LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Reader’s letter a ‘misdiagnosis’

Dear Editor,

Dr. Jorgensen’s misdiagnosis of Lake Bella Vista politics needs a history lesson. In his July 26 letter, he doesn’t say anything about the last-minute flyer that was distributed to Lake Bella Vista in the 2000 election that scared voters into believing that they would lose their water. This information was not true then and it is not true now.

Here are the facts: 1) Back then the DEQ (Department of Environmental Quality) Water Quality Dept. asked for a study. All private systems required approval by the DEQ and Cannon was asking to approve a fourth system for the Sunfish Lake development. 2) The town board approved $5,000 for the study of a community water system. 3) In a public meeting at Rockford middle school, the DEQ, Prein & Newhof, and I made presentations. Many in attendance were Bella Vista residents who rejected the idea of a community water system. We dropped the whole idea right then and there. I even said publicly that this was not the field to die on.

Let me state for the record: I have never had any plan to take over Bella Vista water then nor is there any intent to do so now or in the future. Scare tactics do not help voters think clearly. Before Dr. Jorgensen prescribes how someone should vote, he should first read the patient’s chart.

Jim Alles
Candidate for Cannon Twp. Treasurer

Rockford swim program ranks high  in nation

Dear Editor,

It is with much pride that I send the following announcement:

The National Swim Coaches Association (NISCA) each year ranks all high school teams by their duel meet/conference meet strength. This is in contrast to the state meet, which has no indication of depth, just the strength of your top 8-10 athletes. This ranking takes both depth and top athletes into consideration based on your best duel meet.

OVERALL HIGH SCHOOL TEAM RANKINGS BY GENDER: Our boys program was awarded 18th in the country and our girls program 34th.

NISCA also ranks each program by overall strength of girls and boys teams together. (Many programs are strong in girls or boys programs, but not both.)

OVERALL RANKING FOR BOTH MEN’S & WOMEN’S PROGRAM: Rockford is listed as 10th overall!

By contrast, Holland was the next best program in the state, ranked as 15th combined girls and boys. Their girls program was ranked eighth.

The girls and boys programs are also listed by division (five divisions based on school size), with Rockford in the largest division: Boys team eighth, girls team 10th.

CONGRATS ON YOUR AWESOME ACCOMPLISHMENT!

Coach Parks
Rockford High School

Carozza rebuts letter to editor

Dear Editor,

Mr. Kurylowicz of the Honey Creek Inn attempts to grill our team in your July 26 issue. Since he ladles out George Orwell, allow me to serve up a plate. Orwell wrote, “Who controls the past controls the future, who controls the present controls the past.” As long as the Board’s Meeting Minutes and Cannon Communicator presently pasteurize the reality of township business affairs, our electorate will be manipulated through historical revisionism.

It took Freedom of Information Act inquires and the solid research of the commit2cannon.org team to uncover the dish being fed to voters. There is plenty to read on our website about how the supervisor’s ever-bloating government deals cramp the body politic. Sweeping town hall with conservative new leadership will ease this malady.

As if the above weren’t filling enough, WOOD-TV’s website skewered our clerk (with others) for failing to send absentee voter ballots to our overseas military men and women. When Mr. Kurylowicz accuses us, the challengers, of inventing “red herrings” we must remind him that our troops faithfully provide a blanket of protection for a clerk who deep freezes their timely right to vote. Somehow his recipe for claiming this is “the best township board” smells funny.

For readers to swallow Mr. Kurylowicz’ argument, he might season his reason with a dash of research, a pinch of precision, and then fold in the facts. Top with less Orwell and more honey.

Ken Carozza
Candidate for Cannon Twp. Clerk

Rebuttal to comments by current Cannon Twp. Board supporters

Dear Editor,

I believe it is time to set the record straight with regard to the weekly falsehoods and fear mongering perpetrated by supporters of the current Cannon Township Board.

One supporter advanced the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” argument. Well things are broken at the Township Hall. That’s why the Commit2Cannon (C2C) team is running! Take the recent report on Wood TV that Cannon Township’s clerk is one of only three clerks in Kent County that didn’t mail AV ballots to military and overseas voters before state and federally mandated deadlines. This is just one of many examples of the brokenness at the township hall. Visit the Commit2Cannon.org website to learn more.

