It’s your money

To the Editor,

I feel I need to respond to the Plymouth Review PERSPECTIVES article in the November 4th issue of The Review.

I am not opposed to the building of the Food Science and Agricultural Center as funded by the Plymouth Education Foundation (PED) web site address http://plymouthedfoundation.org/. I am in full support of their campaign to raise one million dollars from private donations, that is from private donations, not public funds from the taxpayers of the City of Plymouth. The Plymouth Education Foundation is a registered non-profit organization and is not an organization of the Plymouth School District. Historically the city has never given such a large amount, $100,000 of city of Plymouth taxpayer money to a non-profit organization; however, the City Administrator and seven of our Alderman, including our Mayor, feel it is appropriate. We need some skin in the game said our Mayor. It should be noted that when Generations was seeking donations for construction of their facility, the City did not donate any taxpayer funds.

According to the Plymouth Education Foundation’s web site they have already raised $1,066,300, exceeding their goal of one million by $66,300. I scanned their list of donors and the City of Plymouth is not listed so how does the Review determine that this includes the $100,000 from the City? It hasn’t been donated yet.

On June 24th, when this was proposed by the Superintendant of Schools to City Council at the council meeting, they had already raised over $800,000. I stated at that meeting that I had every confidence that they would reach their goal of one million. I made a motion at that meeting that we should table the resolution until October or November to see if public funds were necessary. There was no second to the motion.

To be fair, the School district is not the City of Plymouth School District but the Plymouth School District. This includes the Town of Plymouth, population about 3,500, and other smaller townships, with the City of Plymouth population being 8,441. Interesting to note here that the Town of Plymouth was not solicited for funds to support this effort, although, Superintendant Dassow lives in the Town of Plymouth as does our city attorney.

Maybe that is why municipal taxes in the City of Plymouth are about ten times the Town of Plymouth.

If it looked as though I was accusatory toward our City Attorney, I apologize for that but it was never revealed at anytime that she is the President of the PED. That should have been disclosed in June.

The Review commented, about the $100,000, saying that “with the money as part of the 2015 city capital projects budget and not coming from any departmental operating budget” they seem to think it is OK. Lest you know it is one budget and it is your money. I was also chastised for bringing it up at the Council meeting on Tuesday, October 28th. How would any taxpayers in the City of Plymouth know in advance that the budget would be voted on at the November 11th meeting. Now they know. So if you agree that this is misappropriation of City of Plymouth taxpayer funds, please come to the November 11th meeting and speak up or let your Alderman know of your views, pro or con.

Jim Faller
Alderman, District 3, City of
Plymouth


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