Reaume claims amphitheater move not related to recall
Sept. 26, 2014 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
“I don’t understand what the real plan is.” -Trustee Chuck Curmi
The controversial amphitheater project in Plymouth Township Park is now a part of the 2015 recreation plan review and will go no further until that discussion next year.
Only three weeks after a definitive vote by the board members to continue the project, Township Supervisor Richard Reaume proposed a resolution moving the project to the recreation plan during the regular meeting last week. The resolution was approved by a 6-1 vote. The dissenting vote was cast by Trustee Bob Doroshewitz who explained that his concern was not in moving or delaying the project but in the fate of the funding already allocated to the project. The township sold $1.9 million in municipal bonds, purportedly for the amphitheater and an all- season pavilion in the park, along with repairs and renovations to other recreational facilities in the community. The entire project was a $2.55 million improvement plan with the balance of the funding to come from grants and funds previously allocated for recreational improvements.
Doroshewitz said that he felt the money already allocated for the amphitheater should be set aside until a final decision was made on the project and not become a part of the parks and recreation budget. Trustee Chuck Curmi also questioned the allocation of the funds. “I thought the original intention was to start (the amphitheater) this year. It’s a $1.5 million capital improvement. I don’t understand what the real plan is,” Curmi said.
Township Clerk Nancy Conzelman asked, “Are you opposed to it (the resolution)?”
“I’m suspicious of it. What will replace it? We’ll keep the funds unallocated?” he responded.
Curmi did vote for the resolution after some discussion during which Reaume said that the money would be there for three years.
Doroshewitz, however, was adamant that the funding remain allocated.
“We should protect that money. Earmark it, or we could pay it back.”
“I don’t see any reason to put a hold on it,” Reaume responded.
The resolution came as a surprise move to the standing room only crowd in township hall where residents had been protesting the amphitheater for months. Protests regarding the amphitheater and other decisions of the board had prompted a recall against Reaume, Conzelman, Treasurer Ron Edwards and Trustee Kay Arnold.
Three weeks ago the board voted to 4-3 to continue with the project despite the overwhelming protests from residents who requested the project be delayed pending public input. Following that vote, a group of residents mounted a recall campaign.
Reaume adamantly denied that the resolution was a response to the recall effort which was derailed by the three-judge elections commission in Wayne County last Wednesday. The panel denied the proposed petition language on the recall ballots prompting organizers to vow to re-submit language and continue the effort to oust the four board members.