Letters to the Editor

Put voters in charge

Dear Editor,
The United States has always been unique in the world in its desire to create a government of, by, and for the people. In recent years, however, our progress towards that goal seems to have faltered.
With the advent of gerrymandering – the practice of redrawing districts to rig elections in the favor of one political party – our elected officials have grown to care less about their constituents as their re-election becomes something they are able to take for granted.
That is why Proposal 2 is so important. It would create a commission of citizens – four Democrats, four Republicans, and five Independents – to redraw our congressional districts and end the practice of partisan gerrymandering in Michigan, giving voters the ability to choose their politicians rather than continuing to allow politicians to choose their voters.
It is essential Proposal 2 be approved so that our American dream of a more representative government may be realized and that our elected officials may be held accountable for their actions.
Alexander Gavulic
Independence Township

Support for Slotkin

Dear Editor,
I am writing to urge my fellow Northern Oakland County residents to vote for Elissa Slotkin for Congress. Back in October 2017, at a “Meet the Candidate” house party I had an opportunity to listen to Elissa.
For the first time in my life I found myself volunteering for a candidate’s campaign, because I truly believed she would work hard for ALL of her constituents, regardless of their political affiliation or campaign contributions.
She has served in both Democrat and Republican administrations. As she has said regarding her years in national security and during her three tours of Iraq, “no one ever asked me if I was a Democrat or Republican – because we were focused on the mission.” She truly knows the meaning of the word “service” and I believe she will be focused on the mission of representing her 8th District constituents.
She is not accepting any corporate PAC money, in direct contrast to her opponent. She is committed to protecting individuals with pre-existing conditions and protecting Medicare, while her opponent voted for the ACA/Obamacare repeal that would have raised the cost for those with pre-existing conditions along with older Americans. Unlike her opponent, she is against any proposal that would allow drilling in the Great Lakes. In short, she truly will be working for us rather than corporate interests.
I know there are false ads out there, such as the one that claims Elissa supports a plan that would bankrupt Medicare, so I urge you to check out www.ElissaForCongress.com to truly see what she stands for. Find her videos online and on Facebook where you can listen to her and understand why Democrats, Independents such as myself, and even Republican voters have volunteered for her campaign. And most importantly, get out and vote for Elissa Slotkin for Congress on Tuesday, Nov. 6!
Brooks Lamb-Budny
Independence Township

Not my party

Dear Editor,
I proudly registered in the Republican Party 42 years ago and have voted for my party’s candidates since then. That changed in 2016 with the ascension of Donald Trump and his highjacking of Republican standards and ideals.
This man and any elected official or candidate running for office endorsed by Trump must be stopped from destroying American democracy as we know it. He and those who blindly follow him have created such a poisonous, destructive state that I fear for our democracy’s survival. The lies, the denials of basic facts and scientific truths, the racist and sexist behaviors and those ridiculous “tweets” need to end and we need to start the process now.
To my Republican colleagues – do not vote for any candidate endorsed by Trump or follows the Trump doctrine this Nov. 6. If that means we lose our majority in Congress, then so be it. We must take drastic measures to save our party and bring civility, common sense and decency back to the political landscape and remove the cancer that is destroying our beliefs and party.
I am very proud of my American heritage and I look forward to a time when America is truly great again. That time will come when Trump and his followers are out of office.
David B. Hughes
Independence Township

A call for Dodd

Dear Editor,
I believe Laura Dodd is the most qualified person running for State Representative in the 44th District. Laura represents my values and those of many in Springfield Township. She puts people before politics and we could use more of that in Lansing. Her passions include public education, clean water and improving our infrastructure. Dodd runs a positive campaign highlighting her passions, discussing current governance issues and showing her desire to connect with all voters in her district. Speaking with her I have found her to be a good listener and a politician who is eager to hear from citizens.
If you want to see knowledgeable, good people in government, please join me in supporting Laura Dodd for State Representative.
Mary Herzenstiel
Springfield Township

