Costly Manistique Drinking Water
in a Water Wonderland

CAVEAT: This article is one of a series of editorial articles that express personal opinions and views. They are written with no pretensions to be error free. I will gladly correct substantial errors of fact. My opinions may change, depending upon my awareness and understanding of changes in factual information. Over time, I may edit my writing to express my thoughts more clearly. It is my intent to remain focused on specific public issues, regarding the personalities involved. For all I know, all the characters are saints, concerning their private lives and other public business...

Changes may be requested by e-mailing the details to pmarkham@manistique.org



06/28/08

For those unaware, the rural City of Manistique, with a population of less than 4,000, sits at the mouth of the Manistique River, on the north shore of Lake Michigan, over bedrock of "water-logged" fractured limestone, in the 1,178.11 square miles of Schoolcraft County, with a total population of less than 9,000, with more sources of potable water than most communities, domestic or foreign.



On 06/17/08, as a consequence of local gossip, I became aware of a special Manistique city council meeting, on 06/19/08, regarding the requirement for, and bonding of water treatment plant upgrades.

The following is a list of questions, and comments, that I wanted to address to council, along with answers to those questions that I got to ask, in the context of my understanding of issues considered at that meeting, of which I had no prior knowledge:



Q. When were the public notice requirements of the meeting made?

A. 06/16/08.

Observation: I did not take notes of who was present at that meeting, but my casual impression was no member of the established news media or general public, other than me. Could it be that everyone else considered their presence a waste of life, or did everyone else have no reason to believe that they were about to be handed a $4.6 m/l million bill, for a project that had no guarantees to meet future EPA and DEQ requirements?



Q. Why the last minute rush consideration of that which I knew almost nothing about, beyond a casual reference that I heard at a past city council meeting?

A. Chuck Lawson, of Wilcox and Associates, preempted my question by stating that the federal "Farm Bill", that helps to fund rural water projects, became effective, in May of 2008, and the draft of the "study, for which Wilcox Engineering was responsible, was completed at the end of May, 2008. The grant/funding application, and prior necessary actions, "had to be completed" by 21 July, 2008, to take advantage of the available federal money, and terms, that would be unavailable, later.

No member of Manistique city council, or administration, asked if a request could be made of the U.S.D.A. to keep the city's various options open past July 21, to allow other qualified engineering businesses to do their homework and bid on the project. I concluded that "circumstances beyond our control" included the USDA's deliberate choice to force Manistique into a sole source contract.

Observation: Council-person Rantanen asked a similar question, in a justified and offended manner, and was assured by Mayor Peterson, City Manager Aldrich, and several representatives of Wilcox Engineering, that nothing was amiss, beyond "uncontrollable circumstances".

Observation: The timing of the "study" completion, and the apparent loss of three weeks of formal city council and administration consideration, and necessary action, makes Wilcox Engineering the likely guaranteed recipient of a "no bid" pending multi-million dollar drinking water infrastructure improvement contract. There is little to no chance that any other business could do the required homework in time, to make a well considered bid, regarding information that Wilcox Engineering had full and prior knowledge of, and planned upon, already.

It was far easier for Mayor Peterson to suggest raising the limit for sole source "no bid" professional services, than it was to insure some form of truly competitive bidding.

My memory recalled, immediately, similar questionable circumstances surrounding Wilcox and Associates personnel's attempt to shut out competitive bidding for the closure of the M- 94 landfill. Click here, for part of my personal perspective regarding Wilcox personnel involvement in predatory public business and policy, regarding the Schoolcraft County's M-94 landfill closure.

From my perspective, history is repeating itself among those that choose not to learn, and have no problem pissing away other peoples' money. It is as if Wilcox Engineering folk's involvement to bypass, or rig, the M-94 landfill closure bidding, and its involvement with the cost overruns and surrounding deception concerning the "Arbutus Ave." project, never took place.



Q. Has all past bond debt, for the water treatment plant, been paid?

A. No, there is almost $2,000,000 + interest, of long term loans, still outstanding.



Q. What, in terms of infrastructure and costs is required, and why?

A. According to Wilcox Engineering personnel, primarily, new EPA and DEQ requirements regarding unfiltered solids and chemical treatment by-products, and general upgrading of the facilities to insure another 30 years of useful life.

Q. What alternatives have been considered beyond more of the same that insures spiraling water rates and fixed expenses rates, twice that of Gladstone?

A. My question was preempted by Wilcox engineer, Dave ?, who referred to unspecified considerations of drawing water from Lake Michigan, or drilled wells. Both alternatives were rejected, primarily, because of water quality concerns, regarding wells, and "ancient" sawdust concerns, regarding lake water.

Q. Has anyone considered drilling wells, possibly adjacent to the water tower? Wells, adjacent to the water tower, or treatment plant, or elsewhere, with automated pumps and treatment processes, might be a viable and far more economical long term alternative to more of the same.

A. I did not ask this question, and a related question concerning Lake Michigan water, because it was "dealt with", in a vague and preemptive manner, by Wilcox Engineering representatives. See above.

Q. Beyond job security, and increased wages and benefits for city employees, what does the planned upgrade or refurbishment or replacement of the water treatment facilities do for the majority of city residents that must pay the bills as their vulnerable future, and property, is threatened by city management's predatory policies?

A. Never got to ask the question, due to the Council's arbitrary three minute public comment time rule.

Q. To rephrase my concerns, where is the bonding money to come from, and out of whose pockets will it be taken, and whose best value for money is being considered?

A. Never got to ask the question, due to the Council's arbitrary three minute public comment time rule.



On 06/19/08, in city council chambers, Wilcox Engineering associate engineer, Dave ..., expressed his pride in the existing water plant and his association with its continued development. As one who shares the bills for that pride, I find it onerous to bear the cost of both Manistique's fixed infrastructure costs, and associated water rates, approximately double that of Gladstone residents. It is an insult, to me, that he is proud of his work, and, therefore, the consequences of that work.



City of Manistique water bills of 020808

As one who lives in poverty, without the motivation, or desire, to prey on my neighbors, I resent the fact that I will pay, when the most recent rate increase takes effect, $360 a year, for zero gallons used at a downtown property. That $360 is, in fact, little more than a whimsical tax, or, if you wish, forced fire insurance premiums, paid to the city, that insure nothing, and from which I stand to gain no value at all if my building burns.

By a claimed "city ordinance", if I want to terminate city billing for water and sewer service I do not use, or want, I must dig up the water and/or sewer lines on my property, cut and terminate the line to some unspecified standard to be inspected by a city worker, and then bury the line, again, to preclude frost damage, a public safety hazard, and likely a blight offense. Local plumbing businesses get the water turned off and on, at the city water shutoff valve or "curbstop", for free, and I have to hire a contractor to dig up my property, sever and terminate the water line, and fill in the hole, when there is a working shutoff valve a few feet away!

As one who lives on a sub poverty income, without the motivation, or desire, to prey on my neighbors, I resent the fact that I pay, today, $26.33 for 2,000 gallons of water per month, delivered to the house in which I live. I am, by the financial necessity of conserving water, subsidizing others' water rates for their greater consumption.

As one who lives within limited means, without the motivation, necessity, or desire, to prey on my neighbors, I resent the fact that the city's water rates, and infrastructure development and maintenance costs, penalizes those of seriously limited means, and the desire or necessity to conserve, in favor of those that don't give a damn about either.

As one who lives with limited means, without the motivation, or desire, to prey on my neighbors, I resent the fact that I am, to often, little more than the means to ensure the continued well being of public employees, public business contractors, and other "movers and shakers" in the community.

It has been apparent, to me, for almost two decades, that the world wide economy, and international politics, reflects the consequences of others, around the world, learning that they do not have to be little more than "plantation niggers" to democratic and capitalist ideals corrupted by unbridled personal self interest.

I share, and identify with that offshore sentiment, as I watch local officials trying to maintain a similar form of involuntary servitude, in my own community, to finance the city's ill designed water and sewer system.



Why do I consider that individual drilled wells and pumps, or neighborhood drilled wells and pumps, shared between neighbors, are an attractive alternative to supporting the cost of the City's spiraling water delivery infrastructure? Why do I look at the water rates of many surrounding and downstate communities and conclude that the Manistique city infrastructure is at the mercy of children supervising children, and elected and hired officials filling public employment slots, too often, with ignorant, unskilled, malingering, shirking, and lazy relatives and friends, with zero, or close zero talent, skills, knowledge, motivation, experience, and professional credentials?

Why did I conclude, almost two decades ago, that incompetent city administration officials curry favor with those businesses that bill me for their privilege of leading ignorant public officials and employees to whatever conclusion is in the best interest of the businesses, and their employees' paychecks and stockholders' dividends?



For those that have yet to figure it out, corporations have no civic, moral, legal, or ethical responsibility, beyond maximizing profits and minimizing expenses, at customers' expense, to whatever degree that they can circumvent the law. Individuals, generally speaking, work within the same guidelines; to maximize their incomes, and minimize their expenses, to whatever degree that they can circumvent moral, ethical and legal concerns.

And, for those that give a damn, there has been a too cozy, long term business relationship between City Attorney Filoramo, and the main engineer, Randy Scott, of the Wilcox Associates office, in Escanaba. As far as I know, the two of them have been involved in a major real estate venture, under the most recent name of Sunrize Inc., in Escanaba, and, more recently, another venture in Menominee. During that time Manistique City Attorney Filoramo was writing and reviewing contracts representing City of Manistique public business with the Wilcox Associates office headed by his private business buddy, Randy.



It is the responsibility of the electorate, and those individuals who are elected, or hired, to represent the best interests of the general public, and to be aware of, and act consistently with the knowledge that humans are intelligent predators, ready willing and able to enslave there neighbors in whatever creative manner they can devise.

Me, today, bitching; you, and your kids, tomorrow, crying, because you asked for more of the same.



06/24/07

I attended the Manistique City Council meeting, last night, during which Wilcox Associates engineers reviewed the business discussed the previous Friday, this time in front of the cable tv cameras, during a regularly scheduled council meeting.

I learned, later, that the broadcast audio was, for the most part, unintelligible to viewers. S.O.S.; someone's unskilled, no-nothing child at the wheel, again. I also got to appreciate, from the front audience row, the squeaking of the vcr tape transport that has entertained me for well over a year, during various public meetings. Oh well, S.O.S, as I said.



During this meeting I learned the following:

1. The City of Manistique was put on notice in 2005, by the Michigan DEQ, that new drinking water standards were due. The new EPA mandatory water quality standards were made public in January of 2006, so now, 2 1/2 years later, the City of Manistique is squoze for time because it waited for a Wilcox Associate's incomplete draft "study" and now risks loosing most favorable USDA rural development funding if the completed application is not submitted by 07/21/08.

2. As I heard, Friday, seeking bids from competing engineering businesses is highly unlikely, given the short period of time remaining for favorable funding, and the inside track that Wilcox Associates has as author of a 1000 page draft engineering study.

3. No details were given regarding why ground water wells vs. surface water was so "cost prohibitive", as stated by Wilcox engineer Dave....?

4. No details were given regarding why lake water vs. river water was not a viable option, beyond a vague reference to a shifting layer of submerged "historic" sawdust that coats the floor of Lake Michigan, in some areas. Seems to me that if a water pipe intake didn't lay on the lake bed, in shallow water, in a prevailing detrimental current, the waterlogged sawdust was unlikely to swim or drift into a intake elevated above the lake bottom.

Regarding lake water and well water alternatives, I heard nothing of substance from paid professionals.

5. No member of city council, considering spending $4.4 to $7.2 million of other people's money, had read the draft report, or admitted to have read any part of it.

6. The only City of Manistique employee that claimed to have read the report was Corey Barr, who has never stated his verifiable professional credentials, in public, at any meeting that I have attended.

7. I have no more understanding of, or faith in, the various arguments for more of the same, than I had at last Friday's special city council meeting.



This is one of several "unpublished" articles that I wrote, regarding Wilcox and Associates engineers involvement with Schoolcraft County business:

"After watching the televised Manistique City Council meeting of 02/14/06 I thank Councilman Evonich who, under obvious emotional strain, summoned the courage to question the competence of the engineers that represented Wilcox and Associates' business concerning their apparent failed contracted responsibilities for the Arbutus Street CDBG project.

For those that missed the meeting, City Hall should have a recording of the televised Council meeting that shows one of the head engineers of the project, Randy Scott, babble in subjective terms, such as "tried", "thought", and "considered", concerning various alleged failures of the street infrastructure renovation. From my perspective, the terms used were more suitable to express gross ignorance and an experimental learning processes for a high school freshman science fair project, than appropriate jargon for a continuing 8 week civil engineering project, heading for a 20 weeks completion time.

As I sat in my recliner, at home, I swore at the tv, as I listened to and watched what I considered a feeble attempt of evasion of responsibility, worthy of any adolescent child. Randy Scott stood there, in front of City Council, and the tv cameras, acknowledging the fact that Wilcox and Associates had failed to meet their contractual obligations, but that they still sought some $18,000 more for engineer project oversight fees.



To his credit, before some other generous council-person could make a motion to give away more tax revenue, Councilman Evonich spoke up, and let everyone know that, under the circumstances, there was no way he was going to vote for more of the same. A few minutes later, Randy Scott stated that the business would eat the extra $18,000 "engineering" costs.

Randy said nothing about City taxpayers eating the $465,000 cost overrun, that, IF it had been used to match State funds, would have secured an additional $1,395,000 for City infrastructure renewal!

Manistique City Attorney Filoramo offered no help with any appropriate suggestions that would hold liable, to some significant degree, the Wilcox Associates Escanaba office, headed by his private business associate, Randy Scott. Almost $1.9 million professional engineering mistakes were made by Randy Scott, and his professional engineering associates, that the residents of Manistique funded.

From my perspective, it is more than likely that contracts with favorable terms, and lack of "legal boiler plate", were written by city attorney Filoramo, for Wilcox Associates, because his lucrative private conflict-of-interest business ventures with Randy Scott need not be jeopardized by representing the public interest of the City of Manistique. It wouldn't make much business sense to poke a sharp stick into the eye of your private business partner, if the city's attitude is "We don't care, coz it's mostly other peoples' money!".

If I remember correctly, Randy Scott headed up the test well drilling fiasco, for the M-94 landfill closure, that cost the City of Manistique taxpayers the purchase of Patz's damaged real property, and Filoramo's legal fees to hassle the Patz's on the city's behalf. To me, City of Manistique taxpayers payed Scott, Wilcox Associates personnel, and Filoramo for a variety of failed efforts, rather than the concrete results that should have been contracted for."



Beyond the politics of the federal budget and health regulations, none of the above has anything to do with "uncontrollable circumstances". Its all about a predatory process of extorting the "Benjamins", from a captive "clientele" in Manistique.



Note:

Michigan Municipal League Yellow Page entry:

Wilcox Professional Services, LLC
300 Ludington, Suite 310,
Escanaba, MI 49829
Ph: 906-789-7800
Fax: 906-789-0100
Email: randy.scott@wilcox.us
Website: www.wilcox.us
Contact: Randy Scott, P.E.




09/12/08

Speaking of extorting the "Benjamins", yesterday a friend showed me a City of Manistique water shutoff notice he received for a H.U.D. rental to a "brain dead" renter. Before he showed it to me, he told me what the water shutoff notice stated. The meaning of his words brought me to a fast boil.

The following is that City of Manistique water shutoff notice, FOR A 3 MONTH BILL, 2 months of which were delinquent over 30 days. At current rates, with no water used, that bill is approximately $90.00 + late fees?.

NOTICE OF INTENT TO DISCONNECT SERVICE

Because of failure to make proper payment on your 
utility account, you are hereby being notified 
that

-WITHOUT FURTHER NOTICE-- YOUR UTILITY SERVICE 
WILL BE DISCONNECTED ON: ........., 2008.

unless satisfactory payment is made before that 
date. This shut-off is for the "past due" amount 
of your bill, however, if it becomes necessary to 
disconnect your service, it will not be restored 
unless the "Total" bill, plus a reconnect fee of 
$15.00 has been paid.

PLEASE NOTE, THIS WILL BE THE ONLY NOTICE YOU 
RECEIVE PRIOR TO YOUR DISCONNECT ON THE ABOVE 
DATE.

In the event your service is disconnected, PAYMENT 
MUST BE MADE BEFORE 2:00 P.M. IN ORDER TO HAVE 
WATER RESTORED THAT SAME DAY. It is recommended 
that payments be made at City Hall to insure 
prompt credit."


So, what's the problem? --- Consider the disconnect notice policy, above, in the context of a copy of the Manistique ordinance and memorandum quoted below, as provided me by an employee of the Manistique City Clerks office in February of 2007, and if the obvious is not, allow me to connect the dots for you:

+     Sec. 14. ENFORCEMENT.

(A) CHARGES ADDED TO BILLS. Charges for water 
service and other charges, costs, and fees 
provided for in this chapter shall be added to the 
bills submitted to the consumer.

(B) CHARGES AS LIEN. Charges for water service and 
supply and any other charges, costs, or fees 
provided for in this chapter shall constitute a 
lien on the property served, and if not paid 
within 30 days, shall be placed in the next 
general tax roll and collected as part of the 
general city taxes. The entry on the tax rolls of 
the amount certified as water charges, costs, and 
fees which are more than 30 days past due shall 
constitute notice of the pendency of the lien.

(C) ENFORCEMENT OF LIEN. Enforcement of the lien 
shall be made as provided by state law.

(D) TERMINATION OF SERVICE. The city shall have 
the right to shut off and discontinue the supply 
of water to any premises for the nonpayment when 
due, of water charges, costs, or fees. In the 
event any such water billing is not paid within 30 
days after it has become due and payable, the 
water to such premises may be shut off by the 
city and services need not be restored until the 
delinquent bill and penalty, plus a turn on 
charge, as set by the city has been paid.

(ord. no. 193 of 1981 eff. May 1, 1981)

25.463 • 25.464

(Rev. 3/86)




WATER/WASTEWATER DEPARTMENT

MEMORANDUM

Date: July 1, 2004

To: All City Water & Wastewater Customers

From: Manistique Water/Wastewater Department

RE: Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge

Termination of water and sewer service means a 
physical disconnection of the water service and or 
sewer lateral on the property owners, property. 
This option is at the property owners expense, the 
City will not incur any cost for this termination. 
This disconnection must be visually inspected by 
appointment, by an authorized City of Manistique 
employee. This is only way to have the monthly 
base fee/ready to serve charge removed from your 
water/sewer bill. If you have any questions please 
feel free to call the Water/Wastewater Department 
at 906-341-2281.


I do not remember seeing or receiving that memorandum, "To: All City Water & Wastewater Customers" by any means other than a city clerk handing it to me when I requested the water shutoff.

Now, on the face of it, this last piece of deliberate and arbitrary fraud is not by ordinance, not by legislation, but by the whim of Manistique public officials expressed in a memorandum with no legal reference. Based upon that enforced published whim, the City of Manistique has billed me, and collected ~$507, for some 19.5 months after I requested the water turned off at a property I own.

I was given a choice, by the whimsical memorandum, to hire a contractor to dig up the front yard of my property, separate and terminate the water service line to the City's specifications, and fill in and landscape the access hole... Start at $1,000.

Another choice, given by 1981 City of Manistique ordinance 25.464, AND the 2004 whimsical memorandum, was to pay a constantly recurring and steadily increasing "service charge" for that which I do not want, or risk losing my property to a constantly increasing "lien" levied by the City of Manistique "...as provided by law..."



First, for those that have failed to connect the dots, assuming that there is no lawful City of Manistique ordinance on which to base the confiscatory mandatory "water service termination" policy memorandum, I have been coerced out of some $507 since mid February of 2007, by totally arbitrary, and, likely, unlawful decision by persons unspecified.

Second, on the face of it, the City of Manistique "NOTICE OF INTENT TO DISCONNECT SERVICE" notice rewards those that fail "...to make proper payment on your utility account..." for the whimsical, "mandatory", and ever increasing water service charge for water service not used! It specifies consequences, but does not mention an ever increasing "lien" leading to eventual confiscation of property, as if those consequences do not exist, or are not worth mentioning to a building's occupants or owner.

Read the shutoff letter, and do the arithmetic, based upon the example shutoff notice I quoted, above, for a 90 day period during which no water is used. These are the "civilized" choices I have, now:

Don't pay my bills: 3 months x $30 = $90 ..... Then, pay the $90 and do not pay the $15 fee to turn the water back on. Total cost $90, plus no late fees? + no more continually escalating costs + joy; forever...

Pay my bills: ~19.5 months x $25+$20 = >$507.... Total cost $507 + lost use of the money + continually increasing "service charge" billing, + heartburn + another reason to never trust a public official; forever?

Sever and terminate the water service line, at my cost, under my property, while a new working curbstop valve, that I helped pay for, exists at the sidewalk, a few feet from my property boundary ...? Pick a real number, at commercial rates... Cost prohibitive, predatory and stupid; beyond civilized belief!

I can only fantasize it is God's will to tempt public service thieves, so that they will roast in Hell, for all eternity, for making slaves of their neighbors by stealing pieces of those neighbours' lives, while they proclaim their piety and are lauded for their dedication to "public service".



Conclusion: Again, I have been screwed by City of Manistique public officials famous for their ignorance, stupidity, lack of ethics, scofflaw mentalities, and hypocritical religious "faith" that is best expressed as, "Do unto others, when you can."; the prime directive of con-artists and slave owners.

How many others have been hosed by the City of Manistique, by some form of a whimsical, predatory, and extortionate "...termination of water and sewer service..." policy, and for how much?



Regarding the shutoff notice quoted above:

Notice the bargain basement discount price for water service shutoff ...$0.00.

Notice the fair price for same-day water service restoration, $15.00; but, why should anyone pay to have their water shut off, or reconnected, assuming that they are paying their bill for the water, sewage disposal, and the "service charge". Why not add separate charges for city employee wages and benefits, such as travel expenses, Christmas presents, illicit relationships, Thanksgiving turkeys, booze, beer, and recreational drugs?

When, and by what legal process, did City of Manistique administrative personnel acquire lawful authority to extort a significant chunk of my money, for no value received?



Am I angry that my ignorance allowed paid predators, hired with my taxes, to mislead me and take a piece of my life? You betcha, assuming that no local ordinance, state law, or federal law, authorizes local officials to reach into my wallet, on a whim, as any grifter or common pickpocket.

It is September, 2008, and what I have raved about is not recent, or rocket science. How many more centuries will it take the citizens and "public servants" of Manistique and Schoolcraft County to realize that it is not necessary to reinvent the wheel, every day, and it is uncivilized predatory behaviour to fabricate irrational policy, and ordinances, while rational, tried, true, and available policies, ordinances, and laws exist, and are readily available, elsewhere. Local public policy that sanctions extortion, nepotism, patronage, malingering, shirking, fraud, property theft, substance abuse, etc., is nothing more than testimony to deliberate predatory behaviour, fostered by inexcusable stupidity and ignorance that continues to be the hallmark of Schoolcraft County, and Manistique.

It doesn't help matters that the Manistique City Manager and Chairman of the Schoolcraft County Board of Commissioners are husband and wife, and their various relatives, friends, appointees, and political allies are well entrenched within local government and administration, because both buy loyalty with public money. That is the consequence of basic human nature expressed in the predatory will of the Schoolcraft County and Manistique voting public, in a representative democracy. For worse, in Schoolcraft County, so goes the nation; by choosing predatory, ignorant, or stupid representatives.



Within the 3 minute period of public comments, I will ask a few questions of Manistique City Council, and City Manager, at the next council meeting of 09/22/08. Depending upon the answers, what I have written will be edited to correct any misunderstandings I had, writing this editorial.



09/22/08

This evening, at the Manistique City Council meeting, I asked the questions, and received no answers, therefore I found no reason to make any changes or corrections.

Q. What source of authority sanctions the City of Manistique's choice to extort some $507 dollars from me, over the past 19 1/2 months, with the threat to place a lien against my property, as an alternative to the City using a curb-stop valve to shut off water to a property I own? I am sure that a July 1, 2004, memorandum from the Manistique Water/Wastewater Department, with no reference to authority, does not substitute for a local ordinance, state law, or federal legislation. Again, what gives the city the right to extort $507 from me, instead of turning off the water supply to my property, at a curb-stop valve?

A. No answer

Q. Is anyone concerned about the safety of Manistique's drinking water supply, due to future increased long term and transient contamination of the Indian River watershed, and future scientific research that determines more unacceptable toxins in the city's drinking water? More specifically, is anyone concerned about the vulnerability of Manistique's drinking water supply, to the consequences of natural, negligent, accidental, or deliberate introductions of toxic substances into the city's drinking water, and if they are concerned, what is being done to secure the integrity of the city's water supply?

A. No answer

The point I wish to make, regarding Manistique's source of drinking water, is that I am more concerned about the vulnerability of the city's drinking water supply to the consequences of transient toxic material dumping, and runoff, into the lower Indian River, than I am about E.P.A. sanctioned science that concludes that I am drinking consequential water processing carcinogens from treating the city' naturally contaminated water supply. From my perspective, my assimilation of the harmful natural water supply contaminants, and treatment by-products, are at a lesser rate and concentration than breathing an equivalent deliberate toxic effluvium plume from burning waste in barrels and "wood" stoves, or breathing the industrial waste dust kicked up by speeding orvs on the shoulders of city streets, gravel roads, and the various dirt trails throughout the city.

