Genoa Township’s Linda Rowell and Todd Smith have been awful public officials; voters need to boot them out

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Linda Rowell wants to be Genoa Township’s next supervisor. But first, she has to explain to taxpayers in the township why she’s willing to waste hundreds of thousands of their dollars to keep a Christian school out of Genoa.

Likewise Todd Smith. He’s been a trustee on the Genoa Township Board for the past 16 years, and he’s running for re-election this year. In addition to being one of the more despicable public officials I’ve ever encountered, he’s also willing to waste hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars fighting this Christian school.

Through their actions, Rowell and Smith have been telling voters that they don’t care how much of their money they have to waste. They’ve been slapping Genoa Township taxpayers in the face for the past year, and now, they want to be returned to the board so they can slap them in the face some more.

And now it’s time for the voters to have their say.

So please hear me clearly on this: If you live in Genoa Township, don’t vote for Linda Rowell for supervisor. And don’t vote for Todd Smith for trustee. They are really, really bad at being public officials, and they need to be retired.

In my life as a columnist in Livingston County, I’ve never written anything this harsh regarding a public official. Ever. I have great regard for the men and women who are willing to serve in public office – I even ran for public office myself once – and even when I disagree with people, I always try to show respect.

That said, I’ve never seen public officials who are as bad as this. Linda Rowell and Todd Smith are awful at representing the public interest, and voters need to turn them out. I don’t know them as people, but I’ve seen what they’ve done in office, and as public officials, they’re awful.

There are others on the current Genoa board who are just as bad – especially Supervisor Gary McCririe – and we’ll get to them in a bit. But of the candidates who will be on the ballot this year, Rowell and Smith are the worst of the worst. Please don’t vote for them.

Now, here’s the backstory on all this, and here’s how I ended up having a dog in this fight. It all has to do with Livingston Christian Schools wanting to relocate to a new spot at the Brighton Nazarene Church, which is in Genoa Township.

Livingston Christian Schools is a perfectly wonderful school that started in Howell and then moved to Pinckney a few years ago, finding a home in the old St. Mary’s School in the village. After several years in Pinckney, the families at Livingston Christian said they would prefer to find a location in the Brighton area, since many of them live up that way. So the Livingston Christian people went looking for a new home, and they found one at the Naz.

Last summer, you might recall, Livingston Christian went before the Genoa Township Planning Commission, looking for approval to move into the Naz. The Planning Commission did its due diligence and then some, ordering up traffic studies and other reports, all to make sure that this would be a good fit.

On a 6-1 vote, the Planning Commission recommended approval of Livingston Christian’s move to the Naz. Among other things – and this is a VERY important part of the story – the Planning Commission found that Livingston Christian would have no detrimental impact on the traffic on Brighton Road, where the church is located.

At this point, everybody at Livingston Christian was happy. It looked like their school was going to have its new home at the Naz, and the school would be able to continue to serve its families.

What happens after a Planning Commission recommends approval of a project is that it goes to the Township Board for final approval. And in 99 percent of these cases, the Township Board goes along with what the Planning Commission recommends. That’s what a Planning Commission is for – to fully vet projects like this. Township Boards almost always take their word for it.

Well, in this case, the Genoa Township Board went AGAINST its Planning Commission, and voted to deny Livingston Christian’s move to the Naz. It was a 4-3 vote, and the board members voting against it were Supervisor McCririe, and trustees Rowell, Smith and Jean Ledford.

The reason they gave for voting against it had to do with traffic, but that excuse is 100 percent total, absolute hogwash. First off, all of the official traffic studies showed that this project wouldn’t be a traffic problem. Second, the Naz is located across the street from Brighton High School, so it’s not like this is a sleepy little side road somewhere.

So the traffic excuse was garbage. This had nothing whatsoever to do with traffic. Instead, there are only two possible reasons that Gary McCririe, Linda Rowell, Todd Smith and Jean Ledford could have opposed this project. Either:

1. They didn’t want a Christian school in the township; or

2. They had a political beef with someone at the Naz or Livingston Christian, and they were using this vote as a way to get back at that person.

I’m not sure which of those two it was, but either one is a pretty despicable reason. In the end, they all thought it was fine to play politics with the 150 or so students who would be attending Livingston Christian.

