April 26, 2016 
To: Whom it may Concern  
From: John S. Porter, MBA 
Re: The One Community Concept   

I served as East Bay Township Supervisor from 1980 to 1992. From the beginning, in August of 1980, it seemed that something was very wrong with our local government.  

At the time of my election, East Bay residents on Avenue E were being poisoned by groundwater contamination. The local, State, and Federal responses were aggressive, however, the government fragmentation between the City, the Township, and the County made an effective response limited. For several years there were people refusing to connect to the City water main because doing so would expose them to the possibility of city taxes.  This situation took years to resolve and 16 years later (in 1996) it proved problematic when East Bay Township split it's water system off from the city. Further extensions of the system to Acme and the Turtle Creek Casino were eliminated by the East Bay action.   

This colored my thinking about what we are trying to do through government.  The recent Flint water troubles, although involving more people, are not generically different than Traverse City's experience in the early eighties. People got hurt.  

Working together as a community on shared problems makes sense, even when some people benefit more or less than others. A simple example might be when a sewer or water main is installed in an existing neighborhood. The people with newer wells and septic systems don't seem to benefit so much . . .  at first. Successful public projects have tangible benefits by upping the community, although it may not be so obvious in the beginning.  You may have a new septic system, but your child may come home smelling like sewage anyway. He could play in the neighbor's yard where there is a failing septic system. 

Working together as a community is important.  

In 1983 the President of the local regional planning agency, Patrick J. McCafferty, raised this issue, in part in response to the East Bay conflict with Traverse City.  He invited a conversation about consolidating the community's local governments and what could be gained. Over the years that followed, some synergies were achieved, such as the District Library, BATA, Sr. Center, etc. However, the lost opportunities have become clear to those of us who have been watching. 

Over the last eight years, I have compiled a number of videos pertaining to the issues that we face with respect to the one community concept.  You can view them by clicking on the links that follow.  

Comments are welcome at www.facebook.com/ HYPERLINK "http://www.facebook.com/jaxteapartyoftc"jaxteapartyoftc 

 

  

Local Government Related Links One Community Concept  

1)  
https://www.dropbox.com/s/b0ysrkzx4u9g50q/JTP2_1.mpg?dl=0    
This is an introduction to the series relating to local government. A self-serving legal opinion creates an opportunity for attorneys to create zoning enforcement work. They guide inexperienced township officials into murky and expensive legal waters.  (About 18 and a half minutes)  

2)  
https://www.dropbox.com/s/sdhku77bfkpiris/Tragedy_At_Brownbridge_Reloaded.mpg?dl=0  
A park serving East Bay Township and Paradise Township is drastically modified without significant formal involvement of those two local governments.  (About 53 minutes)  

3)  
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mmka2kgzvv8rt0m/Michigan_Townships_Association.mpg?dl=0  
Michigan Township Association Director Larry Merrill discusses the merits of urban consolidation of governments, compared with intergovernmental contracting for shared services. (About 24 and a half minutes.)  

4)  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JiaJW-S6jTU  
A short history of the United States, US expansion, and the nature of city growth. (About 25 and a half minutes)  

5)  
https://www.dropbox.com/s/lg9aop6jt6oaire/Tragic_Government.mpg?dl=0  
The overview of budgets out of control and why State and Local budgets matter. (About 23 and a half minutes)  

6)  
https://www.dropbox.com/s/6ms60bssosirqft/A1_Widescreen.mpg?dl=0  
Part 1 of a two hour video discussion on the "Need To" and the "How To" of local government consolidation. The Battle Creek Township annexation of 1982 is used as a case study. (About one hour)  

7)  
https://www.dropbox.com/s/g9ibu09kqsd6sdg/A2_Widescreen.mpg?dl=0 Part 2 of a two hour video discussion on the "Need To" and the "How To" of local government consolidation. The Battle Creek Township annexation of 1982 is used as a case study.  (About an hour and five minutes)  

8)  
https://www.dropbox.com/s/mpx034pplrdgzta/Invasive_Species_of_East_Bay.mpg?dl=0  
Local environmental group attempts to get help from East Bay Township in fighting the invasive species: "Phragmites"  (About 36 minutes)  

9)  
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dt0tkuT5DMY  
This is a history of what happened with the septage facility. (About 48 minutes.)