OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP
February 27, 2001
Oshtemo Township Board held its regular meeting at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Barry Steadman
Also present was Patricia Mason, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Jodi Stefforia, Planning Director, MaryLynn Bugge, Planner, Ordinance Enforcement Officer Scott Paddock and approximately 19 interested people.
Motion by Brown, second by Anderson to approve the minutes of the February 13th meeting. Carried.
Income to the General Fund of $3,307.05 and disbursements of $42,756.39 were reported. Fire Fund disbursements were $26,317.90. Motion made by Anderson, seconded by Brown to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.
Kadir Mohmand, 6147 Old Log Trail commented he believed the decision of the Board regarding the suspension of the Fire Chief was in violation and took away the Supervisor's authority, inquired if the Township Attorney is looking out for the best of interest of the Township or his own, if the attorney gave legal advice to both the Township and the Fire Chief regarding the suspension, is the majority of the Board looking out for the best of the interest of the Township or their clique and further commented the residents of the Township are requesting the Board reverse their decision and will not tolerate actions by certain members of the Board and expressed surprise that Trustee Bushouse supported the Fire Chief.
Mary Ann Fleckenstein, 5462 Antiqua Circle, inquired of Supervisor VanDyke what his accomplishments have been after three months in office, has progress been made on his campaign promises to improve land use, park improvement, and investigating water contamination, is he still operating his business and how many hours does he spend in the office. Mr. VanDyke responded he has had a difficult time due to squabbles going on here that he is trying to correct, has addressed the water issue but it is difficult to deal with the DEQ, he is not operating his business and hours spent in the office vary.
Helen Brodasky, 6392 Buckham Wood Drive, referring to opening comments made by Mr. Mohmand, commented she was surprised to hear religion brought into a public meeting and would like the Board to take a stand on separation of government and religion. She further commented on remarks made previously by Trustee Steadman and now Mr. Mohmand about Attorney Reed meeting with Chief Howe concerning legal advice, questioned if this was true and is there evidence this took place. Mr. VanDyke responded that Township personnel had told him that it did happen and he is looking into it. Mrs. Brodasky then inquired if the driveway between Lowe's and the Post Office is still planned to occur. Mr. VanDyke advised Lowe's has completed their portion of the driveway; the delay is due to the Post Office.
Attorney Mason responded regarding the comment concerning Attorney Reed that her personal information and understanding from Attorney Reed and Attorney Engels is that no one in their office consulted with Chief Howe concerning his personal employment situation, however, the Township Attorney talks with any member of the Township staff when in need of advice regarding Township business, including personnel matters and had done so with Chief Howe concerning Fire Department personnel matters, but not his own personal situation.
Mrs. Brodasky then expressed sympathy for Mr. Reed for the lambasting he has taken over many months, feels he has done an outstanding job and always presented himself in a professional manner and thinks now Mr. VanDyke should have a talk with his informants about misguided information.
Trustee Brown inquired if the statement distributed to the Board by Mr. Mohmand is an acceptable way to present a position since it states "we the residents of Oshtemo Township" but is neither dated nor signed.
Attorney Mason advised Mr. Mohmand's comments were read into the record, but whether it is representative of other residents viewpoints is up to the Board to judge since it is not signed by any other residents.
Deb Steenholdt, 933 Wickford Drive, commented she wished to go on record that she does not agree with anything in Mr. Mohmand's statement.
Kadir Mohmand, wished to clarify that there are some people who support his comments, but he did not speak with the whole Township.
ONE-DAY LIQUOR LICENSE
The Board received a request from the Irish American Club of Kalamazoo for a one-day liquor license for their annual St. Patrick's Day event at the National Guard Armory. Since the event is held at a military installation, it requires a resolution of local approval. Sandra Lawrence and Mary Ann Cronin of the organization were present.
Trustee Bushouse inquired if a performance bond for liability should be required. Attorney Mason we had not done so before but could do so. Ms. Lawrence advised they provide insurance and armory personnel are present throughout the event.
Motion by Bushouse, second by Everett to approve the resolution based on receipt of a certificate of insurance of liability indicating the Township is also insured. Roll call vote showed Anderson-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Steadman-yes, VanDyke-yes.
PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION
TEXT AMENDMENT - OFF STREET PARKING OF MOTOR VEHICLES
The Planning Commission recommendation regarding a text amendment to Section 68.000 of the Zoning Ordinance regarding Off Street Parking of Motor Vehicles was before the Board for First Reading.
Motion by Culp, second by Everett to set the text amendment for Second Reading on March 13th. Roll call vote showed Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Steadman-yes, Anderson-yes, VanDyke-yes.
TEXT AMENDMENT - HAWKERS PEDDLERS ORDINANCE
Clerk Everett advised she and Ordinance Enforcement Officer Paddock had reviewed the Hawkers & Peddlers Ordinance and were recommending some changes meant to identify for public safety groups or individuals selling items or soliciting donations door-to-door.
