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November 08, 2011 - Image 8

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2011-11-08

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8 - Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

8 - Tuesday, November 8, 2011 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom

From Page 1
support of the proposal because it
would provide crucial funding for
"If we didn't have a street mill-
age, the only other place we'd have
money to repair streets would be
the general fund, and the general
fund simply does not have enough
flexibility in creating a budget to
maintain the streets," she said.
The city maintains about 200
miles of residential streets and

100 miles of major streets as well cost $23 million and be completed
as 13 bridges, according to the by next November.
Briere said in the last'two years, PROPOSAL2: SIDEWALK
"the city has not been maintain- MILLAGE
ing the streets as effectively as
we'd all like." If passed, Proposal 2 would add
She attributed this tp, the n additional tax to that proposed
city's decision to postpone oahin Proposal 1 to fund sidewalk
maintenance so it can afford the repair. It is expected that Pro-
reconstruction of the Stadium posal 2 would generate $563,000
Bridges. The East Stadiujiys in revenue in thefirst year.
levard Bridges Replacement and Ann Arbor currently requires
Improvement Project, which property owners to pay for their
will replace the two bridges over own sidewalk repair, which is a
South State Street, is expected to policy Proposal 2 seeks to change.
According to Briere, the city pre-
ING LOCATIONS viously hadn't strongly enforced
the standing rule. But with
stricter enforcement in recent
n, 530 S.-State St. years, Ann Arbor residents who
igh School, 401N NDivision assumed the city pays for repairs
enter, 625N, Main St. have been responding negatively.
ool, 912 Barton Dr. "It angered people because
mos, 2101 Bonisfeel Blvd. they weren't prepared for spend-
mmsnit Center 1000 Mclstyre Or.
ons, 10 Aing the money," Briere said,
1608 S. University adding that sidewalk repair is
;ue, 911 N. University unexpectedly expensive.
>n, 530 S. State St. However, with or without the
ig Place, 926 Mary St. approval of Proposal 2, residents
h Ave. and Hi'tSM u, who fail to repair their sidewalks
chool, 601 W. Stadism Blvd. will still be charged by the city.
tl Library,34'iAv, If the proposal passes, the first

Proposal One: Streg and Proposal Two:
Bridges MillageA s
Add a sidewalk
Take effect between 2012 streets and brit
and 2016
The city wosld
Allocate funds to repair streets repairs instead
Net an estimat
Net an estimated $9 million inthe first year

year would be atrial run to see
how much money needs to be
spent on sidewalk repair. Because
the proposal changes the side-
walk repair policy of the city, Bri-
ere said there is no accurate way
to estimate the amount of money
that will be spent.
If passed, Proposal 3 would
add two citizen trustees to the
Employees' Retirement Board -
currently a nine-person group
that responds to city of Ann Arbor
employee retirement system
issues in the city.

The proposal stems from a
2005 report by the city of Ann
Arbor Blue Ribbon Committee.
The 2005 report recommends
that the citizen trustees have
"significant experience" in pen-
sion care administration, pension
actuarial practices, investment
management, finance, business,
banking, certified public account-
ing and/or law. The Blue Ribbon
Cpnittee aimed to have the
council eliminate potential con-
flicts of interest within the board.
However, while the 2005
report recommends the city
administrator have a spot on the
board - which he currently does
- the current proposal would

remove that post.
City Council member Stephen
Eapundalo (D-Ward 2) said he
was one of the people to introduce
these recommendations for the
ballot once they were ready.
"The proposal essentially calls
for getting rid of the city admin-
istrator (spot on the board) and
ensure that there's more citizens
than beneficiaries," Rapundalo
Though the committee's rec-
ommendations were made six I
years ago, Rapundalo said he
doesn't think it lacks relevance.
"What the task force found
then is just as valid today,"
Rapundalo said.

Census: Wealth gap widening between generations in U.S.

People older than
65 have a networth
47 times greater
than those under 35
wealth gap between younger and
older Americans has stretched to
the widest on record, worsened by
a prolonged economic downturn
that has wiped out job opportuni-
ties for young adults and saddled
them with housing and college
The typical U.S. household
headed by a person age 65 or older
has a net worth 47 times greater

than a household headed by some-
one under 35, according to an
analysis of census data released
While people typically accumu-
late assets as they age, this gap is.
now more than double what it was
in 2005 and nearly five times the
10-to-1 disparity a quarter-centu-
ry ago, after adjusting for inflation.
The analysis by the Pew
Research Centere rflets the"
impact of the economic downturn,
which has hit young adults par-
ticularly hard. More are pursuing
college or advanced degrees, tak-
ing on debt as they wait forthe
job market to recover. Others are
struggling to pay mortgage costs
on homes now worth less than

when they were bought in the
housing boom.
The report, coming out before
the Nov. 23 deadline for a special
congressional committee to pro-
pose $1.2 trillion in budget cuts
over 10 years, casts a spotlight on
a government safety net that has
buoyed oderAmericans on Social
Security and Medicare amid wider
cuts to education and other pro-
grams. Complaints about wealth
inequality, high unemployment
and student debt also have been
front and center at Occupy Wall
Street protests around the country.
"It makes is wonder whether
the extraordinary amount of
resources we spend on retirees
and their health care should be

at least partially reallocated to and savings accumulated over
those who are hurting worse than the years, including stocks, bank
them," said Harry Holzer, a labor'accounts, real estate, cars, boats
economist and public policy pro- or other property, minus any debt
fessor at Georgetown University;,.such as mortgueis, college loans
who called the magnitude of the and credit card bills. Older Ameri-
gap "striking." cans tend to have higher net worth
The mediannet worth ofhouse- because, they are more likely to
holds headed by someone 65 or have paid off their mortgages and
older was $170,494. That is 42 built up more savings over time.
percent more than in 1984, when Because the Pew report exam-
the Census Bureau first began ines households at the midpoint
measuring such data broken down of the economic scale, it does not
by age. The median net worth for delve deeply into changes occur-
the younger-age, households was ring at the top and bottom of the
$3,662, downby 68 percent from a distribution. A new census mea-
quarter-century ago, according to sure released yesterday shows
the Pew analysis. the poverty rate to be higher than
Net worth includes the value previously known - about 15.9
of a person's home, possessions percent for Americans 65 or older,

compared to the official 9 percent
rate reported in September. Work-
ing-age adults ages 18-64 also saw
increases in poverty - from 13.7
percentto 15.2 percent.
Nancy LeaMond, an executive
vice president of AARP, noted that
older Americans spend a dispro -I
portionate share of their income
on out-of-pocket medical care,
compared to other groups. "Mil-
lions of older Americans today
continue to struggle to make
ends meet," she said. "Many older
Americans do own their homes, 4
but plummeting housing values
- along with dwindling savings,
stagnant pensions and prolonged
periods of unemployment - have
taken their toll."




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