Do any citizens feel the need to make any waves, pun, with the city fathers/council this summer about the discontinuance of the Lifeguard program here? And try to legally and ethically reinstate their presence and lifesaving status for our six block beach? Is there any amount of money that we can put on the loss of even one life in the case of a drowning? Even if only one life is saved in a decade? I believe we locals owe this legacy of lifesaving experts to our children and everyone else using the beach, local and tourists alike. It has been shown many times, even as recent as June 2009, that their presence and skills are valuable and necessary. It's not money wasted if noone gets hurt or drowns, it precautionary insurance, and respect for human life itself. The City fathers know they have the money to fund the program. Heck, all the equipment,supplies, towers, and gear is already bought and paid for, waiting in the wings/storage for usage. Why should we follow other ports on the lake instead of LEAD on this matter? Shouldn't the Lifeguard program be a permanent part of the annual budget, instead of being voted on year after year as if it were a question of money instead of necessity/principle? Ludington and Lake Michigan visitors deserve better, and we are already in the Lifeguard business, whether we like it or not. So, I say get a petition going and start getting signatures of every person in town that agrees. I'm sure not many would oppose this. Especially in light of the fact that funding is clearly there. It's no more than a petty cash item for the short summers we have, and makes the statement statewide, that Ludington is a Leader on this important matter, not a follower.    

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For anyone who is interested here is the city's initiative (and referendum) procedures:
(a). General Authority. The registered voters of the city have the power to enact city ordinances, called the "initiative", and the power to nullify ordinances enacted by the city, called the "referendum". However, these powers do not extend to the budget or capital program or any ordinance relating to appropriation of money, levy of taxes or salaries of city officers or employees or to the adoption or amendment of the Zoning Ordinance of the City of Ludington.
(b). Petitioner's Committee. Any five (5) qualified voters may commence initiative or referendum proceedings by filing with the City Clerk an affidavit stating they will constitute the Petitioner's Committee and be responsible for circulating the petition and filing it in proper form, stating their names and addresses, and specifying the address to which all notices of the committee are to be sent, and setting out in full the proposed initiative ordinance or citing the ordinance sought to be reconsidered.
Promptly after the affidavit of the Petitioner's Committee is filed, the City Clerk shall issue the appropriate petition blanks to the Petitioner's Committee
[1] Number of Signatures. Initiative and referendum petitions must be signed by registered voters of the city equal in number to at least ten (10) percent of the total number of registered voters registered to vote at the last General City Election.
[2] Form and Content. All papers of a petition shall be uniform in size and style and shall be assembled as one instrument for filing. Each signature shall be executed in permanent ink or indelible pencil and shall be followed by the address of the person signing and the date of signing. Petitions shall contain or have attached thereto throughout their circulation the full text of the ordinance proposed or sought to be reconsidered.
[3] Affidavit of Circulator. Each paper of a petition shall have attached to it when filed, an affidavit executed by the person circulating it stating that he or she personally circulated the paper, the number of signatures thereon, that all the signatures were affixed in his or her presence, that he or she believes them to be the genuine signatures of the persons whose names they purport to be, and that each signer had an opportunity before signing to read the full text of the ordinance proposed or sought to be reconsidered.
[(d). Certification. Within twenty (20) days after the petition is filed, the City Clerk shall complete a certificate as to its sufficiency. If it is insufficient, the particulars in which it is insufficient shall be specified, and a copy of the certificate sent by certified registered mail to the Petitioner's Committee within three (3) days. A petition certified insufficient for lack of required number of valid signatures may be amended once (1) if the Petitioner's Committee files a notice of intention to amend it with the Clerk within three (3) days, excluding weekends and holidays, after receiving the copy of the City Clerk's certificate. A supplementary petition shall be filed upon additional papers within ten (10) days after receiving the copy of such certificate. The amended petition shall comply with the requirements of subsections [2] and [3] of Section 7.5(c) within five (5) days after it is filed, excluding weekends and holidays, and the City Clerk shall complete a certificate as to the sufficiency of the amended petition and promptly send a copy to the Petitioner's Committee by certified [or] registered mail. If a petition or amended petition is certified insufficient and the Petitioner's Committee does not elect to amend or request Council review under subsection (e) of Section 7.5 within the time required, the Clerk shall promptly present the certificate to the Council and it shall be then a final determination as to the sufficiency of the petition.
(e). Council Review. If a petition has been certified insufficient and the Petitioner's Committee does not file notice of intention to amend it or if an amended petition has been certified insufficient, the Committee may, within three (3) business days after receiving the copy of such certificate, file a request that it be reviewed by the Council. The Council shall review the certificate at its next meeting following the filing of such request and approve or disapprove it, and the Council's determination shall then be a final determination as to the sufficiency of the petition.

When it states "any five qualified voters" can form the petitioner's committee, that could be interpretted as non-Ludington voters. I found no similar wording in the state laws to disqualify individuals who may not live in the municipality from circulating a petition. Anyone interested? I'm with you Aquaman!
Let's Get-R-Done, by all means. Thanks.


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