by The City of Wyoming
What proposal are we voting on?
To amend the Charter of the City of Wyoming to provide for a renewal of the annual levy of 1.25 mills on the dollar for public safety, specifically for the operation, maintenance and administration of Police and Fire services in the City of Wyoming for a period of 5 years. For a homeowner with a $100,000 house, this comes to $62.50 per year.
When is the election?
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Where do I vote?
To find the correct polling location, check your green and white Voter Identification Card, which lists the name and address of our polling place or call the City Clerk’s Office at 530-7296, to verify that you are registered to vote and where you should go on election day to cast your ballot. You can also visit www.mi.gov/vote or follow the Clerk’s Office link on the City website (www.wyomingmi.gov) for voter information.
If I am not registered to vote, can I still do so? How?
The last day to register to vote in order to be eligible to participate in the August 5, 2014 election is July 7, 2014. You can register to vote in person at the City Clerk’s Office, the County Clerk’s Office, the Secretary of State and most social service agencies. You may also register to vote by mail using the form available at www.mi.gov/vote.
How many years will the millage renewal levy be in effect?
Why did City Council ask voters to consider a 1.25 mil increase for public safety in 2010?
There are three main factors which contributed the need for additional general fund dollars for public safety.
1. The loss of state funding.
2. The closure of the General Motors Stamping Plant in Wyoming.
3. The general decrease in home values which means that we will collect less property taxes this year.
These three issues meant that less revenue went into our general fund. Since Police and Fire account for nearly 65 percent of all spending from the general fund, the City Council asked voters to support public safety services, or face elimination and cuts to services.
It’s important to note that in 2010 this millage was only meant to allow the City to maintain the current level of services; it was not anticipated the millage would have allowed the City to add new services or people, or bring back services like the Gezon Station.
Why is the City Council asking residents to consider renewing this millage?
Many proactive Police and Fire programs have been implemented thanks to savings and efficiencies due to the new Public Safety service delivery model. These have included:
• The addition of three full-time firefighters
• Implementation of peak-load staffing with more firefighters on duty during periods of high call volume
• Police accreditation in 2012 at the gold-level by CALEA and re-accreditation efforts
• Offering hands-on citizens’ academies that allow residents the opportunity to better understand the workings of the City
• An increase in utilization and total number of paid-on-call staff to 30
• Cross-training and licensing 16 City employees as firefighters
• Installation of police cruiser dashboard cameras and AEDs in every police cruiser
• Expansion of forensic lab capabilities to expedite blood alcohol and drug testing
• Staging emergency response vehicles during peak call volume times at the Gezon and Burton Street fire stations
Renewal of the millage will ensure that we continue to perform at the current level with the current funding.
What services are included in Public Safety?
Police and Fire.
Why is the City spending money on road projects, parks and sidewalk snowplowing, when money is needed for Police and Fire?
Capital improvement projects such as road projects, along with parks and sidewalk snowplowing are funded by dedicated millages. They do not come from the general fund, unlike fire and police. In years past, voters decided to support specific activities such as parks and roads. We collect funds dedicated for these specific purposes. It is against state law to use these funds for any other purpose than what they were designated for.
It would take voter approval to remove funding from a dedicated millage and place it in the general fund for police and fire.
How do the new changes to personal property tax affect the funding for police and fire services?
The changes to personal property tax only replace funding that will be lost if the initiative does not pass. These proposed changes do not affect property taxes paid by residents.
How do I get more information?
More information is available at www.wyomingmi.gov, or call City Hall at 530-7272.