Saturday, March 15, 2008

Save The Parks

Michigan's park system is one of the things that makes this state great. They also make us different from neighboring states that don't have so much beauty to show off. They are gems, and the state government just doesn't get it.

The parks are chronically underfunded and the truly retrograde faction of the Republican Party has even talked about selling some of them off to raise cash - as if this didn't violate their precious anti-tax pledges.

"Belt tightening" is Lansing's answer to everything when what is needed is some leadership that recognizes that the parks are economic drivers that bring in tourist dollars and help support rural communities. Instead of promoting the parks they run them down through lack of maintenance and really creative ideas like not providing trash cans anymore (Darwin award nominee).

A new funding idea has been proposed to add $9 to every car registration fee and then eliminate the daily admission fees. Anyone who does not want to pay the fee can easily opt out so no one pays that doesn't want to. This would give the parks a dependable source of revenue and take them out of the annual fiasco known as the state budget.

So then Jen makes her "no new taxes or fees" proclamation at her 2008 SOS and the idea is now DOA.

Michigan needs leadership and new ideas. "No new taxes" is a surrender flag that shows the Governor couldn't take the heat from last year's budget fight.

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