By Candice Williams
The Detroit News
PLYMOUTH TOWNSHIP, Mich. — Officials in Plymouth Township are expected to vote tonight to lay off six of its 21 firefighters.
The move comes two days after 84 percent of voters rejected a special assessment proposal that would have levied up to 10 mills to fund the Plymouth Township Fire Department.
"Nobody wants to eliminate jobs because they impact the employee and their family, but their compensation needs to be adjusted like the private sector," said Plymouth Township Supervisor Richard Reaume. The firefighters' union has been negotiating with the township since fall 2009.
Other Metro Detroit communities and school districts are considering their options after the defeat of tax issues.
Voters rejected a $43.2 million bond request for Riverview Community Schools, but officials say they'll try again in August. "We're going to take a look at the proposal that we had, talk to people in the community and find out what the big issues were," said Superintendent Russell Pickell.
The district's request was defeated by 68 percent of voters. The proposed 7.32-mill hike would have funded security features in all buildings, plus new roofs and technology upgrades.
In Macomb County, officials in Center Line Public Schools were disappointed by the defeat of two bond proposals that would have funded technology and remodeling upgrades for schools and improvements to athletic fields.
The district tried to pass a similar measure in August, said school board president Darrell Vickers. This time, the district separated its requests into two proposals and lowered the total amount, he said.
"We went back and looked at the numbers and what could be done," Vickers said. "We tried to listen to the community."
Center Line Public Schools Superintendent Eve Kaltz said executive staff and the board will form a plan in the next two weeks, including addressing building structural issues. "There are going to have to be cuts in other places to do that," she said.
In Bruce Township, 75 percent of voters said no to a 2-mill proposal for police protection. Supervisor Jim Tignanelli said he doesn't expect to revisit the issue any time soon.
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