Reader Feedback Archives
To August 31, 2010

       This is where you will see many of the responses from our readers. Although editing or abbreviating may be done, every attempt will be made to post in a way to fairly reflect the writer's submitted message. Editorial notes of comment, challenge or rebuttal may follow. You may send us your comments through the Something To Say page.

       Our thanks to those submitting comments. The fact that you took the time to visit this website demonstrates that Presque Isle Township is an important place to you. The act of submitting a written comment takes that one step further — you are investing in your community. The objective of this website is to raise awareness of our local government, and hopefully move its taxpayers, residents and friends toward the betterment of the community. Apathy is the enemy.
Note: The oldest articles are at the bottom of this page.

Contents

Go to Current Feedback

30. Peter Should Fess Up
29. Peter Should Resign
28. Recall Signatures
27. Thank You Shadow
26. New Township Trustee
25. Annonymous Letters
24. Who Are You?
23. Lighthouse Gift Shop
22. Lighthouse Gift Shop Operation
21. Filling of Clerk Vacancy
20. A Resident's View
19. re: We Know...
18. RECALL
17. A Visitor's View
16. Actions of Township Clerk
15. Not Afraid to Agree
14. Nepotism
13. Township Government
12. Who is the Shadow?
11. We know ...
10. Re: By-Law (Non)Enforcement
9. The Setting Up of Patrick
8. Graves Missing From Cemetery Map
7. Positive Events To Improve PI Image
6. A place to voice my concerns
5. Term Limits
4. Why don't we ever see these people
3. Eyebrows Raise? Puh-leeze.
2. P.I.T. Shadow
1. Right on the money

30. Peter Should Fess Up

August 31, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: EL

I would like to comment on the editorial, Peter Weighs In, dated August 27, 2010.

You have pointed out that plans for the clearing of "the swath" were being formed several months before the event. In light of Chairman's previous township roles, it is understandable that the trustees and other members of the Parks & Rec Committee trusted him and respected his leadership, to the point of not questioning his process. It is quite obvious that the (then) Chairman of Parks & Rec made an error of omission by not seeking Trustees' approval for the cutting. As you suggested, it is time for him to step up and take responsibility for his role. To that end, I would like to assist by offering a draft of a statement that he could use:

To The Citizens of Presque Isle Township,
I would like to offer apologies for my part in the "tree cutting" issues of the past year. My failure to request the proper approvals from the Board of Trustees at the August 10, 2009 meeting resulted in some very regrettable repercussions, and for that I am sorry. The errors made were not an attempt to violate procedures, but happened through misunderstanding & oversight and the desire to accomplish the task with minimal delay.

Signed: _____________________________________________________
Former Chairman of the Parks & Recreation Committee, Presque Isle Township

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

We must emphasize that the above statement does NOT originate from Peter Pettalia, and is only a suggested statement (from the Feedback author) that Peter might wish to endorse.

Many would agree that presenting such a "mea culpa" statement would be a very honorable act on Mr. Pettalia's part. Unfortunately, many also feel that several words in the preceding sentence may not be within his vocabulary.



29. Peter Should Resign P & R Committee

August 30, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: GG

The tree cutting controversy looks like a plan by the insiders to undermine Pat by creating a consensus to cut the trees but not making a formal motion. They made it clear to Pat that there was agreement. {see the quote "They have plans to mark off a section that would allow a clear view of the lake from the 1905 House porch. If everything works out, they hope to have it cleared this fall (as soon as the park closes)."} Pat went ahead and did what they had agreed upon, BUT without a formal motion, (his mistake) and MISSION ACCOMPLISHED. Everybody acts like loose-cannon-Pat acted on his own and calls for his recall could begin. It looks like the plan worked and the result should be that the key figure in the plot should resign and I do mean PETER PETTALIA.

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

To clarify, Peter Pettalia did resigned from the Parks and Recreation Committee and presently has only a very minimal role within the township. What he should be doing is to acknowledge his role in what has occurred in recent months — and as a minimum, call off his lieutenants.



28. Recall Signatures

August 22, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: VM

I understand a handful of residents obtained 279 signatures on a recall petition; however, I also understand there were many signatures that were invalid. So the question is what happens next? If the group did not obtain the required number of valid signatures, does all this go away and we go back to living in a peaceful community or will this end up in the court system? Lets all pray we go back to living in a peaceful community and those who have been behind the recall step up and make amends with Mr. Pokorski.

... End of Message ...



27. Thank You Shadow

August 16, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: AACC

Because of "the Shadow", a payment from the lighthouse concessionaire was finally made. He had read on the Shadow that he was behind on his payments for this year AND last year per our township treasurer. She wasn't even aware of this at the last township meeting. Perhaps she should be more diligent in reading the Shadow too so she can stay current on township finances. Thank you Shadow. With all the lies, slanderous, ignorantly written material floating around our township, it is a pleasure to read an intelligent, well written and truthful publication.

Signed: Another Anonymous Concerned Citizen

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

In case you were not aware, Township Trustees passed a resolution stating that they would not recognize communications from anonymous sources. Thus the Shadow is a "forbidden fruit". Me thinks that somewhere in the past, forbidden fruit has had an impact on destiny. Madam Treasurer should tread carefully.



26. New Township Trustee

August 16, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: VM

The room today at the township hall was filled with people in support of Patricia Hart for the trustee position vacated when Cynthia Paavola was named clerk. Not only was the room filled with supporters but petitions totalling almost 100 signatures were placed in front of the board. A statement was read straight from the Michigan Township Association on ethics and the perception of the public and still Lynn Morrison and Bette Tadajewski thought David Lange should hold the position. Members of the Planning Commission, where David Lange is chair, voiced their concern to have David on the township board and still Lynn Morrison and Bette Tadajewski continued to support this man. It took a closed session for our board to make the right decision; a decision that should have been made last Monday when the room was also filled with supporters for Pat Hart. Don't Lynn and Bette understand people are speaking in our community? We don't want more of the same, we want good progress with good people at the helm. It is time for these two people to start listening to the people who elect board members.

