Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Blue Cross in Michigan

In a copyrighted article, the Washington Post
yesterday reported:

"The federal government sued Michigan's largest
health insurer Monday, alleging it abused its
market clout to inflate health-care costs and
impede competition.

"The government alleged that Blue Cross Blue
Shield of Michigan negotiated contracts that
prohibited hospitals from granting deeper
price discounts to other insurers."

The complete article can be found at:


For less typing, use:


Bill Vajk

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Iron River Township - Sewer Availability Fee

In recent times, Iron River Township began charging
a fee to all township properties where it appears
that there is a building within 200 feet of an
existing sewer. They have claimed that the authority
for this lies in state law. Please see MCL 333.12757

However, in the case Smith v. Township of Norton,
138 N.W.2d 522 (1965), the court held that:

"Anyone using the services of the township water
system by implication contracts to pay the rates
including charges, fees, and rentals. To charge
nonusers for services made available by its presence
without regard to whether any use is made of the
service or facility is in legal effect a tax and
can be effected only by complying with the statutory
requirements and not by creation of a charge within
the rate structure of the public service."

The facts are the same despite that in Iron River
Township's case the pipe holds sewage instead of
potable water. In short, in my layman's opinion,
Iron River Township must provide all the approvals
required for taxing those who own a building within
close proximity to an existing sewer and comply
with the mandates of the Hadlee Amendment to the
Michigan Constitution in order to charge them for
an "availability of sewer."

Bill Vajk

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Better Information

I’ve previously gone on record favoring a new
airport for Iron County, however I can only
support the current proposal if there's a
reasonable economic justification for it.
There’s a newly surfaced rumor that there
are commitments from large corporations and
the pilot's association to pick up the
County’s "match money." Let's have a full
disclosure of the complete story, and trot
out enforceable contracts if they exist. What
of the longer term? Who is destined to pay
security and maintenance for a new airport?
I’d like to see a ripe proposal before
county commitment is made, wouldn't you?

Any place I've lived before moving to Iron
County the travel time to the nearest airport
has been from one to three hours and the
scenery en route has definitely not been as
pretty as it is here. It seems to me that
the real problem is that our local officials
are tired of ferrying economically important
guests to and from the airport at Kingsford
and spending the day with them.

Do the plans for the new airport include
opening manned Chamber of Commerce and the
Economic Development offices next to an
airport security office? Is the addition
of sheriff’s deputies, and equipment,
included in planning and budgeting? Can Iron
County really afford everything this big
beautiful airport entails? Have we gotten
10 people required to hanger their planes
at Iron County to sign lease commitments for
hanger space? Please show me, so I can
believe that the proposed project will
benefit all of us. I want to get behind
those already supporting this project. I
like growth for the County. But general
promises lacking substance aren’t enough to
help me sleep well at night.

This airport project has been in the
background for years. Why isn't more complete
information available? Is it because the
pressure that's coming from the few plane
owners is being poorly answered by the county
rather than our crony network learning to say

Or are our appointed officials simply
representatives of a cargo cult mentality in
Iron County?

"A cargo cult is a religious practice that has
appeared in many traditional tribal societies
in the wake of interaction with technologically
advanced cultures. The cults focus on obtaining
the material wealth (the 'cargo') of the advanced
culture through magic and religious rituals and


Another thought on the matter has long been
expressed by the adage, "If wishes were horses,
beggars would ride."

How is a county that can't afford a new public
service vehicle without a receiving a grant going
to provide ongoing support for an airport that
will only be used by a handful of wealthier
individuals? If the county, through our Economic
Development Corporation, manages to round up 10
individuals who actually want to hanger their
airplanes here, why not encourage those 10 to
pony up an build their own airport as an investment
in the community?

After all, Iron County doesn't own any aircraft!

Bill Vajk

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Status of Federal Lawsuit

Our personal federal lawsuit brought complaining of the
Michigan Municipal League, The City of Iron River, and
County of Iron, Michigan is progressing.

All the documents to date are on the internet in two
places, one is at the PACER files in the federal court
system, the other files, put on the internet by the
undersigned, are listed below.

Please copy the url addresses below in order to read the
relevant documents. I have placed them in alphabetical








Bill Vajk

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