News for the Week of 7/26/2017

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Transforming The Landscape  Of Local Art Markets

From Bridget Favre

The Chelsea Art Market, curated by River Gallery on behalf of Chelsea Area Festivals and Events, announced the 2017 artist line-up featuring cool, hip and affordable art from emerging artists and craft persons.  The juried show coincides with the Sounds & Sights Festival on July 28 and 29 from noon to 8pm, located at West and East Middle Streets in downtown Chelsea.

Growing on the success of its indie-format, this year attracted forty well-renowned artists to the Chelsea Art Market.

“Together with the artists, we have created a vibrant vibe for the Art Market.  Throughout the jury process for new artists, we focus on our vision and keep our craftsmanship standards high.   We have assembled an array of exceptional artists who have reinvented the art market scene,” said Patti Schwarz, Art Market Program Coordinator and Director of River Gallery + Exhibits.

All artists participating in the Chelsea Art Market are from throughout the Midwest.  Various mediums will be represented including dichroic glazed jewelry designed by Carrie Gardner, rustic handcrafted sculptures by Buck and Liz Niles of “Camp Decor & More,” and bold abstract paintings by the collaborative team of Natalie Berry and Trevor Stone.

In addition to the Chelsea Art Market, visitors can explore the 41st Annual Sounds & Sights Festival also held in historic downtown Chelsea, Michigan.  The two day, three night festival draws over 15,000 visitors annually and features national and regional live music acts, local food and brew, an annual public art sculpture exhibit and activities for the entire family.

For more information and a detailed list of artists visit, call River Gallery + Exhibits at 734.433.0826, or email



Ballet Chelsea to Host Guest and Company Auditions

Ballet Chelsea will hold auditions August 20 and 27 for its 2017-2018 season. Dancers are invited to audition for company member (Aug. 20) and guest (Aug. 27) positions in Ballet Chelsea’s performance company. Registration will begin at noon for both audition dates.

Ballet Chelsea offers two major performance opportunities each year. The Nutcracker is performed in early December, and a production selected from a diverse repertory of classic ballets and original works is performed in the spring.

This year, in celebration of Ballet Chelsea’s 20th Anniversary, The Nutcracker will feature live orchestral accompaniment by the Jackson Symphony Orchestra.  In March 2018, Ballet Chelsea will present Coppélia, a comic ballet based on a tale by E.T.A Hoffman who also authored The Nutcracker (The Nutcracker and The Mouse King).

Also this year, Artistic Director Wendi DuBois was awarded the Michigan Youth Arts Touchstone Award for 2017 Arts Educator of the Year in dance, and Ballet Chelsea was voted Best Dance Company in Washtenaw County by Current Magazine.

For more information about auditions and company membership requirements visit


Stockbridge Village Police

7/12 ~12:40pm, assist Ingham Co. Sheriff’s Department with a road hazard in the 4000 blk of N. Main St.  911 dispatch advised that there were reports of a tree down across the roadway.  SPD checked the area and confirmed that a tree on the north side of the roadway had blown over and was partially blocking the roadway.  Ingham County Road Commission was called to remove the tree.

7/13 ~8:05pm, assist SAESA with a medical call in the 800 blk of S. Clinton.  SPD was advised that there was a 65-yr-old Leslie man there who was having trouble breathing.  He was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

7/14 ~1pm, traffic stop near Main and Dexter Trail for failure to obtain a cycle endorsement.  SPD observed a motorcycle near Main and Center St. and checked the license plate which was improperly displayed.  The rider, a 43-yr-old Stockbridge man came back with a valid license however he did not show a cycle endorsement on his license through the Secretary of State.  Michigan law now makes this a 93-day misdemeanor offense.  SPD conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the rider who confirmed he did not have the proper endorsement.  He was cited and released pending a warrant.

7/15 ~5:35pm, traffic crash in the 4600 blk of S. M-52 involving two vehicles.



Washtenaw County Sheriff – Manchester Patrol

7/14 ~A deputy responded to Union Street near Madison Street to a complaint of disorderly conduct.  A disagreement over a civil issue was ongoing upon arrival.  All parties were identified and sought no criminal charges resulting from the exchange.

7/19 ~Deputies responded to a request for Medical Assistance in the 400blk of Territorial Street.  The scene was turned over to Fire Department medical personnel.



Washtenaw County Sheriff – Dexter Patrol

7/16  ~At approximately 5:20am deputies responded to the 8400 block of Parkridge Dr. regarding damaged property.  The victim woke up to a loud noise and then noticed someone had thrown a landscaping brick through one of their windows.  Investigation is ongoing but no suspects have been identified at this point.

7/15 ~Deputies investigated a theft from a vehicle in the 8100 block of Fifth St.  The victim parked their car in the driveway to a house and left their purse in the car while unlocked.  At some point during the afternoon, an unknown subject entered the car and stole the purse which was later found discarded down the street.  A small amount of money was taken and there are no suspects at this time.


Brad Hamilton named Interim Superintendent of Manchester Community Schools

By Seth Kinker,

Brad Hamilton, of Jackson, MI., is no stranger to the educational system or the title of Interim superintendant.

Hamilton recently wrapped up a stint as the Interim superintendant of Onsted Community Schools after retiring in 2015 as Superintendent of Grass Lake Community Schools.

Before serving for 13 and a half years as Superintendent of Grass Lake, Hamilton was the Superintendent of Lenawee County’s Britton Deerfield Schools for seven years, Principal of Addison Middle School for ten years and a teacher in Adrian in the Madison School district for eight and a half years.

Former Manchester Superintendent Cherie Vannatter ended her tenure July 14. She submitted her resignation after she was hired June 13 by the Washtenaw Intermediate School District (WISD) as an Assistant Superintendent for Achievement and Student Services. She will be in charge of special education and early childhood programs in Washtenaw County.

“Cherie has been a wonderful and visionary leader for the Manchester Community Schools.  She’s worked with the board to navigate through very challenging times, with dropping enrollment and less support from the state,” said Kevin Mowrer, Principal of Manchester High School. “She’s been a thoughtful and innovative leader of the Manchester Community Schools.”
“Cherie was a visionary.  She constantly thought of ways to push the school district forward, especially when it came to technology integration and personalized learning opportunities for students,” added Jennifer Mayes, Principal of Manchester Middle School. “As a direct supervisor, she trusted her principals but was sure to provide wisdom or guidance when needed.”

Vannatter got her start in teaching by way of special education. In 1984 she worked in Washtenaw County as a special education teacher in Saline.

She was the Klager Elementary principal in Manchester in 2007 and 2008. Later in 2008 she became the Saline Special Education Director.

In 2011 she went back to Manchester as the superintendent after the Board of Education offered her the job when former Superintendent Shawn Lewis-Lakin left the post.

