Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

County Jail expansion forums scheduled

22. April 2005 • Murph
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The Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners has scheduled four public forums on “Washtenaw County’s public safety and justice needs” – an expanded jail and Sheriff’s patrols of rural townships.

The forums will be held,

> April 26, 2005 5:30 pm, Forsythe Middle School Media Center 1655 Newport Road, Ann Arbor
> May 4, 2005 5:30 pm, Washington Street Education Center 500 Washington St, Chelsea
> May 10, 2005 7:30 pm, Superior Township 3040 N. Prospect, Corner of Cherry Hill & Prospect
> May 11, 2005 7:00 pm, Southwest Council of Government, Manchester Village, 912 City Road, Manchester

The Criminal Justice Collaborative Council has several relevant resources on their website.

  1. This is a great example of how fighting sprawl sometimes has very little to do with zoning and land use decisions. By far the most attractive thing about township living is the artificially low tax rate that is charged there, and it’s policies like subsidized policing that allow that situation to continue. Why on earth are City of Ann Arbor (or even worse, City of Ypsi) residents paying not only for their own police departments but for the police patrols in townships that have huge tax bases and low tax rates? The so-called “county subsidy” is something of a misnomer. The subsidy is in fact coming from the places that pay for their own police department (thus not needing county sheriff road patrol) straight to those that do not. And the townships that lord their low tax rates over everyone else act like this arrangement is somehow fair or an entitlement.

    The evil genius of township government is that it allows people to systematically avail themselves of urban-quality services while avoiding almost all of the costs. When it comes to acquiring amenities and services, they say “hey, we’re all one big community” but when it comes to paying for such services (or, even worse in their minds, housing lower-income people), suddenly “oh, we don’t do that out here in the townships.” State law lets them get away with this, but too often it seems cities buy into this kind of thinking as well. I’ve got a proposal for Scio Township: the City of Ann Arbor will take care of your policing needs, just as soon as you vote to be annexed.
       —Phil D.    Apr. 22 '05 - 07:32PM    #
  2. Yep, and it’s not just the urbanized cities that are subsidizing the Sheriff’s patrols, but the rural townships that have already opted out of paying their share of the patrol.

    I’m strongly in favor of eliminating the patrol subsidy; if Ann Arbor is in the position of having to choose which services they can afford and which they have to cut, the Townships really shouldn’t have services handed to them on a silver platter.

    There’s also road construction – Ann Arbor / Ypsi / Chelsea / Saline / Dexter residents are paying for most of their roads, and also paying for most of the Townships’ roads. I’m against all (new) Township road paving, most Township bridge reconstruction, and so on. If the road is good enough that you can drive farm equipment down it without damage to the equipment, it’s good enough that Ann Arbor doesn’t need to be paying anything to improve it.
       —Murph    Apr. 22 '05 - 09:21PM    #
  3. Please, please attend the meeting on April 26th at Forsythe Middle School, 7 PM, to express your views. Those of us who are tired of paying for other folks police need desperately to hear fom you. We had a large meeting Thursday night and all we heard from were people from Ypsilanti Twp. (which gets over $2M A YEAR from Ann Arbor) and people who work for the Sheriff.

    We used to provide road patrols for free, but we stopped that and made people pay, but it has gotten far beyond what we can afford.

    So please come and let us know your feelings. “Ann Arbor address, low township taxes” in real estate ads make ne see red! and you are right about sprawl.
    It is time for the townships to step up to the plate and pay their fair share.
       —Leah    Apr. 23 '05 - 08:59PM    #
  4. Sorry – 5:30 is the correct time- leah
       —Leah    Apr. 23 '05 - 09:00PM    #