CAVEAT: This article is one of a series of editorial articles that express personal opinions and views. They are written with no pretensions to be error free. I will gladly correct substantial errors of fact. My opinions may change, depending upon my awareness and understanding of changes in factual information. Over time, I may edit my writing to express my thoughts more clearly. It is my intent to remain focused on specific public issues, regarding the personalities involved. For all I know, all the characters are saints, concerning their private lives and other public business...
Changes may be requested by e-mailing the details to email@example.com
After ten years in prison, among many other serious consequences of his "crimes", Peter Markham was effectively exiled from his home, wife, and community for two years by a special condition of his parole. The alleged crimes of which he was convicted were delusionary, imagined by the municipal "victims" of his lawful defensive protests documented below.
A jury of his "peers", absent critical thinking skills, accepted the municipal delusions as true beyond a reasonable doubt, and accepted the prosecutorial fantasy that he was a lying criminal; beyond a reasonable doubt. Consequently he was convicted.
The following was of no concern to anyone that may have believed in the rule of reason and law - before, during, and after his trial.
He opposed his victimization and that of others by the City of Manistique knowingly and recklessly imposing unlawful municipal taxes. His years long failed public defense against that government abuse was by the sole use of the least forceful means available to him, public defensive political speech. Consequently, he lost most everything because he challenged the prevailing atavistic nature of municipal public officials willing to abuse their power - with the default or active approval of law enforcement and judicial officials.
In November 2019, his wife emailed to City council members an early draft copy of the following letter. She also hand delivered paper copies to the offices of the Schoolcraft County Prosecutor and Manistique City Attorney. As expected, total silence prevails from the old and new City government and county officials. Perhaps, with the help of Schoolcraft County Alliance members, the shameful saga condensed below, with extensive following details, will be considered as it should be.
Manistiques Water and Sewer "Base Fees"
"base" - adj. - without moral principle, ignoble
"fee" - n.- a payment made for professional advice or services
"tax" - n. - a compulsory contribution to state revenue
levied by the government...
Oxford College Dictionary, copyright 2007
The following questions and subsequent justifying details of this editorial effort concern mandatory municipal flat-rate monthly water and sewer fees (referred to by many other names) imposed for no specified individual commensurate or proportional value provided to a property or the owner thereof. The questions are inferred from and details sourced from the likes of the Manistique City Charter, municipal ordinances, manistique.org, online law research services, and a related Manistique incident report and the consequential trial transcripts.
* * *
Are you aware and do you care that for decades, to this date, no relevant provision of any related lawful public record has ever been revealed, cited or quoted, that empowered the City of Manistique to create its base fees, by any other name?
Are you aware and do you care that for decades, to this date, no lawful and relevant public record City ordinances have been revealed, cited, or quoted, the provisions of which authorize the imposition and forceful collection of monthly base fees, by any other name?
Are you aware and do you care that numerous owners of property within the City limits, and likely outside, have – absent relevant municipal authority – been forced to pay, for decades, under color of law, millions of dollars in monthly base fees, by any other name, the apparent characteristics of which are those of unlawful taxes?
Are you aware and do you care that Manistique, and other communities’ apparently misleading and fraudulent water and sewer invoicing could be lawful and commensurate with the measured amount of water used and/or disposed of, and the amount of any other waste disposed of?
Are you aware and do you care that no revealed provision of any USDA-RD grant-loan contract mandated Manistique's base fees or any similar impositions?
Are you aware and do you care that the tax limiting legislation of the Headlee Amendment to Michigan's Constitution is subject to widespread and creeping evasion by unacountable local governments that collect various rents in the form of fees and other charges over which the individual has little to no control?
Are you aware and do you care that in 2011 a property-owning citizen of Manistique was sentenced, at the age of 65, to a period of 10 to 40 years in a Michigan penitentiary, for his failed lawful attempts, with public, defensive, political speech alone, to persuade the City of Manistique to cease its fee based victimization of him and other property owners in similar circumstances?
Are you aware and do you care that the public corporate entity City of Manistique –and its various agents and supporters – violated the Constitutional rights of due process of law, limited free speech, and a fair trial due one who opposed the City's base fees under duress of his perceived victimization by apparent municipal fraud, extortion, and theft, under color of law?
Are you aware and do you care that the government of the City of Manistique fosters behavior, with a reckless disregard of the consequences, normally attributed to governments like those of Iran, Russia, China, and others with laws and constitutions that are readily ignored by those intolerant of justified dissent?
* * *
The following details provide the relevant conceptual bases for the previously inferred questions:
Manistique's monthly flat-rate water and sewer base fees are imposed for no specified individual or proportional commensurate value conferred to those imposed upon.
The base fees are imposed for no specified commensurate or proportional municipal regulatory expense incurred.
The base fees are imposed contrary to the will of those that receive no equivalent value in return.
The base fees are enforced by the threat of property seizure, by armed police if necessary.
The base fees are imposed for the publicized and sworn purpose of generating revenue for major public infrastructure projects for general public benefit.
The base fees are imposed equally upon users and nonusers of the public water and sewer infrastructure.
The base fees are imposed with no revealed and relevant public record of lawful authority to create, define, fix, impose, or collect and enforce said fees.
The base fees genesis is so vague and vaporous in nature that the fees have been referred to, at many public meetings, as service fees, connection fees, ready-to-serve fees, readiness-to-serve fees, etc.
The base fees are so onerous and unjust that at the time of an imprisoned protester's arrest, his yearly total of fees was approximately 50% of the annual property tax on one property, and approximately 200% of the other.
The base fees in one month of 2017, imposed upon the dissenter's wife, totaled $55.53 and her total water and sewer use rate was $12.17. She received the water she requested and paid for, but she has never received a base.
The base fees of 2019, imposed and collected from about 1,300 residential accounts of users and nonusers, for twelve months, at $59.94 each, totals a guesstimated yearly imposition of $935,064 +/-. This equals millions of dollars over the decades –and no revealed relevant public record of lawful authority to do so.
The base fees are imposed contrary to well established state law, and contrary to the provisions of City ordinances.
The base fees, as imposed for decades, invited the unlawful taking of money and real property belonging to those who would not or could not pay the base fees and lacked the resources or courage to resist the abuse of municipal power.
The base fees could be replaced with lawful property taxes, or objective and truthful invoicing of the voluntary use of municipal services and commodities consumed, that would generate revenue to secure bonds, loans and grants.
The base fees and usage fees were allowed to accumulate past the delinquent limit defined by a City ordinance, thereby placing at risk of seizure under state tax law, the property of landlords that were not provided the legislated option, in the municipal water lien ordinance, to avoid harm from irresponsible renters and City policy.
The base fees as apparently dirty money as described, were laundered and leveraged into clean money by using them as matching funds for various federal and state grant-loan offers of greater value.
The choice to impose and enforce base fees – absent any revealed and relevant authority to do so – is apparently willful municipal fraud, extortion, and theft, under color of law, committed via U.S. Mail in apparent violation of the Federal R.I.C.O. and Hobbs Acts and other mail fraud statutes.
The base fees and their unlawful genesis, enforcement, and victimizing impact – as apparent unlawful taxes – were ignored by all local, state, and federal officials who were made aware, starting in spring 2006.
* * *
By what process, other than a silent conspiracy of barbarian magical thinkers, was it determined appropriate to seek the imprisonment of a protesting victim for the likely remainder of his life (10 to 40 years) consequential to his lawful, justified, documented, public, defensive political speech opposing his apparent victimization by apparent municipal fraud, extortion and theft, under color of law as described?
By what standard of civilized justice does the use of justified and substantiated public political speech - the least forceful means to defend one's property and life interests – deserve imprisonment and the loss of most everything dear to a lawful protester?
Does a community's public silence imply justified fear of municipal reprisal for vocal opposition to apparently irrational and unlawful government behavior?
Does a community's public silence mean that even though money, property, and freedom are at risk, most folk don't care enough to understand and separate facts and relevant context from municipal fiction promoted at public expense by those with self-serving agendas?
I don't know why, beyond municipal delusions and the silence of those who know better, why a protester rotted in prison after losing most everything dear to him.
* * *
Judge for yourself from this introductory editorial synopsis and the full content and context provided by Peter Markham's utility fees documentation at:
Please consider the following:
Why have the City, and all its past and current agents, representatives, and supporters, refused for decades to produce the lawful public record basis for the lawful imposition and enforcement of the City's water and sewer base fees?
What are the real, true, and relevant relationships of cause and effect that led to Markham's imprisonment?
Who are the victimizers and victims?
What is victimizing and defensive behavior?
Who had lawful and unlawful motives?
Who had lawful and unlawful intents?
Who had the rational absence of a guilty mind?
Who had rational and lawful just causes and excuses to protest, by his sole use of lawful defensive speech, his apparent victimization?
There is sufficient public officials' perjury, mendacity, irrational fantasy, irrelevant facts, and magical thinking surrounding the issues of base fees and Peter Markham's incarceration, to fill a book. Hopefully, this editorial article will inspire and persuade others to seek and provide this innocent, indigent man with competent and effective representation, and relief from judgment. To this date, he has been denied due process by everyone, including his trial and appeal attorneys, all of whom ignored all that I have written of, and much more.
In his own words, Peter Markham's years long saga began here:
For those unaware, the rural City of Manistique, with a population of less than 4,000, sits at the mouth of the Manistique River, on the north shore of Lake Michigan, over bedrock of "water-logged" fractured limestone, in the 1,178.11 square miles of Schoolcraft County, with a total population of less than 9,000, with more sources of potable water than most communities, domestic or foreign.
On 06/17/08, as a consequence of local gossip, I became aware of a special Manistique city council meeting, on 06/19/08, regarding the requirement for, and bonding of water treatment plant upgrades.
The following is a list of questions, and comments, that I wanted to address to council, along with answers to those questions that I got to ask, in the context of my understanding of issues considered at that meeting, of which I had no prior knowledge:
Q. When were the public notice requirements of the meeting made?
Observation: I did not take notes of who was present at that meeting, but my casual impression was no member of the established news media or general public, other than me. Could it be that everyone else considered their presence a waste of life, or did everyone else have no reason to believe that they were about to be handed a $4.6 m/l million bill, for a project that had no guarantees to meet future EPA and DEQ requirements?
Q. Why the last minute rush consideration of that which I knew almost nothing about, beyond a casual reference that I heard at a past city council meeting?
A. Chuck Lawson, of Wilcox and Associates, preempted my question by stating that the federal "Farm Bill", that helps to fund rural water projects, became effective, in May of 2008, and the draft of the "study, for which Wilcox Engineering was responsible, was completed at the end of May, 2008. The grant/funding application, and prior necessary actions, "had to be completed" by 21 July, 2008, to take advantage of the available federal money, and terms, that would be unavailable, later.
No member of Manistique city council, or administration, asked if a request could be made of the U.S.D.A. to keep the city's various options open past July 21, to allow other qualified engineering businesses to do their homework and bid on the project. I concluded that "circumstances beyond our control" included the USDA's deliberate choice to force Manistique into a sole source contract.
Observation: Council-person Rantanen asked a similar question, in a justified and offended manner, and was assured by Mayor Peterson, City Manager Aldrich, and several representatives of Wilcox Engineering, that nothing was amiss, beyond "uncontrollable circumstances".
Observation: The timing of the "study" completion, and the apparent loss of three weeks of formal city council and administration consideration, and necessary action, makes Wilcox Engineering the likely guaranteed recipient of a "no bid" pending multi-million dollar drinking water infrastructure improvement contract. There is little to no chance that any other business could do the required homework in time, to make a well considered bid, regarding information that Wilcox Engineering had full and prior knowledge of, and planned upon, already.
It was far easier for Mayor Peterson to suggest raising the limit for sole source "no bid" professional services, than it was to insure some form of truly competitive bidding.
My memory recalled, immediately, similar questionable circumstances surrounding Wilcox and Associates personnel's attempt to shut out competitive bidding for the closure of the M- 94 landfill. Click here, for part of my personal perspective regarding Wilcox personnel involvement in predatory public business and policy, regarding the Schoolcraft County's M-94 landfill closure.
From my perspective, history is repeating itself among those that choose not to learn, and have no problem pissing away other peoples' money. It is as if Wilcox Engineering folk's involvement to bypass, or rig, the M-94 landfill closure bidding, and its involvement with the cost overruns and surrounding deception concerning the "Arbutus Ave." project, never took place.
Q. Has all past bond debt, for the water treatment plant, been paid?
A. No, there is almost $2,000,000 + interest, of long term loans, still outstanding.
Q. What, in terms of infrastructure and costs is required, and why?
A. According to Wilcox Engineering personnel, primarily, new EPA and DEQ requirements regarding unfiltered solids and chemical treatment by-products, and general upgrading of the facilities to insure another 30 years of useful life.
Q. What alternatives have been considered beyond more of the same that insures spiraling water rates and fixed expenses rates, twice that of Gladstone?
A. My question was preempted by Wilcox engineer, Dave ?, who referred to unspecified considerations of drawing water from Lake Michigan, or drilled wells. Both alternatives were rejected, primarily, because of water quality concerns, regarding wells, and "ancient" sawdust concerns, regarding lake water.
Q. Has anyone considered drilling wells, possibly adjacent to the water tower? Wells, adjacent to the water tower, or treatment plant, or elsewhere, with automated pumps and treatment processes, might be a viable and far more economical long term alternative to more of the same.
A. I did not ask this question, and a related question concerning Lake Michigan water, because it was "dealt with", in a vague and preemptive manner, by Wilcox Engineering representatives. See above.
Q. Beyond job security, and increased wages and benefits for city employees, what does the planned upgrade or refurbishment or replacement of the water treatment facilities do for the majority of city residents that must pay the bills as their vulnerable future, and property, is threatened by city management's predatory policies?
A. Never got to ask the question, due to the Council's arbitrary three minute public comment time rule.
Q. To rephrase my concerns, where is the bonding money to come from, and out of whose pockets will it be taken, and whose best value for money is being considered?
A. Never got to ask the question, due to the Council's arbitrary three minute public comment time rule.
On 06/19/08, in city council chambers, Wilcox Engineering associate engineer, Dave ..., expressed his pride in the existing water plant and his association with its continued development. As one who shares the bills for that pride, I find it onerous to bear the cost of both Manistique's fixed infrastructure costs, and associated water rates, approximately double that of Gladstone residents. It is an insult, to me, that he is proud of his work, and, therefore, the consequences of that work.
As one who lives in poverty, without the motivation, or desire, to prey on my neighbors, I resent the fact that I will pay, when the most recent rate increase takes effect, $360 a year, for zero gallons used at a downtown property. That $360 is, in fact, little more than a whimsical tax, or, if you wish, forced fire insurance premiums, paid to the city, that insure nothing, and from which I stand to gain no value at all if my building burns.
By a claimed "city ordinance", if I want to terminate city billing for water and sewer service I do not use, or want, I must dig up the water and/or sewer lines on my property, cut and terminate the line to some unspecified standard to be inspected by a city worker, and then bury the line, again, to preclude frost damage, a public safety hazard, and likely a blight offense. Local plumbing businesses get the water turned off and on, at the city water shutoff valve or "curbstop", for free, and I have to hire a contractor to dig up my property, sever and terminate the water line, and fill in the hole, when there is a working shutoff valve a few feet away!
As one who lives on a sub poverty income, without the motivation, or desire, to prey on my neighbors, I resent the fact that I pay, today, $26.33 for 2,000 gallons of water per month, delivered to the house in which I live. I am, by the financial necessity of conserving water, subsidizing others' water rates for their greater consumption.
As one who lives within limited means, without the motivation, necessity, or desire, to prey on my neighbors, I resent the fact that the city's water rates, and infrastructure development and maintenance costs, penalizes those of seriously limited means, and the desire or necessity to conserve, in favor of those that don't give a damn about either.
As one who lives with limited means, without the motivation, or desire, to prey on my neighbors, I resent the fact that I am, to often, little more than the means to ensure the continued well being of public employees, public business contractors, and other "movers and shakers" in the community.
It has been apparent, to me, for almost two decades, that the world wide economy, and international politics, reflects the consequences of others, around the world, learning that they do not have to be little more than "plantation niggers" to democratic and capitalist ideals corrupted by unbridled personal self interest.
