Editorial: Election may have been sign of things to come

The fallout from Tuesday’s election still is far from over, we’re afraid, and that’s why youth and recreational folks in Alpena County are looking over their shoulder today.

Given the wide margin voters defeated the school millage request, coupled with the apparent lack of support some user groups were demonstrating with Northern Lights Arena management this season, recreation grant recipients in Alpena County are concerned. The talk in the coffee shop circles of town is that the youth and recreation millage is next on the target of disgruntled county taxpayers.

Alpena County voters Aug. 3, 2010, approved a four year, half-mill request to fund youth and recreational programs. In 2011 $303,193 was distributed, in 2012 the amount increased to $421,941, while this year $629,960 has been approved. Next year, if commissioners seek to renew the millage, it will be back before voters.

As stated in Friday’s editorial, voters have shown that given the right conditions, they can mobilize with a force to be reckoned with.

Given current economic conditions, a general lack of enthusiasm about the millage and the news stories of this week and recreational proponents are glad their request is still a year away.

Certainly that helps.

It also would help if the Northern Lights management issue could be resolved quickly, peacefully, and without a lot of extra drama. Like it or not, both are intricately related.

For instance in funding this year from the youth and recreation grant, Northern Lights Arena was awarded $55,000 for indoor turf, $10,000 for a Ready, Set, Skate program and $8,000 for new rental skates. Meanwhile M-PAC received $6,000 for its first year skating program and the Alpena Figure Skating Club received $8,000 for ice time rental.

Quickly, it becomes evident, how one thing can impact another.

Voters Tuesday fired a wakeup call to the community. As time goes on, we’ll see who was listening.