Thursday, October 29, 2009

About Obama

On the national and local front I urge readers to
take a look at one of my other web pages, reading,
in particular, the latest offering there.

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

County Commission Mtg 10/27/2009 & disrespect

There will be more news of this meeting coming!

But this reporter wanted to get it on the record,
that when asked the county commissioners refused
to instruct their administrator to provide the
media with the background material to accurately
report why and how they voted on the issues that
come before them.!

Further this reporter was berated by the county
civil attorney for asking about the county chair's
PRE situation.

(Editor's note: Please see earlier articles about
the county chairman's cheating the children out
of their due in property taxes by claiming
exemptions on two properties when only 1 is
allowed by law.)

Stating that if I read the law I would find the
explanation for all the rumors that have
circulated for years.

(Editor's note: Mr. Smith and I have both
carefully read the law, and no exemption of
the sort claimed by County Attorney Tinti

When I got to write this report I found a letter
from an information officer from the State of
Michigan treasury Department that cast more doubt
on Atty.Tinti's position.

Evidently from the little bit that went on at
the meeting today, the county is going to offer
an extension of contract to their administrator.
I hope it does not continue the sweetheart
conditions of the last one that lasted for
almost nine years.

Ben Smith

Friday, October 23, 2009

Out of Town

Going out of town for a couple of days serves
as a great reminder of how the rest of the
world lives.

Much of the real world lives buying things
on sale. Wednesday, Oct 21, 2009 Green Bay
paper has sales (in one section) of:

Oil change

Brake Work

potted trees

Amish furniture

Oneida National Museum

psychic readings (does Monica know you
have a coupon before you walk in?)

more furniture

groceries (yes, we do see this in Iron County)

women's fitness

credit union loans

Bill Vajk

Candidates for Iron River City Councilman

Fair use doctrine has us incorporating an
"IronCountyIndependent" posting as newsworthy
though one doubts the validity of anything
coming from an anonymously concealed member
of that group.

From: shadow_man4243
Subject: [ironcountyindependent] UPCOMING ELECTIONS
Date: Friday, October 23, 2009, 7:41 AM

Scuttlebutt has it that Iron County Doings cub
reporter Ben Smith is running as a write in for
Iron River City Council from the 3rd district.
He is hoping to get more votes than Tom King
who the only one who filed for the position.
HHHMMM one can only wonder why Ben decided
to run on slips rather than file?


Who can say for sure what is in any other human
being's head? I don't know if Ben is running in
order to keep the election honest, or because
he is doing this on a lark. The reason doesn't
matter. Rather what matters is that this way,
Tom King isn't elected with a single vote, his

Two matters of concern surface immediately.

There is the matter of conflict of interest. The
URL above is a discussion about conflicts
regarding a position on a school board and
being some other public official in the state
of Michigan. It is not significantly different
from the situation we're discussing.

Tom King is the Iron County dogcatcher. I would
be among the first to challenge Tom's status
as a city councilman. If Iron River actually
seated him, I would be among the first to give
a clear demonstration of the conflict of the
positions during a City Council public meeting.

And how is Mr. King going to find the time
during his busy schedule as dogcatcher to attend
the city council meetings? Is the Iron County
Sheriff's Department going to cover his position
during the times that King is in sessions, and
perhaps on downstate or out-of-state missions
for the City Council? Who is going to pay for
the Sheriff's department covering for King
during such periods?

Please see

The second concern is of electing an individual
who is, in fact, homeless. Tom King lives in a
house that is provided for him by his mother. He
has no home of his own. Is the city of Iron River
going to follow the Iron River Township example
of having a homeless elected official making
decisions on behalf of an electorate when the
candidate himself is obviously incapable of
maintaining his own person and home well enough
to provide for himself?

The only legitimate means Tom King has to refute
the financial claim is to provide a financial
statement showing how he looks after himself.

Also consider this. This county has elected
Rosalie King to the County Board of Commissioners.
She has not been elected to the Iron River City
Council. If Tom King were his own man and weren't
dependent on his Mommy, there would be no question
that he might vote his conscience rather than
what ever way Mommy told him to vote.

I disagree with Ben Smith about a lot of things.
I'm conservative and Ben is a mostly liberal
Democrat though sometimes he surprises me. The
main thing you'd find about Ben on Iron River
City Council is that he would vote legitimately,
keeping faith with those who elected him, even
if that went against his personal ideologies.

Bill Vajk

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Net Neutrality?

The promise of "Net Neutrality" under FCC regulation,
while promising the usual idealism, sounds far too
much like the standard government doublespeak we've
come to recognize as standard fare. Even if the
initial goals are as stated by various members of
the administration, it is clear that once government
asserts any control over the internet, government
will not be able to keep from making the internet
its private propaganda arm as the Obama campaign
used it during the last national elections.

The internet was founded and grew into its current
state without government intervention. It should
be allowed to continue, precisely as it has, until
or unless it starts to harm people.

Keep government out of the internet, except as a
user on equal footing with everyone else. Please
write to the FCC and your congressional
representatives. This is both a local and a
national issue.

Bill Vajk

Monday, October 19, 2009

Are They Really Acting Responsibly?

Nearly a year ago the West Iron School District
followed the procedures necessary to terminate
(fire) the Superintendent. In the past week
the Coty of Crystal Falls began their proceedings
to terminate the City Manager. Both of these
actions appear on the surface to be responsible
and could easily be taken as such.

