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Note: The following “Letter to the Editor” expresses the views and opinions of the author(s) and not necessarily that of The Sun Times News management or staff.

Your Vote is Your Voice

If you are a registered voter in the city of Dexter, you should have received a pamphlet in the mail outlining our concerns with several aspects of the sale of public property to Avalon Housing for the establishment of permanent supportive housing for Washtenaw County’s chronically homeless. Although some of you might think that our contribution to this important public dialogue hasn’t been balanced, we think that Dexter residents should have the opportunity to form an opinion that is based on all of the facts, not just those that are convenient or fit a desired narrative.

Yes, people can disagree as to whether our city, in its sale of public property and forfeiture of property taxes, has an obligation to be charitable to those outside our city limits, but we all deserve to know that that is what this development entails. Yes, people can disagree about the prudence of placing those whose struggles with mental health, substance use, and other behavioral control issues have contributed to their chronic homelessness thus making them eligible for placement in this facility that does not require sobriety or agreement to treatment—directly across the street from the school playground, along the sidewalks already designated to be a safe route to schools, in an area the state and federal governments have already defined to be a drug-free zone out of concerns for the safety of school children—but we all deserve to know that that is what this development entails. Yes, people can disagree as to whether the positions of influence Faith In Action board members hold in our government offices and local media had anything to do with the uncharacteristic speed of this deal, but we all deserve to know who the key players are. Yes, people can disagree as to who should have a seat at the table when our local government is making a decision about selling and developing public property, but we all deserve to know that this public discourse has been dominated by people who are not city of Dexter residents and who represent special interests with a vested interest in this specific development.

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Throughout the month of January, we are circulating a petition requesting that all sales of public property be approved by a majority of city voters. We would like to return some of the power back to you—the hardworking taxpayers of our city—and increase the transparency of important policy decisions, like sales of public property. If you haven’t done so already, please consider visiting our website, www.dextercrg.org, to review all of the documentation we have compiled, including a detailed timeline, FAQs, and links to videos of relevant city council meetings, various letters to the editor, and an online version of this petition provided for your convenience. We will follow up with digital signers to obtain their in-person signature. Please also consider joining us at a drop-in Q&A on Saturday, January 18 between 1:30p and 4:30p at the Dexter District Library.

Respectfully submitted,

Jamie Griffin

Dexter Citizens for Responsible Government City of Dexter

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