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Re: SG-W:/AANews Editorial re new Pittsfield administration



Seriously, though, I would have some strong criticism for a government
official that appointed his wife to the second in command after himself.
Which is, as far as I can tell, what Jim Walter did.

Is there such a derth of qualified people in the township that he was
forced to do this? Can anyone address why this is okay?

The removal of the planning commissioners is a bit troublesome, too, if
only becuase it sounds like they were unceremoniously kicked out for
holding a different opinion than the current powers that be on one
particular issue. That, too, sounds like far too shady a reason to remove
someone from their position when they have been effective and efficient in
every other way.

What is the story behind the editorial, for those who don't live in the
township?

-kg



On Wed, 13 Dec 2000, Christina Lirones wrote:

> We're all working on our nicknames: Banana Jim? Che? Chiquita? HA Tina
> 
> 
> >From: Andrew Mutch <amutch@waterford.lib.mi.us>
> >To: smartgrowth-washtenaw@great-lakes.net
> >Subject: Re: SG-W:/ AANews Editorial re new Pittsfield 
> >administration/Newmarket
> >Date: Thu, 07 Dec 2000 16:34:44 -0500
> >
> >Interesting -- I'm curious as to how the AA News has editorialized on the 
> >behavior
> >of the previous Boards -- I've heard enough in the past that surely they 
> >have
> >commented....
> >
> >Andrew Mutch
> >Novi
> >
> >Rober98@aol.com wrote:
> >
> > > The Ann Arbor News on Tuesday ran an editorial about the new 
> >administration
> > > and trustees in Pittsfield Township.  Here's the link:
> > >
> > > 
> >http://aa.mlive.com/columns/index.ssf?/news/stories/20001205atuesedit125.frm
> > >
> > > And here's the text:
> > >
> > > >>
> > > EASE UP
> > > Pittsfield Township newcomers
> > >
> > > Tuesday, December 5, 2000
> > > 
> >------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> > >
> > > --
> > >
> > > To the victors go the spoils. Whether you like or not, that's reality.
> > >
> > > Still, in a small community it's unusual to see a local election lead to
> > > summary firings or the kind of "King of the Hill" muscle-flexing now 
> >taking
> > > place in Pittsfield Township.
> > >
> > > It's not conducive to problem solving or consensus building. On the 
> >contrary,
> > > the ouster of township employees, whose skill and work habits are not at
> > > issue, and of planning commissioners suggests that the "Community Effort 
> >for
> > > Pittsfield" Democrats who prevailed in last month's election are more
> > > interested in exercising power than in bringing township residents 
> >together.
> > >
> > > And the fact that new Supervisor Jim Walter appointed his wife, Judith,
> > > deputy supervisor, even on a temporary basis, just adds to the banana
> > > republic flavor in this change of government.
> > >
> > > Be clear: Township voters made a statement about development when they 
> >picked
> > > Jim Walter. Although his margin of victory wasn't huge, about 7 percent, 
> >it's
> > > fair to say the vote reflected a majority preference for putting the 
> >brakes
> > > on growth.
> > >
> > > We don't, however, think that those 6,000-plus Walter voters were intent 
> >on
> > > seeing non-elected public employees lose their jobs. We don't think they 
> >were
> > > counting on nepotism -especially since Judith Walter abandoned the 
> >township
> > > clerk's position she had previously held. And we don't think that the
> > > bull-in-a-china-shop approach is nearly as effective, in the long run, 
> >as a
> > > more subtle change in direction.
> > >
> > > Sure, it gets attention. There's no doubt that interested parties in and
> > > around Pittsfield Township know there are new people in charge.
> > >
> > > Heads have rolled. There was immediate discussion of reworking a
> > > just-completed deal to give the township added water and sewer service
> > > (required for growth); and there are more moves concerning the 
> >contentious
> > > Newmarket development.
> > >
> > > However, a lower key transition could have conveyed the same 
> >information...
> > > along with the idea that Pittsfield Township is a sophisticated 
> >community led
> > > by thoughtful people who -while ideologically committed -respect other 
> >people
> > > and ideas.
> > >
> > > The chance to make that kind of first impression is gone. But the 
> >opportunity
> > > to make a second, more favorable, impression is not.
> > >
> > > Walter, Clerk Christina Lirones and the other Democrats now in office
> > > absolutely have a responsibility to pursue the development philosophies 
> >they
> > > campaigned on.
> > >
> > > Having gained the community's bully pulpit, they can do that through 
> >reasoned
> > > argument and leadership. Or they can keep flailing away. <<
> > >
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