I share, and identify with that offshore sentiment, as I watch local officials trying to maintain a similar form of involuntary servitude, in my own community, to finance the city's ill designed water and sewer system.
Why do I consider that individual drilled wells and pumps, or neighborhood drilled wells and pumps, shared between neighbors, are an attractive alternative to supporting the cost of the City's spiraling water delivery infrastructure? Why do I look at the water rates of many surrounding and downstate communities and conclude that the Manistique city infrastructure is at the mercy of children supervising children, and elected and hired officials filling public employment slots, too often, with ignorant, unskilled, malingering, shirking, and lazy relatives and friends, with zero, or close zero talent, skills, knowledge, motivation, experience, and professional credentials?
Why did I conclude, almost two decades ago, that incompetent city administration officials curry favor with those businesses that bill me for their privilege of leading ignorant public officials and employees to whatever conclusion is in the best interest of the businesses, and their employees' paychecks and stockholders' dividends?
For those that have yet to figure it out, corporations have no civic, moral, legal, or ethical responsibility, beyond maximizing profits and minimizing expenses, at customers' expense, to whatever degree that they can circumvent the law. Individuals, generally speaking, work within the same guidelines; to maximize their incomes, and minimize their expenses, to whatever degree that they can circumvent moral, ethical and legal concerns.
And, for those that give a damn, there has been a too cozy, long term business relationship between City Attorney Filoramo, and the main engineer, Randy Scott, of the Wilcox Associates office, in Escanaba. As far as I know, the two of them have been involved in a major real estate venture, under the most recent name of Sunrize Inc., in Escanaba, and, more recently, another venture in Menominee. During that time Manistique City Attorney Filoramo was writing and reviewing contracts representing City of Manistique public business with the Wilcox Associates office headed by his private business buddy, Randy.
It is the responsibility of the electorate, and those individuals who are elected, or hired, to represent the best interests of the general public, and to be aware of, and act consistently with the knowledge that humans are intelligent predators, ready willing and able to enslave there neighbors in whatever creative manner they can devise.
Me, today, bitching; you, and your kids, tomorrow, crying, because you asked for more of the same.
I attended the Manistique City Council meeting, last night, during which Wilcox Associates engineers reviewed the business discussed the previous Friday, this time in front of the cable tv cameras, during a regularly scheduled council meeting.
I learned, later, that the broadcast audio was, for the most part, unintelligible to viewers. S.O.S.; someone's unskilled, no-nothing child at the wheel, again. I also got to appreciate, from the front audience row, the squeaking of the vcr tape transport that has entertained me for well over a year, during various public meetings. Oh well, S.O.S, as I said.
During this meeting I learned the following:
1. The City of Manistique was put on notice in 2005, by the Michigan DEQ, that new drinking water standards were due. The new EPA mandatory water quality standards were made public in January of 2006, so now, 2 1/2 years later, the City of Manistique is squoze for time because it waited for a Wilcox Associate's incomplete draft "study" and now risks loosing most favorable USDA rural development funding if the completed application is not submitted by 07/21/08.
2. As I heard, Friday, seeking bids from competing engineering businesses is highly unlikely, given the short period of time remaining for favorable funding, and the inside track that Wilcox Associates has as author of a 1000 page draft engineering study.
3. No details were given regarding why ground water wells vs. surface water was so "cost prohibitive", as stated by Wilcox engineer Dave....?
4. No details were given regarding why lake water vs. river water was not a viable option, beyond a vague reference to a shifting layer of submerged "historic" sawdust that coats the floor of Lake Michigan, in some areas. Seems to me that if a water pipe intake didn't lay on the lake bed, in shallow water, in a prevailing detrimental current, the waterlogged sawdust was unlikely to swim or drift into a intake elevated above the lake bottom.
Regarding lake water and well water alternatives, I heard nothing of substance from paid professionals.
5. No member of city council, considering spending $4.4 to $7.2 million of other people's money, had read the draft report, or admitted to have read any part of it.
6. The only City of Manistique employee that claimed to have read the report was Corey Barr, who has never stated his verifiable professional credentials, in public, at any meeting that I have attended.
7. I have no more understanding of, or faith in, the various arguments for more of the same, than I had at last Friday's special city council meeting.
This is one of several "unpublished" articles that I wrote, regarding Wilcox and Associates engineers involvement with Schoolcraft County business:
"After watching the televised Manistique City Council meeting of 02/14/06 I thank Councilman Evonich who, under obvious emotional strain, summoned the courage to question the competence of the engineers that represented Wilcox and Associates' business concerning their apparent failed contracted responsibilities for the Arbutus Street CDBG project.
For those that missed the meeting, City Hall should have a recording of the televised Council meeting that shows one of the head engineers of the project, Randy Scott, babble in subjective terms, such as "tried", "thought", and "considered", concerning various alleged failures of the street infrastructure renovation. From my perspective, the terms used were more suitable to express gross ignorance and an experimental learning processes for a high school freshman science fair project, than appropriate jargon for a continuing 8 week civil engineering project, heading for a 20 weeks completion time.
As I sat in my recliner, at home, I swore at the tv, as I listened to and watched what I considered a feeble attempt of evasion of responsibility, worthy of any adolescent child. Randy Scott stood there, in front of City Council, and the tv cameras, acknowledging the fact that Wilcox and Associates had failed to meet their contractual obligations, but that they still sought some $18,000 more for engineer project oversight fees.
To his credit, before some other generous council-person could make a motion to give away more tax revenue, Councilman Evonich spoke up, and let everyone know that, under the circumstances, there was no way he was going to vote for more of the same. A few minutes later, Randy Scott stated that the business would eat the extra $18,000 "engineering" costs.
Randy said nothing about City taxpayers eating the $465,000 cost overrun, that, IF it had been used to match State funds, would have secured an additional $1,395,000 for City infrastructure renewal!
Manistique City Attorney Filoramo offered no help with any appropriate suggestions that would hold liable, to some significant degree, the Wilcox Associates Escanaba office, headed by his private business associate, Randy Scott. Almost $1.9 million professional engineering mistakes were made by Randy Scott, and his professional engineering associates, that the residents of Manistique funded.
From my perspective, it is more than likely that contracts with favorable terms, and lack of "legal boiler plate", were written by city attorney Filoramo, for Wilcox Associates, because his lucrative private conflict-of-interest business ventures with Randy Scott need not be jeopardized by representing the public interest of the City of Manistique. It wouldn't make much business sense to poke a sharp stick into the eye of your private business partner, if the city's attitude is "We don't care, coz it's mostly other peoples' money!".
If I remember correctly, Randy Scott headed up the test well drilling fiasco, for the M-94 landfill closure, that cost the City of Manistique taxpayers the purchase of Patz's damaged real property, and Filoramo's legal fees to hassle the Patz's on the city's behalf. To me, City of Manistique taxpayers payed Scott, Wilcox Associates personnel, and Filoramo for a variety of failed efforts, rather than the concrete results that should have been contracted for."
Beyond the politics of the federal budget and health regulations, none of the above has anything to do with "uncontrollable circumstances". Its all about a predatory process of extorting the "Benjamins", from a captive "clientele" in Manistique.
Michigan Municipal League Yellow Page entry:
Wilcox Professional Services, LLC
300 Ludington, Suite 310,
Escanaba, MI 49829
Contact: Randy Scott, P.E.
Speaking of extorting the "Benjamins", yesterday a friend showed me a City of Manistique water shutoff notice he received for a H.U.D. rental to a "brain dead" renter. Before he showed it to me, he told me what the water shutoff notice stated. The meaning of his words brought me to a fast boil.
The following is that City of Manistique water shutoff notice, FOR A 3 MONTH BILL, 2 months of which were delinquent over 30 days. At current rates, with no water used, that bill is approximately $90.00 + late fees?.
NOTICE OF INTENT TO DISCONNECT SERVICE
So, what's the problem? --- Consider the disconnect notice policy, above, in the context of a copy of the Manistique ordinance and memorandum quoted below, as provided me by an employee of the Manistique City Clerks office in February of 2007, and if the obvious is not, allow me to connect the dots for you:
+ Sec. 14. ENFORCEMENT.
I do not remember seeing or receiving that memorandum, "To: All City Water & Wastewater Customers" by any means other than a city clerk handing it to me when I requested the water shutoff.
Now, on the face of it, this last piece of deliberate and arbitrary fraud is not by ordinance, not by legislation, but by the whim of Manistique public officials expressed in a memorandum with no legal reference. Based upon that enforced published whim, the City of Manistique has billed me, and collected ~$507, for some 19.5 months after I requested the water turned off at a property I own.
I was given a choice, by the whimsical memorandum, to hire a contractor to dig up the front yard of my property, separate and terminate the water service line to the City's specifications, and fill in and landscape the access hole... Start at $1,000.
Another choice, given by 1981 City of Manistique ordinance 25.464, AND the 2004 whimsical memorandum, was to pay a constantly recurring and steadily increasing "service charge" for that which I do not want, or risk losing my property to a constantly increasing "lien" levied by the City of Manistique "...as provided by law..."
First, for those that have failed to connect the dots, assuming that there is no lawful City of Manistique ordinance on which to base the confiscatory mandatory "water service termination" policy memorandum, I have been coerced out of some $507 since mid February of 2007, by totally arbitrary, and, likely, unlawful decision by persons unspecified.
Second, on the face of it, the City of Manistique "NOTICE OF INTENT TO DISCONNECT SERVICE" notice rewards those that fail "...to make proper payment on your utility account..." for the whimsical, "mandatory", and ever increasing water service charge for water service not used! It specifies consequences, but does not mention an ever increasing "lien" leading to eventual confiscation of property, as if those consequences do not exist, or are not worth mentioning to a building's occupants or owner.
Read the shutoff letter, and do the arithmetic, based upon the example shutoff notice I quoted, above, for a 90 day period during which no water is used. These are the "civilized" choices I have, now:
Don't pay my bills: 3 months x $30 = $90 ..... Then, pay the $90 and do not pay the $15 fee to turn the water back on. Total cost $90, plus no late fees? + no more continually escalating costs + joy; forever...
Pay my bills: ~19.5 months x $25+$20 = >$507.... Total cost $507 + lost use of the money + continually increasing "service charge" billing, + heartburn + another reason to never trust a public official; forever?
Sever and terminate the water service line, at my cost, under my property, while a new working curbstop valve, that I helped pay for, exists at the sidewalk, a few feet from my property boundary ...? Pick a real number, at commercial rates... Cost prohibitive, predatory and stupid; beyond civilized belief!
I can only fantasize it is God's will to tempt public service thieves, so that they will roast in Hell, for all eternity, for making slaves of their neighbors by stealing pieces of those neighbors' lives, while they proclaim their piety and are lauded for their dedication to "public service".
Conclusion: Again, I have been screwed by City of Manistique public officials famous for their ignorance, stupidity, lack of ethics, scofflaw mentalities, and hypocritical religious "faith" that is best expressed as, "Do unto others, when you can."; the prime directive of con-artists and slave owners.
How many others have been hosed by the City of Manistique, by some form of a whimsical, predatory, and extortionate "...termination of water and sewer service..." policy, and for how much?
Regarding the shutoff notice quoted above:
Notice the bargain basement discount price for water service shutoff ...$0.00.
Notice the fair price for same-day water service restoration, $15.00; but, why should anyone pay to have their water shut off, or reconnected, assuming that they are paying their bill for the water, sewage disposal, and the "service charge". Why not add separate charges for city employee wages and benefits, such as travel expenses, Christmas presents, illicit relationships, Thanksgiving turkeys, booze, beer, and recreational drugs?
When, and by what legal process, did City of Manistique administrative personnel acquire lawful authority to extort a significant chunk of my money, for no value received?
Am I angry that my ignorance allowed paid predators, hired with my taxes, to mislead me and take a piece of my life? You betcha, assuming that no local ordinance, state law, or federal law, authorizes local officials to reach into my wallet, on a whim, as any grifter or common pickpocket.
It is September, 2008, and what I have raved about is not recent, or rocket science. How many more centuries will it take the citizens and "public servants" of Manistique and Schoolcraft County to realize that it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, every day, and it is uncivilized predatory behavior to fabricate irrational policy, and ordinances, while rational, tried, true, and available policies, ordinances, and laws exist, and are readily available, elsewhere. Local public policy that sanctions extortion, nepotism, patronage, malingering, shirking, fraud, property theft, substance abuse, etc., is nothing more than testimony to deliberate predatory behavior, fostered by inexcusable stupidity and ignorance that continues to be the hallmark of Schoolcraft County, and Manistique.
It doesn't help matters that the Manistique City Manager and Chairman of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners are husband and wife, and their various relatives, friends, appointees, and political allies are well entrenched within local government and administration, because both buy loyalty with public money. That is the consequence of basic human nature expressed in the predatory will of the Schoolcraft County and Manistique voting public, in a representative democracy. For worse, in Schoolcraft County, so goes the nation; by choosing predatory, ignorant, or stupid representatives.
Within the 3 minute period of public comments, I will ask a few questions of Manistique City Council, and City Manager, at the next council meeting of 09/22/08. Depending upon the answers, what I have written will be edited to correct any misunderstandings I had, writing this editorial.
This evening, at the Manistique City Council meeting, I asked the questions, and received no answers, therefore I found no reason to make any changes or corrections.
Q. What source of authority sanctions the City of Manistique's choice to extort some $507 dollars from me, over the past 19 1/2 months, with the threat to place a lien against my property, as an alternative to the City using a curb-stop valve to shut off water to a property I own? I am sure that a July 1, 2004, memorandum from the Manistique Water/Wastewater Department, with no reference to authority, does not substitute for a local ordinance, state law, or federal legislation. Again, what gives the city the right to extort $507 from me, instead of turning off the water supply to my property, at a curb-stop valve?
A. No answer
Q. Is anyone concerned about the safety of Manistique's drinking water supply, due to future increased long term and transient contamination of the Indian River watershed, and future scientific research that determines more unacceptable toxins in the city's drinking water? More specifically, is anyone concerned about the vulnerability of Manistique's drinking water supply, to the consequences of natural, negligent, accidental, or deliberate introductions of toxic substances into the city's drinking water, and if they are concerned, what is being done to secure the integrity of the city's water supply?
A. No answer
The point I wish to make, regarding Manistique's source of drinking water, is that I am more concerned about the vulnerability of the city's drinking water supply to the consequences of transient toxic material dumping, and runoff, into the lower Indian River, than I am about E.P.A. sanctioned science that concludes that I am drinking consequential water processing carcinogens from treating the city' naturally contaminated water supply. From my perspective, my assimilation of the harmful natural water supply contaminants, and treatment by-products, are at a lesser rate and concentration than breathing an equivalent deliberate toxic effluvium plume from burning waste in barrels and "wood" stoves, or breathing the industrial waste dust kicked up by speeding ors on the shoulders of city streets, gravel roads, and the various dirt trails throughout the city.
For those that don't get it, there is a cause and effect relationship between many carcinogens and cancers in the community, due to toxins and carcinogenic materials from other than the community water supply, and, to me, there is a deliberate choice by community "leaders" to make subjective political decisions, instead of decisions to ensure the best quality of life bang, for the general public, for each public buck spent.
Incidentally, who in the city government and administration has the technical credentials and expertise to decide what appropriate choices should be made regarding a multi-million dollar investment of public funds into a water treatment plant, with no guarantee that a few years from now there will not be a demand for more? The last time I touched on this subject, I offended someone, and learned, later, that a "license" to drive a water plant is equivalent to the knowledge and skills required to build or modify one to E.P.A., D.E.Q. and peer reviewed engineering standards and specifications.
Recent high school graduates don't cut it, neither do those with sheepskins that represent little more than minimum rote learning.
If hired engineers are making all the decisions - political, economic, and technical, - because gross ignorance, laziness and self interest rules Manistique government, then lets hire an engineering company to run the city. At least there is a better chance of finding qualified people at the wheel.
