Township officials initially talked about the prospects in March, and have scheduled an April 14 public hearing to get input on the topic.
The Township Board has recommended approval of a townshipwide assessment district equal to 1.86 mills — an increase of about one-third of a mill — for the fire department.
While we recognize that there may indeed be a need for funding our essential services for the township’s emergency department, we question the methods that the township is using to go about it.
While the Township Board has scheduled a public hearing, and also sought community input at other meetings, the decision is still left up to those in charge.
It seems like, for as important an issue as this is, and how it could impact homeowners’ pocketbooks, voters should be the decision-makers.
As Township Clerk Sue Buitenhuis said in a previous story, “By changing the millage to a special assessment, the board is basically taking the right to vote for the millage away from the residents.”
Residents deserve that opportunity to let their voices be heard by putting the issue on the ballot and letting voters have the final say. After all, it is their money that will be affected by the proposed assessment — and to have no choice in the matter, save for a pleading to the board, seems unacceptable.
Do the right thing, Grand Haven Township, and give all the residents a true voice on the issue.
Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty 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.