Observer 10/18/2013 : Page 1

CGC Officials Ask Prosecutor To Investigate Saugatuck City Council/Manager’s Actions Page 3 Saugatuck Once Again Questions Township’s Failure To Help Pay For Police Services Page 3 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING October 18, 2013 Vol. 11 No. 42 FREE SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN Vote NO On November 5th And Let’s Close The Book On Consolidation We’re just a few short weeks away from voting on whether or not to consolidate our two unique and wonderful towns, though for many it may feel like an eternity. On November 5th we’ll go to the polls and hopefully turn the page and move on with our lives and close the book on consolidation, not just turn to the next chapter. All of the information has been made available, there is nothing new to consider and while it seems very clear to us that consolidation is definitely not the way to go, we understand some still may be uncer-tain. We’d like to reassure you that consolidation will not help save the harbor. There is nothing that con-solidation would bring that we can-not already do cooperatively. There’s no larger single voice by being consol-idated to seek grant funding. The dif-ference between 1,000 people and 2,000 people does not break into the next tier of being considered a “larger community”. And because of our joint Harbor Authority we’re already considered jointly as 2,000 people. Additionally we fare better when applying for many grants now if we submit as two communities. The cooperative/regional component is better for the scoring criteria when applying jointly as opposed to a single city. As we’ve illustrated in our previous fact sheet, consolidation doesn’t guarantee you’ll save a single penny in taxes and most likely won’t. The CRC independent study failed to include Saugatuck’s $3.5 million road bond debt into their calculations. The projected savings themselves come with no guarantee 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, purported truths and, yes, outright lies by many community members lined up on either side of this issue. In an effort to bring our discerning readers the facts about consolidation directly from the two official groups battling for your votes, the Observer has offered both sides an opportunity to present their positions, facts and information directly to you at no cost. We are doing this so the two opposing camps 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-con-solidation Consolidated Government Committee (CGC) and the anti-con-solidation Citizens for Independent and Cooperative Communities (CICC) may submit two responses each limited to 650 words. The sub-missions should provide facts, figures and each group’s positions. No per-sonal attacks are permitted. The Observer has offered to run each group’s first two responses on the front page. To date, The Local Observer has published two CGC front-page columns. Last week we published CICC’s first response and this week their second. The Local Observer also will be allowing both groups to publish follow-up columns inside the newspaper in the two editions prior to election: October 25th and November 1 to help inform readers. All city residents are encour-aged to get out and vote Nov. 5. tion. Saugatuck and Douglas are both unique towns that have many similarities, but we all know that we are definitely different too and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a good thing. For over 100 years each town has worked to create its own unique sense of place, while working together to share the services that make sense. Both towns are financially sound, provide great service to their residents, and have bright futures. There’s no reason to think that we won’t be able to continue to work together for another 100 years to come and more. Your vote counts. Please join us on November 5th and vote NO. Vote NO and let’s close the book on consolidation. If you are unable to go to the polls contact your City Clerk for an absentee ballot. Saugatuck 857-2603, Douglas 857-1438 The Interurban will once again be offering free rides for voters to the polls. Give them a call on elec-tion day at 857-1418 if you need a ride. and continue to shrink with each new study. And even with the possibil-ity of offsetting some of the costs with grant funding, the nearly $1,000,000 in transitional costs would need to be paid upfront and neither city has monies budgeted for these expenses. In order to achieve the pro-jected cost savings it requires the elimination of 50% of our city staff and 30% of our DPW employees and equipment. These reductions will only reduce the level of service to our residents and are sure to be short lived. We’ve learned that while consolidation may seem to make sense on the surface, once more close-ly examined it offers little and prom-ises only woulds, coulds, shoulds, ifs, and maybes. There are no certainties or guarantees. Most of you have probably already made up your minds as which way you will vote. If you haven’t we would be happy to sit down with you and help answer your questions. Our office is open Thursday -Sunday across from Demond’s Supervalu in the Keller Building. If there has been a positive about consolidation it’s that it has made us all take a look at what we already do well and what we could try to do better. It has also taught us that we don’t need to consolidate to do those things. They can be achieved by further cooperation, not consolida-

