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Ice racing issue

October 27, 2012
Daily Press


Most residents in our community are now aware that Escanaba Township's present board, Holly Rau interim supervisor, (replaced Kevin Dubord who resigned), Al Gareau and Tom Rymkos trustees, Pat Beauchamp - clerk and Linda Robitaille - treasurer, are once again spending tens of thousands of Michigan taxpayer dollars to try and stop a tremendous winter community non-profit activity.

Escanaba Township's original charges against this community non-profit function included: traffic issues, parking issues, noise issues, blight issues, fume issues and zoning issues, (the property in question is industrial/commercially zoned). The complaint has now been reduced to zoning only as none of the other charges were proven to be issues in any way. Remember, we had the pre-approval of the Township's Zoning Administrator Al Gareau, multiple times, and we also have the required permits from the Soil Conservation District. Mr. Gareau is also on the Soil Conservation District Board.

It is estimated to date, the township has spent over $50,000 of our taxpayer dollars on their vengeance for this community and family activity. Wow! Imagine having a bottomless checkbook with no accountability you can spend taxpayer money out of to stop a harmless community and family function. Escanaba Township's present board does just that with no conscientious or individual recourse. Who will suffer if they succeed? The several dozens of children and their families and friends who greatly enjoy this winter activity.

During the past 2012 race season total race time including breaks was 27.2 hours for the whole season, (yes, only 27.2 hours including breaks), racers were of ages 4 to 70 plus years, thousands of dollars were donated to Boy Scouts and other needy organizations and as far as issues, there were none.

At what point does it have to come to where this current township board begins to have some accountability for their spending, for helping residents, for frankly, just being honest and promoting the community and family? Answer - The election Nov. 6, 2012.

All five positions above have candidates running for them as Independents: Supervisor Jake Nyquist, Treasurer Bob Barron, Clerk Ann LaBumbard (write in) and Trustees Mark Letteriello and Josh Barron.

It is time for change in this township and we all must vote. Please remember, if you usually vote straight ticket, votes for independents and write-ins do not count. You must vote individually and not straight ticket for your vote to count if you want change in this township. Otherwise, four more years of the same.

This community and family function is an awesome winter activity on Saturday afternoons in January and February. Our youth, their families and friends deserve it to continue. It is time for all eligible voters to voice their opinion in the public and vote. We all need to stand up and give 110 percent to protect our rights and our children's rights.

Patrick A. Barron

Ice Race Chair




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