You are viewing this article in the archives. For the latest breaking news and updates in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area, see
Posted on Thu, Oct 18, 2012 : 7:25 p.m.

Leadership, past service makes Bob Lange ideal for Sylvan Township supervisor

By Letters to the Editor

I urge all of my fellow-citizens of Sylvan to join me in supporting Bob Lange for Sylvan Township supervisor. Bob has shown he can provide the strong leadership we need in this township, particularly in these difficult times.

Bob has been instrumental in bringing new businesses to Sylvan, such as Chelsea Chevrolet-Buick, Elite Arms and Winter's Diesel Repair.

He has increased the Michigan State Police presence in Sylvan Township by providing accomodations for troopers who were stationed at the now shuttered Ypsilanti post.

Bob knows the most pressing issue for the Sylvan is to find feasible ways to make the township's water plant a self-supporting entity and has been showcasing our township to potential businesses.

The talented and intelligent people Lange has appointed to our various committees and boards and his willingness to listen to citizen input will help Sylvan to continue as a thriving community.

Mr. Lange's opponent, Scott Cooper, claims that he can "change the tone of politics and direction so that the people of the township are served by the board and not the other way around." (This quote was printed in a July edition of the Sun Times) Given that these are his stated goals, it is strange that it was Mr. Cooper who created a major kerfuffle during the American Legion's annual "Heroes on the Water" event, by trying to disrupt this special day for our wounded heroes.

As I recall, the sheriff had to be called to remove Mr. Cooper from the premises. According to the Sun Times, at the Sylvan Township meeting on July 3, when he was faced with public outrage for his actions, he chose to see himself as a victim.

Mr. Cooper and his friends have also wrongly blamed LuAnn Koch and Arlene Grau for the township's current financial woes. This is misplaced blame that has resulted in the ousting of these two hard-working civil servants by two men who, according to this week's Sun Times, are going to be in over their head. I would also suggest that voters consider writing LuAnn Koch in for clerk, and Arlene Grau in for treasurer. I truly believe that our current administrators are our best bet for working our way out of debt and keeping our township viable.

Linda Merkel Hahn




Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 10:16 p.m.

Smith-you and the "clean slate" group blame Grau and Koch for the sewer debt. Well, Cooper had his hands in that mess right from the beginning. He sat in on SEVERAL,if not all of the meetings and never objected to anything because it was going to benifit cavanaugh lake so they could get their "wanted" sewer. He also had many conversations with the supervisor ,Jerry Dresselhouse, about the sewer project with the developer. Without that developer deal it would have been finanically unfeasible for the lake to get the sewer they so badly wanted. The sewer project for the lake had been stopped earlier by two petitions . The reason the lake sewer had to be pushed so hard was because many had put in private septic systems without the proper permits from the county and when Michigan made it a law that when a property was sold a valid permit had to be produced and those that had non knew there was going to be a problem. But with that developer deal building the main structure of the sewer , the Lake sewer could finanically be obtainable. So, it was an agenda for personnel gain, thats why there was no objections from Mr. Cooper, even though he knew the risks involved. Mr Zieske has been told these things but he chooses to ignore them .Doug Smith and the rest of the group are giving Koch and Grau way too much credit in thinking that they caused this sewer debt, not so guys. Really, the real culprits are Dresselhouse and Papo and some others at the county level but Zieske and his "clean slate" group only want to put the blame on these two women, come on now, look at all the facts. But of course if you all can make them look bad than the "clean slate" group can look good. Patrick if you wanted to be so involved why didn't you run for a positon on the board? Or are you going to run the township in the back ground, I hope not.Your approach to everything is,"you try to make someone else look small so that you and yours can look bi


Wed, Oct 31, 2012 : 10:18 p.m.

sorry, the rest of that statement was suppose to read such: "you try to make someone else look small so that you and yours can look big". Not very becomming Patrick

Rod Branham

Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 11:35 p.m.

I believe that Ms. Hahn has her facts wrong about the new Treasurer and Clerk. At no time did we say that we were "in over our head". What we ASKED was if they had changed their mind and decided to help with the transition. The answer was a resounding NO! We have already received assistance from another township and the County has also offered assistance. Arlene Grau stated at the October board meeting that they had no help when they took over and "flew by the seat of their pants". So, please tell me again what township experience they had when they took office?? I believe that answer is none……….. As for Bob Lange and Scott Cooper, unlike the Clerk and Treasurer, they both have been very gracious to us and have offered their assistance no matter the outcome. I have a lot of respect for them both. Doug Smith and I will do a great job for the Sylvan township taxpayers and will provide great service.

Douglas M Smith

Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 6:51 p.m.