Another supporter ridiculed the C2C team for circulating a mailer stating “residents of Cannon Township could have enjoyed a millage decrease this year had the present board passed a motion by Rob McBrien… All the other incumbents running for reelection voted it down.” This is a matter of fact, one our clerk failed to mention in the meeting minutes. The writer called this a half truth. No, a half truth is when our supervisor touts as an “accomplishment” “increased employee contributions to healthcare, 20% of total costs.” Actually, this was mandated by recently passed state law and has nothing to do with the supervisor’s fiscal acumen. Neither does the so-called “$500,000 surplus.” This is nothing more than the misleading comparison of a pre-tax season low in township funds to a post-tax season high combined with a one-time sizable jump in state revenue sharing due to our 2010 census increase. Again, this is nothing for which the supervisor can claim credit. The one “savings” the supervisor can claim is the 25% reduction in sheriff patrols in the township, which resulted in a 59% jump in home invasions in the past year.

Lastly, another supporter expressed disdain for C2C members regarding the number of board meetings we have attended. The real issue, however, isn’t how many board meetings someone attends, but whether it does any good for residents to attend board meetings at all with the present supervisor in control. For instance, when over 100 residents attended a board meeting to express concern over a proposed change to noise levels for Cannonsburg Ski Area, their concerns were flatly ignored, as was the recommendation of the Planning Commission. In the end, the majority of the board voted as they apparently intended to all along, which was to remove all references to noise limits from township ordinances.

As the C2C team visited over 2,000 homes throughout this campaign, people tend to tell you what the opposition is saying about you. Many have been told by the incumbents and others that we want to steal the LBV water supply, end the Picnic Pops, that we’re anti-business, that we lack experience (there is over 50 years of combined township service on the C2C team), and the list goes on. These and other accusations are nothing short of absolute falsehoods and fear mongering being spread by current board members and their misguided supporters.

I encourage voters to visit the Commit2Cannon.org website. Learn the truth about our commitment to Cannon. Then, please vote for the full Commit2Cannon team on August 7. It’s time for new leadership!

Dennis Smith
Candidate for Cannon Township Supervisor

Reader endorses Weldon

Dear Editor,

I have known Charles Weldon for 30 years. Chuck is a lifetime resident of Belmont/Plainfield Township. He graduated from Comstock Park High School. At a point in life when most of us would be content to retire to a rocking chair on the porch, Chuck continues to be involved, serving as a trustee on the Plainfield Township board. He is seeking his third term on the board in the upcoming primary election. He does this because he feels he can make a positive difference on the township board. I know Chuck to be an honest man of integrity, who takes seriously the job of representing the residents of the township. You may not always agree with him, but rest assured he will vote his conscience, in the best interests of the people he represents. I urge your support for Charles Weldon in the election next Tuesday.

Al Kolpack
Plainfield Township resident 34 years

Reader supports Grimm as supervisor

Dear Editor,

Dave and I spent some time with Steve Grimm, and have decided to support his bid to be elected to a full term as supervisor. He had experience, volunteered and was appointed to fill the vacancy left when Pete MacGregor was elected to the State House of Representatives.

In years past, when we were attending many township meetings, we developed expectations for our local government. We have pleaded for some sensibility with regards to regulations. Currently, the Planning Commission is zealously trying to regulate Cannonsburg Ski Hill’s Events. In the process, they were trying to say that any event with more than 100 guests needed a special use permit. This meant everyone, not just the ski hill. I went to one of those meetings. They are also working on an ordinance change that will affect the “Bostwick Lake Corridor.” This currently includes a special assessment capability, which means they can mandate and charge not only businesses, but homeowners, to comply with their idea of “improvement.”

Micromanaging business from the Planning Commission perspective is not our position. In this economy, most local businesses are just surviving. If we want any services out here, we need to support them!

Elected officials are to weigh suggestions, and make decisions, as much as possible, based on law and their constituents. Planning commissioners are appointed to plan and suggest.

The current board does not walk in lock-step, but have been governing effectively. Changing the entire board, at one time, would require a lot more oversight by the public.

Are you ready to attend meetings? Please remember to vote August 7. A good voter turnout assures majority rules.

Kris Hassan
Cannon Township resident

Endorsement from Cannon Twp. Supervisor

Dear Editor,

As Cannon Township Supervisor, I have personally witnessed the demands of the office of township treasurer. Based on my observations, the most important qualification for that position is a strong financial background. By far, the most qualified person to seek that position in the last 20 years is Dick Davies. Dick was vice president of finance for the Frigidaire Company, so I know he can handle the rigors of township treasurer without breaking a sweat. Every year, as the Board prepares its budget, we turn to Dick for financial guidance. He knows where every penny is and where it should be. Dick will bring much needed competence to the position, and we are lucky he is running.

Steve Grimm
Cannon Township Supervisor

Reader lauds Cannon Township Board

Dear Editor,

I am a municipal finance professional who has lived in Cannon Township for the last ten years. Previously, I worked for a large governmental unit where there was constant struggle between the “good guys”—those concerned with providing better services and environment with the support of the community—and the “not so good guys”—those whose sole intent seemed to be in making sure their personal and/or political agendas were met, disregarding any increase in taxes or reduction in services that might result.

