Observer 9/13/2013 : Page 1

Ethics Complaint Filed Against Saugatuck Zoning Administrator Over Controversial Awning Issue Page 3 Local Harbor Authority Officials Spar With RJ Peterson’s Chamber Fundraising Efforts Page 3 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING September 13, 2013 Vol. 11 No. 37 FREE SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN Vote “Yes” On Consolidation To Ensure A Brighter Future For All Dear Fellow Citizens, Two months from today, Saugatuck Douglas voters will make this community’s most momentous decision since Michigan’s governmen-tal boundaries were drawn in 1835. We will choose to either accept the new reality in which we are living and adapt, or to not adapt and preserve the status quo. On November 5, we will choose to create one government that costs taxpayers at least $500,000 less to operate each year, generating sav-ings of $5 million over 10 years. These savings will enable our citizen-ry with one city government to create a future that embraces the new reali-ties of the 21st century, while preserv-ing each community’s unique and special character. Or, we will choose to pre-serve the status quo where today’s reality is: • two duplicative, redundant city governments governing 2,200 residents over 3.5 square miles, when the average local unit of government in the U.S. governs 7,700 people over 93.5 square miles; • the Kalamazoo Harbor, the backbone of our community’s eco-nomic life, is not navigable, and there is no comprehensive plan or money to fix it and other infrastructure needs; • no plan to counter the loss of the community’s largest private employer or to help an increasingly challenged tourism industry; • a reliable internet and broadband service is not available; • a weak, sometimes divided voice to private and public compa-nies, and to county, state and federal governments, all of whom affect our To Our Observer Readers One of the most important decisions that Saugatuck and Douglas residents will make comes on November 5th at the voting booth: whether or not to consolidate the two local cities. The past several months have seen an onslaught of reports, letters to the editor, pur-ported truths and, yes, outright lies by many community members lined up on either side of this issue. In an effort to bring our lives; • no vision and no plan for competing for new people and employers who will live and invest here, and for more tourists who drive our economy; and, • no money to address these critical community issues, which means taxes will go up and services will go away … this is today’s reality. Charles Darwin wrote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, or the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” For the last three and one-half years, the Consolidated Government Committee has studied consolidation, which was first recom-mended in 1989 by the Tri-Community Plan. There are now five separate, professional studies from impartial local government specialists on how best to organize a city govern-ment for this one community. After all that inquiry, one discerning readers the facts about consolidation directly from the two official groups battling for your votes, the Observer will be opening up our front page to leaders of the two opposing camps so they may address the cities’ residents through direct, open communication. Then you be the judge in determining what is fact and fiction. The Observer offer is simple: only officials of the pro-consolidation Consolidated Government Committee (CGC) conclusion is inescapable: we are bet-ter together. Consolidating into one government and saving a minimum of $500,000 every year will give us the means, the tools, and the drive to finally address what is threatening our future. Whether it is… and the anti-consolidation Citizens for Independent and Cooperative Communities (CICC) may submit two respons-es each limited to 650 words. The Observer will alternately run the first two responses. The first response from each organization will appear on the front page. The final response from each will appear inside the newspaper on Sept. 27. There is no cost to either group for this submission. This week: CGC shares its position on onsolidation. * addressing the job losses caused by the closure of the Haworth plant, the loss of the Waterfront Film Festival, and other economic chal-lenges, we are better together … * rescuing the long-neglect-ed and silt-filled harbor whose condi-tion threatens the cornerstone of our economy, we are better together … * Making the aging Saugatuck Douglas community financially attractive to younger cou-ples and families, we are better together … * Harnessing the energy needed to compete in a rapidly evolv-ing global economy that is passing us by for South Haven, Holland and other nearby resort communities, we are better together … * Limiting the unnecessary tax burden on residents and shop-keepers, we are definitely better together … or * Speaking with one voice to the outside world wherever we need to make our case, we are better together. In the next 60 days, the CGC will share what we’ve learned and strongly advocate the facts. We will not disparage those who disagree, but we will not hesitate to correct misstatements. We will take this campaign to whoever will listen because our future requires it. We can create a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. We can do so only as one city with one government, proud of our distinct neighborhoods, but one community moving in one direc-tion. Voting “yes” is the right choice to claim a brighter future that embraces the new reality while pre-serving our treasured past. The Consolidated Committee Government Bobbie Gaunt, Co-Chair Max Matteson, Co-Chair Saugatuck Douglas

