The Southfield City Council Monday night unanimously passed a resolution introduced by Councilman Jeremy Moss calling on state leaders to fix Michigan’s broken municipal finance system.
“It's a response to Governor Snyder touting around a state budget surplus but Michigan residents shouldn’t be fooled. That surplus resulted from slashing $6 billion in the last decade to local communities - money that was used to fund local police and fire services, road maintenance and snow plowing,” Moss said. “Sure it’s a surplus, but at what cost? With our crumbling roads during this snowy January, we’re all finding out.”
Moss, who placed first in a crowded field of incumbents and challengers to earn a seat on the City Council in 2011, is a Democratic candidate for the open Michigan House of Representatives seat in District 35 being vacated by incumbent State Rep. Rudy Hobbs (D – Southfield).
“I’m running for State Representative to ensure local municipalities get the funding they need to make the investments that will maintain strong neighborhoods,” Moss said. “Instead, the money that should be going to local communities is being used to plug holes in the state budget."
Michigan’s 35th House District includes the communities of Southfield, Lathrup Village, Beverly Hills, Bingham Farms and Franklin.
As a City Councilman, Moss earned a record of working to balance consecutive city budgets without layoffs or compromising public safety, despite state funding streaming to Southfield at 35 percent below the 2001-2002 levels. State shared revenue is the city’s second largest general fund revenue source.
Moss, a lifelong resident of the 35th House District, is building a strong coalition of community support for his campaign for State Representative. Prominent district endorsers include: Southfield City Councilmen Donald Fracassi, Myron Frasier and Ken Siver; Lathrup Village City Councilwoman Maria Mannarino Thompson; Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner; Former Southfield-area State Representatives Maxine Berman and Paul Condino; and Dr. Jonice Crawford Butler, president of the Greater Southfield/Farmington NAACP.
The full text of the Southfield City Council Resolution, passed unanimously on Jan. 27, 2014:
A RESOLUTION STRONGLY URGING THE STATE LEGISLATURE TO USE THE STATE BUDGET SURPLUS TO RESTORE FUNDS TO LOCAL GOVERNMENTS AND TO FIX MICHIGAN’S BROKEN MUNICIPAL FINANCE SYSTEM
WHEREAS, the City of Southfield has experienced a significant decline in property tax values, which has caused unprecedented fiscal constraints; and
WHEREAS, at the same time the City of Southfield has confronted consistent reductions in State Shared Revenue, as part of the cuts to State Shared Revenue state-wide; and
WHEREAS, due to this unrelenting fiscal pressure, the City of Southfield has been compelled to reduce the level of municipal services historically provided to the residents, businesses and schools in our community; and
WHEREAS, these municipal services protect the health, safety and welfare of our citizens, and are an essential component of building a strong local economy and maintaining a vibrant community; and
WHEREAS, on January 10, 2014 a state budget surplus was announced which in part is a result of the governor and Legislature taking approximately $6 billion over the past decade that by law was supposed to go to local communities to fund local police and fire services, road maintenance, snow plowing, drinking water systems, and more.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City of Southfield urges the Legislature to partner with local communities to enable them to provide essential services, such as police and fire, invest in critical infrastructure improvements, and create vibrant places that attract and retain talent; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the City of Southfield urges the Legislature to take ownership of the fact that by taking local revenues to plug holes in the state budget, they have helped create the fiscal crises facing many local communities across Michigan, even as spending on the state budget has increased 26 percent in the past decade or so. This is a critical time to reinvest in communities; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that upon its passing this Resolution shall be expeditiously transmitted to: SEMCOG and its Member Communities; the Michigan Municipal League; Governor Rick Snyder; Representative Rudy Hobbs; Senator Vincent Gregory; Speaker of the House Jase Bolger; House Minority Leader Tim Griemel; Senate Majority Leader Randy Richardville; Senate Minority Leader Gretchen Whitmer; the Chair and Vice Chairs of the Senate Committee on Finance, the Senate Committee on Appropriations, the Senate Committee on Local Government and Elections, and the Senate Committee on Reforms, Restructuring and Reinventing; and the Chair and Vice Chairs of the House Committee on Appropriations, the House Committee on Local Government, and the House Committee on Financial Liability.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the City of Southfield strongly urges the Legislature to fix Michigan’s broken municipal finance system and restore funds to local governments.