2013-10-31 / Viewpoint

Letters to the editor

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Voters need facts, not opinions

In response to “Millage would fund Gaines Township Police,” Swartz Creek View, Oct. 24, front page by Lania Rocha, clearly, voters will have their say on Nov. 5 to keep and improve their local police department and if passed, finally put an end to the propaganda that attempts to ignore the facts.

Sadly, over the past decade, certain public officials have disrespected the department, giving it such low priority, they soon convinced themselves that its existence wasn’t important. This is evidenced by Treasurer Hyrman’s unsubstantiated opinion in many ways:

• “I’m not against police,” and “if the residents want to have a police department, the residents need to support it.” Factually, Hyrman has a solid record of voting against the police since the new supervisor was elected in November, 2012 and her March vote to disband the police adds more evidence that contradicts her own words.

• “0.5 mills is insufficient.” “We need at least 2 mills,” adding “state revenue sharing have forced the township to pare expenses.” The insinuation that the citizens need to be taxed at a higher rate is unfounded, as Treasurer Hyrman has never submitted a plan or study that supports such a claim. It would be logical to expect Mrs. Hyrman, as Treasurer, to understand that citizens with their tax dollars have funded the police department since 2001. As far as the claim that the township was forced to cut back on expenses, records reflect year end 2001 revenue sharing at $445,683 and year end 2013 revenue sharing at $467,755, which calls to question, “where are the cuts?”

• “We took money from the roads so we could fund the police.” As the spokesperson of the Public Safety Advisory Council citizens’ group, which did a study based on facts and raw data from 911 calls to determine the police need and cost, I can tell you that our Council looked into this matter and documents proved this statement to be absolutely false. Perhaps Treasurer Hyrman would like to explain to the voters why she supported the 2012 purchase of a new police vehicle, other equipment and recent drawings that incorporates the police department into future renovation plans, all based on a growing building improvement fund of close to one quarter million dollars.

I encourage voters to take a look at the details of the study at gainestownship.net clicking on Departments, then Supervisor, then Police Presentation. Please vote responsibly by having the facts, not unsubstantiated opinions! — Etter Deal, Gaines Township

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