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County Commissioner: DIA Millage is 'Another Brick in the Wall Against Family'

Oakland County Commissioner Robert Gosselin and three other panelists discussed the upcoming DIA millage request Thursday evening at the Troy Community Center.

While some are and lobbying for approval of a , a less vocal group is pushing against the tax increase, including a four-man panel that met to discuss and answer questions about the proposed millage Thursday evening at the .

, the panel discussion featured Bruce Walker of MichiganView.com, Rep. Tom McMillin, County Commissioner Robert Gosselin, and Simon Haddad of the Michigan Taxpayers Alliance.

Roughly 30 people – including Troy Mayor Janice Daniels and 41st District State Representative candidate Martin Howrylak – attended the event, which aimed to explain why the proposed millage should be voted down.

"Normally, I would’ve just opposed the DIA tax based on philosophical grounds, but when I started seeing the ads saying they’d have to close their doors ... I said, that’s it," McMillin said. "That day, I put together a press release and looked at their financials."

McMillin, who spoke first Thursday night and has been a very vocal opponent of the DIA millage proposal, said he has crunched the DIA's numbers, and they don't add up.

"For the last two years, they’ve increased their net worth by 50 million dollars," he said, holding up a handmade sign to illustrate his point. "It’s pretty rare. I would argue they’ve done a pretty good job.”

While McMillin argued the necessity of the millage request, Gosselin said he is concerned how the tax will affect the future generation of taxpayers.

“A lot of it is stress on the children. You’re hurting the children. ... $15 here, $20 there ... it starts adding up," Gosselin said. "This is just another brick in the wall against family."

Gosselin said he believes residents in Oakland County are taxed enough, and an additional tax like the DIA millage places unnecessary stress on residents.

“I look at this as another tax, another thing where government is growing bigger ... and we’re in an area where we’re depressed," he said. "People are losing their homes, their jobs – now the government wants more money.”

While some of the panelists questioned the , Walker called it "a terrific institution staffed by terrific individuals filled with terrific artwork" and said he enjoys visiting.

However, he said, "My enjoyment should not be out of your paycheck."

Proponents of the DIA millage have argued additional operating revenue for a decade is needed to avoid reducing the current DIA public access of 36 hours over five days each week. "An operating endowment of $72 million provides funding for approximately 20 percent of annual operations," millage campaign spokesman Bob Berg .

A representative from the DIA was not invited to Thursday's panel discussion, Tietz said. Calls from Patch to the DIA seeking comment were not immediately returned Friday morning.

The millage request will be on ballots in Macomb, Oakland and Wayne counties on Aug. 7. A levy of 0.2 mills means property owners would pay $10 for every $100,000 of taxable value shown on municipal tax statements.

