LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Making hard decisions

Apr 12, 2011


The past practice has been to throw money at the problem and it will be OK. If our school boards would get together and look at how working together would saving thousands of dollars in operating funds that would not cut teachers. Look at savings that could be garnered by consolidating Grand Haven, Fruitport and Spring Lake school districts, or any combination there of. As an example, how much could be saved by eliminating one superintendent and supporting staff? How about consolidating three bus operations and eliminating some of the maintenance operations and elimination of duplicate bus routes.  How many assistant superintendents do we have in the three districts that are duplicating functions?

We, as taxpayers, do not know because we never see organization charts of the districts. When was the last time such information was published in the Tribune or any other newspaper? How about school budgets, have they ever been published?

We need year-to-year comparisons, as well as actual expenditures against budget. We don’t even know the actual tax revenues the schools are receiving for operations and debt service. Under the Freedom of Information Act can’t the Tribune come up with this information? It could be very enlightening and would be a real service to the communities.

We should not stop at the school districts for savings and efficiencies, but expand to the local units of government, such as the cities of Grand Haven and Ferrysburg, Spring Lake Village, Grand Haven, Robinson, Crockery and Spring Lake townships.  Look at the duplication of administrations, fire departments, street maintenance, managers, etc.

It is time to get serious and do what seem like hard things to do, but if we don’t do it now, what will the price be for our children and grandchildren? Ask yourself, can we continue to listen to the teachers’ union representatives or are we willing to support those elected representative who are willing to make the hard decisions?

— George Raymer, Spring Lake



Better yet... lets just consolidate four of the local governments, that is what Synder would like us to do... we can be


School system / Fire / Police / Zoning / taxes / roads / and any other government. We could elmiminate a bunch of local boards, put all zoning under one board - emimate the city managers, have a larger council etc... close and sell reduntant / buildings / meeting halls / libraries / parks / beach areas / etc... it would be so great!


CaptnPeaBrain, you have it all wrong. Let me help you. The school system would be call the Tri-Cities Public Schools, Police would still be Ottawa Co. Sheriff Dept. & State Police(minus the city of GH and SL/Fburg dept. overhead and duplicate services), zoning & taxes would fall under Ottawa County(minus City of GH & Ferrysburg & Village of SL, Robinson, Olive, Crockery, GH, and SL Townships overhead and duplicate services).....still with us Mr. sarcastic? The roads would fall underrrrr, come on...I know you know this one, yup, the Ottawa County Road Commission and the libraries, parks, and state parks would remain the same...for now. Pay attention, because this is the part Mr. Raymer gets and you obviously don't: School consolidation savings $10,000,000 per year, Township consolidation savings $3,500,000 per year, Police Service consolidation $2,800,000, explaining this to you...priceless. Job well done George Raymer. If we don't get our State turned around this is exactly what is coming.


I agree with the Captn. Big government is unresponsive government. If I wanted to live in Grand Haven, I wouldn't have moved out 15 years ago.


Big government is unresponsive government. If I wanted to live in GDH, I wouldn't have moved 15 years ago!


So... you propose:
Dismantle all City Police in the Tri-Cities, so only Ottawa County and State patols, do you think the local powers that be will do that? I'm ok with it... just don't let the locals "boys" know, I'll be swimming in speeding tickets.

What would be the point of having boards in GH / FBurg / SL / SL Township / GH Township / etc..? Wouldn't we just replace all with one larger board that covered the whole area? Or should we just decommision all of them and just go with Ottawa County Board making all the calls for our area?

Who did the number crunching, where is it sited?




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