Locally, beyond the ridiculous expense of treating contaminated river water, with little to no knowledge of the concentration of transient contaminants, and then adding carcinogenic treatment by-products, the current insecure water supply, and treatment plant infrastructure, is an invitation to set a new record for domestic horror. The real situation prompts me to s'pose that most of the local noise about terrorism and water supply safety is more about lip service to control public access to public business, and lining the pockets of Wilcox and Associates, than sincere public concerns about the subjects.
On 09/26/08, I received the following letter. Notice that, just like the memorandum letter of July 1, 2004 there is no reference to any government authority, as I requested at the last city council meeting, and this web page. The letter is from a Manistique city entity unknown to me, named "Manistique Utilities", with no reference to any authority beyond the implied authority of the City of Manistique's letterhead. That letterhead does not indicate God's, or Caesar's address.
Once again, no name on the document, and no reference to any governmental authority that sanctions a mysterious "Manistique Utilities" to extort money from me, regarding another property. No details of what constitutes "... service lines running to your building...", or in the earlier quoted memorandum, "...a physical disconnection of the water service and or sewer lateral..."
It is as if legal and technical details are irrelevant to a city government and administration that determines fiscal policy as any grifter might. If the above letter and memorandum was signed by God, then I would be a little more impressed by the authoritative credentials, but I have previously substantiated reason's to believe that it was authored by a nobody that considers me, and other nobodies, as no more than a nobody means to an end, as any bunko artist might.
As, until last Friday, there was no apparent concern about billing my second vacant property for water service that I have never used for the last ~12 years I have owned the property, and there was no concern about billing the property for the time it was owned by Marquette General Hospital, I have to assume that the unidentified "meter reader", and other City of Manistique employees associated with the City's billing and extortion racket, were unconcerned until someone chose financial retribution instead of the appropriate informational response to my public comments and questions posed at the Manistique City Council meeting of 09/22/08.
According to the letter above, all I have to do is lie, and I save ~$360 dollars a year. It's a no-brainer! (Note - on my last bill, due by 01/08/09, the cost for monthly water and sewer service not wanted or used, to the same property, is $36.14, which now changes the yearly cost to me, for no value in return, to $433.68, significantly higher than the taxes I pay to retain ownership of the property!)
I trust that if I made a F.O.I.A. request for a computerized list of billed water account addresses, and compare it to actual properties, as I mosey around town, that I will find that I am one of relatively few against whom is enforced an unidentified extortionate ordinance or law, and there will be many unoccupied and "unimproved" properties, with connected and functional water and sewer lines, owned by folks not on the Manistique city administration's "theft list" for easy money extortion for unused access to municipal water and sewer service they do not use. Perhaps someone should stop by the City of Manistique Tax Assessor Office to find out how many occupied, unoccupied, and "empty" properties have water and sewer lines, compared to the number of properties billed for unused water and sewer service...
I, most other property owners, and too often the City of Manistique, have no documented "proof" of the physical existence of a "terminated" or unterminated water or sewer service line buried on their property. But, for $360, or more, each year, I, like any other private property owner, can state that, to the best of my knowledge, a water and sewer line that I have never used is terminated.
An unsubstantiated or irrational claim to a piece of my life, or anyone else's life, is, from my perspective, a hallmark of a predatory con artist, and if my first line of defense against that species of predator is a simple statement or lie, so be it. A lie is my civilized alternative to surrendering part of my severely limited wealth to an administrative thief, armed with local police power to enforce the equivalent of armed robbery. The lie is preferable to the armed confrontation I witnessed when Manistique City Manager, Sheila Aldrich, using the police power of Manistique Public Safety and the Michigan State Police, stole Alfred Burns real property with the default sanction of Manistique City Council and every law enforcement agency from the Schoolcraft County Prosecutor to the U.S.
It's like this, if City of Manistique administration personnel want to steal from me, I suggest they steal from every City of Manistique property owner in an equitable manner, with fully disclosed, substantiated and publicized authorization. At the same time, I suggest city administration make sure that no one gets off the "theft list" with a simple lie, claimed ignorance, or any other form of evasion encouraged by the likes of the particular current vague, arbitrary, and predatory city administration policy expressed in the memorandum letter quoted below.
From the same perspective as Alfred Burns, regarding the theft of his property by the City of Manistique, it makes no difference to me if the current form of confidence theft has the default sanction of the Manistique City Council to the President of the United States, because, at this stage of my life, I am no one's willing sheep, or slave.
At the city council meeting of 10/13/2008, during the public comments period, I requested confirmation of my understanding of the July 2004 "memorandum" regarding the monthly "Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge". Corey Barr, acting as council secretary and taking the minutes of that meeting, was the same person responsible for the operation of the city's drinking water and waste water infrastructure, and the person answering my question in this recording.
Today, I filed the following F.O.I.A. request with the City of Manistique:
Dear "Manistique Utilities" - City of Manistique -
In answer to the Manistique water disconnect documentation request, I responded as follows:
Peter MarkhamFor those that still don't understand what all the noise is about, from my corner, beyond the brain dead way in which the City of Manistique administration and city council handled my request for information, - all I want to know is when did the "Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge" become a provision of a Manistique City ordinance i.a.w. "....other charges, costs, and fees provided for in this chapter..., and of which ordinance is it a provision, and consequently, did the City of Manistique have the legal right to extort that charge from me with a predatory water line disconnect policy?
I have waited since mid-February, 2006, for an appropriate answer, and I am still waiting! Perhaps the rumors about the past quality of local education, and too many inbreds in local government, is true. Perhaps Manistique City Attorney Filoramo is still looking for the ordinance that includes the provision of a Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge. Perhaps, like those further up the political and administration food chain, the broken "powers that be" know that they can indulge whatever whim that moves them because law enforcement is arbitrary, and legal representation is cost prohibitive to most victims of crime, and unlawful and unethical behavior.
Perhaps I am mistaken concerning my understanding of past events, and I was provided the information regarding the historical due process and consequential lawful basis of the extortion I have described. Perhaps it is me that is wacko, but, as with much of my private and public perspective, it is better substantiated than the basis of most of that I question.
To me, after two ignored requests of the Manistique city clerk's office, once in 2006 and once in 2008, and the same request at the last two Manistique City Council meetings, the "Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge" ordinance provision, that no one wishes to identify, is nothing more than a whimsical and predatory fabrication to justify the arbitrary and extortionate fabrication of the Manistique administration's "Termination of water and sewer service" policy, that would make any rapacious criminal enterprise proud.
Perhaps, if Manistique City Attorney Filoramo doesn't advise Manistique City Manager Aldrich to wipe her ass with it, maybe I will get a rational, relevant, and substantiated answer to my 10/17/08 F.O.I.A. request. Most likely, I will get another vague, evasive and irrelevant response as I did regarding my queries surrounding the new Manistique water tower antenna.
After receiving a bill for $93.71, along with 70 copies of irrelevant documents in response to my 10/17/08 FOIL request, and after making another request, on 04/06/09, for the authorization of Manistique's extortionate "Termination of water and sewer service... memorandum", today, I sent, by receipt requested certified mail, a complaint to the Michigan Public Service Commission:
This space was occupied by a copy of my complaint that, to the best of my knowledge, found its way to am anonymous trashcan somewhere in Lansing. An edited copy, was filed, again, with the Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan Attorney General's office. That complaint, follows, below.
Today, beyond my own speculation, I have no idea what a planned City of Manistique water plant upgrade will cost me, even though elected Manistique City Council members had no trouble approving, and indebting ~1,500 city water accounts for what appears to be, at the moment, a $6 million bonding proposal.
Given the necessity of guessing what is going on, regarding "public" water and sewer business, I guess that if the average amount of water processed by the city water plant is ~500,000 gallons a day, and if that is distributed, equally, to ~1,500 water accounts, and if there was a 50% water loss in the city's distribution system, and if each account used ~165 gallons per day, then each account would use an average of ~165x30 = ~4,950 gallons per month. Assuming the billing is equitable, and small users are not subsidizing large users, then, if ~1,500 gallons costs me $50, then everyone else must be paying $50 x ~4950/1500 = ~$165 per month x 12 months = ~ $2,000 per year x 1,500 accounts = ~$3,000,000 per year the city collects for water - ~$300,000 for the 10% city "accounting administration fee" = $2,700,000 for the actual cost of delivering a years worth of daily water and sewer use to ~ 1,500 city water accounts!
If my arbitrary choice of 50% lost and unbilled processed water is too high, and the billing process does not penalize conservative water use, then the city collects significantly more money to meet the actual costs of water and sewer use, and the skimmed 10% "costs" of "administering" the computerized water and sewer accounting system.
Regarding relatively recent policy instituted by the city manager of taking a straight 10% "administration fee", from the water/sewer "enterprise accounts", in the above case a speculated ~$300,000, to be spent on administering accounts that were, until recently, administered as a part of regular city business... I remember councilman Evonich's observation, during a council meeting, that he had serious reservations concerning City Manager Aldrich's claim that it takes 10% of gross water and sewer receipts to keep track of computerized accounts and billing... As the lone "wacko" on city council, Evonich's observations fell on deaf ears.
To me, a guesstimated $300,000 a year purchases a lot of discretionary toys and political favors, in a small backwater community in hock up to its eyeballs, spending other people's money like a drunken sailor.
I know why I had water delivered by truck, during the dry seasons, to the cisterns of the bungalows I rented in Thailand, 2 lifetimes ago! There are few places in the world that can justify or afford the costly water processing and distribution system of the City of Manistique, with so many sources of good water available.
I do know what the consumption, use, and disposal of 1,500 gallons of water cost me, in the City of Manistique, in January, 2009, and I do know why I submitted a detailed editorial letter to the Pioneer Tribune newspaper, to which I know some residents took offense. The content of the letter speaks for itself:
At the reports and communications business of the Manistique City Council meeting of 04/12/09, Councilman Dan Evonich reported that he was motivated to request of MDEQ officials that they attend a public question and answer session to clear the air regarding the necessity of and requirements for the water plant upgrade. MDEQ officials agreed that they would, preferably with the project engineers present.
After a short discussion, with the general tone of "Oh my! What a great original idea!", council agreed to have it take place within a month. As a result I am happy to assume, at the moment, that those without a dog in the fight might be a little more candid about a process that has been, to date, little more than another murky, private, and broken a piece of Manistique "public" business.
Thank you, Councilman Evonich.
PS. The public meeting requested by Councilman Evonich did take place. The subsequent discussion emphasized (1) The economic futility of drilled wells, based upon 1945 geological "survey" data. (2) The economic futility, and "sawdust problems", of relatively pristine water piped from Lake Michigan to the treatment plant. (3) Ignoring the option to use relatively pristine quarry water. (4) There was no, and will will no engineering study consideration of the manipulated Indian Lake and River water levels and flow vs. current treated water source quality. (5) The status quo was chiseled in granite, making the meeting a total waste of everyone's time.
The MDEQ folk present at the meeting had nothing of consequence to say about any of the above. Had they not been present, they would not have been missed.
If you ever wanted to witness a model of the consequences of a community hiring and electing "public servants" based upon personal connections rather than professional and intellectual credentials and merit, Manistique, once again, takes a blue ribbon. The consequences of hiring or electing individuals with virtually no intellectual or professional credentials for the responsibilities of various public positions, results in perpetual political turmoil and financial waste as consequences of continuous on-the-job training constantly at odds with the perceived personal interests of those hired.
Without being a fly on the wall of the city manager's office, and as no witness to any of the "back room" shenanigans, I gave ex-City Manager Housler a significant degree of credit for his efforts, during public meetings I witnessed, to separate his administrative duties and responsibilities from the political policy creating responsibilities of city council members. Current City Manager Aldrich has no such concerns, and neither do city council members. I condemn Housler for his public recommendation of, and Manistique City Council's choice to hire Aldrich, to "manage" the City of Manistique, with little more than the credentials of a backwoods "accountant".
From that which I have witnessed, I conclude there is not much difference, beyond degree, between the public service credentials and likely consequences, of placing an ignorant and unethical "paper hanger", or ignorant and unethical "accountant", in a public office. Look what giving the primary management position of the nation to a Texas "oilman", with an MBA and an outlaw's mentality, did for everyone's quality of life. Beyond the relatively small percentage that became considerably more affluent and influential, it hung most of us, and the next generation, with a legacy of debt, gutted equity, failed "wars", and a falling standard of living.
Rewarding predators, supporting predators, or forgiving predators, in a civilized society, does nothing but foster predation. Rewarding incompetents, supporting incompetents, or forgiving incompetents, in a civilized society, does nothing but foster incompetence. To the victims of predatory behavior, the pain and cost is the same, regardless of the reason, be the predation deliberate or the consequence of any combination of incompetence, ignorance, and stupidity.
Today, I received the following "gauntlet" in the mail, from that unknown entity named "Manistique Utilities", with no signature and no reference to lawful authority beyond a vague reference of "Pursuant to City Ordinance" that the City of Manistique has yet to provide, beyond that which deals with water and sewer use. The letter, delivered in an envelope bearing the City of Manistique logo and postage stamp code, threatens the eventual confiscation of my property, if I refuse to pay a utility bill for water that I never used, and the use of water and sewer infrastructure that I never used, or wanted, and my refusal to excavate and terminate my water and sewer lines to meet the city's whimsical demand to stop their extortion of a whimsical "Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge" of unknown and anonymous genesis, claimed in a July 2004 "memorandum".
The threat of property confiscation for a fraudulent and extortionate water and sewer use bill of:
$246.68, for 1 gallon of water, was not preceded by the "NOTICE TO DISCONNECT SERVICE" offer to disconnect water and sewer service, that my friend received, as documented above. To penalize me for my refusal to be victimized quietly, instead of providing me the notice for an ~ $90 disconnect + $15 reconnect option, some unknown City of Manistique administrative employee exercised their whimsical policy choice to threaten me with the eventual seizure of my property because I will no longer pay an extorted property "protection" fee to the "Manistique Mob" masquerading as local government, as an alternative to excavating and terminating my water and sewer lines.
What makes the fraudulent bill that much more fraudulent, is the "gallons charged" is the same one (1) gallon for the past two years! By the city's own bill, every month, for the past two years, I have been forced to pay for the same one gallon of water and sewer "service"... and no one in a local government position has any problem with the obvious documented fraud they sanction.
This 10/13/08 recording of my question to Manistique City Council should leave little doubt about what my "water and sewer bill" really is, and the apparent total lack of serious concern by Manistique City Council, and Manistique City Attorney Filoramo, regarding a process of extortion and fraudulent billing.
I will not "...be governed accordingly.", because I am not the equivalent of someone's impotent "plantation nigger", accepting domination and the extortion of a piece of my life for reasons that runs contrary to my understanding of the English language, basic property rights, and civilized government behavior. I would be "governed accordingly" if some competent individual explained, in a relevant, substantiated, rational, and objective manner, the ethical reasons of why I should submit to blatant extortion because I will not excavate and terminate my properties' water and sewer lines according to the apparent whimsical demands and threats from an anonymous Manistique government administrative entity.
The bottom line is, I will not pay a fraudulent "utility bill" for utility services I did not use, that I did not want, that I did not contract for, and which I requested to be terminated over two years ago. Either there is a deliberate legislated basis to extort a piece of my life for unused and unwanted water and sewer service, or there is not. Even if there is, if I do not see and understand the legislated primacy of a thief's perspective, no one will gain by extorting a piece of my life, with the whimsical use of police powers, under color of law, in such an obvious and arrogant manner.
Property is the means to live, and a significant purpose of life, in a complex, productive society. I will defend my right to property, as I would my right to life, because both are linked, inextricably, as one cannot be without the other. I do not care for a life, and the means to live, that are subject to the arbitrary whims of others, enforced by police powers, and it is not my intent to allow others to profit by the use of police power, under color of law, by extorting from me that which represents a substantial piece of my life.
I am no silent and helpless victim to those that would enslave me beyond the requirements of civilized tax law, and I am not so taken with life that I am willing to live as little more than the bullied and dominated means to the ends of elected and hired white collar goons with the equivalent ethics, morality, and integrity, of common street thugs.
I realize, fully, that few predators change their predatory behavior without serious consequences for their predation. Regarding the white collar theft I have documented, those responsible "public service thieves" are insulated from deserved retribution by broken attorneys, judges, and compliant police. A broken system of law enforcement enforces the predatory will of white collar thieves in a manner that blue collar thieves, insignificant in comparative effect, can only dream of.