Joan July 27, 2012 at 05:09 PM
It doesn't matter if the DIA is involved in a conspiracy to waste tax money--the issue is they are Not going to get MY tax $$. NO to any New Taxes. Let DIA raise any required funds on their own.
Joshua Raymond July 27, 2012 at 06:20 PM
I recently went to a Clark Durant town hall and was able to ask Mr. Durant a question about his views. He didn't invite Pete Hoekstra or Debbie Stabenow. I did not consider this unfair at all, but a chance for me to gain information about a candidate. If one side wants to have a discussion about their views, I see no reason they need to invite the other side. If you want the flip side, it's out there. You don't need it served up on a platter.
Linda July 27, 2012 at 07:35 PM
It's not just Doug Tietz, it is all of them you need to be aware of. Some will be on the ballot in November. Janice needs to be recalled so Troy can get back its fine reputation and Gosselin needs to be defeated to send a message that their foul tactics are unacceptable. They are an embarrassment to the Republican Party.
Daffy Noodnicks July 28, 2012 at 01:19 AM
If Roger Waters knew Mr. Gosselin used "another brick in the wall" in this context, he would never stop throwing up.
NO Dia Tax July 28, 2012 at 03:29 AM
That answer is very simple - the DIA is spending TWO MILLION DOLLARS to get their message out. WE, the conservative opposition, have a budget of ZERO and no resources other than our own. It's tough to compete with a professional PR firm and prime time TV spots on the evening news every night. But the DIA is "broke" and will "close their doors" if this millage doesn't pass. RRRRIIIIGGHHHHTTTT......
NO Dia Tax July 28, 2012 at 03:38 AM
As one who DID attend the meeting, I find the Alinsky style responses posted here to be somewhat disturbing. Instead of focusing on the issues, the writers are attacking the panelists. No one has disputed the validity of the figures, because they're indisputable - they were provided BY the DIA. So all of the questions about excessive salaries, the mis-management of city resources, the possibility of a Chapter 9 bankruptcy liquidating ALL the city owned art ( which is ALL OF IT ) are not even being discussed and instead are replaced with character assassinations, which distract from the topic at hand. This is, in fact, a minimum of $230,000,000.00 over ten years, and possibly much. much more if assessments increase during that period. Yet there is NO accountability, the language is intentionally ambiguous, the operating agreement expires in the middle of the 10 year term - NONE OF THIS is addressed in the ballot language. The DIA is not even specifically named so we don't know WHERE the money will really go. Are YOU convinced all involved will "do the right thing" ? I'm certainly not.
Mark White July 28, 2012 at 04:39 AM
Millagers are all over Tietz & Co. here for not inviting DIAniks to this Pro-Liberty forum in Troy. Does anyone think these same millagers will be the least bothered if DIAniks don't invite Pro-Liberty speakers that DIA Pro-Tax rally Tuesday in Detroit?
Eva July 28, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Didn't Tietz have his name jointly on all the election ads with Daniels? Seems like he must have had a similar perspective as Daniels if he was willing to be associated on those materials.
Randy Jasky July 28, 2012 at 04:07 PM
Here is an excellent list of reasons to NOT support the millage increase, published by the Bloomfield-Bloomfield Hills Patch: http://bloomfield-mi.patch.com/articles/opinion-15-reasons-to-vote-against-the-dia-millage#comments_list
Daryl Patrishkoff July 28, 2012 at 04:11 PM
Here is a great fact based post in the Bloomfield Patch about why we should vote no for this tax increase. Plenty to learn about this issue, do not believe the marketing words given in the TV commercials, facts seem to always get in the way of the spin masters. http://bloomfield-mi.patch.com/articles/opinion-15-reasons-to-vote-against-the-dia-millage#comment_4144596
Lianne Mathie July 28, 2012 at 05:33 PM
http://troyareateaparty.org/special-events/ All this from the Tea Party group who sponsored the event Dr. Barr attended. Fair and balance??????
Mark July 28, 2012 at 05:35 PM
"The Troy Republican party is a real mess." "They are an embarrassment to the Republican Party." Question for Ed and Linda - are either of you even Republican? Because I am Republican and I am not embarrassed by the individuals representing my party, nor do I think it is a mess. Regarding the DIA... Former Governor Granholm, who we all know was a Democrat, pulled $10 million in funding to the DIA. Why is that? Maybe because she didn't want to give money to a city that has so much corruption in it that she didn't believe the money was being properly spent? So now that the State pulled funding, why is Oakland and Macomb gets to pick up the tab? Why not Monroe or Washtenaw? Why are some so willing to just give money when asked all the time? They have not PROVED that they need it. They just say that they do. 230 million to an institution owned by the city of Detroit - a city that is on the 11 o'clock news time and time again for corruption and fraud in the police, water, fire dept., parks and rec. I like to think Bing is doing a good job, but the bad news just keeps coming. But 1/4 of a BILLION dollars you're willing to send downtown because they're running commercials threatening to close? Make them tighten their belt. Allow people from Oakland and Macomb on a board to help straighten things out. But NO, they just want our money, not our input or oversight.
Daryl Patrishkoff July 28, 2012 at 08:05 PM
Lianne, What is your comment about each of the 15 points listed? Just because you do not like the messenger does not mean they pose a good question. These 15 points are very truthful and fact based, it shows the marketing blitz by the DIA is full of untruths and over statements. This is how the City of Detroit and others got themselves in trouble by not reviewing the facts and challenging the marketing statements.
JAMES KLEINSCHMIDT July 28, 2012 at 08:43 PM
Twenty dollars is a brick in the wall against family even given free admission all year? Does that mean that taking the kids to the movies is also detrimental to the family, becausse it might cost more than $20. Going to an art museum all year for free would seem to be very good for families, children, and our civilization. It is a good deal, if people take advantage of it.
