Observer July 23, 2009 : Page 1

Saugatuck-Douglas Jazz Festival Attracting Top Groups For Performances July 31-Aug. 1 Page 3 Local Historical Society’s Upcoming “Tuesday Talks” Looks At Lake Front Trailer Camp Life Page 5 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING 50 cents SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN July 24, 2009 Vol. 8 No. 30 Message From SPS Superintendent Rolfe Timmerman As the newly hired superintendent of the Saugatuck Public Schools, it is my privilege to write this letter regarding the importance of the upcoming August 4th operational millage election. There are three topics I want to share with voters in the Saugatuck Public School dis- trict: School Finances The way schools are financed changed when Proposal A passed in 1994. The system is complex, con- fusing, and almost impossible to explain. With that being said, I think it is important for you to know that you are not being asked to pass something different than with every other operational mill- age renewal election in Saugatuck since 1994. All businesses and sec- ond homes in Michigan are asked to pay the additional 18 mills to their local schools. Sixty-five per- cent of Saugatuck’s per pupil fund- ing from the state comes from the 18 mills levied on businesses and second homes and the 1.317 hold- harmless mills on homestead prop- erties. The only thing that would change if this millage does not pass on August 4th is that Saugatuck Public Schools would go bankrupt, would be forced to close and stu- dents would be sent to other school districts (probably split between Fennville, Holland, and Hamilton). There would no longer be a Saugatuck Public School system and businesses with- in our district borders would be taxed the same rate only by differ- ent school systems after the forced redistricting is complete. Schools Worth Saving! Local support, local control, local decisions, great families, dedicated students, and terrific educators have allowed Saugatuck Public Schools to excel. The following Saugatuck accomplishments are remarkable for a system of any size: * Prepared recent graduates to attend Harvard, Princeton, and Northwestern; * Sent 96 percent of recent graduates to two or four- year colleges and training programs; * Received all A’s on the state achievement report card; * Received NCA Accreditation; * Have a Blue Ribbon Exemplary School (Douglas Elementary School); * Have an A+ Credit rating for fiscal management. My Promise to You I will provide the educational lead- ership needed to keep Saugatuck moving in the right direction. Much has been accomplished in this area and we need to keep the momentum going forward. I also promise every constituent that I will listen to your praise and your criticism because I know that is how an organization grows and thrives. I am working hard to meet the different leaders, community members, and business owners in Saugatuck and Douglas. The Saugatuck Public School system must have strong partnerships with all of you to reach its full potential. I will continue to work diligently to gain your support and your trust well beyond the August 4th elec- tion. Please vote on August 4 because Saugatuck Public Schools are worth saving! Yours in Education, Rolfe Timmerman Superintendent Saugatuck Public Schools INSIDE Page 3.......................Community Page 5......................Government Page 15.................Arts & Leisure Page 17........South Haven Events

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