Aug. 30, 2013 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
A letter from Plymouth Township resident Duane Zantop, published in several newspapers, prompted his neighbor, Isaac Bishop, Jr. to attend his first meeting of the township board of trustees last Tuesday.
Bishop, who described himself as a fiscal social and political conservative, addressed the board members with questions about their spending practices.
Bishop, an electronics-engineering technician who has lived in the township for 7 years, said he first learned of the board members’ plan to spend $1.9 million on a recreation plan from Zantop, who said the board was spending like “they had an open checkbook of borrowed money.”
Zantop, who described himself as a contributor and political supporter of the current officials during the last election, is “furious and embarrassed.”
“Many of my friends and I campaigned hard to help elect this board, including the four that voted for the loan…” said Zantop in a published statement.
The plan that has drawn the ire of Zantop, Bishop and several other residents, includes the sale of bonds to pay $625,000 for a picnic pavilion, $270,000 for an outdoor amphitheater, $350,000 to make improvements at the municipal golf course, footbridge, playscape, spray-scape and other projects that Zantop called, “wasteful.”
“This does not look like fiscal conservatism,” Bishop said.
“Right down the street, less than 20 minutes away, we’re looking at one of the most major cities in this country going into bankruptcy and I’d really hate to see an EM (Emergency Manager) come into Plymouth Township….” Bishop said.
Bishop questioned the financial acuity of a municipality operating a golf course and asked, “How is it the water tower is still not working, it should have been repaired years ago.”
He was most critical of the board’s decisions regarding public safety.
“Regarding the fire department, I used to be in the army-Military Police, I know what these people have to do and I think it’s unconscionable these people should have to take a pay cut…just as I think it unconscionable the fire department has been gutted, and on top of that we see a $100,000 loss from a golf course that should not be run by a private government…There are plenty of firemen that can be hired for that.
“I am not coming here to be accusatory and a firebrand, Bishop said, “But I would like to find some answers.”
The board members remained silent and did not address any of Bishop’s questions or concerns.
After the meeting, Bishop said he felt that a recall of the officials might be the only recourse of township residents. “I’ve heard of a lot of municipal governments have been fired.” Bishop said. “It really seems like they don’t care.”
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