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Shelby Township Election Ballots to be Printed Without 41A Court Question

At the suggestion of the Michigan Department of Elections, the Macomb County Election Commission has voted against allowing Shelby Township to place an advisory question regarding the funding of the 41A District Court on the Feb. 28 elections.

The Macomb County Election Commission voted against allowing Shelby Township to add an advisory question regarding the funding of the on the ballot during the upcoming presidential primary elections.

The commission, made up of Chief Judge of Probate Court David Viviano, County Clerk Carmella Sabaugh and Chief Deputy Treasurer Jerry Moffit, voted 2-1 during a special session Friday morning to deny Shelby's request to add the advisory question to the ballot.

The election commission’s vote is in line with the State Election Department’s view on the subject. State Director of Elections Christopher Thomas wrote in a letter to Macomb County and Shelby Township threatening to pull all state funding from the township’s elections if the advisory question was printed on the ballot.

“The Bureau does not approve the ballots submitted on behalf of Shelby Township that contain the proposed advisory question, nor will the state provide any reimbursement for ballot printing or other costs associated with any ballots containing the advisory question, including ballots printed for the Republican and Democratic presidential primary,” the letter stated.

Shelby Township Attorney Rob Huth called the last minute letter a “bullying tactic."

“We just found out the State’s position at 3 p.m. yesterday,” said Huth. “There is no authority for that position and we weren’t able to convince the Election Commission to disregard that threat."

"The primary thing for me is the voters need to decide that issue," said Shelby Township Supervisor Rick Stathakis. "It would have been nice if the State stayed out of this but they didn't."

Last month, the , which states: “Do you support the Shelby Township Board of Trustees authorizing funds from the Capital Improvement fund and/or selling bonds for the design and construction of a $5 million (or less) District Court Building even if it means cutting services or raising taxes in order to keep the Court in Shelby Township?"

The State Election Department took issue with the proposal for two main reasons:

  • Because the language was an advisory question, which is a non-binding statement, and doesn’t’ require Shelby Township authorities to take action based on the results of the vote.
  • Supervisor Richard Stathakis’ plan to have a third-party non-profit organization to subsidize the remainder of the ballot printing is not permissible.

“Imagine the public outcry … Without this policy, any individual or group with a social, political or economic agenda could force their issue onto the ballot so long as the sponsor agreed to reimburse the local unit of government the cost incurred in hosting the election,” Thomas wrote.

Huth said in Shelby Township’s defense that this is a “case of first impressions,” and there are no statutes or laws that prohibit advisory questions.

In a letter to the Macomb County Elections Commission Huth said the Shelby Township Board of Trustees came up with an innovative way to get feedback on a very important issue, without costing the taxpayers money.

“Unfortunately, someone with a salary paid for by the taxpayers has decided to intercede and interrupt this process because he doesn’t approve of the question,” Huth wrote.

Therefore, the advisory question will not be placed on the Feb. 28 primary ballot or on the August elections.

Huth told Patch, “It’s back to the drawing board for Shelby Township.”

