Letter to the Editor: Reader still speaking up, hoping more will listen

Dear Editor,

People think my name is in the Clarkston News too much. I agree. I would like to see others speak up but that is not happening.
I would also like to see the Clarkston News do more than simply repeat the biased, one sided, and incorrect information that city officials give out. That is not happening either so all we have is highly inaccurate information from our city officials or no information at all.
In reference to the article in the September 23, 2020 Clarkston News, the budget for the city hall renovations is not $300,000. That is only what was borrowed from the sewer and water funds.
The actual cost is closer to $400,000. We do not know for sure because the city refuses to provide a full accounting of all related costs which continue to be incurred.
Design and engineering fees were not accounted for, nor was the $50,000+ for the driveway and parking area. Needed landscaping was never in the budget and has yet to be done. They used city Department of Public Works labor and equipment to do much of the work, saying it cost nothing as if it is somehow free.
It isn’t, and if it somehow is, then why can’t they mow everyone’s lawn, weed all our yards and plow all our driveways in the winter?
Now, after depleting the sewer fund to pay for the city hall, doing undocumented work on private property for storm water drainage, and purchasing prettier street signs, they want to assess us more to cover the budget shortfall the city officials caused. We know they are going to do whatever they want and spend our money, so why can’t they be honest about it?
Then we have the ongoing legal battle in the Michigan Supreme Court to keep information from us and in the end, have us pay the legal costs. The Supreme Court has ruled against the city, but they continue to incur greater legal costs, ignore the public’s right to know, and openly defy the court’s decision.
I do hope the Clarkston News reports all sides of the story instead of only the side the City Manager, Mayor, and Council want us to believe.

Cory Johnston

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