In any case, this is the part of the story where I became involved.

Remember the old St. Mary’s building in Pinckney? The one where Livingston Christian was currently located? Well, once Livingston Christian moved out of that building, a school called Light of the World Academy was going to move in. Light of the World had been operating as a private Montessori school since 2002 at Shalom Lutheran Church in Pinckney, and in the fall of 2015, they were going to become a public charter school.

My wife is the director at this school, and my daughter attends there. I’m a Light of the World Academy dad. That gave me a dog in this fight.

There wasn’t enough room for LOTWA to expand at Shalom, so they were going to buy the Livingston Christian building and move in there. But they couldn’t move into the Livingston Christian building until Livingston Christian moved out. And thanks to the bozos at the Genoa Township Hall, Livingston Christian all of a sudden didn’t have a place to move into.

So that meant that not just one, but now TWO schools were going to be displaced. We’re talking hundreds of kids who wouldn’t have a school, and dozens of teachers who would be out of a job. All because four members of the Genoa Township Board decided to play politics.

This was in August. Once the Township Board voted to deny the school, the families at both Livingston Christian and Light of the World Academy were in a tizzy. They were desperate to save their schools, so they started writing letters to the Genoa Township Board, pleading with them to reconsider their vote.

At this point, most reasonable public officials – most public officials who actually wanted to serve the public – would have listened to the people, and thought long and hard about reconsidering their vote. But not these people.

They stubbornly refused to do anything, so Livingston Christian did the only thing it could do – it filed a lawsuit. There’s a federal law called the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) which specifically forbids what Genoa had just done – refusing a religious institution a reasonable use of its building. Livingston Christian filed a RLUIPA suit, and now – all of a sudden – Genoa Township had an out.

Because they were faced with this lawsuit that would likely lose, the board could have saved face by saying, “You know, we still think we were doing the right thing, but we’re not going to risk spending thousands of taxpayer dollars fighting a lawsuit we probably won’t win. We’re going to drop this.”

Instead, the board did the dumbest thing it possibly could have done – it decided not only to fight the lawsuit, but to fight it with a vengeance. They didn’t care how much taxpayer money they were going to waste on this.

At a meeting in early August – when there was still some hope that the board might decide to not fight the lawsuit – more than 50 people spoke out during the call to the public at a Township Board meeting, virtually all of them pleading with the board to do the right thing. These were moms and dads, high school students, grandparents and teachers – all of them fighting to save their schools.

Todd Smith acted in a horribly disrespectful manner during this meeting. While all these people came to the microphone pleading for their school, Smith stared at his iPad THE ENTIRE TIME. He didn’t once make eye contact with the parents and students and teachers who were begging for their school. Instead, he played on his iPad. It was the most disrespectful thing I’ve ever seen at a public meeting.

I didn’t know Todd Smith from Adam before this, but I started looking into him, and it got even more sickening. I saw that his Facebook page – which is visible to anybody – was a cesspool of inappropriate jokes, pictures and vulgar comments, including one “joke” he posted about a man who used a taser to rape a woman. Another post made fun of autistic kids. Nice, huh? From the looks of his page, he also appears to really, really like drinking. As far as I know, it’s all still out there. I found it hard to believe that any public official would be dumb enough to post things like that on Facebook, but there he was.

And now, this fine man wants to be your trustee for four more years, Genoa Township!

Anyway, once the board decided to double down on fighting the lawsuit, a white knight appeared to save Livingston Christian Schools and Light of the World Academy. The Whitmore Lake school district offered to let Livingston Christian move in temporarily while the Naz situation was resolved.

And with Livingston Christian moving to Whitmore Lake temporarily, that meant that Light of the World Academy could move into LCS’ old building in Pinckney. Once September came, both schools were able to open.

I’m sure this was disappointing news to Gary McCririe, Linda Rowell, Todd Smith and Jean Ledford, who had fought so hard to keep both of those schools homeless.

So while Light of the World Academy was now out of the woods, Livingston Christian is still in limbo. The situation in Whitmore Lake is only temporary, and who knows how many students they’ve lost because of the situation. They still need to move into the Naz to survive.