The position Vannatter will be taking aligns with what she has been doing since she first started teaching. “I have worked closely with the Intermediate School District over my many years in Saline and Manchester, so when the position became available, I was contacted by Scott Menzel, WISD superintendent about my potential interest,” said Vannatter.  “My education, skills and experience were a good fit with the newly created assistant superintendent position.

Retired and in his second stint as an Interim superintendant he has no interest in dropping the Interim title. “I’m retired, I can do it on a temporary basis,” said Hamilton. “But at this point and time in my life, it’s not something I’m looking to do full time.”


First-of-its-Kind Church Service in Chelsea Caters to All Needs and Abilities

By Melinda Baird,

As I ascended the front steps of Chelsea’s First Congregational Church with my reporter notebook in hand, bubbles descended upon me courtesy of a smiling greeter holding a bubble wand.  Once through the door, I was invited to choose a colored scarf or rainbow streamer for the upcoming service.  To my right was a table with various fidget toys, headphones and ziplock bags of snacks for the picking.  To my left, a therapy collie named Sasha.

Parables 20170709_165933

It was 5pm on the second Sunday in July, and the start of the second bi-monthly All Abilities Inclusion Worship Service dubbed “Parables.”  As the song lyrics “I am welcome, I am welcome, I am loved, just as I am” broke out, I knew it pertained to me—stiff and overdressed—as much as it did to the young adult sitting next to me in a wheelchair and the elementary-age child pacing behind me.

Parables, now offered at 121 East Middle Street in Chelsea the second and fourth Sunday of each month, is “a no-shushing, 40-minute worship service designed especially for people who find that they and their family members don’t always swim in the same direction as the mainstream,” co-founder and longtime Chelsea resident LeAnn Seto said.  It is particularly for those interested in a progressive faith community where people who are often marginalized in our society, often because of intellectual or developmental disabilities, are empowered to fully participate and share their gifts.

“Think of the non-verbal child with autism who likes to walk a lot while flapping his hands, a young adult with Tourette Syndrome who would like to participate as a speaker, or an elder with dementia,” Seto said.

The National Organization on Disability recently found that 85% of people with disabilities say their religious faith is very important in their lives, but only 47% of people with disabilities attend church at least once a month.  32% of parents have changed their place of worship because their child was not included or welcomed, and only 10% of faith communities do congregation-wide disability awareness.

First Congregational Church Reverend Joe Jeffreys and the nearly-ordained Seto – unbeknownst to the other – become painfully aware of the inaccessibility of today’s church to people with disabilities, whether due to simple architectural and programmatic barriers or not-so-simple communication barriers and attitudinal barriers.  Their individual callings converged, and Parables was born:

“What started as a whisper from God as I watched a student with disabilities walk past First Congregational Church (FCC) every day to meet others with disabilities in a nearby building and spread out in our community performing various tasks, has evolved into a viable ministry and outreach to our community,” Jeffreys said.  “I plainly heard ‘God speaking’ as He asked, ‘How long are you going to let them walk by My building?’  It sent chills through my body and I had no idea what an impact this was going to have on our leadership team, church family, community and myself.”

The next day Jeffreys received a call from Seto asking to meet with him about starting a Special Needs Ministry at FCC.  She’d recently experienced a similar visceral reaction as Jeffreys after stumbling upon an inclusive service while visiting family in Minnesota.  Since then, many in the Chelsea community—even beyond the boundaries of FCC—have joined together to make Parables happen.

Mid-service, a tambourine and maraca-led offering gave way to the “calming song” (during which Sasha took a nap near the altar).  Seto during her sermon reminded those present that “with God, there tends to be an upside-down way of things.”  In fact, the word “parables” points to stories Jesus told that turn our understanding of the world upside-down, she said.  In a society where great logic and analytical skills, physical prowess, musical artistry and charisma are heralded as the most valuable human characteristics, Seto pointed to the immense value vulnerable people living on the margins offer their community – an opportunity for more abundant life.

That is, if one defines abundant life as God does, she clarified: more joy, more compassion, more justice—and, as a result, more peace.  “The vulnerable people among us pull these qualities out of the whole community—often after the larger community has reached the end of its ropes and let go of the crazy expectations of what they think life should look like—and instead let themselves be broken open to abundant life by the diverse realities of what life really is,” Seto preached.

The service ended with a celebration of diversity in community through the Christian act of communion (using homemade gluten-free bread and grape juice) and an invitation to dinner in the downstairs fellowship hall.

Funny thing is, when the ramp to the church’s building was built, the slope of the land didn’t allow for ramp access to the rear of the building.  That means to use the ramp everyone would need to walk around the entirety of the building to get to the rear.  It was a disappointment to Seto, she admitted, until she recognized it for the rich opportunity it presented:

“There are so few times when we who ambulate with ease can stand in solidarity—even for a moment—with those for whom life offers very few shortcuts.”

And so together we ignored the steps, descended the ramp together through floating bubbles, and equally devoured the pizza.


Community Event Going Strong in 64th Year in Manchester

By Seth Kinker,

The 64th Annual Manchester Chicken Broil took place last Thursday on Alumni Field in Manchester.

What started as a way to get funding for the fences at Alumni Field in order for sporting events to take place there has grown into a long standing community event that attracts visitors from near and far.

Julie Roberts, now living in Tecumseh, was attending the Chicken Broil with her Father, Joe Moore, who still resides in Manchester. Moore first began bringing his family to the Chicken Broil when they moved to Manchester in 1968.

“We love the chicken,” said Roberts. “Seeing people is great as well but the chicken is just top notch and the coleslaw is always great as well.”

After selling around 8,000 meals last year, the Chicken Broil served 7,551 meals this year. 38.72% of those meals were served through the drive-thru line, which added a second avenue to help alleviate traffic flow this year.

“We’ve tweaked little things to try and make traffic flow better, trying to get a few more meals prepared beforehand,” said Chicken Broil Co-Chairman Gary Bross, who is in his fourth year as co-chairman. “I don’t ever want to say we’ve got it figured out, but it (the drive thru lines) seemed to run real smoothly this year.”

“We both noted to each other this was the smoothest we’ve experienced as co-chairmen,” added Chicken Broil Co-Chairman Michael Tindall, who is in his thirteenth year as a co-chairman. “And I’d love to say it’s because of our wonderful leadership but I’m going to pass this right back to the people working.”

After receiving the funds for the Alumni Field fences from the first Chicken Broil, every year, 100 percent of the proceeds of the Chicken Broil are given back to the community. Last year, the proceeds of the Chicken Broil went to renovations and repairs at the Kingsley-Jenter Community Meeting Place, part of the Manchester Area Historical Society.

