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The Fuzz

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #45 on: August 04, 2007, 11:56:06 AM »

Low probability of that happening!

Why not push the MEN to launch the investigation, do some reporting that is good be good for the constituients it serves?

Let the public see some of the advantages and open the minds up a little.  Then let the people push for board changes that WILL entertain what is best for the people of the Tri-Councils affected.

Someone with a large audience is going to have to bring the idea to the forefront.....not leave it up to the individual governments due to the reason you state....steppin' on the good ole boy toes!
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sullivan

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #46 on: August 04, 2007, 12:36:04 PM »

I would like to ask the question one more time since there appears to be folks on this string that are in tune with city politics.

Why could there not be a merger of the local governments of Monroe City, Frenchtown, and Monroe township?  Some of the Detroit suburbs are investigating it as it has been done in some areas of the country with success.  The advantages in consolodation appear to me to be quite substantial.

I imagine automony would be an issue, but I can't help but to believe that this would help the community with transparent borders a great deal.

Again....I am new to the area (10 years or so) and do not know the local history.


Your suggestion is a great one to consider but based upon my tenure in the Monroe area of the history of the interaction  of adjoining governmental jurisdictions ( City of Monroe -Frenchtown - Monroe Twp. ) it is a pipe dream to believe it will ever come about.

 Reason : Over the 40 years I have been in the area , I have seen a diminishing power within the City Of Monroe and a growing power of Frenchtown  & Monroe townships.

I could site many instances where there has been a failure of the governments to work together in the past , but the one that sticks out in my memory is when the Frenchtown government deceided they were being over charged for water rates which motivated them to build their own water plant . I will let others decide weather this was a good or bad move for the two governmental bodies and their citizens , but I do recall it created a sense of mistrust and rivalry that results when you have multiple leaderships with differing ideas not to mention egos and agenda.

The City of Monroe has a leadership history of" missed opportunity ". When the city should have annexed their boundaries ( prior to the growth of Frenchtown and Monroe Twp. ) they did nothing.Just within the last few years there was missed opportunity in rezoning the scrap metal yard from heavy industrial to light industrial ( prior to the sale to the current owner )  when it would have gone unopposed instead of the fear by residents on the east end that it will be reopened and disrupt quality of life .

The city leadership also has a history of infringing upon the private sector that can do things more efficiently resulting in the same benefit  / service to the community but wants to use our tax dollars to compete against private enterprise and many times fail due to lack of expertise , accountability and responsibility. I.E . The ice arena ( a private investor was chased off the idea of having an arena which would have paid taxes instead of absorbing taxes because they were competing against an attitude of" deep pocket" government that had nobody to answer to the actual cost ( until now).

The good thing I am hearing from leadership is the words cooperation & collaboration, which until now have been as extinct as the Dodo Bird.Governments in general are having to address shortfalls in funding and in their budgets and there are many ways these can be addressed locally which should be expanded upon. I.E. A sharing of police and fire/rescue  regarding purchase and sharing of costly equipment items , the purchasing power of buying in volume from vendors in a cooperative way ranging in everything from fuel to paper to computers.

The bottom line is that we need leaders that are able to" think outside the box" .

There is a saying that necessity is the mother of invention!!!\

 We need leaders that recognize problems and become "problem solvers" instead of being part of the problem.

I do understand that there will always be some that are disatisfied with whoever we have as mayor or on council, but these leaders are only a very small portion of the recovery process.We need to have "sensitive but strong leaders" in place as department heads that will be accountable themself and REQUIRE that all within their responsibility also be accountable and responsible as public servants.

 I am not implying that we don't have some of those people already in place but if you take the time to read the" Operational Assessment" you will understand fully where our deficiencies are.

We also need to create an environment  within our employees that their opinion relating to how efficiently they can do their job matters ( sort of a team effort ,instead of everyone fend for themself  attitude.) If an employee has a way of saving the city money in a proven method , they should be compensated accordingly.

 I am not anti union --anti employee -- anti growth --anti Anything , other then writing checks you can't cover and not doing the job you are entrusted to do.

One poster alluded to not having a magic wand or" Dorothy heels" to click together to resolve our common dilemma, but that does not give us the excuse of trying to correct the financial sins of our past and work together to make the City of  Monroe a place to live and to be proud of instead of a place to move away from as witnessed by the disproportionate number of real estate signs decorating our landscape.
 J. Pat Mc Elligott            
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munrow

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #47 on: August 04, 2007, 01:27:48 PM »


[/quote]

The city spends 85 cents or better of every dollar for wages and benefits to their employees---this must be changed!!

