Salted with Sharks

March Elberta Council Meeting Report: Holier Than Thou

In Community Alert, Gov't Watch, Historic Elberta, Infrastructure and Planning, Law & Order, On and off the Apron, Open Season, Politics, Public Safety, Village Money Situation on April 5, 2013 at 4:02 pm

By Emily Votruba

VILLAGE COMMUNITY BUILDING March 21, 2013—Sharyn Bower announced that the County Board of Commissioners would be holding their regular meeting at the Village Community Building on April 16 at 6 pm as part of their tour around the county. The Planning Commission will hold two public hearings before their regular meeting, also on April 16, beginning at 7 pm in the Library. The first hearing concerns the definition of “apartment” the commission wants to add to the zoning ordinance and to add apartments to the C1 Commerical District as a special use. The second hearing is to receive public comment on Loy Putney’s special use permit application and site plan for his Bay Valley Inn building project. Before the regular council meeting on April 18, beginning at 7 pm, there will be a public hearing on the proposed new Recreation Plan.

Ken Holmes asked for an agenda addition, to discuss who has the authority to speak with the Village attorney.

PUBLIC COMMENT District 7 county commissioner Don Tanner had just come back from the Michigan Association of Counties (MAC) conference. He’d urged our legislators to vote for the Medicaid expansion bill and to set up a health exchange for Michigan. He spoke with Darwin Booher (state senator, 35th District), Howard Walker (state senator, 37th District), and Wayne Schmidt (state house, 104th District)—“Ray Franz was nowhere to be found.” Don said it became clear to him in these conversations that “our state legislators don’t understand that our mental health services are federal programs. It astonishes me. Darwin Booher said, ‘Well of course we’re not going to support that.’ I said ‘Your governor is asking you to support it and I urge you to follow his lead.’ This is a business decision for the State of Michigan. These gentlemen were arguing with me about how [Medicaid expansion] was going to increase the federal debt and I said ‘Well, last I knew, you guys were representing the state of Michigan not the federal government.’ People always complain about unfunded mandates. And what the fed was trying to do and Michigan passed on, was set up a health exchange and do Medicaid expansion, and they were going to fund it 100%. Then the next option was for them to do a joint state-federal exchange, for which we would receive $31 million. Today was the last day to act on that, and they went into recess without acting on it. Which means we’re going to spend 8 million in state dollars to set up a health care registry.” The senators seemed to object to being told what to do by the feds. “I reminded them that Medicaid and our mental health program is a federal program. We’ve been told what to do since its inception. Our director at Manistee Benzie CMH keeps reminding them. Howard Walker was the only one who seemed to understand what was going on. I’m just baffled. The collective brain trust in Lansing has me just stymied.” Tanner also spoke with Ben Bodkin, the MAC lobbyist, and Matt Chase, the lobbyist for NACO (National Association of Counties). Chase had reportedly told John Boehner that last year every county in the state of Michigan’s bond rating went up, as was the case with counties nationally. “If the federal government were to be as fiscally responsible as the counties and local municipalities, they wouldn’t be in the spot they’re in today.” The commissioners had also gotten their audit back. “We’re about $300K to the black this year,” but they hadn’t heard about insurance premiums, which were expected to go up as much as 8%. Revenue sharing will come back this year, but more counties are participating, so the county expects a reduction in revenue. “We’re also likely to lose many of our tax exemptions. We’ve already lost the ability to claim exemptions for our children. Looks like they’re going after the homestead exemption as well.” The following week Tanner was heading to the first meeting of the regional mental health entity. The county got an emergency services grant for a generator in the Thompsonville fire hall. He and Sheriff Schendel had accepted a grant from the Grand Traverse Band for in-car cameras; for the fifth year in a row the Band donated $5,000 to the Benzie Special Olympics. Grow Benzie got a grant for some roofing on their facility.

Sharyn said that Grace Road will be repaired this year, a local rather than state or fed-funded project.

