Detroit News:  Federal court: Michigan political maps illegally rigged to 'historical proportions,'  Jonathan Oosting, 4/25/2019

The blockbuster ruling — which a legislative leader said Republicans will appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court — requires Michigan to conduct special state Senate elections for certain seats next year, cutting in half the four-year terms that current lawmakers are now serving.

Free Press:  Federal panel orders Michigan to redraw congressional, legislative maps for 2020, Paul Egan, 4/25/2019

Michigan's gerrymandered districts, approved by Republicans who controlled both chambers of the Legislature, plus the governor's office, deliberately discriminate against Democratic voters by diluting the power of their votes, Clay wrote on behalf of the unanimous panel.

 

The ruling will only affect the 2020 election because Michigan voters approved a new independent citizen redistricting commission to draw election lines for the 2022 election and beyond, following completion of the 2020 census.

Detroit News:  Shirkey: GOP won’t rule out Nessel impeachment,  Jonathan Oosting, 4/25/2019

A 2020 budget unveiled this week by the Senate GOP proposes a 10% “administrative reduction” for Nessel’s office and other language attempting to limit her discretion in lawsuits.

It also proposes funding cuts for the Michigan Department of Civil Rights and Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s office to pay for the creation of a new independent redistricting commission voters approved last fall.

The Senate budget includes $4.6 million to create a redistricting commission but proposes $4.6 million in cuts to Department of State executive operations, property management, legal services, branch operations and election regulations. 

Free Press:  Court rejects SOS Benson's proposed settlement of gerrymandering lawsuit, Paul Egan, 2/1/2019

Free Press:  SOS Benson's modest proposal to right gerrymandering wrongs, Brian Dickerson, 1/27/2019

Free Press:  Gerrymandering settlement would impact 11 or more state House districts, Paul Egan, 1/26/2019 

Free Press:  Michigan's proposal 2 explained in less than 60 seconds, Mike Thompson, 11/2/2019

Free Press:  Proposal 2 in Michigan: Pros and cons, what gerrymandering is,  Paul Egan, 

Free Press:  Proposal 2 would end politicians' hold on redistricting | Readers' Opinions, 10/21/2018

Free Press:  Michigan Proposal 2 is unfair to politicians | Opinion,  Bill Kandler, 10/17/2018

Free Press:  How Michigan is an extreme example of gerrymandering, Eric Lupher, 6/24/2018

Free Press:  It's up to voters to fix Michigan's rigged electoral system, Brian Dickerson, 6/24/2018

Free Press:  Anti-gerrymandering group defies odds with 2018 ballot drive,  David Eggert, 11/19/2017

LANSING — An all-volunteer group of activists has defied the odds by collecting hundreds of thousands of voter signatures for a 2018 initiative to overhaul redistricting in Michigan — without having to pay a dime for a signature.

 

 

 

Free Press: Gerrymonstered: Free Press Editorial Cartoonist Mike Thompson draws Michigan's congressional districts as monsters, 2017

The map Michigan’s Republican legislative majority drew after the 2010 Census has allowed the GOP to maintain a 9-5 advantage in Congress even when Democratic congressional candidates get more votes statewide

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What was the April 23rd Board meeting?  A Pot Party.  They couldn't stop talking about it and hung around, like unwanted guests, until 12:15 in the morning.

In a nutshell, this is how it ended up:  As a result of Board votes modifying the Planning Commission's and Professional Planner's efforts, you can't grow marijuana in the Agricultural area - and you can't buy marijuana in the retail area.

The highest concentration of township population now can't walk to a pot shop. They can't walk home from the pot shop.  They're forced into their cars and onto the highways.  If there were any truth to the fearmongering that mass quantities of pot buyers will be ripped out of their minds every time they hop behind the wheel, our board's selfishness has consigned people and innocents to their deaths.  

  • Does cognitive dissonance come any purer than that?

Marijuana was voted Legal by 68% and 69% majorities in the two precincts comprising Whitmore Lake.  The Board spit in their faces.

 

WHMI's Reporter sat through the entire grind.  Here is his report.

 

Oh yeah, for standing up for her convictions and belief in the goodness of human nature - and in the rights of citizens to freedom of choice and personal responsibility, what "Conservatives" constantly yammer about believing in, Trustee Janet Chick deserves notice and commendation. 

She brought in two young businesspeople to explain and present the successful free enterprise side of the legal marijuana business, their business.  They did an outstanding job.  So did a former director of the State's Licensing and Regulatory agency with whom they had worked, who talked about the details and policy implications. 

More than one of the churchgoers who so loudly inveighed against legalization's arrival was utterly unaware that more than half a dozen prospective legal marijuana businesses have already been rebuffed by the township. 

No one's banging down the doors to site here.   Why would they?  Everything the township voters decide the Board overules, spins, "interprets," or "improves" to death, mangled beyond recognition or walled in by byzantine regulation.

