Minutes of the Village of Martin Board
November 12, 2012
Village of Martin
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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
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.