Seymour Concerned January 07, 2012 at 07:57 PM
Just when I thought it could not possibly get any better. H-o-l-y C-o-w!!!! This cast of characters is incredible!!!
Matt Guarnieri January 07, 2012 at 08:17 PM
We're a fun loving, easy going bunch, Seymour.... you should see the blogs post that don't make it on here. I don't do this for money, I do this for justice and fairness.....That and I kind of like antagonizing the big bad wolves. I'm not here to make friends, I don't like politicians. All I ask is for people to look out for each other, not just their friends and a select few.
John Hetzler (Editor) January 07, 2012 at 08:53 PM
A comment was deleted for violating Patch Terms of Use: http://shelby-utica.patch.com/terms
John Hetzler (Editor) January 07, 2012 at 08:58 PM
Please keep the conversation on topic - in this case, the issue of the court - and please keep the conversation civil. Thank you.
Thomas Delise January 08, 2012 at 04:45 AM
I wonder how much Mr. Huth charged to draw up that language? The majority of the board keep him busy & I'm sure he is not doing it for nothing. How is all this nonsense save the taxpayers money?
Truthful Enquirer January 08, 2012 at 10:38 PM
Tom Delise, you are becoming such a hoot. Your humor gets better all the time. To think that you could correctly put together without errors the recall language without assistance let alone one posting paragraph, has me splitting a rib. Do you still want the citizens to believe that you are NOT a shill for the Manzella brigade, ha! that's toooooo much? Please keep those posts a comin'.
disgusted taxpayer January 09, 2012 at 01:10 AM
People move to Shelby Township for MANY reasons. You have listed a few good ones. People move here to be close to family members that currently live here. People move here if they happen to work near here. People also move here for the excellent schools. Do you ever wonder why the bonds pass for UCS? It is because people believe that the children of their community deserve to have their schools updated technologically, add space, etc. I fail to see how updating our community buildings and expanding what is currently being offered to us makes us Macomb West or Warren North. We are trying to attract young families so our community can thrive. If someone were being relocated to this area and that took a look at what services Warren or Macomb or Sterling Heights offered, they would probably pick to live elsewhere. It is similar to the problem the whole state is having. If our young people can't find jobs or think they can find better communities elsewhere, they will leave. Is that what you want for our community Mr. Guarnieri? People to move elsewhere and our community will eventually die out? Not me. Then again, a community is made of a diverse group of individuals with many different opinions on what it should be. So I guess we just have different beliefs on what makes a great community.
Matt Guarnieri January 09, 2012 at 02:21 AM
The court, with probation, will bring criminals into Shelby Township and since it does not look like it will make a profit it will pull valuable tax dollars from the township. We will need police protection even more with the probationary criminals coming into town and will have less money than ever to pay for more police since the court will cost extra money. How many sidewalks and road improvements will we have to pass up on in Shelby Township just to keep a court house here? I want to keep those things that attract criminals into an area out of my area. Large shopping centers, people on probation or an over stretched, underfunded police force that has an indifferent attitude about the tax payers. Yes, property taxes have gone down but so has income for most residents that are not being paid by tax payer funds. Just because you have more money than ever is no excuse to burden the rest of us that want to keep our community safe and save on our tax bills.. If you have extra cash, use it to drive to where you want to be but don't bring the crime and negative effects that come with the things you want into Shelby for the rest of us to be burdened with. In other words, you're in Shelby, enjoy it for what it is, and don’t change it into what you left behind.
disgusted taxpayer January 09, 2012 at 04:15 AM
I was trying to be polite in my earlier post about people being allowed to have different opinions, but you seem to have misread my earlier post. Or maybe you just want to put words into my post. You missed one of my earlier statements. Here is the quote: "People all across the state are screaming no more taxes. I AGREE-I am NOT making any more money and my expenses keep going up." The point that I was trying to make was how we should try to improve our tax base and encourage young families to move here! It is no wonder so many of your posts are flagged by the editor!
Thomas Delise January 09, 2012 at 05:13 AM
I am not here to properly put a paragragh together.here to get the truth out.By the way who's shill are you that you hide behind a fake name?If you take after the magazine no one believes what you say anyways. What's going on in this Township is not very funny.I don't see where you find humor in any of this nonsense. I filed that language without wanting to change any laws to suit a promise I made.You can pick on me all you want but in the end I am not the one up for election.You might want to put your concentration elsewhere if you want to help your HOMIES.
Seymour Concerned January 09, 2012 at 04:20 PM
Truthful Enquirer-- it is painfully obvious you have taken a side. But just because you have a horse in the race doesn't mean everyone else does. People like you are why we are in this mess. You sound like that guy who said there should be a statue erected to honor Dick/Viar for saving the Township sooo much money.