This year, the proceeds will go towards constructing new ticket booths at the High School football field and to provide support for the 2017 Manchester Sesquicentennial celebration.

The criteria that must be met to receive proceeds from the Chicken Broil are: must not be for operating expenses and it must be a part of the community.

“We have a lot of volunteer organizations in Manchester. Every quarter they have a roundtable meeting. Representatives from each organization come to that roundtable and discuss projects they’re working on and things that they are doing,” said Tindall. “I always go because it’s a one day a year Broil and I go to educate them on what they can do to get money from the Broil.”

The Board of Directors makes a recommendations to their voting members, who are the committee co-chairmen that make up the different committees that make the Chicken Broil run. Their vote decides where the proceeds of the Chicken Broil will go.

A unique aspect of this large scale event is that it is all volunteer driven, from co-chairmen of the Chicken Broil all the way down to the people collecting purchased meal tickets. The volunteers come from everywhere; from the local schools, former residents that still come back to help, local community members and more.

“We don’t have to recruit too hard, people just tend to show up to work,” said Bross. This year the Broil had over 550 volunteers.

“My great-grandfather was a co-founder for the Chicken Broil,” said Mann. “He helped run things in 1955 and it’s carried on for four generations. I love the volunteers here and I think it’s a great event.”


Dexter Community Fund Donates $500

From Bev Hill

Dexter Historical Society

The Dexter Area Historical Society is very pleased to be the recipient of a $500 grant from the Dexter Community Fund to support the renovation of Gordon Hall. Gordon Hall, Judge Samuel Dexter’s home, is owned by the Historical Society and is located on Island Lake Road just west of the City of Dexter. Restoration work on the exterior has been largely completed and fundraising for the interior work is presently underway.

The Dexter Area Historical Society and the Dexter Community Fund work hand in hand to support the community. The Historical Society is working to preserve and restore Gordon Hall so that it can be used for community events and to make it a focal center for the City of Dexter.

The Dexter Community Fund provides funding to local non-profit organizations for initiatives that enrich the quality of life for those in the Dexter community.

Julie Schumaker and Jamie Guise from the Dexter Fund Advisory Board presented the Dexter Area Historical Society with a $500 check at their annual board meeting. Bev Hill, president, Ina Germain, vice president, and the rest of the Dexter Board received the award on the steps of the Dexter Museum.


Election Day Draws Near for Dexter School Bond Proposal

By Melinda Baird,

In less than two weeks, residents of Dexter Community Schools will be asked to vote on a bond proposal totaling $71,705,000.  Voters’ collective decision on Tuesday, August 8 will determine whether the district can move forward with building a new elementary school and upgrading existing facilities.  If approved, the bond proposal will not increase taxes.  Instead, it will extend the current annual school debt levy of 8.5 mills that began in 2008 and projected to decline in 2024 – to 2030.

Projected enrollment growth is one major factor for the bond proposal.  During the second of three community forums July 17, Superintendent Chris Timmis said the district currently serves 3,586 students.  That number is projected to increase to 3,700 within the next several years, he said, and that’s without factoring in new housing developments being considered for the area.

“We have immediate space constraints that are not going away,” Timmis said of the preschool and early elementary buildings.  Both Bates and Cornerstone early elementary schools, designed when full-day kindergarten was not yet mandated, are currently at 106% capacity, he said.  Jenkins Early Childhood Learning Center currently serves about 225 preschool students while 200 remain on a waiting list.

As for Wylie Elementary and Creekside Intermediate, space can be reconfigured to accommodate growth, Timmis said.  Meanwhile, Mill Creek Middle School, designed to hold about 600 students, currently serves 617; and Dexter High School, designed to hold about 1,200, currently serves 1,180.  Because not all students are on school grounds simultaneously due to off-site learning opportunities for older students, the impact isn’t felt as severely as with younger ones.

Roughly 30% of bond funds would go to the construction of a new elementary school, which would likely be built where the Mill Creek athletic fields are currently located and opened to students in Fall 2019.  The athletic fields would likely be relocated either near Creekside or on the 90 acres of district-owned property next to the high school.  Further, Bates would be converted into additional preschool space.

Because the district owns the architectural plans to Cornerstone and officials are pleased with its design and functionality, the proposed new school would be built in Cornerstone’s mirror image.

“We want to build its twin, just up to today’s code,” TImmis said.

The district’s decisions regarding use of property came largely from staff, parent and community survey responses.  Most respondents said they wanted school buildings on one campus to the degree possible, and identified a need for more athletic space given the district shares its space with the community.

The remainder of bond funds would go to district-wide upgrades for aging mechanical, electrical, and security systems.  It would also provide for a new music room at Mill Creek, a new secure entrance at Wylie, flexible learning spaces at all grade levels, community pool locker room and shower improvements, athletic field improvements and campus walkways, Dexter Senior Center and DHS Center for Performing Arts upgrades, new buses and traffic flow improvements at drop-off and pick-up points, and technology and furniture updates.

By law, bond proceeds cannot be used for operational expenses or staff salaries.

“With the passage of this bond, general fund dollars can continue to be dedicated to the classroom rather than capital expenses,” Timmis said.


Sounds & Sights Festival Kidzone Features Something For All Ages

From Bridget Favre

One of the most popular features of Chelsea’s Sounds & Sights Festival is the KidZone entertainment and activities area. The KidZone, sponsored by Robin Hill Farms and Kimber Zatkovich of Reinhart Realtors, will offer activities for children of all ages on both Friday and Saturday from 10am to 3pm.  Located behind the Clocktower complex, kids enjoy free bounce houses, children’s entertainers, small animals, sporting activities, and more.

Friday, July 28 the Chelsea District Library will be on site 10am to 3pm with summer fun and prizes for all ages.  Under the Kidzone tent, event festivities kick off with ATA Martial Arts instructors and students demonstrating safety and Taekwondo skills at 10am.

Next, children are invited to make free crowns in preparation for the arrival of “Princess Belle”.  The fully dressed character from Beauty and the Beast will be available for photos from 11:30am until 1pm.

Hands on fun begins at 1pm with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra Instrument Petting Zoo. Children have the chance to get up close and personal with the orchestral instruments they see professionally played on stage. It’s a fun and educational program, suitable for Preschool through fifth  grade, that teaches how vibrations become sound, and sound becomes music.

Saturday, July 29 racecar driver Fritz Wilke will be at the kid zone from 10am to 3pm. Children can sit in his racer and get complimentary photos by MMB Imagery.

Under the KidZone tent at 11am, The Flying Aces perform a professional frisbee show.  All ages will enjoy the spectacular athletic skills displayed by The Flying Aces performers.  Next, Local favorite, Eddy Discovery Center, returns to the KidZone stage from noon to 1pm with an upclose look at plants and animals from our area.

