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Warm, Safe and Dry

Warm, Safe and Dry

By Rachel Melville

Grand Rapids Taxpayers: Do you know how your money is being spent?

Grand Rapids Taxpayers: Do you know how your money is being spent?

In May 2010, Grand Rapids Voters bailed out City Hall by approving a city income tax increase of $7.5 million per year for 5 years. Voters were told by city officials that the money was needed to prevent fire and police layoffs and to give the City Manager time to “turn the ship around.”

City leaders are currently diverting over $5 million a year of this money to a “transformation” fund that pays the health care claims of public employees who retire before age 65. Why? Because the City provided a rich benefit that it failed to fund. These retiree health care claims cost the City $10,979,788 in 2010 and $9,400,197 as of November 7, 2010. (Source: Scott Buhrer, City CFO, November 7, 2010)

The unfunded liability for early retiree health care is $222 million that will likely cause the City serious financial difficulty for the next 35-40 years.

Amash to host town hall in Grand Rapids

Amash to host town hall in Grand Rapids

Tuesday, January 10, 6PM - 7PM, Grand Rapids Public Library (Main Branch, 111 Library Street NE)

U.S. Rep. Justin Amash (MI-03) today invited Third District residents to a town hall meeting at the Main Branch of the Grand Rapids Public Library. Amash will discuss issues currently facing Congress and answer questions from the audience.

This event is free and open to the public and the media. The Main Library offers one hour of free validated parking for guests available in the gated lot next to the Main Library. Parking rates are $1.10 per half hour after the first hour. Parking tickets can be validated in the lobby of the Main Library.

Breakfast with Congressman Amash

Breakfast with Congressman Amash

The Grand Rapids Area Chamber of Commerce is hosting a breakfast with Congressman Justin Amash, who represents Michigan’s 3rd District.  The breakfast is scheduled on Monday, December 12 from 7:30am – 9:30am at the Hilton Hotel at 4747 28th Street SE.  The cost is $15 for members and $20 for non-members.  To register go to  www.grandrapids.org/congressional-breakfast  or call 616-771-0303.   

 

The 3rd Congressional District covers Barry and Ionia counties and most of Kent County.  Amash serves on the House Budget Committee and the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.  He is a Republican from Cascade Township.

Grand Rapids Clerk’s Office Open Saturday for First Ward Absentee Ballots

Grand Rapids Clerk’s Office Open Saturday for First Ward Absentee Ballots

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Saturday, July 30, 2011 is the last day for First Ward electors to apply for absentee ballots by mail. Voters who need to have their absentee ballot mailed to them must apply for the ballot no later than 2 p.m. on Saturday, July 30. The City Clerk’s Office is open this Saturday, July 30th, 8 AM – 2 PM to serve those voters requesting absentee ballots.

Absentee ballots can be obtained in person anytime through 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 1. Voters who request an absentee ballot in person on Monday, Aug. 1 must vote in the Clerk's Office. Emergency absentee ballots are available under certain conditions through 4 p.m. on the date of the election.

If you have additional questions, you are welcome to call the City Clerk’s Office at 456-3010 or visit our website at grcity.us/clerk.

Candidate Pounds Pavement Early

Candidate Pounds Pavement Early

Donijo DeJonge is pounding the pavement early this year to keep her seat as the Grand Rapids City Comptroller. DeJonge was busy on the north east side of Grand Rapids on Saturday along with many door-to-door staff members asking for votes this fall. DeJonge says she was appointed the spot as Comptroller and hopes to win the four year term in the November 8th election this fall againt long time west side politician Michael Sak.

What Does Public Transportation Say About The Community It Serves?

What Does Public Transportation Say About The Community It Serves?

By Seth Horton

What public transportation says about the community it serves

When some people think about public transportation, they might think people who ride buses have no other transportation alternative. If that's your thought, you might want to take a look at who's riding the bus these days.

Yes, public transportation does serve a need for those without options. But let's think of public transportation as less of a need and more of an opportunity for the whole community. Today, public transportation speaks volumes to how a community prepares for sustainable success and growth, how much the community values effective planning and shows that it is seeking many avenues for an improved economy.

Sustainable success and growth