J. Pat Mc Elligott 
[/quote]

Mr. McElligott, You give the impression that Monroe's personnel costs are grossly out of whack. Don't the budgets of EVERY city go largely to personnel costs? I don't know where you get your 85% figure, but I'm curious if it is disproportionate when compared to other towns.
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The Fuzz

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #48 on: August 04, 2007, 01:32:03 PM »

What is that ratio per dollar in the township and Frenchtown I wonder?  Is it us that's out of whack, or is it everywhere?
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Miss Daisy

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #49 on: August 04, 2007, 01:45:14 PM »

The City of Monroe has a leadership history of" missed opportunity ". When the city should have annexed their boundaries ( prior to the growth of Frenchtown and Monroe Twp. ) they did nothing.

Is something along this line going to be your platform?  You do plan on running for office aren't you?  Maybe things could change if we had either you or someone like you at the wheel.
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sullivan

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #50 on: August 04, 2007, 03:27:56 PM »



The city spends 85 cents or better of every dollar for wages and benefits to their employees---this must be changed!!

J. Pat Mc Elligott 
[/quote]

Mr. McElligott, You give the impression that Monroe's personnel costs are grossly out of whack. Don't the budgets of EVERY city go largely to personnel costs? I don't know where you get your 85% figure, but I'm curious if it is disproportionate when compared to other towns.
[/quote]


For the sake of being boringly repetitive , I implore you one more time to go to the City of Monroe web page and pull up the "Operational Assessment" and read the results from a unbias outside source.Although looking at other towns being a yardsick of measurement , I reside ,pay taxes and conduct business in Monroe , so Monroe is MY CONCERN not other places where I don't have a vested interest. 

It is true that a lot of government funding is spent for salary, wages and benefits but the key is : Are we receiving full value for the dollars we spend in this area that sponge the lion's share of what tax dollars go for??

 I have personal knowledge and experince where I have seen graphic examples of overstaffing and a abuse of employee work time and government vehicles. How many people does it take to run this city and do it without a disruption of citizen services??

 I also remind you of what we in the private sector are experiencing during this transition we all find ourselves. Private sector employees are being laid off or having their hours reduced,salary &  wages and benefits frozen or negotiated with the employee sharing more of the cost burden and demands upon employees to pick up the work load slack and being more efficient. Are we to expect less from the public sector and their employees???

 I am smiling regarding the inquiry of if I plan on throwing my hat into the ring regarding the mayoral race or as a 3rd precinct candidate.

 I believe there is someone more qualified then I regarding technical knowledge of government, who would no doubt be more tactful and diplomatic then I have a tendency to be that I would support IF he decides to run for mayor.

The third precinct definately needs a change of representation and I would need to research what the other candidates approach to problems and their ability to work as a team with the other elected officials before I made a decision regarding that race.

I have no personal ax to grind with anyone currently on council ---but we do need a change in leadership direction and the current council formula is not working .

 I know inquiring minds want to know ( LOL ) but for the record in my opinion 4 of the 7 that sit on the council currently need to step aside. I have never viewed myself as a politician and to be very honest with you, I like so many , was apathetic and uninformed until government starting banging on my door and encroaching on my personal life .

 I also became livid at the lack of interest and arrogant attitude relating to my complaints of the horrible condition of the streets at  my Reisig street property that get nothing but" cold patch" which deepens the pot holes tearing up the road more.

It was at that point of inquiring that I was told that for decades our infrastructure which includes the streets and the decaying water pipes we don't see on a daily basis were put on hold in replacing or repairing adequately because personel cost ( salary / wages and benefits ) had left the capital improvements portion of our budget without proper funds to serve the citizens.

I remembered the old saying "The squeaky wheel is the one that gets greased" and have showed up for more council meetings in the last few years rivaling many on the current council in attendance.

I do believe I have a mature voice of experience, reason and cooperation to lend to whatever I choose to do regardless of if that capacity falls being the "activist clarion voice" of communicating problems and solutions as a citizen or as an elected official.

For the record , there is at least one person I feel is better qualified to be mayor then I and we shall see what the future holds.

My major concern for the future  is in a personal vein relating to my son ( Sullivan )  and everything else after that takes a second seat.

