Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Is Michigan Government Complicit?

Associate Editor Ben Smith originally uncovered a fraud
that appears to be a continuing crime by Rosalie King
against the people of Michigan.

On December 13, 2001, Rosalie and the late Kenton King
purchased 221 Ruby Street, Iron River. Subsequently an
application for Homestead Exemption was filed and the
property has not contributed to West Iron Schools ever
since, although neither Rosalie nor Kenton appears to have
actually lived there at any point in time.

On July 28, 2003, they mortgaged the property in the
amount of $46,000, while continuing the homestead
exemption and while concurrently living in Caspian at
6 Berkshire Avenue and concurrently experiencing the
tax advantage of a homestead exemption there.

Michigan law permits only one homestead exemption, and
that is based on where the person, or couple, lives.

There is another piece of  paper floating around that alleges
to be a land contract for 221 Ruby Street, which we have not
included in the copies of pertinent documents since it is
neither signed, nor is it filed with the Register of Deeds
for Iron County. But when Ben complained to the Department
of Treasury about the apparent double dip by Ms. King, that
alleged land contract was the document relied on to make
enforce the claim that two homestead exemptions are justified.
But even that makes no sense, since the taxes are billed to
Rosalie, not to the actual occupant of the property, Tom. And
Tom was elected to Iron River's City Council based on his
residency on Ruby Street.

In short, they are not justified based on the documents we
provide the reader at:

The mortgage for 221 Ruby precludes any other
consideration. Liber377 Page 548 expressly states that "...the
Property is unencumbered, except for encumbrances of record."
and that the borrower will defend the title.

If the borrower, Ms King, had actually executed the land
contract to convey the property to her son, then she would,
under the terms stipulated and agreed to on Page 555, be in
default of this mortgage section 18.

Your humble correspondent  believes that the apparent
discrepancy is based on the fact that Rosalie King has been
an appointed or elected local government official in Iron
County for all or most of the duration of this apparent
criminal activity, and that the Treasury Department has
turned a blind eye to this difficulty by failing to make a
proper investigation. But I would gladly be proved wrong.

Is there complicity between the Michigan Treasury
Department and corrupt local officials? Things certainly
seem to point in that direction.

Bill Vajk

Thursday, November 15, 2012

2012 Election Roundup - Chapter 1

William B. Dixon III was born in Baltimore, Maryland, on
Christmas day in 1939. He was the grandson of a Methodist
minister who anchored the family including Bill's father
and mother, a pair of ne'er do wells who, once unfettered by
the death of the minister grandfather, rose to ever greater
heights of human malfeasance.

When I met Dixon in the 1970's he weighed in over 350 pounds,
an imposing physique for a man not quite 6 feet tall. Somehow
he had kept weight off long enough to join the US Navy and
serve a stint that provided him with funding for an education
at the University of Maryland.

Bill Dixon provides us with a wonderful example worthy of
use as an introduction to corruption. defines corruption as the abuse of entrusted 
power for private gain. It hurts everyone who depends on the  
integrity of people in a position of authority. They, of course,
have their own axe to grind but the definition, if extended  to
incorporate "entrusted power" to include all that we, as a
society, expect from the average person we meet socially or
pass by on the street, then it is suitable for daily use.

Dixon and I worked in a three story office building in Wilmette,
Illinois, in 1974. There was a lunchroom provided by the
building owners at that time, comprised of several tables
and chairs and a number of vending machines. This was well
before the dollar bill changer was developed and deployed in
such settings.

Dixon didn't eat lunch, but joined us in the lunch room rather
than sitting at his desk for that hour. Being his parents'
son, an apple that fell not far from the tree, Bill worked out
that by leaving all his change, save about 85 cents, in his desk,
he could profit those roughly 15 pennies by exchanging a
lesser amount for a dollar to anyone who was desparaate to
have something to eat from the vending machines. And he
had a taker every day until his reputation in the building spread
enough that the ploy became a trickle of one or two events a
week instead of the 5 that he had experienced in the beginning.

This example of corruption is a clear demonstration of how
cheaply some, perhaps many, people sell  their souls. At
the peak of his little scam, Dixon didn't accumulate so much
as $5 in a month, and the scam began to fail after a few
weeks. The number of people without sufficient change
dropped dramatically once they figured out the scam. But
then, his scam was obvious.

On the 10th of this month, on a dreary rainy Saturday, I
attended Angeli's Central Market in order to buy a few
food essentials. Since I had 13 items in my cart, I went
to the "about 12 items" checkout line, and my wife
Gloria, fell in second behind me with the three items
she had selected up.

After I unloaded my cart, the checker, somewhat
confrontationally, said, "You know this is the twelve item
line....." I answered, "I have 13 items, and if you like, I
can hand one to my wife who has the 2nd cart behind me.
Please let me know how you want to handle this." He
then checked me out without any more protest. Now I've
seen folks with 20 and 30 items occasionally checking
out in that lane in the past without comment from the
checker. So the corruption, if you will, arose out of some
emotion that the employee brought to work that day, not
the style of premeditated corruption that Bill Dixon
demonstrated. Or that's the way it appeared to me om
Saturday last.

Nevertheless the effects are similar, because good treatment
by those we encounter in daily life is expected and rarely
noticed, while poor treatment is remembered for long
periods. At this juncture, fairness dictates that I point out
that Angeli's ranks right at the very top for the excellent
"service model" they extend to customers, among all the
places I've done business in my lifetime. But this example
of what I consider poor treatment at the hands of that
employee will linger, and come to the forefront if ever I
encounter similar treatment in the future. I fully anticipate
excellent shopping experiences at Angeli's in the future just
as almost every experience in the past has been.

Of these two types of corruption, the example of Bill Dixon
was never correctable, and he died never quite achieving
age 60, some time back. The Angeli's example should be
self correcting because, one assumes, the employee was
having a bad day. But a periodic gentle reminder to all
employees of the reason they are there usually reinforces
an excellent service model such as Angeli's works to

The third type of corruption we discuss here today is that
of the electorate as a whole. It has occurred, in my opinion,
for two reasons. First, the public education system has failed
to impart in the electorate the sense of civic responsibility
being taught when I was in school. The second has to do
with societal changes. In the past, people used to gather
and discuss current events. Today that's been replaced by
television news, most of which, according to author and
commentator Bernie Goldberg, biased in countless ways.

The day after our recent national election,
reported that the most frequently used search term on
election day was "who is running." Just in case it isn't
clear to any of our readers that election day is far too late
to become involved in understanding the situations facing
our nation, I'll say it here. Election day is far too late to
start understanding the situation.

Even so, events in the week since the election demonstrate
that basic deception, dishonesty, and corruption were
involved in the news that was given to the electorate
during the campaigning season.

Unemployment, based on a trend only recently established,
was expected to have about 375,000 applicants, but instead
rose to more than 439,000 the week after the election, amid
much speculation that the earlier numbers had been cooked
in orde to present a better presidential image before the

The Dow Jones Industrial Average of certain, indicative,
stocks, fell by more than 12,500 points (dollars.)

The attack on the US by Islamist militants on 9/11/2012 at
Benghazi, Syria, was afforded a cover story to divert
attention, and responsibility, from the president, to such
an extent that two months later it requires congressional
hearings to get the real story, whatever that will become,
to the public. This, dear reader, is being done in the age of
instant communications with a 24 hour news cycle.

And the David Patraeus story achieved plausible deniability
through the efforts of a large group of people, all working to
provide insulation for the president from the negative aspects.

Two facts emerge clearly. The first is that with a huge  portion
of the electorate unaware of the situation facing all of us, the
election became one off Pied Piper Politics, partly attributable
to the electorate, and part to the president and his  adminis-
tration. The first part is, in your humble correspondent's opinion,
the ultimate corruption, because we, the electorate, have hurt
ourselves. That politicians, as a group, are often deceptive, is
to be expected, most especially when they are lawyers as well.

But as always, we deserve the fruits of our labor.  And, as it
turns out, voting isn't enough. It is no longer enough to sit back
and let those running for office tell us what's on offer.

