Pettalia part of reason AMA?seeking millage

In the January 11 editorial you gave Rep. Pettalia a perfect attendance award as an employee of the residents of the 106th district. I would like to take the evaluation beyond merely showing up for work and get into the context of specific legislation he has supported.

The major issue facing the people of Alpena-Montmorency-Alcona (AMA) Educational Service District is the Enhancement Millage vote on Feb. 26. The request is for three additional mills for 10 years. We are being asked to increase our property taxes over $56 million so our students can receive a quality education here in northeast Michigan.

The roots of this crisis are found in the actions of Rep. Pettalia and his colleagues, Sen. Moolenaar, Gov. Snyder and others in the Republican majority. They subverted the intent of the voters when we passed Proposal A in 1994. For 15 years the taxes we paid under Proposal A were used exclusively for K -12 funding. During the past two years Pettalia and his colleagues have diverted hundreds of millions of dollars away from K-12 schools to balance the state budget and provide tax breaks for big corporations. The loss of this money resulted in a $400 per student reduction in our foundation allowance in Alcona. The Enhancement Millage would generate about $1,000 per student. This millage request could be cut nearly in half if Rep. Pettalia had been looking out for the students and taxpayers of the 106th district. Instead, we are being asked to pay twice for a big part of our students’ education. With all due respect for the gold star of perfect attendance, as a taxpayer and advocate for public education I have to give Rep. Pettalia a failing grade in his support for public education.

Robert R. Kennedy