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Mojave Bob



Joined: 28 Jan 2016
Posts: 33

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 4:07 pm 
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Also, Bill, I agree with you fully in this -- if we cannot improve on what we have, why change it? That is why I want to hear how two townships is so fantastic. What can it do for us that one township cannot? In what ways does it enable taxpayer dollars to be used more effectively? How does it speed aid and services to the needy in ways that one township will struggle to achieve? How will it give Peaine Township more voice in the critical discussion of transportation to and from the island?

I want to hear these things, and more. If all you can present to us is "I don't think we will gain anything", then just one small advantage offered from the pro camp will win the day. Don't lose by failing to articulate what two townships can do. You feel strongly about your position. Is it because you feel yours is better, or do you just feel threatened by the changes proposed? If you feel your position is better, tell us why.

Pro people, the above goes for you, too. Earn the votes!

I really don't wish to disparage either point of view. I have my opinion, but I hold it loosely. I think it is a valuable discussion, and hopefully, whichever way the vote goes, things will come out of it that make the island better.
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BI Pirate



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 743
Location: Whiskey Island

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 5:54 pm 
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Ken, Ya bet I have a few things to say about Whiskey Island, it's my home but more so it is the epitome of the whole township consolidation issue. The value of Whiskey Island was at least a million dollars. Rum has dulled and fuzzied a few of my brain cells but as I remember it when St. James was granted Whiskey Island by the state, it was stipulated that they could not sell it for more than $130,000 for some dumb arse reason. In private conversation with then supervisor Don Vyse, I offered full price for the island, cash. My offer was rejected, not even being considered by the township board. The reason given was that the decision had been made to swap the DNR, Whiskey Island for the DNR building on Beaver plus the water front property. I didn't argue because I was going live on Whiskey Island no matter who owned it. Plus, it gave me cash to upgrade my rum still with copper piping and a new boiler. But I digress.
When St. James Township did the deal, the DNR lot on the water split two parcels owned by Buddy Martin where he docked his barges. I went back to Don, rest his soul, and told him it made no sense for the township to own a lot that splits the Martin barge operation lots. I suggested that a swap be done with Buddy so he had two conjoined lots and the township lot would be closer to the Marine Museum. Don told me off the record that there were a couple of township board members who opposed that logical recommendation because they and a couple of families did not want to see Buddy come out with any windfall from this deal. The township cut off its nose to spite its face.
Back to my beginning statement that Whiskey Island is the epitome of the township consolidation issue. People want everyone to think the decision on consolidation is a money issue. It is not a money issue, it goes far deeper than that, it goes to blood and bone. Until people realize that fact, debate will go on forever and families will fall on their swords over accepting a logical decision.
Sad Sad Sad Sad
EDITED 2/13: I'VE RECEIVED A FEW PM'S ON THIS POST, MOSTLY POSITIVE BUT A COUPLE REQUESTING WHAT MY POINT ABOVE WAS INTENDED TO MEAN.
A - TOWNSHIPS WITH ALL GOOD INTENTIONS CAN SOMETIMES MAKE DUMB DECISIONS, SPITTING BUDDY'S LOTS.
B - TOWNSHIP BOARDS AND OTHER GROUPS CAN SOMETIMES BE INFLUENCED BY THE VOCAL FEW WHOSE HIDDEN AGENDA IS POWER, INFLUENCE, INSECURITY, TRUFF PROTECTION OR JUST NOT WANTING TO SEE OTHERS RECEIVE GAIN AS IN NOT WANTING BUDDY TO RECEIVE A WINDFALL WHICH WOULD HAVE BEEN AT NO COST,LOSS OR EXPENSE TO ANYONE.
C - BLOOD IS THICKER THAN WATER WHICH SOMETIMES CAUSES SOME TO TAKE A FAMILY POSITION OVER A LOGICAL DECISION.
D - A THOUGHT PRECESS ON THE ISLAND HAS IN THE PAST BEEN WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING CHOICES, THE THINKING HAS BEEN IF "THEY" WIN, "I" LOSE WHICH CAUSES TAKING SIDES AS OPPOSED TO SEARCHING FOR WIN/WIN OUTCOMES.
E - MONEY IS NOT AT THE HEART OF THE CONSOLIDATION ISSUE BECAUSE IF IT WAS A MONEY CONCERN THE DEBATE WOULD CENTER MORE ON KEEPING THE ISLAND ALIVE AND THE LOSS OF TOURISM.
F - TAXES ARE AN ISSUE HURTING THE ISLAND BUT ONE TOWNSHIP OR TWO TOWNSHIPS THERE WILL STILL BE TAXES WHICH NEED TO BE ADDRESSED SEPERATELY REGARDLESS OF THE OUTCOME OF THE VOTE.
G - LAST BUT NOT LEAST, 90% OF THE PEOPLE DEBATING CONSOLIDATION HAVE ALREADY MADE UP THEIR MINDS WHICH WILL NOT BE CHANGED REGARDLESS OF ANY IRREFUTABLE FACTS PRESENTED.
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Last edited by BI Pirate on Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:39 am; edited 3 times in total
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sbsp



