Voters in Chikaming Township will get a chance to make a choice for the future of our parks on November 8. A YES vote on the referendum will move our community forward with a system of parks management in line with 99 percent of the other Townships in the state, eliminating the inefficiency of our current duplicative management model and inauthentic election process.

The idea to change the parks management system is not new; it has been discussed by park board leadership for at least 20 years. In spite of statements to the contrary, it does not rise from personal animosity and has nothing to do with the current members of the board. Opponents of the referendum are raising claims such as: the lack of a plan for how to proceed, a likely millage increase and the prospect of “outsiders” taking over to run “our” government.

In a communication published in Harbor Country News the Township Supervisor, David Bunte, made it clear there is a well-thought-out plan for proceeding; none of these hypotheticals is under active consideration.

Opponents also raise a new fear that a change in the parks system will lead to costs not currently incurred by the Township. The current Park Board has failed to pursue numerous grant opportunities that could actually BRING funds to the community. Moreover, the current inefficient model has resulted in delays and significant extra costs for current projects. The potential financial benefits of park board dissolution and integration into local government will offset any additional costs.

We have based our proposal for dissolution on facts, not fear and rumors. We believe the proper place for voicing opinions about hypothetical features of the new plan is during public forums with Township Trustees to discuss the new arrangement. Please join us in exercising our democratic right to fix things and create a better future for our parks and beaches by voting “YES”.

Friends of The Parks

Arthur Anderson

Sherri Curry

Steve Ellis

Deborah Hall-Kayler

Susan Phelan

Garth Taylor

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