Cheryl Gross noted that posts for a new road sign now block the Conservancy signs and future parking lot for Elberta Dunes South. Jennifer Wilkins subsequently learned that the Dune Park sign placement is temporary and they mark the edge of the easement for the road. The parking lot will be set well back from the road. Cheryl also said there was no notice of the meeting date changes on the village website and it would be good if future changes were posted there. She thanked council for what they have done so far to protect the beach and urged them to continue. She is concerned about her cat getting hit by a car on the beach, among other things.

CORRESPONDENCE Council had received a letter from J. Keith Harness of North Star Marina concerning the proposed dredging. Reggie said, “I went over to see Josh [Mills] last week and at the time nothing had come through but I think since that time money has been allocated, and my understanding is the project is a go. I’m going to go back and see him next week. We talked a little bit about how the money will be spent. There’s nothing hard and fast but he was talking about dredging only for municipal boat launches, not private boat launches. We were going to discuss whether our little marina would come under that or not. In terms of North Star Marina, if [the dredging] did come down over on our side of the bay that would affect him, but as of now it’s just going to be on the Frankfort side.”

Ken Holmes: Aren’t these the same people who complained about Scott Gest when he was dredging?

Reggie wasn’t sure. Ken said he too had talked to Josh, that day, and he had more information than what he had before.

RM: There’s a lot of permitting and red tape, a lot of agencies…nothing hard and fast. I’ll get back with him. As far as our marina is concerned, if they don’t go over there—if you look from the bridge right now, most of the water is going to the right, very little of it is going to the left. Our marina is getting very little water. But in order to dredge our marina you’re talking all sorts of red tape and agencies and the whole ball of wax. The reason I feel most of the water is going to the right is that the last dredging we had was at East Shore Marina.

Council had also received correspondence from lawyers on both sides of the Putney case. “We’ll talk about that later,” said Reggie.

APPROVAL OF BILLS In Linda’s absence, Ken Holmes moved we approve the bills as written. Emily Votruba asked if he would read out the figures. “$11,270.47 out of our check register and $10,314.91 out of our general fund.” Reggie offered to share the sheet with Emily but she forgot to get it from him in the drama that followed.

DPW: Ken Bonney said a part of the roof trim on the Community Building had blown off and Ross Thorsen and Mark Held had fixed it for free. Ken had some calls about fishermen driving through the Waterfront Park to their fishing spot instead of parking and walking. “If anyone sees any cars in the park, please tell them to keep to the parking lot. They could damage our sprinkler heads.” He had received two calls from the water lift station in the previous month to make repairs. (Ken is on call 24/7 to deal with water emergencies. The automated monitoring system calls him when it detects a problem in pressure or other issues.) He was opening up the LSS for a rental the next weekend. He and Charlie had been doing spring cleaning in the shop. He said he would be taking vacation sometime at end of April or beginning of May, so he’d need a backup person for water.

Reggie said he lets fishermen know they’re on private property and access can be taken away. He said it’s up to local fishermen to patrol each other.

Scott Gest said most of the fishermen he’d talked to about driving on his property had been polite and respectful.

WATER/SEWER/BLUA: Still no backup engineer. Ken said the board had had a lot of discussions about finances but the plant itself was running great.

PARKS AND REC: Matt deferred to Jen. Jen announced the next Solstice fundraiser, April 13, a cabaret evening sponsored by the Cabbage Shed. All proceeds after the performers are paid will go to the festival. The Coast Guard said the fireworks were too small to require a permit.  Reggie had the form for the permit in his packet, requiring his signature. P&R updated their bylaws regarding when meetings are held.

MARINA PARK/FARMERS MKT: Jen said market master Sue Oseland had surveyed the vendors and it was clear the hours should change to later: 8:30 am to 1 pm instead of 7:30 to noon. Sue had obtained a SNAP machine with 1 year free wireless service. P&R will purchase 1,000 ($153) wooden nickels for use with the Double Up Food Bucks program. P&R had arranged with Sue to pay her a regular amount on a monthly basis, rather than pay her water and tax bills (see February’s meeting report).

