Making Democracy Work

Local Positions

The League uses its positions to advocate on issues; local positions are based on local League studies.

Alpena General Hospital

The League of Women Voters of Alpena County supports a hospital that provides services to meet the changing health needs of the community and attracts and retains an adequate number of doctors and hospital staff to provide good health care. The League supports licensing and accreditation.

Members also recommend that governmental units keep the public informed about hospital plans and needs.

Consolidation of 1973 position, approved by membership, January 1983.

County Coordinator

The League of Women Voters of Alpena County supports the overall concept of a county administrator for Alpena County. Such an administrator would be responsible for day-to-day administration, as assigned by the County Board of Commissioners, with commissioners continuing to be responsible for setting policy.

League members recommend that a County Administrator should be hired on a two to four year trial bases, with an evaluation after two years; and the possibility of another evaluation after four years. They also recommend that if the County Board of Commissions decides to hire an administrator, the concept and the person should each be approved by votes of two-thirds or more rather than by a simple majority vote.

League members, while recognizing many potential problems, state that the probable benefits of having a county administrator include increased efficiency and coordination, decreased costs in the long run, continuity, expertise, quick implementation of board decisions, and availability to the public of a single, readily available person. Commissioners should gain increased time to consider policy issues because of fewer meetings and less detailed work.

Potential problems which can be avoided are increased costs, loss of Commissioners' individual involvement and responsibility, lack of cooperation by county officials, unclear guidelines, administrator or Board members not working within the guidelines, and selection of a poorly qualified administrator, or one who does not get along well with people. Also, an administrator's effectiveness might be limited because of state laws and other regulations. April 1977

Library

Members of the Alpena County League of Women Voters support a good public library. We support expansion of facilities and services in accordance with American Library Association standards.

League members will support a ballot issue for reasonable additional millage.

We believe the library allocation in the county budget should be increased when necessary to support an adequate library. April 1993

Schools

The League of Women Voters of Alpena County recognizes the importance of education. We, therefore, support the following:

Equal opportunity for education in Alpena County. Adequate plant facilities for implementation of that education. Coordinated communication between the schools and the community so that each unit knows the goals and problems of the other. An educational system that:

meets the needs of the students
meets the needs of the community
Is economically feasible

Music, art and physical education are essential parts of the elementary curriculum.

Consolidation of 1970, 1975, 1981 Consensus position, approved by membership, April 1982.

Alcohol-Related Driving Offenses

The League of Women Voters of Alpena County considers alcohol-related driving offenses to be a major concern in our community and recognizes that the problem is complex, involving the legal system, substance abuse treatment system, and public attitudes. The League favors efforts to improve the response to these offenses in the following areas:

We support changes in current state law which appear to have been effective in reducing the incidence of drunk driving in other geographic areas. We support road patrols that can adequately cover our large rural area.

Recognizing the magnitude of the abuse of alcohol and other substances in our community and its relation to alcohol related driving offenses, we support the availability of a full range of treatment services including inpatient, outpatient and residential, in our community. As such treatment is a standard probation condition for these offenses, we support adequate probation staff to monitor compliance with such requirements.

Recognizing that public attitudes have played a significant role in the prevalence of drunk driving, we support use of any available educational campaign that will contribute to reducing the incidence of drunk driving. September 1991

Solid Waste

League of Women Voters of Alpena County supports measures to solve the problem of solid waste by redesigning, repairing, reducing, reusing, and recycling.

We recognize the current need for a sanitary landfill that conforms to Michigan Law and Environmental Protection Agency guidelines.

We feel government should be responsible for disposal of solid waste.

We support adequate funding for development and inspection of solid waste disposal.

We will support forceful laws setting standards and guidelines at the federal level, with federal, state, and local enforcement. 1973, 1994--Reopened for study, 2000--Closed. 2009-Reopened for study;revised May 2011

Recreation

The members of the League of Women Voters of Alpena County support coordination of recreation functions and facilities throughout the Alpena area. Governmental cooperation is essential; at least between city, county and schools.

The members also support:

coordinated financing
full utilization of existing facilities
continued extensive use of volunteers
development of programs as interest indicates
publicity about recreation
publicity about available facilities
more coordination of scheduling, equipment use and grounds maintenance.

Recreation programming should include, but not be limited to:

All ages
All abilities
All economic levels
Both sexes
Structured & unstructured activities
Active and passive recreation

April 1981

Greenbelt Zoning

Members of the League agree unanimously to support a proposal for protection and enhancement of the main and south branch of the Thunder Bay River, outside the city limits, as submitted by the Northeast Michigan Regional Planning Development Commission, with the addition of strong enforcement measures.

TO PRESERVE THE NATURAL CHARACTER OF THE RIVER:

Preserve the tree cover and vegetation on the banks
Recognize the contribution of sweepers and protruding logs to the natural scene.
Weigh heavily any future alterations of the channel; and subject to the appropriate public control;
also maintain springs and tributaries as free-flowing on private property.
Uses of abutting land should be compatible with desired character.

TO MAINTAIN A HIGH STANDARD OF WATER QUALITY:

Provide through sewage treatment and/or proper septic tank use.
Eliminate excessive siltation caused by river bank erosion.
Development and use of land along the river should be limited by concern for the quality of the water.

TO RECOGNIZE AND DEVELOP RECREATION POTENTIAL CONSISTENT WITH GOALS IN ONE AND TWO ABOVE:

Adequate, but limited facilities for canoeists and fishermen.
Limited, but exceptional picnic and campsites on the river and suitable sites for swimming at the impoundments.
1972

Negwegon

In our study of the consensus on Negwegon State Park, the League of Women Voters of Alpena County considers the prime factors in park planning should be the preservation of the ecosystems and unique features of Negwegon Park; with adequate supervision and maintenance. The League favors a wild area park.

The League endorses the use of the park for hiking, backpack camping, cross country skiing, and supports the development of nature trails with limited markers and signs. The League members would like excluded from the park any facilities that would alter the shoreline; motorized vehicles, except those used for maintenance; modern camp facilities, such as hot and cold running water, flush toilets, electricity; and would limit roads to adequate parking at the park entrance. If water is provided, it should be hand pumps. There was also a unanimous concern for proper waste disposal.

Members were concerned that new campgrounds should not be developed when others are being considered for closing for lack of funds. League urges strong correlation between agencies, and within agencies, in state government.

It was agreed that if roads are built, they should be of gravel type, and should not be constructed north of the Alcona County line--on the assumption that the entrance to the park will be from the south. 1972

Sinkholes

The League of Women Voters of Alpena County supports the preservation of prime specimens of the area sinkholes.

The League supports the acquisition by a government unit or public interest group, and would like to see acquisition accompanied by a definite plan, with funding, to be implemented in a reasonable time period. The League encourages public enjoyment of the area, as well as for scientific and educational uses. The League urges that provisions for law enforcement and protection of the area be included as part of the plan.

All methods of acquisition should be explored with careful attention to use restrictions which might be imposed by private groups and consideration of spending priorities if government moneys are involved.

League supports the limited development of the area, with it left in as natural a state as possible, consistent with public enjoyment and safety. The following features should be desirable:

natural material hiking trails
informative displays
trail markers
parking lot in keeping with natural area
policing and protection of area

The following features should be excluded:

picnic tables
camping facilities
logging of the area
motorized vehicles
commercial activities
February 1973