Saturday, April 25, 2009

slowed down a bit

I apologize to the readers of this publication that the postings
have slowed down a bit of late. I've had a busy April with my
FOIA lawsuit against John Archocosky in the Iron County
Circuit Court.

The present flap has to do with whether or not the Honorable
C. Joseph Schwedler sits on the Circuit Court Bench legally or
not. I have moved to disqualify him from that judicial position
because he has been elected Probate Judge for Iron County,
and his appointment falls outside the methods permitted by
the Michigan Constitution.

For obvious reasons, I will not get into the details, but
there is a public record available to anyone at the Iron
County Courthouse. Since the information there is a part
the public record, I have put that document, asking that
Judge Schwedler be disqualified, on a publicily accessible
web page at:


Other articles will finally wind their way through the
process here at IronCountyDoings and should appear
next week.

Thanks for your patience.

Bill Vajk

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Anonymous Comments

I got another anonymous diatribe last night, on
Friday evening, April 17th, from someone who
apparently has nothing better to do with a
Friday evening. It was a local politico
sock-puppet expounding all the great things
achieved by our illustrious Economic Development
Corporation. I can see where some people might
be convinced that all is marvelous in Iron
County, Michigan, but those folks are easily

One of my complaints about the Iron County EDC
has been the mission statement.

"To implement strategies that will increase job
opportunity, tax base and quality of life within
the county of Iron."

If the mission statement stuck to "increasing job
opportunities for our residents" I'd be a whole
lot happier. An analysis of the other segments of
the existing mission statement yields some not-so-
very-nice stuff.

First we need to recognize that the Iron County
EDC is 100% government funded, so whatever the EDC
does is the county government doing it. Looking at
what they do to increase the tax base, what we see
is programs that take state money and spend it
locally in order to increase property values in
order to collect more in property taxes. When a
business person improves the facade on their
building, does that improve their sales and profit
pictures? Not when nothing else happens! In fact
a nice looking up to date building is less apt to
draw tourist dollars than a somewhat run down one.

Tourists generally live in regions where all the
buildings they see daily are attractive and up to date.
Why would they come to Iron County to experience the
same things they already have at home? What do we have
that's unique enough to be worth visiting?

The last part of the mission statement is strictly
none of the government's business in the first place.
Where does Iron County get off improving the quality
of life anyway? That's never an appropriate expenditure
of our tax dollars.

Iron County needs only one thing that will accomplish
the entire mission statement, and that is good paying
jobs. Not minimum wage stuff and part time work like
the Call Center, but real, productive jobs paying at
least $50,000 a year with the usual (for the rest of
the USA) fringe benefits. Increased property values
and an improved quality of life will follow naturally.

And contrary to the opinion of our local Economic
Developer, those jobs don't even need to be inside
Iron County! Anywhere that our residents are willing
to commute to a job works just fine. After Niagara
Mill closed it was discovered that about half the
employees live in Dickinson County, and some live
in Florence County. Mrs. Melchiori's stated view
that our economy isn't regional is severely myopic.

As I read down the list that the Julie Melchiori
sock-puppet typed in as an anonymous comment, all
I see is the repetition of the same old story about
all the busy work that the Iron County EDC has
engaged in, while there's no mention of even a
single job that's been created in recent times.

Remember the "Where's the Beef?" commercials on TV
a few years back? I see EDC spending its budget on
all sorts of things, but:

Where's the jobs?

Bill Vajk

Friday, April 10, 2009

Meeting April 14, 2009 at Bay College West

The Upper Menominee River Entrepreneurs and Inventors
Club is an organization supported by the economic
development organs of three counties, Dickinson in
Michigan, and Florence and Marinette in Wisconsin. I
am pleased to support their endeavors in trying to improve
the economic situation in this part of the world.

Their next meeting is in Iron Mountain on April 14, 2009.
I've scanned in their most current blurb and posted it at:

I am convinced that economics are regional, not local.
Unfortunately for those of us living in Iron County, our
Economic Developer, Julie Melchiori, believes that our
economy stops at the county border and said as much
in a public meeting I was running last summer. It might
be helpful if the local news media played to what Julie
and the Iron County Economic Development
Corporation actually achieved in the last six months
rather than replaying the old story of the Amasa
sawmill that took too long to bring on line and
repeating how wonderful the mostly minimum wage/no
fringe benefits "Call Center" has been for the community.
Aggrandizing the people in various county offices doesn't
do anything to help the situation. It would be far better
for all of us if our other media (that means besides this
publication you're reading right now) were critical of the
continuing failures instead of grasping on to every minor
straw of success that floats by and republishing those
stories again and again.

In the end it is up to us, individually. All that is really
available is self-help and the only idea machine in the
region seems to be, in my opinion, outside of
Iron County in the group I'm referring the reader to
in this article.

For some time I've been an advocate of an exploratory
discussion group that would discover how to go about
recognizing business opportunities that are available to
us without a major capital investment. I'm going to work
towards organizing something like that in the near future.

In the meantime, please attend the April 14th meeting at
6PM at Bay College West in Iron Mountain. Perhaps some of
your hopes and dreams of success can get a jump-start there.

Bill Vajk

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Teaser? Not Really.

In the next few weeks this blog will reveal, with direct
evidence, illegal acts of some public officials. While we
have several ready to go, it will take a bit of time to
write them up and have the evidence in hand in a
publishable format.

Please welcome Ben Smith of Iron River as an associate
editor on this web site. The first report on the illegal
doings will come from Ben.

We also welcome reports of illegal activities by pubic
officials from the public. Your name can be part of the
story, or not, as you wish. But clear evidence of the
wrongdoing must be available and you must provide
proof along with the story before it can be published
here. All stories will be verified by us before
publication for the obvious reason that false accusation
could result in being the defendant in a lawsuit.

In between, we will continue with our regular genre.
The first of those has to do with Orwell's 1984 and
our increasingly rapid advance to the point that such
a life becomes very easily possible. Contributions to
and ideas relevant to that story are welcome. Please
feel free to send email to on
the matters discussed here, and any other stories you
think relevant to this venue.

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Now a Registered Serial Publication

This web site, IronCountyDoings received its
National Serials Data Program registration
as a serial publication. The registration
number will become a permanent fixture on
the web page. That number is ISSN 1947-1475

Bill Vajk

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