Saturday, November 28, 2009

From Apathy to Dependence

Some text about "The Fall of the Athenian Republic,"
that is often attributed to Professor Alexander Tyler
of the University of Edinburgh was written about
the time of our Revolutionary War, and states:

"A democracy is always temporary in nature; it
simply cannot exist as a permanent form of
government. A democracy will continue to exist
up until the time that voters discover that
they can vote themselves generous gifts from
the public treasury. From that moment on, the
majority always votes for the candidates who
promise the most benefits from the public
treasury, with the result that every democracy
will finally collapse due to loose fiscal
policy, which is always followed by a

As a nation we seem to have arrived at this stage

"The average age of the worlds greatest
civilizations from the beginning of
history, has been about 200 years.
During those 200 years, these nations
always progressed through the following

From Bondage to spiritual faith;
From spiritual faith to great courage;
From courage to liberty;
From liberty to abundance;
From abundance to complacency;
From complacency to apathy;
From apathy to dependence;
From dependence back into bondage."

Iron County seems to have missed out on the
earliest stages of this sequence because the
US, as a nation, progressed before this region
was settled with any significance.

The paradigm isn't absolutely fixed. It can, and
in the past, has been altered by the mere will
of the people. We are in the apathy to dependence
stage right now. John Archocosky and the Iron
River City Council determined that any program
of economic advance in must be self-sustaining
before being undertaken despite the fact that
literally nothing else in this county (and most
of the state, for that matter) is or has been for
some time. The simple fact is that anything worth
doing has a period of initial growth that needs care
and nurturing during the initial stages. There is no
project that shows profit on day 1.

Look at us. Our communities are unable to buy
so much as an occasional dogcatcher's van without
an outside grant of some sort. Grant seeking has
itself become a favorite local enterprise.

The challenge is to find leadership that keeps the
final transition "
dependence back into bondage"
from working in a community with an aging and
collapsing population. One of the presumptions
for economic progress is growth in population.
And that's achieved by providing opportunities,
by keeping home grown talent here, and bringing
in additional talent as needed.

Do we need to actively import leadership as well?

If we do, then perhaps we should be working on
that as a community. The sad fact, however, is
that at present we don't seem to have enough
leadership within the community to seek strong
leadership for the community.

Or do we?

Bill Vajk

For the source of the quotations above please see:

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Other Web Page

Tuesday, November 24, 2009


Saturday, November 21, 2009

More Small County Political Games

Yesterday, November 20, 2009, I went to the Iron
County Sheriff's office to request copies of some
police reports that I need to complete a story I
am doing for this publication.

I was told that I had to make an FOIA request for
all police reports at the prosecutor's office.

Each entity, the sheriff and the prosecutor, are
independently elected. Their offices and budgets
are separate and independent. The sheriff is
responsible for his own FOIA requests. Shifting
the responsibility to the prosecutor's office
is a small county political game that we, the
public, have to put up with in Iron County. In
addition, in most jurisdictions I've been in
in other states, a simple verbal request is all
that is required in order to get police reports.

What makes Iron County so special?

Bill Vajk

Friday, November 13, 2009


This is just an update from a recent posting.

It was reported by IrobCountyDoings that Iron
County commissioners had adopted a resolution
to sell a piece of real property in Goegebic
County, and authorize ANY member of the EDC
to execute the conveyance on behalf of Iron

(Editor's Note: Ben Smith's earlier report
stated, "The commissioners did select EDC
director Julie Melchoiri to sign the
documents." In as much as this seems to
be in error, IronCountyDoings hereby
corrects that statement herein and offers
appropriate apologies for any errors.
Additionally it appears Mr. Smith misspelled
the name.)

This reporter was accosted by the director
of the Iron County EDC during The Iron River
City council meeting. Claiming she received
NO such authority and that Michigan State
University (MSU, who pays her salary) would
not allow her to do such a thing. According
to the county minutes of THAT meeting
commissioner George Brunswick moved,
supported by Carl Lind "Authorizing Sale
and Execution of sale documents" of a piece
of real property in Bessemer, Mi, and
authorizes any member of the Iron County
EDC to execute the conveyance.

The EDC director claimed this reporter
lied and threatened LEGAL Action. Years
ago this reporter had been accosted by
the county chair with a similar charge and
with the same effect.

Ben Smith has the documents and will gladly
share them with any interested citizen.

Ben Smith

(Editor's Note: Strangely enough, at the time
of this posting, I have not received any emails
of protest or request for correction from
Mrs. Julie Melchiori. Had she done so, the
nasty scene at Iron River City Hall could
easily have been avoided had she wished.
Obviously she has either read the previous
report or has had someone provide her with
its contents. Mrs. Melchioiri has multiple
email addresses and physical street addresses
for the editor.)

Bill Vajk

Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Trailer

Iron River Township has some ordinances about
signs, so I have placed a trailer near the
highway in front of my house (US2.)

