LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Buchanan politics, deficits, and mutiny – Leader Publications

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Letter to the editor: Buchanan’s politics, defect and chaos

Published on Monday, November 27, 2023 at 3:30 PM

Buchanan is screwed. The latest State of Michigan F65 Municipal Finance Report covers fiscal year 2021-2022 with a $1.32 million deficit. Buchanan’s 2022-2023 report is under review. By the city auditors and probably a million dollar deficit. It also has a budget for 2023-2024. A major defect in nature.

In the year In 2018, Buchanan voters elected the city commissioners’ reform ticket. One of their first actions was to dismantle the Downtown Development Authority, reducing the revenue stream it generates for the city. This is the first of many mistakes and bad decisions by the current mayor. Next was the hiring of an incompetent city manager.

That new city manager has been spending, hiring staff, issuing bonuses and raises, and generally burned through Buchanan’s cannabis excise tax revenue and ARP money. Suddenly, Buchanan was paying $20,000 a month in accountants and $10,000 a month in legal fees, a historic administrative mess.

City Manager Ben Eldridge arrives to set Buchanan’s financial house in order. Raising taxes is not an option. Buchanan’s property tax rate is the third highest in Berrien County. Bringing back unproductive employees will be the quickest way to resolution. Unfortunately, a pre-strike strike was initiated by the workers. this is A major cause of Buchanan’s current financial woes.

Suspending or firing Ben Eldridge will not solve Buchanan’s labor and financial problems. A shutdown makes finding another bold leader capable of addressing Buchanan’s budget shortfalls even more difficult. Two steps back and one step forward.

Alan Robant.


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