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Minutes of the Village of Martin Board
November 12, 2012
Village of Martin
Regular Meeting
November 12, 2012

The Martin Village Council met for its regular meeting on November 12, 2012, at the Martin Village Office, 1609 North Main Street, Martin, Michigan.

Call to Order and Pledge to Flag: President Harness called the meeting to order at 7:38 p.m. The meeting was delayed due to a public hearing held prior to the meeting at the Martin Township Hall. The Pledge of Allegiance to the American flag was recited.

Roll Call: Members present: Brinkhuis, Flower, Harness, Rambadt, J. Seiser, Wykstra and Deputy Clerk Merrill. Clerk K. Seiser was absent.

Approval of Minutes: Motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member Brinkhuis to approve the minutes of the regular meeting of October 8, 2012, as submitted. Motion carried.

Recognition of Visitors: Mike Van Elderen wanted to make a couple comments in response to the public hearing preceding the meeting. 1.) The complaints of Alvin VanderPloeg were a composite of 17 years of frustration, and Mike was not aware of some them and wished that Mr. VanderPloeg had expressed his concerns over the years so they could have been addressed. 2.) To Jeff Seiser: Why did he bring up the matter of the fine at the public hearing which had never been billed to Van Elderen? Mike felt very offended and slandered by Seiser.

Bill Miller, Martin School Superintendent, and Steve Hoekzema of Tower Pinkster presented plans and drawings for the Boysen building. Sketches were distributed, one of a floor plan and one exterior view. Mr. Miller stated that they wanted to stay in touch with the village and township regarding the property. They realize that the community wants to do something because it is an eyesore. They feel that the building needs to be torn down, and they want to build something of benefit to the entire community. They will be meeting with the township and the Department of Treasury later in the week. Mr. Hoekzema stated that one option is to sell the current administration building and include that as part of the new building. They would also like the new building to accommodate seniors as well as after school kids. It would also include a stage with retractable seating for concerts, a gymnasium, dressing rooms, restrooms and a multipurpose room. They want to be in partnership with the community, and want the community to take ownership. They stated that they need help from the village and township for parking. He also noted that Titan Advisory Firm (formerly the township library) intends to move, and the school would like to purchase that property and tear down the building for additional space. Several people expressed their hesitation in losing that historical building. Mr. Miller stated that the Titan building is not feasible to use. The school board is considering requesting a millage next February. President Harness expressed his appreciation for the information and communication, but also stated his concern about a non-tax paying facility and the use of that site for that purpose. Brinkhuis concurred with the same concerns. Marlene Leep asked about the cutting of teachers and electives and felt that the education of students was not given priority. Mr. Miller responded to that question by explaining the budget cuts, maintaining a fund balance, and that there were too many teachers for class size. When asked if the school is growing, Mr. Miller stated that the enrollment has increased from 574 to 602, which includes 4 year olds through seniors. Mr. Miller went on to say that he had talked to Gary Harris of Titan Advisory Firm who indicated that the community needs an incentive to attract people and that something needs to be done. Darcy Doezema stated that she could see the value of the building, but was concerned about parking and if something else would be lost. She also expressed disappointment in tearing down the old library. President Harness reiterated his concern in preserving the history of the community by losing buildings. President Harness stated that the school has some serious challenges ahead in deciding what to do with the donation of the Boysen building to the school.

Other visitors present were: Don Rambadt, Alice Kelsey and Don Black, County Commissioner.

Approval of Agenda: Brinkhuis requested an addition to New Business, Allegan County Mounted Division. Seiser requested an addition to New Business, Clerk Compensation. Motion was made by Member Wykstra and supported by Member Flower to approve the agenda as revised. Motion carried.

Communications: The following were presented:
1. Letter from Allegan County Sheriff's Office with information regarding a "Precinct Plan" which will be implemented this month county-wide. There was explanation and map of the road patrol plan and a memorandum of understanding with the Michigan State Police to cover the open precincts.
2. E-mail from the United Methodist Church of Otsego with information about two community Thanksgiving events. 1.) A community service of Thanksgiving on Sunday, November 18, 6:00 p.m. at the Otsego High School auditorium. 2.) A community Thanksgiving dinner on Monday, November 19 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the church.
3. Notice of Denial of an Application from the State Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs. CIT Holdings had requested to transfer ownership of an escrowed 2012 SDD and SDM licensed business from Landko Corporation. It was determined that the applicant stockholder, Carol Graham, had provided false and fraudulent statements to the commission in order to obtain the license for the use and benefit of Alex Weinberg.
4. Fax from Ed Annen with instructions on filling the trustee vacancies.

Financial Items:

1. Treasurer's Report: After Treasurer Rambadt highlighted her report and gave an update on delinquent taxes of about $8,500, a motion was made by Member Flower and supported by Member Wykstra to approve the report for October 2012 as submitted. Motion carried.
2. Payment of Bills: The bills were reviewed by Deputy Clerk Merrill. She asked whether the council wished to renew the post office box rent for 6 months or 12 months. Motion was made by Member Brinkhuis and supported by Member Flower to renew the post office box rent for 12 months. Motion carried. After further review, motion was made by Member Wykstra and supported by Member Brinkhuis to pay the bills as presented and any forthcoming utility bills. Motion carried.
3. Computer Software Update: Deputy Clerk Merrill reported that I.T. Right would be coming on November 13 to install the server and work station and that BS&A would be coming on November 19 to begin the implementation of the software system.

