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boisblancgirl
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"The contract to clean up the Stitt property will be given to Island Contractors, owned by the husband of Clover Schlund, the clerk of the township and the chief antagonist against the Stitts."

This is absolutely untrue!!!!!!!!! There is soooooooooooo much more to this family and action of events that would take pages and pages in this forum to explain it all. It's passed history and not worth it.

As far as the "Ditches to Nowhere". Again John, you need to get your facts straight before you start pointing fingers and making inaccurate accuations.

Those "Ditches to Nowhere", as you have tagged them, were only ONE part of a FIVE part project on the island. These FIVE projects included those ditches and the total for ALL five projects was $30,000. You make it sound to the people that the ditches alone were $30,000.

These are projects decided upon by the Road Commission, the Township, and the County Commission each year. If they agree that any given projects should be done, then it gets done. If the Township doesn't agree or doesn't want to participate in ANY of the projects, then NONE of them get done.

Yes we do the projects if all 3 parties agree to have them done. We are the representative of the Mackinac County Road Commission. The Road Commission and County Commission does this with ANY township in the entire county that is willing to participate. The county is in control of their roads and projects. And we do what we are instructed to do with them.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:41 am    Post subject: DTN Reply with quote

NOTHING I have stated is different from your statement, boisblancgirl. The ditches legal road map was legitimate. But when one person gets a job for what I see as a waste of ALL TAXPAYER money, I have the freedom and right to express my opinion.

You can twoodle dee and twoodle doo all day long about the "process" for getting county roads "improved". Six or seven people dictated the DTN. I never had a word in it. In fact, who did have a word in it? Who initiated the DTN? Do not tell me the Mackinac Road Commission came over to BBI and said, "Joe, you need to dig ditches here, here, and here." Bull! In fact, the MCRC had no evidence of necessity other than the words of BBI MCRC representative and the township board. I talked to the MCRC and lodged a protest. I also lodged a protest to our township. Of course it was too late by the time I found out about this folly. It fell on deaf ears.

Were any photographs of the "dangerous water puddles" ever presented to any official? I doubt it. Some of our township officials drove over the roads daily/weekly and never had a problem getting to and fro, yet there they are...my tax money wasted and the landscaped trashed.

I can have all the facts wrong, boisblancgirl. The bottom line is the ditches are unnecessary and thus a waste of tax money.
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boisblancgirl
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes you do have some of the facts wrong John, but yes you are intitled to your opinion. One things for sure, you aren't up here during the major part of spring break-up to see what happens. You come up on the tail end of it.
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Uncle Steve
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 10:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile I am one of a few folks that were directly effected by the drainage project... My drive and tube were re-done.. as were some others in the area... Now that being said, I am surprised that it took this long for the project to happen..... If this water over the road situation was in my county.. The Drain Commissioner would have ordered it to be done by the County LONG LONG AGO. Then a drain district would have been set up to deal with the problem on a perpetual basis.. So if we like it or not, it had to be done.. We don't complain about MC maintaining the roads do we. In fact we complain if they don't.. The drainage projects were all located within the road right of way.. So, they were doing what they were supposed to do.. and what our Tax $$ are paid for.. I for one, feel we get more than what we pay in taxes for on BBI... Do I like paying taxes anywhere , NO, but until they come up with a better system, we'r stuck with paying property tax.. Just my thoughts. " THESE ARE JUST MY THOUGHTS ON THE DRAIN PROJECT, NOT PUT HERE FOR DEBATE "
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like standing water on the road. Keeps the dust down.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 11:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally, I think the swamp water should be recycled, inspected, approved... then bottled. Bois Island spring water(?)

Uncle Steve and I live in the same county (Mecosta). There have been some major cutbacks. Zero projects, minimal road maintainence.

Now they plow/grade the road once a year if it needs it or not (just about). If we want the 3' snow drifts off the road, Our problem and it's getting old.