We need to spread our own opinions in our communities and
make sure that out friends and neighbors have, at the very least,
a thorough exposure to the problems facing all of us, and our
take on them. No, I'm not suggesting peer pressure, but true
peership. Never has investing your ideas, hopes, and dreams,
in your friends and neighbors, been more important. It is
obviously too late to have an effect on the 2012 election, but
the next cycle has already begun, as has the time to participate
in it.

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Finance Committee Meeting Cancelled


The Iron County Board of Commissioners has
CANCELLED their Finance Committee meeting
scheduled for Thursday, October 18, 2012. The
next Finance meeting will be held on Thursday,
October 25, 2012, at 1:00 p.m. in the Commissioners
Meeting Room, Annex Addition, Iron County
Courthouse, Crystal Falls, Michigan.

Carl Lind
Finance Chair

Bill Vajk

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Senior Advanced Education

Most seniors, age 62 and over, I've run into since living in Iron
County have no idea that an advanced education is available to
them at no to little expense. You don't have to sign up for a
complete university degree, you can take a course at a time in
topics that interest you.

Northern Michigan University provides all on campus coursework
for free to seniors. From their webpage:

"Senior Citizen Scholarship

"Senior citizen applicants, aged 62 or older, are provided a full
tuition scholarship by Northern Michigan University. The
scholarship covers tuition only for on-campus classes; it does
not provide for books, fees or tuition for off-campus or Web-
based classes. To be eligible for this program, the senior
citizen should submit an application for admission (no
application fee) to the Admissions Office. Students should
then register for courses in the Student Service Center, where
they will be asked to provide proof of age."

Even the travel and books wouldn't be very expensive if
several people sign up for a course at the same time since
rides and textbooks can be shared.

I haven't been searching for other "senior" advantages
locally, and hope there are others like this available to us.
If any reader finds others, please let the editor know.

Bill Vajk

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Proposed Constitutional Amendment Prop 12-4

We wrote earlier favoring voting NO to all the Michigan
constitutional amendments that will be on the ballot this
year because as we interpreted that each and every one
is driven by private interests attempting to get a leg up
over the Michigan legislature. Why should we, the
electorate, restrict ourselves, and our elected legislature,
by making private interests part of our constitution?

That premise fails to pass the stink test.

Our take appears to be well supported by the respected
non-partisan group "The Center for Michigan." As we
review what they have written on the topic, we will issue
multiple articles here, referring to information in the
original assessment published by them.

Prop 4 is merely an attempt to shift state responsibility
to a union, the SEIU, because in the past the state failed
to assure that home care workers are reliable by nature of
not having a criminal record. Alas. not only does the state
remain involved because SEIU cannot access the criminal
registries, but the union, under the natural outcome of
the voters approving this constitutional amendment, reaches
into the pockets of workers and plucks out part of their

It must be borne in mind that many of these workers are
looking after a (note the singular) family member or a
friend who qualifies for monetary assistance. This is
part-time work and is usually limited, in nature, to a term
of a few years. For most of these workers it isn't a
lifetime career, and is most often a matter of receiving a
bit of compensation to ease the financial burdens imposed
by assisting a friend or family member.

The entire program, state-wide, appears to cost taxpayers
about $2 million a year.  With the imposition of a union,
this price is bound to escalate, costing Michigan citizens
more providing a service that is a state responsibility in
the first place, and part of those funds can be used to
promote further political action by the SEIU for their
own benefit.

Ask yourself this, as you enter the voting booth. In the
final analysis, has a labor union ever promoted anything
that didn't involve money?

The publisher and editor of this periodical agrees that
labor unions are a necessity to balance power between
employer and employee. That was their original intent
and that remains, in our opinion, their purpose forever.
It is our opinion that the state cannot oppress home care
workers who only work for a relatively short period
at a part-time endeavor to assist, usually, the elderly.

If there is to be a constitutional amendment on this
topic it should, instead, be one that defines the state's
responsibilities on this matter, while providing the
clients a free and easy telephone call channel to rapid
response assistance should things run amok.

For further information on this subject from The Center
for Michigan please see:

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Thuggery in Iron County politics?

Associate editor Ben Smith attended the Oct 9, 2012 meeting
of the Iron County Board of Commissioners. He filed the
following report that should be of concern to all residents:

At the Oct 9. 2012 Iron County Board Meeting an incident 
occurred that should be extremely offensive to the residents 
of Iron County.

Lisa Masnova, Assistant to the County Administrator, stood 
up and said that she had applied for a position on the UP 
State Fair Board and that someone had come over to her house 
and told her that if she didn’t remove her name from 
contention that “under the new board her job would be in 

First. Congratulations Lisa for standing up to the bully. For 
that’s what he is. I hope everyone learns a lesson here and 
does the same. Second, I don’t know who this individual is, 
although a name was mentioned, but if he has this much 
influence with certain members of the County Board that 
he can threaten her job, we all better take a very close 
look at these Board Members and the way they vote on 
issues. Something doesn’t smell right.

Ben Smith

Editor's note: Ben's report couldn't be better stated.

 In other news, Dr. Yarger, selected Chris Sholander as 
Deputy and Chris Sholander will be attending the 
"Medical Examiner's" Class November 9-ll 2012 in 
Lansing, Michigan.

While we appreciate that  Dr Yarger is a busy man, this
is another of those "smells funny" episodes here in Iron
County. Sholander's career has been with the Michigan 
State Police. The office of "coroner" in Michigan was
abolished by the legislature and the current requirements
for a "medical examiner" are that the office must be filled 
by a physician, which Sholander is not. In addition, the
statutes also state that, " Deputy county medical examiners 
shall be physicians licensed to practice within this state."
MCL 52.201a(1)

Furthermore, in a county with a total population smaller
than 13,000, it hardly seems reasonable that a deputy
medical examiner is necessary.

Ordinary logic, and state statute, prohibit Sholander from
holding the position of Deputy Medical Examiner and 
Mr. Sholander should, by action of the county board, be
advised that he is not sanctioned by Iron County for that
post, or to take the course in Lansing mentioned above.

Bill Vajk

Monday, October 8, 2012

Lets Be Clear

Al Perlongo is a putative member of Iron River City's city
council. He concurrently holds the position of fire chief
for the West Iron County Fire Department.

The city charter, with unusual clarity, states:

"No council member during the elected term shall hold any
compensated or appointive office or employment on or with
any intergovernmental agency or authority currently involved
in a contractual relationship with the City." [1]

Michigan, in its constitution, brings the state under the umbrella
generally referred to as Dillon's Rule. which states:

"Municipal corporations owe their origin to, and derive their
powers and rights wholly from, the legislature. It breathes into
them the breath of life, without which they cannot exist. As it
creates, so may it destroy. If it may destroy, it may abridge
and control."[2]

This city charter may not be waived or altered  by the city
council except with the approval of the state legislature. In
short, Mr Perlongo was required to resign one position or the
other at the time he was sworn in.

It is clear that the city council, and Iron River City, are not
self-policing as they are bound by the oaths of office that
they took. This is, in itself, a significant and a serious
problem that has led to all sorts of criminal mischief on the
part of the city. Mr. Perlongo was elected in 2011 followed
by swearing in and seated on the city council in January of
2012. Why has it taken 9 months for this issue to come to
a head?

He never should have been sworn in. His elected office
was forfeit on the first day he presented himself for office.
Whatever he has been paid must be returned to the city
coffers, and a review made of every vote in which he
participated to determine whether or not the decisions
of the city council are legal, and whether his presence
constituted a necessary attendance to constitute a quorum
at any meeting.

Let's be clear about this. Mr. Perlongo violated the city
charter, and the other members of the city council are
complicit in allowing the violation.

City charter: "Section 2.06. (....)

"     (a)     Vacancies.  The office of a council member shall
become vacant upon the member's death, resignation,
removal from office or forfeiture of office in any manner
by law.