For those that don't get it, there is a cause and effect relationship between many carcinogens and cancers in the community, due to toxins and carcinogenic materials from other than the community water supply, and, to me, there is a deliberate choice by community "leaders" to make subjective political decisions, instead of decisions to ensure the best quality of life bang, for the general public, for each public buck spent.

Incidentally, who in the city government and administration has the technical credentials and expertise to decide what appropriate choices should be made regarding a multi-million dollar investment of public funds into a water treatment plant, with no guarantee that a few years from now there will not be a demand for more? The last time I touched on this subject, I offended someone, and learned, later, that a "license" to drive a water plant is equivalent to the knowledge and skills required to build or modify one to E.P.A., D.E.Q. and peer reviewed engineering standards and specifications.

Recent high school graduates don't cut it, neither do those with sheepskins that represent little more than minimum rote learning.

If hired engineers are making all the decisions - political, economic, and technical, - because gross ignorance, laziness and self interest rules Manistique government, then lets hire an engineering company to run the city. At least there is a better chance of finding qualified people at the wheel.

Locally, beyond the ridiculous expense of treating contaminated river water, with little to no knowledge of the concentration of transient contaminants, and then adding carcinogenic treatment by-products, the current insecure water supply, and treatment plant infrastructure, is an invitation to set a new record for domestic horror. The real situation prompts me to s'pose that most of the local noise about terrorism and water supply safety is more about lip service to control public access to public business, and lining the pockets of Wilcox and Associates, than sincere public concerns about the subjects.



09/29/08

On 09/26/08, I received the following letter. Notice that, just like the memorandum letter of July 1, 2004 there is no reference to any government authority, as I requested at the last city council meeting, and this web page. The letter is from a Manistique city entity unknown to me, named "Manistique Utilities", with no reference to any authority beyond the implied authority of the City of Manistique's letterhead. That letterhead does not indicate God's, or Caesar's address.



Manistique water shutoff documentation request

Once again, no name on the document, and no reference to any governmental authority that sanctions a mysterious "Manistique Utilities" to extort money from me, regarding another property. No details of what constitutes "... service lines running to your building...", or in the earlier quoted memorandum, "...a physical disconnection of the water service and or sewer lateral..."

It is as if legal and technical details are irrelevant to a city government and administration that determines fiscal policy as any grifter might. If the above letter and memorandum was signed by God, then I would be a little more impressed by the authoritative credentials, but I have previously substantiated reason's to believe that it was authored by a nobody that considers me, and other nobodies, as no more than a nobody means to an end, as any bunko artist might.

As, until last Friday, there was no apparent concern about billing my second vacant property for water service that I have never used for the last ~12 years I have owned the property, and there was no concern about billing the property for the time it was owned by Marquette General Hospital, I have to assume that the unidentified "meter reader", and other City of Manistique employees associated with the City's billing and extortion racket, were unconcerned until someone chose financial retribution instead of the appropriate informational response to my public comments and questions posed at the Manistique City Council meeting of 09/22/08.

According to the letter above, all I have to do is lie, and I save ~$360 dollars a year. It's a no-brainer! (Note - on my last bill, due by 01/08/09, the cost for monthly water and sewer service not wanted or used, to the same property, is $36.14, which now changes the yearly cost to me, for no value in return, to $433.68, significantly higher than the taxes I pay to retain ownership of the property!)



I trust that if I made a F.O.I.A. request for a computerized list of billed water account addresses, and compare it to actual properties, as I mosey around town, that I will find that I am one of relatively few against whom is enforced an unidentified extortionate ordinance or law, and there will be many unoccupied and "unimproved" properties, with connected and functional water and sewer lines, owned by folks not on the Manistique city administration's "theft list" for easy money extortion for unused access to municipal water and sewer service they do not use. Perhaps someone should stop by the City of Manistique Tax Assessor Office to find out how many occupied, unoccupied, and "empty" properties have water and sewer lines, compared to the number of properties billed for unused water and sewer service...

I, most other property owners, and too often the City of Manistique, have no documented "proof" of the physical existence of a "terminated" or unterminated water or sewer service line buried on their property. But, for $360, or more, each year, I, like any other private property owner, can state that, to the best of my knowledge, a water and sewer line that I have never used is terminated.

An unsubstantiated or irrational claim to a piece of my life, or anyone else's life, is, from my perspective, a hallmark of a predatory con artist, and if my first line of defense against that species of predator is a simple statement or lie, so be it. A lie is my civilized alternative to surrendering part of my severely limited wealth to an administrative thief, armed with local police power to enforce the equivalent of armed robbery. The lie is preferable to the armed confrontation I witnessed when Manistique City Manager, Sheila Aldrich, using the police power of Manistique Public Safety and the Michigan State Police, stole Alfred Burns real property with the default sanction of Manistique City Council and every law enforcement agency from the Schoolcraft County Prosecutor to the U.S.

It's like this, if City of Manistique administration personnel want to steal from me, I suggest they steal from every City of Manistique property owner in an equitable manner, with fully disclosed, substantiated and publicized authorization. At the same time, I suggest city administration make sure that no one gets off the "theft list" with a simple lie, claimed ignorance, or any other form of evasion encouraged by the likes of the particular current vague, arbitrary, and predatory city administration policy expressed in the memorandum letter quoted below.

From the same perspective as Alfred Burns, regarding the theft of his property by the City of Manistique, it makes no difference to me if the current form of confidence theft has the default sanction of the Manistique City Council to the President of the United States, because, at this stage of my life, I am no one's willing sheep, or slave.



10/13/08

At the city council meeting of 10/13/2008, during the public comments period, I requested confirmation of my understanding of the July 2004 "memorandum" regarding the monthly "Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge". Corey Barr, acting as council secretary and taking the minutes of that meeting, was the same person responsible for the operation of the city's drinking water and waste water infrastructure, and the person answering my question in this recording.



10/17/08

Today, I filed the following F.O.I.A. request with the City of Manistique:
Dear "Manistique Utilities" - City of Manistique -
Whomever,

This request for information is filed under the terms 
of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act 442 of 1976.

1. Please provide me a copy of the ordinance, law, or 
lawful authority, that sanctions the use of an unsigned 
July 1, 2004 "administrative memorandum" to extort from 
me $29.54 per month, by threatening a lien against my 
property, to which the city refuses to shut off the 
water supply by using a curb-stop valve as designed.

After inquiring about the source of the memorandum's 
lawful authority, and receiving no answer at the 
09/22/08 city council meeting, I was told, during the 
public comments period of the 10/13/08 Manistique City 
Council meeting, that a city ordinance exists that 
authorizes that which I understand to be the arbitrary 
and predatory water & wastewater utility policy, quoted 
below. No one at the council meeting offered anything 
more than the vague claim that a city ordinance 
existed.

To the best of my knowledge, the unsigned "memorandum" 
quoted below, is nothing more than an

UNLAWFUL, UNREASONABLE, EXTORTIONATE AND
ARBITRARY WATER SERVICE TERMINATION MANDATE,
SECURED BY A THREATENED LIEN ON A PROPERTY, TO
FORCE A PROPERTY OWNER TO INCUR THE
UNECESSARY EXPENSE TO EXCAVATE, TERMINATE,
AND REBURY A WATER SUPPLY LINE, IF WATER AND
SEWER SERVICE IS NOT NECESSARY FOR THE
PROPERTY'S USE.

To the best of my knowledge, I know of no city council 
lawful action that sanctioned the memorandum's intent 
to extort a "Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge" for every 
piece of private property within the city, occupied or 
not, that has a buried municipal water service line 
with a city "curb-stop" shutoff valve that enables the 
city to shut off or resume water supply service at a 
moment's notice. To the best of my knowledge, I know of 
no city council lawful action that authorizes the City 
of Manistique to bill a property owner for a "Base 
Fee/Ready to Serve Charge" for water service that the 
city shut off with a curb-stop valve. 

2. Please provide a copy of the lawful authority that 
allows the city to keep the money extorted from me, 
since February 2006, as I described at the city council 
meeting of 09/22/08. 


"WATER/WASTEWATER DEPARTMENT

MEMORANDUM

Date: July 1, 2004

To: All City Water & Wastewater Customers

From: Manistique Water/Wastewater Department

RE: Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge

Termination of water and sewer service means a 
physical disconnection of the water service and or 
sewer lateral on the property owners, property. 
This option is at the property owners expense, the 
City will not incur any cost for this termination. 
This disconnection must be visually inspected by 
appointment, by an authorized City of Manistique 
employee. This is only way to have the monthly 
base fee/ready to serve charge removed from your 
water/sewer bill. If you have any questions please 
feel free to call the Water/Wastewater Department 
at 906-341-2281."


Sincerely,             
          Peter Markham"

10/20/08

In answer to the Manistique water disconnect documentation request, I responded as follows:
Peter Markham
416 Alger Ave.
Manistique, MI 59854
pmarkham@manistique.org

October 20, 2008

Manistique Utilities
Manistique, MI 49854
300 N. Maple St.
906-341-2290


Dear Whomever from Manistique Utilities,

I do not know of a "Manistique Utilities" or anyone 
working for such an entity, but, relative to a 
September 26 request from an anonymous person, 
apparently working for a City of Manistique entity I 
have never heard of, I respond as follows.

I do not know when my property at 401 N. Houghton Ave 
was disconnected from the city water/sewer 
infrastructure.

I do not know if the water or sewer line, between my 
building and the city owned infrastructure, was ever 
disconnected, terminated, or ever existed.

I do know that I have never used any water or sewer 
service at that address for as long as I have owned the 
property.

I have no knowledge that water and sewer service was 
provided to the property when others owned the 
property.

I have no knowledge of any City of Manistique revenue 
raising ordinance that provides any entity of the City 
of Manistique the authority to demand payment for water 
and sewer service that I, or anyone else, have not 
received, and do not receive, based upon speculation 
that I, or any other property owner may, or may not, 
have unterminated water and sewer service lines on 
their respective private properties.

I trust that the information that I have provided is as 
comprehensive as Whomever needs, for whatever purpose 
Whomever requires it. If not, I hope the next request 
from Whomever will be in a more justified and 
informative manner with fewer anonymous and coercive 
qualities that I attribute to someone with (little more
than) the authority of a gun.

The equivalent message of "Gimme yer money, or else!" 
doesn't appeal to me.

Sincerely,
          Peter Markham
For those that still don't understand what all the noise is about, from my corner, beyond the brain dead way in which the City of Manistique administration and city council handled my request for information, - all I want to know is when did the "Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge" become a provision of a Manistique City ordinance i.a.w. "....other charges, costs, and fees provided for in this chapter..., and of which ordinance is it a provision, and consequently, did the City of Manistique have the legal right to extort that charge from me with a predatory water line disconnect policy?

I have waited since mid-February, 2006, for an appropriate answer, and I am still waiting! Perhaps the rumors about the past quality of local education, and too many inbreds in local government, is true. Perhaps Manistique City Attorney Filoramo is still looking for the ordinance that includes the provision of a Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge. Perhaps, like those further up the political and administration food chain, the broken "powers that be" know that they can indulge whatever whim that moves them because law enforcement is arbitrary, and legal representation is cost prohibitive to most victims of crime, and unlawful and unethical behaviour.

Perhaps I am mistaken concerning my understanding of past events, and I was provided the information regarding the historical due process and consequential lawful basis of the extortion I have described. Perhaps it is me that is wacko, but, as with much of my private and public perspective, it is better substantiated than the basis of most of that I question.

To me, after two ignored requests of the Manistique city clerk's office, once in 2006 and once in 2008, and the same request at the last two Manistique City Council meetings, the "Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge" ordinance provision, that no one wishes to identify, is nothing more than a whimsical and predatory fabrication to justify the arbitrary and extortionate fabrication of the Manistique administration's "Termination of water and sewer service" policy, that would make any rapacious criminal enterprise proud.

Perhaps, if Manistique City Attorney Filoramo doesn't advise Manistique City Manager Aldrich to wipe her ass with it, maybe I will get a rational, relevant, and substantiated answer to my 10/17/08 F.O.I.A. request. Most likely, I will get another vague, evasive and irrelevant response as I did regarding my queries surrounding the new Manistique water tower antenna.



04/09/09

After receiving a bill for $93.71, along with 70 copies of irrelevant documents in response to my 10/17/08 FOIA request, and after making another request, on 04/06/09, for the authorization of Manistique's extortionate "Termination of water and sewer service... memorandum", today, I sent, by receipt requested certified mail, a complaint to the Michigan Public Service Commission:

NB

This space was occupied by a copy of my complaint that, to the best of my knowledge, found its way to am anonymous trashcan somewhere in Lansing. An edited copy, was filed, again, with the Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan Attorney General's office. That complaint, follows, below.

Today, beyond my own speculation, I have no idea what a planned City of Manistique water plant upgrade will cost me, even though elected Manistique City Council members had no trouble approving, and indebting ~1,500 city water accounts for what appears to be, at the moment, a $6 million bonding proposal.

Given the necessity of guessing what is going on, regarding "public" water and sewer business, I guess that if the average amount of water processed by the city water plant is ~500,000 gallons a day, and if that is distributed, equally, to ~1,500 water accounts, and if there was a 50% water loss in the city's distribution system, and if each account used ~165 gallons per day, then each account would use an average of ~165x30 = ~4,950 gallons per month. Assuming the billing is equitable, and small users are not subsidizing large users, then, if ~1,500 gallons costs me $50, then everyone else must be paying $50 x ~4950/1500 = ~$165 per month x 12 months = ~ $2,000 per year x 1,500 accounts = ~$3,000,000 per year the city collects for water - ~$300,000 for the 10% city "accounting administration fee" = $2,700,000 for the actual cost of delivering a years worth of daily water and sewer use to ~ 1,500 city water accounts!

If my arbitrary choice of 50% lost and unbilled processed water is too high, and the billing process does not penalize conservative water use, then the city collects significantly more money to meet the actual costs of water and sewer use, and the skimmed 10% "costs" of "administering" the computerized water and sewer accounting system.

Regarding relatively recent policy instituted by the city manager of taking a straight 10% "administration fee", from the water/sewer "enterprise accounts", in the above case a speculated ~$300,000, to be spent on administering accounts that were, until recently, administered as a part of regular city business... I remember councilman Evonich's observation, during a council meeting, that he had serious reservations concerning City Manager Aldrich's claim that it takes 10% of gross water and sewer receipts to keep track of computerized accounts and billing... As the lone "wacko" on city council, Evonich's observations fell on deaf ears.

To me, a guesstimated $300,000 a year purchases a lot of discretionary toys and political favors, in a small backwater community in hock up to its eyeballs, spending other people's money like a drunken sailor.

I know why I had water delivered by truck, during the dry seasons, to the cisterns of the bungalows I rented in Thailand, 2 lifetimes ago! There are few places in the world that can justify or afford the costly water processing and distribution system of the City of Manistique, with so many sources of good water available.



I do know what the consumption, use, and disposal of 1,500 gallons of water cost me, in the City of Manistique, in January, 2009, and I do know why I submitted a detailed editorial letter to the Pioneer Tribune newspaper, to which I know some residents took offence. The content of the letter speaks for itself:



City of Manistique - $50 for 1500 gallons of water
"
Why Does 2ppb = >$6,000,000 of Other Peoples' Money?

Based upon the City of Manistique's letter of 03/05/09 
to city water customers, that did not specify what part 
of a $6,000,000 grant/loan for a water plant upgrade 
will be financed by federal grant money, I offer the 
following, based upon my observations that next to no 
public input was solicited, or considered.

According to Manistique City Hall, the city has 
approximately (~) 1500 water service accounts. Assuming 
a 40 year payback period for a $4,500,000 loan at 3.5% 
APR financing, for the upgrade of the city's water 
treatment plant, shared equally among ~1500 water 
service accounts,  then the 40 year cost of the loan is 
~$8,367,643, the total cost each month will be 
~$17,433, shared among ~1,500 water accounts, or 
~$11.62 added to each water account bill, not including 
a 10% city "administration" fee the city would add.

If the loan is actually $5,000,000 at 6% for 40 years, 
as could be, according to the 03/12/09 public notice in 
the Pioneer Tribune newspaper, then the 40 year cost of 
the loan is ~$13,205,126, total monthly cost is 
$27,510, or ~$18.34 added each month to each of ~1,500 
accounts, not including a 10% "administration fee" that 
the city would add.

That ~$11.62 to ~$18.34 per month will be added to each 
account bill, regardless of water use, and regardless 
of additional rate hikes for any number of real and 
fabricated reasons.

Read the public notice of the intent to issue bonds, up 
to $6,000,000 and up to 6% interest, on page A8 of the 
March 12 issue of the Pioneer Tribune, consistent with 
the claimed reasons to reduce disinfectant by-products 
printed in the city's information letter of 03/09/09. 
If you understand what is printed, you will notice that 
the bonding will take place whether it is required or 
not, because your elected representatives wish it to 
be, whether it is needed or not, or if you like it or 
not.

Now, after the shell game, the only way residents of 
Manistique can avoid buying that which they do not 
need, is for a valid petition, with 10% of the 
registered electors signatures, be submitted within 45 
days from 03/12/09, to demand that the bonding be 
decided by ballot and passed by the approving vote of a 
majority of qualified electors.

Does anyone else, beyond very few well known "trouble 
makers", have any problem with the cost of water, in a 
city with more potable water sources than most other 
places in the world?


For those like me, that wondered in dismay about the 
analogous distance and time related nonsense included 
in the  03/05/09 drinking water information letter from 
Water/Waste Water Superintendent, Corey Barr, let me 
provide a more relevant junior high school level 
analogy related to the creation of a certain level of 
water treatment by-product that "requires" a multi-
million dollars water plant upgrade to rectify.

This real world "mathematical word problem", with real 
world consequences, is offered to the Manistique 
community of students as an example of my failure to 
understand local government responsibilities to obtain 
the best public value for other folks' money.

Given, Mr. Barr's claims that the EPA limit of 60ppb 
(parts per billion) annual running average of a 
specific disinfectant by-product is exceeded by 2ppb, 
ie. it is 62ppb, and, if the city processes 500,000 
gallons of water a day, then what amount of contaminant 
free water could be mixed with the polluted water to 
dilute the disinfection by-product contamination level 
to 60ppb, thereby removing the reason for a de facto 
government mandate to upgrade the drinking water plant?

Then, write the formula for your local elected 
representatives to use to determine the amount of 
contaminant free water required for any particular day, 
to be mixed with any given amount of daily processed 
Indian River water, to reduce the by-product 
contaminant to any particular level, below 60ppb.

A quick guesstimation, by this ol' geezer who has 
forgotten much of his high school elementary algebra, 
concludes that the addition of some 33,000 gallons per 
day of contaminant free water would meet the city's 
current requirements of producing ~500,000 gallons of 
drinking water per day, with a running annual average 
of no-no! by-products of 60ppb. I never was an algebra 
whizz, so I will not be disappointed by anyone that 
proves me wrong... Being "whacko" means, among other 
things, that I cannot count.

Can you imagine how much less processing would be 
required by increasing the flow rate of the near 
stagnant lower Indian River, during the warmer months, 
instead of setting the Carpenter Dam gates to reduce 
the water flow, and, thereby, creating little more than 
a giant culture medium of the lower Indian River, and, 
fostering to some degree, a similar water quality 
reduction of Indian Lake?


I know that I spoke of, at a public meeting, the 
alternative of using Lake Michigan water or drilling 
wells, as an alternative to treating "polluted" Indian 
Lake and River. Both suggestions were dismissed by 
Wilcox Engineering with no detailed reasons. Beyond the 
typical silence, or unsubstantiated "It ain't 
feasible." answers to public input, what is wrong with 
pumping quarry water to the city water plant?

A friend related to me his memory of failed attempts to 
pump sufficient water out of the quarry, with large 
diesel powered pumps, to locate a drowning victim. A 
stable, and relatively secure source of abundant, 
naturally filtered subsurface water, strikes me as more 
palatable and more economical to treat, than recycled 
surface runoff, with essence of rotting vegetation and 
wildlife, unknown chemicals, creature feces, and 
effluent from broken or ill designed waterfront septic 
systems.

I could suggest that a well, nearby to the water plant, 
would supply enough contaminant free water to be mixed 
with the processed contaminated Indian River water that 
the contaminant of concern would be reduced by 
significantly more than 2ppb, ergo, no necessity to 
waste other people's money to upgrade the water 
treatment plant to treat contaminated water created by 
treating contaminated water...

For those hooked on Indian Lake water, the water from 
the quarry could be mixed with water from Indian Lake, 
to lower the level of waste and consequential waste 
treatment by-products. I suspect that, for those hooked 
on surface water, the Manistique River, adjacent to 
Wyman Nursery, would supply all you want, with 
significantly less processing disinfectant by-products 
than water from the relatively stagnant Indian Lake and 
lower Indian River, if local county outlaws continue to 
play with the Indian Lake water level and lower Indian 
River flow rate.


I know of no publicized information that considered the 
likelihood of significantly more than 2 parts per 
billion (ppb) of chemical treatment by-products is due 
to the necessity of treating the consequences of 
unnecessary seasonal rotting aquatic and shoreline 
vegetation of Indian Lake. Much of that vegetation is 
killed as a consequence of the deliberate, arbitrary, 
and unlawful county seasonal lake level manipulation 
with the Carpenter Dam gates. Add that unnecessary 
rotting vegetable soup to that cultured in the lower 
Indian River, and then consider the overall 
consequences in the light of your ever increasing water 
bills, and elevated incidences of cancer in the 
community.

Cause and effect? History? Too often, they do not exist 
in Schoolcraft County.

Are city residents once again, as with the M94 
landfill, going to pay for the consequences of county 
residents wanting the good life without paying for it?


Given the annual running average of 62 ppb vs. the 37 
ppb for the last quarter of 2008, when the gates were 
opened to allow the greater Winter flow through the 
lower river channel, then, might I suggest that a 
single position of the Carpenter Dam gates would 
maintain a greater and more steady river flow, with 
significantly less organic material, from significantly 
less lake and river vegetation, with significantly less 
undesirable environmental impact? Is it a more 
appropriate and sensible alternative to indebting future 
generations of city dwellers, because a minority of 
Indian Lake and River shoreline residents want their 
permanent docks immune to Winter ice damage, and others 
want to run their boats in water that is too shallow 
without damming the river?

I see little more than make work for Wilcox 
Engineering, curried by Wilcox, and paid for by several 
generations of city residents held hostage by their 
elected representatives to the whimsical decisions of 
those that have waterfront property interests outside 
of the city. Among many other waterfront property 
owners with significant political influence in the 
community, is City Manager Aldrich, who has a 
residence on the Indian River, upstream from the 
Carpeter Dam, the operational policy of which, for 
years, was, until very recently, controlled by her 
husband, ex-Commissioner Keith Aldrich, and the actual 
paid manipulation of the gate done by family relative, 
Pete Olsen.

It is part of the public record that, for years, ex-
Commissioner Keith Aldrich promoted the deliberate and 
arbitrary Indian Lake levels, and, at the same time, 
evaded his responsibility to ensure that a new, lawful, 
and appropriate lake level was established. The 
consequences of his obvious self-interest, and that of 
his wife, are apparent done deals that will ensure that 
city property owners will pay to ensure that the good 
waterfront life will be free from seasonal weather 
hazard expenses, Wilcox Engineering will obtain a happy 
contract, and the city will receive another ~$3,000 a 
month in "administration fees" to waste upon another 
whimsical expenditure, like collecting and hauling snow 
from city street right of ways, to various dump sites 
throughout the city.


Given little more than a couple of self-serving public 
presentations by the chosen recipient of a well 
orchestrated last minute multi million dollar contract 
to upgrade the water plant, I have few doubts that 
little to no thoughtful public input was solicited, or 
given appropriate consideration, by any elected 
representative or city administrative employee. 
Consequently, I have major doubts that any city water 
customer will get appropriate value for the increased 
water rates, beyond the warm feeling that comes with 
being hosed.

I have no use for the continuing process whereby Wilcox 
Engineering personnel, and others, are profiting by 
their self-serving pronouncements and schedule, 
solicited by, and endorsed by elected officials that 
are supposed to represent the general publics' 
interests, and not those of special interests. I have 
no use for a city manager that determines city policies 
related to money, with no public record of appropriate 
city council due-process for the authority to reach 
into the public pocket.

I know, as ex-mayor Hogue suggested in an editorial letter,
if I don't like it, I can move elsewhere, because there
are always enough ignorant suckers to scam.


City elected representatives are elected to determine 
fiscal policies and make fiscal decisions to spend 
their constituents' wealth. City administration 
personnel are hired to administer or execute the fiscal 
decisions of the city council; not the other way 
around. 

As I understand the water plant upgrade "reasoning", it 
is pure predatory behavior to spend ~$4,500,000 of city 
residents' money, and ~$1,500,000 of others' money, to 
ensure the low maintenance costs of the good life of 
special interests on the shores of Indian Lake and 
River. 

