In a small town, the position of treasurer holds significant responsibility when it comes to managing taxpayer money. However, the residents of Arenac County Township were shocked to discover that their treasurer, Deborah Rice, had relocated to a different county and no longer resided in their township. This revelation has sparked a legal dispute and tensions between the township and the Rice family.
Township Supervisor Tim Hagley revealed the treasurer’s relocation during a recent meeting. According to state law, officials must live in the township they represent, which raised concerns among the township residents. They were infuriated that their hard-earned money was being handled by someone who no longer lived in their community.
Hagley claims that Deborah and her husband, Glen, moved into a new home in Bay County in October, leaving their old residence in Arenac County behind. The couple’s decision to relocate outside the township they were responsible for managing has ignited a small-town drama.
Accusations and Responses
The township residents believe that Treasurer Rice has been misusing taxpayer money by taking on additional jobs and earning per diems while not even being a resident of the township. They feel that their money has been unjustly funneled away from their community. The thought of their treasurer profiting from their hard work, despite not residing in the township, has fueled their anger.
However, Deborah Rice and her husband have a different perspective. They assert that the township is mistaken in its accusations. Deborah, when asked to relinquish her keys and passwords, complied calmly while sipping her coffee. She claims that the township’s actions were unwarranted and that she and her husband maintain multiple homes, including one in Lynwood.
The Rices argue that instead of enjoying their nice house, they have been living in a trailer on the remains of their demolished home in Arenac County. They explain that they are in the process of building a new home and staying temporarily in the trailer. Deborah and Glen believe that their status as homeowners in the town proves that they are still connected to the community.
While the Rices insist that they are living in a trailer in Arenac County, the judge will ultimately determine if the treasurer complies with the residency requirement outlined in state law. Despite their claims, the couple’s stylish house in Bay County raises doubts about their actual residency.
Former treasurer Rice also brought up another grievance during the recent meeting. She alleged that the meeting itself violated the Open Meetings Act because she was not informed in advance. On the other hand, Supervisor Hagley asserts that the meeting had been properly posted with 24-hour notice. The disagreement regarding the legality of the meeting adds another layer to the ongoing dispute between the township and the Rice family.
The small town of Arenac County finds itself embroiled in a drama involving their treasurer, Deborah Rice. Accusations of misusing taxpayer money and relocating outside the township have created tension between the township residents and the Rice family. The conflicting claims about the whereabouts of the treasurer and the legality of the recent meeting will need to be settled by a judge.
Regardless of the outcome, this controversy serves as a reminder of the importance of integrity and transparency in local government. Taxpayers place their trust in elected officials to make responsible decisions with their hard-earned money. Ultimately, it is the duty of township officials to uphold the trust of their constituents and ensure that taxpayer funds are managed ethically and in accordance with the law.