Vote “Yes” On Consolidation To Ensure A Brighter Future For All

Dear Fellow Citizens, Two months from today, Saugatuck Douglas voters will make this community’s most momentous decision since Michigan’s governmental boundaries were drawn in 1835.We will choose to either accept the new reality in which we are living and adapt, or to not adapt and preserve the status quo.<br /> <br /> On November 5, we will choose to create one government that costs taxpayers at least $500,000 less to operate each year, generating savings of $5 million over 10 years.These savings will enable our citizenry with one city government to create a future that embraces the new realities of the 21st century, while preserving each community’s unique and special character.<br /> <br /> Or, we will choose to preserve the status quo where today’s reality is:<br /> <br /> • two duplicative, redundant city governments governing 2,200 residents over 3.5 square miles, when the average local unit of government in the U.S. governs 7,700 people over 93. 5 square miles;<br /> <br /> • the Kalamazoo Harbor, the backbone of our community’s economic life, is not navigable, and there is no comprehensive plan or money to fix it and other infrastructure needs;<br /> <br /> • no plan to counter the loss of the community’s largest private employer or to help an increasingly challenged tourism industry;<br /> <br /> • a reliable internet and broadband service is not available;<br /> <br /> • a weak, sometimes divided voice to private and public companies, and to county, state and federal governments, all of whom affect our lives;<br /> <br /> • no vision and no plan for competing for new people and employers who will live and invest here, and for more tourists who drive our economy; and,<br /> <br /> • no money to address these critical community issues, which means taxes will go up and services will go away … this is today’s reality.<br /> <br /> Charles Darwin wrote, “It is not the strongest of the species that survives, or the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is the most adaptable to change.” <br /> <br /> For the last three and onehalf years, the Consolidated Government Committee has studied consolidation, which was first recommended in 1989 by the Tri- Community Plan. There are now five separate, professional studies from impartial local government specialists on how best to organize a city government for this one community.<br /> <br /> After all that inquiry, one conclusion is inescapable: we are better together. Consolidating into one government and saving a minimum of $500,000 every year will give us the means, the tools, and the drive to finally address what is threatening our future.<br /> <br /> Whether it is…<br /> <br /> * addressing the job losses caused by the closure of the Haworth plant, the loss of the Waterfront Film Festival, and other economic challenges, we are better together …<br /> <br /> * rescuing the long-neglected and silt-filled harbor whose condition threatens the cornerstone of our economy, we are better together …<br /> <br /> * Making the aging Saugatuck Douglas community financially attractive to younger couples and families, we are better together …<br /> <br /> * Harnessing the energy needed to compete in a rapidly evolving global economy that is passing us by for South Haven, Holland and other nearby resort communities, we are better together …<br /> <br /> * Limiting the unnecessary tax burden on residents and shopkeepers, we are definitely better together … or<br /> <br /> * Speaking with one voice to the outside world wherever we need to make our case, we are better together.<br /> <br /> In the next 60 days, the CGC will share what we’ve learned and strongly advocate the facts. We will not disparage those who disagree, but we will not hesitate to correct misstatements.<br /> <br /> We will take this campaign to whoever will listen because our future requires it. We can create a brighter future for our children and grandchildren. We can do so only as one city with one government, proud of our distinct neighborhoods, but one community moving in one direction.<br /> <br /> Voting “yes” is the right choice to claim a brighter future that embraces the new reality while preserving our treasured past.<br /> <br /> To Our Observer Readers<br /> <br /> One of the most important decisions that Saugatuck and Douglas residents will make comes on November 5th at the voting booth: whether or not to consolidate the two local cities.<br /> <br /> The past several months have seen an onslaught of reports, letters to the editor, purported truths and, yes, outright lies by many community members lined up on either side of this issue.<br /> <br /> In an effort to bring our discerning readers the facts about consolidation directly from the two official groups battling for your votes, the Observer will be opening up our front page to leaders of the two opposing camps so they may address the cities’ residents through direct, open communication. Then you be the judge in determining what is fact and fiction.<br /> <br /> The Observer offer is simple: only officials of the proconsolidation Consolidated Government Committee (CGC) and the anti-consolidation Citizens for Independent and Cooperative Communities(CICC) may submit two responses each limited to 650 words.The Observer will alternately run the first two responses. The first response from each organization will appear on the front page.The final response from each will appear inside the newspaper on Sept. 27. There is no cost to either group for this submission.<br /> <br /> This week: CGC shares its position on onsolidation.

Mill Pond Realty, Inc.

 

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