Peter Markham"


At the reports and communications business of the Manistique City Council meeting of 04/12/09, Councilman Dan Evonich reported that he was motivated to request of MDEQ officials that they attend a public question and answer session to clear the air regarding the necessity of and requirements for the water plant upgrade. MDEQ officials agreed that they would, preferably with the project engineers present.

After a short discussion, with the general tone of "Oh my! What a great original idea!", council agreed to have it take place within a month. As a result I am happy to assume, at the moment, that those without a dog in the fight might be a little more candid about a process that has been, to date, little more than another murky, private, and broken a piece of Manistique "public" business.

Thank you, Councilman Evonich.



PS. The public meeting requested by Councilman Evonich did take place. The subsequent discussion emphasized (1) The economic futility of drilled wells, based upon 1945 geological "survey" data. (2) The economic futility, and "sawdust problems", of relatively pristine water piped from Lake Michigan to the treatment plant. (3) Ignoring the option to use relatively pristine quarry water. (4) There was no, and will will no engineering study consideration of the manipulated Indian Lake and River water levels and flow vs. current treated water source quality. (5) The status quo was chiseled in granite, making the meeting a total waste of everyone's time.

The MDEQ folk present at the meeting had nothing of consequence to say about any of the above. Had they not been present, they would not have been missed.



If you ever wanted to witness a model of the consequences of a community hiring and electing "public servants" based upon personal connections rather than professional and intellectual credentials and merit, Manistique, once again, takes a blue ribbon. The consequences of hiring or electing individuals with virtually no intellectual or professional credentials for the responsibilities of various public positions, results in perpetual political turmoil and financial waste as consequences of continuous on-the-job training constantly at odds with the perceived personal interests of those hired.

Without being a fly on the wall of the city manager's office, and as no witness to any of the "back room" shenanigans, I gave ex-City Manager Housler a significant degree of credit for his efforts, during public meetings I witnessed, to separate his administrative duties and responsibilities from the political policy creating responsibilities of city council members. Current City Manager Aldrich has no such concerns, and neither do city council members. I condemn Housler for his public recommendation of, and Manistique City Council's choice to hire Aldrich, to "manage" the City of Manistique, with little more than the credentials of a backwoods "accountant".

From that which I have witnessed, I conclude there is not much difference, beyond degree, between the public service credentials and likely consequences, of placing an ignorant and unethical "paper hanger", or ignorant and unethical "accountant", in a public office. Look what giving the primary management position of the nation to a Texas "oilman", with an MBA and an outlaw's mentality, did for everyone's quality of life. Beyond the relatively small percentage that became considerably more affluent and influential, it hung most of us, and the next generation, with a legacy of debt, gutted equity, failed "wars", and a falling standard of living.



Rewarding predators, supporting predators, or forgiving predators, in a civilized society, does nothing but foster predation. Rewarding incompetents, supporting incompetents, or forgiving incompetents, in a civilized society, does nothing but foster incompetence. To the victims of predatory behavior, the pain and cost is the same, regardless of the reason, be the predation deliberate or the consequence of any combination of incompetence, ignorance, and stupidity.



04/24/09

Today, I received the following "gauntlet" in the mail, from that unknown entity named "Manistique Utilities", with no signature and no reference to lawful authority beyond a vague reference of "Pursuant to City Ordinance" that the City of Manistique has yet to provide, beyond that which deals with water and sewer use. The letter, delivered in an envelope bearing the City of Manistique logo and postage stamp code, threatens the eventual confiscation of my property, if I refuse to pay a utility bill for water that I never used, and the use of water and sewer infrastructure that I never used, or wanted, and my refusal to excavate and terminate my water and sewer lines to meet the city's whimsical demand to stop their extortion of a whimsical "Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge" of unknown and anonymous genesis, claimed in a July 2004 "memorandum".

The threat of property confiscation for a fraudulent and extortionate water and sewer use bill of:

City of Manistique - 1 gallon of water for 246.68 dollars front.jpg

1 gallon of water for 246.68 dollars rear

$246.68, for 1 gallon of water, was not preceded by the "NOTICE TO DISCONNECT SERVICE" offer to disconnect water and sewer service, that my friend received, as documented above. To penalize me for my refusal to be victimized quietly, instead of providing me the notice for an ~ $90 disconnect + $15 reconnect option, some unknown City of Manistique administrative employee exercised their whimsical policy choice to threaten me with the eventual seizure of my property because I will no longer pay an extorted property "protection" fee to the "Manistique Mob" masquerading as local government, as an alternative to excavating and terminating my water and sewer lines.

What makes the fraudulent bill that much more fraudulent, is the "gallons charged" is the same one (1) gallon for the past two years! By the city's own bill, every month, for the past two years, I have been forced to pay for the same one gallon of water and sewer "service"... and no one in a local government position has any problem with the obvious documented fraud they sanction.

This 10/13/08 recording of my question to Manistique City Council should leave little doubt about what my "water and sewer bill" really is, and the apparent total lack of serious concern by Manistique City Council, and Manistique City Attorney Filoramo, regarding a process of extortion and fraudulent billing.

I will not "...be governed accordingly.", because I am not the equivalent of someone's impotent "plantation nigger", accepting domination and the extortion of a piece of my life for reasons that runs contrary to my understanding of the English language, basic property rights, and civilized government behavior. I would be "governed accordingly" if some competent individual explained, in a relevant, substantiated, rational, and objective manner, the ethical reasons of why I should submit to blatant extortion because I will not excavate and terminate my properties' water and sewer lines according to the apparent whimsical demands and threats from an anonymous Manistique government administrative entity.



The bottom line is, I will not pay a fraudulent "utility bill" for utility services I did not use, that I did not want, that I did not contract for, and which I requested to be terminated over two years ago. Either there is a deliberate legislated basis to extort a piece of my life for unused and unwanted water and sewer service, or there is not. Even if there is, if I do not see and understand the legislated primacy of a thief's perspective, no one will gain by extorting a piece of my life, with the whimsical use of police powers, under color of law, in such an obvious and arrogant manner.

Property is the means to live, and a significant purpose of life, in a complex, productive society. I will defend my right to property, as I would my right to life, because both are linked, inextricably, as one cannot be without the other. I do not care for a life, and the means to live, that are subject to the arbitrary whims of others, enforced by police powers, and it is not my intent to allow others to profit by the use of police power, under color of law, by extorting from me that which represents a substantial piece of my life.

I am no silent and helpless victim to those that would enslave me beyond the requirements of civilized tax law, and I am not so taken with life that I am willing to live as little more than the bullied and dominated means to the ends of elected and hired white collar goons with the equivalent ethics, morality, and integrity, of common street thugs.

I realize, fully, that few predators change their predatory behavior without serious consequences for their predation. Regarding the white collar theft I have documented, those responsible "public service thieves" are insulated from deserved retribution by broken attorneys, judges, and compliant police. A broken system of law enforcement enforces the predatory will of white collar thieves in a manner that blue collar thieves, insignificant in comparative effect, can only dream of.
City of Manistique extortion: Pay for unused and unwanted water, or else!
05/26/09

I had to refile my original complaint, removed from above, with this amended version, because, after a telephone inquiry, over a month later, I discovered that the original complaint had disappeared, with no acknowledgement, by anyone, that US Certified Mail had delivered it to any warm body. As this is the third time, in as many years, that certified mail has failed to deliver a complaint to other than a rubber stamp, I suggest to anyone considering such foolishness, that they have a backup plan that cannot be delivered to a rubber stamp, or ignored.

I found it interesting that no State of Michigan official I spoke to had a name to which I could refer, regarding any future business. I suspect, from my own experiences, that institutionalized anonymity is due to the fear of accountability. My awareness of the fact that an individual fish, lost in the anonymity of the school, is less likely to be identified as predator, or victim, leads me to consider a source of power wielded by faceless anonymous bureaucrats in barbaric Third World states; or is that in the USA?

"Peter C. Markham
416 Alger Ave.
Manistique, MI 49854


05/26/09


Michigan Attorney General,
Consumer Protection Division,
P.O. Box 30213,
Lansing MI 48909


Re: Extortion and Property Confiscation Under 
Color of Law




Dear Anonymous Female Michigan Attorney General's 
Office Person Against Whom I Have No Axe to Grind:

Thank you, for what I perceived, at the time, as 
the professional response to the May 22 phone call 
from this angry victim.


Following this introduction is my complaint sent, 
over a month ago, to the entity to whom I was 
told, by phone, by another anonymous Michigan 
state employee working for the state, in Lansing. 
After more than one month of silence I assumed 
that A. The complaint and documentation found its 
way into the toilet, or  B. See A.

Phone inquiries on 05/22/09, to you and an 
anonymous DLEG female, confirmed A. and B., 
assuming that the complaint was not being 
considered in secrecy.

The included edited and updated complaint and 
documentation is, essentially, as I sent to DLEG, 
except for copies of some original documentation, 
(Shame on me for sending the originals!), a recent 
document listing one of my properties added to the 
City of Manistique's delinquent property tax role 
for delinquent taxes I will not pay because it is 
likely that the property will be confiscated for 
fraudulent water and sewer service bills that I 
refuse to pay for reasons detailed below, and the 
rewording of my concerns regarding the liability 
of landlords, in Manistique, for renters' unpaid 
"water" bills resulting from water and sewer use 
contracts between renters and the City of 
Manistique.


Regarding the (anonymous) A.G. Consumer Protection 
Division woman to whom I spoke on 05/22/09, who 
said she reads and initializes the processing of 
complaints, I appreciate the manner in which she 
responded to my claimed major concern of the 
complaint, and the recognition of my justified 
anger concerning two years of the "Fetch the 
stick, Dummy!" political and legal abuse to which 
I allege I have been subjected.

Given my justified and substantiated cynical view 
of human nature, politics, and the law, I will not 
hold my breath for an objective review and 
response to my complaint, and I will consider all 
past and future options that occur to me, until I 
have objective, civilized, and rational reasons to 
do otherwise.


P.S., Are most state consumer protection agency 
workers so callously indifferent that they choose 
to ignore, and file in the trash, substantiated 
documented complaints sent to them, by mistake? It 
took a substantial piece of my life to create that 
complaint, and, as an ignorant hick Yooper, less 
than 20 minutes by phone, on my nickel, to find 
out where I was led astray, and  find the correct 
entity to whom I should have filed my complaint. 
That 20 minutes included a short and unbelievable 
conversation with an anonymous DLEG woman who told
me I had no other choice than to re-file my water
service complaint with my state legislator!

Five minutes, or less, would have been spent to 
send that complaint to the correct "In" basket, if 
it had been received by a competent ethical 
employee with half a brain. It has become obvious, 
to me, too often over the years, that "Don't Give 
a Shit Degrees", professional deceit courses, and 
required "dumb-ass training" are, too often, the 
apparent professional requirements for employees 
of the State of Michigan.

I include a copy of the certified mail receipt, 
for my complaint sent to the DLEG, that I have 
every reason to believe led to a substantial piece 
of my life winding up in the consequential 
trash can of apathy and incompetence, paid for, in 
part, by my tax dollars. "Mad as a hornet" does 
not come close to my current disposition toward 
the many government parasites that suck the teats
of productive members of society. 

This is the second time that a serious complaint, 
with extensive documentation, sent by certified 
mail to a Lansing government entity, has 
"disappeared" into a black hole of silence and 
subsequent denial. Two unrelated and documented 
events leads me to the conclusion that either the 
Mail and Delivery Services Agent rubber stamp, 
Jeremy Hall, uses such mail for butt-wipe, or 
there is a major problem concerning professional 
responsibilities, discretion, and accountability, 
within the Lansing bureaucracy, of those with whom 
I have been forced to deal, because I refuse to 
resort to violence until I perceive no viable and 
acceptable option, within my remaining lifetime. 
My "civilized" patience and disposition is wearing 
thin, as my fuse of life runs out, regarding the 
whimsical predation of self-serving "public 
officials" whom I, and others, are forced to pay 
and suffer gladly.


Today, 05/26/09, I faxed copies of this complaint 
and supporting documents to 1-517-241-3771, as 
instructed by an A.G. telephone answering device, 
in an attempt to ensure the likelihood that it is 
received by someone with a degree of professional 
responsibility.

Today, 05/26/09 this edited version of my original
to DLEG, Public Service Commission, is now
addressed, and First Class mailed to:

Michigan Attorney General,
Consumer Protection Division,
P.O. Box 30213,
Lansing MI 48909


"Dept. of Labor & Economic Growth
Public Service Commission
PO Box 30221
Lansing MI 48909

To: A Competent and Ethical Public Official with 
an Abundance of Integrity and Influence and a High 
School Level Comprehension of the English 
Language, 

I am facing the confiscation of several 
properties located in the City of Manistique, as 
the consequence of my refusal to meet the 
requirements of what I perceive to be an unlawful 
and extortionate city "Termination of water and 
sewer service policy". After several years of 
verbal and written requests, by me, no city 
government or administration official has provided 
me the public record documentation of the lawful 
due process that authorized the extortion of a 
"fee/charge", for unwanted and unused water and 
sewer service, by adding it to my property taxes 
as a municipal lien against my property, the 
collection of which is enforced by the threat of 
the city's police powers to confiscate my real 
property according to state property tax laws.

Several times I have rephrased my understanding 
of, and requests to various Manistique city 
officials, regarding the relevant city business. 
Again, I will rephrase that which no member of the 
government or administration of the City of 
Manistique will consider, as I requested in 
person, in written and verbal form, formally and 
informally:

By what lawful due process, regarding property 
rights protected by state and federal 
constitutions, do I now face the confiscation of 
my property because I choose not to excavate and 
terminate my water and sewer lines, on my 
property, or pay for unused water and sewer 
service, when a single service "curb-stop" shutoff 
valve is located a few feet away from my property 
line?

Why must I fear the confiscation of my 
property, after I have requested, several times 
since April 2006, that billing for water and sewer 
service that I have never used since April 2006, 
be terminated?

If the City of Manistique's current extortionate 
"termination of water and sewer service policy", 
and "base fee/ready to serve charge" were not 
imagined by some anonymous administrative 
predatory outlaw, enforced under color of law, and 
sanctioned by city council members, when did 
elected representatives of the residents of the 
City of Manistique ensure the best interests of 
their electors were represented by lawful due 
process recorded in the Minutes of the Manistique 
City Council, and expressed in an appropriate city 
ordinance that holds an owner's real property 
hostage to unused and unwanted municipal water and 
sewer service? 

As Michigan's MUNICIPAL WATER LIENS Act 178 of 
1939, 123.162, grants municipalities the power to 
collect "...rates, or any assessments, charges,
or rentals ... for the use of sewage system
services or for the use or consumption of water
supplied..." why have I been forced to pay for
that which I did not use, and why do I face the
confiscation of my property if I refuse to pay 
for that which I do not use, or want?

The purpose of municipal water liens is not about 
extorting money for undefined reasons or purposes. 
The purpose of "water liens" is clearly stated to 
collect delinquent fees for the USE of water and 
sewer services. So why do I take offense to the 
gun in my face represented by the threatened use 
of police powers to take my property because I 
refuse to pay for water and sewer service I do not 
use or want and I will not excavate my water and 
sewer lines according to a whimsical 
administrative "memorandum"?


Why am I forced to purchase municipal water and 
sewer service, or risk losing my property, if I 
never used the sewage service, or consumed water 
since since April 2006, and if no lawful necessity 
existed for such mandatory "use" when I purchased 
my properties, ~15 years ago?


Not wishing to use my creative imagination to 
extract satisfying physical retribution, and 
absent the financial resources to purchase a legal 
representative to "force" some degree of civilized 
accountability, I paid the water and sewer bills 
on one property, for almost two years, as I sought 
understanding of the City of Manistique's lawful 
basis for charging and enforcing payment of a 
"fee" in a manner I relate more to an organized 
crime family, than a government and administration 
of responsible individuals representing, via 
lawful due process, the best interests of the 
electors of a local "representative democracy" 
form of government.

Eventually, what followed a whimsical City of 
Manistique 2004 "memorandum" regarding my concerns 
first voiced at the Manistique City Clerk's office 
in March 2006, was the City of Manistique's 
response to my 10/17/08 FOIA request. That 
response was a ream of copies of irrelevant public 
record documents associated with a variety of tax 
funded infrastructure contracts, and certain 
ordinance related public business, unrelated to my 
request, with a bill for $93.71. From that 
response, I am left to infer, as some "ignorant 
dummy", that I cannot comprehend concepts and 
details, spoken and written, as one of the few 
city residents that actually attends many public 
meetings, with an intellectual understanding of 
lawful due process, documented in the recorded 
minutes of Manistique City Council meetings.

Consequently, consistent with much of the City of 
Manistique and Schoolcraft County public business 
I have paid attention to, I am left to conclude 
that I am little more than an ignorant dummy means 
to others' ends, and, subsequently, I find myself 
musing about various undesirable options, 
including arson and abandonment of the wreckage, 
as an alternative to, or in addition to, possible 
retributive bloody violence that might be 
considered by a citizen of some lawless Third 
World country.


A significant part of my perspective of the real 
world, formed relative early in my life, is based 
on the certainty that I entered a predatory world 
with nothing, and I will leave a predatory world 
with nothing, and it is not necessary that I 
sanction the "civilized" equivalents of thieves 
and slavers to profit by my existence, beyond the 
lawful requirements that I am willing to tolerate 
as necessary for the well being of those 
productive individuals that form the collective 
society of which I am a member. If City of 
Manistique administration officials choose to 
threaten my well being by extortion, under color 
of law, outside of a necessary tax system, and 
with no apparent concern for lawful due process 
and fiduciary responsibility, beyond the claim 
that "It exists! Find it, Dummy!", then I care not 
if those officials live or die, and from my 
perspective, the world would be a better place if 
they were dead. 


Therefore, I request State legal assistance 
regarding that which I consider unacceptable, 
unlawful, unethical, unsubstantiated, and 
unjustified by those that act as nothing less than 
legally sanctioned predators, while the Manistique 
City Attorney, John Filoramo, watches and smiles.

I include the following to substantiate my claimed 
concerns:

1. Copies of monthly water and sewer bills for two 
properties that I have owned for some 15 years. 
The largest bill is for a property that has been 
vacant for two years, and the smaller bill for a 
property that has been vacant since I purchased 
it. The annual cost of both bills is ~$720 per 
year, representing >5% of the total of < $15,000 
per year that my wife and I survive on.

2. My transcript, below, of the "Manistique 
Water/Wastewater Department memorandum" used as 
the sole justification for the city 
administration's reprehensible, extortionate, and 
unsubstantiated confiscatory policy regarding 
termination of water and sewer service.

" WATER/WASTEWATER DEPARTMENT

MEMORANDUM

Date: July 1, 2004

To: All City Water & Wastewater Customers

From: Manistique Water/Wastewater Department

RE: Base Fee/Ready to Serve Charge

Termination of water and sewer service means a 
physical disconnection of the water service and or 
sewer lateral on the property owners, property. 
This option is at the property owners expense, the 
City will not incur any cost for this termination. 
This disconnection must be visually inspected by 
appointment, by an authorized City of Manistique 
employee. This is only way to have the monthly 
base fee/ready to serve charge removed from your 
water/sewer bill. If you have any questions please 
feel free to call the Water/Wastewater Department 
at 906- 341-2281."

3. A copy of the City of Manistique's confiscatory 
"memorandum", quoted previously.

4. A copy of a recent letter signed by an unknown 
city entity named "Manistique Utilities", that 
decided to bill me for a "ready to serve charge" 
of unknown genesis, for no other reason than I own 
"service lines" on my property, that have existed 
for as long as the property has been on the city 
tax rolls and municipal water and sewer service 
were available.

5. A copy of my 10/17/08 FOIA request to the City 
of Manistique with a copy of the bill for the 
City's response that did not address my request, 
within the context of all my prior efforts to gain 
an understanding of why I should not resort to 
violent retribution against those that threaten my 
current and future health and welfare.

6. The following quote of my question addressed to 
the local cable televised Manistique City Council 
meeting of 09/22/08:

Q. What source of authority sanctions the City of 
Manistique's choice to extort some $507 dollars 
from me, over the past 19 1/2 months, with the 
threat to place a lien against my property, as an 
alternative to the City using a curb-stop valve to 
shut off water to a property I own? I am sure that 
a July 1, 2004, memorandum from the Manistique 
Water/Wastewater Department, with no reference to 
authority, and with no signature, does not 
substitute for a local ordinance, state law, or 
federal legislation. Again, what gives the city 
the right to extort $507 from me, instead of 
terminating water and sewer service to my 
properties, with a curb-stop valve?

A. No response.

7. The original copies of the 04/06/09 attempt by 
the City of Manistique to provide some lawful 
basis for its policy of extortion, as described in 
this complaint and request for help, that follows.

8. A May 21 2009 "memo" to Manistique City Council 
for its approval of the fraudulent billing of 
water and sewer service that I have not used, and 
refuse to pay, to be added to my property taxes.

9. The receipt by rubber stamp Jeremy Hall of my 
prior complaint that disappeared into a black hole 
of professional State apathy.

10. The 05/11/09 bill for one gallon of water 
never used, front, rear, over two years ago,
that prompts me to consider bizarre retribution
for bizarre reasons! 

11. The URL -

http://www.manistique.org/manistique_water_rates.html

link to my web pages that chronicles much of my 
effort to obtain the lawful due process basis for 
that which I consider to be part of the City of 
Manistique's institutionalized policy of deceit, 
extortion, theft, fraud and unlawful conversion of 
property.


According to the anonymous authority of a City of 
Manistique "memorandum", if I want to terminate 
city water and sewer service, I must excavate by 
hand, or hire a contractor to excavate, my lateral 
water and sewer lines from the city's water and 
sewer mains, on my property, cut and terminate the 
lines to some unspecified standard, to be 
inspected by some city worker with unknown 
credentials, and then bury the lines, again, to 
preclude frost damage and the liability of a 
public safety hazard and likely blight offense; 
while there is a working water shutoff "curb-
stop" valve a few feet away! If I refuse to be 
victimized as described, and I refuse to pay for 
the use of water and sewer service that I do not 
use, or want, I am informed that my property will 
be confiscated according to no identified 
authority, beyond administrative whim expressed in 
a July 1, 2004 "memorandum".


As a consequence of my attempts to resist what I 
perceive to be criminal extortion, I came to 
deduce the de facto existence of an extensive 
administrative extortionate city policy, created 
by other than "due process". Subsequently, I have 
little choice beyond speculating that unidentified 
City of Manistique administration personnel, with 
the secret default or explicit sanction of the 
Manistique City Council and City Attorney, chose 
to "invent" an unspecified and unknown authority 
to give the City of Manistique the right to place 
a lien, under color of law, against certain 
private properties, to collect payment for 
fictional delinquent water and sewer service bills 
for services not used and not wanted by the owners 
of the properties billed.

After indebting certain property owners against 
their will, for services not used or wanted, the 
City of Manistique then enforces the collection of 
those bills for unwanted water and sewer service, 
by threatening the use of authority granted in 
State of Michigan property tax legislation that 
authorizes the use of police powers to confiscate 
property for delinquent bills of municipal 
services that are requested and used. Consequently, 
property owners, like me, are billed for unwanted 
and unused water and sewer service, imposed and 
collected by force, without due process, under 
color of law, contrary to basic federal and state 
legislation and property rights, as if some have a 
God given right to victimize others.


So, because I must be an ignorant dummy, and 
because those with the responsibility for 
transparency in government choose to make the 
process as opaque as possible, it is left to me to 
speculate that, consistent with some anonymous 
individual's personal and subjective 
interpretation of a term of the Manistique City 
Charter, administration personnel of the City of 
Manistique threaten to confiscate my property if I 
do not pay a delinquent "base fee/ready to serve 
charge" and I do not follow the City of 
Manistique's predatory whimsical 07/01/04 
memorandum to excavate, sever, and terminate my 
water and sewer lines. 

Two years after my first inquiries regarding some 
relevant documentation of the due process that 
authorized public extortion, by the City of 
Manistique, I have no knowledge of the due process 
that created the policy of "If you do not 
excavate, sever, and terminate your water and 
sewer lines, or pay a base fee/ready to serve 
charge for that which you do not want or use, your 
property will be confiscated by a lawful process 
the City chooses not to reveal."

I have no understanding of how implied due process 
of public business forces Manistique city 
residents to excavate and sever their private 
water and sewer lines or be billed for unwanted 
and unused water and sewer service, the payment 
for which is secured by the creative accounting 
method of co-mingling the fraudulent bill for 
water and sewer service use, with a property tax 
bill which is collected by the motivating 
legislated authority of forced confiscation of 
property for the failure to pay the fraudulent 
water and sewer use bill.


Reduced to its essence, the threat of "Pay your 
bill for that which you did not request, or use, 
or we will confiscate your property!" could 
motivate me to destroy all that I own, and those 
that would make me little more than an "antebellum 
plantation nigger" to their whims.


