Three former mayors urge "yes" vote on Lansing millage
By Scott Pohl, WKAR News
LANSING, MI –
Lansing mayor Virg Bernero was joined Wednesday by three of his predecessors supporting a "yes" vote on a millage increase next week.
WKAR's Scott Pohl reports.
Mayor Bernero has submitted a budget plan cutting $20 million and laying off more than 100 police officers and firefighters. He says if passed, the four-mill tax hike going before voters next Tuesday would offset a projected $8.5 million and save some of those jobs.
Former mayors Tony Benavides, Jim Crawford and David Hollister gathered at Fire Station #1 downtown to urge passage of the increase. Benavides says he hopes voters will be convinced that a yes vote is for their own good.
"Not having this would mean that we would cut at least 100 police officers and firefighters," Benavides says, "and the response time would increase."
Former mayor Jim Crawford says he doesn't usually think raising taxes is the answer to budget problems, but it is now.
"Had I not seen the effort that the city has made in streamlining government and cutting our programs and cutting non-essential services prior to going to the voters," Crawford says, "I wouldn't be here."
Opponents of the tax hike say the city should do more cutting and consolidating of services.