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Editor’s Note: The writer of this op-ed, Anne Griffiths, is currently the Chair of the Peninsula Township Park Commission. The Peninsula Township Parks Proposal she’s referencing, which will be on the Nov. 6 ballot, would shift the management of the township parks to the Township Board, who would then likely appoint three or four people to help manage the parks. Here is the proposal as noted on the ballot under “Peninsula Township,” “Dissolution of Park Commission Proposal”:

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“Shall the Peninsula Township Park Commission be dissolved pursuant to MCL 41.426g thereby transferring all powers and duties and all assets and liabilities of the Peninsula Township Park Commission to the Peninsula Township Board of Trustees?”

Read more about the proposal here, and read Debbie Rough’s opinion piece regarding this proposal here. – jb

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First, I am not planning to run for re-election, regardless of whether the Nov. 6 Parks Proposal is approved by Peninsula Township voters. However, I have a few of comments from a not disinterested observer:

This initiative eliminates entirely the Park Commission and transfers all its “assets and powers” to the Township Board.

The discussion of this change suggests that it will be budget neutral, doesn’t it? How so? Shall we take this on faith? By the way, current Park Commissioners receive $80 per monthly meeting, except the chair, who receives $90 per monthly meeting.

The discussion suggests that the work of the eliminated five-member Park Commission will be taken over by the current Township Board. It seems to me that they are already pretty busy, and in addition, under quite a bit of legal “stress” right now.

The discussion suggests that the current Park Commission has not been staying within its budget, but this is not true. I welcome examples, if they exist.

The discussion suggests that getting rid of the Park Commission will make things go “faster” by allowing individuals to go right into the township office and get instant gratification for their budgeting needs. Well, do Peninsula Township residents want such instant access to money, without some closer examination of expenditures?

What do Peninsula Township residents think that the five-member Park Commission does in between the monthly meetings? If you want to be better informed about what the Park Commission is doing, I invite you to peruse the meeting minutes, and also consider what the current Township Board members are doing with their time if they’ll be expected to add to their plates the responsibilities of the five-member Park Commission?

Finally, if you want my opinion – always easy to get – just ask – I suggest we hire a Parks Manager at a salary commensurate with the breadth and beauty our parks, one with training and experience at such a job.

Leave questions and comments below, or email me at [email protected].

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