Source: Sherman Publications

Counsel sends detachment to commission

by David Fleet

July 25, 2012

A vote on partial detachment of the Village of Goodrich moved one step closer on Wednesday.

Celeste Bell, interim corporation counsel, the attorney who acts on behalf of the Genesee County on civil matters and serves as legal advisor to the Genesee County Board of Commissioners ruled on Tuesday after village resident Patricia Wartella filed on April 12 signed petitions to the Genesee County Clerk for the detachment of certain property within the village to Atlas Township.

“My recommendation was, ‘yes’ the petitions meets the requirement to be on the November election—the deadline is Aug. 20,” she said. “Now the Genesee County Board of Commissioners will decide on the issue on either the first or Aug. 15.”

The minimum number of signatures for a petition filed with regard for the village is 100—based on the population of the village and Atlas Township.

The 12 petition sheets included a total of 64 signatures from registered voters within the village limits. In Atlas Township, 69 valid registered voters signed the petition. Residents of the village, Atlas Township and the proposed detached areas will vote—a simple majority is needed.

“All that’s left is to confirm the parcel descriptions by the county surveyors,” she said. “That’s to make sure the description of the proposed detachments are absolutely accurate.”

Bell examined two requirements— the number of petitions and whether the signatures were correct.

“Once the two requirements are statutorily satisfactory and the statements are correct the board can move forward,” she said.

“It’s the first time I’ve seen this issue come up,” she said. “Detachment does not happen a lot. However, the City of Perry had some property detached recently. Ultimately, the will of the people will rule. It’s a very local issue. The people of the village and township are the final arbitrators.”