Aug. 5 primary election tutorial

Voters will arrive at the polls Aug. 5 to decide on several candidates and issues.
Alex Doty
Aug 2, 2014


Despite there being several races and proposals on the ballot, local election officials don’t expect a surge at the polls.

“I am not expecting a big turnout,” Grand Haven City Clerk Linda Browand said. “I think that it will be average.”

She based her estimate on the current absentee ballot situation.

“We’ve issued 528 (absentee ballots) and gotten 418 of them back,” Browand said. “That’s not very many.”

Browand noted that there isn’t anything new for voters at the polls in terms of the voting process.

Among the contested races is a Republican primary for the Michigan House of Representatives seat occupied by Amanda Price, R-Park Township. Price is running for a third two-year term and is being challenged next week by Spring Lake resident Matthew Wiedenhoeft.

In November, the winner of the Republican primary will face Democrat Donald Bergman of Holland. Bergman has lost to Price in the past two state House elections.

Another local race with a contested Republican primary is for the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners’ 8th District, which covers a portion of Robinson Township. Incumbent Greg DeJong will face challenger David Lee Moren.

There are also plenty of issues to be decided on the Aug. 5 primary ballot.

State of Michigan:
• Proposal 1
If approved by voters, the proposal would reorganize the state use tax into a state share tax and local community stabilization share tax. The two share taxes would be levied on the use, storage and consumption of “tangible personal property” used for business purposes at no more than a total combined rate of 6 percent. The measure would create a community stabilization share from share tax revenue, and distribute revenue to school districts and local governments for services such as fire protection, police officers and ambulances.

Spring Lake Township:
• Museum Millage Renewal
Voters will be asked to renew a 0.25-mill tax for six years — 2015 through 2020 — to provide funds for the Tri-Cities Historical Museum. Funds would be used for operation, repair, maintenance and improvement of the museum and its related facilities. If approved, the estimated revenue the township would collect in 2015 is $173,077.

• Senior Activities and Services Millage Renewal
Voters will be asked to decide on the renewal of a 0.25-mill tax for 10 years — 2015 through 2024 — to provide funding for the North Ottawa County Council on Aging. Funds would be used for senior citizen activities and general senior services. If approved, the estimated revenue the township would collect in 2015 is approximately $173,077.

• Bike Path Millage Renewal
Voters will be asked to renew a 10-year, 0.49-mill tax that would provide funds for planning, financing, construction, right-of-way acquisition, maintaining, reconstructing and operating bicycle paths, including paved sidewalks and paved road shoulders. The estimated revenue the township would collect if the millage is approved and levied is approximately $334,278.

Grand Haven Township:
• Fire/Rescue Department Millage
Voters will be asked to decide on a 1.9-mills property tax increase to provide funds to operate and equip the township's Fire/Rescue Department. The estimate of the revenue the township would collect if the millage is approved and levied in its entirety in 2014 is approximately $1.3 million.

• North Ottawa County Council on Aging Millage Renewal
Voters here will also be asked to decided on a 10-year, 0.25-mill renewal for the purpose of providing funds for senior services. The city estimates revenue collected in 2015, if the millage is approved, would be $39,600.

Grand Haven:
• Council on Aging Millage
Grand Haven voters will also be asked to decide on the renewal of a 0.25-mill levy for 10 years for the North Ottawa County Council on Aging, also known as Four Pointes. If approved, the levy is estimated to raise $125,968 in the first year.

Crockery Township:
• Crockery Fire Protection Millage
Voters will be asked to approve a levy for 1.5 mills for township fire protection services. The purpose is to fund the operation and maintenance of the township fire department; and the acquisition, operation and maintenance of fire and rescue vehicles, apparatus and equipment, as well as real property and improvements used for fire protection. It is estimated that $209,986 would be generated in the first year.

Robinson Township:
• Fire Department Millage Renewal
Voters will be asked to renew a fire department millage of 1.5762 mills for 16 years to provide operating funds and equipment for the township fire department. The estimated revenue the township would collect if the millage is approved and levied in 2015 is $336,451.

Election results will be updated often Tuesday night at



Vote NO on any increases for fire and rescue for grand haven township. Increased building in the township will raise the tax base greatly and fund the department without another large tax increase. We all just spent a ton of money so we could have a great new tow for the department to play with. VOTE NO


Vote no


vote against


For the Grand Haven Twp voters it is your chance to finally take back your the run away GH Twp fire budget. Voters are being ask to INCREASE the fire budget. They are threatening us by hold us tax payers hostage with vote. Mr Cargo has made threats that the fire service will shut down if the mileage does not increase. It should be noted that he did not put on the ballot for a renewal of the 1.5 mills with an additional .5 mill increase request. Very risky threat. I am in total support for the fire service but if we look back at all the recent budget issues that have occurred in the fire service with starting the paramedic service that was not properly budgeted or voted on by the tax payers, The purchase of new fire aerial truck when the tri cities has two at their disposal at anytime. If that was not enough then they came back and forced on the tax payers a couple more special assessments. One for the additional $375,000.00 for the new aerial truck and the other for police services which is a open check book. Special Assessments are only to be a special collection for a project not continuous. People its time to make the board more accountable to our money. Now we have a downtown development fund???? where is the down town.. Nothing more then a shell game with our money. Maybe its time for cutting costs and staff numbers if they can't afford to pay from the general fund. Ferrysburg which is a City does not keep coming back asking for more cash...Its time to go back one person in the station and have the chief fill open shifts. The private sector has no problem cutting personal and benefit costs... VOTE NO ON THE FIRE MILLAGE INCREASE. Cargo has other plans for this money. History has shown that GH TWP has a integrity issues with waste fraud and abuse of our tax dollar. We have the opportunity Tuesday August 5 to send the correct message back to Mr Cargo and the GH TWP board.


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