Poor return on township tax dollars

April 5, 2014 

Belleville Township's only responsibility is to administer General Assistance, providing temporary monetary relief as well as assistance for health-related costs to those who qualify. We are a lifeline to many poor and indigent residents. We support programs that add value to life for senior citizens.

Money given last year to churches brought criticism. To be clear, those donations funded nondenominational food pantries. I believe such support is proper and commend the churches for their part in running the pantries.

While I do favor most programs that receive township funding, I feel it's inappropriate for the township to finance utility items such as computers and shelves for a city department. The city is a separate taxing body and its departments have their own budget.

A look at the treasurer's report reflects that we spend 63 percent of our revenues on overhead while spending only 25 percent on assistance and 12 percent on optional community programs.

Would you give to a charity if only 25 percent of the donation actually went toward the cause? I would not.

What I find even more unfortunate is that the board continues to vote to hold its regular public meetings at 3 in the afternoon when most constituents are not able to attend. That vote will take place at our annual meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Belleville City Hall. This year it will not be unanimous.

Joy Schreiber

Trustee, Belleville Township

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