Building/zoning dept has gone from about 25 employees down to 4-5 and I think they take turn watching out the window just in case someone is heading for the door. On the count of three, everyone look busy.

None the less, my property taxes went up as property values went down.

Am I missing something here?
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 12:08 pm    Post subject: Tax money Reply with quote

Steve, since you like to pay taxes on unnecessary projects, would you pay my portion also?

I think the MCRC job being done on BBI is very good. The roads are graded regularly and I am very happy about that work and the money that goes into it. But the DTN is a waste.

The ditch network by Steve and me will drain water off the immediate road. They run to a point south and then a tube diverts water onto PRIVATE PROPERTY. Now If I owned that property and saw that the county increased the flooding of that property with DTN, I would be very upset. That is exactly what will happen. I will chronicle it as best I can.

Last year, I saw the flooding at its worst. The melt off and heavy showers flooded everything to the max. The road by me was never completely covered. If it was, where are the pictures of that flooding? You think that such necessity would be chronicled with photographs, or perhaps an accident report or a close call or something. All I know now is that if a vehicle slides off the road into one of those ditches, it will be a far greater problem than the temporary shallow puddles.
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boisblancgirl
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Last year was NOT flooding at it's worst and if that's what you assume, then you're sadly mistaken. If the county would have wanted us to take pictures, we would have been glad to do that.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 2:40 pm    Post subject: worst flood Reply with quote

I have been coming up in the early spring for 17 years. Last spring was the most water I've seen. Of course, the full timers see it when it is worse...just show me the pictures...some proof. The water peaks out and runs off no matter what the weather events are...we had eight inches of rain 5 or 6 years ago in one 30 minute diluge...it puddled, it flooded, it ran off the land in a day or two.

My point is that the temporary puddles, be it a week or two or even three, does not merit the ditches. Just doesn't.

Boisblancgirl, you just admitted that the county took your word for the "necessary" ditch digging. I know they came up and looked at the project...in September I believe. I talked to the man in charge. It was totally dry and he never saw the problem puddles. MCRC is to blame as much as anyone. They allocated money for a project with no just cause...no accidents, no close calls, no photos, no drownings, no number of "problem puddle days", nothing but one party's opinion...no concrete facts at all! I asked joe, face to face, how many days, average, was that area near me flooded. Answer: and I quote, "It doesn't matter." That is from a public employee that works FOR ME!! It doesn't matter??? Some years it does not puddle at all! I have photos to prove it. I'll post them if they aren't already. SHOW ME SOME REAL FACTS, THAT'S ALL!!

I did not want to get personal. But that is the attitude I was met with when I started asking questions about the project. Like, who was I to dare ask any questions about what was happening with MY TAX DOLLARS.

That money could have been put to better use. Such as improving publilc camping areas with perhaps a well or good outhouses. These ditch projects just put a lot of crap on the road surface, created vehicle hazards much more dangerous than the water, and benefitted who? Last year the aggregate on the road was horrible for bicycles. Maybe this yr it will be packed. We'll see.
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boisblancgirl
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Road Commission has nothing to do with improving camping sites, wells, or outhouses. The Road Commission spends their money on ROADS.

I will comment no further on this subject. It's a loosing proprosition when you are trying to explain something to anyone that just DOES NOT understand nor have any idea what it's all about.

Everyone have a great day!
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 3:45 pm    Post subject: Explanation? Reply with quote

The MCRC has nothing to do with camping areas...NO DUH, boisblancgirl!!
But the Township pitched in $10,000 for this useless project. That could have put in one or two good pit toilets. Maybe one well. What did we get for that $10,000???? Ditches To Nowhere...thank you very much.

By the way, if you have ANY facts about how many days/years water was a danger to any citizens of the island, let us all know. It's not that hard to do. Data...Data...Data is needed for ALL projects. What data do you have?? Please post it so we all know how DUMB John Elmer Engel is. I can take it. Give us some facts!! Conis will tell you I am dumb. So, Boisblancgirl, tell us what its all about so we know.

