Well, this is kind of a bummer. This morning I read in annarbor.com “Ypsilanti voters reject Water Street deb retirement milage and income tax,” and by a wide margin. In my view, it’s a sad day because what it says is that voters in the city aren’t willing to invest in it. Granted, I’m not crazy about raising taxes either, but given the situation the city is in, it’s difficult to see what other choice we have. The “no taxes” crowd certainly don’t have an answer.
I suppose these issues are not related, but I can’t but help make the connection with the proposal that is floating around where EMU (along with DTE and Washtenaw County) would give loan incentives to employees who want to live in Ypsilanti. A loyal reader sent me that article, but I’m also reminded of the piece in annabor.com from last week, “New program could offer EMU employees up to $10,000 to purchase homes in Ypsilanti.” As is the case with the “no taxes” article, the comments here are negative both about EMU and Ypsilanti.
It’s depressing, really. I mean, I don’t have any specific or deeply-felt personal loyalty to EMU or to Ypsilanti. I work at EMU and it’s a fantastic job, but as my Dad told me many years ago, you can love your job but your job will never love you. I live in Ypsi and have lived in the Normal Park neighborhood for 13 years now. It’s a great neighborhood and I love living close enough to work to walk or ride my bike. But I’m not really an “Ypsi proud” kind of guy, largely because even after living in Michigan for as long as I’ve lived anywhere else, I’m not really from here, and if I were buying a house right now– even with the EMU incentive– I’d probably buy in Ann Arbor.
That said, I grow weary of the bashing and even self-loathing of both EMU and Ypsilanti. The comments on the annabor.com story on incentives to buy a house in Ypsilanti are quite disgusting, and it’s sad that a majority of Ypsilanti citizens would rather drive the city further into the ditch and/or into the hands of an emergency manager than to pitch in to pay the bills to keep the community going. Sad indeed.