Friday, November 01, 2013

Argus opposes Genoa Road Millage

When you lose the Argus with a millage proposal, that's bad.

For starters, the survey supposedly showing the township that it had a green light to ask for road money had fewer than 500 respondents. Genoa has more than 8,000 households.
Just weighing those numbers against each other, we cannot agree with those who would suggest that a few hundred survey responses from about 20,000 residents constitutes a clarion call to raise $23 million in property taxes for roads.
It was generic question anyway on the lines of "Would you pay more in taxes if it fixed the roads?". That's a whole different ballgame than this. 

Indeed, we are swayed more by the ongoing, turbocharged negative response from community residents who have voiced concerns about the road millage. Some have said they are concerned about speeding on paved roads instead of gravel roads. Others have said they are worried about widening roads and taking out natural features in their community.

Surely, nobody wants to pay extra taxes. Frankly, the tax tab isn’t really even the issue with this proposal. When a proposal like this is going to sock everybody in the township with a tax increase for a perceived public gain such as better roads, and the people along those roads — who are in line for what is perceived to be a $23 million public benefit — are crying foul, there needs to be a reassessment of the plan itself. The road projects very well may not be a benefit, in light of their concerns.
We can’t endorse a proposal that has generated such a swirl of controversy. Voters should say NO to the road millage proposal on the ballot Tuesday.

The residents on these streets to be paved are the supposed beneficiaries. That's news to them. There's nothing wrong with a perfectly good dirt road. Most don't want it paved. Some would accept it if the roads aren't widened as well. The widening of the roads  really piss off the residents. Most of us didn't like it when they did it to Bauer around Hamburg Road. It was bad.  The road was widened and a large number of trees were clearcut along the rural country road for no good reason whatsoever. That was on state land however (bad but less of a property rights issue). This here is on private land. That's worse.

If this was simply a proposal to fix existing roads, "Protect Genoa Township Neighborhoods" would not have been formed. There would have been no votes and yes votes, but there would not have been a full blown ballot question campaign. Widening and paving the roads changed the ballgame. You're now messing with people's castles. These are just trees, but their trees, their land, in some cases their farms. This isn't just rural character, but their rural character. Everyone is also paying for it in the township, something that isn't needed, nor wanted by the residents. $5000-10000 in taxes for some homes. This is not only a tax increase, but a wasteful one. Other subdivisions would receive a lot of cut through traffic with this widening and paving which would increase speeding traffic in that sub. That's messing with their safety. Most of this plan is bad all around.

This needs to get knocked out, preferably by a 3-1 margin so it doesn't come back for another 25 years.

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