Scott Harvey

Plainfield asks for clarity from One Kent Coalition

August 10, 2011 // 0 Comments

Where is evidence local government has failed?  by BETH ALTENA The Plainfield Township Board joined nearly every other township in Kent County in approving a resolution asking backers of the One Kent Coalition to clarify the details of the plan. Only Clerk Scott Harvey voted against the resolution. “I believe it needs to be put before the voters,” he said. “When you talk about the prosperity of Grand Rapids and look at the names of things in the town, you have to believe their hearts are in the right place.” The resolution regarding the plan to establish a metropolitan government in Kent County and Grand Rapids is a two-page document. It spells out that the township is aware of the coalition’s goal of changing state law to create a metropolitan government, which would consist of a 25-person metropolitan commission with a full-time chief executive with broad powers, including the power to veto ordinances. It states that the Board is not aware of any “reports, studies or other objective evidence suggesting the need for such a radical transformation of government in the County, nor whether, if undertaken, it would result in any continuing benefits for the people of the City and the County.” It states the Board recognizes “Kent County, Grand Rapids and the townships in the County have separate powers, and functions, long established by law, that do not overlap and that enable these municipal bodies to provide services efficiently to their respective constituents… The members of the Township Board desire to adopt this resolution to express their serious concern about this proposal and to suggest the need for sufficient consideration as to whether there are such shortcomings on the part of Kent County and Grand Rapids local government as would justify establishing an entirely new kind of local government never before attempted in Michigan.” The resolution goes on to state strong support of local government and services as close to the people, responsive to their needs and respectful of the cost of government. It asserts that local government has flexibility in how services are provided to constituents and states that local government and Kent County already share public services by agreement through cooperative authorities and “continue to develop innovative ways to providing public services […]