Onekama consolidation

Citizens Research Council issues Onekama government merger report

ONEKAMA — The Citizens Research Council (CRC) of Michigan has released a report that will help the Village of Onekama, Onekama Township and other local governments consider the possibilities of merging governments.

CRC’s analysis and report stemmed from a decision by the village and township to consider the potential benefits of having one governmental unit for the community instead of two for three reasons:

• To determine if short and long-term cost reductions would be realized;

• To assess if having one governmental entity instead of two would simplify and enhance public access and participation with their governing body;

• If having one governmental entity would strengthen the community’s focus on its visions, strategies and goals for the future.

CRC was commissioned through the Shared Public Services Initiative, a collaborative project involving local, state and non-profit organizations administered through the Michigan Municipal League Foundation, to assess and explain the merger options and associated costs and benefits.

Funding for the project was also provided by the township, village and the Portage Lake Watershed Forever Council. Residents of the Village of Onekama recently circulated petitions to disincorporate the village and a disincorporation commission is now being formed to prepare a report on what should be done in the event dissolution is approved by the voters.

“Onekama is at the forefront of local government reform,” said CRC president Jeffrey Guilfoyle. “By asking whether it is necessary to have two governments to govern a population of 1,400, Onekama community leaders are setting the stage for a rethinking of local government throughout rural Michigan.”

Township supervisor David Meister and village president Bob Blackmore said that the report will be of great value to everyone with an interest in the Onekama community and particularly to the disincorporation commission once it is formed and begins work.

The report entitled The Costs, Benefits and Alternatives for Consolidating the Onekama Governments as well as a CRC Memorandum about the project are available at: www.allianceforeconomicsuccess.com and www.crcmich.org/PUBLICAT/2010s/2011/rpt372.html.

 

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