Zieske emphasizes that Free Sylvan did not take a "yes or no" position with regard to the millage. He and other members of the group say their goal was simply to share information with the public. But according to Zieske, about 80 percent of those who received that information were resoundingly opposed to the millage.
"The contract language itself bothered a lot of people," says Zieske of the proposed settlement. "It was an affirmation that we owed the money as a township. It almost sounded like they were confessing."
According to Turner, though, the millage language "was basically stated the way the bond was stated as far as responsibility goes." When the county borrowed the money, the township promised to repay it. Passing the millage would have given Sylvan the money to do so--but rejecting it didn't make the obligation go away.