The issue of disincorporating the Village Charter has regained some momentum due to a bill sponsored by state Sen. Arlan Meekhof, R-Olive Township, that gives residents of Home Rule villages the opportunity to vote on disincorporation.
We applaud Meekhof for his work on this bill that would put the decision-making in front of the voters — and, in our opinion, that is where it should be. Government now more than ever needs to be accountable. This bill would be a big part of doing just that.
Newly appointed Village Manager Chris Burns was in Lansing last week to testify against the bill that would provide a mechanism for disincorporation for Michigan Home Rule villages.
Burns realizes that the idea of disincorporation is attractive to residents due to the potential tax savings, but she warns that there are unintended consequences that people don’t think of. Services like public safety and library funding could be negatively affected, although she admits that she hasn’t yet put a pen to paper to figure out the exact numbers.
With that thought in mind, our question to Burns is this: What are you waiting for? Isn’t that information you should have had with you when you testified in Lansing?
Whether the village should disincorporate or not is not the question. The issue is giving residents the opportunity to vote on it.
Residents that pay the taxes should be able to decide what services they want, and how they want their local government structured.
We think it’s obvious.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Liz Stuck and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.