OPINION: Why I will vote yes twice on May 8 in Ypsilanti
As much as I love politics, it’s not what comes naturally to me. What I am truly good at is science and math. I am an engineer at heart and by training. I write software for a living. I spend my time following complex and intricate logic until I lose track of time.
It is this devotion to science, empirical understanding, that has lead me to decide to vote yes twice on May 8. Although the logic that got me there is much simpler than what I deal with at work, it is no less sound. I’ve read the studies, followed the numbers and done the math. Ypsilanti has been dealing with a consistently falling revenue stream for many years now. When dealing with a situation like this a municipality has two options. Spend less or increase revenue.
To date, Ypsilanti has done an amazing job of spending less. City staff has been reduced by a third, police and firefighter levels are down to the lowest levels considered safe for a city our size, parks maintenance has been reduced to infrequent mowings, in some cases community groups have taken over public facilities and done a wonderful job taking care of them while offsetting the cost of those facilities from the city.
As much as saying so will make people want to accuse me of fear mongering I can look at the numbers and see how continuing to allow revenue to fall will go. Fire and Police levels will be reduced. It is frightening, but it’s also true. Without adequate police and fire coverage our community will become less and less appealing. Population will continue to fall, property values will follow and we’ll be forced into further cuts including police and fire.
The proposals on this ballot represent an opportunity to replace the revenue lost, avoid the downward spiral of public safety cuts and keep Ypsilanti vibrant. We, as citizens of this great city, have the opportunity to empower our city to provide us the public services and safety we need. I encourage you to vote yes twice on May 8.