It will be illuminated during the early hours
of the night and will have political messages
and seasonal wishes displayed as suits me.

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Help with Medicines

November 10, 2009

The people of Iron County are being denied
the opportunity to participate in a National
Association of Counties (NCAO) discount drug
program. The county commissioners delayed
adopting the program, which would allow
the people of the county to join a drug
discount program. Commissioner Bob Black
has introduced the option over the course
of five (5) years according to commissioner
Geo. Brunswick at today's meeting.

The counties civil attorney Steven Tinti
presented the commissioners with HIS
opinion that joining would put the county
at risk of expenses emanating from the
guidelines of the program. This position
is being taken despite the fact that ten (10)
other counties in Michigan, including two
of the most populated and wealthiest, namely
Oakland and Macomb are members.

In other matters Tinti pointed out that he
was the county commissioners civil attorney
and not the attorney for the chair, when it
was pointed out that Trusts as executed on
real property managed by the chair, are not
eligible to receive PRE, Principal Residence

There will be more coming later on these matters.

Ben Smith, Iron County Doings

Monday, November 9, 2009

Yet Another Secret Transaction?

Ben Smith has filed the following story:

Iron County disposed of a piece of real
property in Geogebic County,Mi. The
property was sold through the Silver
Company that is located in Geogebic
County , Mi.

No evidence was found that the Iron County
Chair had sought bids from local realtors.

The motion to sell was made at a county
commissioners meeting on Oct.27,2009 with
NO discussion as to bids or price!
The commissioners did select EDC director
Julie Melchoiri to sign the documents.

(Editor comment: It all sounds illegal. Has
the commission selected Julie as the fall
guy in the event there are eventual legal
problems with this transaction?)

The selling price WAS NOT disclosed at the
commissioners meeting, however the your
reporter has learned that the sale generated
$19,000.00 gross, less of course commissions

More will be reported on this matter as we
investigate and uncover the reasons for all
the secrecy.

Bill Vajk

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Is Afghanistan Politically Ahead of Iron River?

Afghanistan had a recent presidential election.
neither of the two leading candidates got over
50% of the total. A run-off election was
ordered that did not happen because one of the
candidates publicly withdrew just before the
scheduled date.

In this feature, is Afghanistan politically
ahead of Iron River?

Consider the recent election in Iron River's
3rd district with the prize being a city
councilman's seat. Tom King got 7 votes out
of 18 that yields about 38% of the actual
voters. The other two candidates achieved a
total of 13 votes, far more than King and
amounting to roughly 62% of the vote.

Iron River is willing to put a man in office
who was voted against by nearly 2/3 of the

Is that any way for government to do business?

Afghanistan doesn't think so. Ordinary
democratic principals don't think so. And
I sure don't think so either. How do you
feel about it? If you don't like it,
why not do something to get this changed?

Bill Vajk

Iron County Niceness

While there are incessant complaints
on these pages, I want the readers to
realize that there are good things
about Iron County. If you want to know
some of them, please read the Iron
Mountain Daily news

or the Iron County Reporter.

Neither paper delves into any of the
corruption or "dirt" in the area for
fear of losing advertising revenue
but they're really good at putting
the positive spin about our region
out there for public consumption.

I should probably repeat this posting
every month.

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

2009 Iron River election

The voters of Iron River have seen fit to
elect Tom King to the third district. It
seems that Rosalie King found 6 friends in
the 3rd District to vote for her son.

You, the electors of Iron River, deserve
who you got.

Bill Vajk

Sunday, November 1, 2009


I was "warned" not to cross John Faccin because,
according to those warning me, "he's quite

In his latest defense of Iron County Board of
Commissioners chair Rosalie King, Faccin wrote
on his IronCountyIndependent Yahoo discussion

"Like I said in the posting I found it on the
Internet in a couple of minutes. Plus I even
posted the Homestead Tax Credit information
for you, the document and the affidavit."

Having read that information, I averr that
Mr. Faccin obviously has a reading and
comprehension problem, not a signal of
brilliance. I have never ever met a follower,
as John is following close to everyone in
positions of power in Iron County (another
oxymoron -- power in Iron County, ha ha ha)
who was bright. Indeed, followers are more
often dimwits than not.

Ayn Rand put it very well:

"Throughout the centuries there were men
who took first steps down new roads armed
with nothing but their own vision."

John Faccin is following in footsteps
designed to elevate the weak minded. He
hasn't an original thought of his own. That
doesn't mean he's not able to do damage to
others. The saddest part, however, is that
he'll forever be relegated to being a foot
soldier in the service of those who do
wield local power, such as it is. They do
it by making people like Faccin feel
important. That works soooooo well here
in Iron County.

It turns out that Rosalie King, in her
own right, is a follower too.

And so it goes (kudos to Linda Ellerbee.)

Bill Vajk

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