At 1pm “ROARY” Mascot from Detroit Lions will be on-site to meet and greet fans.  Finally, at 2pm spectators are invited to cheer on the Chelsea Robotics Team as they race robots built by local students.

Once again, Robin Hills Farm will be on site both days teaching kids how to build boats in preparation for the annual Dragonboat Festival which takes place on August 5, 2017.

In addition to the stage performers, the KidZone is filled with activities for kids of all ages, including:  bounce houses, Chelsea Fire Department demonstrations, Ceramics Clayland crafts, Chelsea children’s Co-op Preschool’s duck pond, Chelsea Lanes games, and the giant Main Street Church Plinko game.

For a complete list of activities, visit


Chelsea Area Festivals And Events Announce The Sounds & Sights Festival Weekend Lineup

CHELSEA, MICH – Chelsea Area Festivals and Events is proud to announce the return of its annual Sounds & Sights Festival, presented by Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Chelsea, on July 27, 28 and 29 in vibrant downtown Chelsea, just 14 miles west of Ann Arbor.  In its 41st season, the weekend event will draw over 15,000 visitors and will feature national and regional live music acts, local food and brew, an open-air art market, classic car show, chalk art contest, and multiple events activities for all ages.
Building on Chelsea’s Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights, a free multi-concert series located in downtown Chelsea each Thursday night during the summer months, The Sounds & Sights Festival is a two-day, three-night  event that  offers something for everyone.

For a complete line up of the Sounds & Sights Thursday Night’s free concert series, visit

Social Tent:
Located behind The Common Grill restaurant, the social tent is open at 6 p.m., with live bands performing from 7 to 11 p.m.  Beer and wine will be for sale to those aged 21 and over. Admission is $5 and all ages are welcome. In addition to the many local sponsors including the City of Chelsea DDA, Chelsea State Bank, “Jiffy” Mixes and Rick Taylor Real Estate, proceeds from the Social Tent help fund the summer long Thursday Night free concert series.

Thursday, July 27 is billed as ‘Local Spotlight’ and features three bands with Chelsea connections.  Opening at 7pm is Jill Jack, followed my Thunderwüde, and headlining Joe Hertler & The Rainbow Seekers.

Friday, July 28 is ‘Country Night’ and features two of the region’s most popular performers: Kari Holmes and Alan Turner.

Saturday, July 29 is the festival’s traditional ‘Dance Party’ showcasing funk band Root Doctor followed by FiftyAmpFuse who performs renditions of classic rock and dance favorites from the 80’s, 90’s and today.

For a complete line up of music events, visit the Sounds and Sights Social Tent website.

The KidZone Area

The KidZone area, sponsored by Robin Hills Farm and Kimber Zatkovich of Reinhart Realtors, will offer activities for children of all ages on both Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Located behind the Clocktower complex, kids will enjoy a variety of shows, bounce houses, Chelsea Fire department demonstrations, A2SO Instrument Petting Zoo, Flying Aces Professional Frisbee Team, ATA Martial Arts demonstrations, character meet & greet with Princess Belle and “ROARY” mascot from Detroit Lions, Chelsea Lanes games, Chelsea Robotics Club, Shoot-a-Puck, and more.

For a complete list of activities, visit the Sounds and Sights KidZone website.

Art Market

The Chelsea Art Market, curated by River Gallery and sponsored by, is located at East and West Middle Streets, has redefined its atmosphere with cool, hip, and affordable art from emerging artists and craft persons.  The juried show is open on both Friday and Saturday from noon to 8 p.m. Visitors will watch downtown street artists demonstrate techniques in clay, glass, copper foil, jewelry making, painting, and wood carving.

For more information, visit the Sounds and Sights Art Market website.

Classic Cruisers Car Show

Be sure to zip on over to East Middle, East, and Harrison Street on Friday from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. to see  more than 300 classic cars from across the Midwest.  Sponsored by Parts Peddler Auto Supply, this event is an annual favorite for car enthusiasts.  For details on how to enter your car into the show, visit the Sounds and Sights Classic Car website.

Chalk Art
The Chalk Art Contest, sponsored by Healthy Smiles Dental Group, is scheduled on Saturday, July 29th from 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. Participants will create vibrant colors and works of art at the Clocktower building. Chelsea Area Festivals & Events will award over $1,000 across 11 contest categories.  For details on how to participate, visit the Sounds and Sights Chalk Art website.

Polka Party
On Saturday, July 29th, the Social Tent will feature The Kielbasa Kings from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.  The Dearborn based polka band performs contemporary and traditional polkas, waltzes and obereks, instrumentally and sung in Polish and English.

Located in the parking lot behind The Common Grill restaurant, the social tent has free admission from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Beer and wine will be for sale to those aged 21 and over with valid identification.

A food court, featuring Vi’s Polish Cuisine, is adjacent to the social tent’s entrance on West Middle Street.    In addition to polish food, the food court offers a variety of food from Hot Papi’s Empanadas, Cold Steel Grill, Amie Jo’s Elephant Ears, Kiwanis Truck, Smokehouse 52 BBQ, Thompson’s Pizza, Catered Coffee and The Common Grill.

Thanks to continuous sponsors support  the Sounds & Sights Festival offers entertainment and activities for all ages that have drawn generations of families to downtown Chelsea time and time again.

For more information, or to volunteer, visit


July 27, 28, 29

Downtown Chelsea, MI

The Sounds & Sights Festival is presented by Chelsea Area Festivals and Events, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.  Held in vibrant downtown Chelsea (14 miles West of Ann Arbor) the event draws over 15,000 visitors annually and features national and regional live music acts, local food and brew, an indie Art Market, classic car show, chalk art contest and activities for the entire family.  See website for schedule of events:

Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights is a program of Chelsea Area Festivals and Events, and is made possible with the support from its 2017 season sponsors including: City of Chelsea DDA, Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Chelsea, Chelsea State Bank, “Jiffy” Mixes, Rick Taylor Real Estate – Reinhart, Chelsea Rhone, Cleary’s Pub, The Common Grill, Jeff Klink & Associates, LaJolla Fine Jewelry, Lehman & Scheffler Real Estate Services, Roberts Paint & Body, Smokehouse 52 BBQ, St. Joseph Mercy Chelsea, and Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation


Aging Headstones A Concern At Saline’s Oakwood Cemetery

By Angelo Parlove,

No doubt, the headstones and grave sites in the Oakwood Cemetery is an important part of the history of the City of Saline.

“If we lose those stones, that is a major part of our history, and some of those stones are really unique and some of our founders for our city,” Saline City Council Member Dean Girbach said.

As time and history passes, some headstones in the older part of Oakwood Cemetery are in need of restoration. “Oakwood Cemetery has a problem with how it looks and is in need of repair,” said Bob Lane, secretary for the Saline Area Historical Society. “Our cemetery, I’m sorry to say, is the poorest kept cemetery I’ve seen in our area. It needs some work somehow.”

