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King Richard Has Spoken

Many Plymouth Township citizens were left out in the parking lot wondering why Supervisor Richard Reaume cancelled the special meeting he had called 27 hours earlier. Some were angry.

Plymouth Township Supervisor, Richard Reaume called a special meeting of the Board of Trustees for July 12th. He did it at the last possible minute, and those who are interested in the issue of open and honest elections, made some effort to fit this sudden meeting into our schedule.

We had strong feelings about the League of Women Voters candidate forum, and we wanted to know why he was asking them to rescind their request to sponsor the forum at our Township Hall.

Mr. Reaume called this meeting for the purpose of creating or amending policy so that he could revoke the permission that was already given to the league of Women Voters to have their non-partisan candidate forum on the 16th of this month.

At the last possible minute today, Mr. Reaume suddenly cancelled this special meeting. He also neglected to inform anybody what the status of the League of Women Voters candidate forum is. He didn't tell the press, he didn't tell his constituants, and he didn't tell the other candidates in the race.

Nobody knows whether there will be a forum or not. It is his secret I guess, and he will tell the voters when he is darn good and ready. Or maybe we will just have to all show up at the Plymouth Township Hall on Monday and check to see if the doors are locked or open.

What was this man thinking when he took his oath of office? When one takes the oath of office, they generally raise their right hand and swear to preserve and protect the Constitution of the United States of America.

The Constitution, is the bedrock of the rule of law in this country. We are governed at every level, national, state, and local, by the US Constitution. The honest and prudent elected official adheres to our Constitution scrupulously when making the rule of law.

When there are gray areas, we must trust our elected officials to intelligently, and honestly, interpret what the spirit of the Constitution would demand of them.

Our founding fathers, men like Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, John Jay, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and George Washington, had certain strong beliefs and principles when they signed the Declaration of Independence, and Framed our United States Constitution.

One of their core beliefs was that Democracy, our form of government would stand the test of time, as long as we were able to maintain an informed electorate.

Thomas Jefferson said that "whenever the people are well informed, they can be trusted with their own government; that, whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them right."

An informed electorate will ensure that our form of government will always be protected.

Independence Hall was the meeting place of the Second Continental Congress. It was the place where the Declaration of Independence was signed, where our Constitution was signed, it was the place where George Washington was nominated as Commander In Chief of the Continental Army, and Benjamin Franklin was named our first Postmaster general.

While the 19th Ammendment, granting women the right to vote was still almost 150 years away, I suspect that our founders would look at it as a good and necessary achievement in the growth of our Democracy.

I suspect that our founders would look upon the League of Women Voters as good stewards in the endeavor to keep our electorate informed about those who would seek to govern us, and I would guess that they would be welcomed at Independence Hall.

I am hardly a historian, but I suspect that back then when our country was in it's infancy, all matters related to government were discussed and settled in places much like our Township Hall here in Plymouth Township. It is simply the logical place for such matters, and I suspect that there needed to be no silly discussions, and policies created for such matters.

I wonder what our founding fathers would say about a board of trustees that would shut down the very place where matters of local governance were discussed and decided.

I wonder what they would think about the elected protectors of our Constitution closing down the Township Hall to the very people who paid for it.

It gives me no pleasure whatsoever to cast scorn upon my fellow Republicans who sit on the Plymouth Township Board of Trustees, but I would be remiss in my civic duty as an American if I did not point out hypocrisy when I see it. All Americans have a duty to stand watch over our Constitution, and those elected to protect it. That is why we vote. Our vote is the protector of our Constitution.

While it pains me to realize that there those who would seek to put an end to open and free debate in our Township Hall, I am comforted that there are many who stand ready to take the place of the despotic elected official when they are called to do so.

That is what our founding fathers would want, and what our Constitution would demand...

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EHM July 14, 2012 at 03:25 PM
The Michigan Campaign Finance Act states: "The use of a public facility owned or leased by, or on behalf of, a public body if any candidate or committee has an equal opportunity to use the public facility." This forum would have given ALL of the candidates an equal opportunity. What the board really should have done is held the meeting last Thursday, seen what their constituents think, and then made an unbiased decision actually taking these things into consideration. Our township is inconsistent with other communities, and wrong.
EHM July 14, 2012 at 03:36 PM
And if this is the policy, why isn't it on the webpage? http://plymouthtwp.org/Departments/Clerk/MeetingRoomUse.htm "The meeting room is available only to homeowner associations and non-profit organizations." Again, the League is a non-profit.
Bryan Bentley July 14, 2012 at 04:36 PM
Mr. Edwards questioned the use of the Town Hall for the Chamber of Commerce forum on Wednesday, July 23. With regard to the finance laws, he knows they can use the room but other resources should be paid for, such as the use of the recording equipment. This type of use would be considered campaigning and the campaign financing law would consider this as an in-kind donation. Mr. Cronin indicated the reality is you can’t use Township resources, etc., for campaign purposes under the Campaign Finance Act. If some organization wanted to come in and rent a room or a portion of Township Hall, they can always do that. However, if you allow someone to use the resources for free, that would allow others to use the resources for free, also. He recommended a written policy. Mr. Edwards and Mr. Mann asked that they be on record as not being part of any campaign law violation. Mr. Mann moved that the Township policy for use of the meeting room spaces within Township Hall not be permitted for campaign purposes. Supported by Mr. Edwards. Ayes all.
Bryan Bentley July 14, 2012 at 04:48 PM
The above is the discussion copied from the Minutes of the Board of Trustees meeting on July 22, 2008. I have seen more intelligent motions made at a PTA meeting to be honest, but this was brought up by Mr. Edwards because he and Mr. Mann were for some reason worried about being in violation of the Canpaign Financing Act. All discussion was in reference to the Campaign Finance Act. THE important fact though is the motion. The League of Women Voters candidate forum could be considered "campaign purposes" IF there were candidates running that were NOT invited. ALL have been invited, and I hope that ALL attend... This policy will not stand up in court when it gets there...
john nichols July 15, 2012 at 01:40 AM
This is a bunch of crap. No campaign lit in the building, problem solved

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