 p.m.

Really YpsiDoodle? Are you SURE you didn't see me? Really?


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 2:29 p.m.

So you were at the meeting? I don't recall seeing you at the podium. -SCIT member


Sat, May 12, 2012 : 1:40 p.m.

According to an Ann Arbor Chronicle article about Ypsi Twp.'s lawsuit with the county, the sheriff is currently charging a little under $151,000 per year per deputy, with increases of 1% proposed for each of the next three years. If we need 25 deputies to provide something close to the service YPD provides now, at $151,000 each, that's $3,775,000 per year. Just for police patrol services. Somebody still has to be available to answer FOIA requests, handle sex offender registrations, release towed vehicles, handle seizure and forfeiture issues, handle warrants and daily court duties, work with the various festival committees, keep up with the grants YPD and YFD now have, attend neighborhood association meetings, etc. Anyone who thinks the county would provide any or all of those services for free is dreaming. If there are no YPD and YFD employees contributing to the pension fund, the amount the city must contribute will rise quite a bit. These are just the issues a lay person can think of. I'm sure there are many more. Please advise where the savings are?

Mark Hergott

Sat, May 12, 2012 : 11:17 a.m.

Actually, contracting out for recycling and yard waste will cost more than doing it in-house. That's why we do it in-house. The one thing is, though... when we need to replace trucks, we pay more in that fiscal year for recycling and yard waste than we would contracting it out. Essentially, a study on whether or not we are actually saving a lot of money by doing it in-house has not been done.