Thursday, May 24, 2007

GRCC Election Engineering

Brief summary of the election two weeks ago:

  • The Rapid's tax increase passed (but at 58% Yes, compared to 66% Yes last time). Of the six cities in The Rapid's tax authority (Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Walker, Wyoming, and Grandville), three of them voted NO on the Rapid - Grandville, Walker, and Wyoming. Fully half of the municipalities in The Rapid's service area voted no. However, alas, it doesn't matter how each city voted - the tax passes on a majority of the ccombined citizens of all six cities. So, in other words, residents of Grandville, Walker, and Wyoming, who never have had a choice about whether or not to be part of The Rapid, are subsidizing the majority of the riders in Grand Rapids. It's like that giant sucking sound Ross Perot talked about - though the money is flying out of Grandville, Walker, and Wyoming into Grand Rapids. Hopefully the group that opposed The Rapid will continue to expose the gushing wanton waste in The Rapid's budget.

  • GRCC's millage request failed. This was a surprise. The No votes won by a very slim margin. More on this later.

  • Grand Rapids Public Schools' request for a millage renewal on non-homesead property passed handily. It always does.

Now, for the fun part. Grand Rapids Community College's millage request failed. The result? They say they'll have to raise tuition 8%. If you are a resident of Kent County, you'll pay $79.50 per credit hour instead of the prior $73.50 per credit hour.

Well, that's unacceptable to the bureaucrats at GRCC. They have decided to call another election in August to have everyone vote on the tax increase again! Why? Because fewer people vote outside of the city in August elections, meaning that voters in the communities that voted no on the millage just two weeks ago are less likely to head to the polls in August. This outrage of blatant contempt and disregard for the citizens of Kent County is a disgrace. The trustees at GRCC need to be called to task for their behavior.

What's this? Their contact information?

Monday, May 7, 2007

Grand Rapids Area Tax Hikes - Vote on Tuesday, May 8th!

Don't forget to vote tomorrow (Tuesday, May 8th). There are three tax issues on the ballot in Grand Rapids, and everyone in Kent County gets to vote on the Grand Rapids Community College tax hike.

If you live in Grand Rapids, East Grand Rapids, Kentwood, Walker, Wyoming, or Grandville, you get the pleasure of voting on the bloated and wasteful Interurban Transit Partnership (The Rapid) tax hike of 18%. Some interesting fact on The Rapid:

  • Rapid buses carry an average of only six people at any given time

  • Even as the numbers of passengers has increased, the cost of The Rapid on a per-passenger basis is also going up, meaning the Rapid is getting less efficient with time

  • The Rapid’s web site misleads the public by under-reporting revenue by $18 million this year alone. Why do they hide the real cost of The Rapid?

  • The average transit bus gets only 3.65 miles to the gallon and spews 50 times more pollution than a car. Rapid buses add pollution to the environment, they don’t reduce it!

You can read more information on the waste at The Rapid by checking out the Rapid No web site at

All Kent County residents get to vote on the GRCC millage increase of 31%. The interesting part is that this property tax increase is permanent! It never expires.

Grand Rapids Residents Also get to vote on the Grand Rapids Public Schools operating millage. This tax is on non-homestead property only, but effects renters.

So, don't forget to vote on Tuesday, no matter where you live in Kent County.