The recommended changes would grant Officer Paddock authority to issue and enforce licenses issued, require photo ID for those individuals going door-to-door and require written permission of property owners of apartments and mobile or manufactured home communities. These restrictions would not apply to schoolchildren conducting fund raising. A license would not be required of charitable/religious organizations however they would be required to register with Township.
Attorney Mason advised since the revised ordinance has been presented, First Reading could be conducted at this time.
Trustee Bushouse noted the requirement for listing the last five municipalities in which an individual or organization has conducted business and inquired if there was no previous history would a license be prohibited. Attorney Mason advised it would not. Mr. Bushouse further inquired if in the future the Board could receive the proposed ordinance with proposed changes highlighted. Attorney Mason advised that could be accommodated.
Motion by Brown, second by Anderson to set the text amendment for Second Reading on March 13th. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Steadman-yes, Anderson-yes, Brown-yes, VanDyke-yes.
RESOLUTION FOR PUBLIC COMMENT PROCEDURE
A resolution regarding public comment at the public comment sessions held the first meeting of each month was presented. The procedure would have the Supervisor poll the member of the public to determine how many wished to make comments, allocate maximum comment time based on total number of persons wishing to comment but no longer than ten minutes per person, special permission can be extended to the maximum comment time in advance by the Supervisor based upon the topic of discussion, the Board may determine that it will receive comments in writing and delegate the obligation of response to the appropriate Township Official at a later date, public comment shall not be repetitive, slanderous, abusive, threatening, boisterous, or contrary to the orderly conduct of business, and the Supervisor shall terminate any public comment in contravention of any of the principles and procedures.
In response to Board Member questions, Attorney Mason advised that public comment can be removed from the regular meeting portion of the agenda, Board Members can also bring issues to invite public comment on, and other items may be placed on the public comment portion of the agenda. Trustee Bushouse requested that the word "may" be inserted prior to "delegate" in section #4 regarding forwarding a public comment request to other Township officials.
Motion by Anderson, second by Culp to adopt the resolution with the word "may" added prior to the word "delegate" in section #4. Roll call vote showed Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Steadman-no, Anderson-yes, Brown-yes, Bushouse-yes, VanDyke-yes.
DISCUSSION ITEM - SIDEWALK ORDINANCE
Based on discussion at the joint meeting of the Planning Commission, Zoning Board of Appeals and Township Board on February 20th, direction is needed by the Planning Department as to the Township Board's interest in pursuing a Sidewalk Ordinance.
Extensive discussion centered on liability, where sidewalks are currently needed, requiring them in new developments, the effects of snow plowing on keeping sidewalks cleared, methods of assessment, etc. Consensus was that more information is needed from several sources to address the issue.
Ted Corakis, 7080 West N Avenue, commented sidewalks are needed in certain areas of the Township now, and urged the Board to pursue the issue.
Motion by Anderson, second by Steadman to postpone the issue in order for the Planning Commission to gather more information on the subject. Carried.
DISCUSSION ITEM - COG MEMBERSHIP
Supervisor VanDyke advised there are currently five members of the Council of Governments interested in continuing the efforts of the organization, by-laws have been changed, and dues would be less. An attorney and secretary would be retained in a rent-free space.
Trustee Anderson commented he is in favor of COG and in any form it will be useful, Supervisor VanDyke agreed it is worth exploring.
Trustee Bushouse inquired if the last 6 months of COG minutes and a copy of the previous by-laws could be obtained for review.
Motion by Bushouse, second by Everett to postpone the issue to the March 13th meeting, provide Board Members with the last 6 months of COG minutes, the previous by-laws and a synopsis of the implications of the proposed changes. Carried.
BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS
Motion by Brown, second by Bushouse that each Board Member review the Personnel Policy, forward concerns and questions to the Personnel Committee, the committee will review and make appropriate adjustments, have them reviewed by our attorney and submit the document to the Michigan Townships Association for their review and input, then bring it to the Township Board for any action. Comments should be to the committee before their next meeting, April 19th. Carried.
Trustee Bushouse requested that a monthly report be provided to Board Members detailing expenses incurred in processing Freedom of Information Act requests. He further requested this information be provided for the past six months. He commented there have been a considerable number of requests and as a Trustee would like this information. Trustee Brown agreed and also commented the information should indicate number of employees and hours involved.
Trustee Steadman commented he felt the Freedom of Information Act is very important, and while also concerned about the cost, is more concerned that many times FOIA is only way to get any information at all.
Clerk Everett commented that she, Treasurer Culp, Supervisor VanDyke and two new Planning Commission members attending a Planning/Zoning training seminar a couple of weeks ago, found it very valuable and from the training exercises learned we are very fortunate to have a competent, talented Planning Department.
There was no further business and the meeting was adjourned at 8:30 p.m.
DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Attested: John VanDyke