... End of Message ...



25. Anonymous Letters

July 21, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: SVM.

At the last township meeting, Clif and Linda Taylor expressed a desire for the township board to take a stand on the many anonymous letters that have been sent since last fall. The Shadow was also thrown in with the category of anonymous. First let me say, from everything I have read in the shadow, it is a reliable and truthful publication. Today, e-mail, facebook and web sites are a part of the way our society communicates. I feel as long as information is factual then there is no harm.

Now let's address the anonymous letters that began, I believe, last November. Those letters are not factual but contain falsehoods and are detrimental to our township. I do not know who wrote the first one in November, about the trees (even though I suspect I know), but I do know the latest one1 written right after Monday's township meeting, was written by a friend of the Taylors. Although the writer of the letter did not sign her name she gave it to someone to give to the person she intended it to harass. If it weren't so sad, it would be down-right funny.

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

1 Have not seen that letter. If someone can send a copy of the text, it would be appreciated.



24. Who are you?

July 21, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: K.T.

I applaud your efforts to provide an additional observation point. However, whenever I evaluate material, it is imperative that I know the source. You (and there may be multiple voices) may, perhaps identify yourself somewhere in this website, but I didn't stumble upon it. I need that information before I can give credence to your information, which appears to be well-documented and articulately presented.

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

It has been our philosophy from the beginning to have this website speak for itself. We believe in our readers — we believe that they are intelligent and capable of evaluating our content for what it is. By not identifying authors, the temptation to be influenced by outside opinions, perceptions and biases is removed. Suppose that you thought that the author was a 19 year old — or a police officer — or a visible minority — or an ex-con — or a township official — or a war veteran — or a judge — or a local business owner — or a clergyman — or a Republican — or (you name it)? Your knowledge or perception of the writer will tint (or taint) your assessment of the message. What happened to the consideration of content on its merit?

The principle of published materials being credited goes well back in history. Up until the mid 20th century, access to print media was very limited. A single newspaper was the only source of information for many. It was imperative that sources be identifiable to ensure journalistic integrity. That, however, had flaws. Some of the best works of our time were fraudulently presented, according to journalistic principles. Ellis Bell was an accomplished author, but she never existed. Mark Twain, likewise. No one seemed to mind, however, as their works (and those of many others) earned their rightful place based on merit, in spite of the deception. The individuals behind those works — Emily Bronte and Samuel Langhorne Clemens.

This is the 21st century. The traditional rules of journalism are changing. There are those who go kicking and screaming into the future while frantically hanging onto the past. Time moves onward. Today, there is not just one source for information. With technology at our fingertips, it is up to us to search out the facts, use our brain, evaluate the material and form our own opinions. To do otherwise, you cease to be an individual — you take the lazy way out.

Here, we attempt to present views that might otherwise not be visible. What is written is more important than who wrote it. We thank you for your feedback. How you choose to form your opinions has to be a process with which you must be comfortable. By your own words, you have shown a willingness to evaluate us based upon merit. We ask nothing more.



23. Lighthouse Gift Shop

July 15, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: G.G.

Most of the "previous administration" is still there and still opposed to taking the Gift Shop operation away from Thunder Bay Shores1 who have operated it for years all the while unwilling or unable to give believable accounting of their business. I spent a lot of time a few years ago trying to decipher their reports and submitted my findings to the Parks & Rec committee.

There has been a lot of people in favor of the Township taking over. We would use the same dedicated employees2 and then all profits would stay with the Township. I am not willing to get involved in this again to the extent that I was a few years ago so it is time for those of you that think the Township should take over operation, to get organized and SPEAK UP.

Had many discussions with Pete Petallia and Les Nichols on this subject and I remember one day when Les and Barb stopped at my house one afternoon and Les was smiling, saying, finally! the Township is going to take over. It didn't happen because the Township Board AGAIN said, will lets just let Thunder Bay do it one more year. I have had meetings with Steve Lang, Pat Pokorski, Molly Benson3 — all expressing approval of our takeover. I have had conversations with many, many people who think we should manage this business ourselves (TWP) because gift shops are a very profitable business and we own the big attraction. Some have even suggested that after taking control, we should think about building a separate gift shop building too realize full potential.

I spent about ten years batting my head against a township brick wall an I hope those of you who want to control this great community asset will get together, form a consensus and carry it forward. I am DONE

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

1 I am not sure that your claim is completely fair. The current Trustees have serious concerns regarding the track record of the concessionaire and want to make changes. For the past 2 years, Thunder Bay Shores (with all its shortcomings) has been the best (and possibly only) option available. This year, we came very close to having no Lighthouse concession at all — not because of Thunder Bay Shores, but because of our trustees inability to get their act together. The issue should not be about "taking it away from Thunder Bay Shores", but putting in place the best possible solution.

2 These dedicated employees currently do not work for the township — they may not wish to or be able to jump ship. Staffing would be an unknown but critical issue.

3 These named people took an in-depth look in the fall of 2009 at the profit potential of the lighthouse concession. Their conclusions at that time were that comparing the income that the township currently is receiving from the concessionaire to the what the township could reasonably expect from in-house operation, the potential dollar difference may not be worth the effort, aggravation and risk of taking it over.

