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.
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.
On Monday, July 28, Huron Township Police responded to a citizen who claimed they were the victim of a fraudulent IRS phone call.
According to Police Chief Everette Robbins, the victim, who lives in the 29000 block of Van Horn Road, stated that they were contacted by telephone regarding a debt that they owed to the IRS.
The fraudulent IRS employee informed the victim that they owed money to the IRS and that they needed to pay immediately to avoid being arrested, Robbins said.
According to Robbins, the victim was advised to buy a Green Dot MoneyPak Card, which is a prepaid card typically used by people who don’t have bank accounts. These cards are readily available at stores like Walmart, CVS and Walgreens.
After loading the card with money, the victim was told to call a phone number and give the card’s PIN number to the fake IRS employee.
According to Robbins, the victim complied with this request and in turn, lost thousands of dollars.
Robbins said that an initial investigation showed that the fraudulent IRS employee is located in a foreign country.
While prepaid phone scams aren’t necessarily new, this type of scam is becoming more prevalent.
Scammers will call and pretend to be a representative of the IRS or utility company, claim that they have a debt to pay off and then advise possible victims to buy Green Dot MoneyPak cards to pay off the debt.
Once the scammers have the card’s PIN number, they will transfer the funds to another card or account.
Scam artists prefer the Green Dot cards because they aren’t linked to bank accounts, and the funds on them are the same as cash and are untraceable.
Consumers can protect themselves from future fraudulent activity
According to the Internal Revenue Service, the IRS does not initiate contact with taxpayers by phone or email to request personal or financial information. This includes any type of electronic communication such as email, text messages or social media. The IRS uses the federal mail system to send official business to citizens.
According to the Internal Revenue Service, if you owe taxes or think you might, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to think that you owe any taxes, then immediately call the IRS if you think you’ve received a fraudulent phone call.
The IRS says that they never ask for PINs, passwords or similar confidential access information related to credit cards or bank accounts.
Possible fraudulent IRS activity should be reported to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484, as well as your local law enforcement agency.
Be weary of any phone calls trying to collect a debt, and keep in mind that many credible organizations don’t accept payment from a prepaid card.
Senior citizens are considered easy prey for fraudulent activity, so keeping them informed about the latest types of scams helps to keep them safe.
Huron Township Police will continue to investigate this incident.
Contact The Huron Hub’s Editor in Chief at ScottBolthouse@HuronHub.com
The Huron Township Police Department is seeking two men who broke into a home in the 23000 block of Waterview Drive in Huron Township on July 13.
According to Police Chief Everette Robbins, the Department of Public Works responded to the residence on Tuesday, July 15 on official business.
Upon arriving at the location, DPW workers noticed damage to the front door of the residence, promoting them to contact Huron PD.
The resident of the home revealed that they had been a victim of an armed home invasion in the early morning hours of July 13.
According to Robbins, the resident said that two males wearing masks forcefully entered the home with a handgun.
Robbins said the victim, who has a current medical marijuana license, was robbed of cash, jewelry and other electrical items.
Huron PD does not believe that this home invasion was random. Police believe that the marijuana and the cash was the motive for the robbery.
Robbins said the victim did not initially report the crime. Police were first aware of the incident on July 15.
The first suspect that police are seeking is a white male, approximately 200 pounds and six feet-one inches tall, has dark eyes and a skinny bridge to his nose. This suspect carried a orange or pink stun gun.
The second suspect, who brandished a semi-automatic handgun, is a male that is about five feet-ten inches tall. The second suspect’s race is unknown.
Anyone who has further information regarding this incident should contact the Huron Township Police at 734-753-4400.
Traffic enforcement has always been a controversial division of a city or township’s police department.
The common thinking among the public is that the traffic enforcement division is only there to generate revenue.
However, the Huron Township Police Department says traffic enforcement is an important policing program that benefits the community in several ways.
The Huron Hub had the opportunity to do a ride-along with traffic enforcement in July 2014.
Sitting between north and southbound I-275 in a black, tinted Huron Township police Dodge Charger, veteran Officer Fred Yono explained the public’s typical view of traffic enforcement.
“Most people think it’s all a money generator,” said Yono.
“While that’s part of it, this work also benefits the community as well.”
The high-pitch squeal of the police car’s radar can be heard, signaling a vehicle traveling at a high rate of speed.
Yono steps on the pedal and the engine accelerates rapidly as he pulls over a car going ten-over the speed limit, which on I-275 is 70 mph.
“If you’re going ten over or more, you’re getting pulled over,” said Yono.
