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Detachment flops, supporter vows to continue battle

November 07, 2012 - By David Fleet


Goodrich-The detachment will have to wait.

Nearly eight out of every ten voters that cast ballots on Tuesday said no way to a detachment proposal that spawned debate, speculations and heated meetings since it was first introduced last summer.

But in the end the proposal failed with 967 yes votes to 3,275 no—a total of 77 percent of the 4,242 votes cast to dump the detachment in the Nov. 6 general election.

Township and village residents voted on the detachment of 87 parcels of property within the village to be added to Atlas Township. The areas included properties on Shuman Drive and in Mill Pointe Shores and Fairview Hills subdivisions. The Genesee County Board of Commissioners unanimously voted to put the partial detachment of the village to the township on the ballot. Residents of Goodrich, the township, and the proposed detached areas voted—a simple majority was needed.

Atlas Township Clerk Tere Onica said not all of the registered voters in the detached areas cast ballots.

"Of the 103 registered voters in the detached area 90 cast ballots," she said. "I expected a 100 percent turnout in that area."

Village resident Patricia Wartella, who spearheaded the detachment with a petition drive last summer, said it's not over.

"It's unfortunate the people who voted were swayed, with lies by Norm Bass and from others," said Wartella. "He persuaded the township to go against the detachment. The truth is, there would have been no exchange of money between the township and the village. Those opposed to the detachment stated that trailer parks and overcrowded schools were going to come into the community—every dirty piece of propaganda they could dig up was used—it's unfortunate. The truth is we were coming with assets and money for the village roads."

"The last piece was the taxes were going to be raised for the township residents—it's a lie."

"The group to stop the detachment had money behind them, when the Atlas Township supervisor openly supports no detachment, what do you think people in the township are going to do? This is ridiculous—however, it's not going to stop us. The detachment was an educational piece, let them launder the lies now—next time there will be a bigger piece of the pie. We are very patient, but we'll be back."

"The village council has a divided community that's the biggest reason why there's a detachment. Residents do not receive what they pay in taxes. Trust me, it's not the end."

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