 "(b)     Forfeiture of Office.  A council member shall forfeit
that office if the council member:
"(1)     Lacks at any time during the term of office for which
elected any qualification for the office prescribed by this charter
or by law;
"(2)     Violates any express prohibition of this charter;
(....) "[3]

The city council has given itself quite a job to do in correcting
any other errors that may have resulted from Mr. Perlongo's
illegal assumption of a seat on the city council. His delayed
resignation from the fire chief position does nothing to allay
this situation of illegality of his participation on the city council
to date.

And let's be clear about this too.  Once Mr. Perlongo forfeited
the seat on the city council, the only way that he can be seated
on the city council is by being appointed to the position after
he resigns as fire chief, and is sworn in once again. There is
nothing that can make his activities as a past putative member
of the city council legitimate or legal.

There's no excuse for what has happened. Sad to say, that's
nothing new where Iron River City is concerned.

Bill Vajk

[1]   charter section 2.09
[2] Clinton v Cedar Rapids and the Missouri River 
Railroad, (24 Iowa 455; 1868) and repeated in pertinent
federal courts.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Ben Smith's latest letter - 9/28/2012

Associate Editor of this publication, Ben Smith,
has sent the following letter to the hard copy
news outlets in the Iron River region. Although
your humble correspondent disagrees with many
of his viewpoints, we give voice to them here on the
basis that our publication is as non-partisan as we
are able to make it and will endeavor to provide
for the dissemination of all viewpoints including
those I personally disagree with.Ben was appointed
associate editor for this publication with my full
knowledge of his political leanings because to do
otherwise would be a head-in-the-sand approach
to life.

To augment Mr. Smith’s viewpoint we publish,
without adding further political comment here,
the contents of the proposed constitutional


To the Editor:

Yesterday I received a campaign flyer from
a group called " Protecting Michigan Taxpayers"
asking me to vote NO on Prop. 2.  They cited
several letters as their reasons for opposing it  
It turns out the letters were from the Mich. Atty.
Gen. and are only ONE MAN'S OPINION until
they are upheld by a court of law.  This group is
located in Grand Rapids, Mich. @ 10 Monroe
Center, Suite 201.

Members of my family lived through the times of
the "Sit in strikes at Briggs Manufacturing" in the
Detroit area and the lockouts at other plants in
manufacturing areas, and the confrontations at
the "River Rouge Bridge" when the Michigan
Nat'l Guard was called out to disperse the strikers!

I encourage everyone to think carefully about the
purpose behind Prop 2.   All the people of Iron
County have to do is look at their neighbors in
Wisconsin where their Govenor attemped to
balance the State budget on the backs of working
men and women!
                                          Ben Smith

The proposed constitutional amendment appears on
the proof ballot at:



This proposal would:

- Grant public and private employees the constitutional
right to organize and bargain collectively through labor

- Invalidate existing or future state or local laws that limit
the ability to join unions and bargain collectively, and to
negotiate and enforce collective bargaining agreements,
including employees’ financial support of their labor
unions. Laws may be enacted to prohibit public
employees from striking.

- Override state laws that regulate hours and conditions
of employment to the extent that those laws conflict with
collective bargaining agreements.

- Define “employer” as a person or entity employing one
or more employees.

Should this proposal be approved?


Please review the ramifications and choose well when
voting on every issue.

Bill Vajk

Iron BOC - 9/25/2012

Chicaugon Lake - Again

The Chicaugon Lake milfoil, use license, boat launch,
enforcement, and camera issues came up again at the
September 25 Iron County Commission open meeting.
At an earlier meeting it was disclosed that a camera
had been placed to capture images of the boat launch
and that no authority had been granted by the county
or Stambaugh Township for the device.

It took a few weeks to bring forth an individual to
assume all political and legal fallout that could result
from the placement of the camera that had been
removed before the September 11 meeting. On the
25th, John Archocosky, former Iron River City
manager and formerly on the County Road
Commission Board, (among other things) and a
lakefront property owner stated that he had, without
authority or support from anyone, installed the camera,
and subsequently removed it. But on Sept 11, Joe
Shubat, a Chicaugon Lake Association member,
informed the County Board that the camera had
been emplaced to discourage vandalism, and he also
stated that it had been removed.

While Archocosky acknowledged that he accepts
full responsibility for the acts, it remains clear that
there's more to this episode than he has stated,
because clearly at least one additional member of the
Lake Association knew all about it, and what two
people know usually rapidly becomes common
knowledge in a small community like the lakefront
property owners.

But then, some of us have witnessed Mr. Archocosky's
antics before. Your humble correspondent believes that
the “idle hands are the devil's workshop” might have
played a role in this episode and we look forward to
more of the same now that Archocosky has “retired.”

Fortunately for all, the events took place on public
property where any expectation of privacy is debatable.

A second issue regarding the current Stambaugh Township
ordinance and enforcement of the ordinance surfaced
during the meeting of the 25th that was well attended by
an estimated 60 citizens. One citizen stated he was filing
a lawsuit regarding the issuance of a complaint by
Stambaugh Township when his vehicle towing a boat
trailer was parked in the public access parking lot
without a requisite showing that township mandated
fees for boat launch had been paid.

The individual, inadvertently or otherwise, apparently
set a trap for township law enforcement by parking a
vehicle with a boat trailer while having left his boat at
home. Township law enforcement presumes, when
seeing a vehicle and trailer in those circumstances, that
an actual boat launch had been made. In this case that
premise was not true.

Unfortunately, for anyone who becomes involved in
any legal action in the Iron County Unified Trial Court,
appearing under these or any similar circumstances
before Judge Schwedler creates a very iffy situation
where trumped-up charges, at least as often as not,
results in a court finding favoring whoever is in the
court's good graces rather than on the actual merits
of the case.

And that, brings us to another issue. Schwedler is
elected only as probate court judge. The Michigan
Supreme Court assigns him the function of overseeing
trials in both a district court and a circuit court setting,
while the real courts of jurisdiction for Iron County
exist in nearby Iron Mountain. This assignment is
periodically made with a termination corresponding
to the election cycle.

The practice finds some authority in a state
constitutional amendment that is subsequently
misappropriated by the Michigan Supreme Court which
repeatedly assigns Schwedler a "temporary"
appointment that constructively becomes permanent.

Iron County Doings urges the state legislature to set a
one election cycle (4 years) term limit for any judge
who accepts an appointment to a "unified trial court"
position anywhere in the state with no possibility of
reelection to any judgeship in Michigan later on[1].

The concentration of judicial power to a single judge in
a county like ours is not good for its citizens, and long
term judgeships of this sort in a small community readily
lend themselves to the careless creation of fiefdoms
lacking appropriate oversight or correction. Lord Acton
was quite correct in his observation that “power corrupts”
and the conventional extensions of the concept are equally
true in this instance.

The fortuitous outcome of the September 25 meeting
relevant to Chicaugon Lake was the dissolution of any prior
agreements about lake use regulations between Iron County
and Stambaugh Township. So long as there are any lake
infection vectors available that cannot be regulated, such
as swimmers, wild animals, waterfowl, and others, there
cannot be a successful elimination of the milfoil pest in our

Part of the price of enjoying the fruits of a world economy,
as we do, is the importation of nuisances that were
previously isolated from our region by the distance alone.
We’ve had plenty of warning throughout history that such
a phenomenon presents a danger to communities where
commerce connects people who, historically, had never
met. The “black death” of the middle ages provided a clear
example as did anthrax outbreaks that resulted in the
burning of entire villages with the scattering of survivors,
and on into the civil war period where “white man”
diseases found a foothold among native Americans.

Milfoil will eventually succumb to newly invented measures,
provided those measures don't create some altogether
new problem for us. The U.S. government expended
significant resources attempting to stop the spread of
the Japanese beetle when that insect first manifested on the
US east coast, but to no avail. Before we expend fortunes
on containing milfoil we might, as a human race that is
dependent on bees as part of the mechanism necessary
to our food supply, concern ourselves with the world
wide die off of the all important bees. I noticed it in my
garden this past summer. Didn’t you? My string beans
and tomatoes were hit by the September frost while still
bearing unfertilized flowers. Someone better find a
working solution for the bee problem, and do it fast.

