ANNUAL HOLY ANGLES MEMORIAL MASS JUNE 29th at 3:30 pm

With little advanced notice, we are having the Holy Angels/Bishop Baraga Memorial Mass on Sunday, June 29th, at 3:30 p.m.

Holy Angels Church was built under the direction of Bishop Baraga in 1856 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.  Holy Angels is located at 10158 E Northshore Drive in the historic Payment area of Sugar Island. 

After the Mass, we will go to the Community Center for a potluck luncheon; hot dogs/hamburgs will be provided.  Those attending are asked to provide a salad or dessert.

EVERYONE is invited to join us! 

Any questions, please call me~

Mary Ann Biscorner-Dick

906-635-1898

LATEST DRAFT OF FERRY RATE INCREASE

Go to EUPTA Meeting Minutes and Info and click on Latest Draft of Ferry Rate Increase. These are proposed and not adopted as yet. There are three different rate increases being proposed. Only one will end up being adopted by the EUPTA Board.

Reminder if you care, be sure to ATTEND the Public Hearing on these RATE increases being held in Kinross on May 1st, 2014

Major Ferry Rate Increase

The fact that EUPTA needs more funds to operate the Ferry System at its present level of employee pay and benefits is a fact. It is the method of raising these funds that should be considered very carefully by the customers of the System (US).

The Executive Director has said at many meetings, we cannot continue to lose money operating the ferries. He has come up with the methods, listed in the Evening news article below, of creating more revenue on his own. There has been no input from the directors on the matter, as evidenced by the minutes of the last two years. Please go to EUPTA meeting minutes on this site to see for yourself.

Please review the meeting attendance records of both the residents from each Island and the EUPTA Directors from each Island. All the directors’ names that attend or miss a meeting are on the front of each months meeting minutes, and the resident or customer names that attend these meetings are on the last page of each monthly meeting.

 I believe the Press Release is carefully timed and worded to prevent argument and does not come close to what is really about to happen in the % of increase no matter which of the three methods is decided on. I further believe that the abuse of the word “Commuter” in EUPTA’s referral to commuter tickets has gone on for a very long time.

com-mut-er     (k-myootr) n. One that travels regularly from one place to another, as from suburb to city and back.

I ask, is a person who only makes one trip in 9 days a commuter, or would “Tourist / Visitor” become closer to a proper description of the person.

I feel that if commuter tickets where returned to 30 or even 45 days no increase would be needed as visitors would be paying their fair share to “VISIT” the Island. If you live in the Sault do you commonly say I am going to “COMMUTE” to Sugar Island and see my loved one or friend, no, you say I am going to Sugar Island  to “Visit” my friend or loved one.

I know of a summer time resident who purchased a book of Semi Truck tickets for his very expensive motor home, then made a very loud complaint to EUPTA 2 years later because the deckhand would not honor a 2 year old book. He went to EUPTA and did get a free ride. Did we the everyday users pay for this guy?

People keep going to EUPTA and pitching a case for a smaller fare (pickup owners with dual wheels for example) and keep getting a reduced fare because no one (our appointed EUPTA directors) supports the Executive director or even the deckhand that tries to enforce the policy already in place.

Our original commuter tickets came in books of 7 with a cover. The price for the book was 7 times the normal fare. The commuter discount came in when the purchaser saved 5 covers up and turned them in for a free book, thus creating a discount. Little changes to this method of discounting where made to discounting tickets over the years. Every one of these discount method changes either changed the time a book of tickets was good for or increased the number of trips. On several occasions, BOTH where done. We have gone from a book life of 30 days to 180 days. Add 90 more days and you can father a baby into this world.

To my way of thinking, when EUPTA holds the meeting at Kinross and if only a few residents show up to it, it will be a clear indication to EUPTA that the normal users of the Ferry Service want to subsidize fares for visitors to Sugar Island.

I think any such subsidizing should be done by the individual enjoying the visit!

If you don’t show up at the meeting, you don’t care, if you don’t care, pay the fare and don’t complain. Its that simple.

Phone Numbers to call;

EUPTA  906-632-2898

John Kibble 906-635-1783

Jesse Knoll

Sugar Island Resident

 

 

SAULT STE. MARIE

EUPTA proposes

fare increase

By SCOTT BRAND sbrdndCasooevenncnews.com

SAULT STE. MARIE – Virtually all users of the Eastern Upper Peninsula Transportation Authority (F.UPTA) ferry services – connecting Drummond, Neebish and Sugar islands to the mainland – will be look­ing at a minimum 10 percent increase in the near future.

“We’ve been running at a deficit for the last four years, said EUPTA’s Chuck Moser regarding the need for an increase.”We feel we need to raise about $200,000 a year; our job is to make sure we raise the proper amount of fares in a fair way.

