Observer 1-30-2015 : Page 1

Dog Lovers Delight In New Change To Saugatuck Ordinance Allowing Four Pooches Per Household Page 3 Snow Removal From Saugatuck Streets & Who Should Pay Hot Topic At City Council Meeting Page 3 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING January 30, 2015 Vol. 13 No. 5 FREE SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN Strange Package Adds New Twist To Fennville Murder Investigation WOOD TV 8 In the days after Harold “Butch” Knight allegedly strangled his wife, the victim’s mother got a package mailed to her — from Knight, a relative says. Sara Knight’s mom didn’t open it. Instead, she turned it over to police, the relative said. It’s still not clear what was inside, but it adds to the mystery for Sara Knight’s family since she was found dead in her home near Fennville on Jan. 13. “I want him to turn himself in,” the victim’s daughter, Roxanne Harris, said Monday. “I want him to… Come talk to us, come talk to the authorities. There has got to be a reason. You don’t just do this for no odd reason. We want to know why. What is it you’re looking for? What is it we can help you with?” Knight was last spotted in Maine more than a week ago. “It’s been a few days since we’ve heard anything about where he’s at,” Harris said. “We think the East Coast, but he could be back here. He bounces between the two, so we’re not really sure exactly where he’s at right now.” Harris said her mom met Butch Knight in the mid-1990s, while her mom was caring for his sick parents. He was 18 years older than her mom. “He had an attitude, but that was it. I always blamed it on he was old, that he was much older than my mom and he was just grumpy.” But, she’s also found evi-dence of a happy marriage — photos from trips they took, cards and love letters he sent. “I have love notes that were sitting on my mom’s desk when I went to my mom’s house when I found out. It doesn’t make any sense. They have cards, the really big cards, there’s like seven or eight of them in my mom’s closet. They are from Butch and they say, ‘I love you my honey bunny.’ It doesn’t make any sense.” “It’s hard to say what’s going on with him, if it’s medical. We don’t know and that’s the problem. And the fact that he’s really dangerous and not knowing scares a lot of peo-ple. It scares us.” Allegan County Sheriff ’s detectives refused to discuss the pack-age. They say they have no indication that Knight has returned to Michigan. Knight, 66, is described as about 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds with hazel eyes. He may be driving a light green 2009 Subaru Forester. Saugatuck’s Tony Vettori Citizen Of The Year Nominations Now Open The CITY OF SAUGATUCK TONY VETTORI CITIZEN OF THE YEAR COMMITTEE is now accepting nominations for the 2015 “Tony Vettori Citizen of the Year” award. The nominations may come from individuals, civic groups, school groups and faith based organ-izations. Nominations will be accepted from anyone and may include all age groups. The intent of the “Tony Vettori Citizen of the Year” award is to recognize an outstanding Saugatuck City resident who has demonstrat-ed exceptional community service whether it be for extraordinary achievement in public service, sports, arts, music, science or an act of heroism, while fostering community participation and involvement. Nominations will be accepted at the City Hall, 102 Butler Street, P.O. Box 86, Saugatuck, MI 49453 until Friday, February 27, 2015. Forms are available at Saugatuck City Hall or by visiting the city’s website at www.saugatuckcity.com It is anticipated that the award will be presented at an event to be scheduled in April/2015. Monica Looman, CMC, Saugatuck City Clerk (269) 857-2603 Dated: January 30, 2015 Sara and Harold “Butch” Knight Saugatuck Officials Refute “Facts” By Business Owner Regarding Taxes, Assessment District City Officials Repudiate Notion Downtown Properties Pay More Taxes Than Residential Properties In her critique of what she said was the City of Saugatuck’s “very poor job in clearing snow and ice from sidewalks”, downtown business owner Catherine Simon declared: “The city (officials) gave several excuses for their inability to clear city walks and the only solution offered was to create a special assess-ment district. “The downtown area is already a special assessment district as business owners pay a higher tax on commercial property. “Additionally, the city (offi-cials) should adopt their own sugges-tion and engage a private contractor when there is an equipment failure, staffing issues or an inordinate amount of snow. Excuses do not negate your responsibility.” Simon’s comments -read from a prepared statement -were made at Monday’s Saugatuck City Council meeting. But city leaders refute Simon’s beliefs about who pays more taxes in the municipality. Additionally, they added, Simon is wrong when she says the downtown area is a special assessment district. Business owners do not pay a higher tax on commercial property, according to city officials. In his own prepared state-ment following Monday’s meeting, Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier responded with: “The downtown area in Saugatuck is currently not a special assessment district and business owners do not pay a higher tax rate on commercial property as you indicated. “All properties in the City of Saugatuck are assessed according to value (ad valorem) and all properties, regardless of classification, pay the same millage rate. “The city's operating mill-age rate has stayed the same for the last six years at 12 mills (one of the lowest in Allegan County). “Also starting in 2014, the State of Michigan has revised the per-sonal property tax law and businesses are eligible to be exempt from paying personal property tax. Therefore, most businesses in the city actually had a part of their overall tax burden reduced,” said Harrier.

