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.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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