There are consequences for failure. That's the simple truth.
As a state, Michigan failed to make difficult decisions for far too long. We spent money we didn't have, our tax structure penalized job creation, and we didn't take a long-term common sense approach to planning for the state's future.
The consequences were severe — we grew an unsustainable level of entitlements, our economy faltered, and the great state that our parents knew was relegated to the national image that its best days were in the past. Nobody understands this better than the hard-working people of Michigan. They bore the brunt of our economic struggles over the last decade, and many watched as their children and grandchildren left their Michigan homes for opportunity elsewhere.
But things are starting to change. The governor and House and Senate leaders are making the difficult decisions. For the last two years, our leaders passed balanced budgets without gimmicks or surprises; they spent only what the state could afford; they reduced our debt; they created a better tax system that rewards hard work and job creation; they asked for greater efficiency and accountability for our tax dollars; improved our accountability in education and government; and they prioritized investments in areas that will provide better opportunities and a brighter future for Michigan. Coupled with the state's reimaging Pure Michigan campaign, we are seeing real growth and feeling better about our future.
But the progress we've made remains at risk from the same forces that caused our decline the past 40 years. On the Nov. 6 ballot, we all will be asked to decide whether or not we give in to those forces or we keep moving Michigan forward.
Proposal 1 asks us to decide whether or not to keep the Emergency Manager Law that is helping financially troubled Michigan communities regain financial stability.
Proposals 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 ask us to decide whether or not to permanently imbed in our constitution specific labor policy, tax policy, energy policy, and road- and bridge-building policy that promotes the self-interests of particular groups at the expense of Michigan's hardworking taxpayers and our children and grandchildren by making it more costly to live, work, and raise a family here.
To continue moving Michigan forward on a path to more opportunity and a brighter future for Michigan where we all benefit, Business Leaders for Michigan supports keeping the Emergency Manager Law and opposes the proposed amendments that attempt to entrench special interests in our constitution forever. We cannot afford to return to the days of out-of-control spending, no accountability, and our children and grandchildren moving away for greener pastures.
At Business Leaders for Michigan, our vision is to make Michigan a Top Ten state for job, economic and personal income growth. The work to achieve that vision has started, but much work remains. Let's keep moving Michigan forward and get the job done.
About the author: Stephen M. Kircher is president of Boyne Resorts' Eastern Operations. Business Leaders for Michigan; by e-mail at: email@example.com. Business Leaders for Michigan is the state's business roundtable, composed of the chairpersons, CEOs or most senior executives of the state's largest job providers and universities.
About the forum: The forum is a periodic column of opinion written by Record-Eagle readers in their areas of interest or expertise. Submissions of 500 words or less may be made by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include biographical information and a photo.
There are consequences for failure. That's the simple truth.
Forum: Public-access TV just grows stronger
By now, Charter cable television customers are well aware of the company’s recent switch to an all-digital platform.Continued ...
Forum: TC can't get bed tax, visitors centers can
I am writing to comment on the March 29 Another View: “Local tax a local windfall” about Franklin County in New York state seeking state approval to impose a bed tax on hotels and motels in that county, and your Online Poll question asking readers whether such a tax is a good idea.Continued ...
Forum: Repealing ticket law could lead to fraud
Traverse City demonstrates Michigan’s economic transformation from an almost exclusive reliance on manufacturing to a more diverse portfolio of revenue generating industries; due in large part to the critical growth in tourism.Continued ...
Forum: Community engaged in housing solution
Good things are happening in Traverse City. Our community is helping neighbors experiencing homelessness through efforts that are grassroots, structured and faith-based. There isn’t one solution to ending homelessness.Continued ...
Forum: Fat bikes don’t belong on groomed Vasa trail
The Vasa is Traverse City’s cherished ski trail. Starting in the 1980s George Lombard led the effort to create it.Continued ...
- Friday, March 21, 2014
Forum: Make government transparent, accountable
Michigan’s Freedom of Information Week is a great time to let folks know about how accountable and responsible their governments are at the state, county and local level.Continued ...
- Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Forum: Explaining changes in gaming rules
Michigan Gaming Control Board staff have proposed rules to bring order to “charitable millionaire parties.”Continued ...
- Thursday, March 13, 2014
Forum: The hype surrounding the Common Core
The hype surrounding the Common Core, an effort to establish a single set of educational standards for grades K-12 in mathematics and English language arts, escapes me.Continued ...
- Sunday, March 9, 2014
Forum: A better formula for school reform
Over the past generation, school reform has been predicated on the notion that accountability to student performance on standardized tests would drive improvement.Continued ...
- Thursday, March 6, 2014
Forum: Return to local control
What happens within a prison population when prisoners convicted of violent crimes are mixed in with inmates incarcerated for non-violent crimes?Continued ...
- Sunday, March 2, 2014
Forum: $180M removed from mental health programs
Gov. Snyder’s upbeat message on the 2015 budget left out an important fact: that in a time of state revenue surplus, about $180 million in state general funds are being removed from community mental health programs in Michigan.Continued ...
- Thursday, February 27, 2014
Forum: Time we all celebrated Darwin Day
In case you missed, it, Happy Darwin Day.Continued ...
- Sunday, February 23, 2014
Forum: Tranquility jeopardized by growth
“I thought as I sat there of the ancient admonition 'Be still and know that I am God' and knew that without stillness there can be no knowing, without divorcement from outside influences man cannot know what spirit means.”Continued ...
- Friday, February 21, 2014
Forum: Creating Dann’s House
StonesHouse, Inc., a local nonprofit committed to helping communities develop recovery residences, was recently awarded a $35,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Community Health to open Dann’s House.Continued ...
- Thursday, February 20, 2014
Forum: Energy efficiency pays off in many ways
These sub-zero temperatures have been challenging for all of us.Continued ...
- Sunday, February 16, 2014
Forum: Traverse City has a dilemma
Traverse City has a dilemma. Recent city commissions and administrations have been so financially prudent that a surplus of your tax dollars have collected in our savings accounts.Continued ...
- Friday, February 14, 2014
Forum: Autistic Peer Mentoring program
Recently my wife, myself, and another parent were invited to speak with 24 students who are involved in the Autistic Peer Mentoring program at Traverse City West Senior High.Continued ...
- Sunday, February 9, 2014
Forum: Safe Harbor's building proposal
The Grand Traverse region needs to approach homelessness by furthering the plan to end it.Continued ...
- Friday, February 7, 2014
Forum: TCL&P, TCSaves and what it means to you
Recently the Traverse City Light & Power Board and staff completed a six-month strategic planning process which identified many areas of focus for the utility, one of which is energy efficiency.Continued ...
- Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Forum: Bring fairness to ticket resale market
In Michigan, it is perfectly legal to resell an event ticket above face value on websites that are selected as “authorized resellers.” However, if a fan has a friend or neighbor willing to buy their ticket above face value, that person-to-person transaction is illegal under current state law.Continued ...
- Thursday, January 30, 2014
Forum: Issue of abortion is a moral one
I don’t believe the abortion issue is only a Catholic issue or a Protestant issue or a Jewish issue or a political issue, or a social issue. Rather, I see this as a moral issue.Continued ...
- Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Forum: We need to expand presence for the arts
In the past week, there have been several references to the financial and operational difficulties at the History Center.Continued ...
- Tuesday, January 21, 2014
Forum: We once again need a prophet
Is Phil Robertson of the television show “Duck Dynsaty” a prophet? The question might seem absurd, as Phil never claimed to hear from the Lord and never levied a warning.Continued ...
- Friday, January 17, 2014
Forum: Rogers Observatory an interesting gem
Traverse City is blessed with interesting little gems, from wonderful restaurants to pocket parks, and favorite spots on the Boardman River or TART Trail.Continued ...
- Thursday, January 16, 2014
Forum: Do more to keep invaders out
Zebra mussels have become a household name because of the significant environmental and economic damage they have caused across the Great Lakes region.Continued ...
- Forum: Public-access TV just grows stronger