Strange Package Adds New Twist To Fennville Murder Investigation

WOOD TV 8<br /> <br /> In the days after Harold “Butch” Knight allegedly strangled his wife, the victim’s mother got a package mailed to her — from Knight, a relative says.<br /> <br /> Sara Knight’s mom didn’t open it. Instead, she turned it over to police, the relative said.<br /> <br /> It’s still not clear what was inside, but it adds to the mystery for Sara Knight’s family since she was found dead in her home near Fennville on Jan. 13.<br /> <br /> “I want him to turn himself in,” the victim’s daughter, Roxanne Harris, said Monday. “I want him to… Come talk to us, come talk to the authorities. There has got to be a reason. You don’t just do this for no odd reason. We want to know why. What is it you’re looking for? What is it we can help you with?” <br /> <br /> Knight was last spotted in Maine more than a week ago.<br /> <br /> “It’s been a few days since we’ve heard anything about where he’s at,” Harris said. “We think the East Coast, but he could be back here. He bounces between the two, so we’re not really sure exactly where he’s at right now.” <br /> <br /> Harris said her mom met Butch Knight in the mid-1990s, while her mom was caring for his sick parents. He was 18 years older than her mom.<br /> <br /> “He had an attitude, but that was it. I always blamed it on he was old, that he was much older than my mom and he was just grumpy.” <br /> <br /> But, she’s also found evidence of a happy marriage — photos from trips they took, cards and love letters he sent.<br /> <br /> “I have love notes that were sitting on my mom’s desk when I went to my mom’s house when I found out. It doesn’t make any sense. They have cards, the really big cards, there’s like seven or eight of them in my mom’s closet. They are from Butch and they say, ‘I love you my honey bunny.’ It doesn’t make any sense.” <br /> <br /> “It’s hard to say what’s going on with him, if it’s medical. We don’t know and that’s the problem. And the fact that he’s really dangerous and not knowing scares a lot of people. It scares us.” <br /> <br /> Allegan County Sheriff ’s detectives refused to discuss the package. They say they have no indication that Knight has returned to Michigan.<br /> <br /> Knight, 66, is described as about 6-foot-4 and 245 pounds with hazel eyes. He may be driving a light green 2009 Subaru Forester.

Saugatuck’s Tony Vettori Citizen Of The Year Nominations Now Open

The CITY OF SAUGATUCK TONY VETTORI CITIZEN OF THE YEAR COMMITTEE is now accepting nominations for the 2015 “Tony Vettori Citizen of the Year” award. The nominations may come from individuals, civic groups, school groups and faith based organizations. Nominations will be accepted from anyone and may include all age groups. The intent of the “Tony Vettori Citizen of the Year” award is to recognize an outstanding Saugatuck City resident who has demonstrated exceptional community service whether it be for extraordinary achievement in public service, sports, arts, music, science or an act of heroism, while fostering community participation and involvement.<br /> <br /> Nominations will be accepted at the City Hall, 102 Butler Street, P.O. Box 86, Saugatuck, MI 49453 until Friday, February 27, 2015. Forms are available at Saugatuck City Hall or by visiting the city’s website at www.saugatuckcity.com <br /> <br /> It is anticipated that the award will be presented at an event to be scheduled in April/2015.<br /> <br /> Monica Looman, CMC, Saugatuck City Clerk (269) 857-2603 Dated: January 30, 2015

Saugatuck Officials Refute “Facts” By Business Owner Regarding Taxes, Assessment District

City Officials Repudiate Notion Downtown Properties Pay More Taxes Than Residential Properties <br /> <br /> In her critique of what she said was the City of Saugatuck’s “very poor job in clearing snow and ice from sidewalks”, downtown business owner Catherine Simon declared: <br /> <br /> “The city (officials) gave several excuses for their inability to clear city walks and the only solution offered was to create a special assessment district.<br /> <br /> “The downtown area is already a special assessment district as business owners pay a higher tax on commercial property.<br /> <br /> “Additionally, the city (officials) should adopt their own suggestion and engage a private contractor when there is an equipment failure, staffing issues or an inordinate amount of snow. Excuses do not negate your responsibility.” <br /> <br /> Simon’s comments - read from a prepared statement - were made at Monday’s Saugatuck City Council meeting.<br /> <br /> But city leaders refute Simon’s beliefs about who pays more taxes in the municipality.<br /> <br /> Additionally, they added, Simon is wrong when she says the downtown area is a special assessment district.<br /> <br /> Business owners do not pay a higher tax on commercial property, according to city officials.<br /> <br /> In his own prepared statement following Monday’s meeting, Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier responded with: <br /> <br /> “The downtown area in Saugatuck is currently not a special assessment district and business owners do not pay a higher tax rate on commercial property as you indicated.<br /> <br /> “All properties in the City of Saugatuck are assessed according to value (ad valorem) and all properties, regardless of classification, pay the same millage rate.<br /> <br /> “The city's operating millage rate has stayed the same for the last six years at 12 mills (one of the lowest in Allegan County).<br /> <br /> “Also starting in 2014, the State of Michigan has revised the personal property tax law and businesses are eligible to be exempt from paying personal property tax.<br /> <br /> Therefore, most businesses in the city actually had a part of their overall tax burden reduced,” said Harrier.

Mill Pond Realty, Inc.

 

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