Fiscal conservatism forgotten in Plymouth
Plymouth Township Supervisor Richard Reaume
Sep. 4, 2013 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Township officials are borrowing $1.9 million to construct a park pavilion, an amphitheater, improve parking lots, build a footbridge and path and make other improvements to recreation structures in the township.
The taxpayers will pay the bill, despite the claims that grants and donations will offset $524,000 of the costs. The fact remains that the burden to pay for these projects will come right from the checkbooks of taxpayers in the township.
We agree with Township Treasurer Ron Edwards when he extols the quality and high level of construction planned for these improvements. We have no doubt that he, and those helping with this plan, have researched and chosen well in their plans to find the best people to design and construct the new amenities in the park. We believe his prideful claims that the buildings will be superior to anything around and “look better than Canton.”
We believe Edwards when he says, “We are trying to create a great image in this town,” and understand the pride he is obviously taking in the streetscape extension of landscaping along Ann Arbor Road and this new recreational plan in the works.
We just think that his priorities are askew. We think his plans are very close to those of the captain rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.
Edwards claims he wants to improve the image of the community with these recreational and outdoor projects he has planned, including more spending on the municipal golf course that cost more than $90,000 last year in losses.
Edwards says that people talk about how good the course looks after the last round of improvements to it. We couldn’t disagree, it looks good, but it doesn’t make money or even sustain the operating expenses which have to be subsidized by the same folks who are expected to pay for the next round of enhancements.
These recreational improvements add to the quality of life, no question. But we have to ask, where is the Republican fiscal conservatism that was so loudly touted and promised during the last election campaign? This drunken lottery-winner like spending does not seem to fall in line with the promise of careful and prudent stewardship of taxpayers’ funds.
It was, in part, this fiscal conservatism cited when Edwards and Supervisor Richard Reaume, with the help of the board of trustees, systematically gutted the fire department, leaving only 12 full-time firefighters to safeguard and serve 28,000 township residents.
No recreational features, no matter how beautiful, can compensate for the lack of adequate fire safety and protection in Plymouth Township. A beautiful park will never outweigh the danger to potential home buyers, businesses or industries, not if they are smart enough to look past the surface and see the lurking threat to their families, homes and properties should disaster strike.
We’ve seen signs that many residents have awakened from this false sense of security to the nightmare of the rampant spending of Edwards and Reaume, facilitated and supported by Trustee Kay Arnold and Township Clerk Nancy Conzelman.
Fiscal conservatism, it would appear, is selectively practiced by these pseudo-Republicans who have jeopardized both the personal safety of those who elected them and the financial gains promised by their radical and vindictive decisions.
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