March 27, 2013 - Fifteen people made their way to Addison Township Hall Saturday morning to listen to Supervisor Bruce Pearson's second "State of the Township" address.
"It's hard to believe four years have gone by and we've accomplished so much, Pearson said. "I wish we had more hours in the day to accomplish more."
Pearson talked about the diversity of Addison township including everything from horses, farming, recreation, natural beauty areas, to lakes and the history that makes Addison Township special.
"This all represents our past and we're very proud of. It is something we should embrace and continue on. I hope that we have set the stage to let people know we have history in this town," he said. We have the oldest commercial building in all of Oakland County, which is the cemetery auxiliary and we also have the oldest one room school house, which is the Arnold School."
Before moving on he asked that people remember the hard work of former township Treasurer Dan Alberty and Jim Wooley who both passed away.
"I hope that we can continue on with their passion for the betterment of this township," Pearson added. "They were two very good friends of mine and they are very much missed."
One of the township priorities since Pearson took office has been the roads of the township.
"This affects everyone on a daily basis," Pearson said. "As you know we have about 42 miles of gravel roads and we've completed almost 38 miles of that in the last three years. This year we have another program to continue with our roads."
He also noted that Rochester Road is set to be repaved starting in June at the north end and working towards the south.
"There will be a pedestrian shoulder so you can go from Lakeville up to Leonard," he added.
Pearson also gave thanks to the township board for "cutting spending to increase the rainy day fund," as he read from the auditor's report shows a fund balance increase of $235,829 at the end of the current fiscal year, which ends on March 31.
"We are offering services at a reduced price and we don't have to go back to the citizens," he said. "That's unheard of around this area, everyone is asking for more millages."
While on the subject of money, Pearson also set the record straight concerning his salary and healthcare amounts, after being alleged at the March 18 budget public hearing that his salary was increased by a tremendous amount. Pearson read from both the 2008 and 2013 budgets stating his salary was the same amount of $33,102 a year. His health insurance for 2008 was $18,000 per year and for 2013 is $15,850 per year.
"Just so everyone knows the elected officials salaries have remained the same. There has been no increase since 2006," he said. "In this day and age when people make allegations there is no reason they shouldn't check the facts before making those allegations because the facts are on the computer and readily available and needs to be looked at first."
One of the greatest assets in the community besides the natural beauty, said Pearson, is the volunteers, giving thanks to both the Friends of Library and the library board who he said "brought the community together."
"They have added a hub of activity to this community," he said. "That library is used all the time. You can go in there at any given time and see people using the computers."
He thanked the volunteers who help with "Christmas in Action," and give both money and time to help the elderly around their homes.
"We charge nothing to fix up our senior's homes," noted Pearson.
With the help of Eagle Scouts, Pearson said they've added another parking lot on Haven Road for Watershed Park.
"The parks continue to improve, that's self evident from amount of people and the vehicles in the park," he said. "All you have to do is drive by our watershed park and you'll see there are people in there. That's what it's for – to experience nature."
Pearson also mentioned the trailways being installed around Romeo Road that will go all the way through Addison Oaks Park and drop down into Oakland Township.
"These things don't happen over night, they happen year, by year, by year," he said. "When we look back four years we are making tremendous improvements. Everything takes time, but you can see changes."
Finally, Pearson thanked everyone who voted to keep him in office a second term and said he is "encouraged from the good response" from citizens who appreciate the work and time that not only he, but all the elected officials have put in.
"Thank you and let's keep up the lines of communication," he said. "I truly believe it's an honor to serve my neighbors of Addison Township (and) I am very humbled by your trust."
Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.