However, perpetual care arrangements severely limits the city’s abilities to restore the old headstones. “Basically you don’t own the headstones,” City Attorney Scott Smith informed city council and staff at the regular council meeting July 17. “You’d have to contact the heirs and get permission from them.”

Perpetual care arrangements indicate the city doesn’t maintain the headstones or the foundations underneath them. The headstones belong to the families, so any work would have to be done only with family permission.

Further muddying the waters, opinions differ on how aging and deteriorating headstones should be addressed.

“It’s also my understanding that there’s a difference of opinion as to whether they ought to be repaired or whether they’re a better historical resource if they aren’t,” Smith said. “There’s not unanimity of views on that.”

Going forward, the city could address restoration by changing language in the perpetual care arrangements, stating the city reserves the right to maintain and make repairs. However, even if such changes were made, it doesn’t resolve any issues for the historical stones already in Oakwood Cemetery.

For those that already exist, you would still have to get the permission from the families, Smith said.

If the city wants to preserve the integrity of the information on the historic headstones, one option might be to place a marker or plaque at the grave sites. John Olsen, executive director at the Saline Area Chamber of Commerce, suggested the idea to city council last week.

“One of things I’ve done in the past is map graveyards,” Olsen said. “A lot of the limestone ones just kind of deteriorate to the point I don’t know how you would fix them without replacing them, so that might be an alternative to be able to have the information that will be there.”

The maintenance and repair of the old headstones, as well as policy if the city were to damage a headstone during property maintenance, will be discussed by the Oakwood Cemetery Task Force in the future. Any subsequent recommendations by the task force would then come to city council.

“There is certainly value in preserving the very old part of our cemetery and looking to the future and how do we protect and make enjoyable and have it as a resource for our community,” Council Member Christen Mitchell said.


Letter to the Editor – To The Residents of Stockbridge Township

There has been some misconceptions of medical marijuana and how the facility options are going to be controlled.
First, I would like to thank the people who have come to me to discuss medical marijuana to get a better understanding of the five facility options. I hope our conversation was helpful and clarified some of your concerns.
As you all know, we live in a small town. Living in a small town also comes with rumors and allegations. I would like to clear up some of these rumors. First, I – CG Lantis have no interest in pursuing medical marijuana as a business, not now as supervisor or after. As Stockbridge Supervisor, it clearly states in the  Michigan State law, that no government official may partake in any of the five facility options nor any family member or person living under the same roof.
I hope this helps clear up any misconceptions, rumors, hearsay, and/or lies.
Now I would like to discuss and share information on the five facility options contained in the State of Michigan law.
The five facility options are five different areas of medical marijuana.
1 grow facility
2 transportation facility
3 testing facility
4 packaging\processing facility
5 dispensary
I will now give a brief description of the five facilities
1) The grow facility is a locked secured environment not accessible to the public, with better security than Jackson State penitentiary, in my opinion, this facility is regulated and controlled by LARA. LARA is the department through the State of Michigan that authorizes any type of licenses dealing with business. After the harvest it is weighed and transported
2) Transportation, once the medical marijuana is harvested it is then picked up by unmarked secured vehicle and transported directly to the testing facility.
3) Testing facility, here the medical marijuana is tested for its THC level. Also from my understanding it is weighed and then picked up by transportation again and delivered to the packaging\processing facility.
4) Packaging\Processing, here the medical marijuana is turned into a variety of uses and packaged to be picked up by the transportation and transported to the dispensary.
Once again, before I go any further. I would like to inform everyone that each of these facilities are not accessible to the public and the security measures through the State of Michigan and our local ordinances are very rigorous.
5) Dispensary, a dispensary is the location a person with a medical marijuana card may purchase their medicine, and once again this facility is a locked facility and a person with a medical marijuana card are the only person who can enter the facility.
Stockbridge township and it’s zoning has no available commercial property for a dispensary. Meaning, people with a medical marijuana card will travel to other locations outside of Stockbridge to purchase their medicine.
Next I would like to share how the State of Michigan has placed A tracking process called “seed to sale”.
Seed to sale is the tracking of every medical marijuana plant. Each plant is given a number\barcode from the time it was a seed to its harvest, it is tracked through each of the facilities and to the individual who purchased it.
Once again I consider myself a very transparent person with no hidden agendas for personal gain. With that being said – the township board has held Townhall meetings, we have also talked about medical marijuana at our regular schedule meetings. We have mailed out a survey, taken a class through Michigan State University with other villages, towns, cities and townships to help educate ourselves plus research on our own, and other meetings..
I would like to sit down with more people and talk face to face please come to the Townhall and ask Cindy, Becky or Jen for my business card to contact me, so we can set up a meeting. I will do my absolute best to make that happen..
Thank you again
C G Lantis, Township Supervisor
I hope everyone has found this helpful.

Letter to the Editor – Lyndon Twp – Broadband Initiative

The vote for broadband Internet is coming up fast on August 8th for Lyndon Township. Here’s the url for the Michigan Broadband Cooperative site with details including questions and answers:

While we will all vote based on our own values and personal situations, I want to present my opinion and support for the broadband initiative. Also, a quick thanks to the members of the MBCOOP for making the possibility of true broadband for Lyndon township a reality.

There are many benefits and positives to this initiative: township infrastructure; desirability for home ownership; enabling many activities that affect quality of life; providing the capability to leverage and use modern technology; cost; township Infrastructure.

This initiative will install fiber cabling to carry high speed data directly to our homes. This is the most advanced and desirable method of delivering data to a private residence that currently exists. A direct wired connection to a home is always preferable to a wireless solution. The technology behind it is robust, proven and stable.

While cellular wireless technology is catching up in raw data transfer rates, you have many variables with which to contend – landscape, physical obstacles, distance to the tower/signal source, and competition for signal from other devices. Note that cellular 5G will require close proximity to cellular towers to get advertised speeds.

Personally, I prefer to keep our township beautiful with fewer cellular towers. Another consideration ­- is it profitable enough for the cellular companies to build towers capable of delivering 5G signals to our community.

It’s the same question we face with cable broadband providers, and we know the answer is no. Yes, technology is moving forward, though it also has a cost that is currently unknown. I have seen many comments about the Microsoft announcement for supplying rural broadband. However, the announcement provided no dates, no guarantees, no speed or performance estimates, and no price estimate.

While I’m sure it will provide benefit to the most rural homes in our state if it happens. 25Mbps is not high performance by any means and is not even close to future proof.