Meanwhile, the RLUIPA lawsuit is dragging on, and this disaster is costing Genoa Township taxpayers thousands of dollars every month. Back in February, I filed a FOIA to see how much Genoa had spent on the lawsuit so far. The answer: $24,200.21. Plus another $20,000 or so in related costs.

Since then, the ticker has been continuing to run. Depositions took place last month (more money, more money), and at the last Genoa meeting on April 18, the board voted to spend ANOTHER $12,000 on the lawsuit, giving even MORE taxpayer dollars to the law firm of Seward, Peck & Henderson. Linda Rowell and Todd Smith were among the people voting in favor of this expenditure.

On June 15, the case is going to the judge, as both sides ask for summary judgment. If Genoa loses, they’ll be on the hook for all the money they’ve already spent on the case – plus all the legal fees and damages they’ll owe to Livingston Christian.

We could be talking hundreds and hundreds of thousands of Genoa Township taxpayer dollars. And for what? To keep a Christian school out of the township?

There are plenty of people on the Genoa board who need to account for what they’ve done here. It’s absolutely unconscionable that they’ve been willing to spend this much taxpayer money fighting a ridiculous fight.

Gary McCririe isn’t running for re-election, so he’ll thankfully be gone in a few months. But this whole episode is an enormous stain on his legacy, as it should be, and he should be hanging his head as he walks out the door.

Clerk Polly Skolarus – who voted in favor of the school but has supported fighting the lawsuit – is facing a challenge from Dan Wholihan, the chair of the Livingston County Republican Party and one of the best-connected politicos in the county. I would be shocked if Wholihan didn’t win this, especially if voters start asking Skolarus to defend her votes on the Livingston Christian lawsuit.

Linda Rowell faces two challengers in the Republican primary for supervisor – former State Rep. Bill Rogers, and Kevin Spicher, who ran against McCririe in 2012 and almost won. Either of them would be far superior to Rowell.

In the trustee race, there are five candidates for four spots. Please, please, please – Todd Smith needs to be the odd man out here. Jean Ledford is unfortunately running for re-election, too, but she’s far superior to Smith.

The filing dealing was Tuesday of this week, so that’s where we stand as the election officially kicks off.

I don’t live in Genoa Township, and my daughter’s school is safe and open, so it’s safe to say that I no longer have a dog in this fight.

Still, as long as I have a voice, I’m going to be urging all of the people who ARE Genoa Township voters to boot Linda Rowell and Todd Smith out the door. They’ve embarrassed your township and they’ve wasted your money. And they want to do it some more. Don’t let them.

About Buddy Moorehouse 80 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.

41 Comments

  1. I ve met Linda and think she s great. Before speculating your opinion you should probably ask her why the township voted down the school…sounds like some other people left some good reasons not to have the school there.

  2. I lived on Brighton Road for years and the traffic in that area during school hours is awful. Add in a train delay, multiple subdivisions funneling into the downtown area and I’m not at all surprised the township turned it down. Perhaps the board has an issue with the church, perhaps they are anti-Christian as Mr. Moorehouse alleges. Regardless this story is at best an editorial and at worst, a rant. Not what I expected when I visited the Livingston Post home page.

    • It’s a shame you didn’t get what you wanted when you read somebody’s opinion – it must be very hard for you to take. You should seriously consider writing your own opinions down, and exclusively reading those….over and over and over again. It may take a while, but at some point you may realize you are reading the writings of a fool. One man’s opinion, which is at best an editorial and at worst an editorial.

  3. So… You filed the lawsuit, but because they didn’t roll over and give you your way it is their fault for those expenditures….? You sound like a 5 year old having a tantrum. If you are going to make a post like this BOTH sides should be represented. Pour journalism all the way around. Shame on you for the lawsuit!

    • Todd Smith is apparently a multiple drunk driving offender (fact) and a phony (opinion), so I am not surprised he doesn’t look the residents who pay his salary in the eye. It’s also true that Mr. Smith is associated with the Howell Rec Authority, which can only be lawfully funded by putting a tax proposal to the people. No matter, with clowns like Todd Smith around, ethics and law go by the wayside.