I had to refile my original complaint, removed from above, with this amended version, because, after a telephone inquiry, over a month later, I discovered that the original complaint had disappeared, with no acknowledgment, by anyone, that US Certified Mail had delivered it to any warm body. As this is the third time, in as many years, that certified mail has failed to deliver a complaint to other than a rubber stamp, I suggest to anyone considering such foolishness, that they have a backup plan that cannot be delivered to a rubber stamp, or ignored.
I found it interesting that no State of Michigan official I spoke to had a name to which I could refer, regarding any future business. I suspect, from my own experiences, that institutionalized anonymity is due to the fear of accountability. My awareness of the fact that an individual fish, lost in the anonymity of the school, is less likely to be identified as predator, or victim, leads me to consider a source of power wielded by faceless anonymous bureaucrats in barbaric Third World states; or is that in the USA?
"Peter C. Markham 416 Alger Ave. Manistique, MI 49854 05/26/09 Michigan Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division, P.O. Box 30213, Lansing MI 48909 Re: Extortion and Property Confiscation Under Color of Law Dear Anonymous Female Michigan Attorney General's Office Person Against Whom I Have No Axe to Grind: Thank you, for what I perceived, at the time, as the professional response to the May 22 phone call from this angry victim. Following this introduction is my complaint sent, over a month ago, to the entity to whom I was told, by phone, by another anonymous Michigan state employee working for the state, in Lansing. After more than one month of silence I assumed that A. The complaint and documentation found its way into the toilet, or B. See A. Phone inquiries on 05/22/09, to you and an anonymous DLEG female, confirmed A. and B., assuming that the complaint was not being considered in secrecy. The included edited and updated complaint and documentation is, essentially, as I sent to DLEG, except for copies of some original documentation, (Shame on me for sending the originals!), a recent document listing one of my properties added to the City of Manistique's delinquent property tax role for delinquent taxes I will not pay because it is likely that the property will be confiscated for fraudulent water and sewer service bills that I refuse to pay for reasons detailed below, and the rewording of my concerns regarding the liability of landlords, in Manistique, for renters' unpaid "water" bills resulting from water and sewer use contracts between renters and the City of Manistique. Regarding the (anonymous) A.G. Consumer Protection Division woman to whom I spoke on 05/22/09, who said she reads and initializes the processing of complaints, I appreciate the manner in which she responded to my claimed major concern of the complaint, and the recognition of my justified anger concerning two years of the "Fetch the stick, Dummy!" political and legal abuse to which I allege I have been subjected. Given my justified and substantiated cynical view of human nature, politics, and the law, I will not hold my breath for an objective review and response to my complaint, and I will consider all past and future options that occur to me, until I have objective, civilized, and rational reasons to do otherwise. P.S., Are most state consumer protection agency workers so callously indifferent that they choose to ignore, and file in the trash, substantiated documented complaints sent to them, by mistake? It took a substantial piece of my life to create that complaint, and, as an ignorant hick Yooper, less than 20 minutes by phone, on my nickel, to find out where I was led astray, and find the correct entity to whom I should have filed my complaint. That 20 minutes included a short and unbelievable conversation with an anonymous DLEG woman who told
The magic of deceit under color of law ... The Manistique City Charter dictates nothing outside of due process, including the collection of fraudulent water use bills.
Fraudulent bills against account 47201 heading for collection by confiscation of property.
If I do not want electric service, and I do not
This extract from Manistique City ordinances was handed me, by a city clerk, earlier this year, as it has several times over the past two years, to justify the billing for water I have never used. This time, the relevant legal prose was circled with a yellow marking pen to ensure that I read and understood a few select words divorced from the context. I can only conclude that a Manistique High School diploma, or a college degree is necessary to understand the meaning for "use" to mean the opposite. As many other city properties with lateral water and sewer lines are not billed for water not used, I assume that I must be an easy mark congenital "dumb ass" who, at the age of 63, has failed to grasp the meaning of "use" as used in the last sentence circled by my anonymous Manistique City administration tutor.
To me, the language circled could not be more clear... but then, I was educated elsewhere.
25.464 (C), of the city's own ordinance, states
Having established an ordinance, shown above, that defines charges and fees based upon water use, some anonymous City of Manistique twit circled part of a subsequent ordinance, shown below, to justify the collection of charges and fees that are related to everything other than use. Imagine Edison Sault replacing a power pole, adding that cost to your electric use bill, and then confiscating your property because you refuse to pay for the pole! So it goes with the City of Manistique administration process. Law means nothing to predators that prey with impunity.
It is interesting to note the copy of the ordinance, or Manistique City Council resolution, that was not provided. Not a word concerning a non-existent 'base fee/ready to serve charge', or 'fraudulent billing for water not used', '...as provided for in this chapter...' as clearly required by the language included in the reference provided me, '...charges, costs, and fees as provided for in this chapter...', in the ordinance quoted above, as circled and handed to me by a Manistique city clerk.
If, as I wrote earlier, Michigan's MUNICIPAL WATERTo get an extensive real world peak at the corrupt legal process I referred to, above, regarding a prior AG complaint, do a text search of http://www.manistique.org/quarry.html
During the agenda business of the Manistique City Council meeting of 05/26/09, City Manager Sheila Aldrich spoke of the "Utilities Bills Added to Taxes" memo in each councilperson's business packet. When asked by Mayor David Peterson why some of the bills were so substantial, possibly reflecting a water billing or shutoff problem, Aldrich replied that most of the delinquent bills were for the "base fee", (imposed by anonymous administration personnel with no reference to the due process of a city-council revenue raising resolution.)
During the public comments period, following that memo business, I read the following question:
"Regarding the "Utilities Bills Added to Taxes" memo, does any member of City Council have any concerns that some of those unpaid water/sewer utility billings are not for unpaid water and sewer use, as considered in city ordinances, but are for a whimsical "base fee/ ready to serve charge" of unknown genesis, derived from unknown authority? You may rest assured that I will not pay that which you try to extort from me, and the City will gain no free real estate, from me."
As usual, there was no response from any one, but I had the distinct impression that City Manager Aldrich was looking me right in the eyes, paying attention.
Following the brief silence that I understood as, "Fuck Off! We don't care, because you can't do a fuckin' thing about it." I then added the following candid comment, along the lines of "I promise you that I will not pay the charge, and the city will gain no free real estate, from me.", the implication of which was that the city would pay for my real estate, one way or the other.
Yesterday I received a response card from Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan Attorney General's office, regarding my complaint concerning Manistique's extortionate and fraudulent water use billing policies.
Today, my wife stopped by the Manistique City Clerk's counter to determine what I owed for property taxes. While at the counter, she was overheard by the Director of Public Safety, Ken Golat, who asked to speak to her in private. Golat asked her whether she thought that I might do something rash because he knew that I was not one to suffer abuse, or tolerate the abuse of others, in silence, and that I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. My wife assured him that I had tolerated far more abuse, peacefully, in 2005, when the State of Texas kidnapped my dying father, with the help of two armed goons from the Guadalupe County Sheriff Department. (That is another life experience, recorded in notes, documents, and photographs, taken at the risk of being set upon by armed deputies that threatened to do whatever it took to stop me taking photographs of the State of Texas sanctioned kidnapping event. Think adult protective services, instead of child protective services used to justify the recent kidnapping of almost 400 Mormon religious sect children that were later proved to have suffered no child abuse.)
Golat was reported to have said, or implied to my wife, that I have threatened public officials and threatened to torch my buildings. If considering harming others that harm me, and considering destroying my property to deny others the opportunity to steal it, is unlawful, then I am guilty of having an imagination. As for threatening people, I learned, as a juvenile, a long time ago, from the experiences of my delinquent peers, don't threaten - just do it, and, if questioned, deny involvement and let the accusers "prove" their conclusions to the contrary. That is how, too often, professional criminals and local governments and administrations evade "the law", and other consequences due their predatory efforts.
Golat expressed his legitimate concerns that if my buildings succumbed to arson, that process would be unlawful, and a hazard to the property and health of others. I quite agree, but given the history and context, I conclude that his concern is less for the health and wellbeing of the general public, than it is the expression of a lackey that tries to justify, and supports, the corrupt political choices of Manistique City government and administration. Regardless of his concerns, I am forced to consider all options, by the apparent stated and written intent of public officials to extort by whimsy, instead of due process.
Regarding threats, officials of the City of Manistique have threatened me, and I have considered my retaliatory options.
Golat asked my wife why I don't excavate and sever my water and sewer lines and be done with the escalating pissing contest. My wife answered why should I have to excavate and sever the water and sewer lines, or pay for water that I don't use, when all the city has to do is shut off the water at the curbstop valve and quit billing me for water I don't use.
The answer that followed, that I find difficult to attribute to Golat, was someone's pretzel logic that no other public official had ever revealed to me in over two years since I first questioned Manistique's extortionate water billing policy. He said that folks who's water was shut off at the curbstop valve would only turn it on for free city water; to which my wife responded that legal action and a locking device to secure valve operation would discourage and cure such problems.
My answer to his question to my wife, concerning my responsibility to excavate and sever the lines i.a.w. an anonymous city whimsy, is the following: In light of the apparent and acceptable absence of due process of the City of Manistique to raise revenue in a lawful manner, why not take the suggestion a step further, and make the extortion non-discriminatory, as defined by the City's existing ordinances, and bill $30 to every piece of property, including vacant, with lateral water and sewer lines connected to city mains, instead of extorting $30 from a select few that do not use water and do not want to use water.
If Golat's suggestion is appropriate, then the City of Manistique should, for each property with lateral water and sewer lines, send an anonymous "memorandum" to each owner, with no quoted, or suggestion of, due process authority that justifies the two choices of extortion offered by the city. The first choice would demand some arbitrary equivalent of "protection" money for no use of water and sewer services, from each owner. The second choice, for those that refused the first offer, would be the property owner's forced excavation, destruction and city "inspection" of their severed and terminated water and sewer lines - or excavation and city "inspection" to prove that it was done - enforced with the threat of government police powers to confiscate the owner's property if they choose not to submit to either extortion choice. To me, it sounds like making offers that can't be refused, out some gangsta movie, but, at least it is honest non-discriminatory extortion, without the claim of, or suggestion of, lawful due process authority.
To make Golat's response more ludicrous to me, is the fact that (1) it is his responsibility to ensure that known theft by any means is not sanctioned by him, and (2), unknown and undetected water theft in a small community where everyone knows their neighbor's business is virtually impossible. It's a good bet that vacant properties and empty buildings do not use city water, and with all water accounts in the city read with a hand held "reader", the warm body attached to the reader should be bright and responsible enough to note and report all properties that show signs of residential or commercial life, that are not on the list of property water meters to be read. A subsequent check for open city valves to unbilled and unmetered water lines or bypassed metered water lines should result in immediate shutoff and securing of the "curbstop" valve and appropriate legal action, instead of extorting payment from me for water not used!
It is likely that, if the City of Manistique revealed its due process lawful authority, as I requested numerous times, regarding the discriminatory billing practices I have witnessed and described, then there would be no pissing contest. Instead, administration personnel of the city choose to collect money in a whimsical manner, sanctioned by apparent fictional authority, as they engage in apparent extortion sanctioned by apparent fictional authority, for the purpose of securing an apparent unlawful revenue stream justified by little more than wholesale deceit. Subsequently, I am a "threat" for requesting government and administration officials to reveal the lawful due process that sanctions their power to force me to pay for that which I do not use, or excavate and sever my water and sewer lines, or they will confiscate my properties.
Assuming that my wife understood and paraphrased Golat correctly, it emphasizes A. the lack of understanding of that which he has witnessed at numerous Manistique City Council meetings, and was part of regarding the theft by the City of Manistique of Al Burns property for the Lakeside Road, and/or B. he understands his secondary duties as the equivalent of a "mob enforcer and collector" of the City of Manistique as well as he understands his duties as a guarantor of public peace and safety.
Regarding his concerns, expressed to my wife, that I might, with a pistol, take on an unknown number of armed individuals; I wouldn't think of it. In my world, violent fantasy Hollywood entertainment is fiction. John Woo or Brandon Lee I ain't, and never was. If I considered retribution with firearms, a pistol would be the last thing I would take to a likely gunfight with those that should be trained, regularly, in the art of killing people with guns.
Regarding his concerns, and those of others that think, because I am an outspoken individual, who speaks candidly, that I must be a danger to my wife and others with whom I associate, I have only this to say. You may imagine anything you choose, consistent with your personal perception, experiences, and degrees of ignorance, but, in 63 years, including my U.S. military experience for "God and Country", I have never picked a fight, and beyond childhood sibling rivalry, I have never abused anyone that did not earn it for very real, justified and substantiated rational reasons. In my later adult life, I have never threatened, or given anyone a reason to infer a threat, without very real, justified, substantiated, and articulated defensive rational reasons; and I do not intend to start picking fights, anytime soon.
To me, to malign anyone for obvious restrained defense to obvious abuse, is the mark of a bullying coward. To me, it is reprehensible for anyone to attempt to intimidate an individual with the authority of police power, or to use their influence to project or direct police power, to intimidate anyone for obvious restrained defense to obvious abuse.
I will defend myself, my property rights, and my property, until I understand that property rights are actually privileges, to be granted or denied by the whimsical decisions of those that choose to corrupt basic civil rights for the purpose of self serving domination.
Unlike many others that serve this community, with public and private records that identify them as professional predators to all that care to know, I have no such record.
That said, I have never chosen, knowingly, to suffer abuse by predators or fools, quietly, and, if pushed sufficiently, after exhausting more civilized options, I could be motivated to mayhem and murder, as most others of my species, given sufficient motivation. I had, at various times in my life, justified and substantiated reasons to consider such options, but was without the means, or too enamored of life and leery of "Bubba", at those times, to risk my remaining life to exact retribution.
I am not hired, elected, or appointed to determine how much unwarranted, unjustified, and unsubstantiated abuse I will take before becoming violent, and I am not losing sleep considering related future options and consequences. I do not fear a malevolent universe controlled by the hand of God, but I do fear, for very well considered, articulated, justified and substantiated reasons, the obvious malevolent intent, or malevolent acquiescence, of too many of my neighbors. But, like many others in more barbaric Third World countries, I have learned, early in life, to sleep well among those that wish me ill.
As for Director of Public Safety Golat asking my wife to inform him if I "go off the deep end", he, and anyone else concerned about the consequences of their predatory choices, may rest assured that I will give no one any warning of such intent, as that would surrender the only advantage that I have among men with guns; the element of surprise to achieve retribution against those that enforce their whims with guns in lieu of lawful and ethical due process. In the context of any business at hand, I like to consider all appropriate options, regardless of whether others have reasons to fear undesirable consequences for their predatory behavior, or support thereof.
Relative to Director of Public Safety Golat's concerns about a rash reaction by me to what I perceive to be deliberate and arbitrary extortion by Manistique City government, perhaps he should counsel the outlaws that have chosen to victimize me, and other owners of property, in and adjacent to the city.
Sound like some Hollywood plot? Nope, it's endemic City of Manistique and Schoolcraft County business. If, and when, I decide that I have had enough of being considered little more than a mindless "resource" for the ends of others, then I will act as I consider appropriate. Appropriate includes the full knowledge that no public official, with whom I have communicated, will ever be able to ask the question "Why?", in any other context than the deceit of a deliberate predator that chooses to ignore a universal law of human nature, "cause and effect", equivalent to the "action and reaction" of classic Newtonian physics.
To Golat, and other apologists for broken government officials and business, if my perspective is considered a threat, to those that consider me little more than a means to an end, just consider how I, and others, might consider irresponsible public officials as threats to our health and well being. Both effects result from the same causes, predatory and defensive human nature encouraged by the absence of ethical and lawful due process.
Yesterday morning, as I moseyed around the parking lot of Manistique's only downtown supermarket, waiting for my wife to finish shopping, I was approached, on separate occasions, by two local residents with technical credentials and nothing personal to gain by recent water plant "upgrade" decisions.
