I was enthused by the recent Letter to the Editor by Councilman Brian Smeester.
It's great to see a city councilman represent the interests of the taxpayers for a change. I regret that I can't vote for Mr. Smeester as I live in Iron Mountain. Some of our local councilmen in both cities seem to represent the interests of the city employee unions more than the taxpayers.
Many of the councilmen are former city staff, or have relatives who are city employees (sometimes even in the other city).
Mr. Smeester is right. Both cities spend more on public safety than on streets, curbs, roads and sidewalks. The two city councils have decided to study the consolidation of these departments for three years. Three years is what it takes to complete law school, or medical school, after one has a bachelor's degree.
Many taxpayers might ask "Is the lengthy time period simply so that friends in the departments can accrue even more costly benefits at taxpayer expense?"
Mergers of major global corporations with hundreds of thousands of employees are generally completed in 90 days. Between the two cities, we're talking about a handful of employees - why three years?
Public safety is the most costly item in the budgets of both cities.
What the citizens of Iron Mountain and Kingsford have to ask ourselves is - are the people who live in Breitung Township living in fear of rampant crime? Have all of the homes and businesses there burned to the ground?
There are cities in the U.S. with populations many times that of our entire county that do not have their own police and fire departments.
What exactly do we get for paying double the taxes of the township? Perhaps we should be exploring the idea of unincorporating the cities and adopting the township model?
It's clearly working at twice the efficiency of the cities.
I wish Councilman Smeester the best of luck in the election, and I wish I could vote for him.