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Re: E-M:/ DNR renovation an open process



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Enviro-Mich message from "david zaber" <dzaber@gateway.net>
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A couple of questions for Mr. Roby and the DNR:

1.  Why were those funds unexpended as you state? Is it because the
governor's budgetary priorities is to destroy the ability of the DNR to
effectively use funds appropriated by the legislature?

2.  Seems to me that money for state parks and the MCC are priorities, at
least to the people who pay the bills at DNR - The Michigan Taxpayer!  Oh,
wait, the fact that Governor Engler's priorities seem to be to ignore
citizen complaints on wetlands, gut environmental monitoring and otherwise
eviscerate the once-respectable MDNR's ability to truly protect resources
slipped my mind for a nanosecond.

> At the end of Fiscal Year 1998, the DNR budget staff determined the
amount of unexpended funds by each division. It's important to note that
the entire $780,000 identified for renovation would have LAPSED, including
$100,000 in general funds from state parks and $50,000 from the Michigan
Conservation Corps. 
> 

3.  Actually, the following piece is nothing but simple.  It is a
manipulative effort that ignores the real situation: The DNR did not use
the money they were given to maintain parks and fund the MCC.  Thus, once
the incompetents failed to follow through on what the legislature
appropriated for them, they then declare these funds "unexpended".  Only
then did they cynically divert the much needed resource funds for new
drapes, carpets and water coolers, etc.  Mr. Dempsey's only mistake was the
chronology of his message, not the message itself.

> Simply stated, the DNR didn't divert money from program priorities, as
Mr. Dempsey alleges. 

4.  Where is the evidence of openess as Mr. Roby maintains in this tract? 
A walk through by bought and paid for politicians? A notice in a local
paper? The openess issue is most appropriately indicated by this little
item: "...DMB approval to carry forward (which is legislatively approved by
the absence of a disapproval.)" 

Legislatively approved by the absence of a disapproval?????  Sounds like
that type of "openness" should take its place next to MDNR's sound
management of Michigan's state forests, or its progressive policy on
wetland protection, or any number of DNR activities over the past decade or
so.

> Furthermore, we have been very open about our renovation efforts. Not
only is this the first renovation project for the Mason Building in 25
years, many elected officials who have seen the shoddy working conditions
for our employees have agreed that the renovation was necessary. 

>We believe there is merit in improving the Mason Building.

Sure, and tobacco industry executives "believe" nicotine isn't addictive
too.

Given the number of substantive resource issues being discussed on
enviro-mich, I wonder why the DNR only responded to the expose of their
wasteful spending plans.  But then again, I would also want comfy
surroundings if I were circumventing environmental laws, catering to
polluters and hemorraging tax dollars to private industry under the guise
of compensation for so-called "takings" of private property.

David John Zaber
dzaber@gateway.net

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> From: Timothy Roby <Robyt@state.mi.us>
> To: enviro-mich@great-lakes.net
> Subject: E-M:/ DNR renovation an open process
> Date: Monday, November 30, 1998 11:20 AM
> 
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> Enviro-Mich message from "Timothy Roby" <Robyt@state.mi.us>
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------
> 
> Dave Dempsey's posting on the Mason Building renovation is less than
complete. His inferences that Department of Natural Resources management
diverted money from important program priorities for "redecorating" and
fulfilling a "wish list" are unfortunate and unfair.
> 
> The Mason Building renovation is a three-year project. In the last two
years, we have taken UNEXPENDED funds already appropriated by the
Legislature and, at year end, transferred those dollars to the Building
Occupancy account. We then carried forward the dollars to the next fiscal
year for renovation.
> 
> It was a two step process: first a transfer requiring Legislative
approval, and then DMB approval to carry forward (which is legislatively
approved by the absence of a disapproval.)
> 
> At the end of Fiscal Year 1998, the DNR budget staff determined the
amount of unexpended funds by each division. It's important to note that
the entire $780,000 identified for renovation would have LAPSED, including
$100,000 in general funds from state parks and $50,000 from the Michigan
Conservation Corps. 
> 
> Simply stated, the DNR didn't divert money from program priorities, as
Mr. Dempsey alleges. 
> 
> Furthermore, we have been very open about our renovation efforts. Not
only is this the first renovation project for the Mason Building in 25
years, many elected officials who have seen the shoddy working conditions
for our employees have agreed that the renovation was necessary. 
> 
> The bottom line here is that we are funding the Mason Building renovation
on the back-end, not the front-end, of the budgeting process with funds
that would otherwise have lapsed back to the general fund. We identified
these funds at the end of the fiscal year and asked the Legislature to
authorize their transfer for this purpose. We believe there is merit in
improving the Mason Building.
> 
> Thanks for the opportunity to respond.
> 
> 
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