December 2016 Village Council Meeting

The Approved November 2016 Council Minutes have been published. A request was made to list the noted FY2016-17 Budget Amendments and the amount of Christmas bonus’s. Neither were included.

[“Motion made to accept recommended amendments to budget by Johnson and seconded by Bass. Motion carried.
Aye: Edwards, Johnson, Bass, Ronning and Bair
Nay: none
Abstained: Gee”]

December 2016 DRAFT Minutes. The Village does not publish Draft Minutes in advance of the following month’s meeting. The following is provided as a public service via a FOIA request. Draft Minutes are required to be publicly available within 8 business days under the MI Open Meetings Act and to accessible under the Americans With Disabilities Act.

NOTE: the Village Council no longer records it’s meetings. Volunteers were not able to provide one for the December 2016 meeting. If you are willing to attend and either audio or video record meetings please respond to this post.

Requests for the itemized FY2016-17 Budget To Actual finance reports for December 2016 which itemize ‘month to date’ expenditures have not received a response. (See the November Accounts here)

{UNIFORM BUDGETING AND ACCOUNTING ACT Act 2 of 1968
AN ACT to provide for the formulation and establishment of uniform charts of accounts and reports in local units of government; to define local units of government; to provide for the examination of the books and accounts of local units of government; to provide for annual financial reports from local units of government; to provide for the administration of this act; to prescribe the powers and duties of the state treasurer, the attorney general, the library of Michigan and depository libraries, and other officers and entities; to provide penalties for violation of certain requirements of this act; to provide for meeting the expenses authorized by this act; to provide a uniform budgeting system for local units; and to prohibit deficit spending by a local unit of government.

History: 1968, Act 2, Imd. Eff. Feb. 20, 1968;.Am. 1978, Act 621, Eff. Apr. 1, 1980;.Am. 1996, Act 401, Eff. Dec. 18, 1996.

141.438 Incurring debts or obligations; dividing appropriations into allotments; expenditures; application or diversion of money; restrictions on delegation of duties; enforcement power; suit against chief administrative officer of county; standing; mediation; 60-day period to bring suit in Michigan court of appeals; court jurisdiction; limitation; certain actions barred; expenditure of funds; severability.
(3) Except as otherwise provided in section 19, an administrative officer of the local unit shall not incur expenditures against an appropriation account in excess of the amount appropriated by the legislative body.]

See September 2016 Minutes for State of Michigan Notification.

Village of Bear Lake Council
REGULAR MEETING
December 21, 2016
Bear Lake Village Hall

Unapproved Minutes

The regular meeting of the Bear Lake Village Council was called to order by President Jeff Bair at 7:00 p.m. at the Village Hall. Pledge of Allegiance was said.

Present: President: Jeff Bair Council: Peggy Bass, Ron Ronning, Jackie Johnson, Janene Gee, Carver Edwards Treasurer: Sally King, Clerk: Cindi McPherson Staff: Larry Gibson
Absent: Jared Bair
Guests: Four guests signed in

Motion to Adopt the Agenda as presented and with additions by Ronning and seconded by Johnson, motion carried.

President Bair added Planning Commission appointments under Old Business and FOIA Appeal under New Business.
Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none

Public Comment: None

Correspondence: Read by clerk:

  •  Email from Jason Wilder Evans; requesting the Village Council to sign attached proclamation for JWEDAY2017. No discussion was held. Email on file with Dec 21 2016 minutes.
  •  Email from Jeanne Walsh and Lee Vission regarding Planning Commission Ordinance. No discussion was held. Email on file with Dec 21, 2016 minutes.
    [Subject:Village Planning Commission Ordinance 2016-4- Sec 15 & 16Hi Cindi,
    Please read the following at the beginning of the Village Council meeting on Wednesday, December 21,2016:
    Please note that Section 15 and 16 of Ordinance No 2016-4 do not apply to either Ordinance 2006.01 nor the Village Planning Commission established in 2013 for the following reasons:
    1. Ordinance 2006.01 referred to a Joint Planning Commission formed by this Ordinance on 12/15/06, not a Village Planning Commission and this was invalidated on August 19, 2009 and October 21, 2009 when the Village Council (twice) voted to withdraw from this Joint Planning Commission. This effectively repealed this Ordinance. No new Ordinance was ever passed or published by the Village according to Village Council minutes and the acknowledgement of the Village Council at the October 2016 meeting.
    2. The Village Planning Commission that was formed in 2013 was not a valid Planning Commission as it was in violation of a number of requirements in the MPEA of 2008 including, but not limited to:
    A. This group was not established by a published Ordinance.
    B. Undated and invalid Planning Commission Bylaws were posted on website for this group.
    C. Membership of this group was in violation of the MPEA by having multiple Council members on the Planning Commission.
    D. No record of Oaths of Office were ever taken according to available minutes of this group and/or the Village Council minutes which is required by MI Attorney General Opinion #7236.
    E. The lack of regular elections as required by the MPEA.
    F. The lack of Annual reports as required by MPEA.
    G. The lack of meeting minutes prior to 2015.
    H. A violation of Open Meetings Act by holding two closed session meetings on September 23, 2013 and September 30, 2013 to discuss the Master Plan which is not one of the allowed topics for a Closed Session meeting according to the Open Meetings Act.
    As a result, this was not a valid Planning Commission according to the law in effect at the time (MPEA 2008) but rather just a group of people that the Village decided to name a “Planning Commission”, which in itself is not appropriate nor valid. Consequently nothing this group did can be “approved, ratified and reconfirmed” as noted in Ordinance No. 2016-4. I am sure the Village Attorney will confirm this.
    Sincerely,Jeanne Walsh and Lee Vission]
  •  Email from Jeanne Walsh and Lee Vission regarding Blight Hearing Officer position was filled. No Blight Hearing Officer was hired. Blight Enforcement Officer was hired on July 20, 2016. Minutes of July 20, 2016 Council Meeting will be sent to them.
    [Hi Cindi,

    Please read this at the beginning of the Village Council Meeting On Wednesday, December 21, 2016:
    We noticed that the position of Blight Hearing Officer that was posted on the Village website has been labelled “filled” yet there have been no indications in the Village Council Minutes nor the recordings of the Village Council meetings that this matter was ever discussed nor have there been any notices on the website calendar nor the website in general of any Council Meetings concerning this. The applicant was required to be interviewed at a posted meeting according to the Open Meetings Act. This appears to be similar to the Open Meetings Act violation that I pointed out to the Council that occurred in July 2016 when the Blight Enforcement Officer was interviewed by a quorum of the Council without prior notice to the public of the meeting.
    Please clarify when and who was hired for this position was along with the Minutes of the meeting when this was determined that indicate who was present at the meeting in addition to how the Council notified the public of the meeting.
    I would like to remind you and the rest of the Village Council that according to the Open Meetings Act of 1976 As Amended in 2013 (see both 15.268 and  [MSA41800(18)] Section 8 page 8 (f) ) a Closed Meeting is permissible only “to review and consider the contents of the application (note that it does NOT say applicant)… all interviews by a public body for employment or appointment to a public office shall be held in an open meeting pursuant to this Act.”
    Thank you,
    Jeanne Walsh and Lee Vission]
    It should be noted that the position of Blight Hearing Officer was posted as ‘filled’ until January 10, 2017.

REPORTS:

  • November 16, 2016 minutes: Motion to approve minutes with corrections by Bass, seconded by Gee.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: None
  • Maintenance Report: No report
  • Treasurer’s Report: read by King. Report on file in the 2016 Minutes binder.

