By Scott Bolthouse
Hub Editor in Chief
Tomorrow, voters across the metro region will hit the polls to decide key ballot issues and proposals.
In Huron Township, voters will have a chance to renew a police millage that will have a profound impact on how the department will operate in the future.
The ballot language, which was approved by the Board of Trustees back in March, asks voters to renew 2 mills for ten years. One mill is equal $1 in tax for every $1,000 of taxable value.
The ballot states that if the millage passes, it will raise approximately $945,234 in the first year that it is levied.
Huron Police Chief Everette Robbins wants voters to know that when they go to the polls tomorrow, they will be deciding on a quality of life issue for this community.
“Passing this renewal maintains the current level of service here in the township,” said Robbins.
“This renewal will not increase your current tax rate,” said Robbins.
If the millage does not pass, officers could possibly face layoffs, and only one officer would be available to patrol the 36 square mile township at a time.
Two years ago, voters in Huron voted down a proposal to increase the millage.
Huron Trustee Michael Stach, who is running in the same election to retain his seat on the board, fully supports the millage and the police department.
“I don’t want to let our guard down,” said Stach.
“There are good things coming down within the police department,” said Stach. “It is important to keep the climate that we have, or we could be susceptible to who knows what,” he said.
Robbins, who has been Chief for only two months, says he has been extremely impressed with the officers and staff within the department.
“Since joining this department, I have seen some of the most quality and professional police work that I have ever been around,” he said.
Robbins has made efforts to make the department more proactive in the community, organizing town hall meetings and setting up police liaison programs within some of Huron’s biggest subdivisions.
Jason Carter, who is a member of the Falkirk subdivision’s board, believes that the residents in his community seem to support the idea of the millage renewal.
“No one wants to lose the support structure of the township,” said Carter.
Debbie Yancey, a citizen in the township who attended a recent community millage meeting, said that Chief Robbins walked citizens through the entire police department and educated them on how the millage will benefit the department.
“To find out that our own police department and our own officers don’t have computers in their cars is sad,” said Yancey.
“Everyone is so concerned about our tax dollars — it’s about making sure we’re safe,” she said.
Sarah Gylioai, PTO President for Brown Elemntary in Huron Township, says most members on the PTO board are in favor of the millage renewal.
“When you don’t support the police and fire departments, your city is declining,” said Gylioai.
“When people move to the community, they look for those things,” she said. “If we lose our police department, people will start moving out of the area.”
Gylioai said that Chief Robbins is working with the school district to reinstate the school liaison plan that was cut a few years ago, but there is no guarantee.
Other issues on tomorrow’s ballot that will effect Huron Township residents:
- Voters will be asked to approve or disapprove state proposal 41-1: Amendatory act to reduce state use tax and replace with a local community stabilization share to modernize the tax system to help small businesses grow and create jobs. More info here.
- Intermediate schools district proposal enhancement millage. More info here.
- Republican incumbent Michael Stach will face Andrew Lazere while Democrat Walter Irodenko will face Democrat Claude E. Wright. The two winners from the Republican and Democrat sides will face off in the Nov. 4 election for a partial term on the Huron Board of Trustees.
- Jeremy Cady, William Collop and A. Haidous will face off for County Commissioner for the 11th district.
Polls will be open from 7 a.m to 8 p.m. tomorrow, and absentee ballots must be turned in to the Wayne County or township clerks by the time polls close. Remember that the polling locations were reorganized in Huron Township, so make sure you know where your precinct is.
View what your ballot will look like here.
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