Monday, October 28, 2013

IR City Council Incompetent

I submitted the following to both the Iron Mountain Daily News
as well as the Iron County Reporter. The Daily News, as far as
I have been able to discern from emails with the editor there, is
deathly afraid of being sued by any individual cast in a bad light
in any article, even letters to the editor. That, in my opinion, is
a lousy way to run any publication, let alone a newspaper.

Our freedoms are sourced, by many authorities on the subject,
in a document called the Magna Carta. What if those barons,
who forced the English king to capitulate and sign the document,.
had been afraid of repercussions after the fact. Fear of the
wrongdoer is precisely what leads to the class bully as well
as political tyranny. We awarded Mr. Perlongo a "Lump of
Coal" award for his performance on Iron River's city council
last year. Please see:

Our letter to the editors follows:


They say that eternal vigilance is the price of liberty. Vigilance
is not enough, people have to act on the information as well.
One of the initiatives scheduled for the next ballot in Iron River
is the elimination of “conflict of interest” from the Iron River
city charter. The change was introduced by Al Perlongo and
approved by the city council in a meeting on August 15, 2012.
He cast the deciding vote. His membership on the council,
while concurrently being fire chief, was specifically prohibited
by state laws and the very charter restriction he illegally voted
to eliminate. Perlongo was in violation of charter and laws but
he felt he had a higher calling that was more important and, just
like Richard Nixon, he put his personal interests first. He should
not benefit from this violation of state law (MCL 15.182, 15.183)
and the charter (§ 2.05(a).) Why did the state have to get involved
before Perlongo could be persuaded to resign? Where was our
local political “leadership” on this?

I have once again written to the Michigan Attorney General and
the county prosecutor, this time asking that the ballot initiative be
removed before the election. As the time is very short, I urge all
Iron River taxpayers and voters to write, or call, the prosecutor
and the Attorney General.

Fredrick Hayek, in his landmark book The Road To Serfdom,
writes that man is free who must obey only the law, not other
men. Hayek’s proposition is mostly true. Does the proposed
amendment to the city charter impinge on your freedoms? Yes,
by allowing an individual’s personal interests to control while
overriding law. At the same time it places us ever more firmly
on the road to serfdom, a road we really don’t want to be on.


The problem with the state laws is that they lack the teeth of
explicit criminality, and political figures like Iron River's
mayor only seek to enforce laws that work somehow, in any
way, to their own advantage. We repeat, from our earlier
article, a quotation that seems not only appropriate, but worthy
of repetition because it remains true today for Iron County:

"It is not to be denied, that the leaders of the radical party
in the Gulf states since the Rebellion have many of them
been men of bad character, and without principle, and
that still more of them have been ignorant, and unused to
the exercise of political power."[1]

They flex their "power muscles" by making a big deal of fining
the owners of the Coast to Coast building demonstrating,
once again, that the City of Iron River is averse to all business
that is trying to make the local economic situation better. Is it
any wonder Iron River is such an economic failure? Why isn't
the city, and the Chamber of Commerce, taking steps to
encourage business coming into the city and the county?

Elected officials at all levels take an oath of office, but Iron
River's politicos have been very ignorant of what that means,
behaving instead as though they have inherited a local
fiefdom, and behave like a landlord of yesteryear instead
of an enlightened contributor to the local economy.

The city council minutes of 3/20/2013 have the following
information as the penultimate entry:

"Perlongo tendered his letter of resignation effective 9 a.m., 
Thursday, March 21, 2013 from the Iron River City Council. 
 Tarsi thanked Perlongo for his time in office."

What is omitted, of course, is the reason for the resignation.
The county prosecutor notified Mr. Perlongo that his holding
office concurrently with being the fire chief is prohibited by
state law. The present problem is that Perlongo's resignation
left unfinished business that the members of the city council 
have proven incompetent to resolve. If they cannot take
care of such a simple matter, what of more complex issues?

They've clearly proved themselves incapable of finding
reasonable resolution to those as well. Just look around you
in the city of Iron River. And while you're at it, take a look 
at the heating bill for city hall and ask yourself, "Why?"