Vote NO On November 5th And Let’s Close The Book On Consolidation

We’re just a few short weeks away from voting on whether or not to consolidate our two unique and wonderful towns, though for many it may feel like an eternity. On November 5th we’ll go to the polls and hopefully turn the page and move on with our lives and close the book on consolidation, not just turn to the next chapter.<br /> <br /> All of the information has been made available, there is nothing new to consider and while it seems very clear to us that consolidation is definitely not the way to go, we understand some still may be uncertain.<br /> <br /> We’d like to reassure you that consolidation will not help save the harbor. There is nothing that consolidation would bring that we cannot already do cooperatively. There’s no larger single voice by being consolidated to seek grant funding. The difference between 1,000 people and 2,000 people does not break into the next tier of being considered a “larger community”. And because of our joint Harbor Authority we’re already considered jointly as 2,000 people.<br /> <br /> Additionally we fare better when applying for many grants now if we submit as two communities. The cooperative/regional component is better for the scoring criteria when applying jointly as opposed to a single city.<br /> <br /> As we’ve illustrated in our previous fact sheet, consolidation doesn’t guarantee you’ll save a single penny in taxes and most likely won’t. The CRC independent study failed to include Saugatuck’s $3.5 million road bond debt into their calculations.<br /> <br /> The projected savings themselves come with no guarantee and continue to shrink with each new study.<br /> <br /> And even with the possibility of offsetting some of the costs with grant funding, the nearly $1,000,000 in transitional costs would need to be paid upfront and neither city has monies budgeted for these expenses.<br /> <br /> In order to achieve the projected cost savings it requires the elimination of 50% of our city staff and 30% of our DPW employees and equipment. These reductions will only reduce the level of service to our residents and are sure to be short lived.<br /> <br /> We’ve learned that while consolidation may seem to make sense on the surface, once more closely examined it offers little and promises only woulds, coulds, shoulds, ifs, and maybes. There are no certainties or guarantees.<br /> <br /> Most of you have probably already made up your minds as which way you will vote. If you haven’t we would be happy to sit down with you and help answer your questions. Our office is open Thursday - Sunday across from Demond’s Supervalu in the Keller Building.<br /> <br /> If there has been a positive about consolidation it’s that it has made us all take a look at what we already do well and what we could try to do better. It has also taught us that we don’t need to consolidate to do those things. They can be achieved by further cooperation, not consolidation.<br /> <br /> Saugatuck and Douglas are both unique towns that have many similarities, but we all know that we are definitely different too and there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s a good thing.<br /> <br /> For over 100 years each town has worked to create its own unique sense of place, while working together to share the services that make sense.<br /> <br /> Both towns are financially sound, provide great service to their residents, and have bright futures. There’s no reason to think that we won’t be able to continue to work together for another 100 years to come and more.<br /> <br /> Your vote counts. Please join us on November 5th and vote NO. Vote NO and let’s close the book on consolidation.<br /> <br /> If you are unable to go to the polls contact your City Clerk for an absentee ballot. Saugatuck 857- 2603, Douglas 857-1438 <br /> <br /> The Interurban will once again be offering free rides for voters to the polls. Give them a call on election day at 857-1418 if you need a ride.

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.<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 has offered both sides an opportunity to present their positions, facts and information directly to you at no cost.<br /> <br /> We are doing this so the two opposing camps 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 pro-consolidation 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 submissions should provide facts, figures and each group’s positions. No personal attacks are permitted.<br /> <br /> The Observer has offered to run each group’s first two responses on the front page.<br /> <br /> To date, The Local Observer has published two CGC front-page columns. Last week we published CICC’s first response and this week their second.<br /> <br /> The Local Observer also will be allowing both groups to publish follow-up columns inside the newspaper in the two editions prior to election: October 25th and November 1 to help inform readers.<br /> <br /> All city residents are encouraged to get out and vote Nov. 5.

Mill Pond Realty, Inc.

 

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