I don't wish to challenge Ms. Merkel's endorsement of Bob Lange for Township Supervisor over Scott Cooper. I think both are good men and both would bring energy and talents to the job. What I would like to take issue with is her assertion that the current Sylvan Township Clerk and Treasurer, Luann Koch and Arlene Grau, are not to be held responsible for our $13,000,000 debt to the county. Did they or did they not sign onto the water and sewer debacle at its inception? Did they or did they not cover up their mistakes as the costs of their folly began to mount up? And did they or did they not add to that debt with a host of ill-advised lawsuits that always ended in failure? Why didn't they work with the City of Chelsea for possible solutions when the opportunity was available? Why do they refuse to work with the newly elected Treasurer and Clerk for a smooth transition for the benefit of township residents and to save the township money? I agree with Ms. Merkel that Arlene Grau and Luann Koch have probably worked hard through the years, but in light of all that has happened and continues to, one is forced to ask, on whose behalf have they toiled? Doug Smith, Sylvan Resident

Scott Cooper

Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 6:27 p.m.

Ms. Hahn certainly knows how to spin a tale. Patrick Zieske recommends that I tell my side.... and so I will. My Father served in WW II and was a Legionnaire, my mother was a member of the Ladies Auxiliary. I am an inaugural Member of the World War I I Museum in Washington D.C. It was through my efforts that the first "Hereos on the Water" passed and was permitted. It was also through my efforts that the Legion was refunded $900. for an excessive fee that had been levied against them. The Legion is an honorable organization but they have recently been co-opted by members who are"non-veterans". As FACTSHURT writes above they do not like to follow the same rules that you and I must follow and be held responsible for those events that they sponsor. If you dare question them , then you are anti-veteran. Now they choose to attack me . ON that Saturday several items in Ms. Hahn's tall tale are false and need correction. First! The event had not begun, as the kayaks had only just arrived, and there was never an attempt to stop the event but merely as a Twp. official to inform those present that two laws were being broken and their compliance would have been nice. Some of the "non-members challenged my ascertion which later proved to be true. Secondly, I was present no more than 3 minutes, left on my own with my dog and there were no police present. They were later notified as a means to bolster their drama. Now Ms. Hahn along with those supporting Mr. Lange tout his vast experience but fail to mention his own culpability in the ongoing Water and Sewer disaster. As Zoning Officer why did Mr. Lange keep quiet when he knew 1000 homes could not be built on property zoned for 650. Now we have those who have been held accountable and have been voted out of office protecting Mr. Lange who represents their last gasp of " the good old boy network" I pledge to the citizens a better Sylvan Township.


Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 2:58 p.m.

The orchestrated slanderous campaign to paint Scott Cooper as "Anti-Vet" is a certifiable joke. Without exception, Scott has been right when he pointed out the Legion was in violation of Ordinances or needed permit for certain events - the same Code of Ordinances that is enforced against regular citizens - often time harshly. It was the Legion who held this event knowing full-well they needed a permit and the zoning enforcement officer knew too but looked the other way, prompting Scott Cooper to ask Legion if they pulled the same required permit as the year before. It was the Legion representatives who got agressive first (having been called out on no Permit). Every time Scott pointed out the Legion's need for a permit or a violation, he was right but TWP officials broke their ankles running to avoid the issue (rather than reasonably amending the Ordinances if they don't serve a purpose) or giving special treatment to the Legion while at the same time harrassing residents of the TWP over the slightest alleged issue such as a 3-4 foot high ornamental fence put around garden to keep critters out or forcing someone to tear out steps down a hill because, oh my, the last step was 47' from a lake front and not the required 50'. Meanwhile, Bob Lang as zoning enforcement officer, grants the Legion a zoning compliance letter to construct a large Pavilion which, as a non-conforming building and a non-conforming use, required a nearly impossible to get Variance under the Ordinance for expanding non-confroming buildings and uses. He does not have to live next-door to now outdoor Legion parties- not by Legion members, but by anyone who will pay a few hundred $ to rent the hall. That's how good ole boy system works. I like Bob but in the interests of getting this TWP going in the right direction, a change is needed. Scott Cooper has been completely misrepresented by the Legion and the TWP who have worked in concert to tear Scott down when, oh my, he was always right!

Nature lover

Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 12:18 p.m.

"wrongly blamed LuAnn Koch and Arlene Grau for the township's current financial woes". Are you kidding me? The residents of Sylvan township are now going to be paying over $13,000,000 because of their vote for which we will receive no benefit. Vote them in again? No thanks.

Patrick Zieske

Fri, Oct 19, 2012 : 3:44 a.m.

I think the author does a disservice to Bob Lange's campaign by linking him (albeit obliquely) to the experience of Koch and Grau. If anything, they proved that experience doesn't count for everything. To seal the deal after professing extreme denial over the events of the last 12 years, they resolutely refuse to conduct an orderly transition to the new Board members, thus demonstrating exactly where they place the interests of Township residents in relation to their own interests. Bob Lange, on the other hand, has acted with graciousness following the August primary election. If there was a reason to vote for Bob, that would be uppermost in my mind. A gentleman. Scott Cooper brings energy, creativity, and independent thinking to the Board and would certainly bring those same traits to the Supervisor position. I hope and believe that Cooper will reach out to the Legion in a constructive fashion before it's too late. I agree with the author of this letter that Cooper must put this distraction behind us so that he might bring his better qualities forward.