By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe
Nearly 70 Schoolcraft Township residents attended a July 11 Schoolcraft Township Board Meeting, many concerned by posts on social media saying the board planned to approve a detailed firewood and brush storage ordinance.
Schoolcraft Township Supervisor Don Ulsh opened the meeting stressing that the information posted was false. “We have no intention of passing an ordinance like this. This is not the way we do things in Schoolcraft Township.”
Several residents in the audience expressed frustration with lack of accurate information and where to find minutes from the June meeting.
Minutes from previous board meetings become public once the next meeting has been called to order, attendance has been taken, and a vote is called to approve the minutes from the previous meeting. This system is in place to provide for corrections, additions or omissions. Once the vote is taken and minutes are approved, minutes are public and posted on websites or available at offices.
The process is standard procedure for boards in both the public and private sector.
Minutes of the previous meeting refer to a draft ordinance dealing with firewood storage and a note that Ulsh would check with other townships for ordinances. But Ulsh’s statement at the July meeting appeared to rule out further consideration.
Because most residents don’t attend monthly meetings, there is a delay in timely information, and this added to the misunderstandings and frustrations aired by some in attendance.
Ulsh again stressed, “We will not be instating this type of ordinance. Not now. Not in the future.”
Trustee Steve Frying spoke openly, welcoming contact and communication from township residents. “We represent you. We are here to serve. I will gladly receive your calls and meet with you.”
The heightened level of concern expressed during the meeting is a reminder of the importance of local governmental bodies. Decisions made at the local level can directly impact residents and daily life. It was a nudge to all present to participate more fully in voting and communicating with various representatives and to stay abreast of current issues at the local level.
To locate information, residents are encouraged to visit the websites, read the mailings and newsletters, take the surveys and attend meetings. If a household is without internet services, residents may call the business office or stop in person to pick up printed information.
Local Village and Township phone numbers
Village of Schoolcraft: (269) 679-4302
Village of Vicksburg: (269) 649-649-1919
Brady Township: (269) 649-1813
Pavilion Township: (269) 327-0462
Prairie Ronde Township: (269) 679-5666
Schoolcraft Township: (269) 649-1276
Wakeshma Township: (269) 778-3728
By Kathy Oswalt-Forsythe