      • John, I won’t address your statements about Mr. Smith personally, and only advise voters to do their own research. While this forum has focused on the School / Church issue for the most part, since you brought up the Howell Parks & Rec Authority, I invite any concerned taxpayer to investigate the March 21st board meeting where by a 6-1 vote (Jim Mortensen was the lone dissenter) our board approved placing a .75 mills, 5 year tax increase on all Genoa Property within the Howell Schools District on the August 2nd ballot to increase funding for the Authority. It will raise $1.55 million the first year. That’s a heck of a Park & Recs department, that technically is in a District covered by less than 1/2 of Genoa Township Taxpayers. (The others were covered by SELCRA, which the board decided to pull out of.) Genoa already contributes well over $100k annually to this authority. As if that wasn’t bad enough, again by a 6-1 vote (Mortensen again being the lone dissenting vote) our board entered into a 3 year contract with the Howell Parks & Rec Authority that grants them rights to the Township Hall Athletic fields for to 5-6 unspecified hours out of the 15 available hours they are available each day from March 1 to November 30 for the whopping sum of $1 per year. While they will cover regular mowing and fertilization costs, Genoa taxpayers are on the hook for the cleaning of the restrooms and maintenance and repair of the sprinkler system. Just who will ultimately pay the field lighting bill is murky at best, but Genoa will cover the cost of all common area lighting. As an added kicker, when the Authority isn’t using the fields themselves, they are entitled to rent them out and keep the money generated. Who on earth could have possibly thought this was a good deal for the taxpayers of Genoa Township? Since you brought up the authority, I thought you might find these developments interesting. For the record, I would have voted with Mr. Mortensen.

        • When Todd Smith decided to be a drunk driver, he made it a public matter, especially on his second offense. Everybody makes mistakes, but multiple drunk driving offenses by a public official suggests a serious problem. I’ve had some exchanges with the guy, and agree he is a disgraceful public official. Unfortunately, he’s not rare in that regard.

          With regard to Howell Recs (and Selcra), the funding from General municipal funds is unlawful. The statute under which they were organized requires “a vote of the electors”. No vote of the electors approving funding means there is no lawful Howell Recs or Selcra. Thoroughly corrupt and part of a pattern, which includes the church fiascoe and bogus claims of traffic issues. Indefensible, especially in light of the Planning Commission approval. This is what happens when petty morons gain power they misunderstand and disrespect.

          • Part of the problem is that the lawyers in these outfits thrive on morons. The more moronic they are, the less they understand their responsibilities and the law…creates billable hours when they do stupid things like this church atrocity….as well as great opportunity to manipulate, deceive, and work secretly on behalf of undisclosed people. Usually takes just one or two decent, serious people on a Board to keep the morons and lawyers in check, but a lot of decent serious people don’t want to deal with morons…law of attraction…morons attract morons. And the nature of the Manager position is thoroughly corrupt…they work for the Board rather than the people…leads to Manager’s being little more than paycheck takers, forced to bite their lip and fall in line when the plan is for corruption, lawbreaking, and stupidity.

        • It’s even worse. Here’s the situation:

          1. The statutes for Selcra and Howell Rec Authority require a vote of the electors – on creation and millage level. They are rogue, illegal businesses. They also funnel money to private recreations companies, through promotion and sales as intermediary. At Selcra this includes private horseback riding businesses and private karate businesses, giving those private businesses the benefit of public dollars (spent on website, promotion, etc.).

          2. The notion of these so-called Recreation Authorities overlapping various jurisdictions is simply absurd, even for the ones that operate legally based on lawfully required vote of the electors. The illegal ones like Selcra and Howell Recs is just corruption and chaos. If you read the Liv Daily, you’d think it’s all very organized and sound as to how the money goes to these operations. Truth is, Selcra just shows up at Board meetings whenever they need more money. The intial approval of general funds is illegal, and the routine pleas to the Board to give more money is just chaos. Which is why Selcra died, and why the School system is in a better position to provide these services.

          3. Also, the formulas for giving money to Selcra were just a joke. They claim to provide Brighton Township with a list of residents who used their service and then their supposed funding budget is based on that. The scam is that they run things like a Halloween event…giving away $5 in candy to kids…and then count those kids as users of their service. It’s a complete scam…this nonsense is funded as though it were a kid joining a soccer league, something which is actually valuable to the community.