Cameras indeed. What were you thinking?

Bill Vajk

[1] This would encourage qualified senior lawyers
who are approaching retirement to accept the position
and thus the appointed judge is less likely to have a
personal agenda to enhance their own power and
prestige. In the aging population of the United States
it should prove no difficulty to find suitable
candidates and the citizens of smaller counties
would never be stuck with a less than ideal judge
for long periods. Michigan should also reconsider
requiring the retirement of state judges at age 70 as
human longevity has provided many of us with highly
productive elder years.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Michigan Proposed Constituional Amendments

The proof ballots, as to the candidates and other issues to be
voted on November 6, 2012 currently stands, can be seen at:


A careful reading and analysis of the proposed constitutional
amendments shows the requested changes to be demonstrably
driven by private interests that, if approved, will profit them
at public expense.

We also recommend voting against entrenched machine
politicians. We have received word that a few individuals
intend to file as write in candidates running against machine
politics that pervades Iron County. As they are non-partisan
candidates, we are able to support their endeavors and urge
all voters to NOT vote the party line on election day, but
carefully select candidates for office based on who will
best represent your interests.

Bill Vajk

Friday, September 14, 2012

Iron River City Is Insane

Today, September 14, was property tax day for summer taxes
here in Michigan. I paid mine and then drove down the
alleyway behind 413 Plum Street in Iron River to find an
exact repeat of the situation I wrote about here a while back.

The pavement has deteriorated. Instead of repaving, as would
be a permanent repair, Iron River City filled in the washouts
with gravel.

And of course this past summer it washed out once again.

Einstein defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over 
again and expecting different results. On this basis one can 
properly understand that Iron River City is insane.

This isn't the only section of pavement washed out, but it 
is representative. Through the trees you can see that the 
gravel that washed away is in the back yard of  a house
on a lawn that the city requires be mowed to suit their 
ideas. But the city doesn't see any need to maintain 
public property in a safely usable way for the public,
so the insanity grows as we understand that the public
must obey ordinances, but the city has no responsibility
to maintain infrastructure the public has paid for dearly.

This is a simple form of corruption, where tax monies are
spent not on what the public needs, but rather on things
the city council, and the DDA, take a personal interest in.

I'm happy to pay justly due taxes. I'm not at all satisfied
with the way Iron River City spends that tax money. I'm
looking at and discussing one bit of infrastructure because
it adjoins my property in Iron River. Doubtless there are
hundreds of similar places where infrastructure is regularly
permitted to deteriorate by a city council that refuses to see
past their personal interests.

Bill Vajk

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Happiness Factor

Where do we find life's pleasures these days in Iron County.
How about in the USA? These questions come to mind
because we enjoyed guests this summer, some folks we had
never met before.

Rob Shaver came to his 50th high school reunion, and
brought along his wife Sharon. They dropped by as a complete
surprise to me one summer evening just as we were about
to leave to go over to another of our properties, but as Rob
announced his name to me I knew right away who he was
and why he was here as I had heard a bit of the history of
the property we now call our home. Rob had grown up in
the house where I now live.

Gloria spent time chatting with Sharon as I showed Rob
around the property and part of the house. Quite a lot has
changed here since Rob left in 1964. In fact his first take was
that what is here now is a completely different house. It isn't.
It merely had some additions and a new overcoat, making
things look completely different. It came as news to me that
the first of the additions was built before the Shaver's arrived
here in 1951. The original house was approximately 20 feet
by 20 feet and built as a vertical log structure of 2 stories. It
is my understanding that such construction is in the Finnish

About a month later I received a letter from the Shavers. You
can find that at:

I have published it because there may be interest by others
who knew Rob during the years he was here and he wrote a
very informative letter.

The great delight Rob and Sharon took in being here brought
to mind that whole in the 20th and 21th centuries the moments
of universal delight were few and far between. I wasn't around
for the end of World War 1, but I know rather a lot about the
end of WW2, the removal from the living of bin Laden, and
the moon landing (for those who understand that we actually
did do it--including folks like me who had a direct hand in the
achievement,) moments that were pretty much universally
appreciated and celebrated with great gusto around the world.

But for the most part our delights are personal and private. To
me that means that as a human race we're not experiencing
very many exemplary giant steps in progress that we aspire
to, and perhaps the relative dearth of such achievements
could be improved by fanning some flames under those
clearly able to achieve great things.

Instead we see politicians ripping one another to shreds.

I am not alone in wanting to hear what politicos are going
to achieve for all of us rather than the 8&1/2 by 11 glossy
card I just received from the Michigan Democratic Party
telling me how evil, in their opinion, Dan Benishek has
become since going to Washington on our behalf.

What is wrong with you people who write and spend money
sending out this trash? Doesn't any political party have an
agenda or plans for the state or our region that are worthy of
disseminating to the population? Someone does, so why are
you keeping that a secret?

In the meanwhile I was pleased to meet the Shavers. I had
a similar experience a few years ago revisiting my boyhood
home, so I have some idea of how he felt. I was pleased to
be party to assisting him enjoying this period of reminiscing,

Rob and Sharon's happiness added happiness and value to
our lives. It is catching.

Bill Vajk

Friday, August 24, 2012

County Board Agenda Aug 28, 2012

The agenda may be found at:

It will be removed by years' end.

Bill Vajk

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Northstar Hospital 2nd Quarter 2012

No matter what an organization puts into financial
reports about how it is doing, the rubber hits the road
when it comes to actual deposits. The only reason we
know of for not making deposits on schedule is if the
cash that is being reported isn't actually there. Of
course there possibly are other reasons, but the
report provided by Northstar Hospital doesn't grant
us the luxury of such a disclosure nor do they so
much as inform of of how long the delay in making
the deposit was.

On page 7 of the FY2011 report,

Northstar discloses:

"In its letter dated April 30, 2012, the Master
Trustee notified the Obligated Group that its
tardiness in depositing its Quarterly Net Cash
Flow to the Supplemental Account for the quarter
ended December 31, 2011 has caused a Forbearance
Event of Default to occur, which Forbearance
Event of Default terminated the forbearance of
certain Specified Defaults, and which Forbearance
Event of Default has caused an Event of Default
under the Master Indenture."

Also of concern is that for FY2011 the deficit for
revenue/expenses only showed 22% of the total
achieved for FY2011 at the halfway, 6 month,
point. Ordinarily your humble correspondent 
expects a more closely linear distribution of the
underlying facts, and believes that reporting may
be inaccurate.

The net effect is not of major consequence to the
current latest report to be found at:

The positive figures provided in this report can
simply shift to depict a loss by years end, but
we'll simply have to wait to see what falls out in
subsequent reports.

The Russian wisdom, adapted by Ronald Reagan,
"Trust but verify" is the reason that the financial
statements are required quarterly in the first place.
To date the numbers for the $23,150,000
municipal bond issued have never looked very
good. We hope they improve and defaults don't

Bill Vajk

Monday, August 13, 2012

An Open Letter To: Patti Peretto

Subject: Congratulations & Expectations

Dear Ms. Peretto:

Congratulations on winning the recent election to
become a member of the next Iron County Board.

As publisher and editor of Iron County Doings, I
read your newspaper advertisement and the letter I
received from “The Committee to Elect Patti
Peretto.[1]” In these public offerings I saw no
specifics promised to the electorate.

As you are aware, this nation is in a significant
state of change, primarily because of the national
and international economic crisis. Unfortunately
Iron County has been in that sort of economically
depressed state at least since the late 1970’s, and
while there never was a reasonable excuse for it,
there is certainly no excuse for Iron County to
remain permanently economically depressed. It
is in the spirit of seeing the county pull itself up
out of this state of depression by its own bootstraps
that I am presently writing to you. I’ve enclosed
some of our recently published articles relevant
to the topic.

