Letters to the Editor Aug. 15, 2020

Thank you
Dear Editor,
Ortonville and surrounding communities. Thank you for the cards, kind words, prayers, and support over the past 7 months. Your outpouring of care and concern has lodged a special place in our hearts. We are beyond grateful for everything you have done for Joe and our family.
A huge thank you to Mark and Denise and the staff at Papa Bella’s for stepping up and taking care of business. We are blessed to have the best crew!
Karen, Dominic, and Joey D’Anna
Thanks election staff
Dear Editor,
I would like to recognize all of the Groveland Township precinct inspectors and my election staff for their hard work and dedication during the August 4th primary election.
These individuals took time to be trained as well as spending a long day in the polls into the evening hour to ensure that all residents could vote. I encourage you to reach out and thank these individuals for their tireless commitment to the election process and this community. I would also like to recognize the Groveland Township Fire Department for their help in moving the election equipment to each precinct and helping with set up. In closing, I would like to express my personal appreciation for my precinct workers, election staff and the Groveland Township Fire Department. You are all so very valuable to both myself and this community. Thank you!
Patti Back, Clerk CMMC, Groveland Township
(In response to, “A healthy press,” a letter by Bill Haney, The Citizen, Aug. 8, page 6.)
A healthy press part II
Dear Editor,
I read with appreciation Mr. Haney’s letter in the August 8 Citizen viewpoints column, as it struck a chord with me as well. I believe that good government / political coverage and, as Mr Haney stated, “critical examinations” from our community newspapers is a positive.
 Yes, David Fleet’s article on Rep. Elissa Slotkin was a perfect example of how community newspapers can inform and engage the public about local issues and elected officials. In fact, the small town paper is often the only place we can find local election information.  Without that coverage  from our community paper, we are at a loss for knowing much that is happening around us. Respected journalism from a local source is irreplaceable in filling this gap.
I recently listened to an NPR report on the loss of so many of our nation’s small local newspapers across the country and the negative effect that it is having on local governance. No one knows more about small town communities than the folks who live there.
I greatly appreciate the service that our local newspaper provides, I am thankful for help in guiding us through our local elections, and look forward to more informative journalism ahead.
Angie Adamec Goodrich
Thank you Groveland
Dear Editor,
Thank you to all of the Groveland Township residents who voted Aug. 4 in the primary election. I would especially like to thank the residents who supported my campaign. I look forward to continuing to serve all Groveland Township residents.
Please know my door is always open for questions or concerns.
Patti Back 

Cult of Trump
Dear Editor,
How I would have liked to see the telescope shop manager’s face when the Heaven’s Gate cult brought back an expensive telescope, demanding a refund. The cult argued that it was broken because it did not show a spaceship in the tail of the Hale-Bopp comet, the ship that was supposed to pick them up and take them to the “kingdom of heaven.” This reminded me of a Dartmouth graduate’s recent defense of Trump’s mis pronouncement of Thailand. An educated person played clean up, insisting the South East Asian country’s name must be morphed into Thigh-land, don’t get me started. Cults start with one unquestioned fact.
For Trump supporters, their fact is that he can do no wrong. So, if Trump says the South East Asian country’s name is pronounced like a part of our anatomy, his groupies rush to justify it. If he uses his Sharpie to draw a hurricane’s path into Alabama, by gum, that is where it will go, no matter that NOAA accurately predicted that the storm would miss Alabama. If he claims he signed a law that has been on the books since 2014, we cheer, right? All reality must be warped into their central fact: that whatever Trump says or does is right. There is no room for critical thinking in the Trump cult. This is how we end up like the cult, waiting for a spaceship to deliver us, waiting for Trump to justify our racial bigotry, our petty phony exceptionalism, our anti science suspicion. I wonder if the cult got their refund. They committed mass suicide in 1997.
Maybe that is how we will end up, with no refund, but with a broken telescope, and a broken country.
Bonnie Beltramo
(In response to, “Village meetings excessive again,” The Citizen, Aug. 1, page 3)
Village meetings STILL excessive
Dear Editor,
I addressed the Village Council in 2016 questioning the staggering number and types of meetings council was abusing with our tax dollars. Here is a link to view the 2016 article by Susan Bromley https://thecitizenonline.com/council-under-fire-for-excessive-meetings/ I also sent a letter to each Village Council Member regarding my concerns along with a few suggestions on how to rectify these ridiculous expenses. Here it is 4-years later and another article appears in The Citizen titled “Village meetings excessive again”. The title should have read “Village meetings STILL excessive”. The Village Council has successfully raised the amount of meetings and expense since I brought this to their attention in 2016.
Let me attempt to break this down. In the last fiscal year (2019-2020) the amount budgeted for meetings was $10,500. However, Council spent $15,235 on meetings – $4,735 over budget. For this fiscal year, (2020-2021) council has budgeted $15,000 – an increase of $4,500 over last year. Each council member is paid $55 per meeting and village president is paid $75 per meeting. The Council meets monthly (12 meetings) at a cost of $405 per meeting. The annual cost for the 12 meetings, assuming all members attend, is $4,860. Let’s just say they have a “special meeting” added to each month. If council meets twice a month that cost would equate to $810 a month or $9,720 annually. Yet, the council has allocated $15,000 for the 2020-2021 fiscal year. This number represents having 37 meetings! Does that sound as though they are tightening the reins and finding more ways to be efficient with our tax dollars? Don’t be fooled by the “illusion” that some council members are now becoming “concerned”. Several of them have had years to rectify this issue and have failed to do so.
Just since I’ve been writing this letter to the editor, there was a Special Meeting called for tonight (11th) at Crossman Park. The lack of advance notice to the public is unacceptable! The meeting was called by council members Eschmann, Skornicka and Butzu. The agenda includes “closed session” items. I wonder where in the park they will go for their closed session? Please note that all the special meetings have been called by a combination of council members Eschmann, Skornicka, Butzu and Robinson. President Brice, council members Hayden and George have not called any special meetings to date.
This is one of many reasons I will be running for a trustee position in November. Please join me in making the right decisions and changes for our great community. WE CAN DO BETTER.
Melanie Nivelt, candidate for village of Ortonville trustee, current Ortonville planning commissioner, past council member and DDA volunteer.

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