Department Updates/Reports:

1. Public Safety: President Harness reminded the council that a new constable should be appointed since Ron VanDenBerg had retired as fire chief. He suggested consideration of the new fire chief John Schipper. Member Flower presented information from Scott Corbin and West Shore Services, Inc. regarding having siren controllers narrow band compliant as required by FCC by January 2013. The project will be paid for by 9-1-1. Member Wykstra will follow up.
2. Public Works: Wykstra reported that the water pump is leaking on the International truck, and that Martin Tire does not want to repair it. However, it needs to be done and Westendorp is looking for parts.
3. Streets: Wykstra reported that the leaf vacuum is working well, and Tim and Mike have been spending a great deal of time collecting leaves.
4. Sewer/Water: Member Flower presented a report from Tim Eichler with lift station pump hours and gallons per minute. The report included a summary of the new cleanout which was installed on October 9 on South 10th Street. Tim's report stated that Tom Rook from Horizon had submitted a bid to maintain the sewer system. Tim feels that a more local company would be beneficial. Tim is also very concerned about being the only person on call when there is an alarm condition, which has been very stressful for him. President Harness emphasized that a back up is needed for Tim, and the council concurred.
Flower also presented a report from Prein & Newhof on BOD testing and readings. He also reminded the council that Van Elderen, Inc. is trying to solve their BOD problems.
Member J. Seiser stated that Phil Salingue has a sewer problem due to an illegal tie-in.
Seiser suggested that the village allowed the tie-in and therefore they should correct the
problem. He also questioned the water usage at the car wash and whether Doug Hilton
had been contacted. There was further discussion on that situation.
5. County Commissioner: Don Black distributed synopses of the October 11, October 25 and November 8 County Commission meetings. He highlighted several items, including the salaries and compensation for the Board of Commissioners, which he voted against, the 2013 Allegan County budget, the wellness program presentation, the 2013 Road Commission compensation, and the 18 retiring county employees.
Don Black and Darcy Doezema reported on the Leadership Conference which they attended on October 31 in Wayland. Both felt it was very good and worthwhile.

Old Business:
1. Sidewalk Repair: It was reported that Tim and Mike, D.P.W. employees, have checked where repairs are most needed. However, it is probably too late to do the work this year. President Harness emphasized that this needs to be addressed.
2. DEQ Recommendations - Water System: Member Flower had reviewed the recommendations with Tim. Peerless-Midwest will be inspecting the pump in January, and Bridgeway-Cummins will be checking the generator. They continue to work on the recommendations from the DEQ.
3. Christmas Parade: Member Rambadt reported that promotional signs have been placed in various locations throughout the village and surrounding areas. Information was also provided for the Shoppers Guide. The parade will take place on December 7 at 7:00 p.m.

New Business:
1. Allegan County Mounted Division: Member Brinkhuis informed the council that he had received several complimentary tickets for a Country Music Spectacular to be held Saturday, November 17, at the Allegan High School Performing Arts Center. He would like to have them used by anyone interested. The concert is sponsored by the Allegan County Sheriff's Dept. Mounted Division.
2. Clerk Compensation: Member J. Seiser brought up the salary which was established for his wife Kelly after the 2010 election. Action was taken at the December 13, 2010 village council meeting, and he felt that because the term began on November 20, 2010, that the charter had been violated because the salary had been altered during a term. President Harness reminded Seiser that he had contacted the village attorney four times regarding that very issue, and the council acted on his opinion. It was noted that the December 13 meeting was the first opportunity for the council to take action on the salary following the November election and certification of the election. Seiser was also reminded that there was no existing elected clerk salary at that time, so no alteration had been done. It was noted that the charter was based on village elections taking place in the month of March and new officers taking effect in April. When the state election laws changed the process in 2005, the village had to change its time for election and voted to have its election in November of even years. There has been no elected clerk since the election laws changed the process. Since Seiser kept referring to the newly elected clerk Darcy Doezema and his desire to "protect" her, she finally responded that she had not asked Seiser to say anything on her behalf, and had in fact asked him not to say anything and that she did not need his "protection".
Seiser then proceeded to accuse the council of illegal activities and made derogatory remarks directed at specific persons. President Harness reminded him that he had been a member of the council for four years and been a part of the voting process. President Harness stated that Seiser had said little to nothing about his concerns during the four years and why did he wait until now to make his accusations.

Recent Community Deaths: The following names were submitted: Gail R. Tandy and George C. "Cliff" Shipley II.

Adjournment: Motion was made by Member Wykstra and supported by Member Flower to adjourn the meeting at 9:12 p.m. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Joyce Merrill
Deputy Clerk