Letter to the Editor: Jim Drolett is a Proven Leader for Dexter Township

Lyndon Township Supervisor John Francis throws his support behind Jim Drolett in the Dexter Township supervisor race.

Dear Editor:

I have known Jim Drolett for several years and have been impressed with his abilities as a previous Dexter Township supervisor and as a fellow member on a variety of boards that serve the communities in this area.

One example of his ability to solve difficult problems arose when he was the chairman for the Chelsea Area Construction Agency (CACA). During the time that the economy was spiraling downward, Jim was the chairman of the Chelsea Area Construction Agency Board.

This is an agency established to perform building inspections for six municipalities including Lyndon and Dexter townships. The economic slow down began to take its toll on the agency's budget with expenses exceeding revenues. There was a concern that the agency would close.

One thing that was certain was the member municipalities did not want to lose the building department.

Many grueling board meetings were held to discuss the difficult task of cuts in wages, benefits, and hours and yet still have the agency meet community needs. After many months of working with the board, Jim was able to get a consensus on cutting wages and benefits to keep the agency solvent until times turned around.

Today as a result of Jim's leadership, and cooperation between the board members and employees, the agency is thriving and the employees are back working full time.

Jim is running for Dexter Township supervisor. I feel he is an honorable and concerned leader who will best serve the Dexter Township residents. He can be depended on to make difficult decisions that will benefit Dexter Township and its surrounding communities.