I'll be reviving the LiveAgenda.  This meeting must be seen to be believed.

 

 

On tonight's hotplate, redeciding Proposition 18-1

Background: Whitmore Lake residents equalled Ann Arbor residents in approving this proposition.  Who was less likely to vote for it?  Rural residents.  Why, I've no idea.  It's more than a little ironic that the more conservative in this community are the very people labled "Ann Arbor Liberals" by the self styled "real" conservatives on this Board.  

What's "real" Conservativism look like in practice?  The Board's last meetup featured a vote to renew the Township Manager's contract.  The $120K/year township manager's contract renewal, from Beliger's motion, out of the blue and not on the Agenda, until the end of the 4:3 vote passage, occupied a grand total of 45 seconds of staunch Conservative Boardmember time.  45 seconds!  No discussion.  No performance review.  No nothing. 

This is the same Beliger who attacks the Washtenaw Country Road Commission for asking us to chip in to help repair our crumbling roads, who objects to contributing $2,000 to leverage $500,000 worth of land conservation, who votes against even the pittance asked by local watershed preservation efforts despite the community so obviously centering on a pair of lakes, who whines about paying the tiny fees for the SEMCOG membership - the same membership leveraged by former Township Manager Howard Fink to make the US-23 project happen.

Every Board meeting is a fresh cognitive dissonance meltdown.  Northfield Township is where Libertarianism came to die.  Salute the Snake flag, friends.  How tattered fly its remains over Libertarianism's grave and dead, selfish ideas.

 

Meeting Documents:

 

Official 2018 Election Results

PROPOSAL 18-1
This report created: Monday, Nov 19, 2018 02:02:45 PM

Totals   Yes       116167   67.73% 

             No          55349   32.27%

 

Registered Voters: 289,563 Ballots Cast: 175,112 Voter Turnout: 60.47%
Precincts Total: 150 Precincts Fully Counted: 150 Precincts Fully Counted Percent: 100.00% 
    Precincts Partially Counted: 0    

 

Totals   Yes       116167   67.73% 

             No          55349   32.27%

 

precinct 1 northfield township prop 18 1 voting 450w480h

 

precinct 2 northfield township prop 18 1 voting 450w480h

 

precinct 3 northfield township prop 18 1 voting 450w480h

 

 

This meeting's 298 page packet contained 37 individual documents and spreadsheets.

To ease your viewing pleasure, I've extracted each one and made them available below.

Meeting Docs:

Master Plan

Township Marijuana Laws 

In the board packet is the following, unindexed text of the 2018 Michigan citizens' initiative legalizing use of a substance that for almost a century has been villified in laws institutionalizing racism and incarceration and weirdly protective of Dupont's synthetic fiber business.  As presented in the packet, the law is basically 40 pages of unnavigable white noise.  The Michigan Legislature has provided a more useable index into the law's components.  For that, click on the second item below.

 

Also in the packet and on tonight's agenda, our township planner is providing a brand new addition to the regulatory maze that business must navigate to do business in our already business unfriendly corner of Washtenaw county.  Some of the provisos of the marijuana regs are pulled directly out of our esteemed advisor's asses.  You'd have to reach back to Stalinist Russia's Five Year Plans to equal the brilliance of regulating the number of marijuana plants grown indoors as a function of acreage of outdoors (acreage) owned.  In Michigan's short growing season, it's all grown indoors, under lights in scientifically calibrated, horticulturally optimal environments.  It's grown that way everywhere and if my informal surveys are any indication, by individuals in every closet, demographic, and social strata of American society.

A note to Planning Commissioner Brad Cousino, who strongly objects to allowing it in our community:  Ad hoc grow-ops sited in houses ruin the structures.  They generate literally tons of moisture, moisture which gets trapped in the building envelope.  The moisture feeds fungi.  Entire house structures decay.  What's that mean?

It means the house has to be replaced decades before its normal lifetime.  That's good for the home construction industry, no?  Of course, and thinking outside the envelope, designing and building grow facilities that didn't rot to the ground in five years would be an even more excellent business opportunity. 

But why do that when it's so much easier to rant like old men, like Archie Bunker about "hippies!"   You're forcing people to drive long distances to buy their way to high, increasing their their time on the road, possibly under the influence - as people are wont to be, endangering the lives of others, all so you can pompously declare your community safe from "hippies."

Meanwhile, Township laws force bars and alcohol peddling restaurants to bend over backwards to park the mass quantities of death dealing automobiles driven by their best - read that as alcohol drinking, customers.

Financial Reports: 

Sale of 75 Barker Road

 2019-2020 Budget

Sign Ordinance Revisions

 Public Safety, Police and Fire Departments:

ZBA and Code Enforcement:

WWTP (Wastewater Treatment Plant:

Community and Senior Center:

Committee and Board reports: