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STATEMENT BY RICHARD HEADLEE, CHAIRMAN OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON LIFE

 STATEMENT BY RICHARD HEADLEE, CHAIRMAN OF ALEXANDER HAMILTON LIFE
 FARMINGTON HILLS, Mich., March 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Following is a statement by Richard H. Headlee, chairman of Alexander Hamilton Life Insurance Company:
 As I read the "propaganda" put out by school boards and public officials surrounding the upcoming millage elections, I'm appalled and disturbed. It reminds me of George Romney's observation 10 years ago: "Public officials keep asking for more and more taxes to provide less and less service."
 My main concerns surround the disguised millage increase proposals put to the taxpayers in the deceptive form of "renewals." As the Headlee Amendment rolls back millages to ensure that taxes increase no faster than inflation and new construction, it is clearly a "roll up" or increase (not a renewal) when a school district proposes approving the original millage rate. Citizens are being cleverly misled by politicians and "educators" in their attempt to drive up property tax revenues. These increased revenues will undoubtedly end up in additions to bloated salaries and benefits.
 School boards and administrators throughout the state go through the charade of "tough" negotiations with the MEA and AFT, only to end up with settlements far above inflation or private sector increases. Teachers' salaries and benefits are third-highest in the nation while student performance lingers around 24th in the nation. More and more for less and less.
 Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury, recently pointed out that government worker salaries are currently $2,600 higher on average than private sector employees. "Government employees have better job security, more generous fringe benefits and more paid vacation and holidays. Employee turnover rates in the public sector are less than in the private sector, a good indication that government employees find their compensation packages superior to their private sector counterparts," Roberts said.
 The American Legislative Exchange Council's recent study concluded that nationwide state and local government employees average real pay increased four times as much as comparable private sector pay between 1980-89 (not including health and other benefits). (Detroit News 2/28/92).
 Citizens should be aware of the deceptive scheme of mislabeling millage increases as renewals. These are major tax increases which will end up in public employee salaries and increased government spending, while driving more and more citizens from their homes.
 1. The Legislature should stop this ballot deception and require the truth be placed before the voters.
 2. Public employee unions should be legally outlawed before they do to schools, law enforcement and government services what the UAW did to our domestic auto industry. Civil service protection is more than sufficient.
 3. All millage and school elections should be held at the same time as primary and general elections, out of the control of school administrators.
 4. Seniors and others so qualified should automatically be solicited for absentee ballots for all elections, particularly millage elections.
 Elections held on odd days, with little public notice, on deceptively worded proposals is not democracy at its best. Our elected leaders should correct this nonsense.
 -0- 3/24/92
 /CONTACT: Jeff Kulesus of Alexander Hamilton Life Insurance Company, 313-553-2000/ CO: ST: Michigan IN: SU:


ML -- DE016 -- 1140 03/24/92 14:05 EST
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Mar 24, 1992
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