Some 15 to 20 years ago, when I purchased my 
properties, I was not forced to pay for mandatory 
water and sewer service, or the costs to excavate 
and sever my private water and sewer lines prior 
to declining water and sewer service. Since 2004, 
with nothing but a memorandum that refers to no 
lawful authority, the city administration has been 
in my wallet for two years, and refuses to provide 
the minutes of a Manistique Council lawful 
resolution that created the legal authority to 
extort a piece of my life. After numerous requests 
to obtain that authority, at various formal and 
informal meetings with public officials, I get 
nothing more than a stack of irrelevant crap, with 
a bill for $93.71, that claims, approximately, 
0.75% of what my wife and I live on, each year.


Currently, a downtown residential property I own, 
to which the city refused to terminate water and 
sewer service, has numerous ruptured water lines 
as a consequence, in part, of the city's refusal 
to shut off the water, and my financial inability 
to heat the building during the past two Winters. 
At the same time, to retain ownership of my 
property, not only must I pay property taxes, but 
I am forced to pay the city for water I do not 
want, use, or need, the freezing of which ruptured 
water lines within the unheated building. For this 
I should be grateful to Manistique city government 
and administration personnel, and the authors of 
state and federal legislation that the city 
claims, in $93.71 worth of butt-wipe, nothing 
specific to justify its claim to my money, its 
threat to confiscate my property, and the 
consequential damages of lawless and inconsiderate 
choices?

(Today, 05/23/09, I was made aware that the 
downtown property in the preceding paragraph will 
be placed on the delinquent property tax roll, not 
because I do not care to pay the taxes due, but 
because I will not pay a fraudulent water and 
sewer use bill that will be added to my property 
taxes. As it stands, I will lose that property as 
the consequence threatened for my refusal to pay 
the City of Manistique for unused water and sewer 
service that I did not use or want. I include a 
copy of that document with this copy of my prior 
certified mail complaint, of which no entity 
acknowledges receipt other than a rubber stamp 
named "Jeremy Hall".)
Fraudulent Manistique water bills added to property taxes memo



The magic of deceit under color of law ... The Manistique City Charter dictates nothing outside of due process, including the collection of fraudulent water use bills.



Manistique fraudulent utility bills added to taxes partial list.jpg
Fraudulent bills against account 47201 heading for collection by confiscation of property.


If I do not want electric service, and I do not 
wish to pay for electric service, and I do not 
wish to purchase the utility infrastructure, and I 
do not wish to lose my property, I am not forced 
to cut the power lines on my property.

If I do not want natural gas service, and I do not 
wish to pay for natural gas service, and I do not 
wish to purchase the utility infrastructure, and I 
do not wish to lose my property, I am not forced 
to excavate and cut the gas line on my property.

If I do not want cable TV service, and I do not 
wish to pay for cable TV service, and I do not 
wish to purchase the utility infrastructure, and I 
do not wish to lose my property, I am not forced 
to cut the cable line on my property.

If I do not want telephone service,and I do not 
wish to pay for telephone service, and I do not 
wish to purchase the utility infrastructure, and I 
do not wish to lose my property, I am not forced 
to cut the telephone line on my property.

If I do not want mail service, and I do not wish 
to pay for mail service, and I do not wish to 
purchase the utility infrastructure, and I do not 
wish to lose my property, I am not forced to 
destroy the mail box on my property.

If I do not want solid waste collection and 
disposal service, and I do not wish to purchase 
the utility infrastructure, and I do not wish to 
pay for solid waste collection and disposal 
service, and I do not wish to loose my property, I 
am not forced to destroy my solid waste 
containers.

Simple logic, alone, prompts me to ask, based upon 
what lawful due process am I forced to excavate 
and sever the water and sewer lines on my property 
or pay the City of Manistique for unused water and 
sewer service that I cannot afford, I do not want, 
and I do not use - or lose my property to 
threatened confiscation under color of law?


If I was dealing with a criminal enterprise, in 
some uncivilized country, that enforced its 
arbitrary will with local police powers, I would 
know how to deal with the "problem" in a way that 
is in the news, every day. 

After some 40 years of adult life, I have learned 
a great deal about human nature, deceit, politics, 
corruption, unenforced laws, and my willingness, 
early in my life, to help kill men, women and 
children, in the name of "Uncle Sam", for no other 
reason than my naive and irrational belief in the 
lies of public officials. The days are over that I 
victimize my neighbors for those that exhort my 
complicity and acquiescence as the will of God and 
Country. The days are over that I choose, by 
default silence, to be the helpless victim of my 
neighbors as the consequence of their deliberate 
or default predatory choices.

If, in my callow youth, I was willing to risk my 
life for "God and Country" to help my peers to 
destroy strangers, and their livelihood, for 
little more than the philosophical beliefs they 
held, why should I be impotent to hold accountable 
those known individuals that would deprive me of 
my means to exist, today?


Based upon my understanding and acceptance of the 
rule of law and individual responsibility in a 
civilized society - and so that I may sleep well 
at night and clear the ugly voices from my head -
please answer the following questions so that I 
may decide what my next option is:

The overlapping questions I want addressed, 
ignored in the City of Manistique's response to 
all my queries, including my FOIA request, are 
summarized below:


1. What is the lawful due process basis for City 
of Manistique administration personnel to extort 
money from me, and others, by holding real 
property hostage to the threat of confiscation, 
through State tax laws, if we choose not to 
excavate and terminate our water and sewer lines, 
or pay the City of Manistique a "Base Fee/Ready to 
Serve Charge" authorized by no more "due process" 
than an anonymous memorandum?

2. What is the due process lawful basis for City 
of Manistique administration personnel to extort, 
from me, payment for water and sewer service I do 
not want or use, the payment of which is secured 
by the threatened confiscation of my property 
according to property tax legislation?

3. The City of Manistique, by a process that reeks 
of whimsical extortion, chooses to hold liable a 
landlord, with the threatened use of courts and 
police powers to confiscate the real property of a 
landlord, if that landlord does not pay a renters' 
delinquent bills for water and sewer use due by 
terms of a contract between the renter and the 
City of Manistique. The city requires an $80 water 
account deposit from a renter who is then allowed 
to accrue a 2 1/2 month unpaid water use bill, for 
which the city holds the landlord liable by threat 
of property confiscation, as documented in 
attachment A!

What is the lawful due process for City of 
Manistique administration personnel to extort 
money from property owners, by holding real 
property hostage to the threat of confiscation, 
through state tax laws, if a landlord in the city 
does not pay a renter's delinquent water bill, for 
a water service account contract between the 
renter and the City of Manistique?

4.  As I cannot afford to hire legal gunslingers, 
to spin the roulette wheel of justice, and 
Manistique city officials will not reveal the 
lawful due process that justifies an extortionate 
policy memorandum, what civilized recourse do I 
have to reclaim, or be compensated for, within my 
likely remaining lifetime, that part of my life 
that has been lost to the consequence of 
whimsical public extortion, by public officials, 
under color of law?

5. Are crushing the skulls of, or setting afire my 
tormentors, viable options for me to be 
compensated for that part of my life that has been 
extorted from me directly, and as a consequence of 
being forced to defend myself, my quality of life, 
and my property, from those that steal with 
impunity because I cannot afford to purchase 
justice?


The City's 04/06/09 response to my last effort to 
obtain a rational and relevant answer to question 
#1, is the enclosed two page attachment, marked 
"7", from City of Manistique ordinances. I was 
left to assume that all the City of Manistique 
needs to justify extortion, is to circle and 
highlight specific ordinance text, isolated from 
its own context, isolated from state legislative 
context, isolated from federal legislation, and 
interpreted by "someone" to mean something 
contrary to my understanding of the same content 
and context, with a significant new meaning 
ascribed to the word "use" contrary to any common 
use or legal definition that I am aware of. 

Water use means 'Pay for it if you don't use it.'

This extract from Manistique City ordinances was handed me, by a city clerk, earlier this year, as it has several times over the past two years, to justify the billing for water I have never used. This time, the relevant legal prose was circled with a yellow marking pen to ensure that I read and understood a few select words divorced from the context. I can only conclude that a Manistique High School diploma, or a college degree is necessary to understand the meaning for "use" to mean the opposite. As many other city properties with lateral water and sewer lines are not billed for water not used, I assume that I must be an easy mark congenital "dumb ass" who, at the age of 63, has failed to grasp the meaning of "use" as used in the last sentence circled by my anonymous Manistique City administration tutor.

To me, the language circled could not be more clear... but then, I was educated elsewhere.
25.464 (C), of the city's own ordinance, states 
that "The enforcement of the lien shall be made as 
provided by state law."

Having established an ordinance, shown above, that defines charges and fees based upon water use, some anonymous City of Manistique twit circled part of a subsequent ordinance, shown below, to justify the collection of charges and fees that are related to everything other than use. Imagine Edison Sault replacing a power pole, adding that cost to your electric use bill, and then confiscating your property because you refuse to pay for the pole! So it goes with the City of Manistique administration process. Law means nothing to predators that prey with impunity.
Mnaistique water and sewer charges as a lien

It is interesting to note the copy of the ordinance, or Manistique City Council resolution, that was not provided. Not a word concerning a non-existent 'base fee/ready to serve charge', or 'fraudulent billing for water not used', '...as provided for in this chapter...' as clearly required by the language included in the reference provided me, '...charges, costs, and fees as provided for in this chapter...', in the ordinance quoted above, as circled and handed to me by a Manistique city clerk.
If, as I wrote earlier, Michigan's MUNICIPAL WATER 
LIENS Act 178 of 1939, 123.162, grants 
municipalities the power to collect "...rates, or 
any assessments, charges, or rentals ... for the 
use of sewage system services or for the use or 
consumption of water supplied..." why have I been 
forced to pay for that which I did not use, and 
why do I face the confiscation of my property if I 
refuse to pay for water I have not consumed, and 
for sewer service I have not used?

A highlighted portion of City of Manistique 
ordinance 25.314, sec 14, concerns the "...rates 
and charges for the use of the waste-water system 
of the city..." specified in the prior sentence. I 
have not used the water supply system, or waste-
water system, for the last 2 years with one 
property, and for over 15 years with another, yet 
I have been billed, and continue to be billed, for 
water and sewer service I do not use.

Another highlighted portion of the same section of 
the ordinance states. "Such charges shall be based 
upon the quantity of water used thereon or 
therein." To me, as an ignorant Limey immigrant, 
the basis for billing water use is stated in 
indisputable language, "...shall be based upon the 
quantity of water used..."

Regarding the fictitious "termination of water and 
sewer service policy", and "base fee/ready to 
serve charge" referred to in a July 1, 2004 
memorandum, I have found no public record of a due 
process basis for a revenue raising resolution 
that serves as the source of authority for the 
memorandum's whimsical extortion. For as many 
times as I have requested a copy of the due 
process basis, no one has provided me with a copy, 
even though the City billed me $93.71, that I will 
not pay, for an irrelevant response to my FOIA 
request for the basis. To the best of my 
knowledge, there is no provision i.a.w. Manistique 
City Ordinance 25.464, sec. 14 (A).


Note the copy of my May 2009 water use bill, 
attachment 10, $246.68 for the same gallon of 
water I never used, over two years ago. That same 
one gallon, nothing more than the next digit on 
the water meter after a renter left, cost me ~$500 
out of my pocket since March, 2006, until I 
refused to pay any more. Since I refused to pay 
any more, the City has continued to bill me for 
the water and sewer I do not use, and has now 
added the fraudulent delinquent water bill of 
$246.68 to my property tax bill.

To add insult to injury, the City discriminates 
against property owners that use no water and 
sewer service in their buildings on property with 
lateral water and sewer lines connected to the 
city's water and sewer mains. A vacant property 
with lateral water and sewer lines is not billed 
by the city for water and sewer service they do 
not use. Once again, the City's own ordinance 
handed to me on two different occasions states in 
unambiguous language, "Such charges and rates 
shall be made against each lot, parcel of land or 
premises which may have any sewer connections 
with the sewer system of the city...based upon the 
quantity of water used."  If I have a vacant city 
lot, I get no bill for water and sewer I do not 
use. If I have a building on a city lot, I am 
billed for water and sewer I do not use!


Either there is legislation that authorizes the 
City of Manistique to extort money from me, and 
related threats to confiscate my property, for my 
refusal to pay for water and sewer service I do 
not want, and I have not used, or there is not. 
Either City of Manistique city council members 
have the God-given right to sanction the God-given 
right of city administrative personnel to deprive 
me of my means to exist, or they do not.  


As an adult, I have always understood, and 
accepted, the necessity of taxes, based upon 
lawful due process, to build and maintain the 
public infrastructure on which a civilized, 
complex, production driven society depends. I have 
never understood, or accepted, quietly, a 
perceived necessity and right of some to dominate, 
deceive, steal, and extort from others, that which 
they have no lawful or ethical right to, beyond an 
unsubstantiated and/or undisclosed claim.

To me, beyond attire, there is no difference 
between a white and blue collar thief. The loss, 
to the victim, is the same. It is the loss of a 
piece of a victim's life, represented to a greater 
or lesser degree by that part of a victim's life 
required to produce the product stolen; plus that 
part of a victim's life lost trying to achieve 
some form of objective and equitable justice, to 
preclude repetition of the victimizing behavior. 
The current national economic mess, due to the 
theft of $trillions by white collar con artists, 
fostered by those with the responsibility to do 
otherwise, stands as testimony to my personal 
perspective.


The main difference that does exist, between blue 
and white collar crime, is that a victim may shoot 
a blue collar thief that steals by the use or 
threat of physical violence, but a victim of much 
greater white collar theft, enforced by the threat 
or use of government police power violence, is 
helpless to do anything, too often, beyond pissing 
into the wind.

Like me, too many victims are victimized too much, 
because too many public officials, with the sworn 
duty to do otherwise, have benefited from too much 
unethical or unlawful behavior, for too long; or 
served their self-interest by ignoring too much 
predatory behavior, for too long, because they 
claim to have the lawful discretion to sanction, 
overtly or by default, any act of victimization 
they have the "professional" discretion to ignore. 


Regarding the documented evolution of my cynical 
opinion concerning the dereliction of the lawful 
responsibilities of public officials sworn to 
promote civilized behavior, and uphold the laws of 
the land, I offer my personal web site, 
manistique.org, as my documentation of that which 
forces me, and other victims that choose not to be 
silent acquiescent prey, to consider "uncivilized" 
and undesirable remedies.

As I get older, I find myself weighing the 
consequences of pissing into the wind while I lose 
that which represents my life, a  piece at a time, 
versus destroying what little I possess and 
killing and maiming those that choose to prey on 
me, regardless of the consequences. I am finding 
that the latter bizarre choice, typical of 
citizens living in barbaric Third World countries, 
is becoming more desirable and necessary as I 
watch the consequences to those of limited means, 
including myself, that try to hold accountable the 
closed ranks of private and public predators, 
protected by the best, or most broken, unethical
public officials and attorneys that public money
will buy.


There is nothing like paying local government 
officials, with pieces of your own life, for their 
attempts to steal your property and their 
subsequent evasion and deceit regarding their 
authority to do so!

There is nothing like begging "higher authority" 
government officials for your lawful right to 
retain and enjoy the means of your existence!

There is nothing like the understanding that 
constitution based property rights and tax laws 
are considered by your peers as privileges, to be 
granted or denied by whimsical choice, with 
impunity!

There is nothing like the understanding that, 
while "we" teach others the errors of their ways, 
with brute force, in the far corners of the world, 
we foster similar barbaric behavior in our own 
back yards.


It would be far easier, faster, more effective, 
and less painful for me, to deal with local human 
predators in an instant bloody encounter, instead 
of turning a cheek and asking for more pain, 
grief, and misery - piecemeal - because I care not 
to become a predator, and I care not to be a 
tortured impotent victim for my remaining life. 


For reasons that I have documented here, and 
elsewhere, I hope that you will consider and 
respond to this request for assistance in the 
candid, relevant, civilized, justified, 
substantiated, and constructive manner that my 
request has been made. This request, like my other 
public concerns, will become part of my public 
record concerning unethical, unlawful, and 
predatory public business, sanctioned by the 
powers that have the responsibility to do 
otherwise. Hopefully, that public record might 
discourage others from ever answering the question 
"Why?" with their own fantastic speculation, 
should I decide to deal with my victimization in 
the manner I consider deserved. 

If you intend to respond to my concerns, in the 
same way that Michigan Assistant Attorney General
Stacy Erwin-Oakes responded to my complaint -
AG#2007017274A - Consumer Protection #200709370 -
concerning the actual confiscation by the City of 
Manistique, without due process, of the right-of-
way property located in Schoolcraft County, owned 
by Schoolcraft County resident Alfred Burn's, just 
tell me to "Fuck off! We don't care." in clear and 
unambiguous English. I will then respond, as I see 
fit, with the clear understanding that the State 
of Michigan condones the unchecked efforts of City 
of Manistique administration personnel to acquire 
private property, under color of law, inconsistent 
with the due process of existing Federal and State 
legislation required to protect me, and others, 
from our predatory peers that would reduce our 
quality of life to that of slaves to their 
whimsical aspirations.

I may be contacted

by mail: 

Peter C. Markham,
416 Alger Ave.,
Manistique, MI 49854

by email: 

*******


No phone service. I cannot afford it.


Sincerely,
          Peter C. Markham, 04/09/09"

To get an extensive real world peak at the corrupt legal process I referred to, above, regarding a prior AG complaint, do a text search of http://www.manistique.org/quarry.html



During the agenda business of the Manistique City Council meeting of 05/26/09, City Manager Sheila Aldrich spoke of the "Utilities Bills Added to Taxes" memo in each councilperson's business packet. When asked by Mayor David Peterson why some of the bills were so substantial, possibly reflecting a water billing or shutoff problem, Aldrich replied that most of the delinquent bills were for the "base fee", (imposed by anonymous administration personnel with no reference to the due process of a city-council revenue raising resolution.)

During the public comments period, following that memo business, I read the following question:

"Regarding the "Utilities Bills Added to Taxes" memo, does any member of City Council have any concerns that some of those unpaid water/sewer utility billings are not for unpaid water and sewer use, as considered in city ordinances, but are for a whimsical "base fee/ ready to serve charge" of unknown genesis, derived from unknown authority? You may rest assured that I will not pay that which you try to extort from me, and the City will gain no free real estate, from me."

As usual, there was no response from any one, but I had the distinct impression that City Manager Aldrich was looking me right in the eyes, paying attention.

Following the brief silence that I understood as, "Fuck Off! We don't care, because you can't do a fuckin' thing about it." I then added the following candid comment, along the lines of "I promise you that I will not pay the charge, and the city will gain no free real estate, from me.", the implication of which was that the city would pay for my real estate, one way or the other.



06/02/09

Yesterday I received a response card from Consumer Protection Division of the Michigan Attorney General's office, regarding my complaint concerning Manistique's extortionate and fraudulent water use billing policies.

Today, my wife stopped by the Manistique City Clerk's counter to determine what I owed for property taxes. While at the counter, she was overheard by the Director of Public Safety, Ken Golat, who asked to speak to her in private. Golat asked her whether she thought that I might do something rash because he knew that I was not one to suffer abuse, or tolerate the abuse of others, in silence, and that I have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. My wife assured him that I had tolerated far more abuse, peacefully, in 2005, when the State of Texas kidnapped my dying father, with the help of two armed goons from the Guadalupe County Sheriff Department. (That is another life experience, recorded in notes, documents, and photographs, taken at the risk of being set upon by armed deputies that threatened to do whatever it took to stop me taking photographs of the State of Texas sanctioned kidnapping event. Think adult protective services, instead of child protective services used to justify the recent kidnapping of almost 400 Mormon religious sect children that were later proven to have suffered no child abuse.)

Golat was reported to have said, or implied to my wife, that I have threatened public officials and threatened to torch my buildings. If considering harming others that harm me, and considering destroying my property to deny others the opportunity to steal it, is unlawful, then I am guilty of having an imagination. As for threatening people, I learned, as a juvenile, a long time ago, from the experiences of my delinquent peers, don't threaten - just do it, and, if questioned, deny involvement and let the accusers "prove" their conclusions to the contrary. That is how, too often, professional criminals and local governments and administrations evade "the law", and other consequences due their predatory efforts.

Golat expressed his legitimate concerns that if my buildings succumbed to arson, that process would be unlawful, and a hazard to the property and health of others. I quite agree, but given the history and context, I conclude that his concern is less for the health and wellbeing of the general public, than it is the expression of a lackey that tries to justify, and supports, the corrupt political choices of Manistique City government and administration. Regardless of his concerns, I am forced to consider all options, by the apparent stated and written intent of public officials to extort by whimsy, instead of due process.

Regarding threats, officials of the City of Manistique have threatened me, and I have considered my retaliatory options.

Golat asked my wife why I don't excavate and sever my water and sewer lines and be done with the escalating pissing contest. My wife answered why should I have to excavate and sever the water and sewer lines, or pay for water that I don't use, when all the city has to do is shut off the water at the curbstop valve and quit billing me for water I don't use.

The answer that followed, that I find difficult to attribute to Golat, was someone's pretzel logic that no other public official had ever revealed to me in over two years since I first questioned Manistique's extortionate water billing policy. He said that folks who's water was shut off at the curbstop valve would only turn it on for free city water; to which my wife responded that legal action and a locking device to secure valve operation would discourage and cure such problems.

My answer to his question to my wife, concerning my responsibility to excavate and sever the lines i.a.w. an anonymous city whimsy, is the following: In light of the apparent and acceptable absence of due process of the City of Manistique to raise revenue in a lawful manner, why not take the suggestion a step further, and make the extortion non-discriminatory, as defined by the City's existing ordinances, and bill $30 to every piece of property, including vacant, with lateral water and sewer lines connected to city mains, instead of extorting $30 from a select few that do not use water and do not want to use water.

If Golat's suggestion is appropriate, then the City of Manistique should, for each property with lateral water and sewer lines, send an anonymous "memorandum" to each owner, with no quoted, or suggestion of, due process authority that justifies the two choices of extortion offered by the city. The first choice would demand some arbitrary equivalent of "protection" money for no use of water and sewer services, from each owner. The second choice, for those that refused the first offer, would be the property owner's forced excavation, destruction and city "inspection" of their severed and terminated water and sewer lines - or excavation and city "inspection" to prove that it was done - enforced with the threat of government police powers to confiscate the owner's property if they choose not to submit to either extortion choice. To me, it sounds like making offers that can't be refused, out some gangsta movie, but, at least it is honest non-discriminatory extortion, without the claim of, or suggestion of, lawful due process authority.

To make Golat's response more ludicrous to me, is the fact that (1) it is his responsibility to ensure that known theft by any means is not sanctioned by him, and (2), unknown and undetected water theft in a small community where everyone knows their neighbor's business is virtually impossible. It's a good bet that vacant properties and empty buildings do not use city water, and with all water accounts in the city read with a hand held "reader", the warm body attached to the reader should be bright and responsible enough to note and report all properties that show signs of residential or commercial life, that are not on the list of property water meters to be read. A subsequent check for open city valves to unbilled and unmetered water lines or bypassed metered water lines should result in immediate shutoff and securing of the "curbstop" valve and appropriate legal action, instead of extorting payment from me for water not used!

It is likely that, if the City of Manistique revealed its due process lawful authority, as I requested numerous times, regarding the discriminatory billing practices I have witnessed and described, then there would be no pissing contest. Instead, administration personnel of the city choose to collect money in a whimsical manner, sanctioned by apparent fictional authority, as they engage in apparent extortion sanctioned by apparent fictional authority, for the purpose of securing an apparent unlawful revenue stream justified by little more than wholesale deceit. Subsequently, I am a "threat" for requesting government and administration officials to reveal the lawful due process that sanctions their power to force me to pay for that which I do not use, or excavate and sever my water and sewer lines, or they will confiscate my properties.

Assuming that my wife understood and paraphrased Golat correctly, it emphasizes A. the lack of understanding of that which he has witnessed at numerous Manistique City Council meetings, and was part of regarding the theft by the City of Manistique of Al Burns property for the Lakeside Road, and/or B. he understands his secondary duties as the equivalent of a "mob enforcer and collector" of the City of Manistique as well as he understands his duties as a guarantor of public peace and safety.

Regarding his concerns, expressed to my wife, that I might, with a pistol, take on an unknown number of armed individuals; I wouldn't think of it. In my world, violent fantasy Hollywood entertainment is fiction. John Woo or Brandon Lee I ain't, and never was. If I considered retribution with firearms, a pistol would be the last thing I would take to a likely gunfight with those that should be trained, regularly, in the art of killing people with guns.

Regarding his concerns, and those of others that think, because I am an outspoken individual, who speaks candidly, that I must be a danger to my wife and others with whom I associate, I have only this to say. You may imagine anything you choose, consistent with your personal perception, experiences, and degrees of ignorance, but, in 63 years, including my U.S. military experience for "God and Country", I have never picked a fight, and beyond childhood sibling rivalry, I have never abused anyone that did not earn it for very real, justified and substantiated rational reasons. In my later adult life, I have never threatened, or given anyone a reason to infer a threat, without very real, justified, substantiated, and articulated defensive rational reasons; and I do not intend to start picking fights, anytime soon.

To me, to malign anyone for obvious restrained defense to obvious abuse, is the mark of a bullying coward. To me, it is reprehensible for anyone to attempt to intimidate an individual with the authority of police power, or to use their influence to project or direct police power, to intimidate anyone for obvious restrained defense to obvious abuse.

