To the Journal editor:
In a previous letter to the editor, I wrote that the main problem at Sawyer is that Sawyer is a geographical place, not a political entity but that might not have been an exact fact.
My mailing address indicates that Sawyer is nominally a part of Gwinn, while we all know it is separated from actual Gwinn by miles of sand, jack pine and general indifference.
I also likely overstated the amount of taxes paid by Sawyer to Forsyth Township and failed to note that a part of Sawyer actually pays its taxes to West Branch Township, not Forsyth Township at all.
Nonetheless, the central fact remains, millions of Sawyer's tax dollars flow away somewhere because Sawyer has no political identity, no way of holding on to its own money.
For all her gone millions, Sawyer gets primarily street plowing in winter, paying more than any other community in Michigan, likely all of America, for that service.
When I look at my property tax bill, I see that I pay over $40 for a clubhouse in Gwinn, while my street here in Sawyer has no street lights, not a one.
In just the last nine months, Gwinn has asked Sawyer for money for a library in Gwinn, was voted down for an extra policeman, won a second time vote (because Gwinn has more votes than we do here in Sawyer-the way they control our cash) and they are about to put Sawyer at financial risk rebuilding their water system.
Gwinn's taste for Sawyer cash seems only to be growing. And why not? If Sawyer keeps handing cash over, why shouldn't Forsyth and West Branch keep spending it? If Sawyer wants to stop its decay and blight, Sawyer will have to gain control over its own cash and start spending it on itself.
The way to do this is for those people looking out for Sawyer to find a way to turn Sawyer into a township, a city, a town, or a village - a legal entity. Shy of such legalization, nothing is going to change in Sawyer's future, because she will remain an abused dependent, part of Gwinn.
Right now at Sawyer, we are hoping someone is fixing our non-functioning fire hydrants, because we lack the means, both political and financial, to fix them ourselves.