Bill Vajk

[1] American Constitutional Decisions, Charles Fairman,
Henry Holt and Company, New York, 1948

Friday, October 18, 2013

Lawless City

The following was transmitted to the listed recipients today
18 October 2013:



Ms. Melissa Powell                Attorney General Bill Schuette
Facsimile: (906) 875-0646

Perry Franzoi

Dear Recipients:

When legal pressure was finally applied to Mr. Alfred Perlongo
whose membership on Iron River’s City Council was illegal
because he had a prohibited conflict of interest led to his
resignation, the undersigned believed all problems caused by
that episode in Iron River’s history was resolved.

I was mistaken.

On August 15, 2012, the Iron River City Council considered
and approved a city charter amendment to section 2.05(a). A
copy of the minutes is attached to this letter. The amendment is
designed to remove the prohibition against conflict of interest,
the exact charter restriction that Perlongo was violating by his
membership on the city council, and the exact restriction for
which his illegal affirmative vote was the deciding vote on the

On September 11, 2012, the issue of Perlongo’s illegal
participation was brought forth in a special meeting. Minutes
are attached. No resolution was achieved because the City of
Iron River and its city council behaved and continue to behave
in the lawless fashion that is the hallmark of this city.

I have been advised that the Attorney General and the
Governor of this state have signed off approving the proposed
charter amendment and that this issue is now scheduled to
appear on the November 2013 ballot for approval by the voters.

In as much as the approval of the measure by Iron River’s City
Council is void, the undersigned, as a taxpayer in the City of Iron
River, objects and complains to the addressees of this letter of
complaint requesting that the appropriate legal action be taken to
remove the measure modifying Iron River’s City Charter before
the pending election.


                William J. Vajk

Iron River Charter: excerpt

Section 2.05.  Prohibitions.

(a) Holding Other Office.  Except where authorized by law, no
council member shall hold any other elected public office during
the term for which the member was elected to the council.  No
council member shall hold any other City office or employment
during the terms for which the member was elected to the council. 
No former council member shall hold any compensated appointive
office or employment with the City until one year after the expiration
of the term for which the member was elected to the council.  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.  Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit
the council from selecting any former council member to represent
the City on the governing board of any regional or other
intergovernmental agency.


See the following for submitted information:

Bill Vajk

Monday, October 14, 2013

A Final Notice to Iron County

William J. Vajk
14 October 2013

Mrs. Melaine Camps Ms. Melissa Powell Facsimile: (906) 875-0646

Mr. Carl Lind Mr. Jim Brennan
emailed                 emailed

Dear Mrs. Camps: I have grown weary of notifying the other
local politicians regarding the illegality of Iron River’s imposing
illegal excise taxes disguised as legitimate charges relevant to
their water system. In fact, I was weary of notifications to your
predecessor, but since you are relatively new to your position,
you have this final notice before suit regarding 413 Plum Street,
Iron River. Please note that the local water/sewer ordinances
were illegal when originally enacted in 2000, and the most
recent enactments, modifying the ordinances, continue to be
illegal for the same reasons.

But this letter is to you and Iron County since, following the
lead of the City of Iron River, you are presently in violation
of state laws by following collections procedures lacking
statutory authority for excise taxes illegally imposed by the City
of Iron River. To simplify matters explaining some of the
illegality of your part, I have attached a copy of Attorney
General Opinion #7263. It is for you, as an elected official,
to determine whether you will stupidly, as their dupe, follow
the precedent established by those who came before you,
or whether you will obey the constitution and the laws of the
state of Michigan as you promised when you took your oath
of office. Please read enclosed the AGO carefully and
understand it and all its implications.

This is the final notice before lawsuit. Our state Attorney
General has been CC’d a copy of this letter since the executive
branch of the state will be in the sad position of attempting to
defend that which the attached AGO has held illegal, although
for the life of me I cannot comprehend why the Attorney
General’s office would state your actions are illegal one day,
and then blindly defend the same actions some months later.

Iron County has a long and much revered history of stupidly
violating state and federal laws. We will shortly see if that
stupidity prevails in AD 2013. That I lack respect for the
opinions, and practices of local politicians has history as the
teacher. The lack of respect has been well earned.

s- William J. Vajk

CC: Attorney General Bill Schuette,


For a copy of the Attorney General Opinion please see

Will stupidity continue to reign in Iron County. 

