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Oct 14

HESNA General Meeting: Part Two

Comments (0) 12:00 AM posted by admin |

It’s important to balance paranoia with common sense. Part II of this past Sunday’s meeting of the Historic East Side Neighborhood Association saw Ward 3 City Council rep Barry LaRue giving a brief run-down of the state of affairs in the City. He is smooth. Very smooth. He’s far more polished than anyone else on council. That can be a blessing and a curse.

I was fortunate enough to sit next to Mr. LaRue. As luck would have it, I could see his list of talking points. First on the list was Water Street, but it had a question mark next to it and was never discussed. The cheapshot question was to ask how much Water Street had cost already, how much it was expected to cost, how long it would take to pay off the bonds, and how much is too much? I would have never received an answer, so it’s best that the topic never came up. However, when you consider it’s the most dominant topic facing residents of Ypsilanti, how could the subject be ignored like it was? Oh well.

The topic that took up most of the time was an update on the possiblity of Ypsilanti receiving Kroc Foundation funding for a new Salvation Army rec center. It would be a smashing success to land that considering the socio-economic make-up of Ypsilanti, but the center isn’t critical to Ward 3 even though it is key to the City.

Finally, we hit upon the fuzzy concept of an income tax. I’ve already discussed this, so I won’t belabor the point. I was disappointed that the council would even consider such an egregious action considering the income status of the residents of Ypsilanti. The average household income in Ypsi is only $28,610 and only 35% of its residents own homes. Any plan to off-set the income tax with a property tax credit would be unfair to the vast majority of people who live in Ypsilanti. I’m not going to be so arrogant to try and claim to be a voice of those with lower incomes, but desparate times do not call for unfair practices.

Overall, it was a very good meeting. The HESNA needs to do more of this kind of thing. The Normal Park Neighborhood Association is having the “Cool Cities” kids speak at their October 27th meeting. That should be a worthwhile event as well.

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