BEACH Ken Bonney said the boardwalks would go out as soon as he could get down the hill, probably in April. Usually the new one for the pier goes out first. Jen remarked on the number of dead ducks on the beach. Reggie suspected that same botulism we had in the fall.

ZONING ADMINISTRATOR Ken Bonney has reviewed Loy Putney’s special use permit and sent it to the planning commission for their review.

BUDGET COMMITTEE Reggie, a member of the budget committee, said: “I had an idea. Because of the LSS we had quite a long discussion last meeting about paying for the upkeep of the LSS. And that was what, 20%—I can’t remember what the figure was. I’ll just throw this out, we have money in the Solstice Festival account, and the Solstice Festival is supposed to raise money for the Village and the festival. So how about taking some of the money out of the Solstice Festival account to use on the upkeep of the LSS? There’s money there. The reason that we have that festival is to raise money for the Village. I think it’s a discussion we should have.”

KH: Any money we can use. Our general fund is getting pretty depleted. The parks we have cost the Village. The LSS has cost us a fortune since day one. We went into debt over $50K for that LSS to complete it the way the historical people wanted it and we’ve been fighting with it ever since. And of course we’re getting more competition now, so. We’re going to have to eventually rewrite how we’re operating with the LSS in terms of compensation. Hopefully it’s not going to hurt us too bad but we’ve got a lot of places opening up for weddings. It’s getting to be a problem to maintain all that stuff. I’ve known for years it was going to happen in order to maintain our village.

RM: This year was the first year, and you can correct me if I’m wrong, that we spent way, way above the 20% we originally planned. But once we started down there—we were fixing shabby work that had been done down there before. I don’t expect us to have that big of a bill down there again.

KH: Ross did a superb job down there and I wouldn’t want anyone else working down there in the first place. When he does something it’s next to perfect. There’s no question about his work. In fact he probably didn’t charge half of what he should have.

RM: As far as competition is concerned we still have the best place—there’s no place on the bay with a view of the bay and the surrounding area. The one over in Frankfort is small. Our bookings are still way up there, aren’t they, Sharyn?

SB: We’re doing good so far this year.

RM: If our bookings start falling off we’ll know that the place isn’t being maintained or we’re charging too much. There is some money we can tap into here [referring to the Solstice money]. It doesn’t have to come out of the budget.

Diane Jenks: We have to maintain that building or we won’t be in competition long. Ken [Holmes], that building does pay for itself. And we have a thing on number 5 on the agenda…

Reggie asked Ken Bonney for an estimate on costs for additional work.

KB: The bids on the siding is probably the first thing that should happen down there—

RM: Anything over the 20% we have allocated, we can come to the council.

Matt Stapleton: Maybe you could run those figures by Park and Rec so they can discuss it, as opposed to—just get some input from that group. Maybe it’s a great opportunity to get some money and maybe that money’s already allocated somewhere else—

RM: But at the same time it still comes back to this board.

Matt: I understand that, but there are some proper channels because there’s a group that oversees that—

RM: We oversee it.

Matt: Well, we oversee it, but I mean they make decisions for Solstice about what’s spent and what’s not.

DJ: Park and Rec knows what the budget needs are for Solstice.

Matt: I know we’re on a tight time frame but maybe you ought to run—

KH: We had Ross give us a price last time. We’ve got a lot of material set aside for the siding.

RM: The painter just called me a week ago and wanted to know if he should schedule it or not. I said not until we decide how we’re going to approach it.

KB: There’s no sense in painting that old siding, which is rotten, if we’re going to put new up.

RM: So I told him just hold off. But he was worried about scheduling his work for the spring.

FIRE&SAFETY COMMITTEE Ken Holmes said he had talked to Josh Mills about the fire budget. Another meeting was scheduled for the fire department board. “We’re waiting for Crystal Lake. They’re going on a millage, which I think everyone should do, instead of taking it out of the general fund. I should have the figures you need [for the Elberta budget] after that.”

