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OSHTEMO CHARTER TOWNSHIP

TOWNSHIP BOARD

March 13, 2001

Public Comment session was held at the Township Hall. Supervisor VanDyke called the meeting to order at 6:00 p.m.

PRESENT:
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Barry Steadman

Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner, and approximately 13 interested people.

Kadir Mohmand, 6147 Old Log Trail, commented when he became a citizen he swore to uphold the constitution, he was born in Afghanistan which has defeated many enemies, he then read from a Kalamazoo Gazette article regarding comments made by the Fire Board Secretary and Attorney Reed reference then Chief David Bushouse.

Stan Rakowski, 7151 West G Avenue, inquired on the status of the Skyview Estates plat regarding water. Supervisor VanDyke advised we are working with the DEQ and Kalamazoo County Health Department, however, the solution appears to be that water will have to be run to that area. Mr. Rakowski also inquired about a news item he heard regarding Township property acquired by the City of Kalamazoo for the WMU Research and Business Park. Clerk Everett advised a PA 425 agreement was approved by the Board last year, the land acquired is currently tax exempt, however, if a facility is placed on the property that would be taxed, the Township will realize the tax revenue.

Marv Block, 9789 Springwood Drive, inquired on the status of the Total gas station on West Main. Mr. VanDyke advised the Township has been unable to locate the property owner. Ms. Bugge had information that an appraisal was being done for a possible sale. Mr. Block further inquired if citizen comment time would be placed on the regular agenda in the future, not only on the public comment section of the agenda. He was advised it would be.

Dan Frizzo, representing the Township engineering firm of Prein and Newhof provided a presentation of the Geographical Information System (GIS) program. The program is currently partially in place and being used in our Planning/Zoning and Assessing Departments. He provided an overview of the system and examples of possible expansions and other uses incorporating the aerial digital orthophotography that has been completed.

Board discussion included how information is verified, safety and liability concerns regarding accuracy and protection of the information. Board consensus was to have Prein and Newhof provide a proposal of cost for converting the digital photos into the current system.

Supervisor VanDyke called the regular meeting to order at 7:05 p.m.

PRESENT:
Supervisor John VanDyke
Clerk Deb Everett
Treasurer Nancy Culp
Trustee Norm Anderson
Trustee Lois Brown
Trustee Dave Bushouse
Trustee Barry Steadman

Also present was Richard Reed, Township Attorney, Marc Elliott, Township Engineer, Mary Lynn Bugge, Planner, and approximately 16 interested people.

Clerk Everett made a correction of the minutes of February 27th, under One Day Liquor License, second paragraph, second line, the word "advised" should be added after Mason.

Supervisor VanDyke commented he asked for a copy of the closed session minutes several days ago but did not receive them until just before this meeting and inquired if the packet he presented to the Board during the closed session would be included. Clerk Everett responded she had been ill for the past two days and advised the materials distributed at the closed session will be sealed with the minutes and maintained a year and a day from date of approval.

Mr. VanDyke commented there could be a lawsuit reference this, and felt the attorney's office handled the meeting in a very poor manner, did things that were improper and he believes to be against facts, law, policy and opinions. He then stated all Board members except Treasurer Culp, Trustee Steadman, and himself know that he is the personnel director, that Trustee Brown, Trustee Bushouse, Clerk Everett, and Trustee Anderson all met and approved the personnel manual, which makes him personnel director. He further stated the attorney while in the meeting advised destroying all the materials and he definitely wants the packet he submitted maintained as part of the closed meeting.

Mr. VanDyke then commented he asked Mr. Reed for an opinion in a verbal request which was not answered. Mr. VanDyke stated he then wrote a letter requesting the opinion and received a reply from Patricia Mason of Mr. Reed's office which danced around the question so he wrote another letter requesting a direct response from Mr. Reed in which he did the same thing and Mr. VanDyke has proof that Mr. Reed knows better.

Mr. VanDyke further commented he is tired of what is going on at the Township and is going to pursue it reference the law, is checking on legal situations and has several legal people who have volunteered to help him. He further stated that Mr. Reed is the legal agent of the Township but Mr. VanDyke is the person who is supposed to contact him; Mrs. Everett may reference her job but when it concerns personnel issues it is his job; he has a bill for $2,874.28 for personnel issues that he was never contacted about nor contacted the attorney about; he hasn't called the attorney for anything and doesn't trust their office.

He further indicated that his position description says he is the personnel director, he must go to the Board for firing and hiring, not suspension and thinks the Board is abusing their positions.

Motion by Brown, second by Culp to approve the minutes of the February 20th Joint Meeting, February 21st Special Meeting, and February 27th Regular meeting. Carried with VanDyke voting no.

Income to the General Fund of $37,617.99 and disbursements of $105,224.53 and income to the Fire Fund of $11,660.50 and disbursements of $60,410.87 were reported. Motion by Culp, second by Anderson to acknowledge the receipts and pay the bills. Carried.

DISCUSSION ITEM - COG MEMBERSHIP

Supervisor VanDyke advised the Board we need to let the still existing COG group know at their meeting on March 15th where we stand on continuing membership. He further advised that County Commissioner Deb Bucholtz-Hiemstra is arranging a meeting with the townships she represents, Oshtemo, Alamo, and Cooper to discuss an initiative for cooperation, which would not necessarily be COG but could accomplish the same goals with little or no cost.

