Prescription consistency an admirable goal | News, Sports, Jobs
It’s not always easy to write a government prescription.
There are many things to consider and many people to satisfy. And as is the case with most, if not all, things in small, medium, or large municipal governments, you can’t please everyone.
However, officials can simplify things for people to understand and for officials to apply.
For example, the Township of Chocolay is working to streamline nuisance, noise and vehicle zones into one ordinance. Township Superintendent Bill De Groot said officials are focusing on a review of Ordinance 37A, Nuisance Control; Order 55, Parking and Storage of Vehicles and Trailers; and Order 66, Noise, to revise the language and combine the three similar orders into one comprehensive order.
“Our current council has started looking at all ordinances from three angles: health, safety and welfare, and in doing so we have the township zoning ordinance itself and then we have a bunch of autonomous orders”, De Groot told the Mining Journal in a recent interview. “We systematically go through our stand-alone prescriptions to try to address the three pillars of health, safety and well-being, but also try to clarify any vague language or repetitive issues that we have in the community, as well as the language which can be used as loopholes or different things like that.
What might be fine in one area of the township might not be in another area, so the proposed nuisance ordinance would put these issues under one roof.
In August, the Sawyer Operations Authority already addressed such an issue, voting unanimously to use the language of the Forsyth Township Burning Ordinance for KI Sawyer, which includes the townships of Forsyth and West Branch, to prohibit open burning unless the ordinance specifically permits it.
SOA Chairman Bill Nordeen said at the time that the authority thought it might be helpful to pass this order by ensuring consistency.
“You would have prescriptions on one side of the street, then on the other side of the street you wouldn’t have any, and people didn’t understand that either,” Nordeen after the August 12 meeting. “So the only thing we wanted to address was a joint order in Sawyer.”
In 2019, the SOA passed two ordinances regarding parking and curfews, again in line with KI Sawyer’s uniformity.
Many people find municipal laws and issues complicated, so clarifying ordinances, which are a big part of government, is a good way to help residents understand what can be a maze of laws.