I will defend myself, my property rights, and my property, until I understand that property rights are actually privileges, to be granted or denied by the whimsical decisions of those that choose to corrupt basic civil rights for the purpose of self serving domination.

Unlike many others that serve this community, with public and private records that identify them as professional predators to all that care to know, I have no such record.

That said, I have never chosen, knowingly, to suffer abuse by predators or fools, quietly, and, if pushed sufficiently, after exhausting more civilized options, I could be motivated to mayhem and murder, as most others of my species, given sufficient motivation. I had, at various times in my life, justified and substantiated reasons to consider such options, but was without the means, or too enamored of life and leery of "Bubba", at those times, to risk my remaining life to exact retribution.

I am not hired, elected, or appointed to determine how much unwarranted, unjustified, and unsubstantiated abuse I will take before becoming violent, and I am not losing sleep considering related future options and consequences. I do not fear a malevolent universe controlled by the hand of God, but I do fear, for very well considered, articulated, justified and substantiated reasons, the obvious malevolent intent, or malevolent acquiescence, of too many of my neighbors. But, like many others in more barbaric Third World countries, I have learned, early in life, to sleep well among those that wish me ill.

As for Director of Public Safety Golat asking my wife to inform him if I "go off the deep end", he, and anyone else concerned about the consequences of their predatory choices, may rest assured that I will give no one any warning of such intent, as that would surrender the only advantage that I have among men with guns; the element of surprise to achieve retribution against those that enforce their whims with guns in lieu of lawful and ethical due process. In the context of any business at hand, I like to consider all appropriate options, regardless of whether others have reasons to fear undesirable consequences for their predatory behavior, or support thereof.

Relative to Director of Public Safety Golat's concerns about a rash reaction by me to what I perceive to be deliberate and arbitrary extortion by Manistique City government, perhaps he should counsel the outlaws that have chosen to victimize me, and other owners of property, in and adjacent to the city.



Sound like some hollywood plot? Nope, it's endemic City of Manistique and Schoolcraft County business. If, and when, I decide that I have had enough of being considered little more than a mindless "resource" for the ends of others, then I will act as I consider appropriate. Appropriate includes the full knowledge that no public official, with whom I have communicated, will ever be able to ask the question "Why?", in any other context than the deceit of a deliberate predator that chooses to ignore a universal law of human nature, "cause and effect", equivalent to the "action and reaction" of classic Newtonian physics.

To Golat, and other apologists for broken government officials and business, if my perspective is considered a threat, to those that consider me little more than a means to an end, just consider how I, and others, might consider irresponsible public officials as threats to our health and well being. Both effects result from the same causes, predatory and defensive human nature encouraged by the absence of ethical and lawful due process.



06/16/09

Yesterday morning, as I moseyed around the parking lot of Manistique's only downtown supermarket, waiting for my wife to finish shopping, I was approached, on separate occasions, by two local residents with technical credentials and nothing personal to gain by recent water plant "upgrade" decisions.

The first person, with a grin on his face and a twinkle in his eyes, asked, "How many wells can be drilled for $6 million?", and then he told me of a local farmer that, recently, had a well drilled for irrigation purposes. We parted with the mutual understanding that the recent water plant upgrade decisions had less to do with public benefit than political goals, job security, and lucrative contracts - at a "captured" public expense.

The second person thanked me for the courage to speak up, in public, concerning the public business I chose to consider. I then asked him why it is, that, beyond very few individuals, most Manistique residents remain silent. He stated, without hesitation, "They are afraid of the consequences." I thanked him for the "Attaboy!", and we went our separate ways.



10/26/09

Last week, I submitted the following request to be placed upon the agenda for the Manistique City Council meeting, this evening
10/22/09


City of Manistique,
mc/ho City Manager Aldrich,
300 ln. Maple St.,
Manistique, Ami 49854


To Whomever,

This is a request to be added to the agenda for the 
Manistique City Council meeting of 10/26/09. The topic 
of my business with council is the financing of city 
water, sewer, and street infrastructure, its current 
and future impact upon my life, and some of the 
consequential options I find myself considering.

It is possible that I may have reason to delay my 
business with council, if some information I sought is 
delivered in the next few days.

Sincerely,
          Peter C. Markham
In response, I received from Manistique City administration a copy of the 10/26/09 Manistique City Council agenda items including,
4. ARRA-Water/Sewer Project questions on financing from Peter Markham
At the city council meeting of 10/26/09, prior to my intended address to council, that follows, I introduced it by making all aware that I had no idea how the topic of my specific written request became the listed agenda item.

I was, shortly after starting my intended address to council, challenged by Manistique Mayor Pro Tem Rantanen and Manistique City Attorney Filoramo to stick to their version of what my purpose was regarding my approved written request. Beyond their obvious self-serving bluster addressed by the record, above, they silenced me by stating that my claims and threats had nothing to do with the nature of my approved written request, and Rantanen demanded that I cease. As the Director of Manistique Public Safety was in the audience, armed, I relinquished my position at the podium rather than taking the risk of mixing it up with men with guns, at the beck and call of political whim.

Here is a shirt pocket recording of my denied attempt to address Manistique City Council, at the council's public meeting of 10/26/09, consistent with my accepted written request to be on the agenda, i.a.w. the provisions of the Michigan Open Meetings Act.

Regarding the heated exchange between "them" and I, I am heard, several times, saying "OK" to various claims by Rantanen. For those that care about due process, in any venue, it was my feeble attempt to discourage her continued unsubstantiated rant so that I could continue with my business, as stated in my approved request to be placed on the council agenda. I wanted, in the worst way, to tell her to "Shut up, asshole, and let me finish what I came to say!", but, based upon my prior experiences with City Attorney Filoramo, and Director of Public Safety Golat, my justified fear moderated my tongue.

As for her claims that I have refused to accept various attempts to edify me, in private, I can only say that, for as long as I can remember, going back well over a decade, the general rule concerning Manistique City Council was to ignore me, or most others with similar concerns. It is possible that I have "forgotten" all that she claimed to have occurred, and "forgot" to include such offers in my extensive and candid documentation of my political concerns in the City of Manistique. If the past minutes of city council, or past issues of the Pioneer Tribune, or past recordings of city council meetings were perused, I suspect that my less than perfect memory would be far more correct than hers regarding her numerous claimed offers of relevant substantiation.

In other words, I understand her claims as confabulation or lies, and the context of her claims eliminates confabulation.

I am well aware of my less than perfect memory, and I am more than willing to concede that I may have forgotten, and failed to document, the numerous efforts to which Rantanen referred. I am also aware that it is highly unlikely that I would refuse to attend any offer to explain that, which after several years of my documented efforts to get relevant answers, I still understand to be little more than a local government con game to collect revenue in a coercive and unlawful manner with fraudulent water and sewer use billing and an extortionate "memorandum" based tax against property I own. From my perspective, my ire has a substantive basis, regardless of how many claimed offers to explain, real or imaginary, I am told I acknowledged and then forgot or refused to attend.

I cannot imagine what Rantanen could say or produce beyond what has already been said, or not, and produced, or not. I have no reason to believe that her recorded offer of 10/26/09 is anything more than desperate deceit to provide, "tomorrow", that which no one has produced, including her, over the years I have requested it.

Either the lawful authority to take my money and, eventually, my property, exists, or it doesn't. As those hired city administrative personnel with the responsibility to locate and produce such authority have not only failed, but produced authority to the contrary, as I have documented above, I have no reason to believe Rantanen.

If the city administration failed with some 70 pages of irrelevant FOIA response related documents, that should have been little more than a few quotes from several identified and relevant city ordinance(s) with their authoritative roots in identified state and federal legislation, then I have no reason to waste my life accepting her only offer to produce that which she and most of her colleagues have refused to acknowledge or speak of, for years, in public, or private, until now.

As I have documented elsewhere, regarding human nature, no meaningful communication can take place to reach a common goal when one party refuses to speak, or speaks of that goal as an armchair, while the other speaks of a pig; regardless of whether either one exists.

Honest, ethical, and meaningful communication concerning public business is even less likely to take place in private when those engaged in self-serving questionable public behaviour can, with impunity - obfuscate, evade, lie, confabulate, deceive and baffle with irrelevant bull shit those that request rational public accountability, in the public arena, in a pointed, forthright, substantiated and justified manner.



The following is the entire content and context of my intended address to Manistique City Council, denied by Mayor Pro Tem Rantanen, with the default silent sanction of other council members and the voiced approval of Manistique City Attorney, John Filoramo; under the watchful, restrained, and appreciated presence of Director of Public Safety Golat.
I am addressing council, this evening, with significant 
and justified fear regarding the consequences of my 
continued efforts to defend my property from imminent 
confiscation, by unethical if not unlawful means. I 
base this introduction on my awareness and substantial 
documentation of the process and consequences of the 
City of Manistique's successful conspiracy, with 
Schoolcraft County elected officials, to steal property 
for the Lakeside Road, instead of adhering to well 
established laws of the state and federal governments, 
regarding the necessity of acquiring property for 
public purposes.

To rephrase my fear in a more simple and generalized 
context, I expect the worse from government officials 
that, because of a generally timid, cowardly, ignorant, 
and predatory populace, conspire to steal, deceive, and 
intimidate in the "best interests of the city"; with 
the sanction of those with the implicit or sworn duty 
to prevent such activity. 


That said, what legislated source of authority 
justifies the choice of the Manistique City Council and 
administration to extort a substantial piece of my life 
for municipal water I have not used, for the purpose of 
building roads and underground infrastructure? If the 
source of authority is not legislated, then, what 
source of U.S. common law authority justifies the 
choice of the Manistique City Council and 
administration to steal, by extortion, a substantial 
piece of my life, outside of the legal, well 
established and defined methods of raising public 
revenue to pay for public projects such as city streets 
and underground infrastructure?

I have asked this same question concerning property 
and money extortion by the City of Manistique, 
verbally and in writing, numerous times, in numerous 
contexts, with numerous details, over years of time; 
and received no relevant answers or hint of any 
interest to represent my interests, or those of others 
that are victims of what I conclude is unlawful 
municipal government behaviour. It is not my intent to 
repeat those questions again, with context, to the 
Manistique City Council, that expressed, many times, 
previously, with its default silence, its members' 
total lack of interest, or abject terror of some 
entity or consequence unknown to me.

The guidance of Mayor David Peterson and City Manager 
Sheila Aldrich, with the default sanction of the 
majority of city council, completed the transition of 
city politics from  the best interests of the general 
electorate, to "the best (private) interests of the 
city", as if, somehow, a minority of private interests 
elected them to be their exclusive representatives.

I am not unaware that all council members were voted 
into office by a majority of electors, any of whose 
predatory interests they may represent, accordingly, 
regardless of law, because those with the 
discretionary authority to ignore the rule of law 
curry political favor and job security by doing so.


Since the hiring of Sheila Aldrich as Manistique City 
Manager, I have noticed a continual and sometimes 
ludicrous increase in my property taxes even though 
all my properties suffer from benign neglect, one had 
several outbuildings removed, and the real estate 
market in the city is so depressed that, to me, 
Habitat for Humanity appears to be the significant 
profitable business in the city, building new houses 
and remodelling old.

At the same time as various folks have been abandoning 
their city properties, over recent years, I have 
marvelled at the amount of revenue spent on various 
city street projects, some complete with frills, east 
of the Manistique River. Consequently, I find myself, 
as the "Joker", asking, and answering, the question, 
“Where do they get those wonderful toys?” The answer I 
find myself repeating, too often, is, "From city water 
and sewer bills" claimed by city administration to be 
based upon city ordinances that specify billing to be 
based upon water consumption of each property to which 
the city supplies water and sewer infrastructure.

The city's claim is a lie that justifies theft by 
memorandum, as if a piece of paper representing an 
anonymous individual's whim provides the authority for 
the city administration to coerce and extort revenue 
with the council's approval, and the sanction of the 
city attorney and state's attorney general's office.


Since the ascendancy of Aldrich as "queen bee", I have, 
subsequently, watched my quality of life reduced, and 
that of others, and my source of retirement income 
pillaged by the conscious and deliberate choices of 
those local individuals that I can identify, readily; 
unlike those victimized by the nameless of global 
financial institutions. Consequentially, I find myself 
considering a variety of options open to me, including 
murder, arson, and suicide, rather than being the 
continuing means to the ends of others, that do not 
care enough about my health and welfare, to provide 
civilized, relevant answers concerning the source of 
their assumed authority to coerce, extort, or steal 
from me and others, that which represents our 
respective lives.

For those government officials that continue to ignore 
me - as active or passive participants, you are taking 
my life, a piece at a time, with subjective whimsical 
authority; a situation I have no interest in suffering 
in silence, or accepting until my natural death. As I 
learned from my extensive experience dealing with law 
enforcement government personnel with the discretionary 
authority to ignore predation of all types, at all 
levels of government, I am considering my personal 
options for justice, that include taking pieces of your 
lives, with interest, in whatever manner I think might 
work for me and discourage similar activity, here and 
elsewhere.

For those that fail to understand what a treacherous 
path to community growth and preservation you have 
chosen, I suggest you consider the consequences of 
considering me, and my peers, as little more than those 
represented by the racial epithet that describes the 
situation so well; "antebellum plantation niggers", aka 
the subhuman means to an end, that is so prevalent, and 
the source of so much violence in Third World countries 
that you and your kind denounce in pious righteousness. 
Personally, I do not intend to continue my life as a 
variation of such, and, as I said, I have considered 
numerous options to respond, since, relative to my 
voiced concerns, from local government to the federal 
government, I have heard nothing but evasive irrelevant 
deceit, if anything at all.

For those that choose not to understand, continually, I 
will explain it to you, for the last time, as 
succinctly as possible, from another point of view. If, 
in my naive and ignorant youth, at the coercive behest 
of the federal government, I was willing to help kill 
some two million people innocent of hurting me, or 
threatening my well being, or that of anyone else in my 
adopted country, or its allied countries, then give me 
one good reason why I should not consider that which I 
stated previously? You have, and continue to hurt me, 
and others, deliberately, with no revealed source of 
your authority to do so, with pride of your 
accomplishments, under the guise that the "best 
interests of the city", or whatever arbitrary entity 
you wish to create, represent the best interests of me, 
and others that elected you.

To accentuate the lack of humanity and caliber of the 
predatory leadership in Manistique that has led to my 
presence here, Mayor Peterson, ex-cop and unethical 
authoritarian control freak, wears a Vietnam veteran's 
ball cap, at public functions drawing attendees from 
surrounding states. He is, perhaps, totally unconscious 
of the fact that wearing that hat demonstrates his 
pride for his involvement, real or imaginary, in the 
Vietnam War, and represents to the innocent victims of 
the Vietnam War, their relatives, and understanding 
sympathizers, the equivalent of a German army veteran 
wearing Nazi paraphernalia, at a public function, to 
celebrate his pride in WWII German occupation and 
slaughter. 

Some folk never learn, for various reasons connected to 
self-interest, even if serious innocent blood is 
spilled; and history is full of bloody failed attempts 
to promote civilized behaviour of those sworn to do so. 
Seldom is it that significant government and social 
change to enforce civil rights occurs without the 
impetus, or inevitability of, blood and misery. It 
appears, to me, that the damage, and subsequent 
inevitable confiscation of my property, for water not 
used, and water and sewer service not wanted or 
requested, could lead to bloody violence, because I am 
one that does not suffer unjustified abuse gladly, or 
in silence.


If, from my perspective, some of the options and 
context I consider lead to another wasted and bloody 
effort for justice, at least the blood will be the 
testimony of one relatively civilized individual who 
chose not to enslave others, or be a slave to others' 
whims, or suffer abuse quietly. For those that choose 
to interpret what I have said and written today, and 
previously, as the threatening ravings of a certified 
wacko, I have been certified by a professional, to be 
totally sane, rational, and justified in my 
perspective, which is far more than I can testify to 
regarding the majority of Manistique City Council, 
administration, and too many others with the 
responsibility to consider the general public welfare 
outside of the dogma of a dictatorship.


For all those that may be ignorant of the fact, or 
don't care, there is a "social contract" inherent in 
our form of government to which elected representatives 
have a sworn obligation to uphold. That obligation is 
to govern according to the laws of the land intended to 
ensure the implicit agreement among people that results 
in the organization of society whereby an individual 
surrenders liberty in return for protection; not to be 
bullied and victimized by those sworn to do otherwise. 
It is as if the Manistique City Council, and too many 
local government committees and boards, act as if it is 
their duty to act as schoolyard bullies, to, among 
other goals, extort the equivalent of lunch money to 
pay for the personal goals of themselves, and their 
political allies. 

With historical perspective, I fully understand that 
which I have said, today, and years past, means nothing 
to a mayor with a "free" $30,000 no-deductible health 
insurance plan, and the pride of his complicity in the 
slaughter of innocent foreign nationals. With that 
understanding, I stress that, what others consider 
"lunch money" is, relative to my future, the difference 
between a life worth living, and a life of misery. If 
nothing else, I request you give serious consideration 
to what that means, and what I might consider to hold 
accountable those that would steal my interests that 
represent my current and future quality of life, that 
they care nothing for.


If you find my presence and words unsettling, and 
worthy of consideration, then my purpose here tonight 
has been accomplished. If you don't, I am beyond 
caring, because, to me, most of you represent little 
more than the interests of parasitic vermin. Regarding 
my personal interests, private, and public, I learned, 
long ago, from the actions of others, that threats are 
counter productive, and have a tendency to limit 
options. If you choose to label my candid public 
comments as threats or menacing, contrary to the legal 
and English language meaning of "threat" and "menace", 
that is your business, but at the moment, and 
previously, my angst is directed towards the 
appropriate application of well established and lawful 
ethical concepts compared to the cowardly unethical 
behaviour of which the public record testifies you 
represent.

If council chooses, it may now return to its 
irresponsible "in the best interest of the city" 
"business as usual", most of which represents little to 
nothing of my interests, or the interests of many other 
city residents that elected you.

If any council member chooses, they may inquire of me 
any pertinent details related to that which I have just 
read. I will answer your questions, candidly, as long 
as I do not understand the gist of the question as an 
attempt to elicit a response that implies a threat, or 
from which I think you may infer a threat. As Director 
of Public Safety Golat, and other imaginative city 
employees may understand, by now, I speak candidly, but 
I do not menace or make threats.


I thank you for whatever relevant attention you might 
have paid to the issues of my interest and, perhaps, in 
the near future, you might set my mind at ease by 
making transparent that which you have refused to 
acknowledge, for years, in any relevant manner or form.

I thank your historical ethical predecessors for this 
opportunity to petition Manistique City Council, and I 
request a copy of this address be included in a 
permanent public record.

Peter C. Markham, 10/26/09


10/29/09

Today, I stopped by the Pioneer Tribune newspaper office for a short chat with chief-cook-and-bottle-washer-reporter, Paul Olson. The short chat turned into somewhat of a candid soup-to-nuts conversation regarding the nature of my presentation. Of particular interest to Paul was why my use of the term "nigger" in the context I chose to use it.

What follows are my views, written earlier this month, concerning my use of the term, in my context, of my writing, above, and a few other places at this web site. I wrote my views on the subject because I knew that my choice of words would ignite a similar furor, for similar reasons, as when I used the term "Afro-American engineering" instead of "Yooper engineering", while addressing past city council business, during the short period of time I was a member of that council.

For those folks that, due to ignorance and their inability to consider context, might have ascribed some racial bias to my use of the term; no way, Jose.

For those folk that know better, but wish to ascribe and articulate their motives and context outside that of my writing and my speach; keep fantasizing and lying coz the gullible and stupid will believe anything.

10/08/09

I have been aware of an ongoing controversy, for some
45 years  in the black community from which I
have been isolated for 25 years. I have heard, over the
last decade, on tv and radio, and from reading news
articles, that popular, successful, and influential
entrepreneurs and professionals, such as Bill Cosby
and Opra Winfrey, chastise those black folk that use,
while referring to each other during their informal
banter, some variation of the term "nigger". I was
aware of the use of that idiom, in the described
context, throughout my military experience context,
during my Vietnam War days, and later. At that time,
I gave it little thought, because military folk
are far more inured than the average civilian W.A.S.P.
to the good natured use of epithets and derogatory
idioms.

Over the past 25 years I came to appreciate, from my
chosen "poor white trash" perspective, what I assume
is a particular black under-class understanding
associated with their good natured and candid use of
what most white folk cannot speak, in a typical
candid social context, beyond... "The N Word". In
my case, it was not until I gave serious thought to
local politics, and realized that I, like many
black folk at the low end of the socio-economic
scale, are, to the average person with "middle
class" aspirations, considered as little more than
a means to their ends, just as the middle class is
a means to the ends of other levels of elitists
further up the human food chain.

Later in life, when I became fully at ease with my
understanding of basic human nature, goals and
politics, I then understood how the word "nigger"
could have meaning far beyond a derogatory term
for people with skin color different from mine.
I also understood how a specific term used to classify
a particular group of people could be used by that
group to communicate their candid and common
understanding of their place in the world, relative
to those that viewed them as little more than a
means to an end; be it political power, sales,
labor, sex, killers, etc.

I fully understood, during my Southeast Asia years,
how it was easier for the college educated folk I
worked with to abuse, torture, and kill "Gooks",
instead of Vietnamese, but, at the time, I had not
made the related philosophical connection that many
of the "brothers" had, regardless of whether their
connection was intuitive, based upon shared common
heritage and experiences, or, as in my case, later,
a consequence of intellectual musing.

So, for those that don't get it, the term "nigger",
as I choose to understand and use it, is as a term
of historical significance and meaning that
represents a particular classification by certain
elitist individuals of those individuals that they
consider a disposable sub-human resource, for their
ends. Being black helps to facilitate the
classification, but the effective meaning of the
word is far more sinister than a disparaging term
to identify an individual of a "colored" race. 

I know from experience, it doesn't take much
misplaced ego to go from classifying your peers as
a "human resource" to sub-human "gook" or "nigger"
or "indian", or "white trash"... Mostly, those terms,
along with a multitude of de-facto synonyms, all have
the same meaning of classification... to identify
a disposable means to an end of some special
interest.


In several barber shop scenes, of his movie, "Gran
Torino", Clint Eastwood made it a point to
illustrate the humor of shared experiences and
understandings that can be associated with the
good natured use of epithets and derogatory idioms.
The point being, a "nigger" ain't, necessarily, a
"nigger", and a "honky" is not necessarily a
"honky", and being afraid to use any particular
epithet or slur, in an appropriate context, says
everything to me about empty minds that find
such words sufficiently offensive to inspire them
to incite hatred by claiming meaning for a word
that does not exist in the context of that word's use.

The "N word", at its most recognized historical
worst, means a black slave; epitomized by the
phrase "antebellum plantation nigger" - i.e.
pre Civil War non-white humans considered as the
sub-human means to white humans' ends, because of the
easily recognized and particular distinguishing
characteristics of the individual, or group, to be
victimized.

In an intellectual context, what better universally
understood idiom is there for a disposable class of
people, and what better way is there for an individual
of a disposable class of people to express their common
understanding of their lot, and bond, than to co-opt
and use the term, themselves? As a metaphor, the "abused",
or "victimized, or "poor white trash" has far less
effect than the equivalent emotional, literary, and
historical impact of "nigger".


Metaphor? What's a metaphor? - Must be a racial slur!

For all that I have forgotten, I remember well,
not too many years ago, the publicity surrounding
my use of a racial idiomatic metaphor, taken
out of my innocent context and twisted into a hatred
inciting racial slur context, by others burdened with
their own ignorance, or twisted minds! This time, my use of a
similar racial metaphor was deliberate, pointed, and
with full historical understanding that some movers and
shakers in my community would be overjoyed to label
me a racist, again, because I do not play by their
"politically correct" rules and the relative ignorance
that limits their perspectives.


At various times in my life I have lived as a "king" and as a "bum", as one with a home, and as one homeless, as one with family and friends, and as one alone in the world, and I find that I have far more in common with the abused of the world, than the community abusers about which I write, abusers that I was one of or tolerated, quietly, for too much of my life.


11/02/09

During a recent conversation I was asked, by another Manistique resident, if a city council resolution to establish and collect a water and sewer "ready to serve fee" was revealed, would I cease my pugnacious tirade. I responded that I would, if I was shown the public record of the due process followed to establish the right of Manistique city administration to fish in my wallet with its extortionate water/sewer ready to serve policy, and its water/sewer service termination policy, and its patently fraudulent billing and collection of water and sewer service contrary to City of Manistique ordinances, and state law.

The question that followed was, paraphrased, "If the public record of the due process and legal authority was lost, or was established "years ago", what would it cost the community to find it?" Our conversation was interrupted, and being short of time I had to depart before I could answer, and discuss our different views.

My answer, today, relative to the last question that I understand to be voiced by an apologist for certain previous and current Manistique government tyranny is, "Considerably less than the likely eventual consequences, if I am any judge of history, and human nature." For a government entity to have taken wealth, or to continue taking the wealth of those governed, based upon little more than a whim, its refusal to reveal its source of lawful authority to do so, and its use of police power and the courts to enforce its extortionate and confiscatory whims, is the mark of a typical Third World government of cowardly predators engaging in government terrorism.