Final Comments:

On the surface, taking over the Lighthouse concession is a good idea. For the township to do so, there are some serious hurdles. In order to create a retail enterprise, the township would probably be required to establish a type of business corporation — and there would be costs (and time) associated with that process. An up-front investment of between $50,000 to $100,000 would be required for inventory, fixtures, salaries, insurance, and pre-payment of operational facilities. Where would this money come from?

How would this business be operated on a day-to-day basis?. I am not sure that it is possible for our trustees to provide the Business Manager with the autonomy to even function. Knowing our Board of Trustees, they would have to micro-manage. Would a special meeting need to be called to determine what change to give a customer?

Yes, something needs to be done and it is up to the taxpayers to press the issue. Because the Board of Trustees claim to not read, respect or respond to anything within this website, concerned individuals need to directly contact the trustees and emphasize their feelings. Dithering and procrastination has put the township's back against the wall for the past 2 years on this subject. It will take a year or more to make significant changes. It may already be too late for 2011.



22. Operation of Gift shop in OUR LIGHTHOUSE

July 13, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: G.G.

Why do we let Thunder Bay Shores operate our gift shop in OUR LIGHTHOUSE rent free when they NEVER give believable accounting of their business, they didn't pay utilities which resulted in OUR POWER being shut off at the New Lighthouse and They keep all the PROFIT. ARE THE TOWNSHIP TRUSTEES DUMB OR JUST IN THE POCKET OF PETTALIA WHO HAS BEEN REALLY TIGHT WITH THUNDER BAY SHORES FOR YEARS? Many township residents think we already operate the gift shop in our lighthouse and think purchases there help The Township.

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

Regrettably, the author above is a bit long on bluster and a bit short on facts — with a sprinkling of legitimate concerns. Yes, a believable accounting has been lacking. Yes, living up to their operational obligations has experienced some gaps. Yes, many local residents think that the township operates the concession.

The township DOES collect a significant number of dollars annually from the concessionaire — probably more than they could realize if they did run it themselves. Keep in mind, that our township is a government and not a commercial retailing enterprise. Operating a retail business would most probably (legally) require contracting an organization to operate the concession — exactly what they are currently doing. Yes, there have been issues in the past with collecting from the concessionaire, but that neglect falls squarely on the shoulders of a previous township administration. Steps have been taken to prevent its reoccurrence. Yes, when you spend a dollar at the Lighthouse Gift Shop, a portion of that dollar does make its way into the township's treasury.

As for the author's remaining comments, they are his/her opinion. Our readers have the intelligence to evaluate them as to their legitimacy and worth.



21. Appointment of vacancy to fill vacated clerk's position

July 13, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: P.H.

Even though she has been panned in this column, and after reading the minutes of the special meeting on July 8, 2010, Betty Tadajewski was absolutely correct in her opinion that the position of Clerk be advertised to be fair to the public, most of whom weren't even aware of the vacancy. She went on to say that she did not feel comfortable with just appointing someone without public knowledge. Later, justification for the appointment of Cynthia was made on the premise that it was done like that in the past. Just because it was done in the past doesn't necessarily make it right. In fact, it is most questionable. Further, even though Cynthia may or may not be qualified to fill such a position, apparently no one on the board bothered to ask about credentials. It seems to have been a "Damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead" situation. It would seem appropriate to give Betty credit for the only clear thinking on this date with a responsibility for the reputation of the board.

... End of Message ...



20. A Resident's View

June 24, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: Township Citizen

As a full time resident and involved citizen in this community, I would like to commend the Shadow for its' accurate reporting of current events and also address the feedback, "A Visitors View". That letter is "appalling" to me. The Shadow does not say anything derogatory against Linda T. It seems this "visitor" knows a lot about Linda's background or have they copied this from a previous feedback? The parks were not "carefully maintained". They were neglected. How can someone be "terrified" to see dead trees and overgrown brush cleaned up?

I find the Shadow to be accurate, fair and honest. Editorial #23 explains exactly how events have occured in the past 1½ years. If your stomach is churning take some Pepto Bismol. I just wonder if you might have received a small discount on your cabin this year for writing your letter.

... End of Message ...



19. re: We Know...

June 24, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: anon.

I would like to apologize for the terribly mean-spirited and childish feedback I left. At the time, I was upset with several not-so-nice things said person had done to various friends and family members, and along with rumors and speculation as to their participation in this site. In a fit of rage I wrote that note. I did not intend for it to be published - and most certainly did not want to call the person out publicly. You certainly have every right to keep the post up if you would like, but I would like to request for it to be removed. After realizing today that it had made it online, I felt very foolish and mean hearted, and I am not that kind of person. I also would like to make clear that I certainly was not trying to make any physical threats to said person — it was a warning to be prudent if she did not want to be found out. Now I see there is nothing to be "found out" for. You are correct in suggesting that I try to get to know this person myself instead of focusing only on rumors. Perhaps we could learn something from one another.

Again, I apologize for the very unnecessary and attacking post. I hope you can understand that I was only trying to defend friends and family and my anger took over. Though I do still disagree with some of the things posted on this site, it is a well put together and well written site and I do enjoy reading it. Hope you're enjoying summer.

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

I understand your request for non-publication of your comments, however laying everything out helps to maintain perspective. It is not a sin to make a mistake, but it is a sin if benefit is not realized in the recovery from that mistake. You are to be commended for your comments above. Our readers will understand and appreciate your efforts.

Your compliments regarding this site are appreciated. You have the right to disagree, and that is healthy. Everyone has a different point of view, and those views are necessary to fully understand the issues. Thank you for your contributions. You obviously care about our community.