EUPTA Finance Director Akemi Gordon explained there are currently three options on the table.

• Option 1 would continue to utilize commuter tickets in books of 10 and 20. This is the current system, allowing those who travel frequently to the islands to essentially save money by purchasing in bulk.

• Option 2 would eliminate the 10 trip ticket package, requiring commuters to purchase 20 tickets at a time if they wished to get the discount.

• Option 3 would essentially split the difference – eliminating both the 10 and 20 ticket packages in favor of a lone commuter package for 15 trips.

While most commuters are faring a hike of 10 percent or so in all three scenarios, those who travel to the island for the occasional visit, tourists and over-sized vehicles are faring even larger increases.

The full cash fare is going up even more than 10 percent,” said Gordon. Each classification will be a different percent.’

Predicting that customers particularly island residents will have opinions on the pro­posed increases, Moser said there will be multiple formats for them to express themselves before a final decision is made.

“The thing is we want to get people engaged,” he said. “We’re willing to lis­ten to constructive ways to skin the cat.

EUPTA will be holding a public hearing at the Kinross Township Hall at 4 p.m. May 1 on this matter and Moser encourages all interested parties to attend.

The Kinross Township Hall, he, explained, was selected because it should be large enough to hold all who wish to participate and because it is centrally located.

Those who are unable to attend, but wish to record their comments, can mail them to EUPTA, Public Hearing Comments, 4001 1-75 Business Spur, Sault Ste. Marie, 49783.

Gordon said the easiest way to explain the increase was to prepare everyone for a minimum increase of 10 percent. Dollar figures, she noted, were difficult to explain because fares are set differently for each island, vehicle classifica­tion and commuter situa­tion.

Gordon said that indi­viduals interested in their specific case can call the EUPTA Office at (906) 632-2898 for more infor­mation.

The EUPTA Board of Directors could take action on the potential increases as early as the May 5 ses­sion, scheduled for 4 p.m. at the EUPTA Office in the Sault.

If implemented the increased rates could be charged before the end of May.

 

Ice Frozen River, No Sugar Island Ferry

I have written to both The Evening News and Senator Levin’s Office asking for help with the present “River Ice Conditions.” I personally believe that GOD made the ice, but that the problems the residents of Sugar Island are experiencing are all created by the “People Paid To Control The Ice.”

I have been a local Island dweller, from St. Joe to Sault, Michigan to Sugar for the last 69 years. Ice and Ferry boat operation has always been a problem. We use to use boats in the warm weather and “Ice Bridges” in the cold weather. Then came the St. Lawrence Seaway, which allowed for and made shipping seasons longer to accommodate big business. This created many problems for the “Island Residents” and the Island Resident made loud noises about the disruption this was causing to their way of life.

There was a flurry of corrective action taken by the Corp. of Engineers, The Coast Guard, The Lake Carriers Association and our Federal Government to restore some semblance of normal river crossing accessibility. The Federal Government funded Ice Breakers, The Corp. of Engineers installed large air compressors for “Air Bubbler Systems”  and high capacity drilled wells on both sides of the ferry landings to raise the water temperatures at the docks. The Lake Carriers Association paid for the building of special “Ice Cutting Propellers for the Ferries and the placement of “Ice Booms” in the River above the crossing sites.

After a period of time (I think it was about two winters) it was determined that the air compressors and wells where to expensive to maintain for the benefit it was thought they produced. The Government keeping the Big Mackinac Ice Breaker in the Lake Superior and Lake Michigan area along with the berthing of smaller ice breakers in the Sault and St. Ignace along with the Ice Boom placement turned out to be a fairly good fix.

Now to the heart of what I see as to how our present problem developed and became a reality. The Ice Booms, that the Corp. of Engineers have been placing up river from our Ferry boat for years in about mid December, were not placed. The winter has returned to about normal temperatures for us, in other words “Global Warming”  didn’t happen this winter, at least not so far. The Big Mackinac (that would open the channel wide with one or two passes) has gone to be a “Tourist Attraction” in Cheboygan, Michigan. These smaller ice breakers that we were told were adequate for our small ice breaking needs are not able to handle the job for us, and keep big business running at the same time.

It seems to me that “cost saving and vastly underestimating God’s ice creation abilities” has created the whole “We are stuck and can’t cross the river Ferry Problem.” It is time to “Suck it up,” “Admit you where wrong,” Shut the shipping season down early, Get the ice booms in place,  Start getting a proper sized ice breaker built or bring the Mackinac back, to restore a normal way of life for the residents of three Islands.  “I believe the restoration of a normal way of life to Island Residents is just as important as a few tons of iron ore is for a big business.”

