Fighting Local Government Corruption - Part 4 of ?

Dalton Township has a need for change. We need a change in our policies and procedures. That change has to be slow, steady, consistent, and reasonable. It has to be done in a transparent way that the citizens can trust, and there has to be the opportunity for participation and contribution. But there is a change that needs to happen before all of that, and that's a personnel change.


I will be writing a list of grievances here. I will be presenting this list of grievances at the Dalton Township Board Meeting on June 10th. Let's see what this list might look like. (It might take a couple of tries.)

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We, the citizens of Dalton Township, have found a disparity between the legal and moral conduct that we expect from our representative government officials, and what has been delivered. These violations of trust include, but are not limited to:

Item 1 - Not pursuing just means of mediation between citizens of the community.

Item 2 - Using immoral and illegal means of intimidation, deception, and secrecy against local farms and businesses, such as Hidden Creek Farm.

Example one - Improperly providing notice of suit according to the Michigan Court Officers' Civil Process Handbook, and thus thwarting due process.

Example two - Repeatedly telling citizens that no litigation was initiated against Hidden Creek Farm when, in fact, litigation had been filed.

Example three - Not complying with the Michigan Open Meetings Act.

Item 3 - Not informing Board Trustees of Dalton Township that Dalton Township was involved with litigation, when such action could only have been approved at an open meeting if it were to be done legally.

Item 4 - Lying to the news, the public, and the citizens of Dalton Township about targeting Hidden Creek Farm and its owners with a legal suit.

For these ethical and legal breaches of conduct, we demand change. We demand that the Dalton Township officials begin following the law. We demand that changes in both policies and procedures be implemented in a slow, consistent, and reasonable manner that acknowledges the universal individual rights of the citizens of Dalton Township. We demand the transparency that is necessary to start restoring trust in our representative officials and encourages the participation and contribution of citizens. And, to begin this change, we demand the resignation of Dalton Township Supervisor Tony Barnes.

Signature,

 ____________

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I think that's okay. I also think it could be better. Maybe the examples should be their own items. Let's think about a couple of things, then I'll come back to that.

Here's a quote from Fox 17 News:

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"Dalton Township has not filed any litigation against Hidden Creek Farm seeking to shut them down... Dut to reports received of the heavy traffic created by a similar previous event held by the Farm on April 20, 2019, where no off street parking was provided, Dalton Township took steps to ensure the safety of all involved."

Tony Barnes, Dalton Township Supervisor

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(There are two lies in that statement by Tony. The obvious one about litigation, and that No off-street parking was provided.)

I also called the township and talked to the zoning administrator Lorraine Grabinski. I was told that the township had filed a restraining order against the farm to stop them from having any events. That's true. I was also told that neighbor Ken had filed a lawsuit against the farm. That's true. I was also told that the township did not have a lawsuit against the farm.

I read the court documents where Dalton Township is listed as the Plaintiff, and Crystal, Lee, and Hidden Creek Farm are listed as the Defendants in the Muskegon County Circuit Court. There are three attorneys listed for the plaintiff. There are zero attorneys listed for the defendants.

The basic idea is that the township says that Crystal and Lee can't have a farm on their land, or any type of commercial activity at all. This is exactly why the Michigan Right to Farm Act was passed, to protect community farms from this type of thing. It would appear that it isn't that effective.

It also appears that there has been deception within the Dalton Township Board itself. For instance, below Mark Baker's first video about the township suing the farm there was a comment that said:

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5/26/19
"I have only heard that the Township is not in any litigation to shut down the farming operation of Hidden Creek Farms."

Daniel Hess, Elected Dalton Township Trustee

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I don't know what to say about all of this.

The land of the free. The home of the brave. The land of opportunity. Rule of law. Universal individual rights. Really?

I'm going to sign this grievance list and present it at the meeting. If other citizens feel that it properly represents the violations that the township has committed then I would like them to sign it as well. Currently, I talk about deception twice. So, I need to work a few things out. Let's see if I can make it a bit better. I want it to be to the point. I want it to be something that I want to sign.

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Dalton Township Citizens' Resolution

We, the citizens of Dalton Township, find our representative officials in violation of the moral and legal conduct that we expect and deserve.

For, not pursuing just means of mediation between citizens.

For, not complying with the Michigan Right to Farm Act.

For, not complying with the Michigan Open Meetings Act.

For, not complying with the Michigan Court Officers' Civil Process Handbook.

For, lying to the news, the public, and the citizens of Dalton Township about targeting Hidden Creek Farm and its owners with a lawsuit.

For, these breaches of trust;

We Demand, the resignation of Dalton Township Supervisor Tony Barnes.

We Demand, transparency in the actions taken by the township.

And, We Demand, greater protection of universal individual rights in our policies and procedures.

Citizen Signatures,

_________

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The line about the Michigan Right to Farm Act points out that the township is violating individual property rights. The line about the Michigan Open Meetings Act points out that the township is violating transparency. The line about the Michigan Court Officers' Civil Process Handbook points out that the township is violating due process.

I feel good about that one. I want to sign it, and I will. If other citizens of Dalton Township wish to sign it, I will make it available to them. (I will make changes over the next week if necessary, but I like the way it looks right now.)

This does not force Tony to resign. It only shows that citizens support his resignation. If he does not Resign, we have the right as citizens to initiate a Recall. If the recall is not approved, we have the duty to Replace him in the 2020 election.

At this time I am not fully sure of the culpability of other members of the Dalton Township Board. I am sure that it will be revealed over time. That is why I believe it would help clarify the issue if the parties that were interested released resolutions of support, or affidavits, in support of Hidden Creek Farm.

"Prometheus Bound" by Aeschylus is one of the greatest written works in history. In that story, Prometheus is punished by Zeus for aiding humanity. While reading about that I wondered if I would be willing to stand against tyranny on my own. I am. There will be at least one signature. I wonder if others are willing to stand with me.

You can find the other articles here: http://www.jeffreyalexandermartin.com/search/label/Government

You can find the Facebook group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2275100969473041/?ref=bookmarks

You can join the mailing list here: https://www.fixdalton.com/

You can find the Facebook event here: https://www.facebook.com/events/802517473467484/

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You can find more of what I'm doing at http://www.JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com

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