Regardless of how much it took for an honest, ethical, and capable person to go through the public record, in a complete, conscientious, and responsible manner, it would be a drop in the bucket of money collected to date, with no little to no legal authority or due process that I am aware of.



In effect, I understand Manistique city government resorts to more than a touch of whimsical rule with impunity, due to the justified and understandable fear and ignorance of those governed to voice their objections to the manner in which they are governed, contrary to the laws of the land.

It was not me that stated, in so many words, "If laws are not enforced, in effect, they do not exist." That credit goes to an FBI agent of the Marquette office that understood that law enforcement starts with the appropriate enforcement of lawful city ordinances and ends with the appropriate enforcement of constitutional law.



The state and federal governments provide local government representatives legislated tools, and sanctions the use of those tools by those local government representatives that choose to impose their respective wills upon others "not deemed to be in the best interests", of whomever, contrary to the purpose and spirit of the legislated tools provided them. In a similar fashion, various governments provides weapons to various government organizations and individuals, used to impose their respective wills, with impunity, upon others, domestic and foreign, not deemed to be in the best interests of various contrived government entities.

Hence, as in many Third World countries, my choice is to succumb quietly, or consider my viable options to resist the inappropriate imposition of others' wills, by any means available, in whatever manner I deem is to my best interests, at whatever cost I am willing to pay, within the context of my likely remaining natural lifetime and quality of life given the current impositions upon me. Hopefully, my perspective and consideration is consistent with the interests of others with a similar view of a populace that should be governed by the consistent enforcement of well considered and established law, instead of the personal whimsies of those that would be slavers.



12/15/09

At the Manistique City Council meeting of 12/14/09, a feeble attempt was made to provide some apparent legitimacy to the city's unsubstantiated claim that State and Federal governments promote and sanction municipal policy to confiscate private property from those that refuse to pay for unwanted water and sewer service, and false billings for unused water to private properties within the municipality of Manistique. Based upon the above premise, documented previously, a new municipal water service termination policy process was introduced and explained by public employee, City Manager Aldrich, and a resolution to that effect was approved by elected city council members.

New Manistique water disconnect policy 121409

New Manistique water disconnect policy resolution 121409

Regarding the due process, under color of law, that I witnessed, I conclude that local city government learned something since the anonymous memorandum of July 1, 2004, that has been used by the City of Manistique, for over five years, as the sole claimed publicized authority for municipal extortion and confiscatory policy, tantamount to theft. At least, this time, there is a formal council resolution to extort by whimsical policy, rather than letting city administration extort by whimsical anonymous policy "memorandum", alone.

Now, Councilwoman Rantanen can claim, truthfully, there is authority, under color of law, instead of pure administrative whimsy. I do not expect her to understand the difference, or the fact that, without a lawful authority to extort money, there is not one iota of difference between the new and old policy, beyond the fact that not one member of council can claim ignorance of what they have done.

A shirt pocket mp recording of the inauguration of the "new" City of Manistique policy may be found here. As with the prior water and sewer related whimsical policies, the new policy refers to no city ordinance, or legislated authority, for the "choice" given by Manistique City Council to municipal private property owners to determine the means by which the City of Manistique may extort pieces of their lives.



As with the prior water and sewer related whimsical policies, I note a questionable lack of legislated authority, ethics, and logic, in the new one.

If, to secure funding from "...Rural Development, our loan holder...", required the City of Manistique to ensure that "...our base fee cover fixed expenses at the plants..." Then, assuming I am not grossly stupid and naive, I fail to understand why I should believe Aldrich's implication that one party to a federal loan agreement can make an arbitrary and unilateral choice to establish, change, or ignore a supposed mandatory condition/term to secure a federal loan, based upon extortion and confiscation. Assuming that federal legislation and USDA Rural Development policy is not designed to confiscate citizens' cash and property, or destroy the purpose of the US Constitution, and Bill of Rights, then I am moved to conclude the likelihood that the USDA agency's official policy is not to sanction the policies of the City of Manistique to secure its loans with ordinances and policies more consistent with the choices of a repressive criminal enterprise than a progressive and enlightened municipal government.

Regarding the 11/14/09 "new" offer of choice, to those with occupied property requiring water and sewer service, it is, for any typical short term shutoff, a no brainer to "choose" the old extortionate policy at the current rate of $36.14 per month, because, by today's numbers, ~7 months is 7 px $36.14 = $252.98, only $2.98 more than the new $250 billing of a property owner to shut off and turn on the water supply at the curbstop, and invading private property to remove and reinstall a water metering device that has nothing to do with shutting off water service at the curbstop valve, or securing the municipal water supply from theft.

As a consequence of the 12/14/09 whimsical decision of city council to institute a new method of extortion, the "optional" $250 base-fee-exception-fee, I am inclined to conclude that substantial deceit and creative accounting methods were used to establish the original "base fee", and the optional exception fee, and the stated purpose and amount of the "base fee" and water and sewer use rates. By the city's own ordinances that I have referred to and quoted, previously and later, "...Such charges (...provided for in this chapter...) SHALL be based upon the quantity of water used thereon or therein..." Unless the city has been withholding information from me, there has never been any due process to change any relevant part of the original ordinances designed to ensure the funding of water and sewer infrastructure, while discouraging predatory politicians, administrators and bureaucrats from creating whimsical and extortionate revenue streams at the electorate's expense.

For the years I have requested it, no one from city government or administration has shown me any due process to raise water and sewer infrastructure related revenue outside of the city ordinances I have referred to, and quoted. Therefore, given the premise that all the revenue required to maintain and operate water and sewer infrastructure SHALL be based upon water use within the authority of existing city ordinances known to me, why all the apparent deceit to conceal the apparent criminal behaviour of raising revenue by apparent fraud and extortion?



If any current owner of any property connected to the municipal water and sewer system, is being charged for water and sewer service they do not want, or use, and are willing to buy relatively cheap "protection" from further extortion, under the terms of the city's new offer, then the loss of a whimsical "mandatory base fee" can be compensated for, readily, in the following year, by rate and "base fee" increases among the remaining water and sewer bills. Its easy to keep the money flowing from the wallets of sheep.

Then there is the supposed reasoning of "...people turning themselves back on, after being turned off by the City Utility Department." I will assume that the quote suggests reasoning related to water theft, and has nothing to do with drug use so prevalent in the community. Given my prior assumption, and the relative ease and economy of using available technology and existing municipal employees to determine water theft at unoccupied buildings with no water and sewer service accounts, then the legality of, requirement of, and liability for, municipal employees requiring access to private residences, to shut of and turn on water service by removing and replacing metering devices, borders on a likely consequence of drug induced lunacy.

During the time the purchase, installation, and use of new water metering devices was considered at public meetings, no such lunacy was suggested or considered.

It takes an accountant to suggest that removing and reinstalling a water metering device, at substantial cost to the property owner, somehow secures water from theft, and prevents a property owner from replacing the removed meter with an ~$5 piece of copper, steel, or PEX tubing. It takes a crooked accountant running the city, with the approval of bent city politicians, to create or preserve policies that encourage municipal water theft and water and sewer service credit that everyone else pays for because no one paid to stop such theft, and unsecured municipal credit to renters, will do what they are paid to do.

It doesn't take too much effort, or too much money, to secure the municipal water supply from illegal use by any typical property owner with access to municipal water. It doesn't take more than a few brain cells to institute a three month deposit policy, based upon local demographics, if customers are given a three month option to ignore legitimate water and sewer bills before the city terminates water service. What it takes is focussed concern, and action, from those that, supposedly, represent the interests of most members of the community stuck with the consequences of broken reasoning, regarding broken people given the opportunity to screw their neighbors, with impunity.



I found it interesting to note that during City Manager Aldrich's introduction of the new policy, and city council discussion of the motion to approve a resolution to impose a revised extortionate revenue raising policy upon the electorate, no formal public input was solicited, no formal public input was referred to, and no reference was made to an authorizing local ordinance, state or federal, or common law basis; sanctioned with City Attorney Filoramo's silence. Again, I am motivated to wonder how representatives of the electorate can determine the nature of the electorate's interests, without public communication with the electorate that elected them to represent their interests.

During the introduction, and discussion of the motion to adopt the "new" policy, no one mentioned any "punishment" for a property owner's failure to ransom their property from the unmentioned confiscatory consequences of failing to abide by the original whimsical policy. The new policy, like the old, refers to no lawful source of authority or consequences for violation, and, to the best of my knowledge, like the old policy, the new is based upon some mutually understood conspiratorial agreement between local, state, and federal governments to victimize ignorant and cowardly citizens.

The only justification for the "new" de facto confiscatory policy was a vague hearsay reference by Aldrich to a conversation with the "recent city manager", regarding a prerequisite federal infrastructure funding necessity for a whimsical extortionate municipal policy required to secure federal funding of municipal water and sewer infrastructure; a policy enforced by city police powers as the equivalent of holding a gun to a municipal property owner's head and demanding, "Pay for unused and unwanted municipal water and sewer service, and non- existent water use, or we will take your property, by force, if necessary." As I implied, previously, the only essential difference that I see, between the neighborhood Italian mob of my impressionable youth, and the architects and enforcers of too many Manistique City policies during my somewhat wiser waning years, are the surnames of scofflaws, for which I conclude that the City of Manistique has its City Attorney Filoramo as the equivalent of alleged Consigliere Corozzo, of the Gambino family.

As I tried to make evident at the Manistique City Council meeting of 10/26/09, during an agenda item aborted by Councilperson - Mayor Pro Tem Rantanen, and "Consigliere" Filoramo, I am forced by whimsical city policy to consider any and all options to hold responsible, with interest, those that have sanctioned the right of others to steal the future I invested in, i.a.w. the property rights provisions of the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights. No local ordinance, or state, or federal law has been offered, in any fashion, to authorize what the City of Manistique has done, and threatens to do, regarding its confiscatory policies concerning my private property, and that of others of concern to me; contrary to the recorded tirade of Mayor Pro Tem Rantanen.

If local, state, and federal governments find it necessary to promulgate, promote, and enforce infrastructure financing policies that promote and sanction the extortion of a citizen's property, for the claimed purpose of securing funding to build new municipal infrastructure and repair old, then, real property rights do not exist. Instead, property is held by whimsical privilege, granted by, and held hostage to whimsical government choices to collect revenue outside of a constitutional authority to levy taxes, and the reasonable expectation of a government enterprise to be paid to deliver goods and service as a consequence of a voluntary contract between the government provider and the citizen customer, subject to the terms of a contract that both parties are fully aware of, and understand.

When only one party to an agreement understands the terms, there is no voluntary "meeting of the minds" to establish the basic elements of a contract. An attempt by one party to a "wannabe contract" to collect an undisclosed liability from another party with no knowledge of, or reason to know of, an undisclosed term that established said claimed liability, is little more than blatant fraud. A threat by one party to a "wannabe contract" to collect by force, an unjustified and undisclosed liability, allegedly incurred by an undisclosed term of a "wannabe contract", from another party to that "wannabe contract", is little more than blatant extortion.

When I purchased my properties in the City of Manistique, there were no such liabilities of record, the properties were free and clear of any incumbrances, and I incurred no such liabilities, other than property taxes and the consequences of all disclosed terms of the legal contract I entered into. It is not my intent to acknowledge, specifically or by default silence, anyone's criminal claim to what I own, and it is not my intent to sanction criminal extortion and theft of my property, regardless of subsequent consequences.

If, for some lawful and ethical reason yet to be revealed to me, there is a conspiracy of shadow government politicians, and bureaucrats, and their supporters, that create predatory secret policies and laws to meet their agendas, then it is not my intent to sanction such behaviour, or be victimized quietly, regardless of subsequent consequences.



It is the stated intent of the City of Manistique to confiscate my property, i.a.w. whimsical administration policy and the tax laws of the State of Michigan, if I do not pay for water and sewer service that I never contracted for, do not use, or want, and which has nothing to do with the lawful raising of tax revenue, or other lawful due process required to collect revenue from city property owners for the purpose of funding infrastructure. It is my stated intent not to submit to whimsical extortion and to consider any and all options necessary to make any confiscation as costly as possible to those that create, support, and sanction such behaviour, regardless of subsequent consequences.

If those that claim to represent the best interests of the electorate wish to finance city infrastructure, such as roads, curbs and sidewalks, parks, D.P.W. personnel, city administration personnel, and a variety of equipment and toys to maintain such infrastructure, and pander to the advocates of such business, then there exists mechanisms to levy taxes for such purposes in a lawful and equitable manner. Taking a portion of water and sewer payments to purchase "wanna have" items, and to provide matching funds for grants and loans for a variety of "wanna have" projects, outside of the water and sewer infrastructure, is fraud. The water and sewer enterprise accounts are not extensions of the general fund, or local and major streets budget, to be used for any related purpose a parasite may imagine.



If those same "representatives" wish to raise revenue for new water and sewer infrastructure, operation, and maintenance, with water and sewer funds, then Manistique city ordinances exist to authorize the levying of water and sewer rates, in an equitable manner, based upon water consumption.

If those same "representatives" wish to raise revenue for new water and sewer infrastructure, operation, and maintenance, secured by some new whimsical, discriminatory, and predatory fee, charge, etc., then the establishment of, and authorization to collect that new charge may be achieved by establishing a new city ordinance to such effect. Since its creation, existing Manistique city ordinance 25.314 sec 14 does not authorize future revenue raising methods, whimsical or not. Manistique city ordinance 25.464 Sec 14 does not specify or imply the authority for the city council to sanction administrative efforts to collect or enforce collection of any whimsical and extortionate revenue methods outside of those "...provided for in this chapter...", and its provisions would have to be replaced or amended to permit whimsical and extortionate gouging based upon other than water consumption.

To the best of my knowledge, based upon information provided me by the City of Manistique, there is no provision in existing Manistique ordinances, to collect water and sewer related fees based upon some arbitrary discriminatory basis determined by city employees and sanctioned by city council members that are crooks or cowards, by choice or gross ignorance.

Among other questionable behavior, council members claiming to represent the best interests of the city, rather than the electorate, finance pet projects and curry favor with special interests, by authorizing the spending of 10% of the gross water and sewer service fees upon that which has little to nothing to do with the accounting of city water and sewer service fees. Consequentially, I find myself wondering about the motivation of those that have perverted a relatively rational and equitable system of legislated and ballot based tax revenue generation into a whimsical de facto, "We, your masters, can raise revenue from you, our serfs, in any manner we choose, because you do not have the financial and political clout to hold us accountable, or the balls to do something outside of a system of law enforcement that we, and out ilk, have broken to such a degree that you cannot afford to resist us. Prepare to be assimilated. Resistance is futile!"

Wrong!



If the elected representatives of the residents of the City of Manistique wish to finance, "in the best interests of the city", the building of roads, among other goals, with water and sewer related fees based upon whimsical policies that hold hostage my current and future well being represented by the properties purchased with the product of my life, then I am more than willing to go to the mat in whatever style, and to whatever degree I consider necessary, regardless of subsequent consequences.



Either the founding documents of the Republic are overarching, or they are of no more value than toilet paper, to those that choose not to sanction the victimization of themselves, and others. Either there is "...liberty and justice for all." as claimed during the "Pledge of Allegiance" before each televised regular Manistique City Council meeting, or any such pledge is a gross lie.

If the citizens of this county and country have little to no concern about touting to their neighbors, and other nations, the sanctity of a constitution based government, predicated upon the enforcement of laws that ensure individual and property rights, while denying the same to their own neighbors and citizens, then I have not one iota of guilt, regret, or remorse, considering my remaining options. Consequentially, I understand why others, elsewhere in the world, have no compunction about resorting to "mindless" violence so vilified by their abusers that take umbrage to the very thought that a victim might fight back, regardless of the fact that one victim cannot win against an armed government entity that considers most citizens as little more than human resources to meet the aspirations of a privileged few.

Unbridled human nature is what it is.



12/23/09

After a phone call to the US Attorney office in Marquette, yesterday, and a subsequent call to the FBI office, I wrote, and mailed today, the following letter to FBI Special Agent, Clint Morse.

This is a complaint seeking relief from, and 
compensation for, the consequences of past and current 
extortion, by the City of Manistique, of the owners of 
real property within, and in at least one instance, 
outside of, the corporate limits of the City of 
Manistique.

To the best of my knowledge, the city chooses to extort 
money and property from a select group of real property 
owners, of its own choosing, under the color of law, 
contrary to the plain language of existing city 
ordinances, state law, and federal law. To the best of 
my knowledge, it did, and does so, with the complete 
awareness of its actions and consequences, with the 
full awareness and advice of the city's legal counsel.

To the best of my knowledge, the bases for my 
allegations are, from my limited perception, relatively 
simple.

1.  It is my contention that no lawful due process 
exists to establish the authority by which the City of 
Manistique extorts payments for what it labels, at 
times, as a "base fee" and "disconnect policy" 
regarding municipal water and sewer service. Both 
"fees", to the best of my understanding, are little 
more than whimsical city administrative fabrications, 
sanctioned and enforced by subsequent city council 
approval, and enforced by the threat of using police 
powers to confiscate property, with no due 
compensation, under the color of law that denies basic 
property rights guaranteed by state and federal 
constitutions, and enumerated rights.

2.   It is my contention that no lawful due process 
exists to acquire certain private property related to 
what is known, locally, as the "Lakeside Road". Under 
the color of law, the City of Manistique acquired 
jurisdiction over private property owned by Manistique 
Township resident, Alfred Burns, and used local and 
state police power to forcibly confiscate and convert 
Burns private property, adjacent to the city limits. 

Mr. Burns and I, relative to our respective abuse, have 
"wasted", to date, a considerable part of our 
respective lives seeking some form of lawful 
justification and substantiation for our abuse, and 
redress due, from those with the responsibility to 
enforce laws that deny, specifically, the assumed right 
of government officials and employees to treat citizens 
of choice as nothing more than a means to their ends.


Speaking for myself, only, I have stated, at two recent 
public city council meetings, and written articles I 
published on my public web site, that I am considering 
murder, arson, and suicide, as consequences of the 
municipal extortion and abuse I have suffered to date 
and the pending confiscation of my properties, by a 
process of what I have no reason to consider to be 
other than unlawful municipal extortion, of a 
particular class of citizens, under color of law; the 
terms of which I refuse to accept.

Speaking for myself, only, I fully understand that, to 
date, from the City of Manistique's perspective, I do 
not have the civil right to own property, without 
paying "protection money" to counter the stated 
intention of the city to confiscate my property, if I 
do not pay. I fully understand the consequences of my 
choice, if I choose to take a violent stand against 
those that have chosen to enforce their uncivil right 
to treat me as the equivalent of an "antebellum 
plantation nigger", a part I refuse to accept.

As I am sure you know, "Unenforced rights are no more 
than words on toilet paper." Due to inherent predatory 
human nature, molded by environmental pressures since 
our ancestors crawled out of the primeval ooze, it is 
an historical fact that beyond the threat of certain 
and effective retribution by a victim, or their 
advocates, against human predators of all stripes and 
circumstances, predators will continue to prey. Beyond 
personal violent self-defense there is no effective 
choice for an individual victim of limited means and 
influence to discourage further abuse, if those with 
the sworn duty to enforce laws that secure legal rights 
choose to do otherwise.


It would appear that I have wandered into the midst of 
a situation directly related to the historical, 
philosophical, and legal reasons for the Second 
Amendment, among other reasons for national and state 
constitutions that are other than fiction.


If there are any inquiries related to that which I have 
stated, I may be reached at:


Based upon the consistently lame and irrelevant responses to the many efforts of Burns and I to hold government predators accountable, I expect little more than the likelihood to be labelled a "dangerous" person, beyond Manistique City Hall. I have little to no expectations that anything will come of my latest civilized effort to curtail systematic corruption of juris prudence that leads to endemic victimization of those, like me, that did not develop the skills and knowledge to prey, or chose not to be predators.

Without repeating, for the umpteenth time, why I find the policies of my concerns predatory, reprehensible and unacceptable, consider the following analogy:

You purchase and pay for a vehicle, receive a recorded title with no encumbrance, and store it in your garage. Several years later, you receive a continuing monthly bill of $36 for a "ready to use the city street fee", billed against you vehicle by the City of Manistique, because your garage floor connects to the street by way of your driveway. If you do not pay the monthly bill, the city will, with no compensation to you, confiscate your vehicle, and garage, by force, with local and state police powers "authorized" by a whimsical city administration policy, "sanctioned", or not, by a city council resolution, and state tax laws.

What's wrong with this picture? If, in the historical context of the US Constitution and Bill of Right you find nothing wrong with the real "ready to use water fee", and the fictional "ready to use street fee" analogy, you and your descendants deserve to be slaves.

The schoolyard bully-predator mentality is well represented by Manistique's city government and administration. Beyond typical sibling rivalry, I never sanctioned it as a child, and I never sanctioned it as an adult, and I am more than willing to fight it, now, as I become an ol' geezer with less, and less, to lose. The power of predators to extort becomes zero when a victim has nothing to lose, or refuses to be held hostage to that which they have.



12/25/09

As I lay in bed this morning, it occurred to me that my choice of words, to express some of my considered choices of future action, might be interpreted out of context, or in some manner that I had not intended. My concern is the likelihood of a misunderstanding of, or total ignorance of, a significant part of the misery visited upon Burns and I, and silent others, that is opposed to the basic concepts of the constitutional US government as defined by the content of the Constitution and Bill of Rights. The source of our abuse is nothing more than politicians and government officials acting, deliberately, together, in direct contradiction to the wording and intent of the founding documents, because it is in their personal self-interest to do so.

I have, since my adolescence of the late fifties, been aware of those that strove for freedom from the predatory domination of others, starting with opposition to school bullies, to the efforts of Cuban "terrorists" that chose to oppose the U.S. supported brutal regime of Cuban dictator Fulgencio Batista. Since that time, including some three years in the Southeast Asia theatre of the Vietnam War, I was constantly troubled, by words such as "terrorist", "murderer", "radical" "fundamentalist" "rebel", "bandit", etc. used by most government and media mavens to demonize victims of harsh regimes that had some obvious reason to "be" one or all of the above, assuming they were not typical criminals hiding their criminal intent behind empty philosophical rhetoric.

The trouble I had, and still have, is that if I detach myself from the stated motives of opposing forces, too often, there is little to no difference between one man's terrorist and another man's patriot, because the means to respective goals are, primarily, the same; death, destruction, torture, coercion, maiming, misery, extortion, starvation, deceit, fraud, etc. What does differ, to a significant degree, is the propaganda surrounding the conflict between "good" and "evil", or "right" and "wrong", as promoted by each opposing force in a struggle for dominance.

That difference of perception of right and wrong, good and evil, cause and effect,... results in the use of words that have opposite meanings to opposing interests, due to the differences of perception, context, and goals of those that use the words vs. those that hear them. Patriotism or terrorism? Which is it?

I have stated in writing and verbally, that I am considering various options regarding the eventual and inevitable confiscation of my property for what I have no reason to believe are other than fraudulent "water and sewer service bills" and unauthorized "base fees" that I refuse to pay. As these delinquent billings are collected as delinquent property taxes, or co-mingled with property tax bills, if I do not pay them, I am bound to lose my property because I cannot pay the property taxes without paying the unauthorized water-sewer-base-fee bills.

It has been made clear by Manistique city administration, and council, that if I do not pay both, they will confiscate my property, so there is no point in paying one if I do not pay the other; therefore, I will pay neither. Beyond being broke sooner, I stand to preserve or gain nothing by paying taxes on property that is destined to be confiscated for my refusal to pay for extortionate fraudulent water and sewer service bills, and extortionate unauthorized "base fees".

The city's confidence game is, and was, to hold my property, and therefore my future quality of life, hostage to its whimsical decision to extort payments from me, and others, under color of law, for non-existent water and sewer use and an unauthorized "base fee". As the community electorate has expressed no outrage, concerning the grossly unethical, if not criminal, behaviour of its representatives, then I have little choice but to conclude they agree and approve of such victimizing behaviour. Consequently, I have no qualms about the likely consequences of options that I consider.

What must be murder, arson, and suicide to the silent populace of Manistique is, to me, nothing more than justified self-defense to promised municipal theft by the equivalent of armed thugs and their supporters. Due to the obvious difference in perception, between me and most everyone else, I must consider the rational option of suicide weighed against spending the rest of my life in prison, because I have no reason to believe that a jury of my "peers" would be capable of determining right from wrong, and act accordingly.

So, as it has been quite obvious, for years, that I cannot be right and everyone else wrong, I used the terms for my violent options that reflect the perception of most everyone else, in the community. From my minority perspective of "everyone else is nuts, but me", what I consider is nothing more than the only defensive options I have to ensure that "they" pay as dearly as possible for their unilateral choice to take, or sanction the taking of my money, and property, and rights that make life worth living.

For well documented reasons, Al Burns was powerless to stop the use of armed police to enforce similar whimsical municipal decisions to confiscate his property and rights. I have no intent of repeating his final failed effort to hold accountable his victimizers, in a civilized manner. Uncivilized behaviour calls for uncivilized remedies.

