2008-08-21 / Letters to the Editor

Should explore combining townships to save money

On my way out of town on Aug. 5, I began constructing a letter to the editor of your paper, regarding combining Townships in the best interest of the citizens of this area. I came home to find a letter by Anthony J. Waluk in the August 7th edition of the Resorter.

Several friends were discussing this very issue in the previous week. These are the thoughts we discussed: In these tough economic times, we don't believe any of the townships are abounding in cash flow. It seems it would be advantageous to all concerned to combine Denton, Gerrish, Backus, Nester, Lake, Lyon, Markey, AuSable, Higgins, Richfield and Roscommon for a total population of 25,469 per the census, to one entity. Of course this would eliminate some positions and many may balk at this at first. How many staff members are there among the various townships? The overall responsibility of those serving in a government position or serving on a Board is to represent the people looking out for the interest of the public, as well as to provide the best services as economically as possible.

To combine townships would reduce the monies spent by all the townships. Many costs could be eliminated to include salaries, fringe benefits, pensions and the like. The responsibilities would be handled by fewer people overall, and since those people would have greater responsibilities those salaries would have to be increased to some degree. Wouldn't the overall amount saved help our communities, which combined are not that high in population? With the economy as it is, it is possible the townships would also reduce the Assessment, Taxable Valuation, and Property Classification, which would reduce our property taxes. Homes are not selling, so this would be what should be done, as it is in other areas.

Think about the costs over and above staffing cost. How about building expenses to include utilities, maintenance, board representatives and insurance in all these areas. Units of government should all be working together in the best interest of the community.

Of course, health and safety issues would have to be continued such as fire halls and police departments. With a concerted effort this could work, it has been done in other areas. I know for one that Farmington, MI and Farmington Hills, MI combined for much the same reasons. It is believed that this should be explored to provide the best for our communities. We agree with Anthony J. Waluk. s/Eugene & Marilyn Jarvi s/Ronald & Rose Strawcutter Denton Township

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