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February 02, 1973 - Image 8

Resource type:
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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1973-02-02

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Page 'Eight N

THE MICHIGAN DAILY

Friday, February 2, 1973

- ,iht~TE IHGA AL

.Fri- l.t ,b.uar. . 1973.

t

POOR MANAGEMENT CHARGED:

Housing commission blames
ex-director for budget deficit

Newsman shield bill to run
into opposition in legislature

(Continued from Page 1)
He would like to see protection
xtenied to f rA U j diu i nndi

(Continued from Page 1)
"We had to have the budget in
by last April and we didn't have
time to check each welfare case so
we estimated the rent reduction
from a sample," Johnson ex-
plained.
Barlow said Johnson failed to
calculate the credit some tenants
would receive since the Brooke
amendment was several months
retroactive. He admitted not con-
sidering the credit factor but of-
fered no explanation.
Apparently communications be-
tween the commission and John-
son were often strained. Barlow
claimed Johnson rarely submitted
any financial statements for the
commission's inspection.
An independent firm, which con-
ducted a management review of
the Housing Commission, reported
"Most HUD reporting was lot or
not submitted at all. The informa-
tion prepared for the Commission-
ers was lacking key activity data,
and misleading in s o m e in-
stances."
Johnson contended he did not
submit financial information to the
commissioners, because "few if
any of them knew about budget
matters."
Barlow and Burghardt attacked
Johnson for employing 12 persons
full time on budget calling for only
nine full time employes. While
Johnson was director, salaries
werecat one time reportedly 150
per cent more than they should
have been.
Johnson pointed out that during
that period several full-time em-
ployes were on sick leave. John-
son retained these people on the
payroll and at the same time
hired additional personnel to fill
the vacancies.
The Housing Commission had a
large amqunt of uncollected back
rent when Johnson was director.
"The commission thought there
was about $6,000 in outstanding
rent. In reality the figure ap-

proached $27,000," Barlow said.
Johnson estimated the uncollect-
ed rent at about $18,000. He added
the housing sites were scattered
throughout thecity making rent
collection difficult.
"Johnson never had the skills
for an administrative job. He
could not delegate authority. There
was no accountability and no fol-
low up while he was director,"
Burghardt said.
An' independent management
study of the commission concluded
that "most methods, systems, and
procedures were nonexistent or
poorly operating. A complete sys-
tems overhaul is necessary if the
public housing program is toy be
operated in a businesslike man-I
ner."
Since Johnson's resignation, the
interim director Marcia Wallace
has revamped the housing com-

mission staff and procedures in an egltie proeeings, he ays,
effort to stave off financial col- legislative proceedings, he says,
effot tbased on the "state constitutional
lapse. right" to freedom of the press. Al-
Barlow said expenditures in though he admits that such a law
manyprogram areas were being would probably precipitate taa
be drastic," she added. She re- "states-rights" court battle with
fused to name particular programs the federal government, he points
slated for cuts. to the "attention" which the con-
The commission's future may flict would focus on the issue.
depend on federal aid to defray But while proponents of the
this yea'r's massive debt. Barlow shield legislation confidently pre-
said the commission is seeking ad- dict passage, other legislators
ditional HUD funds. voice reservations.
"We may get some money to State Rep. Robert Traxler (D-
help make up the $88,000 deficit. Bay City), chairman of the House
The situation at this time is un- Judiciary Committee, fears that if
clear, in several weeks we'll have newsmen enjoy absolute protec-
much more concrete information," tion from disclosing their sources
she said. , they will "no longer be responsi-
Regardless of budget cuts and ble for libel."
any HUD funds the commission State Sen. Daniel Cooper (D-
will probably incur a sizeable de- Oak Park), a member of the up-
ficit at the end of this fiscal year, per chamber's Judiciary Commit-
June 30, cautioned Barlow. tee, also is concerned about the

problem of libel. The bills pose "a
question of accountability," he
says.
The .Judiciary Committee may
hold public hearings and solicit an
opinion from the state attorney
general on the bills, says Trax-
ler. "We know the press favors
these bills," he says. "Like any
special interest group, they make
their wishes known. We have to'
circulate these bills among the
public, get responses, and judge
their impact on a fair press."
Traxler says he will give the
shield legislation "top priority"
on his committee's calendar, alongI
with other "important" matters
that are due to come before theI
committee.
Although Vaughn says that he
is willing to "clean up" the bills,"
he is apprehensive about "opening
the dike" to too many qualifica-
tions of the newsman's right to
immunity. "The virture of these
bills is that they are far-reaching,"
he says.
Shield legislation similar to the
bills now in the House was intro-

duced in the Senate last year.
State Sen. Robert Richardson (R-'
Saginaw) notes that the bill failed3
to muster the votes necessary to
be reported out of his committee.+
He adds ,however, that it was
not "that big an issue then." Rich-
ardson declares himself in favor
of a newsman-shield law and says:
that he plans to sponsor another
such bill in the Senate. ]
Asked what such legislation's
chances would be in the upper
chamber, Richardson refers to
"feelings" over a recent - contro-5
versy between the press and thet
Senate.r
After the upper chamber votedI
to confine reporters to a box in-
stead of allowing them to wander
the floor interviewing legislatorsI
during session, newspapers charg-
ed that the Senate was attempt-
ing to "cut off" reporters from
the proceedings.
Although the memory of the dis-
pute "shouldn't influence" the
Senate's decision, Richardson says,
bad feelings may create "prob-
lems" for the shield law there.