Matt Guarnieri January 09, 2012 at 08:09 PM
Disgusted Taxpayer.... You're saying, we, as taxpayers should subsidize a new court building so businesses like Ocean Breeze and Bigby Coffee have more customers. I am for tax breaks for businesses locating here. This is usually a set amount and limited to the collection of taxes that they would normally pay for property they purchase. Our tax loss is usually only a small amount for the value from the business. The court has already put us 5 million in the hole, only offset by what they might have brought into the township. Should we as taxpayers spend a million more a year so local restaurants MIGHT get or keep costumers. It would be cheaper for the taxpayers to just hand out a yearly check to these businesses than to support a court house. Basically the argument for a new court building is: You have no objection to more crime. You have no objection to higher taxes to subsidize the possibility of more potential coffee drinkers coming into Shelby. You have no objection to the taxpayers spending valuable tax dollars on a building instead of keeping up our top notch police and fire protection. You have no objection to raising a homeowners tax rate to make up for their lowered property values.... it's like a double whammy.... your investment in your home has plummeted so you want us to pay a higher percentage of property taxes to make up the difference and not cut expenses at all. I have to question the intelligence of these arguments for the good of the taxpayers.
Matt Guarnieri January 09, 2012 at 08:25 PM
The arguments you make are for higher taxes for less safety to taxpayers.... it is my duty to protest this and to point out the flaw in your statements. Make an argument for a courthouse that convinces me it is a plus to taxpayers and I will be quiet. I get attacked personally by township vendors and others because the logic of my statements can't be refuted.... "Attack the messenger when you can't fight the message." I don't care what the vendor does in his personal life. I care about the effect on citizens. This vendor is extremely outspoken at meetings, I only use his own words and actions in the same context but towards himself. This gets my post removed by him since he is buddy, buddy with the editor but it doesn't mean what I say is false, just damaging to the reputation of a friend of the publication. Don't give up..... use your intellect to outsmart me on the issue. How is the court building GOOD for taxpayers..... also... how are the actions of the towing vendor GOOD for taxpayers and citizens.... My rantings and blogs might not be good for some special interest but they are honest and informative by showing a side to an issue that some want hidden from view.
disgusted taxpayer January 10, 2012 at 06:47 PM
Mr. Guarnieri, I am glad that you know so much more than everyone else. The last time I checked, this is a free country. We are all allowed to have our own opinions-even you. I agree that if the court were to stay here, there would be "criminals" in Shelby Twp. Do you think that criminals do not visit all the lawyers that have offices in Shelby? Do you think that there aren't criminals working at some area businesses? Do you think there are no criminals currently living here? Do you think there aren't people with drunk driving arrests in Shelby on a DAILY basis? There is a business called JAMS located at 52010 Van Dyke that people that have been arrested for drunk driving offenses go to daily if they have been ordered to by the court. To keep the criminals out, we should have built the new police station in Washington Twp so the criminals would be whisked out of Shelby immediately! My point wasn't really about the Court. I said I was surprised the DDA didn't want the court to stay here because it would bring more people to the area that might frequent their businesses. I want to see improved services to attract young families-that is all I was saying. That would be good for taxpayers as well as our housing values. Last time I checked, I was not a special interest group out to get you or Shelby Township. How condescending you are to tell me to "use my intellect to outsmart" you. You to believe that your OPINION is the only one that is right!
Thomas Delise January 11, 2012 at 12:21 AM
Right on Disgusted.I agree with the criminals living in Shelby because I know for fact we have a child molestor living in our complex.in fact a 2 X offender.
Jeffery Berz January 15, 2012 at 09:53 PM
The way that this question was worded was done to confuse and deceive. Why else would someone have used this language? This reminds me of a Senator proposing a bill that would be good and that everyone supports. The next thing you know there is something awful tacked on to it and the only way the good bill will pass is to accept the bad portion as well. Is this the kind of politics that we want and need in Shelby Township? If you can't say it straight out then you're doing something bad.
HTTP://SHELBYTWPTRUTH.BLOGSPOT.COM January 16, 2012 at 12:24 AM
More lies Mr. Berz. Perhaps this should be your next complain to Rob Wolcheck at Fox 2. Your previous Facebook post was so deceptive. Actually, we hope Fox 2 does investigate the towing issue, and how residents were overcharged by your friends the Nightingales who failed to live up to their contract. That would make for GREAT television.
Thomas Delise January 16, 2012 at 03:39 AM
