Vote ‘no’ on parks, police millage requests

Many people have a wish list – not that most people think that they will always get what they wish for. But maybe, just maybe, they hope they will.
So, when I read that the Oxford Twp. Parks and Rec. Dept. and the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office wanted an increase in our taxes, I wasn’t surprised. I was only surprised that their wish came so soon after their last tax increases.
The parks and recreation department received a $2 million bond in 2016. The sheriff’s office received three additional officers and a new police station. It all came from additional taxes supported by taxpayers for both departments.
Remember, property taxes do go up each and every year. It is automatic, and it allows government to increase spending each year. And it applies to parks and rec. and the sheriff’s office.
The Aug. 6 tax vote doesn’t deserve a ‘yes’ for either the sheriff’s office or the parks and rec. department. Increases in taxes are already built in. They just need to be spent wisely.
This isn’t part of the Aug. 6 vote, but I do want to mention something I find disturbing. The township gave the parks and rec. department $300,000 for the construction of a senior center in Seymour Lake Park. Why did the township representatives think that taxpayers should not vote on that $300,000 gift?

Daniel Davis Jr.

Oxford Township

Editor’s Note: The new sheriff’s substation that Oxford Township built in 2014-15 was paid for with existing monies from the township’s Building and Site Fund, which is completely separate from the police operating millage. None of the money used for the new substation was from the police millage.
Regarding the $300,000 transfer from township coffers to parks and rec., township attorney Gary Rentrop said, “They did not need a vote (of the people) for that” and if such a vote were to happen, it would be “advisory in nature” and could be deemed invalid if challenged. Rentrop explained votes of the people are required whenever the township is asking residents to pay more in taxes, either through millages or bond proposals, but they are not required to seek direction on how to spend money that has already been collected.

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