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Michigan Farm Bureau Family of Companies

Local Government #66

We support Michigan’s current township government system. Townships should not be required to combine government services they now provide, (e.g. elections, property tax collections, assessor services), with multiple jurisdictions, unless a township chooses to and determines that the township’s residents would be better served by the multiple jurisdiction system for certain services.

We believe:

  • Townships or local units of government should not be permitted to enact regulations affecting agriculture that are stricter than existing state and federal regulations.

  • Local government should look for increased efficiencies through consolidation of services and streamlining regulations.

  • Secondary use of agricultural property, including buildings, that does not conflict or substantially change the nature of the farm business should be allowed.

  • Agricultural representation on local boards and commissions is vital.

We encourage:

  • Standardized residence address signs to be readily visible at the driveway entrance to facilitate emergency response.

  • Standardized signage be developed for facilities with alternate power sources for the protection of emergency personnel.

  • Emergency response procedures to allow cooperation between local governments.

  • Local government officials to fully consider the long-term fiscal implications and yearly operating costs to any public acquisition.

  • Local units of governments making their audited financial statements available not more than one year after the close of the fiscal year, without requiring a Freedom of Information Act request. The financial statements should be made available through print or electronically.

  • Local governments to take advantage of electronic mediums when possible and practical. The importance of continuing the conspicuous posting of notices in several locations and, in some areas non-electronic publishing, cannot be discounted.

  • Continued emphasis on state revenue-sharing payments to local units of government. 

  • Farm Bureau members taking a more active role in local government, especially land use planning, zoning and development and updating of master plans.

  • Michigan State University Extension providing more planning and zoning education as well as development of master plans for townships and counties. County Farm Bureaus should disseminate this information to their members.

  • County Farm Bureaus taking a more active role in recruiting agricultural representatives on local boards, township positions, and commissions. Not all positions that impact agriculture are elected, and farmer representation is important. 

  • Promoting existing programs at statewide Michigan Farm Bureau events, such as the Academy for Political Leadership, for members who are not only interested in seeking political office but also interested in learning more about government, its operations, and how members can have an impact.

We oppose townships requiring engineered site plans and building affidavits for agricultural buildings.

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