LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Time to speak out
Dear Whitewater Township neighbors,
My name is Heidi and I am the new Whitewater Township Trustee. This year, I found myself knocking on doors asking what you want for our community and I promised to represent you. I am doing just that.
In 2017 the township conducted a survey soliciting your input about allowing marijuana-related facilities in our township (whitewatertownship.com). The results were consistently 2 to 1 against this change, but it saddens me to inform you, that our board is not listening. They are currently one vote, December 8, away from allowing 300 licenses in our township.
This decision will fundamentally transform the character of our community. Furthermore, doing this under the cover of Covid-19 is disgraceful. Nothing this important should even be on the table until everyone is aware and can feel safe to participate in person.
I urge you, if you do not support this action, speak out. Attend the Zoom meeting, email or call your neighbors, drop off a letter to the board, and request that they read it into the record. Let them know this is not what we want for our community.
Always fighting for the People,
Heidi Vollmuth, Williamburg
Township marijuana vote
The upcoming Whitewater Township board meeting on 12/08/2020 at 7 p.m. (https://www.whitewatertownship.org/township-board-agendaspackets.html) is anticipated to approve ordinances allowing marijuana businesses.
Since the 2008 Michigan Medical Marijuana approval, Whitewater Township residents and taxpayers have consistently said “no” to marijuana businesses in our community:
2017 survey showed 65% do not want marijuana; 2018 township residents voted no to legalize marijuana; 2019 township board passed Ordinance 55 “Prohibition of Marijuana Establishments”; 2020 majority of public comment are against marijuana businesses. They have stated children’s safety and increased criminal activity concerns. 2020 local law enforcement has commented on increased problems with marijuana businesses in our surrounding community.
On 5/29/19 the township board stated they had a “duty to adopt” the ban on marijuana businesses. Why is the board now in a “hurry” to rescind this direction – apparently against the expressed opinion of the majority of township taxpayers?
I request each board member’s justification for any yes vote for this significant change.
Make sure your voice is heard on this issue. Submit your written public comments and attend the meeting on Tuesday, 12/8!
Linda Slopsema, Williamsburg
I would like to thank the citizens of Elk Rapids for electing me to serve this beautiful village four years ago. It was an incredible experience to help make decisions and set goals for the betterment of this amazing community we call home. I feel pride in the progress made during my term on council. A few of my favorite village accomplishments that I was involved with were the design phase on the Nakwema Trail, supporting the Chain of Lakes Water Trail, Dam Beach bathroom construction, the skating rink at Veteran’s Memorial Park, smoke free beaches and main streets, and legalizing skateboarding on side streets within the village. This was all made possible with the support of the wonderful staff of the village and council. During budget season I always pushed to keep the village affordable, I hope the future council will do the same. I decided not to run for re-election because we welcomed a sweet baby girl into our family in October and want to give her extra attention. I will run again in the future and plan to stay involved in the community. I am excited about the newly elected Village Council; the future is looking bright!
Melissa West, Elk Rapids
Letters to the Editor: