With self-important chest-thumpers like Boss Logie and Big Sister as mayor, Commissar Kimball at the helm of the city manager's office, the string of duds who have presided as superintendent over the incredible shrinking Grand Rapids public school district, and a panhandling billionaire like Rich DeVos lauded as the epitome of community spirit, it probably isn't much of a wonder that River Rat Gary Schenk is the chairman of the Grand Rapids Community College. We sure know how to pick 'em in River City.
Of course, a man who knows how to tell a tall tale is just the fellow GRCC needs to rationalize putting a millage request back on the ballot only three months after the voters had rejected it the first time. Two weeks ago GRCC's request for a 0.56 millage hike was narrowly defeated, mostly on the no-vote from suburbanites. Now GRCC is going back to the well with a new millage request in the August election which, curiously, will not have many primary races or other issues likely to bring a lot of suburban voters to the polls. Schenk assured the Grand Rapids Press that the board had not even considered the likelihood of a low suburban turnout in its decision to put the new request on the August ballot. Trust me, folks, a man who will lie to the United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals will lie to you too.
But even if Schenk were telling the truth, he and his fellow board members are thumbing their noses at the spirit of democracy by forcing us to immediately vote again on a measure that was contested and decided in a fair election. The fact that the GRCC's millage request on the May ballot was narrowly defeated makes no difference. In an election, no means no, whether the margin was 10,000 votes or a single vote. Would Schenk and the gang have given us a second chance in August to defeat the millage if it had narrowly won two weeks ago? Of course not!
The recent election reform by the state legislature was supposed to put an end to these serial demands for new millages by our schools. Apparently it is not enough to prohibit them from scheduling millage elections on oddball dates. They need to be prohibited from going to the well more than once a year. The voters are entitled to some finality when they make a decision on a millage. If reprobates like Schenk cannot accord that respect to the voters, it's time our legislators in Lansing force him to.