Source: Sherman Publications

The best interest of taxpayers?

December 28, 2011

(In response to: ‘Township dumps rec plan offer,’ The Citizen, Dec. 24, page 4)

Dear Editor,

I was very disturbed by the Atlas Township Board of Trustees decision to not consider the Village of Goodrich/ Atlas Township Parks and Recreation Plan Proposal. The township supervisor requested to table the proposal until the January meeting so the township attorney could advise the board on its effect upon the township. One trustee made a motion to crush the proposal without the input by the township attorney. This motion passed 4 to 1.

I feel that it is very irresponsible that the four members voted to crush this proposal without input from the township attorney. This proposal would have allowed the township to go after much needed grant monies to benefit parks and recreation activities. I feel like the four members voting to crush this proposal did so because they do not wish to work with the village, regardless of the benefit to township residents. When a person is elected to the board of trustees they should be making decisions that are in the best interest of the taxpayers. After attending the meeting I feel that the four trustees have no desire to work with the village. I feel that the decision making of these four council members with this attitude is not in the best interest of the township or the village.

Joining forces with the Village of Goodrich that has already developed a recreation plan would save the township at least $6,000, rather than developing a plan of their own. If a government body has a recreation plan it has the ability to receive grants with no cost to the community to improve parks and recreation activities. This year both communities could received $5,000 grants and the thought was to improve the Village Park. Understand, this park is used for both the village and the township use. By joining forces in the plan the township would be able to apply for grants to extent the sidewalk/bike trail from the village limits past the school which would be safer for our schoolchildren and add additional walkways for all of our citizens. These funds are available to all communities and if we do not apply for these funds, other communities that do apply are eligible to take advantage of these grants.

I feel that this proposal should have been tabled to allow the township attorney to give his recommendation, instead of just crushing the proposal. The village residents also pay township taxes and I feel the current mindset of a few on the township trustees needs to be more open-minded. This proposal could have been very beneficial to our community and I’m not sure why the township has decided it would not be beneficial to join the village’s parks and recreation plan. In the past the village and the township have not worked closely together. No one on the current township board is a village resident. Maybe it’s time to get some village representation on the board, because the four members voting against this proposal apparently don’t want to work with the village, regardless of the benefit to the township.

Norm Bass