This present day economic “faith of our fathers”
no longer suffices in Iron County. You are getting
a fresh new start on the Iron County Board, and
you’ve impressed the public with your leadership
skills as well as your personal popularity. In January
2013, that rubber will hit the road, and it needs
badly to have some traction to pull the county out
of the economic quagmire we find ourselves in.

Crivitz, with a population of only 984, (see attached
article,) a small town with some similarities to our
conditions, has managed to do so. In the meantime
Iron County and its other municipalities can’t get so
much as a police car or a pickup truck without a state
or federal grant assisting in the purchase. Any
purchases by our residents that go beyond the narrow
offerings of our relatively few local merchants
necessitates either a 50 (perhaps more) mile trip, or
ordering off the internet.

I don’t think there’s a single resident of Iron County
who would support a statement that goes, “I’m stupid
and I’m poor and I really enjoy it!” None of us enjoys
the need to go out of the county or to the internet to
purchase many necessities. So why do the county and
other municipalities continue on this well established
path to failure? Iron County has some natural features
that make us an excellent stopping point for travelers.
Why aren’t we welcoming them in ways that enhance
their lives while enriching ours while creating long
term jobs for our youth?

Merely being a caretaker of county government is not,
and will never again, be considered an adequate effort
by officials elected to positions here in Iron County.
Please help drive this county to become the economic
success that it can be. All that actually requires is a
change of heart, and the rest will follow naturally.

Bill Vajk

[1] The County Clerk’s office reports not finding an
assumed name certificate, required by MCL 445.1(1).

Monday, August 6, 2012

What is it about Crivitz?

Last week your humble correspondent had occasion
 to travel to Green Bay by car. It had been about a
year since I last made the same trip. As a convenient
stopping point, a McDonalds with senior coffee and
restrooms, has existed there for some time now, I
usually stop for a few minutes and while there, smell
the local roses. Another stop to an interesting new
place is usually in order.

It is now well past obvious that Crivitz knows how
to build businesses. Properties on both sides of the
highway have been filling in with new businesses
that were not there just a few years ago. Considering
that the town is situated about 50 miles away from the
nearest regional shopping region (much like us,) Green
Bay, and the population of 984 (in the year 2000)
is significantly smaller than Iron River, we have to
wonder what it is that Crivitz gets right that Iron River
fails to do.

Once you begin to experience growth as Crivitz has,
the community becomes an attractive spot for people
driving through, as I do, to stop and to engage in
business. Obviously catering only to the local
population isn’t sufficient to attract the business
of those driving through. For one thing,
mom&pop style businesses that are closed
on Sundays and holidays, and keep 10AM to
5PM hours the rest of the time are losing a full
half, or more,  of the peak traffic that passes

What is there about Iron River that makes people
driving through want to stop?

In a word, nothing.

What catches the eye of the passer by? Is it
the swamp loving vegetation that chokes the
Iron River downtown? That’s one of the things
few things we’re noted for!

There are four gas stations on US2 available
to people passing through. And generally
speaking, they provide the highest price
gasoline along the US2 route in this region.

So that’s a reason to stop only for a bathroom call
or because the gas gauge is bouncing off the peg
at “empty.”

Other than that, we have the Riverside Mall and
McDonalds. So people who tend to stop, just passing
through, have nothing other than immediate necessity
to catch their eye and their imagination, and, really,
nothing worthwhile to come back to, just another bland
little town en route to the driver’s destination.

The most elementary marketing definition is, “the
process of developing, promoting, and distributing
products to satisfy customers' needs and wants.”
Here’s the thing….we have traffic passing through the
region. That means that potential customers/consumers
are already here because of the highway. So how much
does it take to capture a few dollars in profit from each?

Marketing 101 strategy says, “not very much.” But
primarily you have to want to, and given some thought,
act to capture that income that presently complains
about the 25 mile per hour speed limit as their only
exposure to what Iron River has to offer to most of
them. If only they had something to actually look at
and enjoy as they drive through town! The situation
isn’t much different at Crystal falls. Once you’ve seen
the courthouse, you’ve seen the courthouse. 20 years
from now, if one repeats the experience, nothing of
visitor consequence will have changed. Everything

that can be said about Iron River can be said about
the experience of driving through Crystal Falls.

Obviously the powers that be don’t want additional
income for this community? Good grief, is it going
to hurt them economically? Or are they afraid of real
economic progress because their personal power
might be diluted? I suspect that personal power can,
in this instance, be equated to prestige.

Tell you what folks, if you had anything worthwhile
beyond personal power in the community, that personal
power wouldn’t be so very important to you!

We have a county Economic Development
Corporation that ignores profit centers that are,
given the Crivitz example, are ripe for the plucking.
And it, too, is run by the same “powers that be”
who hold back this community.

Wake up and smell the coffee folks. Expand your
horizons. Personal power isn’t all that it is cracked
up to be, especially once you get your noses out of
this community and into the real world. Those of you
who are interested in a  new, bigger, airport can
easily have one once the tax base in this county
improves and usage justifies it to the taxpayer. How
will the tax base improve? Not by providing more
bedrooms in the forests and on the lakefronts. It
improves the most through creating an economic
advantage by bringing more businesses into the
community. Closing a Wardo’s and opening yet
another dollar store isn’t a wash, it is a step
backwards. The ball has been in your court for
some decades now. How come you haven’t done
a better job than this?

Hint to the local oligarchy: Making Iron County
your economic fiefdom doesn’t cut the mustard.
The only reason you’ve done that is because you
can’t make it elsewhere.

Prove me wrong.

Bill Vajk

Thursday, August 2, 2012

2012 - Men Who Cook

4th ANNUAL MEN WHO COOK for Kinship 
of Iron County

5:30 – 8:30 PM, FOOD TASTING FROM 
6:00-8:00 PM

Kinship of Iron County provides adult mentoring for 
youth throughout the county and welcomes your support!

 150 sales.  Half of the tickets are already sold so 
                   don't wait!

To reserve your place, mail your check, payable to 
“Kinship of Iron County”, with your name and address 
Kay Anderson
135 N Trybom Dr
Iron Rive, MI 49935 

Name Tags will be available at the door for all reserved 
tickets.  We do not send paper tickets to you.

Questions or reservation requests?

CALL:  503-380-6327
Published as received by Bill Vajk

Friday, July 27, 2012

Invisible Universe Lecture Reviewed

On Thursday, July 24, 2012, the Iron County
Museum in cooperation with the Caspian DDA
hosted a presentation about the invisible universe
featuring Dr. Albert Holm, former resident and
retired staff member on the Hubble Space
Telescope. Dr. Holm is an astronomer.

The event was well attended and the presentation
started off well with slides of interesting visible
features in the universe. But the lecture began to
run into trouble as soon as the discussion turned
to the first of the invisible features, “black holes”.
It began with Dr. Holm attributing the prediction
of black holes to Einstein’s theory of relativity
when, in fact, the earliest recorded prediction of a
dark star was made by John Mitchell in a 1784
letter to Henry Cavendish of science fame.
Mitchell was a cosmologist who turned some of
his initiatives to earth science, a branch of
cosmology that later became the specialties today
known as geology and geophysics, the realm my
father made his life’s work because of his keen
interest in gravity. Mitchell, too, discussed his
interest in the topic and did some interesting work
in the geophysics of the British Isles.

By 1796, LaPlace, a mathematician and astronomer,
wrote a book that included a speculative discussion
about high gravity objects that trap light, including
some of the features of what we today call a black

So by the time Einstein came along with his works,
the concept that led to black hole theory already had a
long history. Major advances in this subject came about
when Roger Penrose took an interest in the possibilities
and arrived in Princeton (NJ) to collaborate with John
Wheeler on the topic of “singularities”. I had the good
fortune to spend an evening with Penrose in 1964,
which event triggered my ongoing work on an, as
yet, unfinished paper on this topic. Wheeler was the
one who came up with the name “black hole” that is
in common usage today.