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
Posts: 443
Location: Beaver Island, Kalamazoo, Fripp Island, SC

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 8:41 pm 
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BI Pirate (fake name, coward, bully, aka/Don) Applause

I too thought the idea of splitting Buddy's lots and the thought of a fishing recreation pier, that has never happened, was a fishy move.
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meadefamily



Joined: 17 Jun 2014
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Mon Feb 12, 2018 10:12 pm 
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Mojave Bob,

There are many that are not for or against, just trying to process through the facts and lack of facts. When someone embelishing numbers or facts to try and make a point they should be called out and held accountable.

A group set forth a proposal, rallied for signatures and then has quietly sat by watching as the mayhem has unfolded. When I read the logic of "just be positive and hopefully your taxes won't go up" or "the townships now pay well over six figures for attorney and audit fees" it causes me to stop and really question if people have a full understanding of how things work. Clearly the statements above are false and misleading.

Yes, I agree the pros and cons of consolidation need to be looked at closely and there should be pros and cons published. When this first started I suggested a disinterested third party do a study. I went as far as to reach out to a non-profit in Michigan that had done this for other townships. I gave them Angels information and Carol Burton's. My understanding is the "opinion" was it was not needed.

I am like you, I own property and pay significant taxes here. I currently do not have a vote (that will be changing) and I also have alot to lose if the wrong choices are made.

From my perspective the group that wants the consolidation needs to be forthright and transparent. They need to provide facts now, not after the vote. We now learn studies were not done, they are "working" on facts and giving out information that is simple not true and documented. It is unfortunate that the few on the forum that choose to continue to stir the pot are not confident in their voice that they have to hide behind false identities. They create another level of distrust.

The group that is against consolidation has had to spent thier efforts shielding against the misinformation presented on the forum and in the public. People are afraid to ask questions.

I understand your point that eventually the side against is going to have to speak and be heard, as it is going for a vote. I have confidence that they will present factual information. Keep in mind....they did not have the luxury of extra time as the group hoping to consolidate has had.

Some have labeled me and would like to think I am anti-consolidation. The truth is I truly don't know where I stand. I do however know that the burden of proof is with the ones wanting it. They stirred the pot, created the noise and asked for a change. If they can't come together and be more prepared then they have been so far they will only hurt themselves.

The township is a business. I have started and sold many businesses and work with banks and investors. If I went to a bank and said I want to merge my businesses and change my direction. The bank would ask for financials, a business plan and solid facts as to why they should back this. This group has walked into the townships business, disrupted business, employees and systems. Voters have a right to demand this group solidify thier business plan and bring forth facts. The burden falls with them and the voters should demand that. If they can not bring forth that then the voters don't need to hear the against consolidation group...the discussion ends.

You can't debate against speculations.



Kathe
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carolburton



Joined: 19 Apr 2006
Posts: 157

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:05 am 
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Kathe

I hate to call you out but you seem to do it so frequently to others. Case in point... Your statement that "My understanding is the "opinion" was it was not needed." is totally false and misleading. You were actually thanked for the information and it was passed along to those working on the project. Anyone could have contacted them from your post so why didn't they? or do you not know if they did? Maybe someone did but didn't feel the need to share that on the forum. Were you just speculating?

Clearly you cannot know what we think or do and are speaking on others behalf. Quite speculation on your end. I also believe that people do not need to be called out. What does it do? Nothing but "stir the pot"! You should really know the people that you speak about, anyone who posts, before you make "false and misleading" statements about them. Even some of the biggest post makers have made less personal attacks on specific individuals. I have asked that they not be negative (meaning attacking) but give fact based questions and answers. A debate. I would call most all of the people posting my friends and neighbors no matter how they post nor judge them or hold those opinions against them. Let them vent however they want.

Both townships and independent groups are working diligently to inform us about the pro's and con's. Give them half a chance. They will all decide when to release it to the public. I am sure they have educated and real reasons for not rushing to put their facts out on both sides of the consolidation. You sound as if you have a lot of good information and I would like to see more of your facts about the consolidation. Maybe you can sway the vote and make a difference.

