Revenue Sharing Questions

By: Jamie Edmonds Email
By: Jamie Edmonds Email

One of the many interested parties listening with a close ear tonight to the new governor will be Mayor Virg Bernero.

"I'll be there, and I'll be a bit anxious," Virg Bernero said.

He'll be listening not as a former political foe, but as a mayor of a city that's had it's funding sources cut year after year... talk about reinventing government.

"That's what we've been doing here to continue to provide vital services on a daily basis," Bernero said.

Doing more with less has become the norm for cities, towns and counties across the state thanks to annual cuts to revenue sharing.

"Over the past 10 years, cities and towns have lost $4 billion of funding," Summer Minnick said.

That translates, said Minnick of the Michigan Municipal League, to real-life cuts to services Michiganders count on on a daily basis.

"We're past the point of extra activities," Minnick said. "We're talking about public safety, we're talking about snow plows and fixing services, this is really the essentials."

The problem is those extras equal a good quality of life. In East Lansing, the city manager said they'll have to again cut support to festivals, in Lansing, the arts will have less governmental support.

"There are no extras left," Bernero said. "The low-hanging fruit has been picked; the easy decisions have been made."

Bernero said he's not looking for specific revenue sharing figures from Snyder Wednesday evening.

"I just hope there's recognition that those on the front lines in local government have been reinventing government regularly just to continue to keep streets cleaned and neighborhoods safe," he said.

A lot of local officials will simply be looking for reassurance in Snyder's speech, that revenue sharing won't be cut all together.

"We would be in a financial crisis if that happened," Minnick said.

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