Monday, January 12, 2009

What went wrong anyway?

Since I filed my complaint about the City
of Iron River with the Circuit Court, I
began to wonder how it happened that I
have arrived to this situation, where I
am displeased with this part of the country.

When I first moved up here I was full of
joy, now I am spending my time suing John
Archocosky and the City, with significant
major class action litigation in the works.
This isn't what I had intended to do with
my retirement. And I heard a comment that
someone had had high hopes for me but that
I had badly disappointed them. So here's
the analysis of what's gone awry. That
disappointment runs both ways.

In my life, thus far, I've never met an
enemy, only friends. Some along the way have,
through their own doing, changed how I viewed

And so it has happened here in Iron County.
I arrived full of openness, of admiration
for the natural beauty of the place, and hope
for the economic recovery of the region so
that my son, and his family, could move here
once his military career timed out and he
retires from the US Marine Corps. We spent
time here every summer as he was growing up,
and he loves this region as much as I did,
and should be able to now.

What happened along the way is that the
facade of "all's well" has been torn away
and an ugly political underbelly has been
shown. My earlier wish to help the local
economy has been replaced by an urgent need
to drag this county, with heels dug in and
holding fast to a primitive oligarchic form
of rule, into the 21st century United States
of America form of having the government
serving the citizens rather than having a
government that looks to the needs of the
oligarchy first while feeding off the

To the folks who have spent most, if not
all, of their lives here and don't
understand what I'm saying, I have to
tell you that much of what goes on
here is simply Un-American. Look around

The rest of the USA isn't economically
depressed like this. In most of the USA
if buildings are being torn down it is
in order to reuse the spot for a newer,
better, building. There's no reason not
to be like that here. There's no good
reason your children should have to
leave the region to find work and
to have a nice career and a good life.

The problem is that government that's
here has been built on the rotten
foundations left by the mining
companies from the time that they ran
everything for their own advantage. Those
who followed them just stepped in and
took over without any change in attitude.
Those who lived here as the mines
disappeared into oblivion were used to
it, and didn't complain because
everything seemed to work when the
mines ran the entire community. But after
the mines disappeared and the economy had
to become self-sustaining without them,
what is called "the corporate culture" of
the region shifted from being beneficial
to the people who live here, to living
off them in ever worsening ways.

The more government illegally reaches
into the pockets of the people, the less
that the marginal local economy can
remain successful. The Headlee Amendment
to the Michigan Constitution, and other
laws, like the Freedom of Information Act,
are supposed to be tools for the people
to use in order to enforce the democracy
that so many wars have been fought over.
It has always been the business and the
duty of the people to oversee government
and to keep government honest. Part of
that corporate culture left behind by
the mines is making the people who live
here think that everything is going to
be OK if you just shut up and do what
you're told.

That apparently worked well while the
mines were in charge, but folks, the
mines are gone. The people running things
aren't looking after you like the mines
did, they're working for their own
advantage with precious few of them
giving you anything back for what they
take out of your pockets.

Please, folks, lets fix this together.

Bill Vajk

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