MUNICIPAL BUILDINGS COMMITTEE Ken Holmes presented the 4 bids for the library roof. Ken Bonney said Ross had only bid on the front of the roof (“he didn’t want to bid on the back”). Springfield, $12,862; Story Roofing, $10,500; [inaudible] Roofing Technologies, $9,570; [inaudible] construction, $6,760.

Joyce Gatrell: Is the building in good enough shape?

KB: The ceiling is getting bad. In the little rooms [bathroom and storage room], ants are coming up though the concrete and sand. It has single-pane windows. The doors are getting bad, and it’s also going to need paint. To fix that up after the roof is another $65K, in my opinion. It wouldn’t be bad if we had all kinds of money. But why are we paying lights and heat for two meeting rooms when everything could be done in one building?

RM: It’s old, the work hasn’t been kept up. The insulation, windows, electrical… We have to make a hard decision as to whether you want to keep putting band-aids on that building or if you want to consolidate the services that we have to this building here. It would save the village a lot of money. We have about 5 municipal buildings in the village.”

DJ: “We could consider leasing it out.” She’d heard there’d been interest.

KH: We could knock it down, but it’s on an old gas station. The library board couldn’t get enough money to keep it going. We put a roof on it and a new furnace.

JW: How much would it cost to demolish it?

KB: I haven’t asked for any bids but I think it would be cheaper than a roof.

RM: It’s a big decision.

KH: You better believe it is. I don’t need the place full of people every meeting hollering at us, the ones who put it together. There’s a lot of history there.

KB: It’s a business decision. Look at it one way, [to Ken H.] if you took your old red car there and you found out it was going to cost you $10K to repair it, would you fix it or buy another one?

KH: You think I’d give up my red car you’re nuts. Discussion ended. If you want to do something I’d accept the lower bid just to cover it.

RM: I’d really like the council to make some tough decisions on this.

PLANNING COMMISSION: The Planning Commission meeting had been rescheduled to April 16 to make sure there was a quorum. Two public hearings will be held, one on the definition for “apartments” and one on Loy Putney’s special land use permit application. Reached by phone March 29, Marcia said the definition and Putney’s application would be available for the public to see a week in advance. At the meeting she said she’d been to the Equalization Department to compare their map with the Village zoning map. Some information was likely missing from both maps.

AGENDA: ZONING ORDINANCE REVIEW Council authorized Reggie to sign the service agreement with Kurt Schindler to vet our zoning ordinance.

AGENDA: PAYPAL BUTTON FOR SOLSTICE Council voted to approve the addition of a PayPal button for sponsor fees and other donations.

AGENDA: CONSUMERS ENERGY RESOLUTION Sharyn explained that anytime we add or substract services, Consumers requires the president to sign this resolution. It was signed. The was probably for the additional light across from the Mayfair Tavern.

AGENDA: LIBRARY ROOF BIDS Ken Holmes said the building needed to be protected until a decision on its future is made. Reggie asked council to “do some research” about what people in the community want. He asked Sharyn what’s involved in changing the voting precinct. Sharyn said there wouldn’t be any elections until next year, unless something came through for this November. She would need to send out 700 voter cards with the new voting location. “This is a much bigger place, but it’s off the beaten path,” she said. “We’ll need signage. You know how many times I have to explain to people where this is? No one seems to know this building is back here.”

Reggie suggested tabling the topic. Ken Holmes suggested going with the lower bid on a metal roof. “We took care of the LSS out of necessity, but we haven’t taken care of the other buildings. We’ve got to get on the ball.”

Ken Bonney said all the bids included tearoff, “but once they take it off, if they find bad boards underneath that’s going to be extra.”

KH said he didn’t understand why the previous roof job hadn’t held up. For that reason he wanted a metal roof.

RM said to table the discussion until May (he and Laura are vacationing for the month of April) and to get a demolition bid.

