A Perfect Storm at Garfield Township

January 28, 2016

Dear Editor:
The regular Garfield Township Board Meeting on January 25 was A Perfect Storm, the combination of misinformation, distortion and rumor run amuck.

On the agenda was voting on an ordinance regarding dangerous buildings – those long vacant and abandoned, beyond repair, and a threat to health and/or safety of others.

It only took one person to twist the word “ordinance” into “zoning” and spread fear like wildfire.  No one bothered to check out the facts before going crazy. Over 50 people showed up, and about a dozen got up to speak about Constitutional rights, big government, invasion of privacy, and demands for the Supervisor’s resignation.  Some folks got teary, talking about personal tragedy.  Comments were met with applause.

It felt like an apocalypse, an armageddon was sweeping down like a plague to take away the last thing folks could call their own in this world.  We were witnessing raw fear.  It was really sad, amazing, and baffling, for it was so unnecessary.  In regular attendance of  these meetings for 3 years now, no one on this Board has ever  uttered the word “zoning.” No one on the Garfield Township Board is interested in zoning.

If adopted, the ordinance under consideration will save the Township a huge amount of money.  Taxpayers will see more efficient use of their resources, and the Garfield Township Board is to be applauded for their efforts to spend funds wisely.  Other  townships have adopted similar ordinances with positive results.

Voting on the ordinance for dangerous buildings was tabled until next month.
It was a lesson for all — don’t let your fears control you: get the facts, from the source.
Jeanie Stewart
Lake, Michigan

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