Tag Archives: Wayne County

Detroit lawmaker pushes “bullet bill” where you have to purchase ammo through law enforcement and go through mental background check

It’s always about control.

From The Detroit News: A resolution introduced in Wayne County seeks to encourage state and federal legislators to regulate and limit ammunition sales.

Outgoing District 6 Commissioner Reggie “Reg” Davis submitted the resolution to the commission’s chair, Gary Woronchak, to encourage Michigan and U.S. leaders to adopt policies to end gun violence. If the commission does that, Davis said, he plans to seek passage of an ordinance to adopt the policies for which his resolution calls.

“In Detroit, it’s the wild, wild west,” Davis, a Democrat, told The Detroit News in a phone interview. “I want to stop turning on the TV every day seeing a younger version of myself at a gas station or a Coney Island, seeing these kids kill each other. We need some sort of control.

Davis spoke about his resolution before members of the media Tuesday morning at Woodlawn Cemetery in Detroit, where his brother and uncle, slain from gun violence, are entombed.

Davis’ resolution would call for ammunition sales to require a background check, including a mental health evaluation. It also would encourage levying higher taxes on ammunition and limiting the number of bullets a person can buy.

Davis said the resolution also would seek the ability for people to purchase ammunition at a law enforcement agency, where they could get a background check done, as well. He said he is not seeking to limit its purchase at stores or gun shows.

Revenue made from bullet sales and taxes, Davis said, could go toward families of gun violence victims and educating people on gun safety and the Second Amendment.

“To the NRA, we’re not trying to destroy anything you stand for,” Davis said. “I support the Second Amendment. But I’m looking to build a better community for urban Americans, for Detroiters.”

The NRA did not respond for a comment. (Yes they did. See here.)

Davis also recently learned of a push in California to include serial numbers on bullets. He said he hopes to add an addendum to the resolution he is proposing that would call for a way to track bullets, though he expressed concern that using serial numbers for each bullet would be costly.

Davis said he would like to see the resolution passed at the meeting of the 15-member board on Oct. 4 or the one after. He is hopeful for the resolution but is doubtful an ordinance could survive since it would likely face legal challenges.

“We are all creatures of the state,” Davis said. “They can trump anything we do, but I don’t care. I want to fight.”

Earlier in his life, Davis said he had an “affinity” for guns, owning sniper rifles, double barrel sawed-off shotguns, Glocks, revolvers and more. That changed on Feb. 19, 2001, when his 19-year-old brother, Vito, died in a botched armed robbery.

Now, he said he no longer carries a weapon on him, though he added that “no one should try breaking into my house at 3 a.m.”

“You have one or two or three of those moments in your life that brings you closer to God, gives you a more crisp vision of life,” Davis said. “It definitely gave me a clearer vision of my life, and I’m going to fight until my dying day against this gun violence.”


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Indiana School Superintendent Has $1M Retirement

The state of Indiana has a total debt of $27,563,948,872 when calculated by adding the total of outstanding debt, pension and OPEB UAAL’s, unemployment trust funds and the 2010 budget gap as of July 2010. This is one reason why:

In just one school district alone — Indianapolis’ Wayne County — its retired school superintendent Terry Thompson not only gets paid $1,353 a day to serve in an “advisory” capacity as Superintendent Emeritus, his entire retirement package is worth a whopping ONE MILLION DOLLARS.

Thompson was superintendent for 15 years — for a school district with a total of only 15,700 students.


Terry Thompson

Ex-schools chief to quit $1,352-a-day job
Move follows criticism of retirement package worth more than $1M
By Bill McCleery – IndyStar.com – Jan 28, 2011

Former Wayne Township Schools Superintendent Terry Thompson is negotiating an early resignation from his $1,352-a-day job as “superintendent emeritus,” an attorney for the Westside school district said Friday.
The five-month position, considered unusual if not unprecedented among Indiana school administrators, was part of a $1 million retirement package that has drawn protest from township School Board members — even though most of them voted to approve it four years ago.
Thompson, who retired in December after 15 years as superintendent, did not respond to calls made to his home Friday. In a written statement provided to The Indianapolis Star, he did not directly mention the board’s call for his resignation as superintendent emeritus, saying only that “it is time for me to take on a different role” in Wayne Township Schools. School district attorney Jon M. Bailey said he expects Thompson’s resignation Monday, adding, “We’ve exchanged proposals with his counsel, and I anticipate agreement.”
None of the seven School Board members — five of whom were in office and voted for the renegotiated contract in 2007 — responded to telephone messages.
Like other districts in this time of reduced revenues, Wayne — which has more than 15,700 students — has had to eliminate some programs, freeze administrators’ pay and reduce teaching positions through attrition. So why did board members approve Thompson’s lucrative retirement package in the first place?
They probably neglected to calculate the actual amount they would be promising Thompson, Bailey said, adding that he now regrets not doing more to inform them. “Did they fully understand how much money was in that package? No, I don’t think they did,” said Bailey, who represented the school district at the time of the renegotiation. “I was asked to approve it as to form and legality, and that’s what I did.”
The contract showed Thompson received more than $817,000 in lump sum severance payouts, including annual base pay of $225,000 as well as accrued vacation and sick pay and other considerations, all paid when he retired last month. The superintendent emeritus position, which included advising his successor, would have paid Thompson an additional $202,000 over the 150 days specified in the contract — and pushed the total retirement package to more than $1 million.
“It was a very lucrative contract,” Bailey said. “With benefit of hindsight, rather than just doing the narrow task I was assigned to do, the board would have been better served had I grabbed them by the lapels and said, ‘Let’s slow this down.’ ” But, Bailey added, he doubts it would have made much difference. Thompson, the 2010 Indiana Superintendent of the Year, was considered among the area’s strongest school administrators, and other districts were trying to lure him away.
“It came at a time when he was deciding whether to finish his career at Wayne or go somewhere else to finish his career,” said Bailey, an attorney at Bose McKinney & Evans in Indianapolis. “He possesses a package of skills that were very unique, and I think the board was quite frankly afraid to lose him.”
In his written statement, Thompson said the contract was “mutually negotiated” and was “based in part on my record of service.” He touted the district’s accomplishments during his tenure, such as launching all-day kindergarten and a college-credit program for high school students.
Most of the money promised Thompson has been paid, and board members as well as Bailey were drawing criticism Friday.
“I am so upset with the School Board members’ lack of integrity and lack of knowledge of what their job is. . . . The School Board attorney was not looking out for the best interests of the taxpayers and families in Wayne Township,” said Julie Volbers-Klarich, a parent and former teacher in the district. “My plan is that I hope to speak at the next School Board meeting and ask the five board members who were there in 2007 to resign. . . . We entrusted them to do a job that they failed to do.”
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