Observer august 1 2014 : Page 1

Cow Hill Yacht Club Credited With Running Successful Fundraising Venetian Festival Events Page 3 Peterson & Douglas Officials Take A “Time Out’ In Their Lawsuit Over Dredge Spoils Site Page 3 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING August 1, 2014 Vol. 12 No. 31 FREE SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN LOCAL VOTERS’ ALERT -Here’s The Secret No One Is Telling You About Local Community Could Get “Free” Library & Much More With Proposed National Educational Research/Museum/Arts Center Looking To Come Here Editor’s Notes Mike Gallagher Editor Saugatuck and Douglas area voters are being asked to approve on August 5 a ballot initiative that, if passed, will cost local taxpayers $5.1 million to build a new library. In official language, library board members and library support-ers want you to vote “yes” to a 26-year, 0.67-mill increase for a bond to build, furnish and equip a new library at 152 Center St., in Douglas. Additionally, they are also asking you to vote yes on a separate library ballot issue to approve a 10-year, 0.3-mill tax hike for added maintenance and utilities expenses for that new library. In addition to all that new money, the library also would contin-ue to collect the 0.4231 mills already approved in previous years. In layman’s language, they are asking you to dip into your pock-ets for the forseeable future to the tune of an additional tax of $97 a year for each owner of a property with a $200,000 assessed value. The higher the assessed value of your home the more you’ll pay over and above that $97 figure just to fund the construc-tion and running of that new library. I believe voters are smart enough to decide for themselves whether Saugatuck-Douglas needs a $5 million-plus libary to serve its small lakeshore population. I’m a supporter of libraries, but I’m a bigger supporter of fiscal responsibility and not certain people’s pie-in-the-sky, no-holds-barred, multi-million-dollar, grandiose pipe dream that carries a price tag better befitting a large metropolitan city than a small lakeshore community. But whether a person agrees or disagrees that we need a $5 mil-lion-plus, taxpayer-paid-for, 12,500-square-foot library building in Douglas is up to each individual local voter. We are all entitled to our own opinions. But before you arrive at the voting booth on August 5th, you need to be aware of a secret that no one -including the library officials who want your money -is telling you about. The secret: there is a major, national, nonprofit organization that for the past several months has been working behind the scenes and quiet-ly meeting with Saugatuck and Douglas government officials, com-munity development leaders, deep-pocketed philanthropists and busi-nessmen and yep, even your local library officials, to let them know they want to bring to Douglas a pro-posed state-of-the-art, national/inter-national-level educational research center/museum/curriculum develop-ment center/outdoor natural area/arts-focused, music-oriented area (think Meijer Gardens) and a library that would be bigger and better than anything yet proposed locally. This proposed multi-mil-lion dollar development project could bring national and international acclaim to the Saugatuck/Douglas area, not to mention the possible mil-lions of dollars in tourist/research/development/school children and parent business that would give the area the year-round economic boost so long dreamed of. The organization officials behind this incredible proposal have asked that it or their names not be identified publicly as yet for legal/business reasons, but your local officials all know who it and they are. And during the months of preliminary meetings with your local leaders, a representative of this organ-ization has made it clear that the potential of millions and millions of philanthropic grant dollars, state and federal economic development and arts-based grants are likely to be part of this project if it comes to fruition here. When that representative set up and held informational meet-ings with local leaders this past spring and earlier this summer to assess their interest in the project being brought here, every person and group approached expressed an excited desire to hear and learn more -except one. Want to guess which local group doesn’t want any part of this proposed deal? Your local library board. Why you may ask? Some library board members said they wanted to move ahead with their own $5.1 million building project, despite the fact this national project propos-al was brought to them even before (Cont. Page 5) Please Make A Donation Today To Help Support S-D Area Business Association’s Free Fun Events! Staff Report The Saugatuck-Douglas Area Business Association (S-D ABA) will be holding various fundraisers through the year to help raise money for new and exciting events for locals and visitors to enjoy and to help bring new customers to -and promote -local businesses. The newly energized organ-ization led by President Jim Petzing and Marketing Director Elizabeth Burns want to make donation giving easy, simple and fun for everyone and will now be using state-of-the-art that everyone enjoys!” says mobile pledging as a key Petzing. fundraising tool. To Make A Pledge To Help “A donation large or small All money raised Support Saugatuck/Douglas will be used solely to help us through these fundraising Area Events Sponsored By The pay for these special events,” efforts will be used by the Burns. organization as part of a “Fun S-D Area Business Association: adds Here’s how simple and Fund” to promote these spe-quick it is to make a donation cial, community wide events in using your cell phone: Saugatuck and Douglas. To kick-off its new 1. Select “Messages” on fundraising campaign, S-D your cell phone. ABA is asking locals and visi-2. In the “To” box, type: tors alike to help support its Wick’s Park Gazebo on Water Street 41444 summertime, weekly event, “Music In in downtown Saugatuck. 3. In the message box, type The Park” which provides free musi-“We’re asking everyone to cal entertainment of various genres help support us so we can continue to in the mobile keyword: park 4. Click “Send” each Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at sponsor these wonderful, free events In a few short seconds, you’ll receive a text message thanking you for making a pledge. Click or tap the link that appears that says “To complete your gift now” and then click or tap the highlighted URL. 5. Then follow the direc-tions by typing in your name, address and email address and fill in the credit card payment box, including the amount you wish to donate. That’s it, you’re done! You’ll receive a thank you text message and a follow-up elec-tronic invoice you can print out for your tax records. It’s a great way to support the free fun events you enjoy. Text: park To: 41444