Desirability for home ownership – many of us already work in industries that require us to be constantly connected. Working from a home office is becoming common as offices go “digital” rather than have a building with personal space for every employee. Even those of us who work daily at an office have the option to work from home occasionally. For those who are not familiar with what “working from home” could mean, in a given day, I could have video conference calls, voice conference calls, meetings requiring me to share my computer screen to demonstrate something, or just “basic” functions like email or accessing files on a work server to do updates.

Consider your future home value without true broadband internet. People are beginning make employment decisions based on the technology offered by a prospective company. How many buyers will factor this into their home choices as well?

Many will consider your home as completely off the list at any price because you don’t have an “adequate” connection to support their work or personal lifestyle.

I understand that many live here because they are able to disconnect, but the reality is that it is a limitation instead of the choice it should be. Having the connection greatly increases your pool of potential buyers in the future. The fact is that our current options are not adequate for today’s needs much less the future. Enabling many activities that affect quality of life.

I already mentioned working from home which has a direct link to quality of life. Consider a winter morning where roads are treacherous, and you must commute to work. For those of us with the option to work from home, this could save the drive and possibly a life. The result is fewer vehicles on the road making it safer for those who must brave the weather.

Another benefit of broadband internet is that it enables people of all ages to participate in online educational courses. This includes continuing education for the workplace. Courses include online videos that must be viewed, homework to be downloaded, completed homework uploads, virtual classrooms, etc. These are not optional items. A minimum subset of these things can be done on our meager broadband options available today. The question is how much is your time worth? Also consider that you are paying a lot of money for these substandard broadband offerings.

Providing the capability to leverage and use modern technology. Let’s consider IOT (Internet Of Things). These things consist of many modern conveniences ranging from home management (lighting, thermostat, water sensors) to security (cameras, intrusion detection) to entertainment (smart tvs, computers, gaming systems, phones, ipads and even appliances). All of these things require internet access to work correctly. They all require updates, which mean downloads, and all of which eat into your monthly data cap. Most of these things require a fast data connection, especially remote video monitoring.

Do you have digital photos or movies that you would hate to lose? If so, I’m sure you back them up to multiple devices. While this is a great plan, it is not the best option. Loss of home due to disaster or even theft can compromise your files. The files would be gone forever. The only alternative is to back up offsite. Online services are available for offsite backup for home users. These services rely on your internet connection to transfer your files to the storage location. Uploads and downloads count against your data cap. Uploads are also much slower than download transfer rates via existing connection plans.

Basically, it is impossible for us to effectively utilize these offsite backup services with our current limited broadband options.

Cost – the cost depends on your property value and service level you decide to purchase. I’m paying $60/mo with data cap of 250Gb. With Lyndon fiber to the home, I could pay roughly the same amount (estimate based on the proposal) for close to 100Mbps down. I can’t estimate the upload speed, but I expect it to also be close to 100Mbps as well.  This is an excellent data rate and a superior value for the money.

There has been mention about how this technology will be obsolete well before the payback period. I don’t believe this to be true.

A fiber optic cable is capable of transferring data at much higher rates than 1 Gigabyte speeds. The transmission technology for higher bandwidth exists and will improve over time. Currently the equipment to distribute data at 1Gb is economically feasible. You also have to consider the overall network you are connecting to, how much traffic a particular site is getting, etc.

It all factors in.

Fiber connection to the home gives you the best possible option for connecting to the majority of internet sites.

Many of us in Lyndon Township are using a site called and are actively discussing this topic. Join us and voice your opinion.

Seth Watkins

Lyndon Township


Polka Returns To Sounds & Sights Festival On Saturday Afternoon

From Bridget Favre

Chelsea Area Festivals and Events is pleased to announce The Kielbasa Kings Polka Band will be returning to the 41st annual Sounds & Sights Festival  taking place in downtown Chelsea, just 14 miles west of Ann Arbor.  Presented by Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Chelsea, the weekend event features national and regional live music acts, local food and brew, an open-air art market, classic car show, chalk art contest, and multiple activities for all ages.

Saturday, July 29, the Social Tent will feature The Kielbasa Kings from 1:30 to 4:30pm.  The Dearborn based polka band performs contemporary and traditional polkas, waltzes and obereks, instrumentally and sung in Polish and English.

Located in the parking lot behind The Common Grill restaurant, the social tent has free admission from 1to 5pm. Beer and wine will be for sale to those aged 21 and over with valid identification.

A food court, featuring Vi’s Polish Cuisine, is adjacent to the social tent’s entrance on West Middle Street. In addition to polish food, the food court offers a variety of food from Hot Papi’s Empanadas, Cold Steel Grill, Amie Jo’s Elephant Ears, Kiwanis Truck, Smokehouse 52 BBQ, Thompson’s Pizza, Catered Coffee and The Common Grill.

The social tent will briefly close at 5pm and reopen at 6pm with a $5 dollar cover to the festival’s ‘Dance Party’ featuring Root Doctor followed by the return of the dance crowd favorite, FiftyAmpFuse.

For a complete line up of music events, the chalk art contest, and the art market, visit


Setting the Record Straight

In the July 19 edition of The Sun Times, “Washtenaw County Sends Controversial Millage Proposal to November Ballot” failed to specify that the proposed millage on November’s ballot will be for a one mill tax increase.

In the July 5 edition of The Sun Times, “Parks and Recreation Subject of State Rep’s Town Hall Meeting in Chelsea” incorrectly identified The Big 400 as the name for 400,000 acres of protected land spanning western Washtenaw, southern Ingham and eastern Jackson counties.  It should have read 40,000 acres, and the Big 400 refers to the 400 square miles that is the geography that contains the 40,000 acres.


Driverless Shuttle Vehicles To Be Built In Saline

By Angelo Parlove,

The French company NAVYA will open its first U.S. production plant in the City of Saline to build its ARMA fully autonomous shuttle vehicles at the facility. The plant will be more than 20,000 square feet, with the company planning to build about 25 shuttles before the close of 2017.

The plant is expected to create 50 jobs and generate a total capital investment of more than $1 million.

“The City of Saline is ecstatic to welcome NAVYA to our community, and I have no doubt that they will become an important and valued member of our already stellar business community,” Saline Mayor Brian Marl said.

NAVYA, created in 2014, develops driverless, automated electric vehicles that are independent of all infrastructure. In October 2015, the company launched the ARMA, an autonomous, driverless and electric shuttle which can transport up to 15 people.

A fleet of 45 ARMA shuttle vehicles have been deployed worldwide, transporting more than 170,000 passengers to date. The Saline plant is expected to boost production significantly to serve the North American market.

“NAVYA’s growth in the Ann Arbor region is fueled by our region’s commitment to innovation in mobility technology, and the talented people who think and work on these issues everyday throughout our region,” said Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK, a non-profit organization that supports business attraction and retention in the region.