SGC ousts Palmer lee
Continued fomnPage 2) 'wer a thousand" signatures by
suspicious and placed a stop on Wednesday.
issuancenof,the keys. P-Amerlee's petition was not the
Under questioning by Couincil 1" one under discussion last
members, Palmerlee admitted he night.
was "instrumental" in setting up i att Hoffman presented Coun-
the list. However, he called Ja- cil with two petitions for constitu-
cobs' story "circumstantial evi- tional amenment referenda. Hoff-
dence" and announced he would man admitted his proposed amend-
"see Mr. Jacobs in court." ment to abolish the .mandatory
Palmerlee told Council that his $2.00 SGC fee and substitute a
Palerle tld ounil hathisvoluntary one was rather prema-
attorneys plan to sue Jacobs in tore, since theresis'a possibility
Washtenaw County Court. He also the SGC election date will be
said that it was "quite possible moved up from March 28 to
Ron Palmerlee will resign from Feb. 28.
(University) Council very shortly." If the date is changed, the peti-
Palmerlee later revealed he is tion might not be considered until
planning to circulate a petition after the elections, in which case
with the. aim of recalling "a approval of the petition could be
quorum" of Council members - put off indefinitely.
"basically everyone who voted for A motion was also brought up
my removal." by Howard Victor for Bill Jacobs
A thousand student signatures to resign on the "moralistic"
are needed to remove any SGC grounds of not being a student.
member from office. Palmerlee After a loud uproar, Jacobs spoke,
predicted he would have "way saying the motion was out of order.

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I.-- - - ____________________________________________________________________________

Prof discusses Hanoi trip

(Continued from Page 1)
he did observe that "the residen-
tial areas that were hit were
blown to bits."
"Where the Americans bomb-
ed, they just destroyed totally,"
he said.
Whitmore was unable to visit
any universities or museums, since
all were evacuated. Hospitals were
"wisely" evacuated also, accord-
ing to Whitmore, by moving pa-
tients to bomb shelters beneath
the hospitals.

Since the signing, "they prefer
to take a more positive than nega-
tive view."
"They do not feel insecure about
what has been signed. They got
what they wanted. They wanted
nothing better than that this agree-
ment be followed to the letter."
He reported that he saw people
returning to the cities in "small
trucks, buses, and vehicles bring-
ing in people and children."
In discussing the agreement,
Whitmore's hosts observed that,

in 60 days, Vietnam would be
without foreign troops on its soil
for the first time since 1858.
Whitmore, who went to Hanoi
seeking academic links between
the United States and the Demo-
cratic Republic of Vietnam, claims
"The North Vietnamese are open
to as many contacts as possible."
"There is a strong differentia-
tion between the American peo-
ple, whom they have perhaps ov-
erly strong faith in, and those who
directed the war itself."

wwnrs

In a directhit, however, vic- __r' -
tims were often smothered alive.
Whitmore recalled visiting a
newly - bombed hospital with a
historian whose sister had died in
a shelter beneath the rubble.
Despite the bombings, the peo-
ple looked "remarkably healthy-
both in the city and the country-
side," and that in Hanoi "by a M
select route, you perhaps could not
tell that bombing had occurred."
The ceasefire brought no "wild r m 3 to 1
exultation", says Whitmore. rr ff2 "C-
exultation", s a y s Whitmore,
"Things went on as usual." "'
They were "nervous" before the } i
signing, he claims.
"The feeling was that Nixon had +g
talked peace before, and we have ANN ARBOR
seen what it was to use their '
words," he said, describing their 1121 South University
"particularly bitter feelings" to-(
wards Nixon. , ,,_. i, . ,h'

TONIGHT! 8 P.M.!
.HE UNIVERSITY PLAYERS Proudly Present
SIR ARTHUR WING PINERO'S
f THE MAGISTRATE
A VICTORIAN FARCE
"Riotously Funny Piece of Classic Force"
O* -London Daily Telegraph, Dec. 21, 1972 Q
.JAN. 31-FEB. 3
Ind. Tickets $3,$2
Lydia Mendelssohn Theater
BOX OFFICE OPEN 12:30-8 P.M. (curtain time)
Box Office Phone 668-6300
Good Seats Still Available
For All Performances
0+ Dept. of Speech Communication and Theater

PARTICI PATE
in University Committees
14 Graduate and Undergraduate
Student Seats Are Vacant
* U-Cellar Board (3)
" Research Policies (1)
* Univelrsity ,Coucil (2)
" Teacher Awards (1)
* Civil Liberties (1),
" Proper Role (1)
* Student Relations (2)
U niversity Relations (2)
APPLY NOW
SGC OFFICE AT
3-X MICHIGAN UNION
Ask for a P.I.B. Form

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