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Posted: 11/14/12

Police millages voted
down in three townships

Observer Staff Writer
      Voters decided against millages that would increase the amount of police protection in three northern Macomb County townships.
       Proposals in the townships of Armada, Ray and Richmond townships were voted down during the Nov. 6 election, with at least 60 percent of voters favoring no increase to their taxes.
       In Ray Township, the millage was voted down with 1,281 "no" votes (68.4 percent) to 592 "yes" votes (31.6 percent).
       Ray Township's proposal asked for a 1 mill increase to fund extra police protection for Ray Township. If approved, it would've collected $175,000 annually for four years.
       With the proposal voted down, the township will continue to receive patrols from the Michigan State Police and the emergency response from the Macomb County Sheriff's Office.
       Ray Township Supervisor Charlie Bohm said similar police millages and fire millages were voted down around the county, causing him to wonder if it was more than a township issue.
       "People just don't want more taxes, and as a result it was resoundingly turned down," he said.
       Many of the Ray voters said they were satisfied with the level of police presence provided by the law enforcement agencies and voted against it. Others against it didn't want a tax increase.
       Scherin Diener of Ray Township voted against it, saying the current level of protection in the township is enough.
       "I feel that we're being bullied into that (millage)," she said. "We have state police coverage."
       Ray Cox of Ray Township also voted against the millage, saying he believes there are enough police in the area.
       "They do a good job of patrolling and keeping track of everything," he said.
       Those in favor of the millage said the township needs more police, or that the cost of the millage was a small price to pay for additional coverage.
       Lester and Linda Sova of Ray Township supported the millage when casting their ballots.
       "I think we need police protection," Linda said.
       Karen Bowers of Ray Township voted in favor of it as well, saying a community can't have enough police protection.
       "I think you could always use a lot of police," she said.
       In Armada Township, the millage was voted down with 1,246 "no" votes (70.7 percent) to 517 "yes" votes. The 1.5 millage would've collected $232,255 a year for four years to contract with the sheriff's office.
       In Richmond, the proposal failed with 1,113 "no" votes (61.9 percent) to 685 "yes" votes (38.1 percent). If approved, a total of $265,000 a year would've been collected for four years.

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