Ann Arbor SPARK hosted NAVYA during its first visit to the area in 2015 and will help the French company locate the employees it needs for the new manufacturing facility.

“We at NAVYA could not be more pleased to call Saline, Michigan, home to our first assembly plant in North America,” NAVYA CEO Christophe Sapet said. “As the greater Ann Arbor area continues to establish itself as a hub for autonomous vehicle development, we feel it’s the perfect location for us.”

The ARMA shuttle can reach speeds up to 28 miles per hour, but usually maintains speeds around 15 mph. The shuttles aim to provide a complement to current public transportation systems, serving distances too short to travel by car or too long on foot.

“NAVYA is an innovative company, working on the latest autonomous vehicle technology,” Marl said. “I believe that their future is bright, and the City of Saline looks forward to assisting and supporting them in every reasonable way.”


Sounds & Sights Festival

From Bridget Favre

This week, Chelsea Area Festivals & Events kicks off the Sounds & Sights Festival with its weekly concert series, Sounds and Sights on Thursday Nights, presented by Golling Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram of Chelsea.  Professional artists perform from 6:30 to 8:30pm at ten staged areas located throughout downtown Chelsea featuring free music, interactive art and family entertainment.

The diverse music lineup of Sounds & Sights on Thursday Night includes Corndaddy on the library lawn, Spencer Michaud at East Ally, and Once United at the Glazier Building.

Salmagundi rocks East Middle Street, with Ballet Chelsea doing a dance performance at 7:30 p.m. The Motor City Boogie Woogie Kid will be at the Clocktower Gazebo and Trey Connor returns to Chelsea Alehouse Brewery.  Music Man Dave makes his Chelsea debut at the Kids Courtyard by the fountain.

In addition to the free stages located throughout downtown, the Sounds & Sights Festival showcases a main stage inside the social tent located behind The Common Grill restaurant.   The social tent opens at 6pm with live bands performing from 7 to 11pm.  Beer and wine will be for sale to those aged 21 and over. Admission to the social tent is $5 and all ages are welcome.

In addition to many local sponsors including The City of Chelsea DDA, Chelsea State Bank, “Jiffy” Mixes and Rick Taylor Real Estate, proceeds from the social tent help fund the summer long “Sounds & Sights on Thursday Nights” concert series.

Thursday, July 27 is billed as ‘Local Spotlight’ and features three Michigan bands. Opening at 7pm is singer-songwriter, Jill Jack. Her charming stage presence and emotive songwriting have resulted in 37 Detroit Music Awards over the past 20 years. At 7:40 pm, Chelsea-born Thunderwüde performs a mix of intricate original compositions, bluegrass standards, and current billboard hits. With decades of collective touring behind them, Thunderwüde’s live show bursts with impeccable songwriting, seasoned instrumental chops and unique musical improvisation. Vibrant indie pop ensemble Joe Hertler and The Rainbow Seekers round out the night with a diverse sound that pulls elements from folk, funk, ‘90s R&B, and dynamic indie pop. The six-piece Michigan ensemble released “Pluto,” its fourth full-length album, earlier this year.

In its 41st season, the Sounds & Sights Festival weekend will draw over 15,000 visitors and will feature an open-air art market, classic car show, chalk art contest, sidewalk sales, local food, and multiple events activities for all ages.

For a complete schedule, visit­­­­


Amid Dropping Crime Rates, Saline Police Chief Announces Retirement

By Angelo Parlove,

Over the past three years, the Saline Police Department has seen a significant decrease in the major crime group each and every year.

The City of Saline has experienced a 36 percent drop in its major crimes, which includes assaults, burglaries and larcenies, retail fraud and criminal sexual conduct, in the three-year span. The number reflects a 11.5 percent decrease between 2015 and 2016, as the police department saw 268 major offenses in 2015, compared to 237 in 2016.

Criminal activity in major crimes was down another 15 percent in the first quarter of 2017.

“We’re doing something right, and I appreciate the work the officers do,” Saline Police Chief Larry Hrinik said. “Our citizens are calling us when they see something suspicious, which certainly helps.”

Saline Police Chief Larry Hrinik plans to retire in November after 43 years in law enforcement.
Saline Police Chief Larry Hrinik plans to retire in November after 43 years in law enforcement.

Amid the drop in major crimes under his tenure as police chief, Hrinik announced his retirement from the position this month, after 43 years in law enforcement. Hrinik held the chief post in Saline since 2012, which followed his service as police chief in Davison Township from 1993 to 2012.

Hrinik began his law enforcement career in the Buena Vista Township Police Department back in March 1974. He will retire from the Saline Police Department on or before November 25, 2017.

“We congratulate you on that and applaud 43 years in law enforcement. That’s pretty extraordinary,” Mayor Brian Marl told Hrinik during the regular city council meeting July 17. “We look forward to celebrating that retirement in a few months.”

Hrinik’s leadership saw the Saline Police Department increase its foot patrols from the downtown area to include the shopping plazas two years ago. In 2016, Saline Schools were then added to the foot patrol program, with officers walking the halls at the elementary, middle and Liberty schools.

The department recorded 1,368 total foot patrols last year.

Further, Hrinik implemented Lexipol’s policy management software to train personnel and update department policies as well as hold staff role calls three times a day to increase communication within the department.

Saline Police also began using Naloxone about a year and a half ago. On July 14, 2017, Saline Police received a call for an unresponsive male patient who was down, with his father providing the man CPR. An officer immediately responded to scene, assessed the situation, and gave the man two doses of Naloxone, a medication used to block the effects of opioids in overdose cases. In ten minutes, the man was up walking and talking.

“He would have died if the officer had not done that,” Hrinik said.

With Hrinik departing, the City of Saline will now begin the process to find his replacement. “I truly do believe hiring the right police chief is just as important as hiring the right city manager,” City Manager Todd Campbell said.

“When it comes to these positions and what can occur, you want to have a solid person in that position,” Campbell added. “I do believe it is critical we do our best with all that we have to recruit the top notch person, wherever they may be.”

Campbell and Marl will look to recommend a hiring process to city council that will mirror the process used to hire Hrinik back in 2012, which will include the use of a consulting firm. Under then Mayor Gretchen Driskell, the city hired a consulting firm to collect resumes, screen candidates and interview the top candidates.

The previous hiring process also included the formation of a search committee, which at the time included Driskell, Marl and Campbell as well as Chelsea Police Chief Ed Toth and former Council Member David Rhoads. The consulting firm also organized a public forum.

“I thought that was a solid, a really good process,” Marl said. “It had a heavy focus on community engagement and soliciting advice and insights from the people we serve.”

The public forum allowed citizens and city employees a way to offer feedback on the qualities and skills they desired in the next police chief. This information was then used in the search process.