This is a classic example of public servants saying screw you, taxpayers.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please pay our taxes too.

And why not pictures? A person should not have to be told to do this, common sense. Pictures on the Island have been taken of other things-people's property, etc. in trying to prove a point for whatever reason-reasons. Be those reasons right or wrong.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please, please, please don't make a big deal about how unsafe the ditches are. We will end up with guardrails to nowhere and blinking flashing lights and neon signs. The stupid yellow sticks are bad enough.
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Rich
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 17, 2009 7:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think Joe is a county employee and therefor doesn't directly work for the taxpayer. Asking him directly about this issue like he is your employee is probably out of line.
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Conis
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For the record: My name was brought up. I neither endorse, support, deny or qualify JEE's dumbness. My eronious opinions on this obtuse subject, remain suppressed. I am ditching out, so to speak.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:37 am    Post subject: dumbness Reply with quote

You had your chance, Conis.

Rich, I talked to Joe as if he was a neighbor. He talked to me with indignation, disrespect, and impatience. I asked him what was going on as I walked my dog down that stretch of road that I am very familiar with. Who would know what was going on more than the guy doing the job?

My comment that he is a public employee is 100% accurate. The MCRC works for the citizens. Citizens pay his salary. They pay his special projects salary which is above his regular salary, as I understand it. So, yes, he does work for us, the citizens.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:53 am    Post subject: Impact Reply with quote

When I was younger I went around the Snow Beach curve too fast and slid over into that area where there are now ditches. I recall a few others that have had problems there also. In the future others may pull a dumbass thing like that. Driver beware. That doesn't bother me as much as something else.

As many know I have been taking pictures of flowers for a few years now, and I have found that the area around Snake Island is one of the best places to go. I also believe that the Nature Conservancy and/or the state owns it. I could be wrong. One major factor that supports rare flowers is a consistant unchanging water flow situation.

A culvert was placed under the county road that now flows into the West bay side of Snake Island. It will change water flow in that area, and may ruin the habitat for a lot of really nice flowers that I have observed growing directly downstream of that new culvert. That does bother me.

I was wondering if in cases like this on the shores of the Great Lakes, in a Nature conservancy, that greater care should be taken. An example of greater care would be the requirement of getting an environmental impact statement from the state.

What do you know about those concerns of mine, Clover? Do I have a valid concern?
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Conis
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The "fens" along the main road around snake island are unique ecosystems that not only support rare flowers but insects. Who cares about insects?

A couple years ago I encountered a group of biologists from University of Michigan, trudging through these fens with hip boots, nets and binoculars trying to capture some rare damselfly that is known to exist in only two places in Michigan, one of them being the area around snake island.

Dragonflies and damselflies are species of immense interest to me. Both have life cycles dependant on standing water. The difference between these two species, although similar, is that dragonflies perch with wings outstretched and damselflies with wings upward and together (and usually smaller). I have photographed over 100 species in Michigan and seen more species in Bois Blanc than anywhere else, many I have yet to identify.

This may seem superflous if not ridiculous to some, but these unique insects are every bit as important to a micro ecosystem as plants, birds and all else which grows there. Bois Blanc has ecosystems found no where else in Michigan and are worthy of protection for future scientific study.

When these fens are drained or flooded under the guise of "improvement", what has taken thousands of years for nature to create, is then lost and irrepairable.

Fortunately, some see the value of preserving such areas for future generations to enjoy, study and learn from. Fortunately, organization such as The Nature Conservancy and Little Traverse Conservancy are placing unique lands into perpetual conservation trust.

Some see this as important. Others place the value of man made improvements at the top of the list. Some don't see it at all.
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 11:58 am    Post subject: DTN Reply with quote

Here is my take on the DTN snake island area. 1st, there were ditches already there...I think...they were simply "improved" . The ditches there are within the 33" of the center of the road which gives the MCRC the right to dig 'em. I believe the culvert was already there, Mike, and again, it was simply an improvement. I could be wrong.

