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Friday, July 17, 2015

Johnny Brann Blasts Bliss+Grand Rapids City Leadership, Says They Put Police Lives In Danger

Johnny Brann Sr. (Photo by Hollyn Johnson)

By Brandon Hall
(Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com)

Johnny Brann Sr. is known for a lot of things: staying silent about important issues is not one of them. Brann-a popular restaurant owner, recently released a statement blasting City Commissioner Rosalynn Bliss and the rest of the leadership in Grand Rapids for taking funds from a 2010 income tax increase intended for police officers and putting them instead in the general fund.

"Do you realize that, by not using this increased revenue for the purpose of public safety, you are putting citizens &all police officers in a potentially life-threatening situation?

I will get an answer if the commission ( and managers ) individually will not respond to this.
The commissioners are accountable to the people who elected them and can and
should publicly address at a commission meeting the misuse of dedicated public
money. Their lack of caring for the public’s will at the ballot box, as well as
lack of caring for the public’s safety is unjust. People could have been injured
or worse already because this tax revenue was not used as intended since 2010...

This is a travesty and every city commissioner needs to be held accountable for this and their role as public servants to ensure the city is running the way it should and that money
is being used as intended. Commissioners Gutowski, Shaffer, Bliss, Kelly,
Lunkins and Mayor Hartwell – Don’t ever say you back law enforcement when you
were part of this misuse of the money the good citizens entrusted you to be
dedicated to police and fire protection."

Brann also said officials should be required to ride along with police in GR's high crime areas late at night at least once.

"All commissioners when elected should be required to ride a minimum of three patrol shifts, including 3rd shift in high crime areas," Brann said.

Here is Brann's full statement:

In 2010 I was part of a group that help pass an Income Tax increase. I was told 100% of this would be used for public safety ei: Police and Fire. I have since learn the truth on
where the expense of this tax hike ( now allocated for roads ) has gone. I am writing you and some other media personalities with the hopes of bringing awareness to The Grand Rapids Community and Taxpayers.

Safety Second? Apparently with the Grand Rapids City Commission
The information that follows shows a lack of regard for the citizens of Grand Rapids, who in 2010 voted to support a tax increase to be used for increased support for law enforcement and the fire department.

First, it is simply wrong to allow these dollars to be sent to the general funds, where they are being used to “fill holes”, to quote one of our commissioners.

My two-part question to Mayor Heartwell, Mayoral candidate Bliss & The city commissioners Walt Gutowski, David Shaffer, Ruth Kelly, Senita Lenear, outgoing Elias Lumpkins & City Manager Greg Sundstrom is this:
1) Why did you not allocate these tax dollars for their intended use,
as directed by the citizens of Grand Rapids? Citizens are not aware that these
dollars are being misallocated.
2) Do you realize that, by not using this
increased revenue for the purpose of public safety, you are putting citizens &
all police officers in a potentially life-threatening situation?
I will get an answer if the commission ( and managers ) individually will not respond to this.
The commissioners are accountable to the people who elected them and can and
should publicly address at a commission meeting the misuse of dedicated public
money. Their lack of caring for the public’s will at the ballot box, as well as
lack of caring for the public’s safety is unjust. People could have been injured
or worse already because this tax revenue was not used as intended since 2010.
That is a question we may not know the answer to but we all have to live with
the very real possibility that this is already true.

This is a travesty and every city commissioner needs to be held accountable for this and their role as public servants to ensure the city is running the way it should and that money
is being used as intended. Commissioners Gutowski, Shaffer, Bliss, Kelly,
Lunkins and Mayor Hartwell – Don’t ever say you back law enforcement when you
were part of this misuse of the money the good citizens entrusted you to be
dedicated to police and fire protection.

All commissioners when elected should be required to ride a minimum of three patrol shifts, including 3rd shift in high crime areas. If you ever once were in a situation where your life or
your spouse or children’s or your other loved ones’ lives were in serious
danger, who are you calling? Yes, that’s right – 911 / The GRPD. At that point
you will be seeing them as the brave men and women that protect our lives. Have
you ever heard “There is no greater honor than a person who sacrifices his life
for another?”

Remember officer Bob Kozminski. The never-ending grief his family
experiences will not be felt by the people involved in the domestic disturbance
call that took his life. He died on July 8th, 2007. He sacrificed his life in an
effort to make sure other people would not be harmed. He is a hero and he will
never be forgotten in this community.

Law enforcement is more important than ever with the times becoming so unpredictable daily. I have a solution: NEW CITY OFFICIALS. Out with the lack of respect for law enforcement and in with myself and other potential candidates that believe strongly in public safety. In with
candidates who will respect the will of the people and their votes. In with
public officials who will ensure the public’s money is spent as intended."

____________________________________________________________
 Brandon Hall is a lifelong political nerd from Grand Haven, and is the Managing Editor of West Michigan Politics 
Email him at WestMiPolitics@Gmail.com
Photo By Darlene Dowling Thompson


1 comment:

  1. I support Mr Brann's position. I would encourage him to get involved with some tea party groups who are trying to end the corruption at all levels of government. We can't end corruption in Washington unless we end it first in Lansing. We can't end it in Lansing unless we end it at the local level first. We need more citizens like Mr Brann to get involved.

    ReplyDelete