Editor’s Notes

Mike Gallagher Editor

Saugatuck and Douglas area voters are being asked to approve on August 5 a ballot initiative that, if passed, will cost local taxpayers $5.1 million to build a new library.<br /> <br /> In official language, library board members and library supporters want you to vote “yes” to a 26- year, 0.67-mill increase for a bond to build, furnish and equip a new library at 152 Center St., in Douglas.<br /> <br /> Additionally, they are also asking you to vote yes on a separate library ballot issue to approve a 10- year, 0.3-mill tax hike for added maintenance and utilities expenses for that new library.<br /> <br /> In addition to all that new money, the library also would continue to collect the 0.4231 mills already approved in previous years.<br /> <br /> In layman’s language, they are asking you to dip into your pockets for the forseeable future to the tune of an additional tax of $97 a year for each owner of a property with a $200,000 assessed value. The higher the assessed value of your home the more you’ll pay over and above that $97 figure just to fund the construction and running of that new library.<br /> <br /> I believe voters are smart enough to decide for themselves whether Saugatuck-Douglas needs a $5 million-plus library to serve its small lakeshore population.<br /> <br /> I’m a supporter of libraries, but I’m a bigger supporter of fiscal responsibility and not certain people’s pie-in-the-sky, no-holds-barred, multi-million-dollar, grandiose pipe dream that carries a price tag better befitting a large metropolitan city than a small lakeshore community.<br /> <br /> But whether a person agrees or disagrees that we need a $5 million- plus, taxpayer-paid-for, 12,500- square-foot library building in Douglas is up to each individual local voter. We are all entitled to our own opinions.<br /> <br /> But before you arrive at the voting booth on August 5th, you need to be aware of a secret that no one - including the library officials who want your money - is telling you about.<br /> <br /> The secret: there is a major, national, nonprofit organization that for the past several months has been working behind the scenes and quietly meeting with Saugatuck and Douglas government officials, community development leaders, deeppocketed philanthropists and businessmen and yep, even your local library officials, to let them know they want to bring to Douglas a proposed state-of-the-art, national/international- level educational research center/museum/curriculum development center/outdoor natural area/arts-focused, music-oriented area (think Meijer Gardens) and a library that would be bigger and better than anything yet proposed locally.<br /> <br /> This proposed multi-million dollar development project could bring national and international acclaim to the Saugatuck/Douglas area, not to mention the possible millions of dollars in tourist/research/development/school children and parent business that would give the area the year-round economic boost so long dreamed of.<br /> <br /> The organization officials behind this incredible proposal have asked that it or their names not be identified publicly as yet for legal/business reasons, but your local officials all know who it and they are.<br /> <br /> And during the months of preliminary meetings with your local leaders, a representative of this organization has made it clear that the potential of millions and millions of philanthropic grant dollars, state and federal economic development and arts-based grants are likely to be part of this project if it comes to fruition here.<br /> <br /> When that representative set up and held informational meetings with local leaders this past spring and earlier this summer to assess their interest in the project being brought here, every person and group approached expressed an excited desire to hear and learn more - except one.<br /> <br /> Want to guess which local group doesn’t want any part of this proposed deal? Your local library board.<br /> <br /> Why you may ask? Some library board members said they wanted to move ahead with their own $5.1 million building project, despite the fact this national project proposal was brought to them even before they exercised the option to buy the land across the street from the current library.<br /> <br /> But here’s an even more astounding set of facts.<br /> <br /> This nationally known organization told the library officials that while they would like to make the library part of this proposed new center of research and learning, albeit in its own space and possible building within the center complex, they were not looking to control or even be a part of the local library’s board.<br /> <br /> Additionally, the national organization’s spokeswoman told our local library leaders they would even provide them a seat on the new proposed center’s own board of directors so they could have a say in how things were run in the center’s overall operations.<br /> <br /> Even more incredibly, the national organization told our local library officials this project was expected to come with the strong possibility of millions of dollars in state and federal art and economic development grants - including private grants from the organization itself - that could be used to build, maintain and operate a new local library building with a likelihood that local taxpayers wouldn’t have to pay a dime to have it built and/or use.<br /> <br /> Not interested, said several of the library board members.<br /> <br /> Anyone want to guess why our library leaders weren’t even interested in pursuing learning more about this proposed project, even to see if it really could benefit them and the community? Perhaps the over-sized, self-important egos of those who want their own private little fiefdom to run takes precedence over what is best for the taxpayers and the community.<br /> <br /> Don’t believe what you just read? Before you vote next Tuesday, do yourself a favor and talk to your local officials and ask them about all this. Better yet, don’t vote away your hard-earned money until you know all the facts.

