Source: Sherman Publications

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Birds of a feather

September 28, 2011

BIRDS OF A FEATHER FLOCK TOGETHER"

Dear Editor,

First and foremost I would like to take the time and congratulate Atlas Twp. on the tremendous job of creating $2.9 million in fund equity. Paul Amman (Supervisor from 2000-2008), Tere Onica, Ann Marie Slagle and Barry June deserve a tremendous amount of credit. All of them had the foresight to see the economic down turn of the State of Michigan and did what the residents needed them to do. As the economic downturn was fast approaching Mr. Amman tightened up the belt and took action by eliminating positions and cutting hours, making the tough conservative decisions.

This is in stark contrast to the approach taken by the Village of Goodrich. According to Norman Bass, the Plante and Moran Study failed. Mr. Bass even went as far as to say that the Village of Goodrich handled their General Fund with the utmost integrity stating, " the management forces of the office and past boards have lowered taxes and kept the fund balances in a positive situation." Well, Mr. Bass you are correct by stating that the taxes were lowered, but you seemingly or intentionally forgot to say that the spending was NEVER held in check and NOTHING was ever altered to compensate for the loss of revenue that was being collected.

In my household, if my monthly income decreases it is called a deficit, not a gain. In another statement Mr. Bass went on to say that "our administration has looked out for our fund balance and has adjusted accordingly over the past and has the leadership to be prudent". What planet are you on? Let's not forget that Plante and Moran noted that the Sewer Fund was depleted and to bring it back to 100%, residents were looking at a sewer increase.

Residents need to ask themselves why these Fund Balances are DEPLETED. Where is ALL THIS $$$ going if we are operating efficiently??? It is going towards the wages and benefits for an over-staffed Administrative Office and DPW. The Administration and Council both past and present have done DIDLY SQUAT to alter the spending! Just look at the General Fund Balance today and compare it to 2005. You will find a HUGE difference in the balance.

Plante and Moran has stated that the Village of Goodrich could provide the same services with LESS employees and save the residents $$$$. But, as usual that is NOT what the Mr. Bass, Mr. Horton, Mr. Morey and Mr. Saroli want to hear. Atlas Twp. provides the township and the Village of Goodrich with Police Protection, Fire Protection, Tax Assessments, Elections and fire permits on a 4 day work week along with employees working on a part-time basis. If the township can provide these services to a 36 square mile area, then why in the world do we need a full time Village Manager, full time Administrator Assistant, 3 full time DPW employees, a Deputy Clerk, and a Treasurer for a 1 square mile municipality? The work could be done by consolidating services with the Township, reflecting the savings back to the residents.

Henry Wartella

Village of Goodrich