A call for caution on rezoning 42 W. Washington

Dear Editor,
When we moved to the Village of Clarkston just two years ago, both of us had no idea of the zoning issues that confronted us and the political divide that existed within our City Council regarding this topic. What we loved and why we moved here was simple — the quaintness/proximity of the town, many of our friends lived close by and the house we adored had come up for sale. For us, we felt this was a great place to land and the timing was perfect.
Soon after our sale was finalized the rumors of a potential hotel, banquet center and rezoning was brought to our attention (albeit no full plans have ever been shared). Part of that meant the potential demolition of 42 W. Washington, a beautiful home currently zoned residential that stands right in front of our home and is owned by the same person that owns the mall next door.
Here is our concern and why we have chosen to get more educated and involved. For us, I believe the rezoning of 42 W. Washington will be the impetus for major commercial change in Clarkston, we believe this will be detrimental to our residents and the village.
Not that we are anti-business or anti-commercial growth, for the right larger plan I would be very interested. But the precedent this could set with 42 W. Washington, will make it difficult to control other residential properties from becoming rezoned commercial and in time the Village of Clarkston, that we both bought into and loved, will become much different than what it is today.
What is the larger plan for development? I sense the owners of 42 W. Washington have a far grander plan that so far has not been shared. For some people this may be what they are looking for, my sense and hope is that the residents will understand this impact and vote for the City Council leadership, that will protect our neighborhoods for Clarkston growth that makes sense. Based on our research that would be Eric Haven for Mayor, Al Avery and Sharron Catallo for City Council, and David Marsh to replace Eric on the current City Council board.
The historic charm of what really is Clarkston will give way to big business, further parking problems and traffic issues will continue and unless we are ready to build out larger four-lane highways and roads, it will only get worse. We have seen firsthand the congestion on Washington, Holcomb and Main Street – how much more can it handle? Not to mention a decisiveness in our town that will lead to further problems. That is not why we moved to Clarkston and I believe I am not alone. The uniqueness, quality of life and history are what brought us here and the passionate people who love Clarkston I strongly believe will do what is right and best for our Village’s future.
John & Heather Nantau
Clarkston
The State Historic Preservation Review Board’s review of the HDC ruling on 42 W. Washington is set for Friday, Nov. 2, in Lansing.

Learn about issues

Dear Editor,
There is an election on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Local, State and Federal representatives will be elected, and a few State ballot issues will be decided. If you don’t read any more of this, become informed and vote.
In the Village of Clarkston, there are some local issues that could be impacted by who is elected to the city council.
I thought transparency would be the big election issue but apparently not. Over two years of legal battles regarding the city, Michigan’s Open Meetings Act and Freedom of Information Act are still being discussed. Most recently, the Court of Appeals ruled that city administrative officials can be paid with our tax dollars to keep city related information from the city council and public. The Michigan Supreme Court may now consider the issue. Some of those running for city council have are in favor of keeping secrets and being uninformed, others are not. It would be good to know which ones when you vote, or you may never know.
Finances have always been an issue in the Village. The city has been at the maximum tax rate allowed by the charter almost since we became a city plus some added special assessments. Paid parking has helped bring needed additional revenue, but it seems the city is finding ways to spend it as fast as it comes in and we still don’t know the long-term costs.
Has it hurt local businesses? What is the impact on the neighborhoods where people park for free? What about the added traffic from the people driving around looking for those free spots or those who may never come back after receiving a parking ticket?
Traffic has been a complaint for as long as I can remember. With the growth of the surrounding area and a state road (Main Street) connecting a U. S. Highway (Dixie) to I-75, it will continue to be an issue. A little bit has been done but there is much more that could be done. Are any of the candidates willing to take this on?
One candidate says the Village is at a tipping point with the possibility of losing what we have. One of his top issues is “commercialists versus preservationists” whatever that means. He believes the Village is a bedroom community although historically it was the commercial center of the area. Schools, post office, library, bank, drug store, hardware store and more were all in the Village, but not now.
The Village added a historic district in the 70’s for protection from their fears. The Village became a city in the early 90’s for the same reasons and now some people still think we are at some sort of tipping point. Whatever it is, it is something the voters and property owners in the Village should know about and vote accordingly.
Follow the rules, enforce what we have or change it if it doesn’t work, pedestrian friendly, accessible and livable for young and old, affordable, fair and equitable are all good considerations.
Just because it may be legal, doesn’t mean that it’s right and can’t be better.
Learn about the issues and candidates. VOTE.
Cory Johnston
Clarkston

Stop with rumors

Dear Editor,
It seems the rumor mill is running three full shifts and throughput is meeting all production targets. Some real doozies are out there.
A candidate seen taking a brown bag of $50,000 cash from (insert name of local person) to sway their voting. Yes folks, that’s the latest one and now it’s gone too far.
This takes it to another level of ugly. Now it’s suggestions of bribery and illegal acts in hopes of swaying public opinion.
I spoke to the person who supposedly took the bribe cash and it turned into a good laugh because that’s exactly what it is – laughable. Do people really believe stuff like this takes place in a town of one-half square mile, with Council members who have about as much power as a PTO parent? Do people really believe that we’re that morally vacant around here?
Sometimes people forget that the human impact from this negativity is real. It impacts our families as well. The very fact that I need to address this stuff speaks volumes. I debated addressing it at all, but having lies and innuendos spread about us is the worst part of being a candidate in the city.
This is exactly why it’s so hard to get people to step up and run for office – no one wants to deal with this.
They shouldn’t have to.
The goal to Have a Nice City is still alive and well with some of your candidates, and having a nice city runs deeper than how it looks. It’s also about how it feels. Sue Wylie and I are dedicated to making this happen because were tired of the ugly. This isn’t politicking, it’s simply wanting us to be better human beings than this.
To the person(s) coming up with the rumors, here’s some advice for you: don’t worry so much about who gets elected. Take a chill pill.
Rick Detkowski
Clarkston