Please Make A Donation Today To Help Support S-D Area Business Association’s Free Fun Events!

Staff Report

The Saugatuck-Douglas Area Business Association (S-D ABA) will be holding various fundraisers through the year to help raise money for new and exciting events for locals and visitors to enjoy and to help bring new customers to - and promote - local businesses.<br /> <br /> The newly energized organization led by President Jim Petzing and Marketing Director Elizabeth Burns want to make donation giving easy, simple and fun for everyone and will now be using state-of-the-art mobile pledging as a key fundraising tool.<br /> <br /> All money raised through these fundraising efforts will be used by the organization as part of a “Fun Fund” to promote these special, community wide events in Saugatuck and Douglas.<br /> <br /> To kick-off its new fundraising campaign, S-D ABA is asking locals and visitors alike to help support its summertime, weekly event, “Music In The Park” which provides free musical entertainment of various genres each Wednesday evening at 7 p.m. at Wick’s Park Gazebo on Water Street in downtown Saugatuck.<br /> <br /> “We’re asking everyone to help support us so we can continue to sponsor these wonderful, free events that everyone enjoys!” says Petzing.<br /> <br /> “A donation large or small will be used solely to help us pay for these special events,” adds Burns.<br /> <br /> Here’s how simple and quick it is to make a donation using your cell phone:<br /> <br /> 1. Select “Messages” on your cell phone.<br /> <br /> 2. In the “To” box, type: 41444<br /> <br /> 3. In the message box, type in the mobile keyword: park<br /> <br /> 4. Click “Send” <br /> <br /> In a few short seconds, you’ll receive a text message thanking you for making a pledge. Click or tap the link that appears that says “To complete your gift now” and then click or tap the highlighted URL.<br /> <br /> 5. Then follow the directions by typing in your name, address and email address and fill in the credit card payment box, including the amount you wish to donate.<br /> <br /> That’s it, you’re done!<br /> <br /> You’ll receive a thank you text message and a follow-up electronic invoice you can print out for your tax records. It’s a great way to support the free fun events you enjoy

Mill Pond Realty

 

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