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Letter to the editor

Times up for township perk

November 25, 2009 - Dear editor,

The township board will inevitably start laying off employees next year. It's the sign of the times. Tighten our belts and cut back to the minimum and try to ride this recession out.

In a time where people who have given so much to the community and must now be let go due to lack of revenue, there are still people reaping the rewards of the boom of years past.

I have brought this topic up many times to board members. Others have tried to get this wasteful spending to stop but have always been ignored. This little secret has been kept for decades.

For 20-plus years the township has provided free housing for the director of parks and recreation.

Originally as compensation of being park ranger and gate keeper, those duties have long been designated to hourly employees often on overtime to open and close the gates at Clintonwood Park.

We pay a four-hour minimum for someone to come in and unlock and lock the gate a day. The salary of the parks director is the same as other directors, yet taxpayers provide quite a healthy bonus to the director whose department has been over budget every year for as long as I have been involved in the community.

For 20-some years taxpayers have provided free housing, lawn service, free utilities, no property taxes, a heated swimming pool and last year another interior restoration of the township's home on Clarkston Road.

A benefit to the parks director all paid for by tax payer money.

Now I ask, how is it that people could lose their jobs and possibly their homes in these future cut backs yet the board can still justify providing housing for favored employees?

I had asked the board last year about spending money to stabilize the historical structure the township owns and they said there was no money.

Yet we keep spending money on a house which serves absolutely no purpose to the residents who pay the taxes in the township. It sickens me that all the current and past board members have let this go on for decades.

I hope every time they drive by the house they think of the people they put out of work. It would be nice if this new board did at least one good thing this year for the people they represent.

Sam Moraco

Independence Township

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