The Independence township “road improvement” millage was presented to voters by township officials as the “solution” to fixing the township/county road problems that we were told were in desperate need of repair.
If passed, we were told, the township and the RCOC would have the money to move forward to get prioritized township/county roads fixed quickly.
Yet, here we are almost a year later, none of the roads are fixed, the sense of urgency is gone, the township supervisor’s phone is no longer “ringing off the hook with demands to get the roads fixed,” and an estimated $3,167,648 was taken from taxpayers in the first year with nothing to show for it.
But not to worry, we’re told, “all road improvement millage funds are in a separate investment account earning interest.”
Truth be told, voter’s didn’t pass the “road improvement” proposal with the expectation that the township would take their money, wait over a year and a half to begin repairs while it collects interest on what will soon be the second payment (Winter 2019 tax statement), which will result in collecting $6 million dollars without a single road that was presented to us as “in need of urgent repair” is even fixed.
No matter how you slice it, this isn’t what taxpayers were promised when the “road improvement” millage was proposed and presented to them by the township supervisor.
Now that taxpayers have seen the lack of results from the added confiscation of their money to “fix the roads” that were in “urgent need of repair,” we must conclude the proposal was poorly thought out, wasn’t urgent, and should never have been proposed. To date, the Independence Township road improvement proposal has done only one thing competently, take money from township taxpayers.
When township Supervisor Kittle said this about a road improvement millage, “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,” he was absolutely right.
We will soon be two of the four payments into the road improvement millage without a single road being touched. Proving once again that once the government gets your money, emergencies disappear, phones stop ringing off the hook, and then those promises go unfulfilled.
This taxpayer gives the township an F grade on execution, planning, and the truthfulness of the supposed urgency for the Independence township road improvement millage.
Township taxpayers have now seen that being taxed twice for the same slow, foot dragging results doesn’t work. And have to ask themselves this: Could the RCOC have repaired these roads in the same time frame without the need to raise our property taxes? We’ll never know! This is exactly why I warned against passing this proposal.