When the presidential election finally comes around this year, regardless of the two candidates, it is very likely that it will be close race. Presidential Races are always hotly contested and rarely ever result in “blowout” victories. In history, there have been times when one candidate wins the popular vote; but loses the election in the Electoral College process. In others, the winner received less than 50% of the popular vote. Regardless of how they won, whether by millions of votes or hundreds, or on technicalities, the winner has ALWAYS immediately proclaimed that the country has given them a “mandate” to move forward. The loser concedes the race and the country moves on. Oh, how I wish that were true in local politics.
In November 2015, there was an election in which the citizens of Miami Township were asked to vote on a proposed increase in their taxes to fund additional moneys for road maintenance and construction. The Township Trustees, elected by the people, put forward their recommendation for an increase and asked the people who elected them for permission to proceed – by putting a tax levy on the ballot. As many have said before, elections have consequences and in this one, the voters gave their elected officials a clear mandate. By election standards, an overwhelming majority of voters (53%) voted AGAINST the township requested 2mil tax increase. The voter’s message was clear. They did not believe that that Miami Township needed additional funds to proceed with its plans for street resurfacing. Many even argued that the township has a long record of poorly spending the money already funded to them. Regardless of why, the voters heard the Township’s arguments and subsequently voted NO. So, how did the Township Trustees react to this mandate given to them by those same people who elected them? In January 2016, with the last election barely over, they voted to put the EXACT SAME 2mil roads levy back on the ballot!
Even after losing the election, Miami Township officials are so arrogant that they have not even bothered to change their argument for passing the levy. On the current Miami Township website, they have simply re-posted the same “study” that was shared prior to the defeat of the road levy in November. The message that these elected officials in Miami Township are making here is clear: “Hey, all you guys who voted in November – you are clearly stupid. Read what we posted last time and get it right this time.” Or perhaps they are saying, “We don’t care that you elected us to work at your request, We request that you give us more taxes to do what we (3) first term trustees decide is right.”
Imagine if after the Presidential election in November, the losing party had a quick meeting and was given the chance to force another vote in March. Ludicrous right? Yet, it happens all the time with local issues and tax levy requests. Well, I am hoping that way more than 53% of the folks in Miami Township send the same message back to Miami Township in March and vote NO - AGAIN. Then, perhaps when those Trustees are up for election, they can be replaced for clearly ignoring the mandate of the voters. Elections have consequences.
Author - John Morris, President