Page 2-Thursday, May 4, 1978-The Michigan Daily
Supreme Court ruling may aid annexation
By JUDY RAKOWSKY
make it a heck of a lot
easier for the city to man-
age elections and sane} us
a lot of work.'
Michigan townships fighting annexa-
tion by neighboring municipalities were
rebuffed by a U.S. Supreme Court
decision Monday, clearing the road for
streamlining boundaries and voter
registration of the islands.
The high court refused to review the
appeal filed by Novi, Brighton and
Midland townships, giving the litigants
the option of appealing to the U.S.
federal district court. Annexation of
townships would mean that residents of
those areas would be reassessed and
required to pay city taxes. They would
then be entitled to receive city services
and vote in city elections.
ANN ARBOR City Clerk Jerome
Weiss said the most significant change
resulting from annexation would be
much easier management of elections
and voter registration.
Mayor Louis Belcher said he wants to
absorb the islands to collect taxes due
the city, and to prevent mishaps like the
1977 city election in which 20 township
residents voted. "Some township
residents pay $400 less in taxes than the
people in the house next door," the
mayor said. He added, "We wouldn't let
their house burn down, our police would
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respond to their needs, and they use our
streets," but they do not pay for the
However, Belcher said some
agreements would be made with town-
ships before annexation to ensure full
cooperation between the units of gover-
nment. He said some outer boundaries
might be worked out to avoid extensive
urban sprawl and annexation.
CITY CLERK Weiss said, "It would
make ita heck of alot easier for the city
to manage elections and save us a lot of
work," if the islands are annexed. The
clerk's office had no reliable record of
legal voters prior to the 1977 election as
they now do, according to Weiss. He
said in the past it has been relatively
easy to accidently register township
In the 1977 election 174 township
residents were registered, but Weiss
said township dwellers never voted in a
previous city election.
Following last year's election,
Belcher sued Albert Wheeler, after
Wheeler won the mayor's seat by a one
vote margin. As a result of that suit,
two township residents were faced with
revealing their votes to discover if
Wheeler's win was valid.
The Supreme Court's rebuff does not
actually authorize annexation, but it
does stymie annexation opponents from
taking their appeal to a higher
authority. Critics of the present an-
nexation law believe the statute
threatens the existence of the township
form of government.
THE MICHIGAN DAILY
volume LXXxvIII, No. 2-S
Thursday. May4. 1970
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