Bill Vajk

Friday, October 11, 2013

General Observations About Our National Government

There's an asinine government shutdown at the moment.

I liken the finger pointing to the echos in a multi-
directional cave. The origin is in the direction
opposite to the last echo, aka the finger point.

Our (USA) government has functioned pretty well for
most of its existence. It falters when change greater
then it can absorb is imposed.

I think Ben Franklin would be a very interesting
character to have alive and observing the modern day
goings on. Perhaps some brilliant programmer can
assemble a group of virtual Ben neurons and program
them to emulate him so we can get his answer to the
questions that besiege us today.

It wouldn't solve anything, of course. But we'd have
a definitive answer to the question whether the USA
would have survived if the founding fathers had to
solve modern problems. As if slavery weren't difficult

Perhaps they'd simply have evaded the issues, just as
they did with slavery, and just as much of the "ruling
class" is doing today.

Did you see the huge gathering of illegal aliens on the
Washington Mall the other day? The mall that was opened
just for them, while veterans were locked out of the
open air memorial built to honor the WW2 fallen?

Those illegal aliens will doubtless eventually become
US citizens. I don't object to that, but just wait
till they realize that once they're no longer a member
of an underdog class, the same people who welcomed them,
smiled, and squeezed their hands will turn against them
just as they have turned against America's middle class.

Platitudes, oh platitudes. As my now deceased long time
good friend Alex Zelchenko used to mutter, "They all lie."

"The more things change, the more they stay the same."
(Probably best attributed to Alphonse Karr (1808-90)
"plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose")

Bill Vajk

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Back to Basics

The following was trimmed down to fit the Iron County
Reporter's criteria for letters to the editor. Additional
comments follow.

What Iron County needs today is to get back to the basics
because we are in a free fall that terminates in failure of the
community unless we take action starting today. And today
is possibly too late. Part of the solution requires a change
of heart of the population by grasping control of our local
governments and demanding performance by our politicians.
They’ve been running wild for quite some time now.

The two essentials that no community can ever get away
from are sufficient population and enough jobs to support
the needs of the people. At present the local numbers for
both have dropped below our capacity to provide for our
own needs. So we have inane decisions by government to
force people to pay for water and sewers they don’t use,
garbage they don’t put by the curb, and closing public
thoroughfares that fail.

Apparently we have a lot of housing that’s being abandoned.
A government entity needs to be charged with repopulating
the county and reusing those houses. A larger population
forms the basis for more sales of essentials and could
encourage manufacturing to come to Iron County. We need
to stop wasting time and money on frills like disk golf and
open mike nights. The county’s EDC has failed us like Nero
fiddling while Rome burned.

As a prelude to further elimination of wasteful municipal
governments through consolidation, put a stop to Iron River
City Hall employees working 82% of the hours everyone
else puts in while collecting 100% of the pay. We know that
governments traditionally operate very inefficiently. City hall
can be cut back to 50% of the hours and 50% pay without
any shortfall in the functioning of government. Money saved
would pay for the emergency repairs to roads.

I've been told there's a lot of abandoned housing around Iron
County. In as much as governments end up owing it, there's
no reason those deemed to be habitable cannot be sold
under land contract with a $1 per month payment, plus taxes
and utilities with a contracted schedule of improvements over
the traditional 5 year land contract as a gateway to ownership.
At the five year point, the sale reverts to a traditional
mortgage. With a 5 year track record of making regular
payments and making improvements to a home, banks will
have no problem lending to the new owner regardless of their
prior financial record.

That should attract folks to move into the county. It would
solve the problems associated with abandoned (empty)
houses deteriorating, (see also the broken window theory)
while collecting utility payments and taxes that would help
local governments.

Right now, the abject laziness of our elected government
officials helps to drive that abandoned housing into slum
status. They, the elected officials, are awarded a position
of trust by the electors, and they're letting us down. It is
their professed function to do the their best for the public,
and to address each and every public need, not just the
ones that tweak their personal interest.

So darn it, get your lazy selves out of those chairs and do
something about it!

You have eyes!

You have ears!

You have brains!

Use them!

Bill Vajk

Blog Archive