 I do appreciate people communicating their opinions , viewpoints and solutions---STAY INVOLVED and INFORMED seeking Honesty and Open Communication from ALL of our public officials at every level of government.
 J. Pat Mc Elligott       
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munrow

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #51 on: August 04, 2007, 06:36:56 PM »


[/quote]

For the sake of being boringly repetitive , I implore you one more time to go to the City of Monroe web page and pull up the "Operational Assessment" and read the results from a unbias outside source.Although looking at other towns being a yardsick of measurement , I reside ,pay taxes and conduct business in Monroe , so Monroe is MY CONCERN not other places where I don't have a vested interest. 


 J. Pat Mc Elligott       
[/quote]


Mr, McElligott, I have read the operational assessment. I cannot find where it states the city spends "85 cents or better of every dollar for employee wages and benefits". Again, where did you obtain that figure?

I cannot find where it states city employees are "padding their salary, wages and benefits". I believe such a claim merits explanation. Do you mean outright theft? Embezzlement?

I cannot find where it states "city employees receive above average and more in the way of salary, wages and benefits". Above average and more compared to what?

I cannot find where it states most city employees "have elected to live outside the city and are not helping to fund their positions".  Do you really know the home addresses of most city employees?

The quotes above are from your posts on this topic. They do not appear to be verified by the operational assessment. I respectfully ask that you cite your sources for these statements.

And lastly, while I understand other towns are not your concern, the operational assessment DOES uses other cities to measure and compare the services and staffing levels of Monroe.
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Hogwild

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #52 on: August 04, 2007, 09:40:21 PM »

Enough actual figures for the morning. My grass needs tending to.

This is the stuff I am talking about, right down to brass tacks.  Help me out here, where did you get the information?  I mentioned in a previous post the financial reports aren't available at the city website, or at least I could not find them.  If you did find them could you provide a link so that the rest of us can enjoy some real non fiction for a change.  If nothing else did you get the information from a budget or was it from the financial reports and which years were they obtained from?

Good job with the presentation, score one for bullcan!
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The Fuzz

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #53 on: August 05, 2007, 10:26:21 AM »

I still say the MEN should step up to the table and open the eyes of the voting constituents of the immediate Monroe area and do a simple investigative artical or two on the benifits the taxpayers could see with a merger of the city with its two bordering governments.

The current city leadership does not have the comprhensive ability to bring about changes for the good of the taxpayer.  Prime example.....how many more meetings will go by without a council report on the status of the study to reorganize to take advantage of the cost saves proposed?

Too many good ole boy folks would be impacted and my guess is that the study will intentionally slide without actions hoping that the taxpayers forget about it!
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Tonya

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #54 on: August 05, 2007, 11:36:26 AM »

Quote
Too many good ole boy folks would be impacted and my guess is that the study will intentionally slide without actions hoping that the taxpayers forget about it!

God! I hope not! We spent to much money to have this study done. We spend too much on studies in general to have them go on the city's website. They never see the light of day again.

The issues the city is facing isn't because of one administration. It is a collective grouping of all past administrations and to think it will get better with the in coming council is a joke.

The study does point out that decisions have to be made. For a city of Monroe's size, our tax base doesn't support the services we receive. We pay, pay, pay to get nothing. Those who live in the city do so by choice, at least most do and we want activities and services that show we pay our taxes.

We want businesses that will not only bring in people from the surrounding area, but will support the City of Monroe as a whole and not just three streets. We want neighborhoods that have decent, affordable housing instead of an okay house with large tax bills.

Were is our money going? We are willing to come downtown and support our local businesses, but when there are just a handful of business to support and Monroe shuts down at 5:00pm, how is that helping us?

We have hundreds of homes going into foreclosure. Hundreds of homes sitting empty because the housing market got away from us several years ago and now we can't recoup our money. That leaves residents with no choice but to sit on a home, they can't afford because they are losing their jobs.

It use to be you could buy a home in Monroe and instantly have equity the day you moved in. Now you can't give them away. That is slowly changing but we have lost sight on why we live in the City.

We have city jobs that seem to get created. We city employees who are pulling in some cash because it's not what you are qualified for, it's who you know. It's who likes you. if your not liked, well kiss your job good-bye. So we end up with an excessive staffing levels.

We want to create law after law. We want to award bids because, well if we don't do this, we'll lose this opportunity. Fear. I see this government run on fear and not what we residents want.

I want the City of Monroe to be represented better. I want the City to have the same goals and objectives as other communities. Monroe could be (example) Sylvania. The City of Sylvania is amazing. The housing market is strong, the businesses are booming and everyone wants to live there. They have great schools, nice neighborhoods and affordable housing. They also have an amazing splash park.

