CHASSELL TOWNSHIP — Chassell Township residents will again vote in November on whether to leave the Portage Lake District Library.
The proposal was defeated in the August Primary, but the Township board believes it was a mistake to put it on the Primary ballot.
Chassell Township Supervisor David Mattson said, “This is an important issue for Chassell. It does affect library access for our residents, and it also does impose the property tax millage on all of our parcels in Chassell Township. So, we believe this issue should instead be decided in the general election, which traditionally has the highest voter turnout.”
The decision to put the issue back up for a vote has been criticized by supporters of the library who say the summer election season was chosen because it provided better weather for going door to door and for putting out campaign signs.
There is also concern that there will be an overload of proposals on the November ballot.
Portage Lake District Library Director Dillon Geshel said, “At the time we selected it, there were already eight proposals on the ballot for November. So, we will be the very last one, so we were worried that some people might not even make it that far on the ballot and might not vote on the issue.”
Friends of the Portage Lake District Library say they aren’t worried.
Friends of the Portage Lake District Library President Maria Bergstrom said, “We really feel optimistic. We support the library, we think that the voters have shown that there is support for the library in Chassell, so we’ll be right back out there educating voters and bringing the word to get people out to vote in November, once again, to defeat the proposal for Chassell to withdraw from the library district.”
The November election should decide the issue once and for all…unless an upcoming election is predicted to have an even higher turnout.
Mattson said, “The problem would be if an election in 2017 would have a lower voter turnout than this upcoming general, then you’d have to say that the results of the next election would be kind of inconsequential compared to the results of a general election.”
The general election is November 8th.