“I am very emphatic we do that again,” Marl said about using a public forum in the upcoming search.

For a consultant, the city will likely choose between the Michigan Municipal League and the out-of-state firms the Mercer Group and Strategic Government Resources.

“I have received three proposals with some firms that I have been familiar with over the years,” Campbell said. “It is critical to utilize a search firm that does this and does a good job of it.”

Costs for the consulting firm are expected as follows: Michigan Municipal League, up to $19,000; Mercer Group, $16,500 and up to $8,000 for out-of-pocket expenses; and Strategic Government Resources, $18,500 and up to $8,500 for out-of-pocket expenses.

“Mr. Campbell has actually been doing a lot of work subsequent to Chief Hrinik announcing his retirement, reaching out and reviewing consulting firms,” Marl said.

With Hrinik retiring on or before Nov. 25, city council will move expeditiously. At their next meeting on Aug. 7, council will likely decide three matters: which consulting firm to hire, approve the members for the search committee, and determine the hiring process.


Speedway to hire more than 2,000 employees

ENON, Ohio, July 18, 2017 – Speedway LLC (Speedway), the nation’s second-largest chain of company-owned and -operated convenience stores with approximately 2,730 stores in 21 states, is looking to hire more than 2,000 employees across nine states to fill existing and growth-related positions.

Speedway is seeking to fill leadership positions, including shift leader trainees and co-manager trainees. A variety of full-time and part-time store positions also are available, including customer service representatives, who primarily serve customers, and food service specialists, who help maintain food and beverage programs.

Speedway will hold open interviews at every store in Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Wisconsin and West Virginia on Tuesday, July 25, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Additional details can be found at

Full-time Speedway employees have the option to elect health, dental, and vision coverage immediately upon enrollment. In addition, all Speedway employees enjoy the added benefit of a company-funded retirement plan as well as a 401k plan. Speedway matches 117 percent, up to the first 6 percent of an employee’s 401k contributions. This benefit is available immediately to all part-time and full-time employees. Participants are considered to be vested immediately and will see the employer contribution deposited into their 401k accounts on a weekly basis.

Speedway also offers flexible schedules, monthly bonuses and tuition reimbursement for all positions.

Interested candidates should plan to attend the open interviews in person. Those unable to attend can complete an application at or visit the nearest Speedway location for job information.

About Speedway LLC: Speedway LLC (Speedway) is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marathon Petroleum Corporation. Headquartered in Enon, Ohio, Speedway is the second-largest chain of company-owned and

-operated gasoline and convenience stores in the U.S. with approximately 2,730 locations in 21 states.

Media Contact: Stefanie Griffith (419) 421-4327


Stockbridge Township To Hold Medical Marihuana Special Meeting

By Lynne Beauchamp,

The Stockbridge Township Board plans to have a final decision in August on whether or not to allow licensed medical marijuana facilities in its township.

After months of board meetings and discussions, getting citizens’ comments, conducting surveys and educating themselves on the new laws on licensing for medical marijuana facilities, the Stockbridge Township Board will conduct a special meeting on August 2 at 7pm at the Stockbridge Township Hall to make its final decision.

This decision will be based on a special meeting of the planning commission July 26 to make recommendations to the board on whether or not any of the five types of licensed medical marijuana facilities are allowed in the township. If any are allowed, the state requires it to be acknowledged in the municipality’s ordinance. If a municipality does not have this in their ordinance, under the new law, none of the five licensed facilities are allowed. The planning commission had met on July 5 to make recommendations to the board on this topic but could not make recommendations at that time citing lack of knowledge.

“We as a board will take their [planning commission] recommendation, discuss that recommendation, discuss it with them and we will be making a final vote,” said Stockbridge Township Supervisor, C.G. Lantis during the regular board meeting on July 17. During public comment at that meeting Stockbridge Planning Commissioner, Tom Wallace, said he disapproved of Supervisor Lantis’ behavior during the planning commission meeting on July 5. When commissioners refused to make recommendations and agreed to schedule a special meeting to explore the topic more – Lantis reprimanded commissioners for this action indicating commissioners had months to prepare for this day.

“I found your conduct to be rude, disrespectful and not the type of conduct to be coming from an elected official,” said Wallace who described the moment as time that was not for public comment.

During the July 17 board meeting Lantis informed those attending that there was a “lack of responsibility” on the planning commissioners part by not educating themselves when first asked, five months ago, on the Medical Marijuana Facilities Licensing Act.

“With that being said and with my guidance, my persuasion, they [planning commission] are going to investigate…and meet on July 26 to continue with their recommendation since the last [planning commission] meeting ended abruptly,” said Lantis.


Webster Township To Seek Millage Increase Request For Continued Public Safety Service

By Lynne Beauchamp,

Webster Township will be facing many dilemmas to fund its public safety service-fire and policing.

The current millage rate to fund the township’s public safety service is 1.98mils. This funding covers a contract with the Washtenaw County Sheriff’s Office to provide two deputies to the township and provides fire service through the Dexter Area Fire Department (DAFD). At this current rate, the township will experience a shortfall due to increased costs imposed by DAFD.  In order to make up the difference, the township would need to replace its current millage of 1.98mils and increase to 3.4mils. This increase would cover the current public safety service and would also allow for manpower funding and utilities if the township builds a fire station next to the town hall.

Over the years, Webster Township has set aside funding in the form of a capitol improvement fund to build a fire station near the town hall. This funding is separate from the public safety service millage.

Webster Township Supervisor, John Kingsley said there is close to enough money in this fund to build the fire station, but added that the cost of commercial labor has increased due to the demand for labor in the Detroit area. To staff this for 24/7 fire service coverage in the township would be approximately $90,000/year plus the cost of utilities for the building.

Why build a fire station in Webster Township? Shorter response time Kingsley said.

“A fire in Webster Township is usually a total loss” said Webster Township Trustee John Scharf. A manned fire station near the hall would make for a faster response time.

Kingsley said there is a bill in the state legislature that will limit townships and other entities from going for millage elections other than November of even number years.

“If we go for a five year millage we have to redo it a year early or we won’t have millage for a year…any millage failures – there is no way to extend that financing,” said Kingsley. “The proposal is ridiculous.”

Additionally, Kingsley added that the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners agreed to put a 1mil tax on the November ballot to be voted on for the county’s public safety-sheriff, mental health and entities with their own police force.

With these obstacles facing the township board, board members are not sure how the voters will respond to an increase in millage rates to fund public safety. However, Kingsley added, if the millage fails there will be no money to fund public safety service.

The township voted in favor 5-2, to approve a millage to be placed on the November ballot for 3.4 mils for public safety spending. There will be a special meeting, tentatively scheduled for August 1 at 6pm at the township hall, to discuss ballot language on this proposal for the November ballot.







































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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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