Vol, LXXXIV, No. 21 -S Ann Arbor, Michigan-Thursday, June 6, 1974 Ten Cents Twelve Pages
Millage proposal defeat would
mean reduction of city services
By GORDON ATCHESON
Daily News Analysis
If Ann Arbor voters turn down a pro-
posed local property tax increase in
next Monday's election, they will have
to put up with a reduction in the
scope and quality of services provided
by the city.
The city is requesting a one-time
"emergency" 1.7 mill tax hike to ease
a financial bind born of increasing
operating costs coupled with a signifi-
cant leveling off in its present revenue
If the millage is defeated, major
personnel cutbacks will be necessary
to balance the fiscal 1975 budget which
goes into effect July 1 and already
includes the funds that the tax in-
crease would generate. -
SOME 30 FULL-TIME employes
would have to be laid off. These
municipal workers include many high
level employes who play major roles
in service implementation.
Three command personnel in the
Police Department would be eliminated
as well as the assistant fire chief, a
fire inspector, an assistant city at-
torney, an inspector in the Human
Rights Department, and clerical work-
ers in most departments.
While the city could operate without
these staff members, delivery of
services would be impaired-becoming
slower and less comprehensive-if they
were removed from the payroll.
IN TERMING the effects of such
lay-offs "devastating," City Adminis-
trator Sylvester Murray may be over-
stating the magnitude of the resultant
problems. But there is no question that
each city resident will notice a drop in
municipal services. ,
If the millage is defeated, city-
funded programs in the area of drug
help, child care, and health care will
be reduced. Many Parks and Recrea-
tion Department functions will be cur-
tailed or eliminated as well.
The city administration realizes that
seeking a millage increase will now be
a particularly difficult proposition.
Voters feel the lash of inflation as
severely as the city does, and often
regard the municipal budget as in-
herently flabby due to excessive ad-
ANN ARBOR'S budget for the up-
coming fiscal year, however, has been.
cut to the bone. Even if the millage is
approved, no money will be available
to expand programs which the admin-
istrators themselves admit are inade-
quate in many areas including street
maintainence and human resource pro-
Clearly the city must attempt to
develop new revenue sources, because
inflation will continue to drive employe
salaries and capital investments higher
and higher each year..But the current
revenue sources cannot expand at a
rate equivalent to these costs.
THUS THE MILLAGE is necessary,
in the administration's eyes, as a tem-
porary measure designed to carry the
city through a difficult 1975 fiscal year.
It is not viewed as an answer to the
long-range budgetary problems.
Only the development of an additional
revenue source or a steady decline in
the level of city services can alleviate
the budgetary pinch. Given the present
status of municipal services, the city
has flatly rejected the possibility of
accepting reduced service operations.
Murray and City Council have turned
their attention toward developing a new
revenue source. They plan to hold a
series of meetings after the millage
vote to map out a long-range financial
INDICATIONS ARE that a city-wide
income tax will receive primary at-
tention as a new revenue producer.
Voters, however, have twice voted down
proposed income taxes.
House probe says tapes make
no mention of milk fund gifts
WASHINGTON 10, - Members of the
House Judiciary Committee who listened
toa tape of President Nixon discussing
a milk price support increase, said yes-
terday they heard no mention of cam-
paign contribution pledges from dairy-
Committee members generally agreed
that Nixon's March 23, 1971, discussion
with aides concerned the political rami-
fications of the price-support question
but that campaign contributions were
not di. cussed.
The coimmittee is examining evidence
in closed session to determine whether
the price-support increase was granted
in exchange for a promise by dairy co-
h -- operatives to raise $2 million for the
. , IPresident's re-election campaign.
THE COMMITTEE also heard record-
ings of two conversations earlier the
same day and reviewed documentary
evidence to deterrmine whether White
IHouse and Nixon campaign aides sought
assurances on March 24, 1971, from
dairyiien that their campaign pledge
Rep. Harold Froehlich (R-Wis.), said,
"It was a political decision . . . it was
not in an area of any wrongdoing."
Both Froehlich and Rep. William Cu-
hen (R-Maine) said the President and
his advisers appeared convinced that if
they didn't act the DIemocratic-controlled
Congress would pass legislation raising
the milk price support.
THEY SAID the discussion dealt with
the possible loss of political support from
diirymen if Congress and the Democrats
were permitted to take the initiative.
"It didn't do anything to enhance the
image of-Mr. Nixon as a statesman, let's
put it that way," said Rep John Seiber-
See PROBE, Page 10
HOUSE JUDICIARY Committee Chairman Peter Rodino (D-N.J.) and chief counsel John Doar discuss Watergate after
an impeachment inquiry session on Capitol Hill. After yesterday's session, House members claimed there was nothing
on the tapes they heard to indicate that Nixon had taken contributions from dairymen in return for favors.