County Commissioner comments on Parks Millage
I feel that it is necessary to respond to Mr. Cameron Brown’s letter to the
editor stating that the county commission should reconsider, rescind and
reassess the county parks millage, and his comment that government to live
within its means. I would like to share some thoughts on this.
1. The vote was to AVOID overspending the taxpayers’ money by not
assessing Parks operations on the general fund.
2. Commissioners are elected to vote on well-informed issues, which are
best for all of St. Joseph County.
3. The Parks Department is the greatest economic development opportunity
in its entire history.
4. Cameron blocked, for personal interest, an economic development
opportunity a few years ago for all of St. Joseph County by purchasing rail
bed access for a statewide rails-to-trails system.
The St. Joseph County Parks system has progressed with professional
master plans, state grants and currently is an example of Economic
Development, greatly improved quality of life and an environmental master
piece of which is the envy of the entire state of Michigan.
When Mr. Brown served in the state Senate, he voted in favor to allow
utility rate hikes, 2010 senate Bill 1456. He was in favor of 2010 Senate Bill
1150 to spend $338 million in additional government debt for universities
construction projects. (Bill did not pass)
Voted yes on 2007 Senate Bill 410 new tax levy for state 911 emergency
services. I have no issues whatsoever on those votes, but I would like to
point out that he did not ask the taxpayers of St. Joseph County if they
thought it was a good idea to spend their money that way.
I will give Mr. Brown the benefit of the doubt that his letter has absolutely
nothing to do with him not being offered the County Administrator position.