News Story

CapCon’s Top 10 2018 Stories

Wind-farm resistance, cops see the green, school-employee poor-mouthing, more

Liza Parkinson is the president of a local teachers union who has a knack for making noteworthy statements that are not correct. Under her district’s union contract, Parkinson is also eligible for collecting a school salary for doing union work. (The contract does not name who actually gets this, however.)

In fact, comments from the Utica Education Association president made for two of most-read Michigan Capitol Confidential stories in 2018.

Michigan Capitol Confidential’s most popular story in 2018 was based on Parkinson’s assertion that many of the teachers in the Utica Community Schools district have to work second jobs to make ends meet. Parkinson’s comments were made in a Feb. 27 Michigan Radio story.

The average teacher salary at the Macomb County district was $80,840 in 2016-17, which makes that district’s teachers among the highest paid in the state. Parkinson said the recently ratified teachers’ contract would make it hard to recruit teachers.

Parkinson made a similar assertion in a June 6 article on the Michigan Education Association’s website. This time, she said teachers need second jobs to support their families and said she herself drives for Uber and Shipt on the weekends. Parkinson was paid $107,402 in 2016-17. That article was the 10th most popular one on Michigan Capitol Confidential in 2018.

CapCon’s other Top 10 stories included one on police using a legal device to take ownership of property seized from citizens who were never even charged with a crime. Another was about a former city police chief who collected $157,258 in his final year on the job, “retired” with a $91,000-a-year pension and then took a security job with Michigan State University at $93,747 annually.

No. 1

Union Official Says Teachers In Second-Highest Paying District Need Second Jobs

No. 2

No Charge, No Conviction — But 956 People Still Lose Stuff To Cops

No. 3

Another Michigan Community Moving Toward Wind Farm Restrictions

No. 4

Pension Spiking, Early Payouts, Second Careers Make For High-Income Cops

No. 5

Township Hits Brothers With Fine For Removing Trees

No. 6

Money For Roads Doesn’t Go Where It’s Needed The Most

No. 7

Michigan’s Local Wind Farm Opposition May Drive New Developments To Iowa

No. 8

Debate Heated On Ending Police Keeping Seized Property With No Conviction

No. 9.

A Look at Unions in Michigan, Five Years After Right-to-Work

No. 10

$107,400-A-Year Teacher Says Teachers Must Work Second Job To Support Families