The first person, with a grin on his face and a twinkle in his eyes, asked, "How many wells can be drilled for $6 million?", and then he told me of a local farmer that, recently, had a well drilled for irrigation purposes. We parted with the mutual understanding that the recent water plant upgrade decisions had less to do with public benefit than political goals, job security, and lucrative contracts - at a "captured" public expense.
The second person thanked me for the courage to speak up, in public, concerning the public business I chose to consider. I then asked him why it is, that, beyond very few individuals, most Manistique residents remain silent. He stated, without hesitation, "They are afraid of the consequences." I thanked him for the "Attaboy!", and we went our separate ways.
Last week, I submitted the following request to be placed upon the agenda for the Manistique City Council meeting, this evening
10/22/09In response, I received from Manistique City administration a copy of the 10/26/09 Manistique City Council agenda items including,
4. ARRA-Water/Sewer Project questions on financing from Peter MarkhamAt the city council meeting of 10/26/09, prior to my intended address to council, that follows, I introduced it by making all aware that I had no idea how the topic of my specific written request became the listed agenda item.
I was, shortly after starting my intended address to council, challenged by Manistique Mayor Pro Tem Rantanen and Manistique City Attorney Filoramo to stick to their version of what my purpose was regarding my approved written request. Beyond their obvious self-serving bluster addressed by the record, above, they silenced me by stating that my claims and threats had nothing to do with the nature of my approved written request, and Rantanen demanded that I cease. As the Director of Manistique Public Safety was in the audience, armed, I relinquished my position at the podium rather than taking the risk of mixing it up with men with guns, at the beck and call of political whim.
Here is a shirt pocket recording of my denied attempt to address Manistique City Council, at the council's public meeting of 10/26/09, consistent with my accepted written request to be on the agenda, i.a.w. the provisions of the Michigan Open Meetings Act.
Regarding the heated exchange between "them" and I, I am heard, several times, saying "OK" to various claims by Rantanen. For those that care about due process, in any venue, it was my feeble attempt to discourage her continued unsubstantiated rant so that I could continue with my business, as stated in my approved request to be placed on the council agenda. I wanted, in the worst way, to tell her to "Shut up, asshole, and let me finish what I came to say!", but, based upon my prior experiences with City Attorney Filoramo, and Director of Public Safety Golat, my justified fear moderated my tongue.
As for her claims that I have refused to accept various attempts to edify me, in private, I can only say that, for as long as I can remember, going back well over a decade, the general rule concerning Manistique City Council was to ignore me, or most others with similar concerns. It is possible that I have "forgotten" all that she claimed to have occurred, and "forgot" to include such offers in my extensive and candid documentation of my political concerns in the City of Manistique. If the past minutes of city council, or past issues of the Pioneer Tribune, or past recordings of city council meetings were perused, I suspect that my less than perfect memory would be far more correct than hers regarding her numerous claimed offers of relevant substantiation.
In other words, I understand her claims as confabulation or lies, and the context of her claims eliminates confabulation.
I am well aware of my less than perfect memory, and I am more than willing to concede that I may have forgotten, and failed to document, the numerous efforts to which Rantanen referred. I am also aware that it is highly unlikely that I would refuse to attend any offer to explain that, which after several years of my documented efforts to get relevant answers, I still understand to be little more than a local government con game to collect revenue in a coercive and unlawful manner with fraudulent water and sewer use billing and an extortionate "memorandum" based tax against property I own. From my perspective, my ire has a substantive basis, regardless of how many claimed offers to explain, real or imaginary, I am told I acknowledged and then forgot or refused to attend.
I cannot imagine what Rantanen could say or produce beyond what has already been said, or not, and produced, or not. I have no reason to believe that her recorded offer of 10/26/09 is anything more than desperate deceit to provide, "tomorrow", that which no one has produced, including her, over the years I have requested it.
Either the lawful authority to take my money and, eventually, my property, exists, or it doesn't. As those hired city administrative personnel with the responsibility to locate and produce such authority have not only failed, but produced authority to the contrary, as I have documented above, I have no reason to believe Rantanen.
If the city administration failed with some 70 pages of irrelevant FOIA response related documents, that should have been little more than a few quotes from several identified and relevant city ordinance(s) with their authoritative roots in identified state and federal legislation, then I have no reason to waste my life accepting her only offer to produce that which she and most of her colleagues have refused to acknowledge or speak of, for years, in public, or private, until now.
As I have documented elsewhere, regarding human nature, no meaningful communication can take place to reach a common goal when one party refuses to speak, or speaks of that goal as an armchair, while the other speaks of a pig; regardless of whether either one exists.
Honest, ethical, and meaningful communication concerning public business is even less likely to take place in private when those engaged in self-serving questionable public behavior can, with impunity - obfuscate, evade, lie, confabulate, deceive and baffle with irrelevant bull shit those that request rational public accountability, in the public arena, in a pointed, forthright, substantiated and justified manner.
The following is the entire content and context of my intended address to Manistique City Council, denied by Mayor Pro Tem Rantanen, with the default silent sanction of other council members and the voiced approval of Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo; under the watchful, restrained, and appreciated presence of Director of Public Safety Golat.
I am addressing council, this evening, with significant
Today, I stopped by the Pioneer Tribune newspaper office for a short chat with chief-cook-and-bottle-washer-reporter, Paul Olson. The short chat turned into somewhat of a candid soup-to-nuts conversation regarding the nature of my presentation. Of particular interest to Paul was why my use of the term "nigger" in the context I chose to use it.
What follows are my views, written earlier this month, concerning my use of the term, in my context, of my writing, above, and a few other places at this web site. I wrote my views on the subject because I knew that my choice of words would ignite a similar furor, for similar reasons, as when I used the term "Afro-American engineering" instead of "Yooper engineering", while addressing past city council business, during the short period of time I was a member of that council.
For those folks that, due to ignorance and their inability to consider context, might have ascribed some racial bias to my use of the term; no way, Jose.
For those folk that know better, but wish to ascribe and articulate their motives and context outside that of my writing and my speech; keep fantasizing and lying coz the gullible and stupid will believe anything.
During a recent conversation I was asked, by another Manistique resident, if a city council resolution to establish and collect a water and sewer "ready to serve fee" was revealed, would I cease my pugnacious tirade. I responded that I would, if I was shown the public record of the due process followed to establish the right of Manistique city administration to fish in my wallet with its extortionate water/sewer ready to serve policy, and its water/sewer service termination policy, and its patently fraudulent billing and collection of water and sewer service contrary to City of Manistique ordinances, and state law.
The question that followed was, paraphrased, "If the public record of the due process and legal authority was lost, or was established "years ago", what would it cost the community to find it?" Our conversation was interrupted, and being short of time I had to depart before I could answer, and discuss our different views.
My answer, today, relative to the last question that I understand to be voiced by an apologist for certain previous and current Manistique government tyranny is, "Considerably less than the likely eventual consequences, if I am any judge of history, and human nature." For a government entity to have taken wealth, or to continue taking the wealth of those governed, based upon little more than a whim, its refusal to reveal its source of lawful authority to do so, and its use of police power and the courts to enforce its extortionate and confiscatory whims, is the mark of a typical Third World government of cowardly predators engaging in government terrorism.
Regardless of how much it took for an honest, ethical, and capable person to go through the public record, in a complete, conscientious, and responsible manner, it would be a drop in the bucket of money collected to date, with no little to no legal authority or due process that I am aware of.
In effect, I understand Manistique city government resorts to more than a touch of whimsical rule with impunity, due to the justified and understandable fear and ignorance of those governed to voice their objections to the manner in which they are governed, contrary to the laws of the land.
It was not me that stated, in so many words, "If laws are not enforced, in effect, they do not exist." That credit goes to an FBI agent of the Marquette office that understood that law enforcement starts with the appropriate enforcement of lawful city ordinances and ends with the appropriate enforcement of constitutional law.
The state and federal governments provide local government representatives legislated tools, and sanctions the use of those tools by those local government representatives that choose to impose their respective wills upon others "not deemed to be in the best interests", of whomever, contrary to the purpose and spirit of the legislated tools provided them. In a similar fashion, various governments provides weapons to various government organizations and individuals, used to impose their respective wills, with impunity, upon others, domestic and foreign, not deemed to be in the best interests of various contrived government entities.
Hence, as in many Third World countries, my choice is to succumb quietly, or consider my viable options to resist the inappropriate imposition of others' wills, by any means available, in whatever manner I deem is to my best interests, at whatever cost I am willing to pay, within the context of my likely remaining natural lifetime and quality of life given the current impositions upon me. Hopefully, my perspective and consideration is consistent with the interests of others with a similar view of a populace that should be governed by the consistent enforcement of well considered and established law, instead of the personal whimsies of those that would be slavers.
At the Manistique City Council meeting of 12/14/09, a feeble attempt was made to provide some apparent legitimacy to the city's unsubstantiated claim that State and Federal governments promote and sanction municipal policy to confiscate private property from those that refuse to pay for unwanted water and sewer service, and false billings for unused water to private properties within the municipality of Manistique. Based upon the above premise, documented previously, a new municipal water service termination policy process was introduced and explained by public employee, City Manager Aldrich, and a resolution to that effect was approved by elected city council members.
Regarding the due process, under color of law, that I witnessed, I conclude that local city government learned something since the anonymous memorandum of July 1, 2004, that has been used by the City of Manistique, for over five years, as the sole claimed publicized authority for municipal extortion and confiscatory policy, tantamount to theft. At least, this time, there is a formal council resolution to extort by whimsical policy, rather than letting city administration extort by whimsical anonymous policy "memorandum", alone.
Now, Councilwoman Rantanen can claim, truthfully, there is authority, under color of law, instead of pure administrative whimsy. I do not expect her to understand the difference, or the fact that, without a lawful authority to extort money, there is not one iota of difference between the new and old policy, beyond the fact that not one member of council can claim ignorance of what they have done.
A shirt pocket mp recording of the inauguration of the "new" City of Manistique policy may be found here. As with the prior water and sewer related whimsical policies, the new policy refers to no city ordinance, or legislated authority, for the "choice" given by Manistique City Council to municipal private property owners to determine the means by which the City of Manistique may extort pieces of their lives.
As with the prior water and sewer related whimsical policies, I note a questionable lack of legislated authority, ethics, and logic, in the new one.
If, to secure funding from "...Rural Development, our loan holder...", required the City of Manistique to ensure that "...our base fee cover fixed expenses at the plants..." Then, assuming I am not grossly stupid and naive, I fail to understand why I should believe Aldrich's implication that one party to a federal loan agreement can make an arbitrary and unilateral choice to establish, change, or ignore a supposed mandatory condition/term to secure a federal loan, based upon extortion and confiscation. Assuming that federal legislation and USDA Rural Development policy is not designed to confiscate citizens' cash and property, or destroy the purpose of the US Constitution, and Bill of Rights, then I am moved to conclude the likelihood that the USDA agency's official policy is not to sanction the policies of the City of Manistique to secure its loans with ordinances and policies more consistent with the choices of a repressive criminal enterprise than a progressive and enlightened municipal government.
Regarding the 11/14/09 "new" offer of choice, to those with occupied property requiring water and sewer service, it is, for any typical short term shutoff, a no brainer to "choose" the old extortionate policy at the current rate of $36.14 per month, because, by today's numbers, ~7 months is 7 x $36.14 = $252.98, only $2.98 more than the new $250 billing of a property owner to shut off and turn on the water supply at the curbstop, and invading private property to remove and reinstall a water metering device that has nothing to do with shutting off water service at the curbstop valve, or securing the municipal water supply from theft.
As a consequence of the 12/14/09 whimsical decision of city council to institute a new method of extortion, the "optional" $250 base-fee-exception-fee, I am inclined to conclude that substantial deceit and creative accounting methods were used to establish the original "base fee", and the optional exception fee, and the stated purpose and amount of the "base fee" and water and sewer use rates. By the city's own ordinances that I have referred to and quoted, previously and later, "...Such charges (...provided for in this chapter...) SHALL be based upon the quantity of water used thereon or therein..." Unless the city has been withholding information from me, there has never been any due process to change any relevant part of the original ordinances designed to ensure the funding of water and sewer infrastructure, while discouraging predatory politicians, administrators and bureaucrats from creating whimsical and extortionate revenue streams at the electorate's expense.
For the years I have requested it, no one from city government or administration has shown me any due process to raise water and sewer infrastructure related revenue outside of the city ordinances I have referred to, and quoted. Therefore, given the premise that all the revenue required to maintain and operate water and sewer infrastructure SHALL be based upon water use within the authority of existing city ordinances known to me, why all the apparent deceit to conceal the apparent criminal behavior of raising revenue by apparent fraud and extortion?
If any current owner of any property connected to the municipal water and sewer system, is being charged for water and sewer service they do not want, or use, and are willing to buy relatively cheap "protection" from further extortion, under the terms of the city's new offer, then the loss of a whimsical "mandatory base fee" can be compensated for, readily, in the following year, by rate and "base fee" increases among the remaining water and sewer bills. Its easy to keep the money flowing from the wallets of sheep.
Then there is the supposed reasoning of "...people turning themselves back on, after being turned off by the City Utility Department." I will assume that the quote suggests reasoning related to water theft, and has nothing to do with drug use so prevalent in the community. Given my prior assumption, and the relative ease and economy of using available technology and existing municipal employees to determine water theft at unoccupied buildings with no water and sewer service accounts, then the legality of, requirement of, and liability for, municipal employees requiring access to private residences, to shut of and turn on water service by removing and replacing metering devices, borders on a likely consequence of drug induced lunacy.
During the time the purchase, installation, and use of new water metering devices was considered at public meetings, no such lunacy was suggested or considered.
It takes an accountant to suggest that removing and reinstalling a water metering device, at substantial cost to the property owner, somehow secures water from theft, and prevents a property owner from replacing the removed meter with an ~$5 piece of copper, steel, or PEX tubing. It takes a crooked accountant running the city, with the approval of bent city politicians, to create or preserve policies that encourage municipal water theft and water and sewer service credit that everyone else pays for because no one paid to stop such theft, and unsecured municipal credit to renters, will do what they are paid to do.
It doesn't take too much effort, or too much money, to secure the municipal water supply from illegal use by any typical property owner with access to municipal water. It doesn't take more than a few brain cells to institute a three month deposit policy, based upon local demographics, if customers are given a three month option to ignore legitimate water and sewer bills before the city terminates water service. What it takes is focused concern, and action, from those that, supposedly, represent the interests of most members of the community stuck with the consequences of broken reasoning, regarding broken people given the opportunity to screw their neighbors, with impunity.
I found it interesting to note that during City Manager Aldrich's introduction of the new policy, and city council discussion of the motion to approve a resolution to impose a revised extortionate revenue raising policy upon the electorate, no formal public input was solicited, no formal public input was referred to, and no reference was made to an authorizing local ordinance, state or federal, or common law basis; sanctioned with City Attorney Filoramo's silence. Again, I am motivated to wonder how representatives of the electorate can determine the nature of the electorate's interests, without public communication with the electorate that elected them to represent their interests.
During the introduction, and discussion of the motion to adopt the "new" policy, no one mentioned any "punishment" for a property owner's failure to ransom their property from the unmentioned confiscatory consequences of failing to abide by the original whimsical policy. The new policy, like the old, refers to no lawful source of authority or consequences for violation, and, to the best of my knowledge, like the old policy, the new is based upon some mutually understood conspiratorial agreement between local, state, and federal governments to victimize ignorant and cowardly citizens.
The only justification for the "new" de facto confiscatory policy was a vague hearsay reference by Aldrich to a conversation with the "recent city manager", regarding a prerequisite federal infrastructure funding necessity for a whimsical extortionate municipal policy required to secure federal funding of municipal water and sewer infrastructure; a policy enforced by city police powers as the equivalent of holding a gun to a municipal property owner's head and demanding, "Pay for unused and unwanted municipal water and sewer service, and non- existent water use, or we will take your property, by force, if necessary." As I implied, previously, the only essential difference that I see, between the neighborhood Italian mob of my impressionable youth, and the architects and enforcers of too many Manistique City policies during my somewhat wiser waning years, are the surnames of scofflaws, for which I conclude that the City of Manistique has its City Attorney Filoramo as the equivalent of alleged Consigliere Corozzo, of the Gambino family.
