A Michigan had to pay back thousands of dollars to the city of Grand Rapids. He paid off everything but did it in a rather unconventional way.
Rob Bliss, a Grand Rapids social event planner, owed more than $11,000 to the city. Instead of coming up with the money on his own, Bliss produced several public service announcements for Grand Rapids.
According to WoodTV, Bliss produced nine PSAs that touched on winter road conditions, roundabout maneuvering, bike lane regulations, development of area parks, a program called Adapt-A-Hydrant, and a few more. Steve Guitar, Grand Rapids spokesman, stated that the city plans on using Bliss’s PSA videos on its cable channel, social media pages, and city website.
“Rob Bliss brought a lot of great attention to the city,” said Ruth Kelly, Second Ward City Commissioner. “Got us some national attention with his video. But he did owe us some money and this way we were able to find a way to get that paid off.”
In the U.S., the average consumer possesses, on average, 3.5 credit cards. Debt is no joke and can seriously affect anyone’s life. Paying these debts off as quickly as possible is the best way to handle these difficult financial situations. Not everyone gets an opportunity to creatively pay back their debt in such a way, but Bliss took advantage of his opportunity.
“I’m hoping I can pay my future property taxes that way,” said Walt Gutowski, First Ward City Commissioner. Gutowski noted that Bliss’s PSAs assisted the city of Grand Rapids in a positive way, but many residents think it’s unfair he got to pay back his outstanding debts in such a creative way.
“I would not object to us doing a special deal with anybody in the city,” said Mayor George Heartwell in a response to Gutowski’s letter about getting the same treatment as Bliss. Heartwell added that the only way the city would help someone with high debt is if they have they had “a particular skill that we needed.”
The nine videos will be periodically released over the next year or two.