          They have Daddy-Daughter dances and Halloween events for 1 reason: get the numbers up to justify the funding – the illegal funding from general funds that is. So soccer and baseball are run close to breakeven, and whatever additional money they need, they run scams like giving kids $5 in candy, so they can get the kid logged as justification for a $100 per resident subsidy.

          Set aside it’s all illegal, it’s absurd for all residents of a township to be paying for two separate recreation authorities, the maximum of which they would use is 1, and in most cases it’s zero.

          Do you trust a guy like Todd Smith – two time drunk driver offender – with your money ? I sure wouldn’t.

          John Ewing.

        • Mortensen might be a decent guy voting against the millage vote for the right reasons. But the current situation is the Board gives general funds illegally to Howell Rec, just as it does illegally to SELCRA. They are done with SELCRA though, and putting the matter to vote by the residents in the area served by Howell Rec more likely than not will fail – not enough people really using the service, so why should they subsidize the small group of users ?

          If it does fail, at that point Genoa has cover for cutting off all of the illegal general funds support to Howell Recs. It solves a problem for them…and they just have to say, the people have spoken.

          If it does fail and they keep sending illegal funds – funds which belong to everyone in the township – they are in even greater legal jeopardy and violation. How do you explain illegally providing general funds, then putting it to a vote, people reject, and then you just ignore their rejection by stealing everyone’s general funds to fund a far flung rec enterprise that hits a small corner of the township ?

          The whole thing is probably being done to just clear the slate: goodbye Selcra, goodbye Genoa portion of Howell recs…..Hello BAS recreation business, though how that will be funded and structured is a mystery. Whatever they come up with will be a whole lot better than the illegal funding of shady rec authorities who act as agents for private businesses, hold ridiculous low cost but high profile events (halloween, daddy daughter dance) to game the contracts (based on supposed number of users of the service). Do you really think a kid getting a bag of candy is the same kind of service as a kid participating in a soccer or baseball league ? No, but they realized they could get a list of names by giving candy out, and then make the townships pay the same subsidy. Truly a sad joke….

          In the end, millions went into the facilities at the high school….they are in the best position to run the sports leagues…swimming, baseball, soccer, volleyball, etc. Halloween parties and dances can be left for people to organize without govt. intervention.

    • By the way, you might notice Howell Recs is going after a millage – 6 months after it surfaced that it was a fraud for not having done so prior to establishment under its statute. And Derek Smith saw the handwriting on the wall for Selcra which was also in violation. These types of lawbreaking just go away with Board members failing to admit to the public they are in violation. Again, and you want these folks to disregard Planning Commission rec’s to approve permits for a school. Truly sad…take a closer look at these folks…you won’t like what you see.

  4. How many religious and/or charter schools already exist in Livingston County? In Genoa or neighboring townships? Simply because those who want their children in a religious or charter school want the school to be moved, so that the drive is more convenient for them, doesn’t make it a good idea for all citizens.

    • Livingston Christian School would be the only Christian school in the county. As local property owners we choose to pay thousands every year in taxes to support public schools plus send our kids to LCS and hope Genoa Township will one day soon welcome these kids into their community.

  5. This is a pretty significant issue facing the Genoa Township taxpayers. One thing not mentioned is the average award in an RLUIPA case is around $8 million, which was known to the board prior to their decision. I don’t attend the Naz, nor do I have any connection to Livingston Christian Schools, however, I am a Genoa Township Taxpayer. I’m not privy to the legal facts of the case, but hopefully the board has solid legal grounds to back their decision. Once the planning commission signed off, by a 6-1 vote, it seemed board approval would merely be a rubber stamp. Unless you can cite egregious errors, why have a planning commission if you aren’t going to follow their recommendations? Traffic studies (that taxpayers paid for) concluded traffic wouldn’t be an issue. Concerns that the Naz Church had not fully adhered to previous agreements it made should have been addressed by ordering them to honor all previous agreements before granting permission to move forward. Given the time constraints, preliminary approval subject to stringent requests, could have been granted, with significant penalties should the Naz fail to comply and be a good neighbor. I am unaware of any further arguments for denying the school. It seems to me there were other solutions that could have been beneficial for the township and its’ residents, the Naz, and the Livingston Christian Schools. This would have avoided putting the taxpayers of Genoa Township at significant risk of a huge payout, or at the very least, saved a large legal expenditure. And what was gained and for whom by this decision? I would have supported allowing the school to move into the Naz. I have no comment on any of the commentary posted here regarding the candidates, but invite anyone interested in learning more about me as a candidate, and what my views are, please visit my facebook page. Kevin T. Spicher for Genoa Twp. Supervisor

    • Pretty easy to say you would support it.. Especially when you’ve already stated you don’t know all the facts.