AGENDA: ELSS NONPROFIT

KH: What’s this all about? I didn’t think we could do anything with nonprofits.

RM: Is this out of Park and Rec or what?

Sue Oseland said it was her idea and stood up to give her presentation. She said she and a friend of hers who grew up in Elberta both have a fondness for Elberta and especially the Life Saving Station. Sue grew up in Ludington, and her mother had grown up in Ludington’s LSS, unfortunately now torn down. She would like to set up an organization outside the realm of the village government to do annual campaigns to raise money for historical buildings around the village, with priority for the LSS and the Roundhouse/Foundry. “The only way we can do that is by being a 501©3. She showed council the estimate that Ross Thorsen put together describing the minimum amount of work that he feels still needs to be done, at a cost of approximately $75K. Sue said the organization would be volunteer run, but they would need some seed money for legal fees to set up the nonprofit. She referred to the $250 donated by people who attended the open house dinner at the LSS last June.

RM: As far as I understand it we can’t use village money to you for legal fees. The reasons being … this is a good example, when Park and Rec donated $500 toward the skating rink in Honor, that was illegal. We can’t give village money to a private organization. We can look into it more. The situation is that you can’t use village money services, or land, without renting it.

Sue said she had spoken with the Sable Points Lighthouse Keepers Association in Ludington about their process. “There’s 8 cubic feet of history just on Chicago in our LSS. There’s a goldmine there, a potential museum. We could be making so much money besides renting it out for weddings. We have to do something. We can model the nonprofit on the Point Betsie and the Art Center associations.” She was planning to connect with them to discuss how they set up their bylaws and mission statements.

Marcia said the Art Center was a close comparison. It is still owned by the city of Frankfort and grants flow through the city but the friends are the ones who apply for them.

Don Tanner said the Point Betsie light is owned by the county and the county executes a contract with the 501(c)3 to operate and maintain it. The friends do all the fundraising for restoration. He suggested contacting Jim Radabaugh and John Holley and said he’d be willing to help too. He called it a good idea.

Sue asked for a sanction or acknowledgment from the council.

RM: We got to make sure it’s legal so it doesn’t come back to bite us.

DJ: So now that we know we can’t use the village money we’ll have a fundraiser.

The $255 collected at the LSS open house in June 2012 is listed in the 2013–14 budget under Park Fund revenues as a separate line item, LSS Donations.

AGENDA Who has the authority to talk to the village attorney and when?

RM: This has been kind of a gray area since we had the Putney case. Usually it would go through me, but I couldn’t do anything. If you call you’re on the dime. Normally if it’s really important I try to go over there and meet with him.

KH: I want it stopped.

RM: I don’t know if we have a procedure but we can’t just have every council member deciding on their own to talk to the attorney. We have to have some protocol.

DJ: I do not call and chitchat.

KH: Too many words are getting out around town. I don’t want us getting billed for calls and emails. You should not contact them unless you have permission.

DJ: I don’t know of anyone who’s done that. If you’re thinking of someone in particular, say who it is.

RM: Usually any contact has gone through me but because it was a special situation I had to step aside.

MS: Linda was contacting him. I can’t remember what the questions were but it had to do with procedure for the public hearing. And he’s been working with Ken [Bonney]. It was mostly on noticing.

PUBLIC COMMENT

Don Tanner: “I know you want to get to the ballgame. You know you’re in violation of the International Property Maintenance Code with that library building [joking]. The serious comment is, you have an opportunity to look at options for some progressive thinking about what to do with your assets. I think [the ELSS association] is a good idea and I can help you. You might find other uses for the library. With some serious thought you could relieve yourselves of some debt burden. I spoke with Benishek about the dredging. I urged him to work on getting the federal funds cleared out so we can use those here. The state withdrew grants to all kinds of municipalities for access sites and put it into dredging. Many other communities around the state had their grants retracted. They were promised they’d be regranted next year but that puts everybody two years behind. We need to put pressure on [Benishek] to get those funds kicked loose. I was contacted by Steve Sutton, MDNR deputy director, who wants to meet with county board chairs for counties with a lot of state land. I have a meeting April 12 with the director. The brownfield development authority is ready to go but we’ve only had two letters of interest for the board.” He reminded everyone that the sequester is a 10 year deal, with cuts for federal programs continuing to occur over that period.

