People enjoy the pier at Marshbank Park in June. West Bloomfield voters approved a parks millage renewal Aug. 4.

People enjoy the pier at Marshbank Park in June. West Bloomfield voters approved a parks millage renewal Aug. 4.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes


Parks and Recreation millage approved by West Bloomfield voters

By: Mark Vest | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published August 6, 2020

 Children and adults spend time at Marshbank Park in June.

Children and adults spend time at Marshbank Park in June.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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WEST BLOOMFIELD — Local voters showed strong support for West Bloomfield parks, approving the renewal of an existing parks and recreation millage ballot proposal by a wide margin in the Aug. 4 primary election.

According to the Oakland County Election Division, 14,174 people voted for the proposal, with 4,456 voting no.

The millage was previously approved in 2008, and the renewal proposal authorizes the township to levy 0.2286 mills for 10 years after the current millage expires this year. According to wbparks.org, for the 2021 tax year, it is estimated that, for every $100,000 of taxable value, a property owner would pay $22.86.

It is estimated that the proposal will result in the authorization to collect $885,669 in the first year the millage is levied.

There are 13 parks in the township’s 580-acre properties. Facilities include the West Bloomfield Trail and Nature Preserve, and a senior center.

Jennifer Tucker, who is the executive director for the West Bloomfield Parks Commission, was pleased that over 75% of voters supported the proposal.

“On behalf of the Parks Commission and employees of the park system, we’re head over heels,” Tucker said. “It’s such a great vote of confidence from our residents. Really excited about how big that margin was.”

Tucker shared her perspective as to the benefits of the proposal being approved.

“What this will do is it’ll continue services, like, when we are allowed to, opening back up our senior services, continuing our high standard within parks for making sure things are clean, neat and well maintained,” she said. “Also, it’ll continue our infrastructure projects, some that we’re doing now and some that we will be doing in the future. We had to re-tool a lot of our programming to be virtual or more creative, and so that will also help us kind of propel those programs, as well.”

In other local matters pertaining to the primary, races for township offices were unopposed.

In the upcoming November general election, the supervisor, treasurer and four trustees seats will be decided. West Bloomfield Clerk Binder was unopposed on the primary ballot, and there is currently no candidate to oppose her in November.

Binder said it was a “high-volume” absentee election, with that method of voting accounting for 78% of the ballots cast.

She had the number of absentee ballots at 16,783.

Binder said the overall turnout was about 40%.

“At 40%, it was an increase for this type of an election,” Binder said. “It was in line with some of our gubernatorial years. That increase in absentee voting is important. When you think about it, 78% of all ballots cast being by absentee ballot, it shows how important that is as a means of people having their voices heard.”

Binder said one of the biggest problems with the election was mail delay, with it taking 10-12 days for ballots to get to the township.

There is a way to help correct that from being a potential problem in November.

“Plan ahead and mail ahead, and possibly even consider returning it directly to Town Hall and using one of our drop boxes as a secure way of making sure your ballot gets back to Town Hall,” Binder said.

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