Yono works for the Huron Township Police Department’s traffic division, and while one of his main duties as a traffic officer is to write tickets which generate revenue, his job isn’t limited to those responsibilities alone.
Before joining Huron’s traffic division, Yono worked traffic in Van Buren Township for eight years.
“We do things within the community as well. I work with families on child safety and car seat inspection, and have also organized mock disasters,” said Yono.
A mock disaster is a training exercise where participants are challenged to test the actions they would take in the event of a specific disaster scenario.
“I would love to do a mock disaster here in Huron Township in the future. That was the best thing I have done in my career,” he said.
One of the things that also Yono is most proud of is the fact that the traffic division in Van Buren generated enough revenue to pay for itself while being an asset to the police department’s normal day-to-day operations.
“The traffic division in Van Buren solved problems, assisted on emergency runs and paid for itself,” said Yono.
“We helped to reduce accidents, assisted on other calls and tried to do good things in the community,” he said.
Yono explained that a traffic division is also about visibility.
When people see a police presence on the roads, they naturally slow down, and slower speeds means safer travel.
“We are looking to put one or two more people into traffic,” said Yono.
Chief of Police Everette Robbins had similar things to say about building the traffic division.
“We would like to (in the future) have a more full time traffic unit,” said Robbins.
“This agency is lucky to have a person with Officer Yono’s experience and knowledge,” said Robbins.
The traffic division in Huron doesn’t limit it’s patrols to the freeway, however.
“We work selective enforcement as well — if we receive complaints from citizens, we’ll patrol those high accident or high problem areas,” said Yono.
“I don’t just sit on the freeway. If someone is breaking into your house, I’m going,” he said.
Yono noted that the peaks times for speeders on I-275 is on the weekends, and that he doesn’t hand out many tickets to township residents.
Most of the speeders he pulls over are from Ohio. He also catches several travelers that are in a hurry to get to Cedar Point.
Not all speeders get the full brunt of a ticket. Yono hands out a lot of impeding traffic and five-over tickets. Drivers who are apologetic and aware of their actions tend to be let off with a lighter infraction.
In about two hours, Officer Yono wrote twelve tickets and gave one warning.
As he handed out a ticket a ticket to a speeder, Yono received a response that many people probably wouldn’t expect.
“(The driver) thanked me very much,” said Yono. “You can’t beat that — that means we’re doing a good job.”
Some much needed resurfacing and repair work may be coming to some roads in Huron Township in the near future.
Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano announced the Township Roads Initiative on Wednesday, July 2, 2014.
The initiative is designed to make funds available to help repair, resurface or reconstruct township roads.
According to a news release from Ficano’s administration, Wayne County’s nine townships are all eligible to participate. Huron Township, Canton, Redford, Northville, Brownstown, Van Buren, Plymouth, Grosse Ile and Sumpter will all have a chance to take advantage of the initiative.
According to the release, the Township Roads Initiative is a unique partnership between the Wayne County Department of Public Services and the county’s townships. The initiative will make $14 million available over the next two years to help address local township roads.
To be eligible, the roads must be zoned residential and have to be within Wayne County’s jurisdiction.
Counties are responsible for road repairs within a township, which differs from cities. Cities receive state gas tax revenues to help with road repairs.
$7 million in funds will be available for townships during the 2014-2015 fiscal years, while the other $7 million will be available during the 2015-2016 fiscal years.
In the release, Ficano stated that this initiative will bring much needed resources for residential township roads that need attention.
The initiative will be a reimbursement based program, which will require townships to match at least 20 percent of the total cost of a project to qualify. Wayne County will fund up to 80 percent of the project costs capped at the amount available for each township.
The amount of funds a township can receive will be based on population.
Huron Township, which has a population of just over 15,460, will have $500,000 available during each fiscal cycle. The total initiative amount for Huron, which includes a 20% match by the township, will add up to $1,250,000.
Canton Township, which has the highest population when compared to the other eight townships in Wayne County, will receive an annual initiative amount of $1,500,000 for each fiscal cycle.
Each township is required to submit their proposals for repairs by November 30.
Expect road closures this week near the Sibley railroad crossing in Huron Township.
According to a Nixle message sent out this morning by the Huron Township Police Department, CSX Transportation will begin repair work on the Sibley Road crossing between South Huron River Drive and I-275 in Huron Township.
According to Huron Township Police, the road will be closed to traffic from Monday, July 7 through Friday, July 11.
Huron Police recommend using Warhman Road to Pennsulvnaia Road to South Huron River Drive as a detour to Sibley Road.
Plan ahead and expect closures at that railroad crossing this week.