What we have, ehhh, not so much. The one thing Monroe has that most communities don't is history. We have a hidden gem and we continually push everyone out into the townships. No wonder we have to look at closing schools.

If merging with the townships is what we have to do, then so be it. I think though we should try to save ourselves first.

Our government is just that ours. I say we take it back and let the people tell Council we they want.

Many residents have great ideas. We need to listen.
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The Fuzz

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #55 on: August 05, 2007, 11:46:58 AM »

Curious.....do you think we have a capable city administration and council to "save ourselves (the city of Monroe) first"........not from what I see in observing the comprehension and communication skills of what the city has elected!

I still maintain that the MEN should step up to the plate and do a series of articals on the advantages and disadvantages of a merger between the two townships and the city so that the PEOPLE can push the current governments into at least a conversation.

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sullivan

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #56 on: August 05, 2007, 12:57:22 PM »



For the sake of being boringly repetitive , I implore you one more time to go to the City of Monroe web page and pull up the "Operational Assessment" and read the results from a unbias outside source.Although looking at other towns being a yardsick of measurement , I reside ,pay taxes and conduct business in Monroe , so Monroe is MY CONCERN not other places where I don't have a vested interest. 


 J. Pat Mc Elligott       
[/quote]


Mr, McElligott, I have read the operational assessment. I cannot find where it states the city spends "85 cents or better of every dollar for employee wages and benefits". Again, where did you obtain that figure?

I cannot find where it states city employees are "padding their salary, wages and benefits". I believe such a claim merits explanation. Do you mean outright theft? Embezzlement?

I cannot find where it states "city employees receive above average and more in the way of salary, wages and benefits". Above average and more compared to what?

I cannot find where it states most city employees "have elected to live outside the city and are not helping to fund their positions".  Do you really know the home addresses of most city employees?

The quotes above are from your posts on this topic. They do not appear to be verified by the operational assessment. I respectfully ask that you cite your sources for these statements.

And lastly, while I understand other towns are not your concern, the operational assessment DOES uses other cities to measure and compare the services and staffing levels of Monroe.
[/quote]



Thank You for taking the time to research the" Operational Assessment" , and you are correct that some of the things that I have personal knowledge of are not "spelled out" in the report and you have to be able to know the sources of obtaining information and the proper procedure in order to do so.

 I believe you are drastically " expanding" on some of the things you  "think" I mentioned ,specifically in the area of embezzelment / theft . I never stated that anyone was embezzling money although I do know of (1) one case a few  years ago that will remain buried where $1000. was reimbursed back to the city coffers by the person that "borrrowed" it. I know that is a nice juicy gossip item that some would like for me to expand upon ,but I won't because I believe that our city employees for the most part are as honest and hard working as any of us try to be and to shroud suspicion &  blanket the rest of the employees because of one ( 1 ) dishonest and unethical employee is not fair or accurate.

I tend to be very conservative in my attitude toward such things as the use of city equipment and the high price of the fuel to run that equipment especially if  utilized for personal use, but if you are asking if I specifically know someone that abuses this right now --I do not. I have expressed my concerns to prior city managers and department heads regarding matters of this sort in the past that were happening and to my knowledge they were corrected .

 I also am very conservative relating to work ethic and feel that an employee should be very conscious of giving an" honest days work for an honest days pay". Since I became actively aware of how our city is run , I see many times when the operation of the city and the efficiency of the city has been compromised which was spelled out in the report ( I.E. read again the portions that relate to the Recreation Dept. and the City Attorney's position) which are (2) two glaring areas of where we need improvement.

There is more things that are good about our city and their employees then there is bad , but that is not the point I am trying to address nor will it accomplish the financial dilemma ALL of us face if the things we know we Must Do are delayed.We can't change the past , but we can attempt to learn from the mistakes of the past and have a better future as a city and community TOGETHER.

I don't have concrete figures that I can site other then to tell you that I know a lot of the city employees and if I had to guess from my personal knowledge , I would say 75% or more of them DO NOT reside within nor pay property taxes that fund their positions. Where you elect to live is a personal choice and I respect that right.How my tax money is distributed is my concern  and I am less sensitive to hearing the voice of dissent ---unless you are also sharing in paying the bills the City of Monroe incur.