Sue said that if you see a dead bird on the beach, the National Park Service asks to be notified at the Sleeping Bear office of its location for a survey they’re doing. They discourage people from picking them up and recommend that you burying them deep in the sand well away from the water.

MS: You will have to secure the [library] roof. You don’t want a derelict building right on main street. You can mothball it, tear it down… I just got an estimate to demolish a wall and a deck and it was $6,000. I think you’re looking at well over $20K. What about leasing it? I don’t know the legal ramifications of selling.

KH: The library is part of the same lot as the village office. If you want to put $6K into a metal roof at least it protects it for now.

EV: I’m not a formal member of the Solstice Committee yet—I just submitted my application today. But the committee, by which I mostly mean Jen Wilkins right now, does an enormous amount of work, and always has, to make the festival happen. I’ve spent an average of maybe five hours a week for the last couple of months just dealing with Solstice stuff on a purely volunteer basis and I know Jennifer has probably spent three times that much time putting together agendas for meetings, drumming up sponsors and bands, coming up with logos and graphics, redoing the applications… it’s an ernomous amount of work. The situation with the LSS—we all care about the building. Speaking personally only for myself: the cost overruns that happened with the LSS were avoidable. The repairs needed to be made and still need to be made. But the situation with us running a deficit in that fund—that didn’t have to happen. There was a budget for what those repairs were supposed to be and you guys went over budget. Reggie did not present these extra expenditures to council for approval. Also, all that work that was done should probably have gone out for bids. What’s the minimum? $3,500? [Correction: At the March 17, 2011, council meeting, during a discussion of LSS cleaning service and the Porta-John servicing, Reggie invoked a Village rule stating that all payouts over $2,500 require a bid. In a phone conversation after the meeting Ken Bonney told Emily that hourly labor-for-hire is exempt from this rule, so Thorsen’s work on the LSS, which he billed hourly, did not have to go out for bids. As a side note, Ken asserted that Ross significantly underbilled for the work.] Some of that work [on the LSS] was done by volunteers and some was done by people who were paid. It should be up to the Solstice Committee to decide what it wants to do with that money, since it’s under Park and Rec and it’s an all-volunteer effort. The committee has been busting their butts just to make it happen again—that’s the main goal. We’ve taken a lot of steps to try to make it make more money, both in terms of saving money and in terms of the extra fundraising that we’ve been doing, and it’s a lot of work. Basically, to make a bunch of volunteers pay with their time for the fact that a poor decision was made to let us go into deficit in a fund… I’m not comfortable with it. It makes me less motivated to work on that volunteer work. Maybe that’s crappy but it’s a fact. It’s a delicate thing. Talk to the Solstice Committee and ask them what they want to do with their money—with the money that they raised.

RM: It’s erroneous though. It’s not their money. That’s the problem. It’s village money. Once you understand that—

JW: We do understand it.

RM: I was just correcting an erroneous statement. I was on that committee last year. The committee last year had a bout an $8/9K turnaround from the year before. I hope everyone understands that.

EV: It was a lot of work.

RM: Yes. I worked on it, Laura worked on it. And it was a volunteer situation.

EV: I know firsthand.

SO: This is a part of the reason why I think we need a separate entity to deal with the building. I mean, why don’t we take money from the guys who use the pier for fishing [to use on the LSS]? To me that’s the same kind of thinking. If you’re going to take it out of one fund, then take it out of multiple funds. But where are those funds? There aren’t any. Just to take it out of one entity, that’s a little… I don’t know what the word is. For me I see a potential answer is to get [the fundraising] out of the village and get it into a separate entity.