18. RECALL

June 23, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: Concerned Citizen

Those that have or are considering processing a recall of any elected official at this time is an unnessary cost to the residents considering many of them are either up for re-election or are candidates for other state positions. I would hope everyone could put their big boys/girls pants on and get along with each other for the next couple of months. Let's just wait for the next election and allow the residents to decide who they want in office.

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

Amen!



17. A Visitor's View

June 23, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: K.A.

Shadow and good people of Presque Isle:

This site is appalling to me. It is the most negative thing against your fair community that I have seen in the 15 years that I have been visiting Northern Michigan. I am ashamed and embarrassed for you. Although you try to put on a positive do-good-face; you are tearing the community apart.1

This site IS an attack on Lakeshore Realty and good people within your community. Linda and Lakeshore Realty are very fine ambassadors for your community, professional, thorough and kind. I love your community, I long to be there, want to live there and plan to retire there. Several times during my visits, I have asked Linda Taylor to show me homes and property in the area. She speaks very highly of the community and knows her stuff. I believe that she is the Zoning Administrator because she is knowledgeable in use of property and zoning laws because she worked in land management many years before returning to her home in Michigan. She is not in that position because she is "friends" with Peter Pettalia. If you need a question on zoning and property regulations, she is the person to trust to know the answers.2

Every year when I visit your community I walk the beaches and trails, every day. To have someone strip away trees and alter the public parks and land without a plan is irresponsible. Historical landmarks have specific guidelines set by the State. The property is to be carefully managed. It is to be maintained and preserved in the condition in which it is received. "Carefully maintained and preserved" including landscaping. Without Board discussion, plan and approval, is just that, WITHOUT BOARD APPROVAL. You have twisted the truth and tried cover up what did and did not happen. I am terrified to see what has been done to your lovely parks.3 I understand volunteers are spending a tremendous amount of time to clean it up.

I know the Pettalias. I have rented a cabin from them for 14 years, usually two weeks at a time. They have been kind and gracious hosts, journals in the cabin from many customers couldn't be more complimentary to them. I know they have been very involved as the community has evolved and changes they helped make have made it a better community.4 I hope people do not believe your unkind words. This site makes my stomach churn. I think you are the person who is not to be trusted.

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

1As a visitor, you wish to look on this community as "Paradise". As residents of this community, we want to look on it as "Paradise". In your annual visit, fortunately you only see "Paradise". As residents, we see "Paradise", but live something a bit less. Please do not shoot the messenger. This site has the objective to work toward improving certain aspects of our township. Sometimes the medicine is bitter. In time, we will all feel better.

2 You are quite correct about Linda Taylor and Lakeshore Realty. They are excellent ambassadors for our community. Linda is highly knowledgeable in all aspects of real estate and property issues. She constantly promotes our area and we are continually reaping the benefits of her presence.

However, you have missed the point as to the references made on this site. It so happens that a significant number of individuals within the township administrative structure have a relationship with that particular real estate operation. No accusations of impropriety are being made — but this common relationship has more than a few individuals concerned about the potential. As explained previously ... it is worth repeating:

A very important aspect of government (at all levels) is something called transparency — a clear view of what is happening with nothing being hidden. This is an issue of perception. Not only is it reasonable for the community to expect that officials be open, independent and fair, it is also reasonable for them to be perceived as such. Whether it be in your private, personal, professional or public life, it is important that you do not find yourself (accidentally or deliberately) in a situation where your actions or intentions could be misunderstood. When significant external links exist between officers, the possibility of misunderstanding (or worse) escalates and one has the right to become concerned that transparency may be in jeopardy. It is all about the perception.

3Visitors to our lighthouses have encountered a very pleasing wooded environment while at the same time Mother Nature is constantly encroaching. We are highly vulnerable to forest fire. With such, the chances of fatalities are significant, and "Paradise Lost" would be a reality. As it existed, emergency vehicle access was restricted; larger vehicles were encountering damage from branches; narrow roads hampered vehicle movements (and intimidated drivers), and access for handicapped individuals was limited. Improvements had to be made. You have a choice as to when — before or after a regrettable incident occurs.

4 When you spend only a few weeks a year in a community, you see only part of the picture — and frequently only what you want to see, but sometimes only what your hosts want you to see. We do look forward to you spending the future with us. In the meantime, every effort will be made to improve what we have to offer and provide a safe and attractive environment. This is a great community. That is why we fight so hard to make it better.

Final Comments:
It is unfortunate that you find this site offensive. We could pretend that all is well and bury our heads in the sand. However, that would only obscure the underlying maladies and permit them to thrive. Someone by the name of Bernie Madoff allowed people to convince themselves that everything was rosy. The well educated and greedy public failed to act upon the warning signs. A little pain now or a lot of pain later.



16. Actions of Township Clerk

June 20, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: (Anon)

The actions of the clerk at the June Township meeting were not becoming of a public servant. Her impropriety was blatant. First off, the act of hiring her daughter as deputy clerk, though not unlawful, bespeaks of ethics deemed questionable. A deputy clerk is to be appointed upon the newly elected clerk taking office, which would have been nearly two years ago. It was not until $10 per hour was changed to $7,000 that she decided that she needed a deputy.

Secondly, her refusal to pay the legitimate bills submitted by the gentleman in charge of maintenance, is an act of pseudo authority. But the most egregious act was her1 ANONYMOUS "tree letter". That was probably the most disruptive act to be inflicted on the community. Eventually these things come back to haunt you. Men do talk in Bars. The steady stream of disruptive behavior and actions by this clerk are evident in almost every meeting. They should be met with outrage. Maybe that outrage should translate to a recall.

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

1 This website has not verified that the Clerk was responsible for the "letter". That claim is the author's alone and should be evaluated by the reader in that light.



