Voters in West Bloomfield Township tonight approved both public safety millage proposals on the ballot.
Voters approved the 3.1378 mill renewal with 7,589 yes votes over 1,825 no votes. Voters also approved the 2.85 mill increase with 5,049 yes votes over 4,285 no votes.
Police Chief Michael Patton thanked the Township Board, as well as citizens and staff for their effort in working to get both proposals passed.
"The Board made the right decision to put this on the ballot when they did, waiting until after , so lots of respect goes to them," Patton said. "That would have been a lingering question for residents — what have our public officials done to change with the times? And they helped us answer that."
Fire Chief Jay Wiseman added that his time spent campaigning with Patton offered a look at what citizens were concerned with in passing the proposals. Wiseman agreed with Patton that the "first question" from residents which he spoke with had to do with concessions from public safety officials, followed by what defeating the proposals would entail.
"People wanted to know about what it would mean to their propoerty values if the quality of police and fire services were to go down, and what had happened to make an increase necessary," Wiseman said. "Once they understood that, I think, many people changed their minds and decided to support the initiative."
“What a great night for the residents of the township,” said Shaughnessy. “Our voters said with a clear voice that they wanted to maintain the high level of public safety services that they have enjoyed for many years.”
Trustee Howard Rosenberg said of the results: “I’m pleased and gratified that the residents have responded in the manner in which they have. We can continue to provide the same high level of service as we have in the past.”
Trustee Gene Farber commended the public safety employee unions: “Our public safety employees made significant concessions in wages and benefits in their collective bargaining agreements. Without making those concessions, I doubt the voters would have endorsed these proposals.”