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Letter to the editor

City millage vote needed

July 14, 2010 - Dear Editor,

"Hey officer, does your police car have a hemi?" If the officers on Clarkston Police Department could receive a dollar for every time we answered that question, there would be no need for a millage increase!

No, our police car is not equipped with a Hemi V-8 engine. We have a six-cylinder Dodge, purchased used, not new. Why? To save taxpayers in the City of the Village of Clarkston money on the car's initial purchase and its upkeep with the more fuel efficient smaller engine.

Other facts that perhaps village residents are not aware of, we have not received a pay increase in more than three years and we purchase all our own equipment. The only item that the village provides is patches for our uniforms.

The question of the day is the upcoming millage vote on Aug. 3 and what effect that will have on this village we are sworn to protect and service. If citizens vote down the increase planned for police and other essential village programs, what negative impact will result? We know the Oakland County Sheriff's department is in a financial crunch and their services come up for two millage votes in Independence Township, also on Aug. 3. What will happen to police services in the village if both the township and village vote down their proposed new millage?

If the village fails to pass our millage and the township passes their's, what effect will the increased township police millage have on the original price quoted to take over policing the village?

Since the village would be contracting for police protection with the township, not directly with Oakland County Sheriff, how responsive will the sheriff's department be to our needs?

In these uncertain times, with these and other unanswered questions, would it not be more prudent to retain our own police department?

Gary Claudio, Clarkston police officer


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