As I tried to make evident at the Manistique City Council meeting of 10/26/09, during an agenda item aborted by Councilperson - Mayor Pro Tem Rantanen, and "Consigliere" Filoramo, I am forced by whimsical city policy to consider any and all options to hold responsible, with interest, those that have sanctioned the right of others to steal the future I invested in, i.a.w. the property rights provisions of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. No local ordinance, or state, or federal law has been offered, in any fashion, to authorize what the City of Manistique has done, and threatens to do, regarding its confiscatory policies concerning my private property, and that of others of concern to me; contrary to the recorded tirade of Mayor Pro Tem Rantanen.
If local, state, and federal governments find it necessary to promulgate, promote, and enforce infrastructure financing policies that promote and sanction the extortion of a citizen's property, for the claimed purpose of securing funding to build new municipal infrastructure and repair old, then, real property rights do not exist. Instead, property is held by whimsical privilege, granted by, and held hostage to whimsical government choices to collect revenue outside of a constitutional authority to levy taxes, and the reasonable expectation of a government enterprise to be paid to deliver goods and service as a consequence of a voluntary contract between the government provider and the citizen customer, subject to the terms of a contract that both parties are fully aware of, and understand.
When only one party to an agreement understands the terms, there is no voluntary "meeting of the minds" to establish the basic elements of a contract. An attempt by one party to a "wannabe contract" to collect an undisclosed liability from another party with no knowledge of, or reason to know of, an undisclosed term that established said claimed liability, is little more than blatant fraud. A threat by one party to a "wannabe contract" to collect by force, an unjustified and undisclosed liability, allegedly incurred by an undisclosed term of a "wannabe contract", from another party to that "wannabe contract", is little more than blatant extortion.
When I purchased my properties in the City of Manistique, there were no such liabilities of record, the properties were free and clear of any encumbrances, and I incurred no such liabilities, other than property taxes and the consequences of all disclosed terms of the legal contract I entered into. It is not my intent to acknowledge, specifically or by default silence, anyone's criminal claim to what I own, and it is not my intent to sanction criminal extortion and theft of my property, regardless of subsequent consequences.
If, for some lawful and ethical reason yet to be revealed to me, there is a conspiracy of shadow government politicians, and bureaucrats, and their supporters, that create predatory secret policies and laws to meet their agendas, then it is not my intent to sanction such behavior, or be victimized quietly, regardless of subsequent consequences.
It is the stated intent of the City of Manistique to confiscate my property, i.a.w. whimsical administration policy and the tax laws of the State of Michigan, if I do not pay for water and sewer service that I never contracted for, do not use, or want, and which has nothing to do with the lawful raising of tax revenue, or other lawful due process required to collect revenue from city property owners for the purpose of funding infrastructure. It is my stated intent not to submit to whimsical extortion and to consider any and all options necessary to make any confiscation as costly as possible to those that create, support, and sanction such behavior, regardless of subsequent consequences.
If those that claim to represent the best interests of the electorate wish to finance city infrastructure, such as roads, curbs and sidewalks, parks, D.P.W. personnel, city administration personnel, and a variety of equipment and toys to maintain such infrastructure, and pander to the advocates of such business, then there exists mechanisms to levy taxes for such purposes in a lawful and equitable manner. Taking a portion of water and sewer payments to purchase "wanna have" items, and to provide matching funds for grants and loans for a variety of "wanna have" projects, outside of the water and sewer infrastructure, is fraud. The water and sewer enterprise accounts are not extensions of the general fund, or local and major streets budget, to be used for any related purpose a parasite may imagine.
If those same "representatives" wish to raise revenue for new water and sewer infrastructure, operation, and maintenance, with water and sewer funds, then Manistique city ordinances exist to authorize the levying of water and sewer rates, in an equitable manner, based upon water consumption.
If those same "representatives" wish to raise revenue for new water and sewer infrastructure, operation, and maintenance, secured by some new whimsical, discriminatory, and predatory fee, charge, etc., then the establishment of, and authorization to collect that new charge may be achieved by establishing a new city ordinance to such effect. Since its creation, existing Manistique city ordinance 25.314 sec 14 does not authorize future revenue raising methods, whimsical or not. Manistique city ordinance 25.464 Sec 14 does not specify or imply the authority for the city council to sanction administrative efforts to collect or enforce collection of any whimsical and extortionate revenue methods outside of those "...provided for in this chapter...", and its provisions would have to be replaced or amended to permit whimsical and extortionate gouging based upon other than water consumption.
To the best of my knowledge, based upon information provided me by the City of Manistique, there is no provision in existing Manistique ordinances, to collect water and sewer related fees based upon some arbitrary discriminatory basis determined by city employees and sanctioned by city council members that are crooks or cowards, by choice or gross ignorance.
Among other questionable behavior, council members claiming to represent the best interests of the city, rather than the electorate, finance pet projects and curry favor with special interests, by authorizing the spending of 10% of the gross water and sewer service fees upon that which has little to nothing to do with the accounting of city water and sewer service fees. Consequentially, I find myself wondering about the motivation of those that have perverted a relatively rational and equitable system of legislated and ballot based tax revenue generation into a whimsical de facto, "We, your masters, can raise revenue from you, our serfs, in any manner we choose, because you do not have the financial and political clout to hold us accountable, or the balls to do something outside of a system of law enforcement that we, and out ilk, have broken to such a degree that you cannot afford to resist us. Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile!"
If the elected representatives of the residents of the City of Manistique wish to finance, "in the best interests of the city", the building of roads, among other goals, with water and sewer related fees based upon whimsical policies that hold hostage my current and future well being represented by the properties purchased with the product of my life, then I am more than willing to go to the mat in whatever style, and to whatever degree I consider necessary, regardless of subsequent consequences.
Either the founding documents of the Republic are overarching, or they are of no more value than toilet paper, to those that choose not to sanction the victimization of themselves, and others. Either there is "...liberty and justice for all." as claimed during the "Pledge of Allegiance" before each televised regular Manistique City Council meeting, or any such pledge is a gross lie.
If the citizens of this county and country have little to no concern about touting to their neighbors, and other nations, the sanctity of a constitution based government, predicated upon the enforcement of laws that ensure individual and property rights, while denying the same to their own neighbors and citizens, then I have not one iota of guilt, regret, or remorse, considering my remaining options. Consequentially, I understand why others, elsewhere in the world, have no compunction about resorting to "mindless" violence so vilified by their abusers that take umbrage to the very thought that a victim might fight back, regardless of the fact that one victim cannot win against an armed government entity that considers most citizens as little more than human resources to meet the aspirations of a privileged few.
Unbridled human nature is what it is.
After a phone call to the US Attorney office in Marquette, yesterday, and a subsequent call to the FBI office, I wrote, and mailed today, the following letter to FBI Special Agent, Clint Morse.
This is a complaint seeking relief from, and
Based upon the consistently lame and irrelevant responses to the many efforts of Burns and I to hold government predators accountable, I expect little more than the likelihood to be labeled a "dangerous" person, beyond Manistique City Hall. I have little to no expectations that anything will come of my latest civilized effort to curtail systematic corruption of juris prudence that leads to endemic victimization of those, like me, that did not develop the skills and knowledge to prey, or chose not to be predators.
Without repeating, for the umpteenth time, why I find the policies of my concerns predatory, reprehensible and unacceptable, consider the following analogy:
You purchase and pay for a vehicle, receive a recorded title with no encumbrance, and store it in your garage. Several years later, you receive a continuing monthly bill of $36 for a "ready to use the city street fee", billed against you vehicle by the City of Manistique, because your garage floor connects to the street by way of your driveway. If you do not pay the monthly bill, the city will, with no compensation to you, confiscate your vehicle, and garage, by force, with local and state police powers "authorized" by a whimsical city administration policy, "sanctioned", or not, by a city council resolution, and state tax laws.
What's wrong with this picture? If, in the historical context of the US Constitution and Bill of Right you find nothing wrong with the real "ready to use water fee", and the fictional "ready to use street fee" analogy, you and your descendants deserve to be slaves.
The schoolyard bully-predator mentality is well represented by Manistique's city government and administration. Beyond typical sibling rivalry, I never sanctioned it as a child, and I never sanctioned it as an adult, and I am more than willing to fight it, now, as I become an ol' geezer with less, and less, to lose. The power of predators to extort becomes zero when a victim has nothing to lose, or refuses to be held hostage to that which they have.
As I lay in bed this morning, it occurred to me that my choice of words, to express some of my considered choices of future action, might be interpreted out of context, or in some manner that I had not intended. My concern is the likelihood of a misunderstanding of, or total ignorance of, a significant part of the misery visited upon Burns and I, and silent others, that is opposed to the basic concepts of the constitutional US government as defined by the content of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The source of our abuse is nothing more than politicians and government officials acting, deliberately, together, in direct contradiction to the wording and intent of the founding documents, because it is in their personal self-interest to do so.
I have, since my adolescence of the late fifties, been aware of those that strove for freedom from the predatory domination of others, starting with opposition to school bullies, to the efforts of Cuban "terrorists" that chose to oppose the U.S. supported brutal regime of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Since that time, including some three years in the Southeast Asia theater of the Vietnam War, I was constantly troubled, by words such as "terrorist", "murderer", "radical" "fundamentalist" "rebel", "bandit", etc. used by most government and media mavens to demonize victims of harsh regimes that had some obvious reason to "be" one or all of the above, assuming they were not typical criminals hiding their criminal intent behind empty philosophical rhetoric.
The trouble I had, and still have, is that if I detach myself from the stated motives of opposing forces, too often, there is little to no difference between one man's terrorist and another man's patriot, because the means to respective goals are, primarily, the same; death, destruction, torture, coercion, maiming, misery, extortion, starvation, deceit, fraud, etc. What does differ, to a significant degree, is the propaganda surrounding the conflict between "good" and "evil", or "right" and "wrong", as promoted by each opposing force in a struggle for dominance.
That difference of perception of right and wrong, good and evil, cause and effect,... results in the use of words that have opposite meanings to opposing interests, due to the differences of perception, context, and goals of those that use the words vs. those that hear them. Patriotism or terrorism? Which is it?
I have stated in writing and verbally, that I am considering various options regarding the eventual and inevitable confiscation of my property for what I have no reason to believe are other than fraudulent "water and sewer service bills" and unauthorized "base fees" that I refuse to pay. As these delinquent billings are collected as delinquent property taxes, or co-mingled with property tax bills, if I do not pay them, I am bound to lose my property because I cannot pay the property taxes without paying the unauthorized water-sewer-base-fee bills.
It has been made clear by Manistique city administration, and council, that if I do not pay both, they will confiscate my property, so there is no point in paying one if I do not pay the other; therefore, I will pay neither. Beyond being broke sooner, I stand to preserve or gain nothing by paying taxes on property that is destined to be confiscated for my refusal to pay for extortionate fraudulent water and sewer service bills, and extortionate unauthorized "base fees".
The city's confidence game is, and was, to hold my property, and therefore my future quality of life, hostage to its whimsical decision to extort payments from me, and others, under color of law, for non-existent water and sewer use and an unauthorized "base fee". As the community electorate has expressed no outrage, concerning the grossly unethical, if not criminal, behavior of its representatives, then I have little choice but to conclude they agree and approve of such victimizing behavior. Consequently, I have no qualms about the likely consequences of options that I consider.
What must be murder, arson, and suicide to the silent populace of Manistique is, to me, nothing more than justified self-defense to promised municipal theft by the equivalent of armed thugs and their supporters. Due to the obvious difference in perception, between me and most everyone else, I must consider the rational option of suicide weighed against spending the rest of my life in prison, because I have no reason to believe that a jury of my "peers" would be capable of determining right from wrong, and act accordingly.
So, as it has been quite obvious, for years, that I cannot be right and everyone else wrong, I used the terms for my violent options that reflect the perception of most everyone else, in the community. From my minority perspective of "everyone else is nuts, but me", what I consider is nothing more than the only defensive options I have to ensure that "they" pay as dearly as possible for their unilateral choice to take, or sanction the taking of my money, and property, and rights that make life worth living.
For well documented reasons, Al Burns was powerless to stop the use of armed police to enforce similar whimsical municipal decisions to confiscate his property and rights. I have no intent of repeating his final failed effort to hold accountable his victimizers, in a civilized manner. Uncivilized behavior calls for uncivilized remedies.
In defense of my property, and rights of ownership abrogated by those with the sworn responsibility to do otherwise, I am forced to consider reprehensible choices. Elected and hired officials of the City of Manistique demand that I accept their whimsical claim to my money and property and, for years, none of them have provided me any indication of the lawful due process and authority they claim to possess. They threaten to take my property, and the life worth living that it represents, if I do not pay them for the privilege of property "ownership". Among choices considered by me are the options to maim or take the lives of those that authorize, or sanction, the impending theft that I am helpless to stop, beyond surrendering to municipal coercion and extortion.
Obviously, as in Burn's case, the status quo is sanctioned by the silent acquiescence of the "majority" of city residents. Consequently, I must be the minority "bad guy" considering "murder", "arson" and "suicide" instead of the rational defense of my property, and the quality of a life worth living that property represents, supposedly ensured by a constitution based government, the laws of which are supposedly enforced to foster "liberty and justice for all."
It is obvious, to me, that I, and a powerless minority, recognize, and refuse to accept, the primacy of a constantly evolving nationwide political confidence game, with constantly evolving rules, and constantly changing participants, the sole purpose of which is for various special interests to profit from the destruction of the enforcement of laws based upon national and state constitutions designed to benefit the governed, not the governing.
I can only imagine the value of properties stolen with de facto conspiracies between government entities and contractors, by the wholesale violation of laws governing the acquisition of private properties for streets, roads, and highways. Burns learned, through a long and painful legal process, that he is the only one bearing the scars of his encounter with those that pay little more than lip service to the law, to be paid to steal from him, and the general public, with impunity.
In retrospect, he and I learned that he was easy meat, that profited everyone else except he and I.
Relative to those that have sanctioned the extortion of money from me, and the stated intention to steal my property, it is my stated intent to consider all viable options to share the pain, outside of wasting what life I have left hoping to find a competent and effective law enforcement official that does not sanction the equivalent of municipal fraud, extortion and theft.
Having learned from Burn's experiences, I have no reason to expect anything other than to lose my property to confiscation, and my money to extortion. With those likely eventualities in mind, I consider all options that occur to me to make the experience as costly as possible to all, as I do not intend to be easy meat, or to carry the scars, alone, as Al did.
The rhetoric from my corner becomes more heated as a consequence of little more than years of silence from my abusers, a bill for ~$93 of irrelevant FOIA response, and a televised ass-chewing by an elected fabulist. The civilized options open to me become fewer as detailed public comments at public meetings are ignored, my requests for information from the Manistique City Clerk's office are met with copies of ordinances that do not authorize the extortion taking place, and my attempt to address Manistique City Council during a scheduled agenda item was unilaterally terminated by an elected fabulist with no understanding of the English language, and a deliberate disdain of the Open Meetings Act.
As a consequence of no civilized communication concerning my justified and detailed requests from those that claim to represent the "law", city, and electorate, I find my mind wandering elsewhere in the world where the consequences of those with differences, and the refusal to communicate in a candid and respectful manner, results in inevitable violence; one-sided, or both. Among those with the courage of their convictions, whether they be of a factual or mythical nature, violence is, too often, the only viable option to combat sanctioned victimizing behavior.
If one party views another as nothing more than a means to an end, and the means refuses to be consumed without resisting in whatever manner is available, then any and all options are considered, by both parties.
Helplessness, real or imagined, fosters violent confrontation, assuming a victim refuses to be victimized in silent desperation. I notice that I, like others victimized in countries where the rule of law is fiction, have no trouble considering all forms of retribution. In a community that sanctions victimizing behavior, there are no innocents, especially when the representatives of one faction, or another, have the silent sanction, or open co-operation, of those they claim to represent.