Jesse Knoll

Please leave your name with any comments you may have on this subject.

Here is my letter to the Senator.

January9, 2014

Good Afternoon Senator Levin,

Our Ferry boat here at Sugar Island, Michigan has been stopped from running most of the time for the last two days. Now they say the Coast Guard can’t help because the Commercial vessels are more important than us. It is because of them breaking the ice to get up and down the river that we have an ice problem. The Coast Guard has at least three ice breakers down river helping the very boats that caused our problem. The CG says they are obligated to help them first and us when they can. They say they will send air help if needed for the ambulance. I say horse hockey! That chopper is two hours away at best and we have more old heart and stroke type residents on this Island than the average rest home. Mark Gill of the CG says “well you choose to live there.” That is true, we do choose to live here, and a few of us lived here before they put that seaway through here in the fifties.

The people of Sugar, Needish and Drummond Islands are taxpayers too. We don’t have lobbyist or big power brokers over the CG, but we are American Citizens and deserve the same or even more consideration than a big steel company. Has our Government come down to where the Coast Guard has to bow and scrape for money to survive from a steel company, or is there yet more under the table money available for a few individuals, perhaps on a local basis. This may need checking into by your Office.

I ask you Senator, please do something, we have over 450 men, women and children that go to the mainland to work, attend schools and all sorts of health treatments that are needed daily. I am told they are saying that we can expect the same treatment until the 15 of January, which is the close of shipping season. Are a few extra tons of iron ore more important that the preservation of life in an emergency. If we aren’t to care about safety why have we got all these Boarder Paytrol people here? I sure hope it is to protect us, not the businesses in Canada. We never had this much trouble when we had the Mackinac Ice Breaker, not this one they sent us now, but the real one they turned into a tourist attraction for business profits in Cheboygan.

They said the ice boom didn’t help, well look for yourself.

I FOUND THE PICTURE. Yup it does hold the ice back for our Ferry. The other two booms out in the river will hold the rest of the ice coming from up river back too, if they are put in place. They haven’t been, why???

 Thanks for reading my ranting. Please do all you can for us. We need the help to protect us from the ICE.

Jesse Knoll

1710 N Honey Ln

Sugar Island

Sault Sainte Marie, MI.49783

906-632-9810

jesseknoll@wildblue.net

 

Is Freedom Of Information Act On Sugar Island “A JOKE” To The Township Board???

Please read what I ask for in my Freedom of Information Act request addressed to The Township Clerk, Lynda Garlitz and then look at what I received in reply.

I ask for Official Meeting Minutes of the act of “Authorization by the Sugar Island Township Board”  for the Township Clerk Garlitz to make a $24,000.00 refund request . I received the equivalent of a note in reply with no legal meeting minutes or motions properly made or supported with a vote properly taken to support the letter to the Chippewa County Road Commission sent by the Township Clerk, for the return of the $24,000.00 paid by the Township for road improvements to Whitehead Road.

Read the second letter and you will note that there is again no Board authorization to rescind the first letter sent. It states there was a discussion “at” a Township meeting. It does not state that this discussion took place during the official meeting.

I am now left to assume that the full Board had no knowledge of the first letter for sure, and perhaps not of the letter to rescind the first letter either. Is our Township Board perhaps “A one man or woman show”? I place below what causes me to wonder and assume as I was told to be free to do by both the Township Clerk and Treasurer after the October 2013 meeting.

 _____________________MY F.O.I.A. REQUEST ____________________

November 8. 2013

Sugar Island Township 6401 E 1 1/2 Mile Road Sault Ste. Marie. MI 49783

RE: Freedom of Information Act Request (F.O.l.A.)

To Sugar Island Township Clerk / F.O.I.A Coordinator:

Please consider this a request made pursuant to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.

Please produce the following:

(1)    A complete, accurate electronic copy, to be delivered by E-Mail to jesseknolI@wIldblue.net or a paper copy, to be delivered via the United States Postal Service, of any and all minutes, draft copy of any minutes, of any kind, including hand written notes of any meetings held, or authorizations made by anyone performing their appointed or elected authorized duties, for the electorate of the Township Of Sugar Island, Michigan, ordering the return of or refunding of, any monies paid to or signed over to the Chippewa County Road Commission. by the Sugar Island Township Board, to the Chippewa County Road Commission, for the purpose of future improvement work or services to he accomplished by the Chippewa County Road Commission, on Whitehead Road located on Sugar Island

For brevity of effort on your part. I ask that all records / files / documents be electronically transferred to me via E-Mail. This transfer is requested in a Portable Document Format (PDF) If the PDF format is unavailable to you. a comma delimited or Rich Text format is also acceptable. Should this request exceed $3.00 (three dollars) in fees of any kind, state the dollar amount over $3.00 and the reason for the charge, prior to complying with this request

If you cannot comply with the above request within five clays as provided Linden the Freedom of Information Act, please so inform the requester if you take the extension election for an additional 10 days to so respond.