In defence of my property, and rights of ownership abrogated by those with the sworn responsibility to do otherwise, I am forced to consider reprehensible choices. Elected and hired officials of the City of Manistique demand that I accept their whimsical claim to my money and property and, for years, none of them have provided me any indication of the lawful due process and authority they claim to possess. They threaten to take my property, and the life worth living that it represents, if I do not pay them for the privilege of property "ownership". Among choices considered by me are the options to maim or take the lives of those that authorize, or sanction, the impending theft that I am helpless to stop, beyond surrendering to municipal coercion and extortion.

Obviously, as in Burn's case, the status quo is sanctioned by the silent acquiescence of the "majority" of city residents. Consequently, I must be the minority "bad guy" considering "murder", "arson" and "suicide" instead of the rational defence of my property, and the quality of a life worth living that property represents, supposedly ensured by a constitution based government, the laws of which are supposedly enforced to foster "liberty and justice for all."

It is obvious, to me, that I, and a powerless minority, recognize, and refuse to accept, the primacy of a constantly evolving nationwide political confidence game, with constantly evolving rules, and constantly changing participants, the sole purpose of which is for various special interests to profit from the destruction of the enforcement of laws based upon national and state constitutions designed to benefit the governed, not the governing.

I can only imagine the value of properties stolen with de facto conspiracies between government entities and contractors, by the wholesale violation of laws governing the acquisition of private properties for streets, roads, and highways. Burns learned, through a long and painful legal process, that he is the only one bearing the scars of his encounter with those that pay little more than lip service to the law, to be paid to steal from him, and the general public, with impunity.

In retrospect, he and I learned that he was easy meat, that profited everyone else except he and I.

Relative to those that have sanctioned the extortion of money from me, and the stated intention to steal my property, it is my stated intent to consider all viable options to share the pain, outside of wasting what life I have left hoping to find a competent and effective law enforcement official that does not sanction the equivalent of municipal fraud, extortion and theft.

Having learned from Burn's experiences, I have no reason to expect anything other than to lose my property to confiscation, and my money to extortion. With those likely eventualities in mind, I consider all options that occur to me to make the experience as costly as possible to all, as I do not intend to be easy meat, or to carry the scars, alone, as Al did.



12/28/09

The rhetoric from my corner becomes more heated as a consequence of little more than years of silence from my abusers, a bill for ~$93 of irrelevant FOIA response, and a televised ass-chewing by an elected fabulist. The civilized options open to me become fewer as detailed public comments at public meetings are ignored, my requests for information from the Manistique City Clerk's office are met with copies of ordinances that do not authorize the extortion taking place, and my attempt to address Manistique City Council during a scheduled agenda item was unilaterally terminated by an elected fabulist with no understanding of the English language, and a deliberate disdain of the Open Meetings Act.

As a consequence of no civilized communication concerning my justified and detailed requests from those that claim to represent the "law", city, and electorate, I find my mind wandering elsewhere in the world where the consequences of those with differences, and the refusal to communicate in a candid and respectful manner, results in inevitable violence; one-sided, or both. Among those with the courage of their convictions, whether they be of a factual or mythical nature, violence is, too often, the only viable option to combat sanctioned victimizing behaviour.

If one party views another as nothing more than a means to an end, and the means refuses to be consumed without resisting in whatever manner is available, then any and all options are considered, by both parties.

Helplessness, real or imagined, fosters violent confrontation, assuming a victim refuses to be victimized in silent desperation. I notice that I, like others victimized in countries where the rule of law is fiction, have no trouble considering all forms of retribution. In a community that sanctions victimizing behaviour, there are no innocents, especially when the representatives of one faction, or another, have the silent sanction, or open co-operation, of those they claim to represent.

The inevitable consequences of governing without enforcement of civilized laws make headlines every day. It is part of human nature to attempt domination of one's environment, including one's neighbours, and it is part of human nature to resist domination. If the power to dominate others, collectively or personally, is unchecked by the effective enforcement of laws and policies that discourage arbitrary dominating behaviour, then victims of domination become alienated from society and, with "sufficient" reason, will consider any and all options to end their abuse, or make their abusers "pay" for their assumed right to abuse. The greater the impact of their abuse, the greater the likelihood that a victim will consider and actualize retribution in a "satisfying" manner.

In the school yard, someone kicks me for a whimsical reason, I kick them back, harder.

In Manistique, by whimsical authority, known individuals extorted my money and currently threaten to take my property that represents the quality of my current and future life. As I choose not to pay or condone whimsical extortion and taking of property, and I cannot afford to ransom my future quality of life, or buy justice, then, with nothing to lose beyond an undesirable existence of penury and deprivation, I have little choice but to bend over and submit to abuse, quietly, or consider preferable alternatives that I can afford.



12/29/09

In answer to my letter to the local FBI office, today I had a face-to-face serious and candid conversation with two FBI agents. We discussed a substantial part of what I have written, and said at public meetings. Part of the conversation centered on the apparent difficulty of both agents to consider the situation from my perspective that, in the eyes of the universe, and from my perspective, most humans are no more than ants at a picnic, and, as I have no reasons to believe in God, Heaven, or Hell, I welcome the death of both humans and ants that consume my means to my survival.

The point I tried to make was, as far as I am concerned, the death of an ant taking bread off my plate is of no greater concern to me than the death of a neighbour taking the product of my life for not other reason than they can. Both the predatory ant, and the predatory neighbour, are, to me, little more than predatory vermin, without which life would be far more pleasant.

When we parted company, after our civil and professional discussion, I was left with no doubt that the FBI agents considered municipal extortion a civil matter. How that FBI distinction was derived was never discussed. How it differed from the extortion of the Bonano's and Gambinos of my youth was left for me to ponder, and to inquire of the U.S. Attorney's Office, or elsewhere.

The FBI agents next stop was Manistique City Hall, to discuss the situation with those that I hold responsible for the abuse of municipal power that threatens my future. It will be interesting to hear the rumors concerning one that refuses to be silent about his yet-to-be-justified victimization. As I have told everyone that cares to listen, if you show me the lawful due process authority to get into my shorts, then I will not resist while you screw me; but not until then.



The following editorial letter was published in the 12/24/09 edition of the local Pioneer Tribune newspaper.
To secure a loan for new water and sewer 
infrastructure, City Manager Aldrich claims the city 
electorate needs to provide city administration with 
revenue secured by a discriminatory and extortionate 
"base fee", consistent with a USDA mandated method to 
cover fixed expenses of the water and waste-water 
departments.

I claim the following. No lawful due process has been 
made to establish that discriminatory and extortionate 
base fee, and disconnect fee, consistent with the 
Manistique City Charter, authorizing city ordinances, 
and state and federal laws.

In the short term, the establishment of, and 
authorization to collect new whimsical, discriminatory, 
and extortionate "fees" may be achieved by establishing 
a new city ordinance to such effect. As long as the 
electorate is willing to be victimized in silence, 
there is no limit to what can be achieved, under color 
of law.

Alternatively, the existing Manistique city ordinance, 
25.314 sec 14, regarding "Rates and Charges for City 
Services..."  could be amended to include the 
imposition of current and future whimsical, 
discriminatory, and extortionate "fees", not based upon 
use. To the best of my knowledge, from the time of its 
creation, to the present date, the existing Manistique 
city ordinance never authorized any lLLEGITIMATE, or 
legitimate method to raise revenue beyond the "hereby 
established" (note the tense), or the collection 
thereof, based upon any other basis than the use of the 
infrastructure system, and "...the quantity of water 
used..".  

Manistique city ordinance, 25.464 Sec 14, defines the 
due process whereby "Charges" established i.a.w. 
ordinance, 25.314 sec 14, may be collected, consistent 
with confiscatory legislation that is required to 
ensure that those that contract for value received from 
a municipality, pay for value received. From my 
perspective, Manistique City Ordinances, 25.464 Sec 14, 
and 25.314 sec 14, do not provide or imply the 
authority for the city to collect or enforce collection 
of any whimsical and extortionate revenue methods 
outside of those "...provided for in this chapter..."
(i.a.w. ordinance 25.464 Sec 14), and the chapter's
provisions would have to be replaced or amended to
permit whimsical and extortionate gouging, based upon
other than water consumption, regardless of how many
city council members, and city employees, claim
otherwise.

(The MUNICIPAL WATER LIENS Act 178 of 1939, 123.162,
grants Michigan municipalities the power to 
collect "...rates, or any assessments, charges,
or rentals ... for the use of sewage system
services or for the use or consumption of water
supplied...")

Typical arguments from authority may prevail in 
Manistique, but too many suck dead air, at everyone's 
expense.


No ordinance, that I know of, sanctions the politically 
expedient choice of the city administration to abdicate 
its responsibility to secure the municipal water supply 
against theft. No ordinance, that I know of, sanctions 
the politically expedient choice of the city 
administration to enforce the collection of water bills 
incurred by the consequence of THE CITY extending 
credit to deadbeat customers, for which a property 
owner or purchaser is held responsible.

So, if the USDA wants the City of Manistique to secure 
certain fixed expenses of the water and waste-water 
departments, then collect those expenses within the 
context of the Manistique ordinances that exist to 
define the equitable collection of expenses, based upon 
the amount of water used, instead of whimsical 
extortion.


At a recent city council meeting, Councilwoman Rantanen 
claimed that I ignored, for years, a plethora of offers 
to provide documentation of the lawful due process of 
the establishment of extortionate and confiscatory 
water-sewer base fee and disconnect policies.

Contrary to her rabid assertions, I never received any 
offers to resolve the issues I have specified. I have, 
to date, spent a considerable piece of my life trying 
to pry the information I seek from city council and 
administration, to determine if there is any legal 
basis for the city's policy to extort money from me by 
threatening the eventual confiscation of my properties 
because I currently refuse to pay for water and sewer 
bills for service that I never contracted for, and I do 
not want or use.


In the few paragraphs above, I provide substantiation 
of my understanding that there is no basis for the 
city's "water disconnect policy" and "base fee" policy, 
beyond that of a criminal enterprise free to extort at 
will.

How, with the passage of time, the advancements of 
technology, and the ease of information location and 
retrieval, can a community retain the collective 
intellect of a group of predatory savages when a 
resident requests the lawful authorization and 
justification of their de facto discriminatory abuse?


The following are quotes, within the context of what I understand to be the English language. In legal context, the meaning may be something entirely different, but it has been my experience that the local interpretation of laws, as written, has been based upon political goals rather than the language used and the spirit and purpose of the laws considered.

Michigan Combined Laws (MCL) - Chapter 123 - Municipal Water Liens Act 178 of 1939

"AN ACT to provide for the collection of water or sewage system rates, assessments, charges, or rentals; and to provide a lien for water or sewage system services furnished by municipalities as defined by this act."

Section 123.162
Municipality operating water distribution system or sewage system; lien as security for collection of assessments, charges, or rentals; effective date and enforceability of lien.

"...for the use of sewage system services or for the use or consumption of water supplied..."

123.163 Manner of enforcing lien

The manner of enforcement required to collect for "...the use..." as specified in the previous provision.

123.164 Official records of municipality as notice of pendency of lien.

What the "official records" of the City of Manistique reflect, I do not know. I do know that, relative to my concerns, the city's fraudulent water and sewer bills reflect billing for water and sewer service not used, and those fraudulent bills are the only connection to the Municipal Water Liens Act 178 of 1939 that has been used, for years, by the City of Manistique to extort payment of false billings under color of law.

123.165 Priority of lien; applicability of act where lease provides lessor not liable for payment of bills; affidavit.

NB! If a landlord provides an affidavit to the city, i.a.w. with this section, that water and sewer service is not included in the lease (rental) agreement to a lessor (renter), then, by this law, the city cannot hold the landlord liable for the renter's refusal to pay for services used. Never have I heard mention, verbally or in print, of this option for a landlord to be held harmless for the consequences of a municipality extending credit to, or contracting with a deadbeat renter. I know of several property owners that have been coerced by the City of Manistique to pay municipal utility bills incurred by deadbeat renters, and not one of those landlords mentioned any knowledge of such a civilized means to protect themselves from renters whose predatory behaviour is encouraged and sanctioned by the city.

Nothing like taking candy from a baby!

123.166 Discontinuing service or instituting action for collection; invalidation or waiver of lien.

"...the lien created by this act..." The magic of local enforcement of laws and ordinances is the degree of flexibility that the enforcers choose to imagine that which does, or does not, exist. Assuming there is some degree of consistency to the meaning and use of the English language, the enforcement of any particular provision of a law is incumbent upon the other provisions of that law, associated laws, and the language used.

123.167 Construction of act.

"This act shall not repeal any existing statutory charter or ordinance provisions...but shall be construed as an additional grant of power..." The obvious meaning of which is... The MUNICIPAL WATER LIENS Act 178 of 1939 provides no power to enforce that which does not exist outside of its provisions, or outside of the provisions of the existing Manistique city charter and ordinances; none of which include whimsical municipal extortion for services and products not used.

Councilwoman Rantanen has voiced her opinion, several times, in front of the tv cameras, that Manistique City Hall is not a den of crooks. If it is not, then, relative to the Lakeside Road, city water rates, ready-to-serve-fees, and too much other "public" business, what is it; an organization of individuals elected or hired to be con artists, extortionists, and thieves?



12/31/09

This morning, I made a brief call to the Marquette U.S. Attorney office, regarding my understanding of the meaning of extortion, as practiced by the City of Manistique and other criminal enterprizes, vs. the voiced perspective of the FBI agents that interviewed me. I was told that the "chain of command" required me to contact the FBI office in Bay City, or Detroit, if I was not "happy" with the efforts of the Marquette FBI office. It makes sense, to me, to give the local FBI office a fair shake and wait until its agents have finished their task, before I conclude that, in the U.P., "extortion" is only practiced by criminal organizations in other parts of the country.

01/06/10

This afternoon, I spoke to the Schoolcraft County Treasurer, Terri Evonich, regarding my understanding of the options open to me to save my property from eventual confiscation. I did learn that the option was open to me to pay the property taxes, without paying the delinquent fraudulent water-sewer bills. Terri also re-affirmed my understanding that I, like all real property owners, have certain legislated "rights" of appeal as the gradual process of collecting delinquent property taxes and water-sewer bills takes place.

A similar required due process existed, regarding the legislated property rights of Alfred Burns. That due process was completely worthless, resulting in loss of his property and rights, without compensation, and his subsequent arrest for "assaulting and resisting" a Michigan State Police officer while he tried to defend his property, in a passive manner, from the inexorable theft and conversion by the City of Manistique.

His rights and property were lost to local law enforcement officials and judges that valued political expedience above the law.

Having witnessed and documented Burn's total failure to see justice done, I concluded, as I had earlier, the total futility of paying taxes on property that was due to be confiscated for fraudulent water and sewer use bills I refuse to pay. The City of Manistique stole from Burns, with impunity, and I have no reason to believe that it will not steal from me, with illegal impunity, in a similar manner.

As I have said, regarding the consequences of municipal extortion, I am considering any and all options based upon the documented, logical, and historical premise that legislated justice will not prevail, in my life-time, if ever. I am not holding my breath as I hope that I am wrong.



01/12/10

At the Manistique City Council meeting of 01/11/10, City Manager Aldrich introduced an ~$12 million water and sewer infrastructure upgrade project that would effect some 50% of city streets. During the subsequent discussion and presentation by agents of Coleman Engineering, it was revealed that various methods of financing ~$6 million of the project had been considered, and Aldrich stated that the decision had been made for a "fair and equitable" "utility increase" to pay for the project. Subsequently, Councilman Evonich questioned the addition of another $10 to the recently added $6 for a likely monthly "base fee" total of some $46, later this year. City Manager Aldrich's answer was, in so many words, "Its gotta be paid for."

As far as I know, the necessity to provide separate trenches for water and sewer lines will require destroying a substantial amount of city streets pavement. No one mentioned the cost of replacing it, with crushed rock, asphalt, gravel, concrete, sand, logs, or cedar swamp muck. Hang onto your shorts; coz there's gonna be more to come, unless the City has figured in the price of the streets foundation and pavement repair and improvements, to be paid with water and sewer revenues! Perhaps repaving the streets will be paid with the 10% of each year's water and sewer revenues that the city skims for "administration costs"? I dunno...

Personally, I have no problem with the water-sewer project, as such, or financing it with the equitable distribution of costs, based upon water use, i.a.w. the city's own ordinances. Regarding paved residential streets, they are nothing more than "nice to haves", and a total waste of money in a community that has 25 mph residential speed limits, and enough crushable limestone to pave the rest of the world.

What I do have a problem with is adding another ~$10 to each "base fee"; a whimsical administration created extortionate "fee" that has nothing to do with the equitable distribution of new and old water-sewer infrastructure costs, and, to the best of my knowledge, has no legal basis for its existence in Manistique, i.a.w. city ordinances, or state and federal laws. It is nothing more than an administrative assessment, created with no lawful due process, collected by the threat of eventual confiscation of property at the barrel of a gun, by fraudulent municipal use of the authority created by the state Municipal Water Liens Act 178 of 1939 that was not created to authorize the collection of whimsical fees, "base", or otherwise. Section 123.163 of that act defines the lien applicability to "...rates, or any assessments, charges, or rentals..." "...for the use of sewage system services or for the use or consumption of water supplied to any house..."

Nothing about whimsical base fees for infrastructure financing, perks for public employees, or recreational drugs, either! As for most legislation, the folks that wrote that Act understood predatory human nature and provided no means for a municipality to collect, by force, whimsical and unauthorized "base fees", or "ready to serve fees", or any other unfair and inequitable assessment unrelated to water and sewer use.

If it is equitable to add $10 per month to one residential customer's water-sewer bill, for no water and sewer service used, or wanted, then how is it equitable to add only $10 per month to the water-sewer bill of another residential customer that consumes 10,000 gallons of water per month? How is it "fair and equitable" to refuse to bill a multitude of city properties adjacent to water and sewer lines? If the whimsical "base fee" is collected, separate from the water processing and delivery costs, to pay the costs of water-sewer infrastructure depreciation, and expansion, why are there a multitude of unbilled city properties, adjacent to water and sewer lines, while other properties are billed? Are their "black" and "white" properties, or just owners?

What makes it more "fair and equitable" to bill a city property with a building, that uses no water or sewer, vs. not billing a vacant city property that uses no water or sewer? Most all the properties gain relative value from access to city utilities, whether they are developed, or not. The City Tax Assessor might be aware of that, and if not, consult a realtor!

What is fair and equitable about a base fee that a property owner has to pay the city to discontinue, if no water and sewer services are used or wanted?

By what pretzel logic of a shyster accountant running a confidence game, does one turn a whimsical "base fee", assessed in a whimsical manner, into a bill for water-sewer use, based upon council approved rates, the bills for which are secured with a lein, under the color of state legislation? How, when the city's ordinance specifies water and sewer service billing based upon water use, does the City Manager intend a fair and equitable "utility increase" of a "base fee", created with no lawful authority derived from the Manistique City Charter, or ordinances, and enforced in a whimsical manner by the use of police powers attendent to enforcing liens for delinquent water-sewer use bills?

What is fair and equitable about the majority of the elected representatives of Manistique residents approving, with their default silence, a $10 per month increase of a "base fee" that is the whimsical bastard child of thieves and liars, instead of the lawful offspring of intellect and integrity?

I have asked, many times over the last 3 years, where did the lawful authority come from for the city to charge the current residential $36 "base fee" to which it appears that another $10 will be added, for a total of $46 per month, regardless of water use? Tomorrow, a $46 "base fee" for 0 or 10,000 gallons? What part of "fair and equitable" do I not understand? Currently, $36 per month if you do not use water or sewer, or "we take your property if you don't pay us." What part of extortion is "fair and equitable"?

To the best of my knowledge, in the City of Manistique, there is no lawful authority for anyone to reach into my wallet for anything outside of lawful taxes, in particular, there is no lawful provision to extort a "base fee" for water and sewer service not wanted or used. Just because I live in a community of sheep that sanction those that screw them, I have no intention of becoming screwer or screwee, because fair and equitable it ain't, and I never learned to love either one; and I am not about to start.

With no evidence to the contrary, for over three years that I have requested it, to me, the "base fee" is nothing more than, "We wish it to be. Therefore it is!" I am sure that mantra, so prevalent in Manistique, is not i.a.w. the 01/11/10 sworn duty of Mayor Peterson and Councilwoman Jeffcott to support the U.S. and State of Michigan Constitutions, but, if you consider, as they must, that constitutions make little more than good asswipe, and "pledging allegiance to the flag" is little more than public deception, then their personal and political priorities take precedence over constitution based laws.

Those laws were created to establish and protect individual rights that allow an individual to live according to their personal standards and goals, within the context of a civilized society ruled by law. I am sure that I am not the only fool that understands and still believes in such fantasy, as I consider atavistic and barbaric options that, in a country ruled by law, should only be considered in fantasy sci-fi movies of the U.S.A., after Armageddon!



01/18/10

A special Manistique City Council meeting took place today, Martin Luther King Day, one week after the regular city council meeting, at which indeterminate numbers were kicked around, centering on ~$10 each month added to everyone's "base fee". Today, it appeared that numbers with more calculations, and less guessing, were offered up for public consumption, some ~25% less than a week ago, along with the information that water sewer related revenues will pay for new full width pavement, and gutters, for most streets considered.

Of particular interest to me was a short discussion that, at the time, sounded questionable, at best. It concerned the further applications for infrastructure grants and loans without revealing the fact that the Manistique Downtown Development Authority had the responsibility to fund some 25% of the cost of infrastructure building and maintenance within it jurisdiction. The point made by several council members, and the city manager, was the DDA would provide ~25% of the cost to the city, after the federal financing.

Given that the loans and grants combinations being considered required matching funds from the city, it made no sense to me, based upon the limited discussion I heard. If the fed is giving money for matching money, what will the City of Manistique gain by the DDA paying $X to the city, after the fact? Does "The City" have matching grant funds for the DDA?

It sounded to me, at the 01/10/10 meeting, as if "The City" intends to gain some ~$850,000 of DDA captured tax revenues, as stated by Councilwoman Rantanen, to spend on some unidentified project. All city water and sewer customers pay off the bonds issued for water, sewer, pavement, gutter, and infrastructure renewal for certain streets within the DDA, and there is serious talk of the DDA making a payment to "The City" of ~25% of that cost destined to be paid by all city water-sewer customers? Why? According to the DDA charter? What am I missing? What agenda remains unspoken?

Here is a novel idea. How about the DDA pay each water-sewer customer by the amount the DDA is bound to pay for infrastructure in its district? Once again, fair and equitable seems to be off the table as a sly accountant scares up more cash for "The City", the quick and dirty way, with the intent that all city water-sewer "customers" pay for water and sewer infrastructure that the DDA should be paying.



Is "The City" butthole deep in ethical, innovative, and creative accounting; or fraud and extortion? Are the city manager, and her acolytes, saviours or con artists? Regardless of what they are, or doing, regarding water-sewer-street infrastructure, I feel the pain, with too many unanswered questions, and too little to no rational or lawful justification for the hurt that I feel.



Related to the current water and sewer infrastructure costs and deception is a little history. To the best of my knowledge, around 1989, "The City" was so close to bankruptcy that the "city fathers" requested a loan from the local paper mill, to meet city employee payroll. Around that time it was realized that running a city in a relatively ethical and efficient manner was not going to be done by local political talent with few government management skills and knowledge. Subsequently, City Manager, Alan Housler, was hired.

As the City of Manistique had nary a pot to piss in, the main source of revenue seized upon, to finance the city out of the hole its previous "leaders' had dug for everyone, were the water and sewer enterprise accounts. With subsequent creative accounting and some less than ethical decisions, Housler, with the support of council, yanked the city back from the brink of bankrupcy. For that, he and several council members are due a well deserved "Attaboy!"

As I remember it, while on the twisted path to solvency, City Treasurer Linda Armock was sentenced for embezzeling funds related to the creative accounting and lax security required for the city to manipulate revenues in its various accounts. I remember listening to Karen Meiers, the accountant representing the city's auditors at city council meetings, tell council, for several years running, that the city's lax accounting procedures meant inadequate security, that begged abuse of all forms, among which were those that enabled the use of water and sewer revenues for purposes other than water and sewer.

Along that twisted path, before Armock's theft became public, a creative accounting effort was made to replace the water and sewer funds used by the city for other purposes. Part of the repayment plan was the magic of "payment in kind", as in exchanging future labor for cash already spent. That questionable accounting method has become a significant part of "The City's" method of providing matching "funds" for grant money from various sources, but, relative to "The City's" finances, it was nothing but a shell game that provided little to no value to the taxpayers of the city.

Local tax and enterprize accounts revenues spent for that which has little to no connection to the purposes for which those revenues were collected, can never be "replaced" with labor and material for which the local taxpayer must pay for, outside of the revenues to be replaced. Any such suggestion is nothing more than deception promoted by those that believe in a free lunch.

The reality of the con is the local taxpayer paid twice for the same value. First, they paid their water and sewer bills, then they paid with local taxes to pay for the "in kind" payment that was credited to replace the mis-spent revenues.