The inevitable consequences of governing without enforcement of civilized laws make headlines every day. It is part of human nature to attempt domination of one's environment, including one's neighbors, and it is part of human nature to resist domination. If the power to dominate others, collectively or personally, is unchecked by the effective enforcement of laws and policies that discourage arbitrary dominating behavior, then victims of domination become alienated from society and, with "sufficient" reason, will consider any and all options to end their abuse, or make their abusers "pay" for their assumed right to abuse. The greater the impact of their abuse, the greater the likelihood that a victim will consider and actualize retribution in a "satisfying" manner.
In the school yard, someone kicks me for a whimsical reason, I kick them back, harder.
In Manistique, by whimsical authority, known individuals extorted my money and currently threaten to take my property that represents the quality of my current and future life. As I choose not to pay or condone whimsical extortion and taking of property, and I cannot afford to ransom my future quality of life, or buy justice, then, with nothing to lose beyond an undesirable existence of penury and deprivation, I have little choice but to bend over and submit to abuse, quietly, or consider preferable alternatives that I can afford.
In answer to my letter to the local FBI office, today I had a face-to-face serious and candid conversation with two FBI agents. We discussed a substantial part of what I have written, and said at public meetings. Part of the conversation centered on the apparent difficulty of both agents to consider the situation from my perspective that, in the eyes of the universe, and from my perspective, most humans are no more than ants at a picnic, and, as I have no reasons to believe in God, Heaven, or Hell, I welcome the death of both humans and ants that consume my means to my survival.
The point I tried to make was, as far as I am concerned, the death of an ant taking bread off my plate is of no greater concern to me than the death of a neighbor taking the product of my life for not other reason than they can. Both the predatory ant, and the predatory neighbor, are, to me, little more than predatory vermin, without which life would be far more pleasant.
When we parted company, after our civil and professional discussion, I was left with no doubt that the FBI agents considered municipal extortion a civil matter. How that FBI distinction was derived was never discussed. How it differed from the extortion of the Bonano's and Gambinos of my youth was left for me to ponder, and to inquire of the U.S. Attorney's Office, or elsewhere.
The FBI agents next stop was Manistique City Hall, to discuss the situation with those that I hold responsible for the abuse of municipal power that threatens my future. It will be interesting to hear the rumors concerning one that refuses to be silent about his yet-to-be-justified victimization. As I have told everyone that cares to listen, if you show me the lawful due process authority to get into my shorts, then I will not resist while you screw me; but not until then.
The following editorial letter was published in the 12/24/09 edition of the local Pioneer Tribune newspaper.
To secure a loan for new water and sewer
The following are quotes, within the context of what I understand to be the English language. In legal context, the meaning may be something entirely different, but it has been my experience that the local interpretation of laws, as written, has been based upon political goals rather than the language used and the spirit and purpose of the laws considered.
Michigan Combined Laws (MCL) - Chapter 123 - Municipal Water Liens Act 178 of 1939
"AN ACT to provide for the collection of water or sewage system rates, assessments, charges, or rentals; and to provide a lien for water or sewage system services furnished by municipalities as defined by this act."
Municipality operating water distribution system or sewage system; lien as security for collection of assessments, charges, or rentals; effective date and enforceability of lien.
"...for the use of sewage system services or for the use or consumption of water supplied..."
123.163 Manner of enforcing lien
The manner of enforcement required to collect for "...the use..." as specified in the previous provision.
123.164 Official records of municipality as notice of pendency of lien.
What the "official records" of the City of Manistique reflect, I do not know. I do know that, relative to my concerns, the city's fraudulent water and sewer bills reflect billing for water and sewer service not used, and those fraudulent bills are the only connection to the Municipal Water Liens Act 178 of 1939 that has been used, for years, by the City of Manistique to extort payment of false billings under color of law.
123.165 Priority of lien; applicability of act where lease provides lessor not liable for payment of bills; affidavit.
NB! If a landlord provides an affidavit to the city, i.a.w. with this section, that water and sewer service is not included in the lease (rental) agreement to a lessor (renter), then, by this law, the city cannot hold the landlord liable for the renter's refusal to pay for services used. Never have I heard mention, verbally or in print, of this option for a landlord to be held harmless for the consequences of a municipality extending credit to, or contracting with a deadbeat renter. I know of several property owners that have been coerced by the City of Manistique to pay municipal utility bills incurred by deadbeat renters, and not one of those landlords mentioned any knowledge of such a civilized means to protect themselves from renters whose predatory behavior is encouraged and sanctioned by the city.
Nothing like taking candy from a baby!
123.166 Discontinuing service or instituting action for collection; invalidation or waiver of lien.
"...the lien created by this act..." The magic of local enforcement of laws and ordinances is the degree of flexibility that the enforcers choose to imagine that which does, or does not, exist. Assuming there is some degree of consistency to the meaning and use of the English language, the enforcement of any particular provision of a law is incumbent upon the other provisions of that law, associated laws, and the language used.
123.167 Construction of act.
"This act shall not repeal any existing statutory charter or ordinance provisions...but shall be construed as an additional grant of power..." The obvious meaning of which is... The MUNICIPAL WATER LIENS Act 178 of 1939 provides no power to enforce that which does not exist outside of its provisions, or outside of the provisions of the existing Manistique city charter and ordinances; none of which include whimsical municipal extortion for services and products not used.
Councilwoman Rantanen has voiced her opinion, several times, in front of the tv cameras, that Manistique City Hall is not a den of crooks. If it is not, then, relative to the Lakeside Road, city water rates, ready-to-serve-fees, and too much other "public" business, what is it; an organization of individuals elected or hired to be con artists, extortionists, and thieves?
This morning, I made a brief call to the Marquette U.S. Attorney office, regarding my understanding of the meaning of extortion, as practiced by the City of Manistique and other criminal enterprises, vs. the voiced perspective of the FBI agents that interviewed me. I was told that the "chain of command" required me to contact the FBI office in Bay City, or Detroit, if I was not "happy" with the efforts of the Marquette FBI office. It makes sense, to me, to give the local FBI office a fair shake and wait until its agents have finished their task, before I conclude that, in the U.P., "extortion" is only practiced by criminal organizations in other parts of the country.
This afternoon, I spoke to the Schoolcraft County Treasurer, Terri Evonich, regarding my understanding of the options open to me to save my property from eventual confiscation. I did learn that the option was open to me to pay the property taxes, without paying the delinquent fraudulent water-sewer bills. Terri also re-affirmed my understanding that I, like all real property owners, have certain legislated "rights" of appeal as the gradual process of collecting delinquent property taxes and water-sewer bills takes place.
A similar required due process existed, regarding the legislated property rights of Alfred Burns. That due process was completely worthless, resulting in loss of his property and rights, without compensation, and his subsequent arrest for "assaulting and resisting" a Michigan State Police officer while he tried to defend his property, in a passive manner, from the inexorable theft and conversion by the City of Manistique.
His rights and property were lost to local law enforcement officials and judges that valued political expedience above the law.
Having witnessed and documented Burn's total failure to see justice done, I concluded, as I had earlier, the total futility of paying taxes on property that was due to be confiscated for fraudulent water and sewer use bills I refuse to pay. The City of Manistique stole from Burns, with impunity, and I have no reason to believe that it will not steal from me, with illegal impunity, in a similar manner.
As I have said, regarding the consequences of municipal extortion, I am considering any and all options based upon the documented, logical, and historical premise that legislated justice will not prevail, in my life-time, if ever. I am not holding my breath as I hope that I am wrong.
At the Manistique City Council meeting of 01/11/10, City Manager Aldrich introduced an ~$12 million water and sewer infrastructure upgrade project that would effect some 50% of city streets. During the subsequent discussion and presentation by agents of Coleman Engineering, it was revealed that various methods of financing ~$6 million of the project had been considered, and Aldrich stated that the decision had been made for a "fair and equitable" "utility increase" to pay for the project. Subsequently, Councilman Evonich questioned the addition of another $10 to the recently added $6 for a likely monthly "base fee" total of some $46, later this year. City Manager Aldrich's answer was, in so many words, "Its gotta be paid for."
As far as I know, the necessity to provide separate trenches for water and sewer lines will require destroying a substantial amount of city streets pavement. No one mentioned the cost of replacing it, with crushed rock, asphalt, gravel, concrete, sand, logs, or cedar swamp muck. Hang onto your shorts; coz there's gonna be more to come, unless the City has figured in the price of the streets foundation and pavement repair and improvements, to be paid with water and sewer revenues! Perhaps repaving the streets will be paid with the 10% of each year's water and sewer revenues that the city skims for "administration costs"? I dunno...
Personally, I have no problem with the water-sewer project, as such, or financing it with the equitable distribution of costs, based upon water use, i.a.w. the city's own ordinances. Regarding paved residential streets, they are nothing more than "nice to haves", and a total waste of money in a community that has 25 mph residential speed limits, and enough crushable limestone to pave the rest of the world.
What I do have a problem with is adding another ~$10 to each "base fee"; a whimsical administration created extortionate "fee" that has nothing to do with the equitable distribution of new and old water-sewer infrastructure costs, and, to the best of my knowledge, has no legal basis for its existence in Manistique, i.a.w. city ordinances, or state and federal laws. It is nothing more than an administrative assessment, created with no lawful due process, collected by the threat of eventual confiscation of property at the barrel of a gun, by fraudulent municipal use of the authority created by the state Municipal Water Liens Act 178 of 1939 that was not created to authorize the collection of whimsical fees, "base", or otherwise. Section 123.163 of that act defines the lien applicability to "...rates, or any assessments, charges, or rentals..." "...for the use of sewage system services or for the use or consumption of water supplied to any house..."
Nothing about whimsical base fees for infrastructure financing, perks for public employees, or recreational drugs, either! As for most legislation, the folks that wrote that Act understood predatory human nature and provided no means for a municipality to collect, by force, whimsical and unauthorized "base fees", or "ready to serve fees", or any other unfair and inequitable assessment unrelated to water and sewer use.
If it is equitable to add $10 per month to one residential customer's water-sewer bill, for no water and sewer service used, or wanted, then how is it equitable to add only $10 per month to the water-sewer bill of another residential customer that consumes 10,000 gallons of water per month? How is it "fair and equitable" to refuse to bill a multitude of city properties adjacent to water and sewer lines? If the whimsical "base fee" is collected, separate from the water processing and delivery costs, to pay the costs of water-sewer infrastructure depreciation, and expansion, why are there a multitude of unbilled city properties, adjacent to water and sewer lines, while other properties are billed? Are their "black" and "white" properties, or just owners?
What makes it more "fair and equitable" to bill a city property with a building, that uses no water or sewer, vs. not billing a vacant city property that uses no water or sewer? Most all the properties gain relative value from access to city utilities, whether they are developed, or not. The City Tax Assessor might be aware of that, and if not, consult a realtor!
What is fair and equitable about a base fee that a property owner has to pay the city to discontinue, if no water and sewer services are used or wanted?
By what pretzel logic of a shyster accountant running a confidence game, does one turn a whimsical "base fee", assessed in a whimsical manner, into a bill for water-sewer use, based upon council approved rates, the bills for which are secured with a lien, under the color of state legislation? How, when the city's ordinance specifies water and sewer service billing based upon water use, does the City Manager intend a fair and equitable "utility increase" of a "base fee", created with no lawful authority derived from the Manistique City Charter, or ordinances, and enforced in a whimsical manner by the use of police powers attendant to enforcing liens for delinquent water-sewer use bills?
What is fair and equitable about the majority of the elected representatives of Manistique residents approving, with their default silence, a $10 per month increase of a "base fee" that is the whimsical bastard child of thieves and liars, instead of the lawful offspring of intellect and integrity?
I have asked, many times over the last 3 years, where did the lawful authority come from for the city to charge the current residential $36 "base fee" to which it appears that another $10 will be added, for a total of $46 per month, regardless of water use? Tomorrow, a $46 "base fee" for 0 or 10,000 gallons? What part of "fair and equitable" do I not understand? Currently, $36 per month if you do not use water or sewer, or "we take your property if you don't pay us." What part of extortion is "fair and equitable"?
To the best of my knowledge, in the City of Manistique, there is no lawful authority for anyone to reach into my wallet for anything outside of lawful taxes, in particular, there is no lawful provision to extort a "base fee" for water and sewer service not wanted or used. Just because I live in a community of sheep that sanction those that screw them, I have no intention of becoming screwer or screwee, because fair and equitable it ain't, and I never learned to love either one; and I am not about to start.
With no evidence to the contrary, for over three years that I have requested it, to me, the "base fee" is nothing more than, "We wish it to be. Therefore it is!" I am sure that mantra, so prevalent in Manistique, is not i.a.w. the 01/11/10 sworn duty of Mayor Peterson and Councilwoman Jeffcott to support the U.S. and State of Michigan Constitutions, but, if you consider, as they must, that constitutions make little more than good asswipe, and "pledging allegiance to the flag" is little more than public deception, then their personal and political priorities take precedence over constitution based laws.
Those laws were created to establish and protect individual rights that allow an individual to live according to their personal standards and goals, within the context of a civilized society ruled by law. I am sure that I am not the only fool that understands and still believes in such fantasy, as I consider atavistic and barbaric options that, in a country ruled by law, should only be considered in fantasy sci-fi movies of the U.S.A., after Armageddon!
A special Manistique City Council meeting took place today, Martin Luther King Day, one week after the regular city council meeting, at which indeterminate numbers were kicked around, centering on ~$10 each month added to everyone's "base fee". Today, it appeared that numbers with more calculations, and less guessing, were offered up for public consumption, some ~25% less than a week ago, along with the information that water sewer related revenues will pay for new full width pavement, and gutters, for most streets considered.
Of particular interest to me was a short discussion that, at the time, sounded questionable, at best. It concerned the further applications for infrastructure grants and loans without revealing the fact that the Manistique Downtown Development Authority had the responsibility to fund some 25% of the cost of infrastructure building and maintenance within it jurisdiction. The point made by several council members, and the city manager, was the DDA would provide ~25% of the cost to the city, after the federal financing.
Given that the loans and grants combinations being considered required matching funds from the city, it made no sense to me, based upon the limited discussion I heard. If the fed is giving money for matching money, what will the City of Manistique gain by the DDA paying $X to the city, after the fact? Does "The City" have matching grant funds for the DDA?
It sounded to me, at the 01/10/10 meeting, as if "The City" intends to gain some ~$850,000 of DDA captured tax revenues, as stated by Councilwoman Rantanen, to spend on some unidentified project. All city water and sewer customers pay off the bonds issued for water, sewer, pavement, gutter, and infrastructure renewal for certain streets within the DDA, and there is serious talk of the DDA making a payment to "The City" of ~25% of that cost destined to be paid by all city water-sewer customers? Why? According to the DDA charter? What am I missing? What agenda remains unspoken?
Here is a novel idea. How about the DDA pay each water-sewer customer by the amount the DDA is bound to pay for infrastructure in its district? Once again, fair and equitable seems to be off the table as a sly accountant scares up more cash for "The City", the quick and dirty way, with the intent that all city water-sewer "customers" pay for water and sewer infrastructure that the DDA should be paying.
Is "The City" butthole deep in ethical, innovative, and creative accounting; or fraud and extortion? Are the city manager, and her acolytes, saviors or con artists? Regardless of what they are, or doing, regarding water-sewer-street infrastructure, I feel the pain, with too many unanswered questions, and too little to no rational or lawful justification for the hurt that I feel.
Related to the current water and sewer infrastructure costs and deception is a little history. To the best of my knowledge, around 1989, "The City" was so close to bankruptcy that the "city fathers" requested a loan from the local paper mill, to meet city employee payroll. Around that time it was realized that running a city in a relatively ethical and efficient manner was not going to be done by local political talent with few government management skills and knowledge. Subsequently, City Manager, Alan Housler, was hired.
As the City of Manistique had nary a pot to piss in, the main source of revenue seized upon, to finance the city out of the hole its previous "leaders' had dug for everyone, were the water and sewer enterprise accounts. With subsequent creative accounting and some less than ethical decisions, Housler, with the support of council, yanked the city back from the brink of bankruptcy. For that, he and several council members are due a well deserved "Attaboy!"
As I remember it, while on the twisted path to solvency, City Treasurer Linda Armonk was sentenced for embezzling funds related to the creative accounting and lax security required for the city to manipulate revenues in its various accounts. I remember listening to Karen Meiers, the accountant representing the city's auditors at city council meetings, tell council, for several years running, that the city's lax accounting procedures meant inadequate security, that begged abuse of all forms, among which were those that enabled the use of water and sewer revenues for purposes other than water and sewer.