My guess would be that everyone on the DDA are afraid to say anthing if it goes against Supervisor Stathakis because they might get the boot just like the past few weeks of people being removed from commitees and replaced with Dick's croonies. Now Stathakis wants to change the ordinance for replacing board members.Dick want to change it to a majority vote instead of unanimous.The reason for the ordinance was to keep board members from replacing vacant seats mostly from recalls with thier spouses and friends.This ordinance is not to Dicks liking so he says let's just change it with a majority vote.Something is not right in this township.As they say there is something more than the cheese that stinks in Denmark.
Thomas Delise January 16, 2012 at 03:53 AM
Nice that Mr Huth is working for free tring to keep up with this boards shanannigans & his services aren't being charged to the taxpayers.You talk about residents being overcharged,we are all paying for these needless attorney fees. Now that would be an example of being OVERCHARGED.
Seymour Concerned January 16, 2012 at 11:36 AM
HTTP:SHELYBTWPBLOG-- I have a sneaking suspicion you are either a Board member, or a board member's lover (husband/wife/boyfriend/etc.). What do you mean by, "WE hope Fox 2..." Who is "WE"? And when are you going to put a Stalin image on your website to complement your Hitler and Swastika images?
HTTP://SHELBYTWPTRUTH.BLOGSPOT.COM January 16, 2012 at 02:22 PM
Hello Mr. Concerned. To answer your question, WE are “the taxpayers” of Shelby Township who oppose big spending politicians, greedy unions and special interest thugs. We are a larger group than you may think. As to who WE are -- WE will never tell! Thanks for reading the Inside Out - WE hope you enjoy it!
Thomas Delise January 16, 2012 at 03:29 PM
shelbytwptrunt (not) I would be embarrased to let people know who I am,if I were a part of YOUR small group.No need to explain.please.just keep on hiding.
Seymour Concerned January 16, 2012 at 09:46 PM
Your website is good for a laugh, but I find the Nazi imagery you use offensive. You are most definitely one of the elected board members or one of their close friends. Maybe YOU'RE the person whose going to get nominated to fill the board's next vacancy. Am I right? Viar steps down (or dies of natural casues) before the next election and you step right in. Politics 101.
HTTP://SHELBYTWPTRUTH.BLOGSPOT.COM January 17, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Thanks for reading. In case you forgot, your close associate Trustee Manzella is the one to brought up the Nazi comparison. Comparing Supervisor Stathakis to Adolf Hitler. You are correct, that was offensive and we made sure everyone knew from whence it came. Again, as to who WE are - we will never tell! :-)
Seymour Concerned January 17, 2012 at 02:14 PM
HTTP:SLDFKLUYEIWURH--- You have me confused with someone else. I'm just a--what you would call-- "liberal" political junkie. We're growing fast and you can probably expect a lot more non-far-right-wing posts on Patch.com. I know why you think I care about Manzella but if I post my medical opinion this whole post will get deleted. You see something that is not there. Is Manzella a libertarian, no? I hope every last Republican on the board is replaced. Period.
HTTP://SHELBYTWPTRUTH.BLOGSPOT.COM January 17, 2012 at 02:45 PM
Sorry Seymour. That ain't gonna happen. This is Shelby Township, not Warren! Liberals like you have your right to speak, but you will be drowned out by conservatives that oppose your big spending agenda. Nice talking to you!
Seymour Concerned January 17, 2012 at 04:40 PM
HTTP:SHELBYYADDAYADDA-- And look where decades of nothing but Republican leadership has taken Shelby Township!!! How many vacant grocery stores are there? How many gambling parlors are there in Shelby? Vacant over-sized homes? How ugly and disgusting is the political infighting?.... All thanks to decades of Republicans.
Matt Guarnieri January 17, 2012 at 05:53 PM
I look at all the surrounding communities... TROY, STERLING. CLINTON...everywhere they are asking for tax increases, have higher building and house vacancies.... I think the current leadership is doing better than in other communities taking everything equally into consideration. There are far better things to spend millions of dollars on than a court building.... a rec center would cost less to build, less to maintain and be a better asset..... maybe even a library would be a better way to spend tax dollars than a court..... think about what I said about safety and what was said about what would help local businesses more.... what makes the community safer and more enjoyable?
disgusted taxpayer January 20, 2012 at 03:02 AM
I agree with you 110%. The point I was trying to make is that we do need a rec center and a new library-improved services to draw in young families. If this court is such a liability to this township, why didn't they agree to pay the legacy costs and send it on its way to Macomb? They wanted it. Now they don't because they see how dysfunctional this board is. They can't even agree to send it on its way. Do you really think they want to pay for contracts that Shelby agreed to? So now people will move to Macomb for their beautiful library, parks and recreation and ice rink while we quibble over what to build and not build.
Matt Guarnieri January 20, 2012 at 01:03 PM
Diecusted.... what I am saying is we need more open space, parks, walking areas, outside skating and recreation.... we don't need inside recreation and we need to think innovative-ly and interactively about the library instead of a building that stores books. Let people that want those buildings and enclosures move to Macomb, let people who like what Shelby offers come here. Shelby has things no other area within a hundred miles offer... the parks.... let's improve on out specialty.

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