For the record : I requested the address information you refered to regarding our employees and was told that it would have to be done under the F.O.I.A. ( Freedom of Information Act ) but the specifics regarding the employees address was confidential information--which I respect."I know what I know " and if I thought I was anywhere close to being wrong on my demographic estimate of where the majority of our city employees reside , I would recant my statement. Someone with that information knows I am right and if not--let them prove otherwise.

At the city council meetings ,which are televised by MPACT, when someone wishes to address the council they state their name and address, so IF there are a number of city employee / residents that wish to express their concerns--I would be interested in hearing what they have to say.

I believe there is another meeting to address the Operational Assessment on August 13th and I would encourage you to attend if you wish to research answers with me and others as to how best to put the City of Monroe on a stable path of financial health.Thanks again for being concerned about OUR city's future.
J. Pat Mc Elligott            
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munrow

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #57 on: August 05, 2007, 01:04:53 PM »

Despite the earlier statements that have been posted on this topic, I'm just not convinced Monroe's financial problems are the fault of its employees. We're losing tax base and I see no consistent strategy to reverse it.

Many people moan that downtown is underutilized and basically a haven for Monroe County Mental Health clients, indigents and court ordered Alcoholic/Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Many people will also acknowledge that a few landlords own a huge amount of rental housing stock in this city and have allowed those houses to be run into the ground.

These problems can be overcome, cities like Wyandotte have proven it. Change the business practices and you'll change perceptions. Change perceptions and people will come.

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sullivan

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #58 on: August 05, 2007, 01:44:43 PM »

Despite the earlier statements that have been posted on this topic, I'm just not convinced Monroe's financial problems are the fault of its employees. We're losing tax base and I see no consistent strategy to reverse it.

Many people moan that downtown is underutilized and basically a haven for Monroe County Mental Health clients, indigents and court ordered Alcoholic/Narcotics Anonymous meetings. Many people will also acknowledge that a few landlords own a huge amount of rental housing stock in this city and have allowed those houses to be run into the ground.

These problems can be overcome, cities like Wyandotte have proven it. Change the business practices and you'll change perceptions. Change perceptions and people will come.



Thanks Again for your comments and I agree with your observation of the blight issues in our city.

 The problems with blight are not confined to a few" slum lords" or people that choose to let their property deteriorate  which affects all of our properties.

You mentioned the city of Wyandotte and I agree that their downtown and their residential housing stock is in better physical condition and more appealing then ours, but that is a result of aggressive action to ADDRESS the problem.

At a prior city council meeting on two ( 2 ) seperate occasions I addressed this very issue with the solution to be to look into a City Certification Program which the city of Wyandotte and much of the Downriver area subscribe .

The result of the program is that everytime a property exchanges hands or ownership, a inspection of the property is done which spells out areas of physical concern that have to be addressed and remedied within the purchase agreement .The cost of repair or remedy is negotiated between the seller and the buyer but there has to be a method and time line adhered to before the sale can be consumated .

Over a period of years you will see property being remodeled / renovated and coming up to building code and safety standards instead of being passed on from one owner to the next without these vital preventive measures being consistently ignored and defered.

 I also mentioned some 3 dimensional artwork that could adorn specifically the terrible view of the back of commercial buildings that line the river / bridge area ( which is highly visable to all that go through Monroe ) this may be accomplished or assisted by local grants or creative thinking.

The result of my suggestions are that like many of the citizens concerns and ideas in the past---they fall upon deaf ears of present and prior leadership and departmental staff that give you the impression they don't want your input . You've heard the term" Goes in one ear and out the other" !!!!  J. Pat Mc Elligott     
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The Fuzz

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Re: Monroe Mayoral Race
« Reply #59 on: August 05, 2007, 02:01:27 PM »

The result of my suggestions are that like many of the citizens concerns and ideas in the past---they fall upon deaf ears of present and prior leadership and departmental staff that give you the impression they don't want your input . You've heard the term" Goes in one ear and out the other" !!!!  J. Pat Mc Elligott    

Pat.....those aren't deaf ears!  They are the ears of just a tad bit of cronyism, a few with lack of ability to comphrend or express a complete thought, a few that took some major knocks to the head from his younger days, and one or two who possibly can.

It's apparant to me that the citizens of each precinct for the most part can not get open-minded candidates with a tad bit of business and government savy to run for council and mayor.  You can't tell me that when you address that council that we have our best representing the city government to move this city forward through the tough times ahead.

That's one reason why I support the investigation of a consolidation/merger of the surrounding township governments.......because the current voting government can't get what we deserve as taxpayers!
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