October 22, 2016
Last updated Aug. 13, at 3:33 p.m.

City of Standish considering police millage

By Matt Keeton
Staff Writer | reporter@ogemawherald.com


STANDISH — The Standish City Council approved wording outlining a two-year, two-mill police millage, which will be presented in millage language to be voted on by the council at its Aug. 18 meeting.

The council approved the wording 4-0 at a Thursday, Aug. 11 special meeting. Council members Clark Sanford, Ed Reno and Tosha Tunney were absent.

If the council approves the language, the millage will be voted on by residents in the Nov. 2011 election.

Mayor Mark Winslow said that the city’s general fund is currently funding the Standish Police Department. He said that the department’s 2011-2012 budget currently stands at $82,800.

“(The millage) would take a lot of pressure off of our general fund,” Winslow said.

He said that the council debated on how large to make the millage, finally settling on two mills, which would bring in around $77,000, nearly enough to fund the police department.

“It was the consensus of the council that we should do two mills for two years and see where we’re at in two years,” Winslow said. “We really don’t know what the future holds.

If the millage fails, Winslow said, the city would continue operating the Police Department, but would likely reexamine the department’s budget, which could result in cuts to the department. He said that the department will continue to operate regardless of the outcome of the millage vote.

“We would be able to continue to fund it, but it would be very much of a strain (on the city),” Winslow said. “The community has indicated to me that they want a Police Department.

Winslow said that, if passed, the millage would increase taxes to city residents that have property with a taxable value of $40,000 by about $80. He said that the total of all city millages currently stands at 17.9 mills, around $718 for properties with a taxable value of $40,000.

“I understand that the residents are paying a fairly high tax bill,” Winslow said. “We didn’t look at this lightly. I hope that the people understand that a Police Department is an important feature of a community. We’re hoping this will help solve some problems we’re having here.”

According to Winslow, the wording is being sent for review by the city’s attorney, who will write the language of the millage, which will be voted on at the next council meeting. He said that the millage has to be submitted to the Arenac County Clerk by Aug. 30 in order to appear on the November ballot.


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Oh, come on... give me a break. Another example of a City Council abdicating their duty to the people who elected them. Never mind making the tough decisions, just go back to the trough again and soak the residents for more money. People simply can't afford this constantly increasing drain on their incomes. When are you guys going to understand this?

The Council should be looking at disbanding the police force instead of hijacking the residents with another "millage". Given the level of law enforcement personnel in the city vs. the actual amount of crime that occurs, the SPD is completely unnecessary.

You've got the State Police running up and down 13, the State Rd, and back and forth from I-75, the Tribal Police seem to be crawling around everywhere except the casino and reservation, and most of the time it seems like you can't swing a cat by the tail without hitting an Arenac County Sheriff cruiser.

How much law enforcement does a sleepy backwater town like Standish need?

What will the residents get for their additional money? More ridiculous "stings" on the local bars and party stores? More speed traps in the downtown area?

NO MORE TAXES! Either use some of the casino money to fund the SPD or do the SMART thing and disband the department altogether, saving the $80,000 budget to use elsewhere.

C'MON, COUNCIL... get a spine and do your job!

Monday, August 15, 2011 | Report this

If you have someone you love...hopefully those "ridiculous stings" and "speed traps" will save them from the drunks and speeders the stings and traps catch. If not, then no harm to you.

Monday, August 15, 2011 | Report this

It would be nice to stop under age drivers as well.

Monday, August 15, 2011 | Report this

so true joejoe!

Monday, August 15, 2011 | Report this

OK, so you folks are actually saying that you're each willing to pay an extra $80 or so a year (and make everyone else in the city pay as well) so the SPD can spend their time chasing under-aged drivers around?

Is that worth $80,000 a year?

That's insane!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 | Report this

$80 dollars for you and your family to be safe. Can we put a price on safety? I would hope BuffaloBilious that when common sense kicks in you will realize that $80 is well worth the investment. I'm sure you can go around town and pick up pop cans to cover the $80.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011 | Report this

Here Here, I live in the city of standish and watch some evenings as the city officer drives around, and around and around, burning gas and making not a lot of impact! I think our Sheriff can handle our town and the county without additional funds, allocate current dollars to the county and lets move forward, the city's water fiasco has already laid a large bill at the city residents door steps, mine is up almost 40%, have we made cuts in the water department? Have we adjusted staffing after losing the prison which was a huge consumer of our resources? No, just pass the additional costs on and continue with the status quo, Mr. Hillman, I HOPE you are listening!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011 | Report this

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