Dr. Holm’s second insult to the topic came about
when he proposed that a star “…grazes the surface
of a black hole…” A black hole has no surface. That’s
one of the salient features of the “structure” which, as
we see it today, is a gravitational anomaly created by
a huge collapsed star and fed afterwards by whatever

material gets close enough to be eaten by the black
hole. Once material goes into a black hole, it is gone
forever as far as we know.

The lecture was well intentioned. It appears that the
excellent attendance was a result of Dr. Holm’s
popularity based on past lectures he has delivered
locally. Iron County Doings wishes him, and the
museum, well while hopeful that in future presentations
he will stick to topics that he can deliver with reasonable
accuracy[1]. I attended the event with a hope to hear
about advances in black hole theory, and I left shortly
after I discovered that the lecturer was out of his depth
on the topic of my interest.

Bill Vajk

[1] It is noteworthy that "The Science Channel" has
several excellent presentations on the topic of Dr. Holm's
lecture discussed above in the series called "How
The Universe Works." Iron County Doings commends
that series to all readers with any interest whatever in the
topics covered in this article. The science channel series
is available on DVD through and other
vendors. Further highly recommended popular science
genre presentations are available with Morgan Freeman
as host.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

August 2012 - County of Iron meeting schedule

The Iron County Board of  Commissioners will be
holding their Finance Committee meetings every
Thursday at 1:00p.m. They will be held in the
Commissioners Meeting Room, Annex Addition,
Iron County Courthouse, Crystal Falls, Michigan.
Carl Lind, Finance Chair

The Iron County Courthouse Picnic will be held on
August 14, at noon, on the Courthouse lawn.
Joan Luhtanen, County Clerk

The lron County Board of Commissioners will be
holding their bimonthly Regular Meeting on Tuesday,
August 14, 2012,at l:30 p.m. in the Commissioners
Meeting Room, Annex Addition, Iron County
Courthouse Crystal Falls, Michigan
Wayne Wales, Chairman

The Iron County Board of Commissioners will be
holding their bimonthly Regular Meeting on Tuesday,
August 28, 2012, at  1:30 p.m. in the Commissioners
Meeting Room, Annex Addition, Iron County
Courthouse, Crystal Falls, Michigan.
Wayne Wales, Chairman

The Iron County Courthouse will be closed on
Monday,September 3 ,2012, for the LaborDay
Wayne Wales, Chairman

Copies to :
Iron County Board of Commissioners
Iron County Press
All Department Heads
Bulletin Board


Bill Vajk

Monday, July 23, 2012

July 24, 2012 County Board Agenda

IN 2016

TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012  1:00 P.M.
TUESDAY, JULY 24, 2012



MEETINGS OF: June 26th and July 10th
June 19th, 20th, 21st, 28th and July 5th, 12th

(3 minutes each/20 minutes maximum)

REPORTS:  County Administrator
                      Equalization Director
                      Cooperative Extension
                      Register of Deeds
                      Animal Control
                      Prosecuting Attorney
1.   Approval of Finance Committee’s 07/05/12
Review of Bills $     89,814.21   (Lind)   

2.   Approval of Finance Committee’s 0712/12
Review of Bills $ 1,972,033.19   (Lind)

3.   Consider Approval of Chicagon Lake Concession’s
Three (3) Year Contract for Pentoga Park Concession

4.    Consider and Discuss An Increase of Monies
Given by the County of Iron to the Northwoods
Animal Shelter

5.     Discussion on the Recreational Trail

6.     Consider and Make Decision on Plat Book Photo Cover


1.    Presentation on the New NorthStar Ambulance
Garage (Tousignant)

2.     Consider and Take Action on the Administration Fee
Disbursement to the Four (4) Senior Centers (Same Formula
as Last Year)



Our Courthouse Picnic is Scheduled for Tuesday,
August 14th at Noon on the Courthouse Grounds.

The Next Board of Commissioners Meetings will be
held on August 14th and August 28rd at 1:30 p.m. in
the Commissioners Room, Courthouse Annex, Crystal
Falls, Michigan.



Informational Letters and Reports:                   
1.    Construction Code Report - June 2012
2.    Northpointe Minutes - June 2012

3.    Authority on Aging - June 2012

4,    Iron County Fair Association - June 2012

5.    Airport Committee Minutes - June 2012

6.     Iron County Conservation District - June 2012


Bill Vajk

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Another Otiose Municipal Ordinance

First we discuss the proceedings that led to the
enactment of the Iron River ordinance prohibiting
the feeding of certain wild animals in the city of
Iron River. They're "strange" to say the least. The
second set of problems lies in the premises the
ordinance states in order to justify itself. Not one
single premise is proven in any acceptable fashion.
Even more, several are unabashed lies where the
situation in Iron River is concerned.

And we ask why the ordinance stopped short of
banning the sale of products, within the city
limits, that have a solitary use that is banned by the
ordinance. The question is, naturally, rhetorical,
because such an ordinance would never withstand
scrutiny by the purveyors of those products who also
have tremendous local political clout. As a matter of
fact, Iron County Doings believes they are unaware
of this enactment and the ordinance may yet be
repealed once they take notice and express their 
commercial interest in it.The ordinance, as enacted,
is bound to reduce sales of some products by vendors
doing business in the City of Iron River.

We begin with March 21 where one individujal
decided the city should enact the ordinance. Iron
County Doings asks how he was representing the
interests of the community as opposed to some sort
of personal individual initiative.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012 2 PM Minutes

"Deer Management: Mayor Tarsi wants an Ordinance
preventing the feeding of white tail deer in the City. A
sample ordinance was passed out for their review, and
will be discussed at the Workshop on April 3rd."

No minutes for an April 3, 2012 workshop are
available online at the time of publication of this
article. However, on April 18, a meeting was held to
accept public comment on the proposed ordinance.

Animal Feeding Ordinance
Wednesday, April 18, 2012 1:45 P.M. Minutes
Mayor Terry Tarsi opened the Public Hearing at
1:45 p.m. in the Council Chambers at the Iron River
City Hall. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited.
Roll Call: Alfred Perlongo, Ray Coates, Edward
Marcell, and Tarsi. Absent: Thomas King.

"Also present: Manager John Archocosky, Attorney
Mark Tousignant and Clerk Kathy Anderson. Public
in attendance: Jere Fritsche, Craig Richardson, Bernie
Sacheck, Bob Kostka, Char Soderbloom, Rosalie King,
and Reporters Marian Volek (WIKB/IC Reporter),
and Ben Smith (Iron County Doings).

comment on a proposed Ordinance that prohibits the
feeding of certain animals, birds and waterfowl within
the City of Iron River. This Ordinance was introduced
on April 3, 2012, and will prohibit the feeding of the
following animals in the Iron River City limits: deer,
moose, bear, coyote, fox, wolf, raccoon, ducks, geese,
swans, seagulls, crows, turkeys and pigeons. Bob
Kostka asked how this will prevent deer from eating
from bird feeders, bushes, flowers and vegetation in
yards. Tarsi noted this is a first step towards keeping
hem out of town. The Code Enforcement Officer may
be directed by the Manager or Chief of Police to
enforce the ordinance. There being no further comment,
Coates moved to close the Public Hearing at 1:59 p.m.
Marcell seconded. All were in favor. Motion carried."

Partial trascript from:

Wednesday, April 18, 2012 2 PM Minutes


Adopt Ordinance Prohibiting the Feeding of Certain
Animals: Marcell moved to adopt as written, the
Ordinance published in the April 18, 2012, edition
of the Iron County Reporter. The Ordinance will
be published again and go into effect 30 days after
publication. Coates seconded. All in favor; motion

With some convincing by Mayor Tarsi, the
ordinance, published in full below, is now in effect.
Wherever you read, "it has been determined" there
is no reference available as to who the mystical
figures that made the determinations were. It
certainly was not Iron River's city council!  A review
of  the information made available to city council
members was limited to ordinances enacted by
several other communities in Michigan's upper
peninsula, at least one of which had clearly relied
on another by copying the entire ordinance from its

Reading the ordinance for content, we find that if
a person has a domesticated raccoon, they're
required to either take it outside of the city limits
to feed it, or starve it to death! The same is true
for racing pigeons. As your humble correspondent
has written before, if you're going to copy someone
else's work, city council, try to copy from an A
student instead of a failing one as you have done.

