2010-07-01 / Letters to the Editor

CTC not giving up on ballot issue

The Citizens for Township Consolidation have been looking at the issue of consolidation for the past two years. Had the county commissioners done their job over the winter we would be voting on it this fall.

We held numerous, well attended, public meetings, which were also attended by township officials and county commissioners. We showed at those meetings the millions of dollars that are being spent/wasted in our county supporting the township form of government.

We published an explicit booklet, free of charge, showing the large budgets of our township governments. We also launched a web site explaining the waste and expense of township government.

CTC didn’t make up these figures. They aren’t lies. Our members are mostly retirees; none are interested in seeking public office.

One of our main arguments is that if we are so wrong why are there only 20 of the 50 states in the U.S. still using the township form of government? The State of Indiana was the most recent to reduce its township responsibilities to practically nothing

Another point is, there are only 13,000 people in the four townships around Houghton Lake. Can you imagine a city that small being run by four governments?

Our county used to have township schools and road commissions in the early part of the 20th century. They were too expensive and inadequate and thus eliminated.

Can you imagine what a fiasco it would be if we had 44 schools in the county? Just multiply 4 schools times the 11 township governments = 44 school buildings to maintain. Imagine 11 road commissions in the county instead of one.

Those are the possible numbers we would have today had someone 100 years ago not started eliminating township responsibility and control.

So thanks to all the people who signed the petitions to get the Consolidation of Townships on the ballot. But do not give up on us yet.

The county may have won this battle but we are not going to give up yet. I just want everyone to know that we were only following what we were directed by the county clerk.

We have turned in the signed petitions anyway and we will wait to see what the county finds wrong this time. Hopefully we will be told the correct path to follow so we can get this on the voter’s ballot in the future.

Dave Emmons President Citizens for Township Consolidation Houghton Lake

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