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Keiser's Role


Keiser's Role A column by Trevor Keiser


Too much gov't



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September 08, 2010 - On May 23, 1990 there was record turnout of 385 voters. A 71-vote difference transformed Clarkston Village into a city (228 voted "yes" and 157 voted "no").

For the past few weeks, I have read Clarkston News archives from the 1990's. After reading stories and letters to the editor, the two main reasons stated for becoming a city was to "protect" historic homes and downtown from the big, bad developing bully, also known as Independence Township. Secondly, the people wanted to "have a voice."

As was pointed out in "Cory calls for dissolving city" (Aug 25 2010) there are other ways to protect the history of Clarkston without having a seperate government to do it.

As far as "your voice." Millage rates for library, fire department, and now police services are all controlled by the township and township voters, which leaves you with no voice on critical services that are worth something. Not to mention assessing is handled by the Oakland County.

The reason for paying twice as much in taxes is to have your own little government that controls when the grass is cut and the streets are plowed? Doesn't make much sense to me, when every other truck that drives down the road has a plow on the front. Not to forget city residents who have raised their hands at public meetings and stated on the record they would volunteer to mow the grass in Depot Park.

Should the city dissolve? My answer is "yes." When you were a Village you had a greater voice than you do now, because you could actually vote on township services and township officials.

However, I think a further step needs to be taken. Let's get rid of "Independence Township" and become either "Clarkston Township" or one big "City of Clarkston."

My mother graduated from Clarkston High School. If you asked her where she was from she said "Clarkston." She originally lived on Heathe Avenue off Maybee Road, then they moved to Allen Road, both located in "Independence Township, but the answer to the question is still "Clarkston."

Besides, if you say "Independence Township" beyond the neighboring communities no one knows what you're talking about, but Clarkston is the name people know.

This prideful attitude between the "City of the Village of Clarkston" and "Independence Township," is just plain silly.

American Author, philosopher, and theologian Dr. Howard Thurman said "Community cannot for long feed on itself; it can only flourish with the coming of others from beyond, their unknown and undiscovered brothers."

So, stop charging higher taxes for duplicative services and let down the walls that seperate.

Now is your time to not let your community be defined by its name, but by the people who live in it. It's time to be CLARKSTON

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.
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