Compare this to the current Cannon Township Board, who, through personal involvement and professional expertise, have succeeded in building a sound financial base, providing superior services, and protecting our natural resources for now and years to come without increasing taxes to the general fund.

This board has passed balanced budgets, which provide for adequate fund balances and increasing reserves, a hallmark of good municipal government. Rather than raising taxes to compensate for reduced revenues generated by lowered assessments, they have redesigned the compensation levels to more correctly reflect the workload. Rather than reducing services, they have redesigned how services are provided to maintain the high level expected by residents. In addition, they have leveraged our limited resources with the county, state and federal governments to provide a much higher level of service than would otherwise be possible, such as for road repair and building our beautiful nature trail, further utilizing community volunteers in maintaining the trail.

A new sewer system has been implemented which will allow for growth far into the future for Cannon and its partner townships while controlling costs. The Board made a tough decision to borrow money for system repairs before absolutely necessary in order to minimize disruptions in service and take advantage of record low interest rates (a huge benefit to taxpayers in the future).

They have worked diligently to protect our quality of life, maintaining the open spaces concept for housing and protecting businesses from oversaturation. In addition, we have a wetlands ordinance to protect our many lakes and streams. Most welcome is the free recycling of “stuff” including tires, “technology,” and other household items, unheard of in many communities, making Cannon a very “green” place to live.

We in Cannon take all this for granted, but none of it would be happening without the wide range of professional expertise and independent thinking of the current Board combined with their personal dedication to this community. From a municipal finance standpoint, I believe the following “good guys” have earned our vote in the August 7 primary and the general election: Steve Grimm for Superintendent; Bonnie Blackledge for Clerk; Dick Davies for Treasurer; and Deb Diepenhorst, Diane Jones, and Mike Warmbier (from the Planning Commission) for Trustee.

Ruth Brod
Cannon Township resident

Disagreements a ‘tempest in a tea pot’

Dear Editor,

Probably like most residents of Cannon Township, I consider the disagreements within our local government more or less a “Tempest in a Tea Pot.” However, outgoing Cannon Treasurer Jim Lapeer’s letter in the July 26 Squire questioning treasurer candidate Dick Davies’ credentials for the job got my attention.

I have worked with and worked for Dick Davies for 17 years as a friend, fellow Rockford Lion and as a current member of the township’s Road Committee. Based on my experience, I believe Dick should be Cannon Township treasurer for the following reasons:

First, as a retired vice president of finance of Greenville’s Frigidare Corporation with sales of $400 million a year and 1,900 employees, Dick Davies has years of hands-on management experience in keeping an organization on an even keel during the challenges of the everyday business financial world. And today all governments, including Cannon Township, are in desperate need of the wisdom of someone, like Dick Davies, who has performed successfully through financial hard times.

Second, as a 20-year trustee of Cannon Township, Dick knows our township, knows our needs, and knows how to get the job done. In 20 years, Dick has served on many township committees—finance, purchasing, sewer, transportation, zoning and currently heads up the Road Committee. As a member of the Road Committee, I have been impressed with Dick’s leadership and managerial skills. I have been particularly impressed with his ability to work within his budget and with his Kent County counterpart in getting our roads brought up to acceptable standards. Dick Davies gets the job done.

Third, state law requires township government to have a treasurer and a deputy treasurer. The deputy treasurer handles the day-to-day collection of taxes, issuance of checks, and deposits of revenue. Melissa Soderstrom has been Cannon Township’s valued deputy treasurer forever taking care of these day-to-day responsibilities including the IT functions of “electronic spreadsheets, ACH transfers, wire transfers and other computerized state-of-the-art EFT techniques.”

LaPeer’s letter complains that new treasurer Dick Davies is not up to these IT responsibilities and therefore is not “prepared to handle the daily requirements” of the office. That is not the treasurer’s job. That job belongs to deputy treasurer Melissa Soderstrom. Melissa does this now for Jim LaPeer and will do this for treasurer Dick Davies. Recognizing Melissa’s capability, the Cannon Board reduced the treasurer position to a part-time status, saving Jim’s cost and improving our financial status.

Fourth, the treasurer’s responsibility is to handle the township’s investments and oversee, direct and recommend corrections to the ongoing trending of the township’s financial course. This is the experience and wisdom Cannon Township needs today—and Dick Davies answers that need.

I am sure Jim LaPeer’s candidate is also a “fine gentleman” but doubt that he can measure up to Dick’s proven credentials.

Stan Hone
Cannon Township resident

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