Along that twisted path, before Armock's theft became public, a creative accounting effort was made to replace the water and sewer funds used by the city for other purposes. Part of the repayment plan was the magic of "payment in kind", as in exchanging future labor for cash already spent. That questionable accounting method has become a significant part of "The City's" method of providing matching "funds" for grant money from various sources, but, relative to "The City's" finances, it was nothing but a shell game that provided little to no value to the taxpayers of the city.
Local tax and enterprise accounts revenues spent for that which has little to no connection to the purposes for which those revenues were collected, can never be "replaced" with labor and material for which the local taxpayer must pay for, outside of the revenues to be replaced. Any such suggestion is nothing more than deception promoted by those that believe in a free lunch.
The reality of the con is the local taxpayer paid twice for the same value. First, they paid their water and sewer bills, then they paid with local taxes to pay for the "in kind" payment that was credited to replace the mis-spent revenues.
Consequently, only a small part of the water and sewer revenues spent to pull the city out of bankruptcy were ever payed back to those accounts. The financial records of The City were in such disarray, and absent, that it required a concerted creative effort by The City's new accounting firm, and then new City Treasurer Sheila Aldrich, to manufacture a plausible paper trail to keep the state happy.
I can still remember many Manistique city council meetings that I attended during which City Treasurer Armonk and City Manager Housler had a regular obfuscating back and forth routine to respond to inquiries concerning the funding of budget reviewed line items. I understood that the routine was a con game to cover lax and creative accounting, and history proved me correct. I suspect that, after Armock's embezzlement became public, the accounting business for which Karen worked refused to help The City dig itself out of the obvious deception and fraud, with more deception and fraud, that ran contrary to the professional advice the business provided at public meetings.
I spoke to Karen Meiers, by phone, after I learned the business for whom she worked no longer audited city business. She chose not to speak to me about the specific reasons for the severance of the business relationship with The City. Shortly after, I asked then City Treasurer Aldrich why the city had a new accounting firm and she told me that the prior business did not want to help clean up The City's mess.
I do not know if the city requested the mess be cleaned up for free, or for cash beyond whatever contract agreement existed, or, perhaps, the business relationship was terminated for some unrelated matter. Regardless of the reasons, it was, essentially, private public business.
After finding out that much of The City's financial documents were "smoke and mirrors", and given that I heard not one believable detail offered in public for the change of city auditors, I concluded that the accounting firm for which Karen worked had far more integrity than the business that replaced it. It became quite apparent to me, shortly after the change, that the new accounting firm, like the city council and manager, cared little about the ethics of city financing.
Today, the accountant that helped the city bury its financing misdeeds in a ream of fiction, after Armock's embezzlement, is leading the city, as City Manager, down a new road of fraud, coupled with extortion. The major reasons for current policies are political expedience, fostered by an apathetic public and a compliant city council, coupled with a plastic and bloated Manistique Downtown Development Association that has lost sight of its legislated reason for being; to redevelop areas within the actual urban downtown area and not most everywhere else, but downtown.
The fraudulent basis for the D.D.A. lies in the artificial boundaries of a "downtown" district that includes more area and property outside of the actual downtown urban core than within, and on which more money has been spent than within the actual downtown area. It's so easy to collect and spend other peoples' money for that which it is not intended. Those that have the responsibility to cater to the taxpaying electorate, within the content, context, and spirit of legislation, can, with impunity, as the equivalent of "The City" priests, cater to their personal self-interests and the interests of their de-facto god, "The City"; beholden to no one.
"The City" has become a deity to whom must be sacrificed most of that which makes a lawful and civilized government of the residents, for the residents, by the residents. The consequence is the making of a local tyranny that I, and a handful of others, refuse to condone with cowardly silence, or the sanctimonious piety of others that have no problem sacrificing their neighbors to their god, "The City".
Over the years, starting as an adolescent, I have questioned authority. As one raised in a family environment in which both parents never claimed that "God's will" determined the vagaries of life, I have questioned that which I was aware of, and that interested me. Regardless of the extent of my curiosity, my intellect limited, and still limits, my ability to understand much of the world around me, including the source of that equivocal enigma labeled "authority" that so many use as if the word itself makes the source self evident!
Relative to this article, my interest regarding authority has to do with lawful authority, i.e. authority derived from legislation. From my perspective, in a civilized society with many sources of that which others claim to be "authority", there can be only one source of authority to which all are bound. To me, the necessity of a single source of authority is self-evident, in a complex and productive society of individuals, each with a unique perspective of the world, working together as a consequence of voluntary mutual agreements.
The shared and individual goals of voluntary human collectives of intelligent individuals are at serious risk if one individual has the right to dominate another, arbitrarily, based upon whimsical authority derived from any of a multitude of sources that claim the authority of one individual to control and abuse another. Human nature motivates most folk to aspire to some level of "success" by their own efforts, and at the expense of the environment and others' lives. In short, history supports my contention that everyone wants to own a "nigger", to one degree or another, and when whimsical authority is granted to some, to own others, in part or in the whole, then natural property rights derived from ownership are used to justify an owner's choice of actions regarding the property owned.
From my perspective of U.S. history, the "Founding Fathers" of this nation had sufficient understandings of human nature to establish a constitution based government, that, with its basic amendments, was designed to promote a lawful and law abiding productive society, that gave each individual the right to protect life, liberty, and property, if those sworn to do so chose to do otherwise. The right to bear arms, and use them, if necessary, was fully understood in the relatively primitive, and disorganized society of this nation's birth, and can be understood, readily, by considering such places as Afghanistan, today, where many individuals carry a gun because the rule of a uniform and objective system of laws is non-existent, and, ultimately, consistent with individual human nature, "might makes right" in any disagreement where laws are unenforced or non-existent.
The founders of this nation knew, from their understanding of human nature in general, and themselves, in particular, that, ultimately, the only way to ensure that the rule of law held sway was to provide each individual the right to the means of self protection. If those with the sworn duty to enforce the laws failed to do so, then the individual had the means to protect life, liberty, and property, to whatever degree they could.
From my perspective, as one of the unwashed masses with too few resources, and no inclination to gamble what little I have to buy a justice lottery ticket, the individual ownership and use of weapons is, ultimately, the only thing that stands between those that would be slaves and those that would make them slaves. I have no doubt, considering the individual and collective intellects responsible for the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, that the authors knew why the individual ownership and bearing of arms was necessary to keep human predators at bay, when government and law enforcement officials failed their sworn responsibilities to enforce constitution based laws.
If one considers the times and perspectives of those responsible for the Second Amendment, their concerns, of their time and the future, were about the individual's right to own, carry, and use arms in the context of a government that chooses to rule by other than constitution based laws, based upon the premise that individuals are little more than the means to the ends of those that consider themselves the masters of others. Assuming the world is perfect, in a civilized society ruled by the enforcement of constitution based laws that respect individual rights, there are few to no reasons for an individual to consider the force of arms as an alternative to the rule of law.
In an uncivilized society, the individual force of arms is necessary to replace the protections that would be, in a civilized society, provided by the timely and impartial enforcement of appropriate laws.
The historical use of arms to defend life, liberty, and property, in the U.S., and many other countries, represents a significant consensus that an individual has a survival right to prevent imminent and deliberate injury by others that refuse to acknowledge another's right to live in peace and enjoy the fruits of their ethical labor. With knowledge of a little history, that uncommon commodity, common sense, leads any thinking person to a simple and logical conclusion that, at a primal level, or in the context of a complex civilized society, no one should have the whimsical unopposed power to deprive another individual of that which makes life worth living.
Just because some human beings consider others as "human resources", gives no one the right to treat their neighbor as one, as if the clock had been turned back to more uncivilized times. When people are considered as little more than cattle, to be sacrificed for a good meal, or to appease "The City", or "The Nation", they have every right to act as animals that must depend on the law of the jungle for survival.
By their actions, those that refuse to abide by, or enforce the laws that are created to protect the life, liberty, and property of this nation's citizens, are no better than the criminals they foster. If no one wishes to hold accountable those known individuals that are stealing pieces of my life, then, I am willing to spill as much blood as possible to make the consequences of sanctioned theft as costly as possible.
For those that pig out at the public trough, or care not about their decisions that effect the welfare of others, a loaf of bread, to some, is the difference between a life worth living, or not, and as far as I am concerned it is an issue of life and death when others make the arbitrary decision to take my loaf.
It matters not, to me, if others think that I have no lawful right to defend myself and my property with force, from those that steal in the name of "The City" with the use or threat of police force. I am at ease with my natural right of survival to attempt to defend my property and life from those that are sanctioned to steal what I have left.
At this stage of my life, I am quite willing and capable to implement a variety of options that I have considered as an alternative to sanctioning those that are stealing my life, with impunity, a piece at a time. I prefer to spill as much blood as possible of those that choose to eat me alive, a piece at a time, and die in the process, rather than die a lingering death of their choosing as they pick my bones while I live.
For those that still "don't get it", armed confrontation is an option that I consider as I continue to resist the City of Manistique's unlawful fraud, coercion, and extortion, from me, of revenue for non-existent water and sewer use, the extortion of which continues to threaten my current and future income and quality of life.
I may be too stupid to know or understand the claimed source of Manistique's authority for municipal fraud, coercion extortion, but...
I have no intention of letting others abuse me, with impunity.
I have no intention of sanctioning bullies, or their behavior.
I have no intention of suffering predators, gladly.
I have no intention of sanctioning government extortion.
I have no intention of letting others steal my future.
I have no intention of suffering a penurious existence after my properties are confiscated.
I have no intention of trying to live on the charity of others.
I have no illusions about the nature of my species, or the consequences of that which I consider.
Today, Director of Public Safety Golat, stopped by my residence to provide me the City of Manistique response to a letter that I handed City Manager Aldrich during the last public comment period of the 01/11/10 Manistique City Council meeting. In so many words, Golat told me that "The City's" response was due to the "threat" of bloodshed that I had made no effort to disguise. The obvious implication of his statement was that I had extorted "The City's" decision. During a subsequent conversation we discussed our differing opinions of the situation and parted, amicably, with my stated intent to revisit the situation further up the FBI chain of command, and, until my civilized options, or my money ran out, no one had to fear physical retribution from me.
"The City's" response to be added by tomorrow.
01/11/10Below are all of the documents handed me, on 01/28/10, by Mantique's Director of Public Safety Golat. You might notice, as for the past 3 years, there is no lawful authority, or due process quoted or referred to, that authorized in a lawful manner, my abuse and that of others.
Assuming that Director Golat's statement regarding alleged "threats" of bloody retribution was true, might not a small herd of reasonable people thus threatened have the collective wits about them to provide a reference to the "lawful" basis for the extortion I have taken issue with?
The solution to the impasse is simple. Gimmee copies of the due process that established the "lawful authority" to steal from me, and I will go away, peacefully; or, pay for the deliberate trespasses.
The above is a current "statement" of the 110 S, Cedar St water and sewer bills balance, handed to me by Director of Public Safety Golat, on 01/28/10. No details of why it is, today, $0, and no indication it was ever $327.36, as billed below. This creative accounting statement indicates no wrong doing by "The City", and, on its face, says "The City" never billed me for unused water and sewer service. Below is the 01/13/10 bill for $327.36, for water and sewer service unwanted and unused, that belies the statement, accounting system, and integrity of those employees of the "The City" responsible for an obvious work of fiction.
The two tax bills below, for 110 S. Cedar St., were handed to me by Director of Public Safety Golat, on 01/28/10. No recognition that the taxes are delinquent because I had no rational reason pay them, as "The City" had made quite clear that it intended to confiscate the property for my refusal to pay fraudulent "delinquent" water and sewer use bills.
For those interested in Manistique real estate, be aware that the whimsical and fraudulent annual billing by "The City", for water and sewer not used, equals ~50% of the annual property taxes of a well located downtown property! 12 x $36.14 = $433 annually vs. $911.76 for 2009 property taxes. For a well located "downtown" property located on US2, purchased recently by "The City" for >$200,000, the water and sewer billing has been $0, for years. That is what Manistique City Manager Aldrich refers to as "fair and equitable."
The above is a current "statement" of the 401 N. Houghton St. water and sewer bills balance, handed to me by Director of Public Safety Golat, on 01/28/10. No details of why it is, today, $0, and no indication it was ever $418.94, as billed below. This creative accounting statement indicates no wrong doing by "The City", and, on its face, says "The City" never billed me for unused water and sewer service. Below is the 01/13/10 bill for $418.94, for water and sewer service unwanted and unused, that belies the statement, accounting system, and those employees of the "The City" responsible for an obvious work of fiction.
The tax bills below, for 401 N Houghton, were handed to me by Director of Public Safety Golat, on 01/28/10. No recognition that the taxes are delinquent because I had no rational reason pay them, as "The City" had made quite clear that it intended to confiscate the property for my refusal to pay fraudulent "delinquent" water and sewer use bills.
For those interested in Manistique real estate, be aware that the whimsical and fraudulent annual billing by "The City", for water and sewer not used, equals 185% of the annual property taxes of a well located commercial property! 12 x $36.14 = $433 annually for unused and unwanted water and sewer vs. $233 for 2009 property taxes. For a well located "downtown" property located on US2, purchased recently by "The City" for >$200,000, the water and sewer billing has been $0, for years. That is what Manistique City Manager Aldrich refers to as "fair and equitable."
I knew that I was black, but I never guessed how black... Today, I accept, with pride, the title "BÍte Noire".
This is the original offer from "The City" relayed to me by FBI agent "Jay", on 01/07/10. I erred in my written offer to "The City" by stating that the "The City's" original offer regarded money it had already extorted. In fact, "The City's" offer was, reduced to its correct essence, if I paid "The City" $200, in cash, it would make go away $918 of "delinquent" false water and sewer use billings, that I refused to pay. There was no reference in "The City's" offer to return any of my money it had extorted, already.
Yesterday, Golat handed me the vague and unsigned documents that implied that $918 of delinquent "fees", allegedly owed by me, had ceased to exist, by municipal magic; without me paying "The City" $200 cash for its accounting legerdemain, as it had tried to extort in the previous verbal offer relayed via FBI agent "Jay".
Obviously, had I reviewed the verbal offer more closely, I would not have wasted my life making a counter offer. Two lessons learned, for those that do not suffer criminals gladly... (1) Check your premises, often, to minimize the chance of life wasting foolish behavior. (2) Do not squander any more of your life, than is absolutely necessary, trying to communicate or negotiate in an objective and civilized manner, with criminal municipal extortionists paid by you, to extort from you, and protected by attorneys and law enforcement officials paid by you.
Everyone, but me, in the fight is paid from an inexhaustible tax revenue coffer. I am fighting to keep that which I have title to, and for which I paid my taxes, until "The City" stuck a gun in my face and demanded additional payment for the privilege of owning my property. So, when my money or patience runs out my remaining options are physical, and should I pursue those options, no one will profit from my demise.
As far as I am concerned, at this moment, assuming the FBI insists that municipal extortion is a civil matter, there is only one way this dispute will end. To me, sanctioning extortion is not an acceptable option, just as giving up its gains by fraud and extortion is not an option for "The City".
Coming soon... The U.S. Attorney's Office prompts me to ask, "Where is the pea?", further up the FBI chain of command.
After posting the latest complaint to the FBI, a comment was made to me, in person, by a local resident that has followed much of my online documentation of politics in the City of Manistique. They said, paraphrased, "Manistique city government might have been modeled on a late Russian communist municipal government." I was quite surprised by the comment because I had never thought about it, in that manner.
Even though I understood the democratic process at work in the city had produced a totalitarian government in democratic guise, in which the individual exists to achieve the interests of "the state", as in "The City", I had never drawn an analogy of the situation as succinctly as Citizen Y.
On 02/11/10, with the help of the FBI from whom he sought help, Peter Markham was arrested and charged with serious crimes interpreted or fantasized from his lawful defensive behavior expressed in the previous narrative. On 02/11/20, after 10 years of imprisonent, his story continues at the beginning of these pages.
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