Trustee Brown brought to the Board's attention an article from the March 8th Kalamazoo Gazette that suggested the County appears to be willing to step up and take a leadership role. She commented it would be her position that we engage in dialogue with the County, it seems to be a far more productive approach than what COG was, which got too large, too out of control with not a lot of progress made. She further commented with the County taking the leadership position there are many areas where progress can be made and yet each entity can maintain its identity.

Trustee Bushouse commented he would support that position and recommend looking at what the County is offering in the way of an organization. He further commented he felt it was the best form of representation since the County board is also elected and accountable to the public.

It was noted that we could rejoin COG at any time as long as it is still in existence.

Motion by Bushouse, second by Brown to not participate at this time in the Council of Governments, pending consideration of an initiative by the County. Carried.

CITIZEN COMMENT

Stan Rakowski, 7151 West G Avenue commented that he has been noticing some Board members not saying anything during a vote and they should either say nay or yea. He advised Mr. Steadman he was addressing him, saying there have been many instances when he is not saying anything and felt there should be a public record of that. Mr. Steadman responded that apparently there are plenty of people here for something to pass.

PLANNING COMMISSION RECOMMENDATION

TEXT AMENDMENT - OFF STREET PARKING OF MOTOR VEHICLES

The recommendation regarding a text amendment to of the Zoning Ordinance regarding Off Street Parking of Motor Vehicles was before the Board for Second and Final Reading.

Motion by Everett, second by Culp to adopt the text amendment. Roll call vote showed Brown-yes, Steadman-yes, Anderson-yes, Culp-yes, Everett-yes, Bushouse-yes, VanDyke-yes.

TEXT AMENDMENT - HAWKERS PEDDLERS ORDINANCE

The recommendation regarding a text amendment to the Hawkers & Peddlers Ordinance was before the Board for Second and Final Reading.

Motion by Brown, second by Bushouse to adopt the text amendment. Roll call vote showed Bushouse-yes, Brown-yes, Everett-yes, Culp-yes, Steadman-yes, Anderson-yes, VanDyke-yes.

BOARD MEMBER COMMENTS

Trustee Bushouse commented on an notice in the Kalamazoo Gazette noting that the valuation of the proposed Hope Woods development at a cost of $11,655,500, considerably more than indicated when the developer appeared before the Board for a tax break and suggested the next time we are asked to vote on a tax break, a serious look should be taken at any such project.

He also commented on an article in a local publication that noted the Quail Run project which is currently in bankruptcy, may have a good chance back getting back on track and moving forward.

Supervisor VanDyke noted a DEQ representative had contacted him and indicated that within 4-6 weeks the Township will be acquiring the old Midwest Aluminum and Viking Die Cast properties which have been cleaned up to residential standards. He will notify the Board members to arrange a tour of the property.

Mr. Bushouse commented he felt an outcome of the Sewer/Water Committee meeting with the Kalamazoo County Health Department (KCHD) that indicated substantial progress was they were dropping their requirement of a complete geological survey by an individual putting down a well. He further commented he felt Engineer Snell did an excellent presentation of our sewer and water needs and would like to see that move forward with discussion of pricing and financing such as Mr. Snell's suggestion to go for bonding.

Mr. VanDyke commented his concern is the need to have sewer on H Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets and maybe further west and if we have too many separate projects the financing may be difficult for the Township so it would be better to tie the projects together into a bond issue.

Engineer Elliott distributed maps indicating the areas advised by KCHD that are currently effected by their requirements for permits, which is they will not automatically issue a permit within a half mile of a known contaminated site, but will require a test well. A concept of providing water down to 1st Street had been previewed, but the map shows other areas that are effected that are not currently served by water or in the initial project, therefore the engineer will be going back and evaluating bringing water to all the effected area and provide cost estimates.

Clerk Everett felt the Sewer/Water Committee should conduct discussions with the Engineer and Accountant and bring a recommendation to the Board; the sewer and water projects could be combined with priority given to the area where the need is greatest.

Trustee Brown advised she attended Mattawan's wellhead committee meeting as a representative for Oshtemo Township. She indicated the committee has designated the areas that need to be wellhead protected, it does not involve any of the Township, therefore, she will not be attending the meetings but will receive their minutes and forward them to Board members.

Helen Brodasky, 6392 Buckham Wood, inquired of Supervisor VanDyke if it was a breech of the closed meeting by making public what the attorney said during the closed session and shouldn't it have been presented to the Board in a closed session. She further inquired if a meeting referred to between Mr. Howe and Mr. Reed was in relationship to Mr. Howe's problem or another personnel problem.

Mr. VanDyke commented he did not say anything about the closed meeting that affects the closed meeting but about the attorney's firm, not what the meeting was for. He further commented he was protecting himself from the documents he presented being destroyed. He further stated the invoice from the attorney's office is being pursued in letter form to Mr. Reed and he is attempting to find out what the meeting she referred to was about.

During further attempts of inquiry by Mrs. Brodasky, Trustee Steadman asked why she was so concerned about this. Mrs. Brodasky replied she was not addressing Mr. Steadman, and he left the dais. Mrs. Brodasky commented he ran his campaign for a friendlier, cooperative tone and this is how citizens are treated.

Supervisor VanDyke adjourned the meeting at approximately 7:35 p.m.

DEBORAH L. EVERETT
Township Clerk

Attested: John VanDyke
Supervisor