Detroit News. May 25, 2022.
Editorial: Consider options to limit signature fraud
The Michigan Bureau of Elections on Monday cut the field of Republican candidates running for governor in half because it failed to collect enough legitimate signatures, raising questions about the responsibility and role of those signatures.
With the Board of State Canvassers meeting Thursday to decide whether to remove GOP frontrunners James Craig and former Detroit Police Chief Perry Johnson from the ballot, it’s a good time to consider whether the signing process for fair to those who want to be governor and to the residents who want them.
Ultimately, however, the responsibility remains with the candidates who have decided to submit the signatures.
“They feel bad, but the candidates have ultimate responsibility,” says former Secretary of State Ruth Johnson, R-Holly.
The Bureau found that 36 petition distributors had submitted wholly fraudulent petition sheets, with at least 68,000 invalid signatures across 10 sets of nomination positions. Their information was turned over to investigators, and they should be prosecuted, Johnson says.
Former US Representative Candice Miller says the signature requirements are the organization’s first test.
“If you want to run for governor, you have to have some kind of organization. You can either build one or buy one,” says Miller. “Craig and Johnson tried to build one, tried to buy one. They hired these scammers, that’s tough. Pity.”
She stressed the need to prosecute scammers, but noted that lesser-known contestants like Garrett Soldano and Kevin Rinke would have no problem.
Perry Johnson had recommended reforms to the signature-collection process before the Board of Canvassers’ review was published, including licensing petition-collection firms and establishing a signature-verification service in the Secretary of State’s office.
But Miller doesn’t agree with the idea of expanding the government to include candidates who can’t get enough signatures.
“We can’t change the rules because they didn’t know who to hire,” says Miller.
Political adviser John Sellek also pointed out that the system worked and likely kept those without the necessary organizational skills out of voting this fall.
“First of all, I would say that the system worked,” says Sellek. “Candidates who didn’t have the organization or support to collect the signatures didn’t come to the vote, that’s the cold hard truth of the results, so maybe there’s no need for a solution.”
Traverse City record eagle. May 29, 2022.
Editorial: Bottlenecks Will Remain; Survivors will adapt
Memorial Day weekend marks the official start of the region’s high season – our busy time. All signs point to a summer with the usual, if not larger, crowds of tourists. But the number of seasonal workers is still meagre.
It shouldn’t come as a complete surprise, nor is it entirely the fault of COVID-19. The pandemic, while disruptive, threw wood on an already crackling beachside bonfire — one that won’t be extinguished anytime soon.
According to AXIOS, our last decade has favored employers, the next not. A recent forecast by the Congressional Budget Office showed that the US workforce will grow by just 0.2 percent per year from 2024 to 2031.
The imbalance has changed dramatically since the 2010s, when baby boomers joined the workforce as millennials. Now the Boomers are retiring, and the much smaller Gen Z won’t be able to keep up.
“This is a difficult picture to look forward to,” said Ron Hetrick, a senior labor economist cited in a recent story for the Society for Human Resource Management. “People who think things will get better after the pandemic subsides forget that in February 2020 we had the lowest unemployment rate in history.”
The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the youngest boomers will reach traditional retirement age by 2030, reports SHRM, and because of the smaller working-age population, Hetrick says, “We need to get better at utilizing the workforce that we have.”
Some local businesses and organizations do this. They work creatively with their employees on scheduling, wages, benefits and burnout management. Adjustments include providing affordable housing so employees can keep more of their paychecks; or the introduction of hybrid or remote work, a relief valve for workers caring for children and family members.
They make the lives of their employees better and thus cope with demographic change.
Getting creative is no longer what organizations do when they have the luxury of time. It’s a critical component to survival.
We must educate our visitors and ourselves to be more reliable and accommodating in this new era. Perhaps it is not ideal for us as guests to do without our ice cream cones. But considering the alternative is to close shop, it doesn’t seem that bad.
The Mining Journal. May 24, 2022.
Editor: Driving in/through construction sites can be a challenge
It’s that time of the year again when the road construction crews are busy and construction projects on district, state and federal roads are often to be found.
Since these are situations that can distress even the most seasoned motorist, it’s a good idea to review some basic safety protocols that can save lives.
Here are some suggestions for motorists to consider when approaching and/or driving through construction sites:
— Increase your following distance
Every time you enter a construction site, it is important to increase the distance to other cars. Ideally, there should be two to three car lengths between you and the vehicle in front, so you have enough time to stop if necessary.
— Never assume that workers are absent
Often you will see signs for a reduced speed limit through a roadworks; In some cases, the advertised speed can be even lower when workers are present. Even if you don’t see any obvious construction workers, it is still imperative that you obey posted speed limit signs. Never assume, just because you don’t see any workers at the moment, that they won’t be working down the road.
— Follow flagger instructions
Flags are sometimes posted at construction sites (particularly in residential areas) to direct traffic around the work area. When this happens, signs saying “Flag Ahead” or something similar are usually put up. Make sure you’re alert.
Always obey the instructions of the flagship and assume that their instructions take precedence over any other traffic sign or signal. Your directions may not match normal traffic patterns, so be prepared.
— Minimize your distractions
Distraction-free driving is always important, but this is especially important when driving in a construction site where it is imperative that you are on high alert.
— Merge in immediately if the lane is blocked
One of the most common causes of accidents and road noise at construction sites is lane closures. If you see a sign warning of an upcoming lane closure, make sure you merge in as soon as possible.
Driving in construction sites is a challenge for everyone. Do whatever you can to improve traffic flow while exercising due care.
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