Source: Sherman Publications

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Guest viewpoint: Mike Trout
Trout offers parting ideas for township

June 22, 2011

I want to express my sincere appreciation to the residents of Springfield for the privilege of serving as your supervisor for the last two-and-a-half years.

While leaving is always bittersweet, I am excited about both my new responsibilities and the prospects for the future of the township.

Having served during the worst economic times in modern history it has been a challenge to continue delivering quality services at a high level and still remain fiscally sound in the process.

This is being done by a committed and dedicated workforce in the departments I have been responsible for, all of whom I owe my deepest thanks and gratitude.

From the standpoint of accomplishments, the continued balanced budget is a credit to all of us, given that property values have declined over 30 percent and our state shared revenue has also been reduced.

I am proud of the fact that we have been able to make improvements in technology with new equipment making us more efficient. Upgrade of the Dixie/Davisburg intersection planned for later this year and being funded two thirds by the county and one third by the township, will add left turn signaling and state of the art controls including crosswalks which will enhance safety for pedestrians and drivers.

This intersection can be the focal point of Springfield and with our vision and plan for a sidewalk linking downtown Davisburg with downtown Clarkston (the Davisburg Trail) traversing this intersection, the residents will benefit from having a walkable/bikeable community.

I believe the purchase of the "old lumberyard" property in downtown Davisburg was a significant action that will allow the eventual relocation of fire station #1 and other improvements to enhance the entire downtown area.

I am disappointed the Davisburg business owners declined to participate in a proposed sewer project that would have allowed for a restaurant and improved the value of their property, even more so given the fact that over two-thirds of the project would have been paid for by various grants.

Our building services recently moved back into the township hall, which now fully utilizes the space in this building and improves the level of service offered in one location.

I still believe the Sheriff sub-station should be relocated to fire station #2 on Dixie at Rattalee Lake Road from its location at Columbiere, which was the intention when the station was remodeled.

This visible presence and co-location with the fire department would be a significant improvement for the men and women who serve us.

My hope is that the township board will still consider this a priority in the future. I am grateful to the people who sit on our various boards and commissions (planning, zoning, board of review) whose dedication, professionalism and competence working on our behalf is making a positive impact on the future of our township.

While there is always work to be done, I am confident the future is bright and am grateful to have had the opportunity to try and make a difference.

The challenge will always be resources. We will continue to be faced with having to make choices for competing needs. Things like police and fire are essential and should (and I believe will) be fully supported.

The officers and firefighters are highly trained and we can all rest assured that they are there for us when we need them. Our philosophy to support businesses and uphold high standards for preserving the environment add significant value to our quality of life.

This takes cooperation and a commitment by our residents to be involved and engaged in the issues. This is our collective responsibility.

It has been an incredible experience and I am honored to have been given the chance to serve the community in this capacity. The people I have met in the process have given me the greatest source of enjoyment. To those who have supported my efforts, thank you.