15. Not Afraid to Agree

June 16, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: (Anon)

      In response to "Nepotism", I agree with the citizen. {..... name of business removed ....} should either resign, or be recalled. They are the problem, we need to be the solution.

... End of Message ...

Editorial Comments:

      Looks like a sensitive nerve has been hit. Firstly, the business named is not a part of the Township structure — it is a local commercial enterprise and does not do any business with the township. Not only does it provides a valuable service to the community, it is also a source of income for some local citizens. It cannot resign nor be recalled. There may, however, be some individuals within that entity for which there are legitimate concerns with respect to their Township involvement. It is with those individuals that your focus should be drawn. The business should not be referenced here — to do so is inappropriate and unfair.

      The writer's message does indicate an emotional level of frustration but needs to be more accurately directed. The Monday Board of Trustees meeting served to emphasize the lack of arms-length relationships within its operations. Unfortunately that ties back as it does.

      "We need to be the solution" is the key. The collective "we" have allowed this issue to develop over a period of years and that issue needs to be adjusted through citizen involvement. Patience, diligence and persistence moving forward can solve the problem. With these issues now in the open, progress is being made. Apathy got us here. Apathy will keep us here.



14. Nepotism

June 15, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: S.P.

      Last night's township meeting was quite interesting in many ways. A township citizen questioned the new deputy clerk position which is held by a person with the same last name as the clerk. The clerk informed the citizen it was her daughter and she had a right to hire anyone she wanted and she also pointed out it was not against the law. (Apparently the clerk had checked with MTA and was told she was within the law.) The citizen who question the hiring pointed out it might not be against the law but nepotism, in her opinion, was unethical. The treasurer jumped in to say for years her deputy had been her husband. I believe the citizen said something to the effect, just because it had been done that way in the past did not mean it was right. So now I guess we could add to the "what do these people have in common" the name of the new deputy clerk; who by the way, makes about $7,000.00 a year. What do we know about the daughter of the clerk? We assume she must be at least 18 to be bonded for the job. Is she a college student needing a job? Is she a young married woman needing a little extra income? We might assume she lives in the township but we don't know. She probably is a very nice young woman who would do a diligent job — but does that make it right for the clerk to hire her daughter? I agree with the citizen. How do you feel about this situation?

      Many interesting items came from the Parks and Rec. area. First we had a small "flub" from Trustee Morrison regarding the fireworks. He did not understand he was to have an invoice from the fireworks company to give to the Clerk last night. He had all the certification requirements for those shooting off the fireworks and had everything else in order except for the invoice. It was obvious Trustee Morrison has worked to make our July fireworks equal if not better than in years past and he needs to be thanked. What he was met with, by our clerk, was almost a threat there would be no fireworks because this was the last meeting before the July date. Our supervisor stepped in and said there would be a special meeting in two weeks to vote on the money for the fireworks. Now my question is, why is the clerk trying to sabotage this activity? Could this, once again, be political?

      And of course we cannot get through the meeting without questioning a letter from Mr. Peters. This man has put in thousand of hours in this township helping to make it what it is today. He has rounded up many volunteers to help with the stump removal and they have worked long, hard hours. Mr. Peters followed procedures and submitted a request for money to finish the road work at the old lighthouse. The request had been approved by the Planning Commission and so was forwarded on to the board for approval of the money. I do not understand how the Clerk and the Treasurer can vote down the request for money to finish the road work; an assignment that had been given to the Parks and Rec. Not only did they vote "no" (it passed thanks to the others) but one would have thought it was their own personal money.

      The Township budget was also presented and if that isn't an interesting document! A question was asked, of the Treasurer, about the income from winter and summer administration fees. (This is a fee we pay with our taxes.) The treasurer said the money, $30,000.00 for winter taxes and $16,000.00 for summer taxes, was to pay for postage, envelopes, preparation of bills, etc. Does the treasurer get paid an additional salary for this work? According to the proposed budget her part will be $33,030. This is her salary plus whatever it takes to administer the job. Do we pay her budget out of our taxes or does her budget come out of this fee? That question was not answered. Well why should we think we would get a straight answer from either the clerk for the treasurer? And they are so hurt when questioned.

... End of Message ...



13. Township Government

June 4, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: Township Citizen

      Shadow, I would like some disscussion, from other citizens, about how they feel about our Township Government. I kind of have the idea we may be better off without a township charter. Let the county take over, and eliminate all these politics. What would the procedure be? What advantage is there to being a township ? Pro or Con, I would like to know how others feel.

... End of Message ...



12. Who is the Shadow?

April 20, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: DMB

Preface:

The following reader response was received with the author's name included, but authenticity not verified. As stated elsewhere on this site, names are not usually published unless directly associated with township government or are public knowledge. Good News items may be an exception.

From the author's comments, it appears that he/she has been on the receiving end of adverse community comments and/or accusations which have been hurtful and inappropriate. We do regret that this has occurred but wish to emphasize that if the author has issues within the community, they did not originate here. The existence of this website was just coincidence and a convenient tool for accusers. It does illustrate, however, the high error percentage of speculation. For the record, the author of this feedback has not been involved with this website in any way, and to our knowledge, has provided us with no prior input.

