Source: Sherman Publications

How to destroy a village and lives

May 09, 2012

Dear Editor,

While reading last week’s article “Detach Goodrich? commission to decide if township; village will vote” I had to check if I was in the entertainment section of the paper or a book review of fiction.

Mainly the individuals who engineered the detachment petitions were either innocent bystanders or victims of circumstance. The same group of residents who have tried over the years to destroy the Village now want to remain arms length away from this latest attempt. Let’s brush away the Smoke and Mirrors and look at reality.

Several years ago this same group of residents failed in their attempt to “Vacate the Village”. Shortly after, the same group was able to gain majority status on the Village Council and promptly removed the Village Attorney of many years and engineered the removal of the Village Administrator (no attempt was made to fill the vacant position). Plante Moran was hired to expedite the demise of the Village. If the Village DPW and Administrative Staff could be eliminated there would be, in affect, no Village. The results of a recall election hindered those plans. Then it was the unauthorized hiring of an investigation company and the unauthorized downloading of the Village server. All that one can conclude is that the taking of confidential information (social security numbers, village bank account numbers and other protected information) was an attempt to discredit the operation of the Village.

Now, we are to believe today that this same group has nothing but the best intentions in their efforts to remove thirty percent of tax revenues from the Village by sponsoring detachment petitions. The fantasy that people were knocking on the door of the initiator of the petitions is just that – fantasy.

Residents of Mill Pointe Shores (were I reside) were approached by a member of this group and asked to sign the petition and donate $100 dollars toward the legal expenses to get the proposal on the ballot. This has been in the works since the fall of 2011. This was an organized effort by this group to accomplish what they were unable to do before which was to destroy the Village.

I wonder if while signing the petition and donating funds the signees were told that there would most likely be fees, special assessments, costs for outside services (snow removal) and legacy costs for the village offices as a result of detachment. These costs will probably be greater than any potential savings from reduced taxes. As to the duplication of services, what services does the township provide. Voting, some tax collection, assessments and other administrative functions.

The Village provides sewers, DPW, snow removal, lighting, garbage pick-up, and other administrative functions. So where is the duplication?

I wonder how many signatures and funds would be gathered if the residents affected by the detachment were told beforehand of these potential increases. As to the signing of the petition by a member of the Village Council, I commend him for his dedication to the democratic process. His signing and his appearance before the Genesee County Board of Commissioners on May 2 to support the petition was patriotic. A week earlier I to took the opportunity to take two minutes to address the board. The difference is that he can afford to be benevolent since he has no dog in the fight. His residents would not be affected by the detachment. On the other hand, I and others in Mill Pointe Shores have to face the reality of the possibility of no sewers, special assessments and less services.

I believe that once the truth is known this effort of detachment will fail as the other attempts have. We now can all wait with great expectation for the next installment of the saga of “How to Destroy a Village and the lives of people who live there”.

Private Citizen,

Richard Saroli