Township officials blast false robocall claims
Former Plymouth Township Clerk Nancy Conzelman
Apr. 5, 2018 PLYMOUTH EAGLE.
Plymouth Michigan News
Residents filled Plymouth Township Hall nearly to capacity last Tuesday in response to false claims about the merger of the township with the city announced in robocalls made to township homes.
Many residents claimed to have received the recorded calls which stated that Supervisor Kurt Heise had a “diabolical plan to merge the township and city into one Plymouth.” The robocall, recorded by the reedy voice of a mature-sounding woman, claimed that the township would cede all local control to the city to “run as they see fit” while township residents “would pay for it.”
The caller stated at the end of the message that it was paid for by Say No to PARC, although no registration of any such political group could be located.
Heise, visibly upset by the claims made in the robocalls and in some Facebook posts, made his position clear at the meeting.
“If you are here because you were told we are going to raise your taxes tonight, you are being lied to. If you are here because you were told we are voting to sell the golf course, you are being lied to. If you are here because you were told we are going to vote on a massive new recreation authority that will have unlimited taxing power, you are being lied to. If you are here because you were told we are disbanding the senior bus service, you are being lied to,” Heise stated.
Heise’s remarks criticizing the robocalls were seconded by several members of the audience who expressed their shock and dismay at the claims made by the caller.
“Shame on all the despicable(s),” commented resident Doreen Sharpe.
“Let the people decide about PARC, (Plymouth Arts and Recreation Complex). They have a lot to offer people in this community. The small amount of money we’d have to come up with would be a benefit,” she said.
Some of those in attendance said they were there in response to information posted on the Facebook page of former Township Clerk Nancy Conzelman who was soundly defeated during her bid for reelection in November.
“The presentation is in the board packet,” Conzelman posted. “It calls for an authority to raise taxes to build the stand alone 800 seat orchestra hall, renovate Central, and enter into an agreement with PARC, that can never be terminated, to manage and operate both facilities. PARC will continue to run Central Middle School as a landlord that leases space to anybody who is a nonprofit. Don Soenen will get his orchestra hall at taxpayer expense,” the post continues.
Soenen said the robocall claims were completely misleading and full of false information.
“This is crazy stuff. All of this is unsubstantiated information. It’s a bunch of nonsense. These robocalls calls are a deliberate attempt to mislead the public,” he said.
Conzelman has also been critical of the proposed pension plan settlement with the city and claims that Heise has plans to sell the golf course to developers. She also claimed that proper procedures were not followed in the adoption of the township budget in January.
Starting last year, shortly after the 2016 election, Conzelman and a group of supporters commenced a barrage of Freedom of Information Act requests from the township offices. Recently Conzelman requested all of Heise’s emails regarding conversations surrounding the topic of the Hilltop Golf Course which is undergoing a citizens’ advisory review process to determine its viability.
“Those who are responsible for the robocalls know they are lying and they want to scare you. They think you are stupid. It speaks volumes about their character and sense of community.
“These robo-calls are being put out by people who lost the 2016 township elections and still can’t deal with their loss.
“I hope they will find closure and get on with their lives,” he concluded.
Staff Writer Don Howard contributed to this story.
File Photo: Associated Newspapers