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Re: E-M:/ Wayne County Town Hall -- Humbug-- County's participation

The County of Wayne has taken ownership of,  and a large amount of responsibility for the 40+acre parcel just to the north of Humbug Marsh and Humbug Island, formerly the Chrysler Paint Plant,  in Trenton.
Although this property will be leased to the US Fish and Wildlife Service for the Visitors Center for the International Wildlife Refuge, the County has been investing staff and funds into the development of this site.  The County has pledged that this visitors center will be a Platinum Certified LEED development (www.usgbc.org/ ) The architecture firm of Hamilton Anderson is designing landscape, use and building plans.   Already many hundreds of thousands of dollars have been spent. The entire visitors center will cost millions.
The County played an important  role at a critical moment,  responding to the well organized effort to save Humbug Marsh, and working non-competitively with the staffs Congressman Dingell, River Navigator John Hartig, the Friends of the Detroit River, and many many very motivated grass roots citizens and organizations.
In this "exception" to the sorry story of "opportunities lost" which  Cliff, Smiley, Cowherd et al.,  have laid out for our consideration, there is material difference -- an essential component to any progressive change.     We had champions!
With a similar mobilization of citizens, I believe the County could restore Fort Wayne,  develop Fordsom Island, salvage the Boblo Boat, or even build a new age golf course in the abandoned 40 acre plots on the near east side of the City.
All it takes is love. .  .
Blair Mc Gowan  
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Tuesday, February 28, 2006 10:14 AM
Subject: Re: E-M:/ Wayne County Town Hall meeting tonight

Jack, should we assume the answers to your (rhetorical) questions about Wayne County's park millage money are "No"?

If that's the case, then I am truly amazed.  I thought the steps taken towards selling parkland by Ann Arbor's senior City administrators and Mayor - just after the citizens voted 2-1 to buy more parkland - were outrageous.  But Wayne County appears to be setting the standard for cynical abuse of the public's goodwill on parks issues.

Doug Cowherd
Chair, Sierra Club-Huron Valley Group

Smileysmlc@aol.com wrote:
I just received this notice for a Town Hall meeting tonight:
"Town Hall meeting with Wayne County Executive Robert A. Ficano, will feature an overview of county programs and goals.  County department heads will also be present.  There will an opportunity for you to ask questions about county government.  Hope you can join us.   Light refreshments will be served.  For more details call 313 467-6945."
"Wayne County Executive... Town Hall meeting hosted in the 5th commission district, Southwest Detroit
On: Tuesday Feb 28, 2006
At:  Greater Apostolic Faith Temple
      4735 W Fort St, Detroit 48209
Time:  6:00 to 8:00 PM"
County residents might want to ask about the management of the Wayne County Parks millage money--which raises approximately $12 million per year.  The Parks millage initially passed 10 years ago under the guise that it would raise money for park land acquisition , for fixing up Fort Wayne, and for a variety of other park improvements.  In 10 years, has one single acre of park land been purchased?  Has a single dollar gone into the renovation of Fort Wayne?  Is there an audit available for public inspection which details where the money has been spent?  Why does Wayne County not have a Parks Commission to oversee operation of the Parks Department and expenditure of millage money? 
Wayne County also created the first Wetland Mitigation Bank in the state.  How much money was lost on that project?  Why was the bank such a failure?  Since it was never certified by MDEQ, has it been officially "closed"?
I'm sure there are a host of other questions that people should ask.
Jack Smiley

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