Heise endorsed by Plymouth city officials
Jul. 2, 2016 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
The endorsement by City of Plymouth officials of the write-in candidacy of Michigan State Rep. Kurt Heise for supervisor of Plymouth Township has reverberated through the entire community.
Plymouth Mayor Dan Dwyer announced his support for Heise last week in a letter in which he urged voters to remember “what’s at stake on Aug. 2.”
“Plymouth City and Township depend and benefit from each other. While we are two governments, we are one community, and we need to start acting like it again.”
Dwyer’s support for Heise was seconded by Plymouth City Commissioner Colleen Pobur who said that she was “particularly concerned about the township resolution designed to block cooperation with the City of Plymouth.”
That resolution, approved by the township two years ago, was proposed by township Treasurer Ron Edwards who was strongly supporting a township plan to build a $2 million recreation complex in Plymouth Township park. That plan, which drew protests from citizens for months, included granite benches in an amphitheater and an all-weather pavilion in the park, along with other recreation expenses. Edwards was particularly critical of the plan to renovate the historic Central Middle School into the Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex (PARC), stating at a public meeting that his plans had “been tossed aside” in favor of the cooperative effort with the city.
Township Supervisor Shannon Price has also been critical of the PARC, claiming that the organizers have “no business plan.” Price, who was appointed to the supervisor’s position with Edwards’ support, claims that the PARC would not benefit township residents who would be asked to vote for and pay a special millage to support the entity.
Dwyer and Pobur, along with City Commissioner Dan Dalton, obviously disagree.
In his letter of support for Heise, the five-time mayor notes that he typically does not get involved in elections in nearby communities. He made this endorsement, he said, because the township and city have historically been an example of regional cooperation, until the past few years when relations have been “strained.”
“Our two communities need healing and must move forward together,” he said. In his letter of endorsement, he touts Heise’s long list of accomplishments during his political career and the benefit he has provided to both communities.
Pobur said that she has been vocal about asking Price to rescind the resolution preventing the communities from working cooperatively on any project and he has refused to do so.
She added that Heise will bring non-partisan, collaborative leadership to our community and “ He will never use children or seniors as political pawns.”
While Dalton, a practicing attorney, did not criticize Price openly, in his endorsement, he urged voters to support Heise.
“His track record of success is outstanding and Plymouth Township would be fortunate to have him in charge,” Dalton said.
Price has maintained that his failure to support the PARC project is an effort to protect township taxpayers and cited the recent partial resolution of a long-standing dispute between the city and the township regarding legacy costs for fire department personnel as an example of cooperation.
The city has agreed to pay the township a partial payment of $330,000 toward the costs which Edwards at one time claimed were more than $4 million. The costs were incurred while the city and township were served by one fire department, funded by both communities. That arrangement, which had been in place for 17 years, was acrimoniously dissolved in 2012. The City of Plymouth is now served by on-call firefighters from the City of Northville.
Last week, Price said that he and Dwyer “had been working hard at this” and that “it’s been a priority for both of us.”
In his letter of support for Heise, Dwyer noted that the ability of the township and city to “work together on recreation, arts and culture, seniors and emergency services “has been negatively impacted.”
Dwyer said that Heise would, “put people before politics and help restore trust between our communities.”
Dwyer added Monday, “The City of Plymouth is going to negotiate in good faith with whomever they (the township) want us to, except Ron Edwards.”