At the 10/1/13 Planning Commission meeting Mr. Ron Hein, a Planning Commissioner newly appointed by Supervisor Gonser and the Board, volunteered to serve on the Township Safety Paths and Trails Committee saying “I have a little bit of a vested interest in this.” Ron went on to say that his subdivision (the Hills of Oakland at Adams and Dutton) has safety paths that need repair and that rather than build new trails and connections the Township should maintain what we already have (watch the video below).
This is not a new idea. Treasurer Jeanne Langlois proposed the same thing at a Safety Paths and Trails Committee meeting this summer. She was told then that this would not be an appropriate use of taxpayer’s money. Hein and Langlois, together, will be half of the body which has the responsibility of suggesting to the Board how our trails and safety paths millage money is spent.
The safety paths that Ron and Jeanne want to spend our money on are privately owned and their maintenance is the responsibility of the homeowners and their associations. If they have been allowed to fall into disrepair, as Mr. Hein says, he and his neighbors need to pay for the repairs. Is this why he says he has a “vested interest”?
The millage language that we, the voters, approved says precisely how our money must be spent.
TRAILS SYSTEM MILLAGE PROPOSAL
Shall the Charter Township of Oakland be authorized to levy up to .25 (1/4) of one mill for a period of ten years, starting with the December 2007 levy, to provide funds for the construction and maintenance of a network of safety paths, trails and boardwalks to provide healthy recreational opportunities and safe routes to schools, parks and neighborhoods in the Township, and for the acquisition of property and right-of-way for such purposes? Approval of this proposal would authorize a tax limitation increase of 25 cents per $1,000 of taxable value on all taxable property in the Township. The proposal is for a new additional millage the revenue from which would be disbursed to the Charter Township of Oakland. It is estimated this proposal would result in the Authorization to collect $315,178 in the first Year, if approved and levied.”
Our money is to be spent to construct and maintain a network of trails that connect parks, schools and neighborhoods. It says nothing about bailing out subdivision residents. Mr. Hein’s subdivision safety paths do not form a network nor connect to parks, or schools. We have millions of our tax dollars at stake. Gonser and the Board know that unless we, the residents, make it plain that this misuse of our money is unacceptable they can do it and get away with it. No one else is watching to be sure that the Board spends our trails money appropriately. Make your voice heard!