      On March 15, 2010, a Shadow reader feedback stated "Everyone knows you are behind this site" submitted by an anonymous author. I want to clarify that I, {..... name removed ....}, am not behind the Shadow nor do I know who is. Whoever is responsible for the Shadow, it appears they are up-to-date with the township business most likely by attending meetings. January was the last time I attended a board meeting; and April 10th, I participated in the walk-through at the Old Lighthouse Park, which was my first time to attend a Parks & Rec. Meeting. I'm probably like many readers, just speculating1 who it could be. It wouldn't surprise me to know there are several people responsible for the Shadow.2 I strongly believe if you write-it, then sign-it. You should not hide behind anonymity nor your initials. Even editors require your name before publishing your opinion. If the Shadow required whole names, then maybe there would be more validity with the Shadow & rather than a platform for others to rant and rave.3

When I was informed about the existence of the Shadow, I began sharing this website with others.4 I took the liberty to try to identify the creator. The web master is www.000webhost.com and someone is paying for the website due to its size. The creator is secured via user id and password. After receiving this information, I decided not to pursue it any further. If the controversy5 within the community stems from what you heard about the Shadow and me, you're mistaken and it's unjustifiable. For this reason, I will contact web master and file a report of abuse. Maybe if enough people file a report of abuse, the Shadow website will be removed.6 Then maybe we can become a community united rather than divided. With sincerity and proud to stand behind my name... {..... name removed ....}

... End of Message ...
Editorial Comments:

1Speculation can be an excellent form of entertainment. However, when done outside of the scientific spectrum, speculation can be a dangerous tool — particularly when separated from humane logic.

2Does it really matter? There are many people behind the Shadow. Everyone who expresses an opinion about township government issues, whether here or within the community, becomes a part of what we are about. You, (the author or the reader) are behind us to a major degree due to your support.

3One of our objectives is to provide a forum for the community to respond to issues involving our local government. Many have valid opinions/comments but are not brave (or foolish) enough to bring them forward attached to their name. This is their opportunity to rant and rave as you have done. We do not wish to stifle good ideas/opinions due to fear. Please give the reader credit for the intelligence to properly evaluate the content.

4Thank you.

5We are confused ... what is the controversy? Are you talking about your own personal controversy — or perhaps there is something else we should be aware of?

6There has been no abuse on the part of this website. This is a country of "Free Speech" — and we are not even close to pushing that envelope. In this era of the internet, anyone can have their say. You do not have to be large, brave, rich or influential to be able to create a website and present your views. The easiest (and least expensive) way to remove this website is to simply not visit — that is more than 250 visitors per month that you will have to convince to do the same. Yes, you could bring it down by force, but it would be like the game "Pound A Mole" — drive one down and 2 more pop up. We look forward to your regular visits.

Editorial closing comment: The above feedback actually has little or nothing to do with local government issues. It has been posted more as a courtesy to the author. We do not wish to get involved with our readers' personal issues.



11. We know ...

March 15, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ...     | Author: anon.

Preface:

The following reader response has generated some concern as to appropriateness for posting on this website. The decision to present it is based on the desire to keep this forum open to all, provided that responses have some relevancy to the local government of Presque Isle Township. The specific concerns regarding the response as received includes the naming of individuals who are not involved as township officials; the referencing of issues not relating to township government; and libelous and/or threatening comments.

Most readers will agree that this response is one of those that we all would like to write at some point in our life, or possibly say to an individual when we feel like throwing our own "hissy fit". However, our desire to stay out of jail and/or the hospital usually dictates a more reserved course of action. The response is presented below with some sections removed in order to offset the concerns outlined above.

      Everyone knows you are behind this site, {..... name removed ....}. What you are doing to the community is absolutely deplorable. {..... comment not pertaining to the township removed ....}, spreading vicious rumors about good people and ruining their reputations, lying about the fire department and getting the fireworks taken away from the entire community... WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

I think you like to feel like you're important, or perhaps you are so lonely and bored that you have decided to spend your time "spicing up" the "sleepy" community to your liking. Well guess what...people's lives are being ruined all for your entertainment. You must not understand that in a small community lies, rumors, and other meddling can impact other people in a big way. You must enjoy that. I see you've {..... comment not pertaining to the township removed ....} as well. I hope you're proud of yourself.

Have fun playing your childish little games because pretty soon you are going to be called out publicly and you will be left friendless and humiliated. Everyone knows what you are doing and are just biding their time until they know 100% that you are the one to blame. So if I were you I'd {..... threatening comment removed ....}. I am actually embarrassed for you and I don't even know you1. Being malicious isn't going to win you any friends or make you any more important. In case you never graduated junior high, let me explain something to you. Running your mouth about other people all day doesn't make you cool. It doesn't earn you any friends. It just makes you look like an crazy, ignorant {..... personal reference removed ....} with too much time on {..... your ....} hands. You really need to get a life.

... End of Message ...
Editorial Comments:

1For someone who "doesn't even know" the individual they are ranting against, the writer seems full of knowledge ... or is it rumors ... well, opinions, at least. It is suggested that the writer invest in relationships and spend time to get to know the target of this diatribe. Unfortunately, the writer has greatly missed the mark as to accuracy of fact. We can only hope that the mirror is not too critical a judge.



10. Re: By-Law (Non)Enforcement

March 8, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received ... Editorial     | Author: VM

      The procedure for a violation is to file a complaint at the township, in writing. Linda Taylor is the person who should receive the complaint and investigate. Yes, the squeeky wheel is the one who is taken care of first. So, if you are having a problem, follow this suggestion and good luck.

... End of Message ...
Editorial Comments:

The township makes the rules, but it is 'the neighbor' that gets branded as a complainer. However, we are all responsible for our community. If nobody files any complaints, then we will have the Wild West.
Just wondering ... are filed complaints a matter of public record?



9. The Setting Up of Patrick

February 18, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received     | Author: VM

      The February township meeting was very interesting, as all the meetings seem to be these days. My first concern is the "setting up" of Patrick. The month before it was very obvious certain members of the board were setting our supervisor up for a problem with his budget. Yes, he has gone over his budget and should stay within the amount designated; however, he needs to attend classes and obtain information on how to move our township along. In my opinion, the information brought back from the MTA class was worth far more than the amount of the class. And while we're talking about money, can't we have a monthly statement that is clear about the total amount of money we have and our expenses. Any first year accounting major or a bookkeeper could show our treasurer how to put one together.

