Name-change committee given progress report

FLINT TWP. – After the township board decided to delay a namechange survey until the fall, Suggestion Committee Chairperson Jerry Preston issued an update to the committee.

Here is where we stand as of this date, Preston said in his advisory:

1. As you know there is a question about putting the name change on a ballot for the residents to indicate their preference. In addition, the Trustees have indicated that they want some input from the businesses in the Township too.

2. Proposals were solicited to do a survey of the residents and the businesses and the Trustees approved a proposal from Eric Bowe to survey the residents and businesses at a cost of $6,500. This was the lowest cost survey proposal. FYI… Eric Bowe was a part of the Advertising Agency that created the “Pure Michigan” name and campaign and has experience with the marketability of names.

3. As you know, our Committee was advised that state law requires a petition of 20% of the “freeholders” to the County Board of Commissioners to make the name change. The Township Attorney has asked the Attorney for the County Board of Commissioners to clarify this for us so we can be sure we are providing them with the appropriate information. The County Attorney has declined to provide this clarification.

4. In the meantime, with the help of the Township Attorney we are investigating this process with the Michigan Townships Association and the Michigan Secretary of State so we can develop the process and then seek the County’s approval of the process before we begin. We are looking to find a Township that has changed its name only so we can know the process they selected to make their name change. So far, we have not found such a Township. As you know from our meetings most name changes were also associated with the conversion to a city. (Pontiac Township to Auburn Hills and East Detroit to East Point)

5. Because the process is not clearly defined at this time, we are holding on proceeding with the survey so we do not do something that needs to be repeated in a different way.

6. Soon we will put up a website with information about our work which eventually will have the survey or other instrument we need to complete the processes.

7. The township will be adding a note to the water bills to encourage residents and business to go to the website to get the latest information and to eventually take our survey or respond to a petition request or whatever is necessary to satisfy the process.

It appears as if it will be sometime this fall before we will have the process identified, approved and are in a position to move forward, Preston concluded.

The Suggestion Committee was organized last fall and met for about eight months to weigh the consequences of either changing the township to a city or changing its name. It concluded with a recommendation to the township board to change its name. — Rhonda Sanders

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