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45 Day Referendum Period Begins for Dexter's Cityhood Petition

Dexter Village residents have 45 days to gather signatures if they want voters to decide whether the village should pursue cityhood.

The Village of Dexter moved closer to becoming a city on Thursday.

According to Courtney Nicholls, assistant village manager, the state Director of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs has signed off on the Boundary Commission's recommendations, including Dexter's , triggering a 45-day referendum period, which is the next step in the process of becoming a city.

"The director signed the order with the boundary that was recommended by the Boundary Commission and supported by Webster Township and the village," Nicholls said in a written statement.

During the 45-day referendum period, citizens may gather signatures of 5 percent of the village’s registered voters. If there are enough valid signatures, the question of whether the cityhood incorporation process should continue will be put on ballot for a yes or no vote.

If a referendum isn’t filed or there aren’t enough valid signatures, village voters will be asked to elect a charter commission, which will be comprised of nine members, who would write the governing document for the new city of Dexter.

Elected members must meet within 10 days of the election, pick officers and establish rules, including how vacancies must be filled.

Once the charter is drafted, it is sent to the state attorney general's office. If found in compliance with Michigan law, village voters will vote on whether to accept the charter. If the charter is approved, the village officially becomes a city and a new slate of elected officials are chosen simultaneously.

The referendum period ends on Aug. 27. More information on the cityhood process can be viewed online at http://villageofdexter.org/city_study_committee/cityhood_index_page.htm.

Tom Stoner July 20, 2012 at 12:50 PM
I have yet to hear anything to convince me it's a good idea for our village to become a city, so as of yet I'm hopeful this whole long process fails in the end.
Stephanie Gordenier July 20, 2012 at 01:33 PM
I can see nothing good coming from us growing more than we have. In my eyes, this is a bad idea.
Joe Semifero July 20, 2012 at 02:42 PM
The Village website has a great deal of information regarding the cityhood process. It includes the City Study Commission report, which was written by the Commission composed of seventeen Village residents. The report includes all the information they reviewed in making a recommendation. They recommended the Village become a city by a 16-1 vote. http://villageofdexter.org/city_study_committee/reference/cityhood_final_report.pdf This process is not about the Village growing. The boundaries recommended by the Commission are the same as the current boundaries of the Village except for links between the three separate pieces which currently make up the Village. The Village website is a great resource as a start for any questions on this topic. http://villageofdexter.org/city_study_committee/city_study_committee_page.htm
Kevin McNulty July 20, 2012 at 03:31 PM
Becoming a city rather than remaining a village has far more benefits. You will not be paying township taxes. What you may pay the township may go to the city in order to continue services provided by the township, which should lead you to ask how much of the taxes paid to the township are used for services provided to the village. Also, if your township taxes are low, will increased city taxes, if any be more than that? Currently if you live in the village you are governed by an extra unit of govt. You are governed by both the village govt and the township govt, along with the county and state govts. Thus you are manipulated politically by an extra unit of govt Here is a very good explanation from the Michigan Municipal League: http://www.mml.org/pdf/village_to_city.pdf
Kevin McNulty July 20, 2012 at 03:33 PM
One last item: what happens if the Village becomes a city depends not so much on the change, but what your elected officials decide to do, a good reason to be informed on what your local govt is planning.
Sue Sherrill August 06, 2012 at 04:38 PM
Sue Sherrill 12.28 Aug 6,2012 As a resident of Dexter, for the purpose of making an informed decision for the direction the village should take on the city issue, I want to see a concise list of exactly what the advantages and disadvantages are for city hood. It needs to be layed out clearly and in such a way people can see what these differences are. Not this vague question and answer stuff on the village website. We need a map showing clearly the present boundries of the village and the new city boundries. What are the population numbers that will be impacted in the various subdivision areas and what will it mean for each of them. Becoming a city will impact us differently-- so spell those differences out clearly. Since we will continue to pay Scio and Webster townships money to make up for their lossed tax revenue for 10 years, where does that come from? Does cityhood improve the grant process from the state and federal government? Will we be held to more state and federal regulations as a city than a village? What new regulations will have to written into our charter? Will they dictate what we can and cannot do in a different way than what we have now? If we are to make an informed vote we need better answers.

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