Fact: Cameron Priebe was the only SBC commissioner to vote against consolidation of The City of Saugatuck Douglas. The vote was 4-1 in favor. His opposition represented a fairly dramatic flip-flop from what he'd expressed in the SBC's April 11th legal sufficiency hearing. Back then, the record shows "Commissioner Priebe stated that consolidating a smaller area (the two cities only with the township excluded) makes sense to him...." What's more, Priebe's professed “interest in representative government” apparently did not extend to allowing our citizens to choose the form and character of their government by way of the referendum that the other commissioners’ votes set the stage for.
On top of all that, Commissioner Priebe appears to embrace the bizarre argument that has been a fixture of consolidation opponents' reasoning for some time. He suggests that while we have definitely saved money and improved services to citizens by already consolidating police, fire, water and sewer, library, historical society and more, in his view, there really isn’t “much room left for improvement.” Seriously? What about two duplicated public works departments? What about two city councils? What about two city managers? What about all the administrative expense that’s duplicated? What about two city halls? Apparently, the commissioner doesn’t find the projected $500,000 in minimum annual cost-savings from eliminating one entire municipal headquarters to be “much.” We think he's wrong, and so, apparently, did his fellow commissioners.