If you fail to produce any of the above requested information based upon a claim of privilege, please specifically describe the “privilege” involved and identify any and all information withheld under a claim of privilege to allow a court of competent jurisdiction to conduct an in-camera review of same, if requested to do so.

Please find Check Number 3632 in the amount of $3.00 (Three Dollars) enclosed.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jesse Knoll

17 10  N. Honey Ln.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ml 49783

___________________________________________________________

____LETTER OF REQUEST BY TOWNSHIP FOR $24,000.00 REFUND____

Sugar Island Township

6401 E. 1 1/2 Mile Road, Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

Twp. Office Phone: 906-253-9353, Twp Office Fax: 906-635-9886

November 6, 2013

Chippewa County Road Commission

Mackinaw Trail

Sault Ste. Marie, Ml 49783

Dear Board,

I, Lynda A. Garlitz, Clerk of Sugar Island would like to request the funds sent to you July 9, 2013 for the Whitehead Road improvement contract returned. You were sent $24,067.00 on July 9, 2013 with the anticipation that the project would be started Fall 2013. This project has now been delayed and will not start until Spring of 2014.

Sugar Island Township would like to have these fund returned so that we can continue to make interest for the township and their taxpayers until The Chippewa County Road Commission sets a date for the start of this project. When Sugar Island Township is notified the project will begin, a new check will be issued in the amount of $24,067.00.

Respectfully,

Lynda A. Garlitz, Clerk
Sugar Island Township

_______________________________________________________________________

______________SECOND LETTER TO ROAD COMMISSION___________________

Sugar Island Township

6401 E. 11/2 Mile Road, Sault Ste. Marie, ME 49783

Twp. Office Phone: 906-253-9353, Twp Office Fax: 906-635-9886

November 13, 2013

Chippewa County Road Commission

Mackinaw Trail

Sault Ste. Marie, MI 49783

Dear Board,

Per a discussion at the November 12, 2013 Sugar Island Township Board Meeting, I would like to rescind my letter of November 6, 2013. The Sugar Island Township Board wishes to keep our contract for Whitehead Road improvements in tact.

Please advise the Sugar Island Township Board when the Whitehead Road project is expected to begin.

Respectfully,

Lynda A. Garlitz, Clerk

Sugar Island Township

___________________________________________________________________________

Jesse Knoll

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                             Freedom Information Act Request Cost Worksheet

 

Pursuant to Section 4 of the Michigan Freedom of Information Act, MCL 15.234, t he following costs will be charged for responses to FOIA requests, according to the FOIA      Jesse    Knoll       11/8/13   
Fee Schedule adopted and periodically revised by the township board.      
Copying (per copy cost):      
Copying costs may be charged if a copy of a public record is requested, or if a copy is required to      
allow for blacking out exempt information, to protect old or delicate original records, or because the      
original record is a digital file or database not available for public inspection.

                                                                                               Letter (single-sided): 5  cents per page

Letter (double-sided):__ cents per page Legal (single-sided):__ cents per page Legal(double-sided):__cents per page

                     Other:__________________________________ Cost per page:________

 Other Media (tape/disk/drive): _______________________  Cost:__________

Number of pages:x 2X                                    =X _________________

 X

 X x

=

Total Cost$_.10$_________  
$_________  
   
$________  
$  
Labor Cost for Copying (hourly wage): Number of minutes: Total Cost  

Hourly Wage Charged:    $7.40

x             /          = $ _.12.  
Mailing: Number of envelopes: Total Cost  

                                                                              No. 10 Business Envelope:    cents

                                                                                                9 x 12 Envelope:     cents

10 x 13 Envelope: – cents

Other: – cents

X         1           XXX    
   
   
   
$____.46___  

Postage (select method): $.46_per stamp

$_______ per pound
$_____ per package

Actual Postage: xIX X  
   
   

Labor Cost for Separating Exempt from Non-Exempt Information (hourly wage):

     
Due to the nature of the request, a labor charge may be charged for the search, examination, review,      

and (if appropriate) the deletion and separation of exempt from non-exempt information as provided in

     

Section 4 of the Freedom of Information Act, MCL 15.234. This fee is being charged because failure to

     
do so would result in unreasonably high costs to the township, specifically: Number of minutes:X      2                 = Total Cost                           $     .24      
   
   
   

Hourly Wage Charged:   7.40  

 
  Subtotal

$__1.02__

 

Proof or Affidavit of Indigency Submitted

Subtract $20.00 $—–  
  Estimated Cost $ 1.02  
Note: Estimated Cost Exceeds $50.00. Good Faith Deposit of 50% Required Before Request Will Be Processed 50% Deposit Date Paid: 11/8/13  $3.00  
  Balance Due    

Note: Request Will Be Processed,

But Balance Must Be Paid Before Copies May Be Picked Up, Delivered, or Mailed

Date Paid: 11/14/13 $ 1.02  

 

(June 2011)

Proposed Fredom of Information Act Law Changes

This  Article copied below was Published in the Sunday November 25, 2013 Evening News.

