2012.10.31 Keith Pennington: Reader explains ballot proposals

Written by David Green.

Ballot Issues

As I look through this year’s Michigan ballot proposals I think, “Could they make the ballot language any more confusing?”  I know the result that I wish to see on the issues, but many times the language is so confusing that I don’t know whether a yes or no vote will achieve that result. This year’s ballot is particularly troubling in that the last five ballot issues all seek to change the Michigan Constitution.  

Citizens ought to be very cautious when asked to change the Constitution. The Constitution should not be used to achieve special interests that cannot be achieved through the legislative process.  

As a citizen, I hope to see the following results:

Proposal 1- Vote Yes 

Voting yes will uphold current law that allows the state to assign an emergency manager to a school or municipal government if the local parties have been unable to get their financial house in order. It has only been implemented a handful of times in the years of its existence. It brings unions and boards together to do the hard work needed, avoiding your tax funds from being used to bail out cities and schools that have been irresponsible for decades. 

Proposal 2 – Vote No 

Voting no will keep laws protecting the collective bargaining process within the existing state law and not enshrined within the constitution.

Proposal 3 – Vote No

Voting no will keep the state’s renewable energy policy within the existing law which mandates 10 percent of the electric power will come from renewable energy sources by 2015.  Voting no will also keep electric rates lower. The proposal seeks to enshrine within the Constitution an increase of renewable energy use to 25 percent, while dictating which renewable energy source will be used.

Proposal 4 – Vote No

Voting no will keep in place current state work laws for home health care professionals. The proposal seeks to force through the Constitution a requirement for home health care workers, who you choose to employ at your residence, to join a collective bargaining union or at least pay the union fees.

Proposal 5 – Vote No

Voting no will maintain “majority rule” concept by continuing the requirement of a majority vote of the elected members of the House and Senate to change taxes levied. The proposal seeks to enshrine within the Constitution the requirement of a two-thirds super-majority to change the tax code.  As we have seen at the federal level, a super majority requirement really gives the decision making power to the minority one-third. 

Proposal 6 – Vote No

Voting no on this proposal will leave the decision of whether to build a bridge or tunnel to Canada with our elected representatives. Backers of the proposal seek to remove this authority from our elected officials and instead enshrine within the Constitution the requirement for a vote of the electorate directly. 

In summary, I’m voting Yes on the first ballot proposal and No on all the rest, which seek to change our Constitution for special interests. Please consider voting likewise.  

– Keith Pennington

 Silver Creek Drive, Morenci

  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
  • Front.chat
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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