* The Mackinac Center created a searchable database of public school superintendent compensation – a potentially useful tool for parents and patrons to compare their local leader to other districts. Of course, the unanswered question in all this is: How much should a superintendent make?
* Speaking of databases, the Michigan Municipal League has a new toy for local government wonks – or citizens who just would like to know how their communities are run. A couple of interesting tidbits:
- Coldwater (population 10,945) has a charter requirement of 1.5 firefighters for every 1,000 residents.
- Dearborn (population 98,153) has a charter requirement of 2.1 police officers for every 1,000 residents.
- Ferrysburg (population 2,892) has its mayor send a proclamation each year to Michigan’s U.S. senators and to its local congressman requesting a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on Congress.
* The Michigan League for Public Policy has created a one-stop shop for information on various federal and state tax credit programs aimed at our society’s needier families.
* An expert on legislative bodies explains why citizens need to be careful with the “full-time” and “part-time” labels for legislatures. He offers a different approach: “The concept of legislative professionalization is designed to measure the capacity of legislatures and legislators to make policy decisions. Capacity, though, does not necessarily mean performance. A legislature with high capacity can perform poorly (Congress being an example), while legislatures with low capacity can perform at high levels.”
* How much should water cost? “The Nature Conservancy did a poll last year: around the order of, I think it was 77 percent of Americans have essentially no idea where their water comes from. It just gives you some evidence to the point that I’m making, which is: if you don’t know what the impacts are of your resource use, then you likely don’t have much motivation to change your behavior for your consumption of that resource.”
* The result -- if you placed the Great Lakes in Europe.