Recognizing some of the problems with this
ordinance, I wrote a FOIA to the health department
asking about any reports of contaminated drinking
water or private property because the ordinance
states that those are results arising from the feeding
of the listed wild animals. The Health Department has
no such reports. Deep wells, such as Iron River uses,
cannot be contaminated by the listed animals. The
reason for including the statements, unabashed lies,
in the ordinance, is to bring the act within the
acceptable "police powers" granted to cities to
protect the public health and welfare. The city
council is clearly willing to lie in order to achieve
its goals that have nothing to do with public health
and welfare. We'll probably never find out why
Mayor Tarsi railroaded the city council into
enacting this mess that is legally an enforceable

The text of the ordinance, as published in the Iron
County Reporter, follows:

Ordinance No. __-2012 to the City of Iron River
Code of Ordinances, prohibiting the feeding of
certain animals, birds and waterfowl with the City
of Iron River, was adopted by the City Council for
City of Iron River at its regular meeting held on
April 18,2012


The following words, terms and phrases, when used
in this article, shall have the meanings ascribed to them
in this section, except where the context clearly indicates
a different meaning:

1.1    “Certain animals, birds and waterfowl” means
deer, moose, bear, coyote, fox wolf, raccoon, ducks,
geese, swans, seagulls, crows, turkeys and pigeons
which reside or otherwise spend time in this area on
either a temporary or permanent basis, both wild,
domestic, or held in captivity.

1.2    “Deer” means any ruminant animal of the family
of Cervidae having deciduous antlers, usually in the male

1.3    “Feed or feeding” means:

A.    The intentionally act of furnishing of, or otherwise
making available, any human food, pet food, hay, forage
product or supplement, or other substance which is likely
to be consumed by certain animals, birds and waterfowl;

B.    To give or supply food to and/or providing items of
nourishment which are likely to attract certain animals,
birds and waterfowl.

1.4    “Natural unintentional feeding” means food or
other substances consumed by certain animals, birds
and waterfowl produced by, or existing in nature; not
items that are artificial or brought to or transferred to
a particular place from another location.


It is the purpose of this article to prevent such
conduct that may attract and concentrate certain
animals, birds and waterfowl within the city limits
of the city as it has been determined that the
presence of certain animals, birds and waterfowl
especially in large numbers, poses a public health
nuisance by contaminating drinking water supplies,
beaches, swimming facilities and the private property
of residents of the city. It has also been determined
that the congregation of certain animals, birds and
waterfowl create a hazard to motorists.


A. It shall be unlawful for any person to knowingly
or intentionally keep, maintain or cause to be fed or
provide or make available food or other substance
for the consumption by certain animals, birds and
waterfowl as described by this article within the
city, either on private property or on public property,
excepting that feeding activity further described in
subsection C of this section.

B.      No person shall create or foster any condition,
or allow any condition to exist, or continue, which
results in a congregation, congestion or other grouping
of certain animals, birds and waterfowl as described by
this article.

C.    This section shall not apply to feeding activities
supervised and conducted by the city in conjunction
with its city parks, or by the city in the conduct of
management practices for the control of certain
animals, birds and waterfowl as defined by this
article. This section shall not apply to a person
engaged in the feeding of songbirds so long as the
food and manner of feeding is not attracting certain
animals, birds, waterfowl as described in this article.
This section shall not apply to natural conditions
which result in unintentional feeding such as the
cultivation of a lawn, garden or landscaping, nor
shall it apply to natural, unintentional feeding as
described in this article.


A.      Any person violating any provision of this
article shall be responsible for a municipal civil
infraction. The penalty for the first offense shall be
$50.00 and for the first repeat offense $150.00.
Repeat offense shall be determined as defined in
section 31.02 of the Iron River Code of Ordinances.
For any second or subsequent repeat offense, the
fine shall be no more than $500.00.

B.      It shall be the duty of the chief of police of
the city or his authorized representative to enforce
the provisions of this article.

C.    If, after investigation, the chief of police of
his authorized representative determines that a
violation of this article exists, he shall be authorized
to issued a municipal civil infraction notice and/or a
municipal civil infraction citation to any person that
is responsible for violating the provisions of this
article. Service of said civil infraction citation or
civil infraction notice shall be made in accordance
with section 31.04 of the Iron River Code of
Ordinances. Permitting a violation of this article on
private premises is hereby declared to constitute a
nuisance per se. Upon application to any court of
competent jurisdiction, the court may order the
nuisance abated and/or the violation restrained and
enjoined. The enforcement of this article by
abatement of any nuisance by the enforcing officer
or by application to any court of competent
jurisdiction for abatement by judicial decree or
writ shall not preclude enforcement of this article
by the issuance of a municipal civil infraction and
the imposition of fine and costs herein provided.

This Ordinance shall be effective thirty (30) days
after publication.  R184/25


Bill Vajk

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Patti Peretto threw her hat into the political arena
recently, announcing her run for a seat on the
County Board. We memorialized the event in an
article about machine politics, "One machine
candidate as announced that 'I don’t care for
the direction the county is headed in.'"

IronCountyDoings stands against machine politics
regardless of party, so we're non-partisan in all
regards. The distribution of machine politics has
run the gamut crossing all party lines around the

So here's Ms. Peretto's ad in this week's edition
of the Iron County Reporter:

What's wrong with this picture? Let's take it line
by line.

"10 years experience, served as chair and finance

And still the county is economically distressed
with a continuing population decline.

"6 years Department of Human Services Board."

Yet today insufficient use is being made of the senior
centers. Indeed, more decline.

"Team Player"               


The elective position for which Ms. Perretto is running
is to represent the people of her district! This isn't a
team sport! In fact, she's supposed to place the concerns
of the voters in her district above those of other areas
of the county, especially where they conflict.

What does "team player" really mean in the context of
an individual running for office? It means she's willing
to trade the interests of the people who elected her in
exchange for something that benefits others. "What
others?" is heard from the galleries observing this
event. The answer is plain enough, those she's announced
she's already on a team with, the local political machine
that looks after its own at the expense of the electorate
and the taxpayers.

She goes on to say, "I believe we all have to work
together to make our county a great place to live and
work." Well, Ms. Perretto, in the 10 years you served
during your last stint on the county board, what did
you achieve? I don't count grants from state or federal
sources as amounting to anything worthwhile.  I don't
count patronage jobs that you've had a hand in over
the years. I don't count the grooming of your successors
who have presently failed the machine politics cause.

"Your support will be greatly appreciated."

Really? How did you demonstrate that appreciation after
former elections? What did you achieve, Ms. Peretto, in
appreciation of being elected? The voters should be asking
themselves, "Was I any better off at the end of Patti's last
turn at the helm than I was before?"

The answer is obvious.

Machine politics places the politician's wishes above the
needs and wants of the taxpayer. The vast majority of us
living in Iron County don't want that.

Please remember all this at the ballot box. And remember
that not voting is a vote favoring the political machine that's
out to benefit itself at your expense.

This article is the opinion of its author.

Bill Vajk

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Recent Arrivals

I recently purchased and received three volumes of
Corpus Juris Secundum: Complete Restatement Of 
The Entire American Law As Developed By All 
Reported Cases (1936-current.) These volumes
deal with Municipal Government and provide very
helpful legal insights with an eye to resolving the
issues your humble correspondent has been experiencing
with the City of Iron River for the past several years.

These volumes, along with other legal library texts
are available for review and loan to others involved
in action involving local governments within easy
driving distance of Iron River.

When I lived in Illinois I attended the law library at
the Skokie Courthouse which was very well stocked
and includeed the entire CJS set along with other
series that complimented these texts, so I have a
working familiarity with the books I purchased. I
suppose such convenience is part of the cost of living
in this rural environment.

