Board to blame for shutting down police, not voters

Regarding the information printed in the May 6, Genesee County View that voters have “pulled the plug on the Gaines Township Police Department.”

Only the township board can “pull the plug “or “disband” the police department. The voters only turned down the funding for the extra number of officers.

The Gaines Township board pulled the plug/disbanded the Gaines Township Police Department. Not the voters.

The $60,000 and the $30,000 from the general fund used to supplement the .5 mill ($90,000 for 5 years , that expired a year ago but the board continue to supplement that from the general fund) still remained at the discretion of the board of trustees , as it has been in the past. The State of Michigan sent the Township a letter addressing them for not being financially responsible so they tried to put the burden on taxpayers.

By describing the turn out as just less than 1/3 of the voters gives an incorrect impression of the fact that 33 percent turned out on an off year election which is a very high turnout and on the night of the election the clerk complemented voters for such a high turnout. The turnout was more than two times usual for an off year and five times the turnout in Flint, according to Genesee County.

Maybe somebody should be asking why such a turn out to vote down the police tax? And why the township board and the chief of Gaines Township Police sent a letter to surrounding community police departments telling them to not answer our calls.

Maybe there is a problem with the Gaines Township police to receive a 2-to-1 defeat.

Gaines Township voters are tired of paying for taxes and not getting what they pay for.

The person who calls us fools is blaming the wrong people. They must be uninformed and ignorant of the facts to blame the voters for alerting the thieves.

It was Chief Schmitzer and Supervisor Fortino who went on TV and possibly put the residents of Gaines Township at risk by announcing to all of the state of Michigan about the police, not the voters. We kept our business in Gaines Township.

And contrary to what some have said that no state police would patrol Gaines Township, the commander of the state police post announced on TV state police patrols would be increased in Gaines Township. And I have seen the sheriff and more state police than ever driving through Gaines Township. No crime since Gaines Township police left, go figure.

We expected the township board to return to a single new police chief funded by the existing $60,000 from the general fund as was the practice before Gaines Township police chief Schmitzer arrived. — Robert Henderson, Gaines Township