SHORT TAKES: Paepke an example of ‘the greatest generation’

By Daily News • Last Updated 10:47 am on Monday, April 23, 2012

Last week marked the passing of one of Montcalm County’s most devoted citizens. County Commissioner Carl Paepke, 86, died Wednesday. He was a real-life example of a public servant. Paepke was a World War II veteran, when he earned a Bronze Star while serving in Europe.

Paepke was a lifelong Pierson Township farmer, devoted to this county, and the extent of his quiet contributions to the people of the area would be difficult to fully capture. He was a county commissioner for 18 years, and it is well known that he spent countless hours attending an untold number of committee meetings, all in the effort to make Montcalm County a better place to live.

Carl was a friend of this newspaper, and through the years we had our differences. No matter, he was a respected leader who did his homework, stood strong in his beliefs and worked tirelessly for his constituency. We have lost a man who truly was a member of “the greatest generation.”

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The push to reform the Michigan Personal Property Tax is apparently becoming front and center in Lansing. The tax — abhorred by business because it penalizes investment in equipment, and disliked by both business and government because it is so difficult to administer and comply with — brings badly needed revenue to Michigan’s municipalities. The tax is probably on the way out, but there’s no question that the money must be replaced somehow.

It’s an unending story: We need a more favorable business climate in order to attract badly needed jobs.

We need sufficient tax income in order to fund public needs for services. Jobs create income for people and government. That income results from the success of business that supplies the jobs. It’s not an either-or proposition, it’s a balancing act; and it won’t happen without high-minded legislative cooperation and compromise.

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The annual Montcalm Community College Heritage Village Benefit Dinner is Thursday at Sheridan’s VFW Hall. It’s all-you-can-eat lasagna, a bake sale and prize drawings.

Tickets at the door: $7 adults, $4 children age 5 to 12. Children under 4 are free, but you must bring an adult.

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Greenville’s Flat River Community Library Book Sale is this week. Sale is Friday and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There will be a silent auction for selected books and cookies for sale too! Donations of books, CDs, DVDs and puzzles for the sale will be accepted through Wednesday.

Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.

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