      • Jill, I don’t know all of the facts they will be relying on to defend themselves in the lawsuit, because they meet in executive session to discuss all legal matters. If you are a Genoa Township taxpayer, you’d best hope they are spectacular, otherwise you are going to be on the hook for a significant amount of money in damages. Google RLUIPA cases and see how they usually go. In the township’s initial motion, they cited 7 reasons for the denial, which basically boiled down to 3 main issues: “it won’t look nice next to the houses next door”, and the neighbors don’t like it; the previously mentioned traffic concerns, which were dismissed in reports by both Boss Engineering and Tetra Tech, and were also deemed not a serious enough issue to deny by the planning commission; and concerns over past lack of compliance by the church on the existing special use permit requirements. Regarding the last concern, I have suggested it should have been addressed previously via enforcement, but also believe it could have been addressed in the approval of this amendment to the existing special use permit. It all adds up to a pretty shaky gamble with a significant amount of our taxpayer money, to deny a project at an existing church facility with a decent upside, whereby the majority of the negative impact would fall upon 10 homes constructed after the church was there. I think those are enough facts to make an informed decision as to how I would have felt about the issue and also give some insight as to how I would choose to steward the people’s money.

        • You mean to say, in the township’s initial court motion the fact that “it won’t look nice next to the houses next door”, and the neighbors don’t like it is the basis for putting the township at risk of an enormous financial judgment? Did we elect these township officials to be the judge of “nice?” Already the traffic argument is a moot point via the planning commission’s 6-1 approval of the school’s proposal. And the fact that “the neighbor’s” (10 homes constructed well after the church was in full operation) don’t like it, again, does not constitute a compelling rationale for engaging in a federal lawsuit. The board’s decision-making mindset appears to certainly be rather parochial and shortsighted. As we have seen during this primary election season, citizens are exasperated with elected officials who act with impunity to make decisions that are not in the “common interest” of the community at large.

  6. Why do people hate Christians so much? It’s because we are a reminder of their sin and lack of God.

  7. The Naz had a long history of breaking the rules with the township and I’m sure that played a part in the decision, as it should. Lets present ALL of the facts. It is much more professional.

    • Speaking of being professional, could you please elaborate with facts about the Naz breaking rules and how that applies to the conversation about board members wasting public funds. We all have opinions but most of us still prefer “truth”.

    • Genoa township has insurance to pay for this lawsuit. It will not cost the taxpayers a dime. facts, people…check the facts. The Naz stated that the traffic leaving the school would be made to turn right only, and they would provide a person to do this. Again, promises that they’ve had a history of failing to abide by. Can you imagine the cars that will then need to make left hand turns to turn around? And what about those subdivisions like Pine Creek that want to be gated communities. No turns then. They want to be gated because of the traffic that flies through there now. Which puts more cars on those major roads. And school buses on major roads because they can’t drive into the subs.
      The planning commission approved the petition because they had to. They have to follow the correct procedures to approve. But they don’t have the power to interpret them to make that decision – that’s the Board’s job. Interpret the information for the good of the residents of Genoa. This has nothing to do with being Christian or otherwise. It does, however, have a lot to do with the integrity of people on both sides of this issue. When I saw children with signs WHO ARE NOT RESIDENTS picketing, I was miffed.
      And what about the sale of the school AFTER the decision of the board? They could have stayed, but planning ahead wasn’t the priority, I guess.
      Look at the facts before you judge based on heated personal agendas!

      • This is costing the residents a whole lot more than a dime, Rob. At the last meeting, the board approved ANOTHER $12,000 to be spent on this lawsuit. That’s money that Genoa taxpayers are paying.