Mark July 28, 2012 at 11:45 PM
Dangling of the carrot with free admission. Something isn't right here folks. Jennifer Granholm pulled $10 million/year in funding and now they need $23 million? Why only Macomb and Oakland? The distance from the DIA to the Ohio line is appx 45 miles. It's 45 miles from the DIA to the north Oakland county border. So include Monroe. I don't want to hear "you don't use it, so it's okay to lose it." That's not it at all. I'm a frequent visitor to the DIA. Once a year at least with family at $8/person. Sometimes when out of state family come in I'll make a second visit in a year. I don't mind paying. But don't make me pay. This needs turned down and the DIA needs to bring a different offer to the table. 23 million for 10 years is a ridiculous amount of money. If Oakland and Macomb are to pay, we should - at the very minimum - get some people in there to oversee how this money is being spent. That's not asking for much.
Baylea July 29, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Mark, Are we speaking of Oakland County Republicans? Many of the Oakland County Republicans are no better than many of the Dems. So many connive, lie, discredit good people, break rules and laws, and are just in it because they can't do anything else. I became an Independent Conservative after being disillusioned by those who Republicans who are "supposed" to be representing us. In fact there are many local Repubs and Dems that work together to protect each other's turf.Fact. The two party system in reality are in it together.
Sharon July 29, 2012 at 02:40 AM
It's just that we can't believe any of these panelists. Why bother with their arguments when they are all cheats and scoundrels? Tietz called the scandal rag he ran in 2008 the "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative" to TRICK people into signing the petition and voting for it. Why do they always cheat? Why, if you are correct, do you have to lie and cheat, like Bob Gosselin and the three fake library proposals in 2010 and Glenn Clark claiming an opponent was pro-public-gay-sex?? These people on this panel don't know how to tell the truth, so when they say to do something, I just do the opposite. And if you don't think it is relevant to speak of the character of these politicians, you are wrong!
Lianne Mathie July 29, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Daryl, I collect facts from more then just one source. Tom McMillin's rhetoric has no sway with me as he works 180 days a year and collects a full time salary with life time benefits,a hand made chart is not science nor financial acumen.As a matter of fact, if Tom would like to be effectual in his position, he would demand the nonsense in overpay stop in Lansing. Beside that rant, here are a few links that you might consider beside the well known talking point the Troy Tea Party has released this past weekend in anticipation to this ballot question. http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120708/SUB01/307089967/keith-crain-time-to-be-responsible-and-vote-for-dia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Institute_of_Arts http://www.freep.com/article/20120712/ENT05/207120565/As-millage-vote-looms-lawmaker-and-DIA-spar-over-finances http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/07/23/news/doc500d992f2eecb306036728.txt?viewmode=fullstory http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120708/SUB01/307089967/keith-crain-time-to-be-responsible-and-vote-for-dia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Detroit_Institute_of_Artshttp://www.freep.com/article/20120712/ENT05/207120565/As-millage-vote-looms-lawmaker-and-DIA-spar-over-financeshttp://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/07/23/news/doc500d992f2eecb306036728.txt?viewmode=fullstory
Daryl Patrishkoff July 29, 2012 at 11:42 AM
Lianne, I went to all of the sources you listed and they are articles that seem to be attacking Tom McMillin. This is not about Tom McMillin or further attempts to discredit him and tie him to the DIA group objecting to this tax increase. Take Tom out of the argument and explain why the 15 points are not factual. This is a new tax to support a small special interest group. The DIA is a great place, but should not be funded by our tax dollars by the many people who will never use it. I have visited the DIA and will in the future because I find it a valuable resource, but I do not expect others to pay for my special interest. I will gladly pay my fair share when I use the DIA. Please address the real issue and answer the 15 points. The devil is in the details and if we buy the marketing ploy we will be creating another monster we cannot afford as taxpayers.
Lucille Musser Arking July 29, 2012 at 02:19 PM
It is very bad for Troy , Oakland county, state of michigan that voters do not research all candidates before voting for them. Today most candidates for office have a record and it can be easily found on the internet . As matter of practice I never listen or act on campagin literature or ads . I look for records of past activity in policy opinions . I do vote for my own best interest but not at the sake of what seems like the best interest for the city, county,state, and nation . I never vote for people who say "no new taxes "or use "never" in statements . The reason is that logic tells me that they will not be problem solvers but idealogues. Bob Gosselin makes peopl like Tietz is idealogue . I want overheard a council person say " we delay votes on some issues so we can get Bob's opinion . after hearing that I watched and guess what there was a pattern of delays on some issues and reason for those delays were silly . If people had watched Mayor Daniels just once in public comment over the years most who did would not have voted for her. Troy voters have a habit of not doing due diligence before failing to vote or voting in city elections . Whats more many Troy voters also sound unimformed when talking about city issues , yet the city works hard and always have on informing citizens on happenings . hoping they learn but it happens over and over .
NO Dia Tax July 29, 2012 at 05:06 PM
