Merge the Village of Richland and Richland Township...to reduce expensive/redundant layers of government, "double" taxation, and give Village residents the freedom of choice - to reduce costs for desired services.
To All Richland Township Residents:
The Village of Richland needs our help! Courageous individuals within the Village have signed a petition to dissolve the Village of Richland and have the Richland Township Board of Trustees assume control over both the Village and the Township as a united entity. The resulting ballot proposal will be decided by the entire Township this coming May 3rd.
Village residents took this bold step after years of frustration with Village Council practices, ordinance violations, favoritism, and wasteful spending. They also did so despite their fear that they might be targeted and labeled as extremist or biased, which is exactly what happened. When petitions were presented for ballot certification, Village representatives obtained copies of all signature names. But, instead of contacting these individuals, asking what the Village could do to address their concerns, these representatives accused the signers of betraying the Village, betraying the "friendship" of the Village Council. This is not the kind of government that anyone needs or should support.
Recently, the Village Council fired their publicly elected Village Clerk resulting in a strong rebuke from the presiding judge overseeing the subsequent lawsuit. This forced the Village Council to retract its efforts, reinstate the Village Clerk, and settle out-of-court providing all back pay and benefits. All this at considerable cost to the Village and in the end a waste of Village taxpayer money.
The Village Council takes more than 50 percent of Village resident taxes to fund an ever-growing police department, more still to provide benefits and equipment, that results in the Village paying more than 6.5 times what other villages of similar size pay for their police services. All this to target Township residents and create what some have called a police-state community. Meanwhile, Village residents are not getting the services they feel they are paying for.
The Richland Village Council is an expensive, frivolous, and unnecessary form of community government. More importantly, the Village Council has a long history of showing favoritism to a select few while resisting community input from concerned citizens. As a general rule, anyone who takes the time to become involved in government deserves to be heard and their comments seriously considered. The Richland Village Council rejects this concept, instead having a police officer present during public meetings, ready to remove individuals who do not agree with Council opinion. In addition, the Village Council has maintained a long history of isolationism which, until recently, resulted in them refusing to meet with their township counterparts for over three years. Sadly, collaborating with their residents and the surrounding communities is not a Village Council priority.
The solution to all this is a unified Township run by the Richland Township Board of Trustees. Richland Village is the focal point for the entire Township, a Township with outstanding individuals ready to step up and address our greater community issues. Instead of the divisive contempt that many feel, this is the opportunity for residents and business owners to come together and create solutions to benefit us all.
Village residents have placed their faith and trust in Township residents to do what's right. The Michigan legislature allows for dissolution votes from Village and Township residents to be combined. Village residents know this and decided to seek a full Township vote. They need our help!
The Committee to Reclaim Richland Village is a coalition of energetic citizens working to achieve a successful outcome on May 3rd. Please join us as we strive to make a better community for all of us!
Please vote 'YES' on the following May 3rd 2016 Ballot Language:
Shall incorporation of the Village of Richland be vacated?
( ) YES
( ) No
LETTER TO TOWNSHIP RESIDENTS