      • Rob, the Genoa Township Board has embarked on what economists call a “moral hazard.” Moral hazard, by definition is, “the lack of incentive to guard against risk where one is protected from its consequences, e.g., by insurance.” It seems apparent that the Genoa Township Board clearly lacked the incentive to protect its residents from potential financial judgments on this issue. This moral hazard is really about the lack of judgment and foresight exercised by the Genoa Township Board. The Genoa Township Board “doubled-down” on a federal lawsuit with enormous financial ramifications to its residents. At its core, this is not an issue of who turns right or left out of a church parking lot, but an issue of honest representation of elected officials to maintain the “common good” of our community.

    • Entire Genoa Board should be jailed for disregarding the law which requires a “vote of the electors” in order to create a recreation authority under the statute created. Also requires elector approval of a the millage/funding level. You think these lawbreaking clowns should be taking revenge on property owners for past perceived slights.

      Many people don’t understand that clowns like Rowell and Smith are not “rulemakers”…they only have authority as specifically expressed in statutes. Regardless, the idea that some supposed past should be avenged by denying a permit to run a school is laughable, except not really when residents like you express a willingness to give sketchy rulemakers the power to hold a grudge…you are scary. Presume you are in the bag for one or more of the scoundrels.

    • Are you saying the Planning Commission, having investigated this special permit application thoroughly, even commissioning studies to address concerns over traffic, did not do their due diligence? Or are you explaining the facts were put aside because of a council member’s relative holding a grudge with the NAZ? No, I don’t believe the Planning Commission’s careful investigation should have been put aside in this case.

    • The Naz did not complete the requirements of an open building permit. They waited until they needed the twp approval on the school vote to finish the required items. Why do they feel they are above the law? Is it be cause they are not tax payers? Did the parents of the students or the church goers know that the building and property did not meet current building codes? Eek. Lets address that issue you internet trolls.

      • Anna, Looks as though you are trolling a bit yourself. No Anna Housen’s returned on a search of Genoa Township tax rolls, so you aren’t a taxpayer either. (Although someone by your name was a property owner here in the 1940’s). You don’t seem to be from Livingston County either according to a quick people search. Just 2 recently created, blank facebook pages with your name. Hello black kettle, this is the pot calling. Could you be a plant for a someone mentioned in this article and trying to sway the election tomorrow using a fake name? That would be pretty low. Dig a bit deeper into the facts on the issues you speak of and you’ll learn that many of the trees that died were installed by the developer next door to screen his homesites, but were not part of the initial land use waiver. If at any point the NAZ building was not up to code, wouldn’t it be the job of the building department to enforce these violations? There actually isn’t any connection between building code enforcement and the township board, or is there?

  8. McCririe, Trustee Todd Smith and Linda Rowell, have put a “local face” to what we all are experiencing this primary election season; inept elected officials who serve their own interests and disregard the public interests of those who have elected them. As a Genoa Township resident for over 25 years, I have been extremely disappointed at the position taken by the Genoa Township Board regarding this private school. This is not an issue of public safety, nor is it an issue of traffic, but clearly an inept board that will eventually require its residents to pay thousands and thousands of dollars fighting a court battle with school children. This is certainly not an issue to have Genoa Township residents “fall on their sword” over. We need to get these clowns off the board.

  9. I am a Genoa taxpayer this is boggles my mind. Not to mention the wasted commerce from lunches out, coffees before school, supplies from the hardware store, gas in my tank. I know Whitmore Lake appreciates my business.

  10. And Mr. Moorehouse is just an unbiased actor in all of this. Please, what a load of garbage from him.

    • Alex,
      He clearly stated that he is not unbiased. His position allows him a larger soapbox than some people have, but that doesn’t make his position any less important or valid than your carefully worded critique.

    • I’m not unbiased at all, Alex, and I clearly stated by biases in the article. I’ve also seen a whole lot of public officials in Livingston County through the years, and these are perhaps the worst I’ve ever seen.

  11. This is, as would be expected, a well written point of view by Mr. Moorehouse. I don’t know who is right or who is wrong on this iissue, but I am a resident of Genoa Twp. What I can hope for is that someone at the township would articulate thier point of view on this matter so we can have both sides of the story prior to election day. Thanks for starting the conversation.

    • This taxpayer emailed several board members, but has never gotten a return explaining their point of view.

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