Thursday, March 4, 2021

Trustees blast incorrect warming center claims

Members of the Sumpter Township Board of Trustees stressed the availability of the warming center in the community during inclement weather.

Supervisor Tim Bowman commented during the Feb. 23 meeting of the board members that he had received a phone call from Wayne County questioning the availability of the center following a letter to the editor printed in a local newspaper claiming that the center were not available or open to the public. He said it was disturbing to realize that such misinformation was circulated in the township.

Trustee Matt Oddy was even more adamant in his criticism of the false claim that the center was not open for Sumpter residents during the recent cold temperatures which presented a serious health threat. He said that the report was part of “continued negative reporting” from the paper.

Oddy said he was very concerned that people who might be interested in investing in or moving to the township would be negatively influenced by inaccurate reports of the township failing to provide services to residents. 

He asked Police Chief Eric Luke to clarify the situation.

Luke said the published information about the warming centers was not correct and that he had taken advantage of every means possible to inform Sumpter residents that the warming center was open and available. 

“This paper said that we were not meeting the needs of the community and I want to make it very clear that we are open whenever citizens need help. Whether the center is open or not, call us and we will help you. Call the police or fire department and we will help you. That's what we do.” 

He said the information about the availability of the warming center was on the police department website, the police department Facebook page and on Channel 12 in the township continuously telling people that whenever it is not safe in their home to call the police or fire department.

He was critical of the erroneous information as was city attorney Rob Young.

“This has gone on for decades,” Young said. He added that this negativity about the township had been continuous and was an inaccurate representation of the community and could impact those thinking of moving to or investing in Sumpter.

Oddy said that the misinformation was printed in a letter to the editor and the accuracy of the claims was never checked.

 “Whatever is going on in your home, if you are not safe, call us. We will find you help,” Luke said. “We are in business to help our residents,” he concluded.