Budget message: A Conservative Approach Yields Large Returns

Every four years, the Meridian Township voters are faced with Township Board elections. With the draft budget before the current board next Tuesday, I want to take this moment to acknowledge some of the major fiscal accomplishments that have benefited the residents of Meridian Township.

The current Township Board has worked collectively to respond rapidly to two major storms (December 21, 2013 and July 8, 2016), ongoing management of the Chronic Wasting Disease and increasing the general fund balance by $1,300,000. Maintaining unparalleled public safety has been the hallmark of this Board. Since 2012, the Board allocated funds to purchase all new turnout gear for the fire department and body worn cameras for the police department. Additionally, they responded to the call for school safety with improvements on Kinawa Drive near Chippewa Middle School.

Thanks to the voters in Meridian Township the new Central Fire Station opened on February 1, 2016. Plans are in place this year for each of the three fire stations to be equipped with an ambulance. The safety of our residents is of utmost importance.

Our park system is well known throughout the region and state as the model to reach for. We salute the outstanding relationship between our voters, the Park Commission and the Township Board. Over the past 4 years, the Meridian Township parks system has reached new heights. With the improvements to Brattin Woods Park, Central Park, Ferguson Park, Hartrick Park, Hillbrook Park, Nancy Moore Park, North Meridian Road Park, Newton Road Park, Orlando Park, Wonch Park, and the Harris Nature Center and Meridian Historical Village; Meridian Township Parks have become a destination for visitors.

With the exception of the Central Fire Station, all of this was accomplished with no tax increases and no additional debt burden for our taxpayers.

We have our ongoing challenges; however, at every turn we stepped up to the plate and worked as a group to provide first-rate customer service and an overwhelmingly compassionate response during our two major storms. The governing body found a way to commit a $1,000,000 in additional funding to the MERS pension fund and increased local road funding by $100,000 per year. Addressing increased pensions will be continued challenge facing us in the years ahead.

The 2017 draft budget is being presented before the Township Board on September 6. The Township Board should be acknowledged and thanked for their passion, loyalty and exemplary public service to the community these past four years. The public is invited and welcomed to attend the Township Board Budget Meeting on Tuesday, September 6, 2016 at 6:00 p.m. Read the recommended 2017 budget proposal available online.

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Memorial Day of Honor

My father, Carleton Walsh, served in the U.S. Air Force from 1952 until 1955. My brother is my only sibling and retired from the U.S. Air Force in 2008. My father was stationed in Greenland and my brother spent a lot of time in Okinawa.

Franks family photo
My family enjoying a Tiger Baseball Game in 2011 at Comerica Park

I grew up in a family where military service was a mainstay. Growing up in a military family taught me the respect of the American flag and the importance of properly displaying the flag. I remember my father would show up at my doorstep, no matter which home I lived in, with a flag in hand. That meant a lot to me. I participate in the Kiwanis Club of Haslett flag program which hangs flags six times a year. The “Flags Over Meridian” program brings back memories of the honor and respect my father taught me.

Ironically, the bridge completion on Okemos Road is expected to be on Flag Day, June 14th. This Memorial Day weekend, we hang the “Flags Over Meridian” to honor all those who serve and we thank them for their service.

I encourage you to take part in one of two Memorial Day Services being held in the Township on Monday, May 30th. The Township offices will be closed that day as we spend the day in remembrance, honor and tribute to those who have sacrificed for our country.

Happy Memorial Day

Meridian Township Service at Glendale Cemetery

American Legion Service at the World War II Memorial at Rayla Elementary School

Pardon our Dust: Township Improvements

premier dance

Today, we welcome another new business to the Township, Premier Dance Company in Haslett who is hosting a grand opening tonight. We’re happy to be a community of choice for businesses and we’re happy to see these openings as a sign of the economy going up and thriving in Meridian Township. We appreciate the investments new and long-time established businesses have made in redeveloping sites that were vacant, signing new lease agreements where space was once vacant, as well as upgrading and renovating existing sites. Continue reading “Pardon our Dust: Township Improvements”

I Give My Heart and Sole: Parkinson’s 5K Walk and Run

Parkinson's Walk Sole LogoI am proud to be an Honorary Chair of this year’s Parkinson’s Walk-a-Thon for the Michigan Parkinson Foundation. I think most of us know someone who is living with Parkinson’s. I give my sole to Parkinson’s on Saturday, August 8th in honor of Ron Momany of St. Joseph. Ron was the Finance Director/Clerk in St. Joseph, and I had the pleasure of working with him in the mid-90’s. Ron was diagnosed with Parkinson’s around 10 years ago. He is not alone in his journey and I invite you to walk with us this Saturday to show support. Continue reading “I Give My Heart and Sole: Parkinson’s 5K Walk and Run”