Why is it necessary to hear Pete Pettalia every month? He may be the head of Parks and Recreation, but Lynn Morrison should be giving the report, not Pete. I wish someone would tell Mr. Pettalia to sit down and be quiet. He can go campaign some place other than at the township meeting. Oh, and I find it so funny that he and his wife don't sit together. Do they think we don't know they are married? Is she supposed to work one side of the room while he works the other? We're tired of your politics.

... End of Message ...
Editorial Comments:

Supervisor Pokorski is a newcomer to township administration and should be given some latitude on his budget. Many observers have noticed the less than reasonable co-operation afforded the new supervisor by certain old-time trustees.



8. Graves Missing From Cemetery Map

February 14, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received     | Author: JPK

      At the Feb. meeting, there was mention of someone going to locate 20 - 30 graves. The graves, I believe, were not placed in the cemetery layout or something to that effect. I thought the township had a sexton for the cemetery. What happened? The township paid our money to someone who did not perform, and now they're going to do it again. I apologize, but this troubles me.

... End of Message ...
Editorial Comments:

This issue appears in the February 8, 2010 minutes in the report from Office Staff. It is possible that it may be just a clerical issue as the cemetery dates back many years with numerous individuals handling documentation. We look forward to an update at a future Trustees' meeting.



7. Positive Events To Improve PI Image ...

February 10, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received     | Author: AR

      Let me compliment you on this website; appears refreshing and open. Positive people, looking forward, always needed and should be welcomed!

I have been concerned by the seeming inability of the current board to agree to be proactive with regards to beneficial and enticing events for all of the citizens in PI, both full and part-time. (I feel it is important to remind some that part-timers pay taxes too.) There appears to be a political stalemate or a 'brick wall' when it comes to decision making. This board membership should not be a forum for political ambition. True focus should be:

Our image, outside PI, appears to me, to be perceived as a 'closed exclusive commmunity' — not that welcoming to outsiders. From experience I can tell you that once you become a tax-paying property owner and meet your neighbors, that image changes dramatically! There are caring, innovative, and high-integrity people in PI; some of the best I have encountered in recent years. My concern is our 'image' for the future.

I have heard that an idea is being researched of a possible public campground1 near the harbor. I think that could be lucrative for PI and help us become better known. It is a means to roll out the hospitality carpet and welcome visitors. Imagine the families who have a first-rate vacation and decide to make a trip to PI an annual event. Perhaps, the experience is so memorable that they decide to check out, purchase, and build on a lot (increasing tax revenue).

2An event I would endorse (I believe it has been done previously) is to have an annual Presque Isle Clean-Up weekend in May. Neighbors would pick up trash along our roads and plant wild flower seeds. (Volunteerism at it's best!) This event must include all board members and their families to show support of our community's 'curb appeal'.

We need to advertise and welcome 'new blood' into this community. This area is unique and has so much to offer. If we close it off and snub visitors or potential buyers, it will die out and become the past. I say: Let's work together to show what a special place Presque Isle is; share it; and preserve it for future generations.

... End of Message ...
Editorial Comments:

1 Perhaps partnering with the DNR might be a way to get a campground at Thompson Harbor. Possibly there is grant money that could be found.

2There must be lots of good ideas out there for improving the image of the township. Would be pleased to post them here.



6. A place to voice my concerns

February 5, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received     | Author: JPK

      Thank you Shadow. I for one, needed a place to voice my concerns. I would hope many more township residents will voice themselves. Here or at the Meetings. I too have found many wonderful friends here, and enjoy the surroundings. I would like to retire here. I'm not the political type, but I would like to be active in some capacity in the township. What happened to another volunteer recently is alarming. The man deserves an apology. Yes we need new blood. This township has been run far too long by this clique. No transparency. Too many ordinances, why does the township as a whole need a new lighting ordinance? The lighthouse concessions. Who called the newspaper to the meeting? The drunken firemen1 lighting off the fireworks? Playing politics at our township's expense. This is not a springboard to Lansing, it's our home, and should be treated as such. I don't think this clique has our best interests in mind. They can't be bothered by us, they have their own agenda, not ours. We should part ways.

... End of Message ...
Editorial Comments:

1 There might be a bit of loose wording here. This is probably in reference to the situation brought to light during the "Comments from the Audience" at the July 14, 2009 meeting of the Board of Trustees — with follow-up during the Parks & Recreation report at the August 9, 2009 meeting. The fireworks reference above could perhaps have been more accurately presented as:

1 or 2 persons responsible for the fireworks observed with alcoholic beverages in hand — and surreptitiously handing them off to another party when realizing there was an audience.

What was seen was seen regardless of the 'spin'.



5. Term Limits

February 3, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received     | Author: B.F.

Ref: Planning Commission Minutes, Jan.4, 2010 — Quote from minutes:

Reappointment rceommendations: There was question as to when M. Benson's term is up since no one's records were updated accordingly when her term began. E. Comerford will review the minutes to determine the exact start and end date. If her term was in fact up, C. Taylor asked if she was interested in serving another 3 year term. She confirmed that she was, therefore she was recommended for reappointment. K. Fournier seconded the recommendation. A roll call vote was taken. All ayes, recommendation to reappoint M. Benson for another 3 year term was approved.