FOIA  fixes  will  benefit  Michiganders

(AP) – A committee in the Michigan House has sent a bill making essential improvements to the state’s Freedom of Information Act to the full chamber for consideration, likely later this year.

That is good news for media organiza­tions that fight battles to get public infor­mation on a regular basis. But it’s even better news for citizens, who are entitled to see records that let them evaluate the quality of their government.

Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act was passed in the 1970s and has been amended and updated many times. But its core purpose remains the same: The act protects citizens’ rights to request and review any government document that is not specifically exempted.

Over the decades, too many government officials have come to view the law not as a matter of citizens’ access, but as a mat­ter of protecting information from disclo­sure. Some jurisdictions have blatantly attempted to turn it into a revenue source by charging large fees to prepare docu­ments for review or to copy them.

In some cases the FOIA coordinators assigned to manage contact with the pub­lic and the media are so badly informed about their obligations or their agency operations that they declined to release information that later was discovered to be on a government website.

House Bill 4001, sponsored by Rep. Mike Shirkey, R-Clarklake, strives to end to the worst abuses. It prevents charging copying fees to those who merely wish to look at records. It limits copying charges to 10 cents per page and allows labor charges up to triple the state’s minimum wage, currently $7.40 per hour. It also reduces an agency’s fees for each day that it is late in providing information and increases punitive damages for violations from $500 to $5,000.

Another key provision would alter the current law that says citizens who lose a court appeal after an agency denied their request then have to pay the agency’s legal fees. People ought not be punished for attempting to hold government account­able.

Government should be accountable to the citizens it serves.

Lansing State Journal

Does any of the abuses named above seem to be consistent with the way Sugar Island Elected Officials are presently handling F.O.I.As?

 

My FOIA and Transparency Concerns of Sugar Island Township Government

At the beginning of 2013 I spoke with Treasurer Davidson about placing a FOIA to her requesting all the Financial Records of the Township in her posession as elected Treasurer of the Township, so that I might place them on this website as I have done with many of the Township minutes and other things. She ask me to hold off with my FOIA until after the “income tax season” explaining that she was busy filing income tax forms for others. I agreed. Why not wait as it was to be for informational purposes, for the Island Residents and there was no particular hurry to get it all up on this site anyway.

I did place this FOIA request in person with Township Clerk Garlitz being the only one in the Office to receive it, during the Senior Meal. At that time, I ask Clerk Gartlitz whom the Supervisor had designated as the “FOIA Coordinating Officer for the Township” was? She replied that it was Mrs. Marge Snider and that she would see that she got my FOIA request. I then left the Clerk’s Office and went out to have the Senior Lunch. About ten minutes later, while eating lunch, I observed Mrs. Snider going into the Clerk’s Office. At that time, I made a comment to John Willis concerning why Mrs. Marge Snider would have been appointed to the Coordinating Official FOIA Position, there being legal time constrains to meet with FOIA requests and Mrs. Snider not being a sworn elected Officer of the Township. I did comment to Mr. Willis how efficient Mrs. Garlitz and Mrs. Snider seem to be in how quickly she would receive my FOIA request. His reply to me was that he had always turned his FOIA requests into the Township Clerk and had no idea why she would say such a thing.

I did receive a reply, in May to my FOIA request form, from Sugar Island Clerk Garlitz, requesting a ten day extension to my April FOIA request. This extension request is a very legal request, when the requested party for some reason or another can’t meet the information criteria of the request in the original five day period. Clerk Garlitz said that she needed more specific directions as to what I wanted in my FOIA to the Treasurer. I did wonder why she was contacting me concerning my FOIA request, when she had said that Mrs. Snider was the FOIA Coordinator handling such FOIA matters for the Township. I have copied my FOIA request below for all to read, wondering how much more specific I can be or could have been. I am also placing the extension request, from the Township below, to help with clarity to what should be a very simple FOIA request by me.

It is my belief; it would take a lawyer and an expensive one to be more specific than I tried to be in my original FOIA request document.

I then attended the October 8th 2013 Sugar Island Township Board Meeting. During the “Public Comment” agenda item period, I questioned the whereabouts of the FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) in magnetic document format I had requested of the Treasurer on Monday April 22, 2013 via Clerk Garlitz and up to then Mrs. Snider whom I was told was the appointed FOIA Coordinator?