This is not about the panelists - it's about the issue. TAXING is a non-partisan issue; everyone pays if it passes. The character assassinations of the participants are a distraction from the issue and the ISSUE is a tax increase for a boutique black tie clique of elitists all of whom could donate generously but who want YOU to pay for their pet project. You can hear it in the tone of their comments - "perhaps you should spend less at the strip mall". The economy stinks - now is not the the time to raise taxes for anything, especially a museum that doesn't need the money.
NO Dia Tax July 29, 2012 at 05:15 PM
Lianne - this is about fair and balanced? What's "FAIR AND BALANCED" about a museum using TWO MILLION DOLLARS ( wait, I thought they were broke? ) to buy TV ads that say "we have to close our doors" ( the ad is now pulled when we pointed out their own accountants inferred no such thing ) in prime time on the evening news every night, orchestrated from FIVE ( 5! ) campaign offices (because one couldn't possibly be enough) tugging on our heartstrings (because "it's for the children) to get ALMOST A QUARTER OF A BILLION DOLLARS out of taxpayers during the worst economic times since the great depression? You want fair and balanced? Let's talk to the 164 laid off Detroit fire fighters about how FAIR AND BALANCED a tax increase for a MUSEUM not even specified by name would be on the city of Detroit voters. Spare me. Who CARES who sponsored the group? WAS THE MESSAGE WRONG ?? WAS IT DECEPTIVE ?? DID IT COST TWO MILLION DOLLARS ??
NO Dia Tax July 29, 2012 at 05:17 PM
Lucille this WAS not a candidates forum - it was about a TAX INCREASE. I hope you apply your own logic to researching this issue - because if you do I am certain you will come to the same conclusion we have.
NO Dia Tax July 29, 2012 at 05:45 PM
After the successful pleadings before a Wayne County Probate court judge, the DIA have successfully (and quietly) obtained re-allocation of trust distributions from the Tannahill Trust and Kanzler Foundation Endowment for the Arts. Wayne County Probate Court has allowed the DIA to use these funds for operations, instead of art purchases, for the next five years. But its all about increasing the ENDOWMENTS? They had to "convince" these trust administrators to go along with this diversion of funds from what those benefactors intended. WHY??
NO Dia Tax July 29, 2012 at 05:49 PM
A TALE OF TWO ART MUSEUMS While the DIA falsely attempts to mislead voters by presenting itself as a draw for economic growth in our area, the sun shines bright in nearby Toledo, Ohio- home to the Toledo Museum of Art (TMA). Despite the close proximity to the DIA, the world-renowned TMA does not appear to be plagued by the threat of imminent closure in the absence of public or taxpayer funding. The Toledo Museum of Art, founded in 1901, spans 6 buildings on a 36 acre campus. The TMA remains a privately-endowed, non-profit institution and opens its collection to the public, free of charge, six days a week (309 days a year). Despite being in a smaller market and having another major art museum in Cleveland, the TMA has reported assets of $273 million compared to $194 million for the DIA. Conversely, the TMA was able to operate its sprawling campus on $14.1 million in FY2011, while the DIA spent almost twice as much at $27.6 million. With its larger asset pool and lower operating cost, the TMA is able to fund its operation through investment income and annual fundraising while simultaneously providing free admission to all. We hope the DIA will look into emulating this model of self-sustainability rather than forcing an additional burden on weary property owners.
Daffy Noodnicks July 29, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Using Cleveland here is a huge red herring. It is 2 hours away from Toledo. The DIA is MUCH closer to Toledo. And the collection the DIA has is not comparable to Toledo in any way. Comparing metro areas served between Detroit and Toledo is an even bigger joke.
Linda July 30, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Based on prior activities, the word honest is not even in some of these guys vocabulary.
Lianne Mathie July 30, 2012 at 02:37 AM
Daryl, I think my point is very clear regarding Tom McMillian and his repeated rhetoric,as a person,he has shown little ability to lead in cost reforms in Lansing. For someone to continue to rail against perks for unions while enjoying those very perks smacks of hypocrisy. My question to you would be, why is Tom only privy to these figure? hmmm? It was a closed forum. He presented only his side. While I provided links to various sources, I'm rather surprised you chose to disregard Crain's Detroit view point on this millage.I feel we cannot compete with cities like Chicago without our cultural institutions intact. Again, at the risk of repeating myself are those links. http://www.crainsdetroit.com/article/20120708/SUB01/307089967/keith-crain-time-to-be-responsible-and-vote-for-dia http://www.theoaklandpress.com/articles/2012/07/23/news/doc500d992f2eecb306036728.txt?viewmode=fullstory That being said,I respect your point of view, however I will continue to support the creative thinking that made Detroit and Oakland County the powerhouses they are.While I reside in a modest bungalow that serves my every need, I never have asked for more then I have given to my community.In your words, shared sacrifice.Keeping our communities strong is all of our responsibilities.This is not a communist,marxist or leftist ideal, it is simply human and a reasonable request.
Mark July 30, 2012 at 12:22 PM
This is also something I find wrong with it. The amount coming from each county. All of these numbers are provided by the DIA. The millage expected to be raised from each county... Oakland $10 million Wayne $8 million Macomb $5 million Now, the museum averages 400,000 per year. 32% from Wayne 19% from Oakland 10% from Macomb 19% of the visitors are from Oakland, but funding of 43% of the $23 Million. Oakland county - Vote NO.
Patricia August 01, 2012 at 10:51 AM
Couldn't agree with you more--The DIA needs to look at the TMA and use that for a model. You are correct on the market size and the competition-of which the DIA has none. One needs to ask- what is really going on with the DIA in management, spending, and planning. The TMA serves the public so much better than the DIA. Thank you "No Dia Tax" for bringing these valuable but overlooked facts forward.

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