The eventual outcome for the School District has,
to date, been disastrous because, in the opinion
of Iron County Doings, the School Board has not
acted responsibly. The correct next step has not
been taken. The School Board should have searched
for and found a strong administrator to take over
the position of Superintendent.

Look at the consequences. The School District decided
to close the "Middle School," a building completed and
dedicated February 22, 1928. In several acts, the
City of Iron River bullied the School District into
participating with a combination of participating
townships and the City in keeping the building open
and functioning. This is an additional financial
burden on the School District and all the participating
municipal governments.

This happened because the School Board appointed
a teacher, part time, to fill the position of
Superintendent. It is clear that the school district
has several other options regarding rthe Miffle School,
including simply closing the school, and minimizing
the costs to the community by means other than those
currently being bullied by the City of Iron River
and Iron River's elected and appointed officials.

If the City of Iron River wants to take over the
building, then the School District should insist
that the City purchase the property. It is
completely irratinal and ireresponsible for the
School District to remain responsible for the
Middle School once they decided they no longer
have any use for it.

The question that remains open for the City of
Crystal Falls is whether or not they will follow
in the West Iron School District's footsteps, thus
weakening their position. If they do, perhaps
Iron River will steal back the County Seat status
since the city has become so adept at bullying.

Bill Vajk

Monday, October 12, 2009

Respect Is An Important Aspect of Etiquette

Respect Is An Important Aspect of Etiquette.

A face I haven't seen in a while because the
satellite doesn't provide America's mainstream
networks is Deborah Norville, anchor on Inside
Edition. She has a new book, just out called
The Power of Respect.

From her web page:

"As anchor of Inside Edition, I am on the front
lines of the events of the world and increasingly,
it seemed to me that so much of what we report
has its roots in disrespectful behavior. Often,
I find myself thinking, 'If people would just
'do' the right thing, we wouldn't have all the
problems.' But only on rare occasion does one
find people doing the right thing …because it's

"But –– human nature being what it is, people
WILL act when they see 'what's in it for them.'
So – using the same formula I employed in Thank
You Power, I delved into the academic research
to see if anyone had found quantifiable benefits
from treating others with respect – or when one
received respect. I was stunned not only by what
I found, but by the breadth of respect's impact."

One thing Iron County politicians can claim a
lead in is disrespectful behavior. This sun
doesn't rise and set on elected politicians
alone, it extends to all those "rising stars"
who are presently in volunteer or appointed
positions. I needn't name names, you already
know who they are. Heaven forbid anyone hold
an opinion different from theirs, they lash
out like high school children, sometimes
openly, sometimes with whispering behind
your back.

On the other hand, Deborah Norville has
always carried herself well, and has always
provided better than the rest. She has no
difficulty achieving a universal admiration,
and respect. She would be an excellent model
for all to follow. She quotes George Elliot
as her inspiration:

"It’s never too late to become what you might
have been."

Please read her web page. All of it.

Bill Vajk

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Not Uncommon

Iron County, Michigan, is not uncommon. It
is like many other small communities around
the world where the many permit the few
aggressive individuals to rule.

I wanted to do a piece on the Nobel Prizes
given what's happened this year with the
Peace Prize. The sensible commentaries are
everywhere already and I feel duplication
of those is unnecessary. Obama has come
clean about this one thing and said that
he didn't deserve the prize, leaving nothing
unspoken given the absurdity of that

But I thought to look at the rest of this
year's awards, and noticed the following in
the Literature award for this year:

"Müller made her debut with the collection
of short stories Niederungen (1982), which
was censored in Romania. Two years later,
she published the uncensored version in
Germany and, in the same year, Drückender
Tango in Romania. In these two works,
Müller depicts life in a small, German-
speaking village and the corruption,
intolerance and repression to be found

2009 literature award is made to Herta Müller.

The problem in Romania was fixed by the
overthrow of the totalitarian regime. What
will fix similar problems in Iron County?
Do we need to replace our entire political
structures and fill the positions with
people who have the community's interests
as their guide? Shouldn't we be doing that

Bill Vajk

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Middle School

A special meeting if the Iron River city council
was called for and held on October 1, 2009.

West Iron County School is willing to participate
in the reuse of the Middle School. Currently the
special Middle School Committee consists of 17
individuals. Iron County Doings questions whether
or not this committee creates a "public body" as
envisioned by the Michigan Constitution and the
Freedom of Information Act.

Can a committee with a membership of 17 individuals,
all with their own areas of interests, create a
successful "Authority" to own and manage the Middle
School. A six page Authority Agreement to be signed
by one official from each municipal government and
the school district was provided.

Although the Iron County Economic Development
Corporation (EDC) is currently a party to the
planning and it is Iron County Doings understanding
the the actual rentals and management of the property
will be the responsibility of the EDC, the EDC has no
responsibilities outlined in the agreement presently
being addressed. Furthermore, while there was some
discussion about Iron River's Downtown Development
Authority (DDA) paying the bulk of Iron River's share
of the anticipated expenses, the DDA is not a
signatory for this document. And the DDA has no
elected officials, nor has the DDA ever sent a
student to the Middle School.

The agreement does not yet work for the school
district. When an approved agreement is available
we will publish it for you.

Bill Vajk

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