I addressed the Supervisor with this question as all conversation must be addressed to the Chairman of the Board at a formal meeting. The Supervisor is automatically the Chairman of ALL Township Meetings and a Member of all other Committees, Boards and Authorities he may appoint or cause to be appointed. The Township Supervisor is also required to function as the Secretary to Boards like the Tax Board of Review as he has the final say on any tax or land disputes. This final say is it, even if he does hire or appoint another to do his Primary Elected Job, which is the Assessment of All Properties and Personal Property within the land boundaries of the Township.

Before the Supervisor could start to make a reply to me or direct my question to the Treasurer, Clerk Garlitz jumped into the conversation to inform me that Sugar Island did not have an Enhanced web site and therefore my FOIA request could not be met. I replied to her that Sugar Island does in fact have a web site and had had one for years even though she or whoever was being paid to tend it was not doing a very good job.

By definition, an enhanced web site means that you may down load a document, such as the minutes to a meeting, either for free or payment. This did seem to infuriate the Clerk, with both the Clerk and Treasurer informing me that they would not do a “Data Dump” for me or anyone. I replied that I had never asked for a “Data Dump” in my life of them or anyone in Township government. I said, I was asking for the Treasurer’s complete records, no more, no less, to be placed on the new unopened Flash Drive I had provided to them with my initial April FOIA. The conversation then ended in the Public Comment Agenda Item.

I went up to the Head Table after the meeting held on October 8th to speak with Treasurer Davidson. Treasurer Davidson started out by saying I had placed “miss-information” on the Sugar Island Review website in that “what” I was calling a “Treasurer’s Report” was not in any way a “Treasurer’s Report”. She said that she does not make a written report for the Public but does make a report to the Township Board which she reads to them at the meeting. When I ask why I could not have the report on magnetic media (Flash drive provided by me), she replied that while she does create this fund balance report on a computer, she then erases it from the computer, after printing it, thus making it unavailable by any means but paying her to recreate it on paper, if she receives a FOIA requesting it.

I ask her if she believed in Transparency in Government and said that I thought her just erasing of documents was leaving suspicions of improper conduct, to be open for my consideration. She replied that was why a FOIA needed to be filed by me for each sheet of paper I wanted to see.  If anyone wants information, they can just get it through a FOIA. I replied that I had placed a FOIA for information and been given what I think is a run-around by  her and the Township Clerk.

I explained to Treasurer Davidson that the “Transaction List” left out almost all the information a common resident might ask, such as, for what purpose was the expenditure (what did you buy?)?

I said that the FOIA charge per page, “paper reply only policy” by Sugar Island Township was a time consuming policy, a waste of paper policy, and a poor way to reply to a FIOA attitude by her. I said this attitude by her could easily lead to many residents of the Island ending up with many unanswered questions and then to many inaccurate assumptions, which then could start many unpleasant rumors. Her reply was I can either FOIA every detail on paper or go ahead and assume whatever I like.

Clerk Garlitz stood beside her during this verbal exchange and appeared to support all she said. I told her that in all the Transaction Lists placed on the Sugar Island Review site by me, I will start placing my questions in BOLD and let the readers make their own assumptions as to what the answers may be.

To demonstrate how TRANSPARENT our State government in most instances is and what Transparency in Government is intended to be, in my mind, follow these steps:

  1. Click on the www. address to the right or type www.michigan.gov in the address window of your web browser.
  2. Type “Sugar Island Causeway” in the “Search Box” located in the upper right hand corner of the web page that appears, then press enter. You will notice that any of the words “Sugar Island Causeway” will be in “BOLD” print in each item that has a reference to “Sugar Island Causeway” contained in it.
  3. The first item “Michigan Areas of Concern” will make good information available to a concerned Island resident/citizen about the Causeway Improvement Project.
  4. The other articles found below the item in step #3 will also be of interest to anyone that takes the whole areas general betterment into consideration. There has been an effort by a few largely uninformed residents to prevent the project using any tactic they can.
  5. To deepen your search Type  “Jesse Knoll” after “Sugar Island Causeway” so it reads “Sugar Island Causeway Jesse Knoll” in the “Search Box” located in the upper right hand corner of the web page that appears, then press enter. You will notice that the words Sugar Island and Jesse Knoll will be in “BOLD” print each item that has a reference to “Jesse Knoll” or Sugar Island is contained in it. Move your mouse cursor over an item of interest such as the first one “HOUSE STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES, TOURISM, AND …: and when it turns from a “arrow pointer” to a “hand pointer” again click your left mouse button or press enter to view or read that item and so on for each item that contains the bolded search words. The sought after search words will be somewhere in the text of the article, not necessarily in the top line of text.
  6. The HOUSE STANDING COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES, TOURISM, AND … item may be good support for anyone in an argument over the length of time residents have had to consider this Causeway Project. The Township Supervisor stated today the very hurriedly called Special Meeting of the Sugar Island Township Board was necessary to create an Official Resolution placing “Sugar Island Residents” on record against the “Causeway Improvement Project” do to so little time notice. One member of the Board (Marvin “Bud” Willis) made an objection as to how he was or had been notified of / found out that this Special Meeting was to take place.  The Supervisor replied that a notice of the meeting had been placed on the Ferry for all that wished to attend to read it. Does this seem like this represents Transparency in Government to our Supervisor? Supervisor McKerchie declared the Resolution Passed with, Supervisor McKerchie, Clerk Garletz, and Trustee Biron voting in favor of the Resolution with Trustee Willis having the only opposing vote while Treasurer Davidson was absent. Maybe she didn’t read the notice on the Ferry.
  7. If you do steps 1 & 5 the first item to appear on the search selection list will be minutes of a meeting that I and Louise Bledsoe attended. I was representing Chippewa County as a County Commissioner, and Louise Bledsoe was representing Sugar Island Township as Township Clerk at a Public Hearing being held at the Lake Superior University on the Proposed Causeway Culvert Improvements in 2011.
  8. Should you want further information on say the second name attending the meeting go back to the www.michigan.gov website (Step 1) and then type “Louise Bledsoe” into the search box located in the upper right of the page, then press enter. Because Louise Bledsoe and I both attended a public hearing on the proposed Public improvement to the Causeway Road on September 23, 2011 and both of us were elected Public Servants at the time, everything we did is available on the internet or should be, if the intent of Transparent Government is being followed by the governing unit. If you would have yet another or further interest in Louise Bledsoe just read other articles listed below the one of the meeting at the University. The search words “Louise or Bledsoe” will be found in all the listed articles. At some point the “Louise or Bledsoe” will be left off with just one or them other appearing in the article. If both are not found together, make sure that you are still looking at the return to you search and not something pertaining to perhaps another “Louise” or Bledsoe.
  9. For a final demonstration of Transparency in this article, do step 1 and then type “Sugar Island Road”. You may be amazed at all the good things available through Transparency in Government. Everything the County Commission has done for the last many years is also available, along with the State Legislators, Federal law makers, etc…

There may be things those of us that run for office aren’t the proudest of in our lives, but all of our actions are supposed to be open to public scrutiny, because we did place ourselves up for election to represent our friends and neighbors and ALL the rest of the People in the voting area, whether they like us or not, not just the people we feel voted for us. We are supposed to be personally honest, up front, ready to fight for the rights of ALL the residents, not just our own self interest or beliefs. We are supposed to stand up against corruption in office. We must be conscientious in the performance of our elected duties. We should be knowledgeable or become knowledgeable in all the aspects of our elected office. We are expected to be transparent in elected and personal life. We have to be open to constructive criticism, forgiving of the comments and actions of others caused by ignorance. We very much need to be  caring, compassionate, type individuals .

The FOIA law was created to give a common citizen a means to force our elected officials to a transparency level that some do not want to attain, likely because of a miss-service or miss-behavior in office, or prior to taking office. I personally “doubt” any elected official who uses the FOIA law as a money maker or excuse for not having the records available free of charge on the internet.

One and all readers may feel free to use my format in a FOIA request and altering it to their specific needs.

I personally feel that if you have nothing to hide as an elected official, then all documents should be available for all to see. Some Legal Exceptions to Transparency in Government documents are Social Security numbers and reprimands of an employee or certain health conditions of a employee or institutionalized resident, Union Negotiations prior to the ratification of the contract, etc. also are held back from the Transparency FOIA laws. There are some things such as a Government Union Contracts, (EUPTA, Courthouse Employees, Sheriff Deputies ETC.. for example) after they are ratified, that must be made Public. If you care to check with the County Clerk for these documents, you may find some documents of this type have “not” been filed. It is the Unit of Government’s responsibility to file these documents, not the County Clerk’s duty to seek them out for recording.

When I go to the County Clerk or Township Clerk, for that matter, and am denied the Public document I seek, I start to wonder why is it not available, are they hiding something, what are they hiding, are they just lazy and taking the tax payer’s money without doing a respectable job, is it just an over site and a reminder will get it done.

In this case, I have given the reminder and not seen a product, which leaves all the rest open to my way of thinking.

Jesse Knoll

 

 

My FOIA to Treasurer Davidson, I say, how much more detail could I ask for??