Living here has many advantages that offset most of
the inconveniences. I do wish that many of our local
officials were better educated, it would make
dealing with basic issues much easier for everyone.

Bill Vajk

Iron County Schedule - July 2012

The Courthouse Complex will be closed on Wednesday-
July 4, 2012, in observance of the Holiday.
Wayne Wales Chairman

The Iron County Board of Commissioners will be
holding their Finance Committee meetings every
Thursday at 1:00 p.m. They will be held in the
Commissioners Meeting Room, Annex Addition.
Iron County Courthouse, Crystal Falls, Michigan.
Carl Lind Finance Chair

The Iron County Board of Commissioners will be
holding their bimonthly Regular Meeting on Tuesday.
July 10, 2012. at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioners
Meeting Room, Annex Addition, Iron County
Courthouse, Crystal Falls, Michigan.
Wayne Wales Chairman

The Iron County Board of Commissioners will be
holding a special meeting as a Committee of the
Whole (Policies & Procedures) on Thursday, July 12,
2012, at 12:00 p.m.
Wayne Wales Chairman

The Iron County Board of Commissioners will be holding
a Special Meeting on Monday. July 16, 2012, at 4:30 p.m.
at Camp Batawagama in Crystal Falls, Michigan, to
review and discuss issues relating to Camp Batawagama
and to tour the facility.
Wayne Wales Chairman

The Iron County Board of Commissioners will be holding
a Public Hearing for the purpose of Combining the Offices
of the Register of Deeds and Clerk in the Year 2016, prior
to the Board of Commissioners bimonthly Regular Meeting
on Tuesday, July 24, 2012, at 1:30 p.m. in the Commissioners
Meeting Room. Annex Addition, Iron County Courthouse,
Crystal Falls, Michigan.
Wayne Wales Chairman

Copies: Iron Co. Board of Commissioners, Iron Co. Press.
All Dept. Heads, Bulletin Board

Published as received this date - Bill Vajk

Monday, July 2, 2012

Machine Politics Runs Iron County, Michigan

I spent about three decades living in the suburban
Chicago region. In the beginning I was thoroughly
astonished that in 1974 no one could buy fresh
meat at the local supermarket in the evening. The
meat cutters union had a rule that no meat cutter
worked past 5PM on weekdays, and they didn’t
work on the weekends either. The union contracts
required a union member to be on duty at the store
where fresh meat was sold in order to service the
customers. So if you worked a normal workweek,
you could never buy fresh meat in Chicago or the
collar counties surrounding that city.

The mayor of Chicago was a fellow named Richard
J. Daley, father of the mayor who more recently
retired in order to make room for Rahm Emanuel,
a machine politics guru who jumped out of his high
ranking White House job into the top political
(machine) job in Illinois, his home state, that being
the mayor of Chicago.

The elder Daley, late in his life and late in his multi-
decade career as mayor of Chicago, had a meeting
with the union heads, and quite suddenly the union
rules changed with fresh meat available in the
supermarkets just like the rest of the United States.
Wherever it exists, machine politics reaches, and
controls, every aspect of life! What legitimate
interest did the City of Chicago have in private
business dealings between the union and the regional
supermarkets? Sorry, that’s another of my rhetorical
questions, the answer being “none.” But it didn’t matter,
because Daley thus ingratiated himself to the public at
large. And that love of the man wasn’t limited to the
city alone, it affected everyone in the collar counties,
the bulk of the population of the entire state. Of course
restrictions on the sale of fresh meat should never have
been imposed in the first place, but that’s another story
in itself.

It was the same elder Daley who, without reservation,
told the press “I’m wearing mistletoe on my coattails”
when pressed for some information Daley was not
willing to give up. And surprisingly, to someone only
recently arrived to the region at the time, that resolved
the issue, effectively shutting down any possibility of
getting any answer at all to the question originally

Having lived in an overtly machine politics region,
that is a place where the machinations of machine
politics weren’t concealed, it became obvious, soon
after I moved here, that the same sort of control
system is at play in Iron County. The first signal I
saw that “the fix was in” happened at an Iron River
DDA meeting when Hovey company was in contention
for being named as the developer of the Central School.

The DDA chairman, Gibula, threw the discussion open
to decide among potential candidates. From the floor
came information that other experiences with had been
favorable. Without further discussion Gibula moved that
Hovey be accepted as the developer of the property, a
vote was rushed through, and the deal was done. But
Hovey’s trip to that Iron River meeting was partly
enabled by the dispatch of Julie Melchiori, then
EDC developer, to Kingsford airport, the facility to
which Hovey had flown his own aircraft from downstate.

Naturally none of the other contenders, if there even were
any, received such favorable attention.

It came as no surprise that Julie took the occasion to
promote a new Iron County airport, a facility that the
public had voted down with its feet, somewhat earlier.
Julie said the county airports were too small for a plane
like the one Hovey flies to land. Thus it has become clear
that a new Iron County Airport is part of the agenda that
the Iron County political machine is promoting on behalf
of one of the machine’s members, and that Julie Melchiori
is, in your humble correspondent’s opinion, one of the Iron
County political machine’s most willing operatives.

Once disclosed, the breadth of the operations of the Iron
County Political Machine becomes somewhat transparent,
with tendrils reaching everywhere. The problem is, of
course, that some good emanates. But the real problem is
that private initiatives, meaning resulting in private benefit
with no significant impact to the good of the general
population, is the strength of all machine politics. And
that’s always done at public expense.

Saving the “Middle School” to be put to “public use” was
one such project. Having personally toured the building, I
see nothing there worthy of continuing to maintain at
public expense. The building should have been torn down
when it became surplus to the needs of the school district. 
It isn’t as though we don’t already have plenty of viable
vacant commercial property in Iron County. So privately
owned commercial property remains vacant while the Middle
School is operated at a loss by a consortium of local
municipal governments at public expense, leading to a
further decline of commercial property in Iron County
because of private interests by the local political machine.
Please see our earlier article about parking regulations in
Iron River destroying the commercial viability of the upper
floors in Iron River’s commercial buildings.

That’s precisely the problem with machine politics. It
doesn’t allow for the political and economic freedoms that
our form of government promises, placing the political
machine’s interests ahead of public need. And it is far
worse when the machine operates in secret where the
general public cannot seem to get a handle on it. That’s
the case here in Iron County.

What we are now witnessing is the re-emergence of
stronger political operatives into the current election cycle
because partial control, at the county level, has been lost.
One machine candidate as announced that “I don’t care for
the direction the county is headed in.” Of course not. Tom
King got fired from his cushy dogcatcher job. Operative
Julie Melchiori has been more or less forced to seek
legitimate employment, although there is some doubt at
to her entrepreneurial skills. And there’s probably no
end to the political machine toes that have been stomped
upon by the reform government that managed to wrest
control at the county level. “Not ready from prime time”
Faccin was also forced out, but is now, once again, in
contention for an elective position.

Patronage hiring by government is always necessary to
maintain control by machine politics, and in counties such
as this, people sell out remarkably cheaply. But of course
taxes fund all our government functions rather thinly in the
first place, so rather than to hire a Tom King whose
functioning as a county employee is severely limited, it is
far better from the public’s perspective to spend just a little
bit more to hire and retain a fully qualified sheriff’s deputy
who is qualified to do more good when the chips are down.
But Tom is the son of a county board member who is also a
machine politics operative.

You may have noticed that I didn’t name, or locate, the
background organization that’s running Iron County through
a political machine. I’ve done this to entice the reader to think
about this problem, and to figure it out for themselves. On
that journey you may discover things I cannot put into print,
and we’ll all be ahead for your thought and concern. But
please think about the problems, and decide whether you’re
in favor of enriching the members of the political machine
at public expense whenever you’re in a voting booth this

Bill Vajk

Sunday, June 24, 2012

August 7, 2012 Primary

We thank the Iron County Clerk for proof copies of the Iron
County ballots for the August 7, 2012 primary election.

For your convenience and access, we have published the
proof ballots at the internet web locations listed below.

Please be registered and vote!

Bill Vajk

Blog Archive