"I think it's just difficult to take a poison pill," says Lange. "They put a lot of work into trying to explain the issue to the public, but there was a lot of opposition to it."
According to some of the individuals associated with Free Sylvan, their choice to refuse to swallow a poison pill knowing that an even more toxic one might be forced down their throats had less to do with the relative pain than it did with the hand offering the medicine.
"I'm not complaining about my taxes," Zieske says. "My taxes are not high. But there were many reasons for voting No. There was a lot of anger and shock." One of those reasons, according to Zieske and other members of Free Sylvan, was that voters didn't trust the township board.
"In the town hall meeting they were throwing around 18 mills [as the tax that might be imposed if the millage failed]," says Zieske. "One week before the vote there was a board meeting and the township attorney admitted that the 18 mills was off the table. No one knew that. We never would have known that.
"There was a lot of fear being pounded into us."