April  22, 2013

Sugar  Island Township

6401 E 1 ½ Mile Road

Sault Ste. Marie, Ml 49783

RE:   Freedom of Information Act Request (F.O.I.A.)

To Sugar Island Township Treasurer/appointed FOIA administrator:

Please consider this a request made pursuant to Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.

Please produce the following:

(1)          A complete, accurate electronic copy of any and all records: of any kind including merchant invoices, account statements, purchase orders, delivery tickets, Request for Quote (RFQ), Request for Proposal (RFP), check registers, financial statements, reconciliation reports and statements, agreements or contracts of financial obligation/indebtedness by the Township, from all accounts, revenue records/revenues from all sources, from/to all vendors hired to provide/receive any service, commodity or material item from/to Sugar Island Township or its elected/appointed officials in the performance of their duties. All records of material items being disposed of for any reason, all forms of compensation made to all elected or appointed persons.

(2)          This request is for a magnetic recording of these records but not limited to magnetic means if for some reason these magnetic records/files have been erased or never existed. Written documentation that in any way reflects Sugar Island Township’s Treasurer’s files, ledgers or records not so magnetically recorded will be made available for scanning, time to be agreed upon. All financial ledgers, invoices to/from Sugar Island Township are to be included during the time period of November 20th 2000 through to the present

(3)          Any and all correspondence of any kind by and between Sugar Island Treasurers and/or any of their predecessors, appointed representatives and/or agents that in any way refers to any financial transactions/minutes or notes involving anything of any nature pertaining to a financial transaction created/executed by all elected/appointed persons/employees of Sugar Island Township at any time during the time period of November 20th 2000 through to the present should be thought of as included in this request.

For brevity of effort on your part, I ask that all records/files/documents be electronically transferred to the unopened 8 GB flash drive delivered to you with this request for this purpose. This transfer is requested in a Portable Document Format (PDF). If the PDF format is unavailable to you, a comma delimited or Rich Text format is also acceptable. Should this request exceed $30.00 (thirty dollars) in fees of any kind, state the dollar amount over $30.00 and the reason for the charge, prior to complying with this request for information retrieval (The process of searching for and recovering specific data from large quantities of information stored in a computer).

Permission from the requester for payment of any fees over $30.00 must be obtained, by you from me, prior to complying with this request .

If you cannot comply with the above request within five days as provided under the Freedom of Information Act, please so inform if you make the election for an additional 10 days to so respond.

 

If you fail to produce any of the above requested information based upon a claim of privilege, please specifically describe the “privilege” involved and identify any and all information withheld under a claim of privilege to allow a court of competent jurisdiction to conduct an in-camera review of same, if requested to do so.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jesse Knoll

1710 N. Honey Ln.

Sault Ste. Marie, Ml 49783

 

The 10 Day Extension Request because it was filled in by hand and not typed will be here as soon as I figure out how to get it here. I think I have it figured below.

TREASURER REPLY

 

 

SENIOR & MEALS ON WHEELS MENU

Senior and Meals on Wheels Menus can now be found for the currant month here, by first clicking on the heading Government, then S I File Downloads, then Senior & Meals on Wheels Community Action Menus, and finally on the year and month.

Regular Landline Phones Are On The Way Out

I have been saying for a long time that the reason AT&T will not repair our lines on the Island to a good quality standard was that they where going to quit using landlines.

Please read the legislation they are asking our lawmakers to approve right now. I have copied it right below my text. The criteria allowing them to quit, is easy for them to meet. The the two alternate phone service sources needed by them to quit landline service to the Island already exist. Their own AT&T Cell Phone and their competitor Verison. The fact that there are many spots on the Island that can only be serviced by a cell phone using a Mini Cell Tower through an Internet Satellite System will have no effect on the decision by our lawmakers, I am betting.

This is the proposed legislation which I predict will be passed soon. AT&T has deep pockets to get what they want and they want this. It will save them millions.

AT&T Bill to Eliminate Landlines in Committee

October 25, 2013

SB 636, sponsored by Sen. Mike Nofs (R-Calhoun County) was introduced and brought to the Senate Energy and Technology Committee this week.  The bill would allow incumbent landline telephone providers to eliminate copper landlines with sufficient notice to customers and the public in the area.  AT&T argued that it is replacing copper lines with broadband cable and wireless. To eliminate the copper lines, the company would have to go before the Federal Communications Commission, so it wants to eliminate the state Public Service Commission jurisdiction on the matter.  Currently, state law forbids an incumbent landline company from eliminating “plain old telephone service” (POTS) unless there are at least two similar services available in the area.  MAC has a number of questions related to public safety in rural areas and the implications of possibly not having a provider of last resort, and will take the bill up in the MAC Judiciary Committee on Monday for review.