Source: Sherman Publications

News Briefs
Letters to the Editor

July 09, 2014

CNews thanks for serving community

Dear Editor,

On behalf of our nearly 600 members in the Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce, we would like to recognize and thank The Clarkston News for their service promoting local commerce, free enterprise and public service.

For over 80 years our Clarkston News has been the original and enduring hyper local news medium for our community. It has carried the torch of democracy, acted as town crier, celebrated unsung heroes and told stories only Clarkston can share.

As social media and rising costs of printing endanger local newspapers, it is vital that we not lose sight of the importance of a printed weekly newspaper: informing residents, challenging status quo, bringing us the news, names and faces of our community and putting our stories in context of the larger picture that is a home town.

We appreciate that The Clarkston News survives and thrives.

Governor Rick Snyder’s declaration of July as Community Paper Month, reminds all of us not take for granted, one of the cornerstones that keeps the Clarkston area a hometown and not just a place where you live or work—our local community newspaper.

Thank you Clarkston News!

Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, President Kelley LaFontaine, LaFontaine Automotive Group; President Elect Kevin Harrison, KH Home; Treasurer Jackie Kopp, ATD Solutions; Secretary Peg Roth, Washington Management; Paul Brown, Independence Township Treasurer; Donna Bullard, Clarkston Brandon Community Credit Union; Laura Clark-Brown, Successful Equity Management; Katie Bowman Coleman, Bowman Chevrolet; Bryan Cornwall, Advanced PetCare of Oakland; Emily Ford, Morgan & Milzow Real Estate; Fritz Jackson, Ideas for You; Dawn Kesler, Palace Sports & Entertainment; Ryan Laforge, Movement Search; Tyler Milner, Farm Bureau Insurance; Rod Rock, Superintendent Clarkston Community Schools; Johnna Struck, Changing Places Moving; Kevin Tompkins, McLaren

Support for library’s continued existance

Dear Editor,

On Aug. 5, we will have the opportunity to vote “yes” or “no” to the continued existence of our Clarkston Independence District Library.

This is not a question of increased funding for the library. It is a question of whether will have a library.We are at the threshold of the “information age.” I cannot think of anything more self defeating and embarrassing than to close the library.

The library board is making a very modest request. They are requesting each home own to pay approximately $52 per year increase from last year. This is equivalent to a tank of gas and a trip to McDonalds. If the library closes, the average home would depreciate far more than $52.

We will never have the library enjoyed by Rochester, Waterford, or Lake Orion, but to have no library would be an enormous step backwards. Should the library be defeated, Clarkston and Independence might consider changing their name to “Endsville, USA.”

Keep the dream alive by voting to keep the library!

Gerald McNally, district court judge, ret.

Independence Township

Readers want excess city funds returned

Dear Editor,

This letter is in response to the article “City has lots of cash” (June 18), almost $300,000 in its savings account.

During a budget presentation, city Treasurer Sandy Barlass reported the fund balance has been on the rise for the city and is on track to keep rising.

She also said Standard and Poor’s recommends a fund balance between 5-15 percent. Eric Haven, city councilman, remarked “we are three times that high” as the fund balance for the city is at 43 percent.

At that same meeting, Richard Bisio, former city council member, said the fund balance is too high. Bisio suggested city officials cut the millage rate, which is now at 12.81, down by one mill. The council should reduce the general operating millage for 2014-15 so the projected fund balance after five years is 15 percent, recommended by S&P’s.

This would allow a millage reduction in 2014-2015 of 1.8947, resulting in a total operating millage of 10.9577. This would still allow funding of all the projected one-time expenses for the next five fiscal years and leave a fund balance of 15 percent.

Several years ago, the city voted to disband its own police force because the significant increase in the cost of maintaining the police force would have resulted in the city increasing its millage to the highest rate allowable by law.

Mr. Bisio’s recommendation to the city council, quoted in the Clarkston News article dated June 18, 2014, that the above mentioned reduction in the city’s operating millage is a perfect solution to effectively return excess tax dollars to the citizens of our community. Regretfully, a city of a population of 882 cannot afford the services of a larger city or township. We urge the city council to act promptly and responsibly by returning our tax dollars by lowering the tax millage rate.

Lorry Mahler, Stuart Mahler, John Phyle, Jennifer Phyle, Larry Shepanek, Sean Rush, Christopher Rush