RM: So you’re saying the village is not doing a good job, is that what you’re saying? When you say get it out of the village…

SO: No. The village doesn’t have any money. You need an entity that can fund this and there’s no one here that has the time to do that. Does Laura have the time, does Sharyn?

RM: I don’t want to abdicate the authority that the people of the village of Elberta have given this council.

DT: That’s why you contract with [the proposed friends association].

RM: That’s been a problem in the past with Parks and Rec and it continues to be a problem. This is the governing body of the village. All the money in Park and Rec and in Solstice is village money. And I keep hammering on that because we got hammered by the state because of that. So if you don’t understand that we can go back and look at the mandates that we have from the state. The money was mismanaged. As long as I’m here it’s not going to be mismanaged.

DJ: I have a comment on the Solstice money. I think that if we as a council decide to take the money that they’ve earned for Solstice—they’ve earned it for a specific thing and we take it and put it for another use in the village we’re going to lose volunteers, and rightfully so. I was involved in Solstice and I don’t want to brag, because obviously I was in one of the groups that didn’t make any money, but that festival was conceived as a party for Benzie County. The years that we didn’t make any money I guess shame on us, but for these people that did make money, good for them. And I don’t think the council should have the right to say how the money is spent.

KH: It don’t make any difference if it says Solstice on it, it don’t make any difference if it says Park and Rec on it…

DJ: No one is asking us to take it down an illegal channel.

KH: You should talk to me and Charlie Hendershott who started the Parks and Rec years ago. What happened is that someone got mad at the fire department and they shut the Park and Rec down and took all their money. I hear so much from Parks and Rec about how bad the village is—

DJ: They never said it was bad. They’re saying they work very hard to accomplish what they’re setting out to do and we don’t need to micromanage them.

RM: Well, we do need to micromanage them because we have a mandate from the state. I’ll bring it back. We failed—

DJ: We didn’t fail an audit. You can’t fail an audit. I know there’s a mandate, but why does that give us the right to take the volunteers’ hard-earned money and spend it on something that… the LSS makes more damn money than anything else in this village. It should more than pay for itself. These guys shouldn’t be busting their hump to pay for our building.

RM: Tell me what the philosophy of the Solstice Committee is.

KH: It’s not a party!

RM: It’s to make money for the village, right or wrong? It raises money for the village. It is not a separate entity. And as soon as some people get that through their heads we can work together. Until then, it’s going to be a fight.

EV: You’re going to lose some volunteers.

RM: What both of you? [referring to EV and JW]. You’ve got two volunteers there…

EV: I know.

KH: If you’re going to lose volunteers [inaudible] why fight?

JW: That’s what the two of you want.

RM: I doubt that.

KH: The stress that’s been coming toward the council from Park and Rec for the past five years—

JW: We’re trying to help this village make money. We’re the only entity trying to bring revenue into this town. And you guys shoot it down every time we come and try to present something.

KH: In what way? if it’s illegal we can’t do it.

JW: The first time I tried to present something, I was pretty much yelled at, you interrupted me, just for dog poo bags at the beach.

KH: You got ’em didn’t you?

JW: I did.

RM: Let me get this straight. That was a Park and Rec person that used profanity at the last meeting. Was that Parks and Rec? Was that a member of Parks and Rec?

JW: It was. Does he represent all of us?

RM: Also he used profanity on the ticket that was legally given. So don’t come over with this holier-than-thou attitude. I’m telling you. This guy had to leave the meeting. I had to ask him. I think it’s time to adjourn the meeting.

A week later, “Recall” signs appeared in front of the library building and at one of the parks on the north side of town. The signs just said “Recall,” without specifying whom. At press time, no recall paperwork had been filed with the county, however. Ψ

Ross Thorsen submitted this estimate for further work on the Life Saving Station. The Village still owes him over $4,000 for work he's already completed.

Ross Thorsen submitted this estimate for further work on the Life Saving Station. The Village still owes him over $4,000 for work he’s already completed.

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