You also act as if "this group" hid in secret. They didn't and if they did who cares anymore. It was posted on the forum and shared. It is also public knowledge. As voters and taxpayers we have the right to have people against the consolidation give logical and solid reasons why this would not be a good idea as much as from those for consolidation. I would hope that every one of our elected officials was considering what this might mean and doing their job to serve the taxpayer by showing their fiduciary duty to the taxpayer. The truth is that the burden falls to everyone pro and con. If it wasn't wanted by a portion of the voters/taxpayers and things were amazingly perfect it wouldn't have gotten to the ballot. Now it is in motion and our choice in checking the box will be moved by what information moves us.

To date I have seen a lot more valid reasons to consolidate than against. I am more than happy to be proven wrong but make an actual fact statement to the contrary.

I am going to apologize in advance for my response to you if it was not your intent to take a low blow strike at me personally for the second time.

Carol
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 276
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:20 am 
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So it has come to this. A couple of people circulate a petition to a few registered voters. Let's consolidate our 2 townships into one. Why? Well we don't know why lets just do it. Don't inform the townships of the idea or if so St. James Township remains silent. Don't have any good facts or reasons we just think it will help our Island. Maybe?? Should have sold lottery tickets, at least people woul know if they would win or lose. This is the most crooked political moves I have ever seen on Beaver Island. Now we have supporters to embarrassed to sign their real names telling us who are against the whole scam to get our facts together and support our stand. Welcome to paridise people. What an awesome plan to make Beaver Island a better place to live.

John McCafferty
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islandliving



Joined: 21 Nov 2015
Posts: 276
Location: Beaver Island, Michigan

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:37 am 
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A lot of supporters are agreeing in a round about way that the petitioners did not do the proposal of the consolidation properly, but are stating , oh well now it's on the ballot so we have to vote on it. Welcome to Paridise. Just deal with it.

John McCafferty
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ktaylor



Joined: 02 Sep 2003
Posts: 604

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:14 am 
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This has been posted both by Joe and Kathe on this thread. It seems to have been ignored.

I think a tax increase for Peaine township has been a red herring. The millages have to be voted on by the voting public. Since Peaine and St. James have about the same numbers, if Peaine votes against any tax increase along with a few St. James voters, that always vote against millages, the millages can't pass at this level. Then the board will need go back and restructure their millage. Peaine voted millages down in the past, so it is not beyond the realm of possibilities.

Here are the categories of the "extra" millages that cannot be increased unless voted on, IF and only IF, the consolidation takes place by a vote in each individual township.

Airport millage cannot be higher than .85 mills
Emergency medical millage not higher than... 3.0 mills
Fire millage cannot be higher than ..............1.0 mills
Health Center millage cannot be higher than 2.0 mills
Historical Society millage cannot be higher than .1 mill
Road millage cannot be higher than ........... 1.4 mills
Township Operating millage no higher than 3.6 mills
Transfer Station millage not higher than ...... 1.8 mills
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ktaylor



Joined: 02 Sep 2003
Posts: 604

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 6:38 am 
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I just wanted to put forth ideas that would benefit Peaine Township and not argue about their worth. Unfortunately John belittled my suggestion that having seats on the board of the Transportation Authority would be important. John has voiced anger before at the high freight charges, but did not have anyone to support him on the board. This might change. Buddy in the past has asked for subsidies for his operation and even asked for help from the boat company this past fall with getting his barge out of the ice in the UP.

I also know there are Peaine Township citizens that would like a functioning boat launch on Paradise Bay. I like the Pirates suggestion about lot switching to make things easier.

Let us look at the positives and work things out.
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meadefamily



Joined: 17 Jun 2014
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:31 am 
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Carol,

It certainly was not my intent to upset you or call you out. I commenting that there is another option to gather unbiased, factual information and it was not brought to the taxpayers as an option. If I am incorrect on that then please post when the meeting is. If you are looking into it then please post the specifics so that we can all be informed. I am not suggesting that particular group was a good fit. My point was that other options should have been explored and brought to taxpayers.

If you look at the history of attempts to consolidate townships you will see a common thread you don't see here...they used unbiased third parties to research facts, they had meetings PRIOR to any voting and they involved the township leaders.

Your group to consolidate is just NOW putting together facts and information? That is absolutely irresponsible. They put out a petition telling voters is was great idea and did not have the data or numbers figured out?? That is misleading. Am I to understand that you feel that does not matter anymore and that taxpayers are to sit quietly and not be upset??

Am I to understand the rules are we can not interject and have concerns unless they fit a certain agenda? When we read things that are misleading we are to sit quietly and not be part of the conversation?

If I have given misinformation then by all means correct me. My last interaction with you in the forum was when you decided that making fun of people asking questions was okay and joined in. I was disappointed you joined in.

I am not going to go into a argument on the consolidation, as you have your opinion, I have mine. I apologise again if I upset you if I was singling you out. I will be more sensitive in the future.

