FREEDOM OF SPEECH IN RURAL MONROE COUNTY

   Here, in 2002, a homeowner is protesting a newly constructed sewer pond that empties into a nearby stream.  The sewer lagoon system is less costly for the mobile home park developer that connecting to a municipal sewerage treatment system.  Tapping into a municipally operated and using a safe supervised system would probably require the mobile home developer to pay multiple residence tap in fees

  One would think that this sign makes no defamatory assertions and only expresses an opinion and asks questions.  However, the absentee developers are suing the sign owner in Monroe Circuit Court for harming their business.  The sign owner who lives near the sewer lagoon is counter suing claiming that their freedom of speech is being violated for expressing their opinion and objections with what appears to this layperson to be a legal expression of speech.  The sign size and placement is considered legal for the district in which it is located.

   Single and double wide mobile home owners pay property $36.00 in annual property taxes.  This tax has not changed in five decades.  This tax dates from an era when trailers just that - small and typically towed behind automobiles.  A typical use would be for workers who followed construction jobs and needed to take their housing with them.

   None of our state representatives, senators or governor have addressed this inequity for inflation or increased value of what has essentially become permanent housing.  The sad bottom line is that we have hundreds of luxurious dwelling units that are not taxed anywhere enough to support their demands on the local governments and school systems.  

A "Legal" Roadside Sign?

 

The Trailer Park Whose Owners are suing the Homeowner for Exercising "Freedom of Speech"?

  The Airport Local School district that these residents children will attend has so many mobile home parks within district boundaries with children attending the Airport System that the conventional homeowners are overtaxed.  These homeowners are typically paying $2,000.00 in property taxes.  They refuse to pass a tax increase of hundreds of dollars each to educate the influx of students. 

   Many citizens feel that our State Mobile Home Commission should not be able to override local governments and dictate where these Mobile home parks are located.  It appears that our state government chooses not to address the many local health and quality of life issues rose by the absentee mobile park owners and the hand picked commission packed with industry owner "experts".

    Mobile homes can and do provide safe affordable housing and good neighborhoods in which to live.  When my wife Marlyn and I moved to Michigan in 1965, we were happy to find a mobile home to rent in Frenchtown Township.  We still have friends that we made during the few months that we lived there-it was home and we were happy for a place to live in a tight housing market.

   However, in Michigan, the park landowner and operator can hold the residents to "ransom" on lot rental and some utility costs.  Once you are locked into a contract to finance a double wide home, the cost of moving your property to private land is so high that you are almost forced to sell a used home for what it will bring and eat your losses.  The state legislature is remiss in not protecting the mobile home owners rights and establishing equitable taxation.

   Fortunately, this case will be settled in Monroe County Circuit Court by an honest elected Judge based on our Bill of Rights and case law.   No information is available on the outcome.

NOTICE: It is assumed that all sinage you see here is there by permit, common law, by right or approved by the appropriate official.  Various zoning and public safety ordnances may place limitations on signs in terms of content, placement, style, size, and number per parcel.  Just because you see them on this web site does not mean that they are lawful or unlawful.

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ęDavid Alkire Smith Photographic Collection

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