RESIDENTS, TO SUBMIT A QUESTION ON THIS FORUM - CLICK HERE "SUBMIT QUESTION".The question will submitted on the link to the left "questions only" untill an answer is given by the correct party then it will be moved to the link to the left "ques. w/response" in chronological order.
December 29, 2009 - Lets plow our streets when there is 3/4 inches of snow. I'm sure you didn't agree with that statement. I think the guys should salt the intersections after the snow starts to fall, but plowing, don't do it. There is no contact on the Holland website for the maintenance supervisor. I'll write him a letter asking what the procedure is. Reviewed the soilid waste portion of the Holland website today. Could not find where it says we can put boxes out with our refuse on Tuesdays. You know who you are, that did this. I have asked the Police Chief about obtaining pictures of the Full-time officers to post on this website along with name, position and special duties so that residents can become more familier with the officers, I had not heard back from him yet.
Postcards did go out yesterday, asking ten provocative questions. Just to stir the pot. If in the next six months this website does not get more residents involved with local politics I will change the direction this website is heading. I want more residents asking questions and getting answers. Most complaints go unquestioned. The Mayor changed the front page of Holland's website and started his "message' about making sure all questions are answered. The Mayor should hold a townhall meeting. Four meetings over the next two years. All questions must be submitted in writting prior to the meeting so the Mayor/Council can have answers prior to the meeting. The elected officials go about their business of running the Village un-checked except for every four years. I think the residents must believe that once an ordinance is passed it can't be reversed. I have not been to a council meeting in years. I will starting 2010.
My biggest complaint is the spending of taxes. Holland is fortunate to be very liquid. When a councilman, the Mayor or department head find a "want" council can approve the expenditure since the funds are available. Expenditures that are no true emergencies should not be purchased till the following year as long as the expenditure is budgetted. Only true emergencies and "needs" should be voted on as an "emergency expenditure"
Dec 23, 2009 "Happy Holidays", a mailing started to go out today to announce H-O.com. The Mayor seems eager to answer all questions presented to him. Whether right or wrong the Mayor will let you know why something was done or how much it cost. It's up to the residents to decide if they agree.
Dec 20, 2009 - I've had two elected officials tell me I should come to council meetings in order to learn how council operates. How ignorate do you think I am? Council and the Mayor already have knowledge and an opinion about an ordinance before they meet at council meetings. They have already had an opportunity read and discuss an ordinance prior to the meeting. Some council meetings are only a half-an-hour long. If the meeting is the first opportunity they have taken to read the oridinance and ask questions, the meetings would be a lot longer. So, for me to gain knowledge about council's "decision making process" at a council meeting, it's not gonna happen. One past council member and one current member told me I have no say in how the members vote on a particular issue. To sum it up, we essentially voted them in to get things done and at the end of four years if we aren't happy don't vote for them. This is not good politics. We should have time during the year to openly discuss issues were council spends non-budgeted funds. Prior to that the annual budget should be available to residents via the Holland web page at least a week before council votes to approve it.
The Mayor is proud to not spend more than we collect. However, the budget is not balanced, he just takes from the reserve. Council is not spending the reserves because of the dip in the economy, but because the non-neccessary capital improvements cost more than we collect in a 12 month period. I think Lyn should provide residents via the Holland website a up to date, budget versus actuals, income and expenses. With computers this can be printed up at the end of each month and posted so that residents can see current income versus expenses. I would like to meet with Lyn to set up a Cash Flow statement that makes sense, for her to fill in the numbers, and present to the residents. This Cash Flow statement would break down the income and expense per department and project. Residents could get a look at what projects actaully cost and if decisions to spend tax payer dollars where good desicions. We need transparency in the Village. Take a look at Maumee, Ohio's website. They provide a 194 page year end summary. It details every aspect of what was done in the past calendar year. It's pretty impresive. Holland may have this document but i have not seen it. If this is available I would bet most of my financial questions would be answered.
Dec 18, 2009 - Partial mailing will be going out to residents this week announcing this site. Hope to have more LINKS, EDITORIAL and ANSWERS for you. Another 100 hits this week. This site will continue to evolve with weekly posts of opinion and facts.
Dec 12, 2009 - Must have hit a nerve with this site, had over 80 hits yesterday. I think someone figured out that the website attached to my e-mail address was a web site about Holland, that person then e-mailed other residents and here we are 80 hits later. The funny thing is only one e-mail was sent to me reguarding this site and that was by someone no longer on council. The Mayor has yet to answer my question about pending litigation against the Village. Each time a letter, phone call, text or e-mail is sent to an elected official or Village employee it will be posted on one of two web pages. There will be a page with questions that are pending and a page with a question/answers.
This website is new, it's under construction, and may have some minor errors. It is intended to state opinion and ask questions. There is a contact page, e-mail me direct. I have not worked with any other residents on this site, to date. I hope to become a liason between residents and council. I have a lot to learn and many questions to ask.
"It might be a gamble to follow our leaders." Mike
oct-20-2009 ---- Holland-Ohio.com will try to find out how the Village can start a FOR-HIRE security business. Is the Village self insurred? Who will insure the new Security for the Township. Holland-Ohio.com doesn't want to see the residents taxes used to pay-off any claims for security in the township.
Nov-6-2009 ---- Well, I guess the mayor won't be the king of the whole Township after all. The Township voters have spoken.
Terry and Heather have won a seat on council. H-O.com will be there at the first meeting of the year to monitor their coup.
December 1, 2009 ---- H-O.com will be asking each council member to individually meet with us for a question and answer session in the coming months. A mass mailing will be going out this month to all Holland residences introducing our wedsite.
H-O.com is checking the November 1984 wording in the issue voters approved to increase the tax rate. Were looking to see if the .75% was only for sewer repairs.
The Village has a proposed settlement agreement with the plaintiff's in the lawsuite filed by Fair Housing. The complaint stated that Holland violated the civil rights of those with interest in the home on Erie St. The Village's insurance is said to have forced the Village to settle this claim. Holland-Ohio.com will try to post the final settlement agreement as soon as it is available.
The Village budget will soon be available. H-O.com will post this as soon as it is avail.
I wonder if Holland realized that by buidling a new Lodge it would be competing with a local business the has been in the Village for over twenty years. The village rents the lodge out at a very inexpensive cost. This will surely cause the Angola Gardens building any business they would have expected if the Lodge wasn't built. I don't think the Village should produce a product that competes for the business of a local vendor. What were they thinking? The Village should help local businesses fill a need privately.
In 2008 the village collected 1.9 million in income tax. If .75% is one third of the total tax collected, the .75% was a total of $648,939 in income. By my calculation we could have paid off all debt in 2007. Actually we could have paid off all dept several years ago and reduced income tax by 33%. But my hunch is that Holland has not been spending the .75% on just sewers (capital improvements).I can't wait for a copy of the November 1984 issue we voted on. Did you know that Holland at the end of 2008 had over 8 million dollars in the bank. A whole years budget is only around 3 million. That means Holland has 32 months worth of income in reserves. How much do they have in receivables and payables? If they refund all extra funds on hand the average home with four people would get a refund of $24,612.00. I sure could put that money to better use than building a lodge that competes with other Village vendors.