on September 1, 2007 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Petitions expected to put Caro’s cityhood to vote

LANSING ‹ Petitions for a referendum vote on Caro changing from village government to a city are awaiting review by the Department of Economic Growth – State Boundary Commission.

Petitions have been turned in, but they have to be examined for sufficiency to see if they and their signatures are valid, said Land Survey and Remonumentation Director Maynard Dyer. If they are determined sufficient, the issue will go on a ballot for a vote.

In July, the boundary commission approved allowing the process of Caro changing from village to city government to continue. But even though the state decided to allow that process to continue, there are numerous steps in the process.

Among those steps is the election of a nine-member boundary commission to draft a city charter. That charter would go before the residents to vote whether or not to approve it.

Another step in the process is a petition for a referendum vote that supersedes other action. After the boundary commission approved allowing the process to continue, there is a 45-day window for residents to file a referendum. The deadline to file for a referendum was Wednesday.

³The referendum petition was submitted in time, but it still needs to be reviewed, noted Dyer.

Depending on scheduling, the sufficiency hearing on the referendum petitions probably wouldn¹t take place until October or November.

We are disappointed by this opposition in asking for a vote before residents ever have the opportunity see what the (city) charter would say, said Caro Citizens for Cityhood Committee member Al Jones. The state still has to determine whether or not the petitions and signatures are valid.

Voting without knowing what the charter would say, I feel, is unnecessary and a waste of taxpayer money.

A referendum vote would be to decide on whether or not to let the steps of voting in a charter commission and voting on the city charter to continue.

In order for the issue to go to a referendum vote, petitions to do so had to be signed by at least five percent of the population that the change would impact.

Approximately 170 signatures were needed. Dyer could not comment on how many signatures there were.

If it is determined there are enough signatures for a referendum vote and it is voted down at the point, the process to become a city is stopped; but if there are enough votes in favor of letting the process continue, a charter commission would be elected by the residents and residents would vote to accept or reject the charter they wrote.

Jones said he and other cityhood committee members are confident residents will vote down the referendum and allow the cityhood process to continue to at least see what the charter on how Caro as a city would operate.

As part of becoming a city, the boundary of the village of Caro would change to include some additional areas in Almer and Indianfields townships.

The boundary commission’s recommendation if Caro became a city would be to keep the existing village boundaries with the exception of islands within the village limits. Excluded from the proposed city boundaries are some existing areas and the Agar subdivision is excluded from the proposed city limits.

A map of the proposed boundaries is available at Caro Village Hall office and is on the Caro Citizens for Cityhood Committee web site ­ www.caro.cmyv8go.com.

Mary Drier is a staff writer for the Tuscola County Advertiser. She can be reached at drier@tcadvertiser.com.