January 14, 2013
The proposed contract or lease that is again being scheduled for a vote by city council is bad for Detroit. This is the mayor’s office and the city recreation department stating that they don’t have the competence to care for city parks.
What’s being proposed in the lease?
- The city will pay the state to cut the grass and shovel the snow, while the city will be forced to lay off more city workers.
- The city will continue to pay for the lights, the lighting, the electric wiring and the light poles on Belle Isle.
- The city will continue to pay for the water and sewage on Belle Isle. The city will pay for the state to water the grass.
- This is worse than the consent agreement; when introduced to council, over half of the lease document was missing and unknown.
The state will take ownership of property and roads. With this ownership comes the millions in state road funding.
- This is the same as the city council signing a blank check. A check when cashed will put the city further into debt.
- The city already has and controls all dollars used or meant for Belle Isle. Why would the city give that money away?
- The city’s deficit will rise and park services around the city will fall. Revenue generated by Belle Isle is now used at all parks, future Grand Prix and Hydroplane race income will now go to the state.
- The state is not using state money for Belle Isle. The state is not giving money to the city. The state is taking our money for state use. The city will not have money to use on other parks as a result of this deal.
- The state should fund Belle Isle if Belle Isle is intended to be a state park. All other state parks in the state are state funded. Belle Isle will continue to be funded by the city.
- The state will call Belle Isle a state park, charge a $10 entry fee [which will go to the state’s general parks fund, not Belle Isle.] Take Detroit’s revenue sharing to maintain the island and force the city to cover existing costs.
This is a sale under the terms of a contract masquerading as a lease. This is a fraud. The state is not doing anything that Detroit cannot already do. The state takes city money and then pushes for emergency managers and a continuation of the consent agreement. Detroit’s city council should reject the state’s illegal unfunded mandate regarding Belle Isle. This is not just a NO vote on this proposal; this should be a NO to the consideration of such a deal by the city council.
Snyder and Dillon want Detroit to pay them to take control of Belle Isle.
Maybe the real answer is a new mayor and a new set of council members to oversee our parks.