John Francis
Lyndon Township Supervisor

Bill October 24, 2012 at 11:43 AM
Politics at its finest
Laura Jones October 25, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I appreciate the letter. Jim is getting my vote based on 2 things: His willingness to tackle the odious zoning laws enacted a few years ago and his ability to get along with others respectfully. Time to bring some common sense back to local government.
Amos Walker October 28, 2012 at 05:44 PM
Can't support a candidate who states he wants to hire a professional company to explain the zoning codes. Laura, I do not know what you mean by "odious zoning laws." The township has a Planning Director who will explain them to you. I prefer a Supervisor who understands them as is and will assist residents with questions, not one who does not understand them. Mr. Drolett seems to me to be a spend happy democrat, not a republican None of the candidates who have complained about zoning have offered any examples of any issues with zoning. Simply saying they are complex is not enough. We deserve details. Be wary of anyone wanting to mess with zoning or you many end up with legal issues attached to your property. Also I do not like the idea of two board votes in one household. That would be two votes for any ideas about raising pay or retirement benefits and less chance of independent thinking of two members.
Laura Jones October 28, 2012 at 06:30 PM
Odious Zoning Laws are those enacted in recent years that make any changes or development to ones property difficult, expensive & quite prohibitive to some property owners. Minimum lot size is 2 acres which means that many folks who have lives around here for ages have non conforming lots. Why does that matter? With the new zoning laws, any small changes a property owners wants to make require a zoning appeal & variation. If I want to put in an earth feature on my property, I need to make a site plan, go before the zoning board & get an exception. If I want to put up a screen for my garbage cans, I also need to get an exception in front of the zoning board. How about putting up raised beds? Needs an exception. Perhaps paving a walk way? Needs an exception. Small garden fence? Exception. I went and asked and this is exactly what the friendly & helpful planning director told me. It was not this way before. Each & every exception costs money to get, which makes them not only a waste of time, but money as well. My money & township money. This is not a planned sub division - it's a township. The new regulations are prohibitive & onerous. They make any improvements a difficult & expensive task & one which creates a great deal of wasted time for everyone concerned. It worked fine before the changes. As for calling Drolett a spend happy Dem, in pursuit of retirement benefits, well, seems to me slinging mud is for folks without facts. And I am a Republican.
Harley B. Rider November 03, 2012 at 04:21 PM
Ms. Jones, I'm sorry you may have been given incorrect information about what you can and cannot do on non-conforming lots. The current zoning ordinance permits much of what you described on non-conforming Rural Residential (RR) zoned lots of record, without variances, even though the lots are smaller than two acres, providing setback and coverage requirements are met. Our zoning ordinance is a living document and we are always striving to make it more user-friendly, hence the many amendments. Harley B. Rider, Dexter Township Clerk
Harley B. Rider November 03, 2012 at 04:22 PM
Mr. Walker, I have been on the Township Board for 20 years and have served with both Pat and Jim. I supported Pat in the last two elections, but I cannot support her this time, for reasons I won't go into here. Please feel free to call me at any time and I would be happy to discuss them with you. As to having two members of the same household serving on the Board, you may recall when Earl Doletzke was Township Trustee and his daughter, Julie Knight, was Treasurer. You may also recall when Warren Eisenbeiser was Supervisor and his son, Bill Eisenbeiser, was Clerk. In both those cases, the same family had 40% of the votes on a five-member Board, but Dexter Township government worked very well. If Jim and Libby are elected, they will have only 29% of the votes on a seven-member Board. But the other consideration is the individuals, not the relationship. I have known Libby and Jim for more than two decades and I support both of them because they are independent thinkers. I can assure you, and the citizens of Dexter Township, that Jim and Libby won't make decisions based on their relationship, but they WILL make decisions based on what they independently believe will be in the best interest of the citizens of Dexter Township. By the way, from my experience, between Jim and Pat, Jim is much more fiscally conservative than Pat. Harley B. Rider, Dexter Township Clerk
Harley B. Rider November 03, 2012 at 04:24 PM
Just a final comment, I am running unopposed so I don't have a dog in this fight, other than my knowledge of those running for office and my understanding of who will serve the best interests of Dexter Township. Regardless of who is elected I will continue to run the Clerk's office to provide the best service to the citizens of Dexter Township, but I sincerely believe that will be better served with Jim Drolett and Libby Brushaber. Harley B. Rider, Dexter Township Clerk
Laura Jones November 03, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Thanks for the information! That was not what I was told last fall when I went into the township and spoke with the zoning person. I was informed that any changes to the ground, any addition of garden fences, small berms, screens, rocks or any height change at all would require a plan to be submitted, approved and a variance obtained. I would have to pay the fee for the variance as well. I was told this after getting a letter telling me to remove my garbage can screen or pay a fine. I know my neighbors do not enjoy looking at my garbage cans any more than I do, so this is good news. Thank you!!! I vote for you every time, opposed or unopposed Mr. Rider. You have always been helpful and polite since we first moved here and are one of the people we respect the most in the township. You just made my day!
Concerned Citizen November 03, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Well Harley Rider I have supported you in the past but the past is the past - I won't support anyone who support Jim D. or Libby B. You are lucky you are running un-opposed - I will remember!!!
Harley B. Rider November 03, 2012 at 11:28 PM
To the "Concerned Citizen", whomever you are: I appreciate support from those who support public servants based on how they serve the public. I'm sorry that you withdraw support because your opinion differs from one who has seen all sides of the issues - from the inside! I realize you don't want the public, or me, to know who you are, but my home phone is listed and I am always available to discuss WHY I now support Jim and Libby. I look forward to your call. Harley B. Rider, Dexter Township Clerk
Concerned Citizen November 03, 2012 at 11:48 PM
Mr. Rider I believe it is time to clean house and start all over with new people in office including yours. Also, there is nothing you could say to me to change my mind I have been around for years - I believe you were part of the charge to get rid of Jim D. I have the right to voice my opinion - you don't like what I said and I don't like what you said - enough said!
Harley B. Rider November 04, 2012 at 12:08 AM
For the record, by supporting Pat Kelly (which you must be if you are against Jim Drolett), you are not "cleaning house", you are supporting more of the same. Second, I supported Jim in all of his re-election bids. I also supported Pat Kelly in her first two elections, but for reasons I won't go into here I can't support her any longer. The great thing about this country is you can hide behind a pseudonym and say anything you want - truthful or not. Please call me so we can have an open dialog on this issue. My home phone number is listed on the Dexter Township web site. I'm standing by for your call. Harley B. Rider, Dexter Township Clerk


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