Those who’ve mobilized to disincorporate our Village have labeled themselves “Reclaim Richland” and have a website with posts and responses that contain statements ranging from unfounded to misleading, to just plain untrue.
We’ve taken some time to get the facts straight to cut through the heated innuendo .. please click on the link below for a fact sheet that we hope will help Village and Township residents to understand some of the issues more clearly.
Getting the Facts Straight
Richland Village residents have complete control over the policies, services and governance of the Village – far more so than if the Village were just a part of the larger Township budget and oversight. More development and residences are underway for the immediate future; our tax base and opportunities will grow. The Village Council serves at the pleasure of the Village voters. Village Council seats are open to those who want to run; volunteer efforts are welcome and sought. Reasoned, thoughtful and respectful collaboration has always achieved and can continue to achieve anything we want in our Village. Let’s keep it that way!
How does Preserving the Village of Richland preserve value for Township residents?
Here’s one example:
We understand that Ross Township’s arrangement with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Department enables four (4) ten-hour shifts per week. After time for paperwork and court appearances, this delivers about 32 hours of patrol coverage per week … at a cost of about $120,000. Compare this to Village police coverage and costs in this major highway confluence: 133 hours per week (19 hours per day, 7 days a week), for net budget cost of $185,000 plus fuel and auto depreciation expenses.
Community policing is a service that Richland Township residents currently receive for free, for those schools, businesses and watch groups in our current Village, courtesy of the taxpayers in our central square mile.
If the Village is disincorporated, we all get to enjoy the process of entering into negotiations to re-engage police services for our residents, schools and businesses. Not just community policing, but even basic police patrol coverage in Richland Township. How much might this cost? No one can say right now.
Another example why ‘Reclaim Richland’ is such a misleading and deficient idea for our community .. there’s no plan, no precedent, and no answers, just many questions.
Township and Village voters together, let’s vote No on May 3 to Preserve Richland Village and move on to work together to drive real solutions for our community.
“Shall incorporation of the Village of Richland be vacated?”
I can’t speak for Village residents other than to say I know many of them oppose this proposal, for good reason.
As a long term Township resident active in both Village and Township matters, however, I suggest this proposal might better ask:
“Should the taxpayers of Richland Township assume authority and all operational costs of the Village of Richland?”
Those bringing this issue to the ballot make a rather curious pair of statements in their literature:
Passage of this proposal, they say, will “Lower taxes for Village property owners” and will “Improve services to all Village residents.”
This implies that (1) they not only want to keep the extra services they now enjoy, but (2) they want these extra services improved or expanded, and (3) they expect Township residents to subsidize the financial costs.
This proposal was brought to the voters some fifteen years ago, also by a handful of disgruntled Village residents. It was overwhelmingly defeated by Township and Village residents.
It should be defeated again… Please vote NO on May 3.
Bo Van Peenan, Richland Township