The ditches and the culvert drain the wetlands north of the road, no doubt. Obviously, the damage to the environment takes a rear seat to digging ditches to nowhere.

I'm glad you brought up this issue, Mike. It bothered me very much to see us draining "Nature Conservancy" land. Some people still do not understand that wetlands are a centerpiece of our ecosystems and the quality of the air, land, and water are compromised when they are drained.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 12:29 pm    Post subject: Re: worst flood Reply with quote

John Elmer Engel wrote:
I have been coming up in the early spring for 17 years. Last spring was the most water I've seen.


This will be my 36th year visiting Bois Blanc, and I'm sure I still haven't seen the water levels and flooding at their worst.

Below is a picture I took in July, 1990 of Fire Tower Road. It looks more like a flowing river - one hundred percent underwater for a distance of about 100 yards. And that was in July, long after any spring flooding should have subsided.



And some years earlier than that, I seem to recall that the main road thru the Pines would flood out in a way we haven't seen since.

I would say that the last 10-15 years have been abnormally dry, compared to the days when we'd wonder if the old truck would make it through the long, deep, flooded furrows back to our property north of Thompson. Same with the mild winters we've seen downstate for a very long time - we are swinging back toward the way things used to be.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 3:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I may put a little perspective on this whole "DTN" issue as it's being referred to.I read a while ago about how Joe responded to a question about these ditches with indignance. Well the truth of the matter is, no matter how much you pay in taxes, Joe doesn't answer to you. He is responsible only to the person or entity signing his paycheck. Those are the miserable SOB's you should take your case to. And trust me on this. It is a far better fate to suffer a little indignance at the hand of Joe Schlund than what the results would have been at the hand of his predecessor. Back when I was a kid, there was young feller named Vic Babcock, who was in charge of the roads. I dare say that if any of you had questioned him on his ditches and culverts, he would have told you where to go and likely helped you get there. And one or more of you would have possibly had to have a culvert surgically removed from your nether region. I've seen him in action. It's funny as long as you're not the recipient of his adoration. Just food for thought.....
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Is man (human beings) part of nature?
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John Elmer Engel
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Joes response Reply with quote

Blue 72, Joe basically told me to stick it where the sun does not shine. I say that is inexcusable. People can twist this anyway they want. Joe thought up the project, Joe introduced the project, the township endorsed the project, the MCRC allocated money to the project, Joe did the project, Joe received the salary, WITH NOTHING to document need other than word of mouth, and that is a waste, wrong, and unjust. Yes, Blue 72, MCRC is at fault and I called the man at the top and lodged my protest with him too. My first knowledge of this worthless expense was when I saw Joe on the road looking it over. Courtesy is mandatory for a public servant and there was no courtesy from this man.

Let me add here that I had nothing but respect for Joe Schlund. He put in my septic tank and field and did a wonderful job for me. But this casual conversation initiated by me made Joe very defensive, very aggravated, and then just plain insulting. I simply asked questions about what was in the works. I asked "why". I asked "How many days is it a problem?" I asked "who initiated the project". Is that a reason for insults?

Thus far, nothing said here justifies the project. I stand to be proven just dead wrong but hey, noone can...so far.
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 7:43 pm    Post subject: r Reply with quote

Blue 72 ...

This is a diffrent situation that is going on with
John and Joe .. its not even close to what you compared it to Victor Babcock .. its no where close ...


Bert Gahn and Victor Babcock took alot of crap from the islanders that lived there year around .. I felt bad for them .. You know the back biting crap ...

John has a right to know where his tax dollars are going ..

Joe does the work ...
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 18, 2009 9:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy Very Happy JEE, Joe is no more a public servant than is Rieth Riley, or Haliburton. They are Private contractors to a Government body. YOUR complaint is with the Government agencies (County and Township ) not the private contractors..

Think back... If the school system made policy ( you could have only 25 pens a term )that was up held by the guy that delivered school supplies, you didn't get ticked at the school supply guy, did you ?
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