Thursday, November 09, 2006

Leelanau Operations Millage Squeaks By

Out of over 11,000 votes cast on the Operations Millage, it won by just 90 votes. At least that's the count according to the county website . I was afraid to make the announcement, or take down the signs, until the recounting was over and the official results were sent in. Since there was no noise about it on the 6 o'clock news I feel safe actually accepting congratulations.

Such a close vote is worthy of some reflection. It certainly would have failed were it not for the efforts of a few people. I was suprised to find out how much animosity people have towards county government and how folks have been trained to demand tax cuts without cuts in services. I also did not understand Headlee and Proposal A work together to force these sorts of millage votes in counties with growing populations. We need to do a lot more work in showing how county government works.

The Farmland Preservation millage failed. It lost me about 4 weeks ago when the campaign started waxing so ecstatic about the scenic virtues of farmland that I began to worry. Farming is not always scenic and doesn't always smell so good, either. When people asked me specific questions about how farmland preservation would work, I couldn't find answers in any of their brochures or on the website. Just more pictures of scenery.

The letter to the editor comparing the operations millage to the farmland millage and claiming that the operations millage was only needed because we decided to move the courthouse......well, that really irritated me. Just because it's a good story doesn't mean it's true. In the end I voted for the farmland millage, but I gave up trying to convince my husband.

Dan Scripps lost in a close race. His opponent, David Palsrok, was aided by some sleazy push polling. But this is an entrenched Republican area, so Dan had his work cut out for him. He was the nicest and smartest candidate that I've met in years.

I have to keep studying this property tax stuff, but I will be happy to write about non-millage issues for a while.

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