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June 07, 1978 - Image 8

Resource type:
Michigan Daily, 1978-06-07

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Page 8-Wednesday, June 7, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Wheeler blasts GOP budget cuts

sy JU nnu-f
Former Mayor Albert Wheeler
returned to City Council Monday night
for the first time since he turned his
seat over to Louis Belcher, to protest
slashed social service funding and
private Republican caucus meetings.
Wheeler addressed Council during a
public hearing portion of the meeting
devoted to Community Development
Block Grand (CFBG) reapportionment.
He said he was not surprised
Republican Council members had
voted to cut social service funds. His at-.
tack was relatively mild, however,
compared to the piercing allegations
characteristic of the last two mayoral
campaigns between Belcher and
Wheeler. However, he said he would
"vigorously oppose" the proposed CD-
BG changes which are targeted at
street repairs, subordinating social
WHEELER FIRST attacked the
Republican caucus for making the CD-
BG changes "without any involvement
of the general public, the CDBG com-
mittee or the CDBG area residents."
He then protested the $15,000 cut in
public housing funding and the
reallocati-t of $15,000 from minority
businesses appropriations.
Wheeler's major attack was targeted
at Belcher for dispensing with plans for
a multipurpose social service building,
which was to include facilities for a
dental clinic, legal services, a child
care center, meeting rooms and neigh-
borhood organizations. All of these ser-
vices are aimed at lower income
"FOR THREE years we dangled this
carrot before the CDBG eligible

residents of the city," Wheeler said of
the building. He argued that the
multipurpose complex would provide
jobs and services for low-income
residents, and promised to work with
concerned program officials to for-
mulate a new CDBG proposal providing
needed services. Wheeler estimated the
proposal would cost about $400,000 to
$450,000, double the Republican allot-
ment for neighborhood facilities.
Later, Wheeler said his speech was
"just a gentel nudge-a warning, but
I'm just beginning." He said the biggest
change he had noticed about the new
Council was that its meetings were
The former mayor said he has been
spending his free time preparing for the
University microbiology classes he
teaches, and becoming more involved
in community activities. "You see it
goes in a cycle, up to three years ago I
was very active in the community from
that side of the table (not on Council),
then I was- mayor for three years and
now I'm back on that side of the table,"
he explained.
FROM "THAT " side of the table
Wheeler attacked the Republican
caucus for holding private meetings. "I
warned the Republicans it was seven
votes (in the majority) and they had to
begin to publicize when and where they
were holding their meetings," he said.
The Democrats on Council, excluding
Earl Green (D-Second Ward), intend to
file a lawsuit this week against the
Republican caucus, charging the seven
GOP members with violating
Michigan's Open Meetings Act by
holding a private session. The
Democrats are asking that $328,500 of.

changes in the budget be overturned by
the court.
Concerning the lawsuit, Wheeler
said, "It's something they asked for,
and they got it." He said contrary to
rumored allegations, he did not in-
stigate the lawsuit. "I haven't talked to
Leslie Morris for a week," Wheeler said
of the suit initiator.
"I DON'T THINK they can continue
to meet privately, they're going to have
to respect that law like everyone else,"
Wheeler remarked. He asserted that
the Democrats have held open caucus
meetings for ten years and "people
have a right to sit in and voice their
Wheeler further attacked the
Republicans and their covert caucus
gatherings, "I believe they're playing
games. They know what they're going
to do. They believe they can do
whatever the hell they want, but they're
not going to do it easily," Wheeler
Other citizens voiced concern over
CDBG apportionments during the
designated time. Many residents of
Pine Lake Village refuted the funding
allocation for the construction of a tennis
court. Residents said the abundance of

small children in the area could not use
a tennis court but they need playground
equipment to divert them from the
streets in which they are now playing.
'I believe they're playing
games. They know what
they're going to do. They
believe they can do what-
ever the hell they want,
but they're not going to
do it easily.'
-Former Mayor
ilbert Wheeler
"We need playground equipment
badly," Rachael Samoff said. "In the
summer all the kids have to do is ride
their big wheels in the street." Barbara
Daniel concurred, "The large number
of kids in the are cannot make use of
tennis courts."

What d'ya say there,
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Think you could sell a few Daily subscrip-
tions during freshman orientation?
The pay is good... $3.65/hour.
You can work full or part time.
And with your . . . um . . . winning per-'
sonality, it should be a breeze.
What d'ya say, Watson?
Give 'em a ring at the Daily, 764-0560


Council hears effects
of forestry fund cut
By DAN OBERDORFER this year will be 250 saplings now
Parks and Recreation Department growing in the department nursery,
Superintendent George Owers appear- trees which will be paid through federal
ed before City Council Monday to ex- community development programs, of
plain the impact of a controversial trees which have already been planned
55,000 cut to the forestry division through developers escrow accounts.
budget. PRUNING, TRIMMING, and tree
The cut was part of $328,500 worth of and stump removal programs will be
amendments to the budget which were curtailed, he said, adding that the
engineered by Republican council department will not be able to hang
members two weeks ago. The amen- Christmas lights in the central business
Iments - including the slash to the district this year.
orestry division - have come under Republican Mayor Louis Belcher
heavy fire and have resulted in a pointed out that despite cutting $55,000
awsuit by the Democrats to overturn from Murray's budget plan, the
hem. forestors still will receive $10,000 more
THE $55,000 LOSS will "set back the than last year.
orestry division 12 years," Owers said Yesterday, Belcher added he would
n a memorandum which was issued at grant his approval if the parks depar-
he meeting. tment reinstated some of the programs
He charged that the forestry division by jockeying funds within their own
would lose $99,000 - not just the $55,000 budget.
rom the general fund - because four HOWEVER, Murray refused Monday
employees funded under the Com- night to allow the cut to be spread
prehensive Employment Training Act throughout the department. "You
CETA) must be laid off before regular asked us to make specific cuts and
ity employees are forced to leave their we've done that," Murray told the
ositions. The extra $44,000 loss comes seven-member Republican majority.,
because almost 80 per cent of the CETA Councilman Ken- Latta (D-First
mployee's salary is paid by the gover- Ward) charged the Republicans were
ment. trying to correct mistakes they had
Owers said tree planting this season made on the budget because they are
vould nearly be cancelled.by the $12,000 faced with citizens' complaints and
lash to that project. Almost 1200 trees with a lawsuit from the Democrats
would have been planted under which could overturn the $328,500 of
Vlurray's original budget plan, he said, budgetary changes made by the
ut the only trees planted along roads Republicans.
Would you like to live in an elegant neo-Tudor msnsion (East Quad?) Dining hell, library,
cultural events, interesting associates, old world ambience. The Medieval and Renaissance
Collegium is now accepting reservations for student accommodations in the MARC Residence
House, effective September 1978. If you are a MARC concentrator or if you are interested in
the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, you are eligible to live in the MARC House. For infor-
mation or to reserve a room for the fell, see the director, Russell Fraser (2619 Haven,
764-4140), or phone the MARC office 763-2066, or stop by the office (M-F 9:00-12:00
and 1:00-4:00 206 Tyler East Quad) with your name and address. Act now on your reservation.
Only a limited number of places are ayaiable.
enmus ad antra.

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