Source: Sherman Publications

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Goodrich citizens want change

November 24, 2010

Dear Editor,

(In response to, 'New look village council shuffles, shakes amidst resignation,' The Citizen, Nov. 13, page 1):

Thanks for the Nov. 13 article on the "new look" Goodrich Village Council; it was fair and well-written save for the omission of the profanity and heckling by several people. It caused a full five minutes or more disruption at the start of the proceedings. Yelling out F-bombs at council members? Was this a preplanned ambush or what? Bringing this classless behavior and foul language to our public meetings is absolutely unacceptable. I can only hope this isn't the start of a campaign (by those backing the previous council's policies) to discredit the new group. Are we about to be inundated with another serving of B.S. and unsubstantiated accusations as I've just seen in a couple of letters to the editor? I say if you're going to make accusations, bring the proof.

The letter to the editor by Becky Cummings however, was not at all fair. It was filled with name-calling and ludicrous assumptions. And could someone please tell me why a non-resident is even here disrupting our meetings and telling us what's good for us and what's not? By the way, village residents are also residents of and pay taxes to Atlas Township.

Now, let's look at reality. In the last few years, due in part to deficit spending, village cash reserves have shrunk in the area of 50 percent. They have gone from more than $1,300,000 (in 2005 - 2006) to less than $600,000 now. If this trend continues, the funds will be gone sometime around 2013. Should we just let this happen and risk being at the mercy of a state-appointed controller or take whatever actions we can now to try to avoid that? With the state of the economy being as it is, the answer for most of us is obvious.

As witnessed by the huge voter turnout, the election we held on Nov. 2, 2010 was a mandate for change. The voters have decided we need to go in a new direction at this time and have put a coun-cil in place they feel will work toward that goal. This council is expected to work diligently to ensure that our tax money is used effectively and efficiently. They need, at the very least, to look at all options to cut expenses. People have had to tighten their purse strings and make every penny count and they expect their elected officials to do likewise.

The first of the changes was to replace the village attorney, who is on retainer, as soon as is practical, with an attorney who will work for us only as needed. This makes a lot of sense and should save us money. The council also suggested someone (on an interim basis) to replace the code enforcing officer who has resigned; a public posting is required before filling this spot. They also shifted the street commissioner position for the time being from Pete Morey to Doug McAbee. Morey has done a good job in that capacity, but it is a good idea to have more than one person knowledgeable for this post. Also, very importantly, a feasability study was proposed to look at other possible areas for cost savings. These are not huge changes, but it's a fair enough start.

Finally, the five members of the council need to work together and fairly consider each other's ideas. Failing to do so is a disservice to the community. I hope this council will stay the course and be diligent in finding ways to lighten the burden on our taxpayers. For now, everyone needs to just back off and give them a chance to do the work they were elected to do. I wish them well and offer all of them my support in their efforts to make the village more financially sound and viable.

Jerry Kaczperski