2018-07-12 / Views

The high calling of twp., village governing

It’s with regret that we, too, accept the resignation of Debbie Street as the Elmwood Township treasurer.

Our tenure at the Enterprise roughly parallels that of Ms. Street, who was elected to office in 2000 and served as a mainstay in moving the township through a tumultuous decade of politics that followed.

It wasn’t easy. Under former supervisor Derith Smith, who was elected in 2004, the township office regressed into a bevy of back-stabbing, finger-pointing activities. Ms. Street and clerk Connie Preston, who still serves, were left shaking their heads on many days, but still managed to stay above the fray without completely losing the public trust.

Again, it wasn’t easy. But that’s only a small part of our message.

Instead, we wanted to discuss the feel-good times we’ve seen as the mainstay of township and village governments in Leelanau County. Ms. Street offers a shining example.

Yes, there will always be “politics” involved on councils and boards, and as the saying goes, all politics are local. The business of governing will result in winners and losers.

But more importantly there is also a sense of community. Despite the negativity associated with Washington and with Lansing, most residents of Leelanau continue to embrace a township or a village meeting as that of a neighborhood gathering.

Attendance is often associated with civil responsibility.

Public officials like Ms. Street encourage such feelings. They seek to improve the lives of their neighbors, and at times of discord they attempt to keep neighbors at arm’s length.

We cover the discrepancies because, well, it ends in decisions that directly affect village and township citizens. Governments need a watchdog to prevent misuse of power. That’s what we do.

But overall residents believe village and township government are there to serve them. Most local public officials are in agreement.

It’s a high calling, and one that Ms. Street — and dozens of other long-serving village and township officials who have retired or plan to — have answered.

Return to top