May 2, 2013 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
It appears that the voices of reason may have finally been raised at the Plymouth Township Board of Trustees.
Last week, during a “special” meeting, when a $1,9000.000 bond issue was being discussed, two trustees finally appeared to realize that perhaps the other elected officials were not acting in the best interest of the residents.
It’s about time.
When trustees Bob Doroshewitz and Chuck Curmi asked some pretty pointed questions about the plans to spend nearly $2 million to “make the township more desirable,” it was evident that Treasurer Ron Edwards and Supervisor Richard Reaume weren’t happy. Obviously, these two expected the usual lemming-like, slavish obedience to their decisions by the township trustees would be the order of the day.
When Doroshewitz had the audacity to question the wisdom of the project, Edwards’ angry gestures and dismissive sneers were meant to demonstrate just how impertinent those queries were.
As Doroshewitz pointed out, the $1,900,000 bond issue will have to be repaid by taxpayers over the next 10 years. Reaume and Edwards want to build a new park pavilion, pave a parking lot, build a footbridge, a large amphitheater and buy a street sweeper, along with making $150,000 or so of improvements to the public golf course.
Remember, these are the same people who refused to allow residents to vote on a millage question to fund a fire department. This is the township, under this leadership, that now depends on a skeleton crew of 12 firefighters and an Ann Arbor-based ambulance company. These are the guys who have jeopardized the safety of every single home, business and resident within the township borders because they claimed they couldn’t afford to fund a full-time professional fire department.
Doroshevitz has apparently had enough of Edwards’ arrogance and lack of transparency. That attitude first manifested a few weeks ago when the trustee resigned from his volunteer task of heading up the annual fireworks and barbecue. When couldn’t get financial records of contributions and spending from Edwards, he decided it was time to protect himself from any hint of financial impropriety and leave the job to someone else who could live with the current state of record keeping.
That may have been the first fissure in Doroshevitz’ confidence in Edwards and may have prompted him to take a long, objective look at what has become of Plymouth Township. Whatever motivated his questions and his requests for greater transparency and accountability, we applaud it loudly.
He asked reasonable questions, made viable arguments and stated his opposition to this spending plan in the face of Edwards’ insults, demeaning attitude and rudeness. Not to put to fine a point on it, but Edwards has been ruling the other trustees by intimidation for some time. It took courage to stand up to this bully and his wing man, Reaume.
Then Curmi also asked some pointed questions about the wisdom of this kind of spending at this time. He, too, made some salient points about the plans for a huge amphitheater, a $650,000 park pavilion and a new parking lot.
Edwards and Reaume were obviously shocked at the audacity these two demonstrated with their questions. Edwards demanded to know if these projects didn’t “make the township more desirable?”
They probably would, Ron, but a professional fire department would lower residents’ insurance rates, save lives and actually mean a whole lot more to those with young children looking for homes or senior citizens with medical conditions in the community.
Remember, you didn’t want to let people vote on that, either.
But, hey, that amphitheater is sure pretty.
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