First of all, I have nothing against M. Benson, but this is typical of the way our township government handles these matters. It is no wonder we never see any changes or new faces. These are paid positions and I would think the citizens of the township should have more say in these matters. Why do they not know when a persons term is up?? This is not the only instance of a foul-up in that respect. If a person is serving a 3 year term, a notice should be made of any open positions 2 to 3 months in advance of the expiration of that term. Then that person, along with any others interested, could apply for the position. Are there ever any term limits???

... End of Message ...


4. Why don't we ever see these people

February 2, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received     | Author: B.F.

      After living in this township for about one year, and never meeting anyone involved with our township government, I asked one of the "old timers", "Why don't we ever see these people at any of our community events? His reply: "Because they don't want you to know who they are." I agree, we do need to generate public interest and participation in our local government. I have just started attending township meetings and plan to continue attending them each month. By attending only a few meetings, I have already noticed changes in the way things are done, because an audience is present. It is evident you also have attended township meetings. Good for you! I enjoyed reading "The Shadow".

... End of Message ...


3. Eyebrows Raise? Puh-leeze.

January 29, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received     | Author: K.P.

      As a former employee of both Presque Isle Township and Lakeshore Realty I must contest your unknown reason to raise one's eybrows. Linda Taylor has been nothing but an asset to this community.

When she and Clif moved to the area, they wanted to participate in their community. She decided to become the Zoning Administrator because of her VAST wealth of knowledge on real estate law and policy. Upon getting involved in the township government, Linda befriended several people who were ALSO involved in the township government, including Karen Fournier and Karen Pettalia. In a tiny community with few willing to participate in government, lines are bound to cross. Linda Taylor is a facilitator. Her small business employs several people and draws many interested buyers who otherwise may have never heard of Presque Isle to the area.

In 2003, I applied for a position within the township. Linda interviewed me, and I was consequently hired as the office administrator. You probably worked with me too, seeing how you're obviously involved in the township and attend meetings. If you do know me, then you know why your accusations are so upsetting to me. After a few months of working together at the township, Linda introduced me to her son, and 6 years later, we've given her her first grandchild. My brother and her son have been best friends since 2001 and room together in college. I dare say I have a little more insight into these people than you.

The Taylors are the most generous, hardworking, respectable people I know. For you to suggest that there is some kind of shadiness going on is absolutely laughable. Clif and Linda are extremely smart, and I often wonder if those who have a problem with them are "small towners" who are intimidated by their intelligence and big-city experience. Through Lakeshore, Linda was able to employ both of her sons, and also let me work for her when I was unemployed. Linda is someone who cares for her friends and family and employs them to HELP them, not for some kind of alterior motive.

I can assure you that there is nothing in Linda's role as zoning admin that could be used for the gain of her business. Her role as zoning administrator has practically NO benefit to her. Not financially, not politically, and definitely not for her stress level. I often wonder why she does it. Why? Because she, her husband, and her circle of friends, feel a responsibility to do contribute their skills to the betterment of her community. Perhaps this is something you can't understand. So, whomever you are, go shovel some snow and quit trying to ruin the reputation of good people who are trying to benefit their friends and community. I frankly find it amusing that you have the time to create an entire website1 devoted to a few cut trees and imaginary connections between the members of the township government. I'm sure you won't publish this on your site, since you don't even have the courage to reveal your identity, let alone publish an opinion from an actual informed source that dismantles your theory. Maybe you should use your time and effort on bettering the community rather than trying to bring down those who already are.

... End of Message ...
Editorial Comments:

Our thanks to the author for this very informative and heartfelt message. Many people in Presque Isle Township know very little about the Taylors and Lakshore Realty, and the insight provided is most worthy of being posted here.

The inclusion of the What do the following people have in common? segment on this website had no malicious intent against the Taylors or Lakeshore Realty. There was nothing positive or negative stated about any of the individuals listed. However, the "imaginary connections between the members of the township government" are not imaginary — they are fact!

A very important aspect of government (at all levels) is something called transparency — a clear view of what is happening with nothing being hidden. This is an issue of perception. Not only is it reasonable for the community to expect that officials be open, independent and fair, it is also reasonable for them to be perceived as such. Whether it be in your private, personal, professional or public life, it is important that you do not find yourself (accidentally or deliberately) in a situation where your actions or intentions could be misunderstood. When significant external links exist between officers, the possibility of misunderstanding (or worse) escalates and one has the right to become concerned that transparency may be in jeopardy. It is all about the perception.

No accusations of impropriety are being levelled here. The Presque Isle Township community should be aware that such a situation exists and that it may not be a good thing. The common connections currently exist probably more out of coincidence (a lack of candidates) than by orchestration. What we have clouds the perception of transparency. Perhaps we need more sunshine.

1Local government is important and you make time for what is important. This website is about our township government and the apathy towards it. The goal is to generate public interest in what is going on and hopefully garner greater public participation. Local politics has been boring and stale for years. Most of the community sleeps through it — a very dangerous practice. Maybe we can change that. As for the trees issue, it just happens to be the hot button topic of the moment — it will pass. Actually, it is not really about the trees anyway. The trees are just a screen.



2. P.I.T. Shadow

January 27, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received     | Author: N.B.

      Very Interesting; I like this quote "Give your difference, welcome my difference, and unify all difference in the larger whole-such is the law of growth"
Mary Parker Follett

... End of Message ...
Editorial Comments:

In case the audience hasn't noticed, there is a random quote near the bottom of each page. Enjoy.



1. Right on the money

January 27, 2010     | Category: Feedback Received     | Author: D.F.

      Kudos on the overall website. From my experiences at Township meetings and events, all information is right on the money. You can't always believe everything you read, can you?

... End of Message ...


Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.
... Ferris, in Ferris Bueller's Day Off