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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Failure to Identify Consequences and misleading numbers taint current McClure May to November Proposed Election Switch

The May to November election date  remained dormant from July 2010 to 2011. In October of that year City Commission considered hiring a professional survey company to survey the City. There were two purposes in mind. One expressed by Mayor Zambricki was to establish a bench mark of where the city was at. The second expressed by Commissioner Sarah McClure was to see how residents felt about the controversial issues like a Single trash  hauler for the City or a May to November election date switch. The objective defined by Mayor Zambricki was accomplished and the good news was that the residents seemed very satisfied with life in the city of Bloomfield Hills.In the  Spring of this  year Commissioner McClure was was reelected to commission  by a respectable majority which lead to a her election as Mayor.

The controversies mentioned by McClure did not fair as well. Single Trash hauler service was dropped somewhere along the line but the May to November Election date change did make the survey. Residents however did not have any in put into what topics or questions appeared on the survey. Those were handled by Commissioner McClure,City Manager Jay Cravens, and the survey company.  A survey is not intended to explain complicated options and the 2012 Citizen satisfaction survey offered only the  following question.

It is what is called a push pull question. If offers two positives (convenience and money savings) and no negatives in order to get your support. It does not tell you that  the only switch  available was not to a November election but to November Odd Years Only option  which would mean the residents would lose their annual right to accept or reject commissioners. That is the only regular voting right residents have. Instead citizens would  vote every other year  effectively cutting their voting power in half. In addition commissioners  with an odd year only elections would probably serve four year terms thereby doubling their power. A gang of three like minded commissioners could under this arrangement dominate the City for almost half a decade.

None of this has ever been explained or discussed by Mayor McClure or explained to  the people in any sort of forum. At the last meeting  Mayor McClure  claimed that 88% of survey respondents. favored a change to a "November"  Election.   That number when scrutinized breaks down to less than a 25% of all registered voters.. The Survey was mailed to 3,525 registered voters of which 1042 or 31%  were returned. 67% or 698 people said they strongly approved probably without knowing all the consequences. Because that  is substantially less than 25% of all registered voters, Mayor McClure added  in the those that "somewhat support" an election date change. That boosts the percent who "somewhat support  or strongly  
support  date change to 88% which  would account for 917 voters or substantially less than 33% of all registered voters. It  is never made clear to the survey respondents that they are trading May, not for November but November Odd Years only. As indicated there is a tremendous difference between November and November Odd Years Only. It is believed that the commissioners who approved the survey question were aware  or the difference.
Tonight we will here what they  think. So far the commisioners  haven't  seemed to think anything at all. .
In addition what the people think seems to be of no interest to them. Rather than rushing  into a course of action with perhaps irrevocable consequences shouldn't we analyze all the options. There is no hurry. Our City is in compliance with state law There will no be elections until May or if that is nixed November of 2013. What are the arguments for pro and con for May or November Odd Years Only or two year or four year terms. All we have from our Mayor and City Commission is the number 88% which in reality translate as less than a third of all registered voters. Since no one else will  help you identify  the consequences or May or November vote and the Mayors weird Math before tonight's meeting we will.

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