Language error means Oakview millage to be placed on ballot again.

August 9, 2018

Language error means Oakview millage to be placed on ballot again.

#Election2018

By Rob Alway, Editor-in-Chief.

LUDINGTON — An error was discovered in the ballot language related to Tuesday’s millage renewal request for Oakview Medical Care Facility, meaning the issue will appear back on the ballot during the Nov. 6 General Election, if the county board approves the request at its next meeting. County Administrator Fabian Knizacky, Oakview Administrator Jannice Lamm and Oakview Chairman Wayne Buskirk met with local media Thursday to discuss the error.

Knizacky said he made the error when preparing the resolution for the county board of commissioners that approved placing the issue on the ballot. The word “cents” was used instead of “dollars” when referring to the amount of taxes that would be collected per $1,000 of taxable value.

“All the other language was correct, as was the total amount that was estimated to be collected,” Lamm said. “The language that had appeared in all promotional material and in the local media was also correct. But, the ballot itself was incorrect.”

Knizacky said a voter in Hamlin Township discovered the error and pointed it out to election officials. He said Oakview’s attorneys were then consulted and they advised that the issue be placed back on the ballot.

Knizacky explained that no further action needs to be taken on the Tuesday millage renewal request because it was a request asking the electorate to authorize the county commission to levy the millage. For that reason, the issue that appeared in the Primary Election will not be placed on the county commission’s agenda for consideration.

However, the county commission will need to take action to place the request on the November ballot. The deadline to place an item on the ballot is Aug. 14 at 4 p.m. The county board normally would be meeting on that date, but instead, the regular monthly meeting was moved up to Monday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m.

See related story about details on the millage request.

Knizacky said the county will cover the costs of placing the item back on the ballot. He said it will be the only county-wide millage request in the General Election. 

The Oakview millage request passed by a 70% margin, 5,328 to 2,274.

“We are hoping that the voters of Mason County continue to support Oakview Medical Care Facility and those who need its services,” Lamm said. 

“We have always had wonderful support from the community for Oakview, its residents, and our mission of providing quality resident care to the elders in our community. The Board and I were very grateful that the community once again overwhelmingly supported the renewal of our 10-year millage Tuesday.

“Obviously, I am very disappointed that an error occurred on the language of the ballot. Because of the nature of the error, I do not believe any voters were confused as to the amount of funds to be raised. However, as a public facility, we need to be completely transparent with the community in everything we do. If the possibility exists that there was any confusion by voters as to the amount of the millage, we must remedy that by re-submitting it to the voters.”

Knizacky said if the millage renewal is approved in November, there should be no disruption in Oakview’s budget. He said funds will be collected during the winter tax collection in December.

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