Consequently, only a small part of the water and sewer revenues spent to pull the city out of bankruptcy were ever payed back to those accounts. The financial records of The City were in such disarray, and absent, that it required a concerted creative effort by The City's new accounting firm, and then new City Treasurer Sheila Aldrich, to manufacture a plausible paper trail to keep the state happy.

I can still remember many Manistique city council meetings that I attended during which City Treasurer Armock and City Manager Housler had a regular obfuscating back and forth routine to respond to inquiries concerning the funding of budget reviewed line items. I understood that the routine was a con game to cover lax and creative accounting, and history proved me correct. I suspect that, after Armock's embezzlement became public, the accounting business for which Karen worked refused to help The City dig itself out of the obvious deception and fraud, with more deception and fraud, that ran contrary to the professional advice the business provided at public meetings.

I spoke to Karen Meiers, by phone, after I learned the business for whom she worked no longer audited city business. She chose not to speak to me about the specific reasons for the severance of the business relationship with The City. Shortly after, I asked then City Treasurer Aldrich why the city had a new accounting firm and she told me that the prior business did not want to help clean up The City's mess.

I do not know if the city requested the mess be cleaned up for free, or for cash beyond whatever contract agreement existed, or, perhaps, the business relationship was terminated for some unrelated matter. Regardless of the reasons, it was, essentially, private public business.

After finding out that much of The City's financial documents were "smoke and mirrors", and given that I heard not one believable detail offered in public for the change of city auditors, I concluded that the accounting firm for which Karen worked had far more integrity than the business that replaced it. It became quite apparent to me, shortly after the change, that the new accounting firm, like the city council and manager, cared little about the ethics of city financing.

Today, the accountant that helped the city bury its financing misdeeds in a ream of fiction, after Armock's embezzlement, is leading the city, as City Manager, down a new road of fraud, coupled with extortion. The major reasons for current policies are political expedience, fostered by an apathetic public and a compliant city council, coupled with a plastic and bloated Manistique Downtown Development Association that has lost sight of its legislated reason for being; to redevelop areas within the actual urban downtown area and not most everywhere else, but downtown.

The fraudulent basis for the D.D.A. lies in the artificial boundaries of a "downtown" district that includes more area and property outside of the actual downtown urban core than within, and on which more money has been spent than within the actual downtown area. It's so easy to collect and spend other peoples' money for that which it is not intended. Those that have the responsibility to cater to the taxpaying electorate, within the content, context, and spirit of legislation, can, with impunity, as the equivalent of "The City" priests, cater to their personal self-interests and the interests of their de-facto god, "The City"; beholden to no one.

"The City" has become a deity to whom must be sacrificed most of that which makes a lawful and civilised government of the residents, for the residents, by the residents. The consequence is the making of a local tyranny that I, and a handful of others, refuse to condone with cowardly silence, or the sanctimonious piety of others that have no problem sacrificing their neighbors to their god, "The City".

01/27/10

Over the years, starting as an adolescent, I have questioned authority. As one raised in a family environment in which both parents never claimed that "God's will" determined the vagaries of life, I have questioned that which I was aware of, and that interested me. Regardless of the extent of my curiosity, my intellect limited, and still limits, my ability to understand much of the world around me, including the source of that equivocal enigma labelled "authority" that so many use as if the word itself makes the source self evident!

Relative to this article, my interest regarding authority has to do with lawful authority, i.e. authority derived from legislation. From my perspective, in a civilized society with many sources of that which others claim to be "authority", there can be only one source of authority to which all are bound. To me, the necessity of a single source of authority is self-evident, in a complex and productive society of individuals, each with a unique perspective of the world, working together as a consequence of voluntary mutual agreements.

The shared and individual goals of voluntary human collectives of intelligent individuals are at serious risk if one individual has the right to dominate another, arbitrarily, based upon whimsical authority derived from any of a multitude of sources that claim the authority of one individual to control and abuse another. Human nature motivates most folk to aspire to some level of "success" by their own efforts, and at the expense of the environment and others' lives. In short, history supports my contention that everyone wants to own a "nigger", to one degree or another, and when whimsical authority is granted to some, to own others, in part or in the whole, then natural property rights derived from ownership are used to justify an owner's choice of actions regarding the property owned.

From my perspective of U.S. history, the "Founding Fathers" of this nation had sufficient understandings of human nature to establish a constitution based government, that, with its basic amendments, was designed to promote a lawful and law abiding productive society, that gave each individual the right to protect life, liberty, and property, if those sworn to do so chose to do otherwise. The right to bear arms, and use them, if necessary, was fully understood in the relatively primitive, and disorganized society of this nation's birth, and can be understood, readily, by considering such places as Afghanistan, today, where many individuals carry a gun because the rule of a uniform and objective system of laws is non-existent, and, ultimately, consistent with individual human nature, "might makes right" in any disagreement where laws are unenforced or non-existent.

The founders of this nation knew, from their understanding of human nature in general, and themselves, in particular, that, ultimately, the only way to ensure that the rule of law held sway was to provide each individual the right to the means of self protection. If those with the sworn duty to enforce the laws failed to do so, then the individual had the means to protect life, liberty, and property, to whatever degree they could.

From my perspective, as one of the unwashed masses with too few resources, and no inclination to gamble what little I have to buy a justice lottery ticket, the individual ownership and use of weapons is, ultimately, the only thing that stands between those that would be slaves and those that would make them slaves. I have no doubt, considering the individual and collective intellects responsible for the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, that the authors knew why the individual ownership and bearing of arms was necessary to keep human predators at bay, when government and law enforcement officials failed their sworn responsibilities to enforce constitution based laws.

If one considers the times and perspectives of those reponsible for the Second Amendment, their concerns, of their time and the future, were about the individual's right to own, carry, and use arms in the context of a government that chooses to rule by other than constitution based laws, based upon the premise that individuals are little more than the means to the ends of those that consider themselves the masters of others. Assuming the world is perfect, in a civilised society ruled by the enforcement of constitution based laws that respect individual rights, there are few to no reasons for an individual to consider the force of arms as an alternative to the rule of law.

In an uncivilised society, the individual force of arms is necessary to replace the protections that would be, in a civilised society, provided by the timely and impartial enforcement of appropriate laws.



The historical use of arms to defend life, liberty, and property, in the U.S., and many other countries, represents a significant consensus that an individual has a survival right to prevent imminent and deliberate injury by others that refuse to acknowledge another's right to live in peace and enjoy the fruits of their ethical labor. With knowledge of a little history, that uncommon commodity, common sense, leads any thinking person to a simple and logical conclusion that, at a primal level, or in the context of a complex civilized society, no one should have the whimsical unapposed power to deprive another individual of that which makes life worth living.

Just because some human beings consider others as "human resources", gives no one the right to treat their neighbour as one, as if the clock had been turned back to more uncivilized times. When people are considered as little more than cattle, to be sacrificed for a good meal, or to appease "The City", or "The Nation", they have every right to act as animals that must depend on the law of the jungle for survival.

By their actions, those that refuse to abide by, or enforce the laws that are created to protect the life, liberty, and property of this nation's citizens, are no better than the criminals they foster. If no one wishes to hold accountable those known individuals that are stealing pieces of my life, then, I am willing to spill as much blood as possible to make the consequences of sanctioned theft as costly as possible.

For those that pig out at the public trough, or care not about their decisions that effect the welfare of others, a loaf of bread, to some, is the difference between a life worth living, or not, and as far as I am concerned it is an issue of life and death when others make the arbitrary decision to take my loaf.

It matters not, to me, if others think that I have no lawful right to defend myself and my property with force, from those that steal in the name of "The City" with the use or threat of police force. I am at ease with my natural right of survival to attempt to defend my property and life from those that are sanctioned to steal what I have left.

At this stage of my life, I am quite willing and capable to implement a variety of options that I have considered as an alternative to sanctioning those that are stealing my life, with impunity, a piece at a time. I prefer to spill as much blood as possible of those that choose to eat me alive, a piece at a time, and die in the process, rather than die a lingering death of their choosing as they pick my bones while I live.

For those that still "don't get it", armed confrontation is an option that I consider as I continue to resist the City of Manistique's unlawful fraud, coersion, and extortion, from me, of revenue for non-existent water and sewer use, the extortion of which continues to threaten my current and future income and quality of life.

I may be too stupid to know or understand the claimed source of Manistique's authority for municipal fraud, coercion extortion, but...

I have no intention of letting others abuse me, with impunity.
I have no intention of sanctioning bullies, or their behaviour.
I have no intention of suffering predators, gladly.
I have no intention of sanctioning government extortion.
I have no intention of letting others steal my future.
I have no intention of suffering a penurious existence after my properties are confiscated.
I have no intention of trying to live on the charity of others.
I have no illusions about the nature of my species, or the consequences of that which I consider.



10/28/10

Today, Director of Public Safety Golat, stopped by my residence to provide me the City of Manistique response to a letter that I handed City Manager Aldrich during the last public comment period of the 01/11/10 Manistique City Council meeting. In so many words, Golat told me that "The City's" response was due to the "threat" of bloodshed that I had made no effort to disguise. The obvious implication of his statement was that I had extorted "The City's" decision. During a subsequent conversation we discussed our differing opinions of the situation and parted, amicably, with my stated intent to revisit the situation further up the FBI chain of command, and, until my civilized options, or my money ran out, no one had to fear physical retribution from me.

"The City's" response to be added by tomorrow.

01/11/10


Sheila Aldrich
Manistique City Manager
300 N. Maple St
Manistique, MI 49854


On 01/07/10, I received an email request to touch bases 
with the Marquette office of the FBI, concerning my 
ongoing water and sewer billing dispute with the City 
of Manistique. Before telling me of a City offer to 
resolve the dispute, the FBI agent "Jay" stated that it 
was his professional responsibility to be involved in a 
civil dispute, to a limited degree, if it might 
maintain public safety.

The offer he relayed to me, as I heard it, was:

The City would return, to me, $915 it billed and 
collected from me, for water and sewer service I never 
contracted for, or used, if I would pay the City $100 
for each property, so that it would cease to bill me 
for water and sewer service I do not want or use at 
each property.

I thanked the agent for his professional concern, and I 
told him that I had never paid an extortionist, and I 
was not about to. After a little related chatter, we 
terminated our conversation in a candid, civil, and 
professional manner.


I understand the City's current offer as little more 
than another attempt of extortion, the purpose of which 
is to extort my approval of the City's whimsical choice 
to charge me $100 per property, to terminate, by 
whimsical choice, the fraudulent billing of water and 
sewer service I did not contract for, or use. I further 
understand the City's offer, to return $715 of the 
money it extorted from me, as recognition of the fact 
that it had, and has, no lawful authority to extort my 
money, in the first place, and the City hopes to buy my 
silence with my money that, in the context of my life, 
is an offer that I am unlikely to refuse.

For those that have difficulty understanding the 
English language; stated differently, it is my 
understanding that the City wants me to pay it $200 of 
my money, to secure the release of $915 of my money 
that the City acknowledges it had no lawful authority 
to extort by threatening the eventual confiscation of 
my properties, enforced by the inevitable use of armed 
police, i.a.w. the authority it claims to derive from 
the Manistique City Charter and ordinances, the 
Municipal Water Liens Act 178, and state property tax 
laws.

Regarding the City's offer, it requires collusion by 
me to sanction, and thus hold harmless, the City and 
its elected and hired officials, for past and current 
reprehensible and unlawful victimizing behaviour. I 
perceive it as a racketeer's offer that I refuse, with 
no misgivings.


Here are the terms of my counter offer that address 
the personal and public harm done by those that chose 
to commit, and lie about their right to extort from me 
and others:

To be considered as open public business after a signed 
agreement:

1. Within 3 months of a signed agreement, the City of 
Manistique determines what is required to meet its 
water and sewer related obligations, and, consistent 
with its own ordinances, charges each lawful account an 
appropriate equitable rate for the use of water and 
sewer services, based upon the amount of water used. 

2. Within 1 year of a signed agreement, the City 
determines what provisions of the existing City charter 
and ordinances do not meet the lawful requirements to 
finance the city's water and sewer infrastructure, 
i.a.w. term 1., then it takes whatever public and 
lawful due process is required to amend current 
ordinances, or repeal and create new ones, to finance, 
in an appropriate manner, the creation, operation and 
maintenance of its water and sewer infrastructure.


The following may be considered as subject to a 
confidentiality agreement, if the City chooses. A 
confidentiality agreement will not include anything 
published on line at http://www.manistique.org prior to 
a signed agreement, unless the City purchases that web 
site, domain name, and content, at a mutually agreeable 
price, the content of which I will still retain an 
exclusive right to reveal, with prior notice and 
options, should the City violate any term of a signed 
mutual agreement:

3. Regarding properties that I own, or for which I pay 
the tax bills, at which no water or sewer service is 
wanted or used, the City ceases the imposition of water 
and sewer related charges, fees, attachments, taxes, 
etc. that are not specified on a legal bill, and 
enforced uniformly, i.a.w. the current provisions of 
the existing City charter, ordinances, and state laws; 
subject to the condition that interpretation of the 
provisions is by a competent and independent legal 
professional with unquestionable legal integrity and 
merit unconnected to the political, economic and 
personal aspirations of those that are elected or hired 
to represent personal and public interests in 
Schoolcraft County and the City of Manistique. The 
condition of this term shall be interpreted as, among 
other things, a deliberate exclusion of City Attorney 
Filoramo whose corrupt influence I consider a major 
reason for the current dispute, and others that I am 
aware of.

4.Within 1 month of a signed agreement, the City shall 
return all my money, plus 10% of the total that it 
extorted from me, or, if the word extortion sounds like 
hyperbole, then, it shall return the total of all my 
money it collected by the fraudulent billing of water 
and sewer use that I did not contract for, and did not 
use, that I was coerced to pay by the city's threatened 
confiscation of my properties, to be enforced with 
municipal police powers, under color of law. It shall 
add 10% to the total of coerced payments as 
compensation for denying me the use of my money it 
obtained by unlawful means.

5. Within 1 month of a signed agreement, the City shall 
pay, in full, the current and past property taxes in 
arrears, on both properties subject to the addressed 
dispute, because, when I realized, eventually, that 
City government and administration personnel were not 
inclined, without the voiced possibility of bloody 
confrontation, to reveal the source of their assumed 
right to coerce and extort, I refused to pay, or 
consider paying, taxes assessed for property that was 
doomed to confiscation consequent to my refusal to 
accede to the City's stated intent to collect 
fraudulent water and sewer use billing, under color of 
law.

6. Within 3 months of a signed agreement, the City 
shall pay me 50% of all the mutually agreed upon 
professionally estimated expenses, for the professional 
repair of freeze damaged plumbing and resulting water 
damage of the building at 110 S. Cedar St. that 
occurred as a result of the City's refusal to turn off 
the water, or if turned off, its refusal to make me 
aware of the fact while it still billed me for water 
and sewer related rates, charges, fees, etc. The 50% of 
liability that I assume is due to the fact that I 
failed to motivate the City by suggesting, earlier, the 
possibility of bloody retribution for the unauthorized 
municipal coercion and extortion to which I refused to 
submit or condone.

7. Instead of  Term 6., the City may purchase the 110 
S. Cedar St. property, at fair market value, as if 
freeze related damage did not occur. The value to be 
determined by mutual consideration of 2 disinterested 
professional appraisers, one contracted by me, and one 
by the City, the City paying for both appraisals. All 
monetary liabilities, other than what I have stated as 
consequences of municipal coercion or extortion, 
currently due the city, county, and state, to be 
mutually considered and determined before a final sale 
agreement, and those liabilities deducted at the time 
of sale. All other costs to be paid by the City.

9. I encourage "the City" to make a comprehensive 
counter-offer, consistent with my interests expressed 
in this offer. Should I get a counter-offer as 
ridiculous as the 01/07/09 verbal offer conveyed to me 
by Agent "Jay" of the Marquette office of the FBI, I 
will consider any and all options to end the current 
impasse, outside of wasting any more of my life trying 
to resolve the dispute, with City officials, in a 
candid and civilized manner.

10. I will make public this entire offer and 
communication, if I do not receive a formal  written 
acceptance of this offer, or what I deem is a formal 
and responsible written counter-offer, within 15 
working days from the witnessed hand delivery of this 
offer to City Manager Aldrich, at the Manistique City 
Council meeting of 01/11/10.


In summary, I did not victimize "The City". Its known 
elected officials and employees victimized me, 
deliberately, under color of law, and, sooner or later, 
I have little doubt that the FBI will acknowledge that 
it is not a "civil matter", just as it was not a civil 
matter when the City of Manistique stole and converted 
Alfred Burn's property for a right of way over which it 
had no lawful jurisdiction. I have no intent to accept 
and pay for my deliberate victimization by those with 
the sworn or professional duty to do otherwise, and, 
when I perceive that my civilized options for justice 
and equity are zero, and I have nothing more to lose 
than my life, then, any and all options become viable.

It is not my intent to gamble what little is left of my 
money and property, to fight, in court, a den of con 
artists and thieves sanctioned by an assortment of law 
enforcement officials. I earned what I have, alone, and 
I am willing to defend it, alone, at any cost, to deny 
the right of sanctioned thieves to take whatever they
want, by whatever means they consider expedient.


Sincerely,
            Peter C. Markham 
Below are all of the documents handed me, on 01/28/10, by Manistique's Director of Public Safety Golat. You might notice, as for the past 3 years, there is no lawful authority, or due process quoted or referred to, that authorized in a lawful manner, my abuse and that of others.

Assuming that Director Golat's statement regarding alleged "threats" of bloody retribution was true, might not a small herd of reasonable people thus threatened have the collective wits about them to provide a reference to the "lawful" basis for the extortion I have taken issue with?

The solution to the impasse is simple. Gimmee copies of the due process that established the "lawful authority" to steal from me, and I will go away, peacefully; or, pay for the deliberate trespasses.



110 S Cedar St billing terminated delinquent zero

The above is a current "statement" of the 110 S, Cedar St water and sewer bills balance, handed to me by Director of Public Safety Golat, on 01/28/10. No details of why it is, today, $0, and no indication it was ever $327.36, as billed below. This creative accounting statement indicates no wrong doing by "The City", and, on its face, says "The City" never billed me for unused water and sewer service. Below is the 01/13/10 bill for $327.36, for water and sewer service unwanted and unused, that belies the statement, accounting system, and integrity of those employees of the "The City" responsible for an obvious work of fiction.

110 S Cedar water sewer bill of 011310



The two tax bills below, for 110 S. Cedar St., were handed to me by Director of Public Safety Golat, on 01/28/10. No recognition that the taxes are delinquent because I had no rational reason pay them, as "The City" had made quite clear that it intended to confiscate the property for my refusal to pay fraudulent "delinquent" water and sewer use bills.

For those interested in Manistique real estate, be aware that the whimsical and fraudulent annual billing by "The City", for water and sewer not used, equals ~50% of the annual property taxes of a well located downtown property! 12 x $36.14 = $433 annually vs. $911.76 for 2009 property taxes. For a well located "downtown" property located on US2, purchased recently by "The City" for >$200,000, the water and sewer billing has been $0, for years. That is what Manistique City Manager Aldrich refers to as "fair and equitable."

110 S Cedar 2009 delinquent Summer taxes

110 S Cedar 2009 Winter taxes



401 N Houghton St billing terminated delinquent zero

The above is a current "statement" of the 401 N. Houghton St. water and sewer bills balance, handed to me by Director of Public Safety Golat, on 01/28/10. No details of why it is, today, $0, and no indication it was ever $418.94, as billed below. This creative accounting statement indicates no wrong doing by "The City", and, on its face, says "The City" never billed me for unused water and sewer service. Below is the 01/13/10 bill for $418.94, for water and sewer service unwanted and unused, that belies the statement, accounting system, and those employees of the "The City" responsible for an obvious work of fiction.

401 N Houghton water sewer bill of 011310

The tax bills below, for 401 N Houghton, were handed to me by Director of Public Safety Golat, on 01/28/10. No recognition that the taxes are delinquent because I had no rational reason pay them, as "The City" had made quite clear that it intended to confiscate the property for my refusal to pay fraudulent "delinquent" water and sewer use bills.

For those interested in Manistique real estate, be aware that the whimsical and fraudulent annual billing by "The City", for water and sewer not used, equals 185% of the annual property taxes of a well located commercial property! 12 x $36.14 = $433 annually for unused and unwanted water and sewer vs. $233 for 2009 property taxes. For a well located "downtown" property located on US2, purchased recently by "The City" for >$200,000, the water and sewer billing has been $0, for years. That is what Manistique City Manager Aldrich refers to as "fair and equitable."

I knew that I was black, but I never guessed how black... Today, I accept, with pride, the title "Bęte Noire".

401 N Houghton St 2009 Summer taxes

401 N Houghton St 2009 Winter taxes



This is the original offer from "The City" relayed to me by FBI agent "Jay", on 01/07/10. I erred in my written offer to "The City" by stating that the "The City's" original offer regarded money it had already extorted. In fact, "The City's" offer was, reduced to its correct essence, if I paid "The City" $200, in cash, it would make go away $918 of "delinquent" false water and sewer use billings, that I refused to pay. There was no reference in "The City's" offer to return any of my money it had extorted, already.

Yesterday, Golat handed me the vague and unsigned documents that implied that $918 of delinquent "fees", allegedly owed by me, had ceased to exist, by municipal magic; without me paying "The City" $200 cash for its accounting legerdemain, as it had tried to extort in the previous verbal offer relayed via FBI agent "Jay".

Obviously, had I reviewed the verbal offer more closely, I would not have wasted my life making a counter offer. Two lessons learned, for those that do not suffer criminals gladly... (1) Check your premises, often, to minimize the chance of life wasting foolish behaviour. (2) Do not squander any more of your life, than is absolutely necessary, trying to communicate or negotiate in an objective and civilised manner, with criminal muncipal extortionists paid by you, to extort from you, and protected by attorneys and law enforcement officials paid by you.

Everyone, but me, in the fight is paid from an inexhaustible tax revenue coffer. I am fighting to keep that which I have title to, and for which I paid my taxes, until "The City" stuck a gun in my face and demanded additional payment for the privilege of owning my property. So, when my money or patience runs out my remaining options are physical, and should I pursue those options, no one will profit from my demise.

As far as I am concerned, at this moment, assuming the FBI insists that municipal extortion is a civil matter, there is only one way this dispute will end. To me, sanctioning extortion is not an acceptable option, just as giving up its gains by fraud and extortion is not an option for "The City".

Coming soon... The U.S. Attorney's Office prompts me to ask, "Where is the pea?", further up the FBI chain of command.


02/01/10


Special Agent in Charge
Andrew G. Arena
Federal Bureau of Investigation
477 Michigan Avenue, Fl. 26
Detroit, Michigan 48226
(313) 965-2323

Dear Sir,

This complaint to you, is i.a.w. verbal advice from the 
Marquette U.S. Attorney's Office because, to date, I 
have no reason to believe that the Marquette Office of 
the FBI considered, verbally, the original complaint as 
anything more than a "civil matter". 

If what I describe as municipal extortion is a "civil 
matter", I would like to see that professional 
conclusion in writing, before I consider settling the 
related dispute in a violent physical manner.

I include a copy of my original written complaint to 
the Marquette Office of the FBI.

A prior related complaint to the Michigan Attorney 
General's Office and a documented history of what I 
understand to be municipal extortion, racketeering, and 
deprivation of constitution based civil rights, under 
color of law, with the legal, philosophical, and
political context of the dispute, as I understand it,
is available at:

http://www.manistique.org/manistique_water_rates.html#W
hat is lawful authority?

and related web site pages.

The above link is to the latest section of that web 
page.

In summary, regarding this particular complaint, I want
to know,

(1) By what lawful authority did the City of
Manistique extort money from me, (and others), by
threatening the confiscation of my (their) properties
with municipal police powers, under color of the City
Charter of Manistique, Manistique city ordinances,
and State of Michigan's legislation, for failure to
pay for water and sewer service I did not contract
for, or use, and/or my refusal to pay a whimsical
administration water-sewer "base fee" with no more
due process origin that anyone will reveal, beyond
an anonymous memorandum? 

(2) By what lawful authority did the City of Manistique
steal county property titled to Schoolcraft County
resident, Alfred Burns, for a city street claimed to be
the "Lakeside Road"?

(3) If the two matters (1) and (2) are considered "civil
matters" i.a.w. relevant authority that no one wishes to
identify, quote, or explain, then, what alternative to
bloody violence do I (or others) have to hold accountable
those that have and continue to victimize me (us), in a
manner that I (or others) consider criminal for relevant
and explicit reasons I (we) have made all aware of?


I have no phone, but I may be reached at:

pmarkham@manistique.org

and I can respond by email or a VOIP application. 
 
 
Sincerely,
            Peter C. Markham


After posting the latest complaint to the FBI, a comment was made to me, in person, by a local resident that has followed much of my online documentation of politics in the City of Manistique. They said, paraphrased, "Manistique city government might have been modelled on a late Russian communist municipal government." I was quite surprised by the comment because I had never thought about it, in that manner.

Even though I understood the democratic process at work in the city had produced a totalitarian government in democratic guise, in which the individual exists to achieve the interests of "the state", as in "The City", I had never drawn an analogy of the situation as succinctly as Citizen Y.

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