Voter education

Dear Editor,
As Nov 6 is approaching, it is important to not only exercise your vote, especially if this is the first time you are voting, but also to educate yourself on all candidates, not just those of your preferred party. Ask yourself, what qualifications they possess and what are your expectations from them if elected?
A year ago, I met Laura Dodd who is running for State Representative in my district 44. I learned that she possesses the life skills and experience to qualify for this position and is one of the most honest, respectful, and intelligent candidates. She is someone who understands what is best for our state. Policy making and governing aren’t easy and issues must have all sides considered before decisions are made.
Laura has devoted her entire career to working with non-profits organizations like the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society where she fundraised over $1.25 million for cancer research. She knows how to get lawmakers and a community of diverse members together to get results that are in the best interest of all people.
This election there are so many factors that are important. I am particularly interested in a candidate who is going to improve education for our children to prepare them for college and be skilled to get a job after high school.
I do not see skill training classes in our education today as when I was in high school when schools taught workshop, cooking and other job skill courses. I have passed a local business with a “Mechanic needed sign” outside for over a month. Rather than focused on building real job skills, our educational system has our teachers focused on how to get the necessary school supplies for the year on a shoe string budget
As a mother of teens and a small business owner, it is important for me to find talented students in my community with the basic skills in digital technology. We need programs to get our teens prepared to be independent community members. Laura has the experience to build a team and lead the development of a new education plan that spans from pre-school to high school. Education is the foundation for our children’s future. We need someone like Laura to get us where we should have been years ago.
I am grateful that we have a candidate who is about real people and not about a political party. What candidate has taken the time to create a clean up crew in the middle of campaigning? Laura Dodd will make refreshing and much needed improvements in Michigan. I encourage everyone to take the time to know her. Please vote for Laura Dodd on November 6.
Terry Beltran
Springfield Township

Bad sign

Dear Editor,
Purchased ten campaign signs as a candidate, with $320 of my own money, for the City of the Village of Clarkston, City Council election Nov. 6.
Placed eight of the ten, with permission from the property owners, Saturday October 20. Sunday morning with a cup of coffee took a spin around town to see how they looked.
Only four of the eight looked good – the other four were not there. Gone, removed, stolen.
Mike Cascone
Clarkston

One Response to "Letters to the Editor"

  1. Michael Powell   October 25, 2018 at 3:12 pm

    I’m very surprised that the huge “road improvement” Independence township tax increase proposal that is on the ballot in November wasn’t mentioned by anyone anywhere!
    Especially when you consider that it will affect every Independence township homeowner, apartment dweller, condo owner, business, etc. A tax increase proposal that on average will cost us $223 more in property taxes annually to have the RCOC “fix” roads that we’re already taxed heavily to have fixed.

    A reminder of the recent state imposed tax increases that we were told would “fix” our roads:

    Average annual vehicle registration tax was increased by $26.50 PER VEHICLE
    State gas tax was increased by 7.3 cents PER GALLON.
    State diesel fuel tax was increased by 11.5 cents PER GALLON. Both increases raised gas taxes to 26.3 cents PER GALLON!
    State charges us a 6% sales tax AFTER the per gallon taxes are added. (A tax on a tax)
    State protects itself from “inflation” by allowing for annual per gallon tax increases of 5%, or by the inflation rate, whichever is less.

    To ask the average Independence township property owner to dish out another $223 more annually with the promise that “this millage will last only four years” is laughable. Especially when history has shown us that it’s a long standing practice of government to put millage “renewals” on the ballot every time they expire.
    We also must take into consideration the condition how roads that were replaced less than a year ago are all ready falling apart!
    How could it possibly be a good idea for township taxpayers to pay more to “partner” with the RCOC when their work has less then a one year life cycle and is already in need of repair?

    When voting, every township voter should take the advice of our township supervisor when he said: “This office cannot, in good conscience, ask residents to pay for a service that is clearly the responsibility of the RCOC and then get short-changed on future road appropriations funds.” I agree, and encourage others to make their voices heard by voting NO on the Independence Township road improvement tax increase proposal.

    Reply

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