Kathe
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meadefamily



Joined: 17 Jun 2014
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 9:07 am 
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Ken,


I appreciate your thoughts and ideas on how the consolidation could benefit and help the island. I do agree that sometimes brainstorming and thinking out load can be very productive and people can come together with new plans.

One thought I did have on it looking at townships from downstate was: I understand we are an island and that we are small. I do reconize that St. James is smaller in size, but larger in number as it is a community. Often in communities they use adjoining townships facilities, parks, recreation, etc. BITA/BIBCO is a money making venture correct? Why would St. James want another township involved in something that is unique to their township? I have tried to follow the forum on this issue and the information is hard to grasp.

As a taxpayer I really want to understand the impact of the BITA/BICO. In previous discussions and the survey Jeff did it resonates that the cost are going up and people are upset and concerned. I am also concerned. Coming to the island is getting more and more difficult with the rising cost not only at the boat docks, but air as well.

I would love to hear how consolidation would help lower these cost and not raise the taxes in the process. If BITA/BICO is run as poorly as some have suggested on the forum how is consolidation going to stop that? Or would another township just be forced to take on a burden St. james created?

Kathe
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BI Pirate



Joined: 04 Apr 2009
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Location: Whiskey Island

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:27 am 
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I have edited my post from, 2/12/18, 5:54pm. Wanted to make full disclosure before Kathe cuts my legs off. Razz Wink Razz
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Andy's Grooming Barn



Joined: 13 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:56 am 
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BI Pirate wrote:
E - MONEY IS NOT AT THE HEART OF THE CONSOLIDATION ISSUE BECAUSE IF IT WAS A MONEY CONCERN THE DEBATE WOULD CENTER MORE ON KEEPING THE ISLAND ALIVE AND THE LOSS OF TOURISM.

I guess I am not seeing where we had a loss of tourism as my numbers were up for both of my businesses this last year but if there was a loss of tourism I feel that some of this nastiness on the forum is to blame.
As for the consolidation - I personally do view money as one of the main reasons, as I think everyone has to look at that aspect, if it is going to cost us not only to consolidate but for one township's taxes to go up and there is nothing that benefits us (I have only heard speculation on benefits no facts, although Carol said that she saw more valid reasons to consolidate than against maybe she has seen some facts put out that she is able to post for others to view) then why would anybody consider consolidation.
As for myself I don't see any of this as a turf issue and I am not sure where that came up from, I could care less if we have one or two townships, maybe I am not seeing where the turf thing is coming from because anyone I know wants what is good for the island as a whole. In doing any business you have to weight the pro's to the con's and I personally need to hear some pro's.
People talk about how the island use to be and how it wasn't divided, at one point the island was 3 townships but apparently it use to work together as a whole so with that being said how can consolidation fix that problem? That is because it isn't the two townships that need fixing - in my opinion.
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Wkohls



Joined: 23 Oct 2009
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 12:57 pm 
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Ken . . .

The short answer to your post . . .

The inherent problem is that the total tax levy in SJT is higher than the total tax levy in PT. A consolidated township will have only one tax levy.

As a result, consolidation will shift some of the tax burden to Peaine from St. James. The equation does not change by reconfiguring voter approved millage rates and, going forward, any decrease in taxes would require a decrease in services.

I think we agree that consolidation should provide greater services/benefits at lower cost, but many of the suggestions that I have seen are little more than a zero-sum game.

In my initial post, I said . . .

1. If we were starting with a “clean sheet of paper,” it’s unlikely that anyone would design our current structure comprised of two townships and, at least to my knowledge, no one believes that two townships are theoretically superior to one township.

2. The question before the voters, however, is much more complicated. Concisely stated, the questions is . . . do the net tangible benefits of consolidation justify the consequential expenditures that will be required to complete the consolidation?

Nearly everyone is trying to oversimplify a very complex decision.

My suggestion is . . .

The proponents assemble their list of the benefits as well as the related costs of consolidation. (I suggested in my initial post the information they should provide.)

I will organize and present a point-by-point response to the plan presented by the proponents.

Notes:

Everyone wants what is best for the Island, but reasonable people can disagree about what might be best.

The proponents should understand that their plan can only get better if they can effectively respond to the many questions presented on this forum.
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meadefamily



Joined: 17 Jun 2014
Posts: 130

PostPosted: Tue Feb 13, 2018 1:37 pm 
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Bill,

Thank you Bill for your post. When there is a date for a meeting please let us know. We will make arrangements to come back to the island for the meetings.

Ken,

My only point about the millage numbers were that when Joe posted it he stated that ALL the expiration dates were Dec 2019. I was pointing out that in fact there were a few that were Dec 2018 and that voters needed the facts. I was simply pointing out an oversight.

Kathe
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