Charities to suffer

Dear Editor,

This year, 2011, is the LAST year that Charitable Contributions will be deductible on the Michigan state income tax form. Not surprisingly, I have seen nothing about this on our local TV news reports, nor have I seen anything about it in the Grand Rapids Press. There was an article about this in the Grand Rapids Business Journal a few weeks ago.

I asked Rep. MacGregor how he voted on this. Here is his reply, quoted from his e-mail response to me: “Unfortunately, the state budget director determined that the state could not afford some of these deductions and chose to eliminate them in the same bill as the MBT (Michigan Business Tax) elimination bill. In voting to eliminate the MBT, unfortunately, these deductions were eliminated as well in an effort to help balance our budget deficit.”

So there you have it—we are helping to balance the state budget by working against charitable contributions. I wonder what the long-term effect will be.

Paul Jorgensen
Lake Bella Vista resident

‘Per capital’ the wrong way to evaluate

Dear Editor,

The Grand Rapids Press article dated July 28, 2011, “What are they worth” focused on the township supervisor pay treatment based on dollars per capita and statutory responsibilities.

Unfortunately, the analysis was based on only half the facts for the following reasons:

1. In many townships, supervisors can be responsible for both statutory duties and non-statutory (permissive) duties. These non-statutory responsibilities include health, safety and welfare services such as fire, rescue, first responder, community sewer system, community water systems and much more.

2. The worth of a township supervisor can not be based on dollars per capita only since each township has a distinct profile based on population size, the size of the commercial development, the size of the industrial development and the number and kind of non-statutory health, welfare and safety services provided.

While their study report identified some over- and under-paid salaries, it also did a disservice to elected officials responsible for both statutory and non-statutory services by basing their worth on dollars per capita and statutory duties while virtually disregarding non-statutory duties and individual complexities.

William Tetro

EDITOR’S NOTE: Mr. Tetro also included some information from the Grand Rapids Press article, including the following paragraph from the article and the statistics of pay listed. This information is very interesting.

From the Press: “Statutory duties of township supervisors include presiding over board meetings, developing the township budget and acting as the township’s legal agent, according to the Michigan Townships Association. The job can also entail tax and assessing functions and appointing people to certain boards, not to mention being the community’s top political figure.”

What area townships pay their elected supervisors (Kent County):

Township   Salary      Pay Per Capita

Ada                  $35,535      $2.70

Algoma           $47,000     $4.73

Alpine             $54,000     $4.05

Bowne             $19,966       $6.47

Byron               $58,000     $2.85

Caledonia       $27,370      $1.98

Cannon           $27,848      $2.09

*Cascade         $10,200      $ .60

Courtland        $25,500      $3.32

Gaines              $40,000     $1.59

Grand Rapids $63,900     $3.84

Grattan             $20,000     $3.32

Lowell               $19,757      $3.32

Nelson              $22,000     $4.18

Oakfield           $21,000     $3.63

*Plainfield       $12,444     $ .40

Solon                $29,500     $4.94

Sparta               $22,092     $1.67

Spencer            $25,000     $6.31

Tyrone              $21,000     $3.44

Vergennes       $20,295     $4.84

Market success well earned

Dear Editor,

It is with great pride that I compose this letter about the Rockford Farm Market. Going back to the year 2000 or so, my wife, Dana Jensen Urban, along with Karen Rasmussen, past president of the Rockford Area Chamber of Commerce, and Jody Greco, formerly with the City of Rockford, brainstormed the idea of organizing a farmers market and after doing extensive research the market was born. It was through the efforts of these three women and the cooperation of the City of Rockford that our farm market has become what it is today!

I would like to take this moment to thank everyone from the general public that supports the market to the vendors that supply the merchandise, which by the way is 100% Pure Michigan, for the effort they have put forth to make our Rockford Farm Market the success that it is. And I have only one regret and that is the fact that my wife Dana is no longer with us to be able to enjoy the fruits of her, Karen’s and Jody’s efforts to make our farm market an overwhelming success. Once again, THANK YOU, one and all, for your ongoing support!

Ron Urban
Rockford resident

Fashion’s Night Out a hit

Dear Editor,

Fashion’s Night Out was an introduction to Rockford’s fashionable shops.

Paperdoll did a most excellent job of showing the spirit of Fashion’s Night Out. PAR-TEE!

New York Times September 8, 2011, Section E, tells of many varied retailers promoting their wares in a circus-like atmosphere, which seems to have lessened since its inception by Vogue magazine some years ago.

In Rockford, “girls (mostly) can have fun” in this annual fashion event. Looking forward to next year!

To our retailers: How did you fare? Was it worth the effort?

Carolyn Wills
Rockford resident

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