Equipment Fund checking/savings total 3,270.23
Honor Bank CD 25,999.18
Minor Street checking/savings total 22,762.08
Major Street checking/savings total 42,023.66
Park checking/savings total 32,770.06
Water checking only 25,575.78
Money Market Account 10,040.17
General checking/savings total 29,800.53
Motion to accept Treasurer’s Report by Ronning seconded by Gee – motion carried.
Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
Nay: none

  • Bills to be paid were read by Clerk. Motion to pay the bills as presented by Johnson, seconded by Bass. Motion carried. List of bills is found at the end of the minutes.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none
  • Reimbursements to the General Fund were read by Clerk. Total to General Fund: $1,239.50
    Reimbursement list is found at the end of the minutes.
  •  Committee Chair Reports:

Park: No report
Trees: No report
Streets: No report
Water: No report
Equipment: No report
Sidewalk: No report

Blight/CABA: Blight Enforcement Officer, Larry Gibson gave report on; Zaleski house. 12238 Virginia St. and 12273 Lynn St properties. Report on file with Dec 21 2016 minutes.

Planning Commission: No report

Manistee County Trail Committee Report: Clerk McPherson requested a report from Village representative (Dendra Best). Best emailed clerk Trail Committee agenda from December 12, 2016 meeting and a drafted update on projects, on file. No report was received.

Ad Hoc – Policy, Resolution & Ordinance Committee – no report

OLD BUSINESS

  •  Appointment of Pro Tempe, Jackie Johnson, Motion to accept by Bass, seconded by Gee. Motion carried.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none
  • 2017 Council Committees Motion to approve with correction & changes by Ronning, seconded by Edwards. Motion carried. List of Council Committee members on file in Dec 21, 2016 minutes. Correction changed year from 2016 to 2017. Buildings, Grounds & Equipment, take Peggy Bass off and add Jeff Bair in place.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none
  • Update on US 31 Corridor Plan – AES / Manistee County Planning Project – Clerk McPherson gave an update on Nov 17 & 19, 2016 community meetings by AES. Concept designs can be found at the Village Offices. Discussion held.

NEW BUSINESS

  • Motion to approve 2017 Regular Council Meeting dates with one date change by Gee, seconded by McPherson. Motion carried. Change December 20, 2017 to December 13, 2017. Dates can be found on Village website.
    Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none
  • 2017 – 2018 Projected Budget – Clerk McPherson suggested all committee chairperson meet with President Bair to review any upcoming projects/repairs/purchases.
  • Municipal Attorney – Clerk McPherson/ Johnson reported on attorney information gathered. Council tabled until January 2017 meeting, council would like to invite a representative from Young, Graham, Elsenheimer & Wendling, PC to meet with them. McPherson will contact the office. Information is on file.
  • Motion to adopted resolution to follow General Records Retention and Disposal Schedule #8 by Ronning, seconded by Bass. Motion carried.
  • Aye: Bass, Edwards, Gee, Johnson, McPherson, Ronning, Bair
    Nay: none

    • Banner update – Clerk McPherson updated Council on planned Crowd Funding for downtown & BL Township banners along streets. Discussion was held.
    • Education – Clerk McPherson & Treasurer King planning on attending upcoming training in January & February 2017.
    • Planning Commission Appointments; Barb Farfsing (3 years), Jackie Thomas (1 year), Cindi McPherson (2 years), Bill Beaver (3 years) Myrna Walters (2 years). Oath of Office will be given at the first Planning Commission Meeting in 2017.
    • FOIA Appeal – Clerk McPherson read an email regarding a formal appeal of denial of a FOIA request from Jeanne Walsh, regarding Bear Lake Area Historical Society, Kendra Thompson Architects drawings and an asbestos report. Discussion was held. Appeal was denied by the Village Council. FOIA request is on file in Dec 21, 2016 minutes.

    FOIA APPEAL: Village of BL – Museum & BL Area Historical Society
    Cindi McPherson, Clerk <bearlakeclerk@gmail.com> Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 2:02 PM
    To: Jeanne Walsh
    Jeanne –

    Just to clarify your statement that I, the Village Clerk denied your FOIA request for Kendra Thompson’s documents and the report on asbestos for the Bear Lake Area Historical Society. Your FOIA request was not denied, it was stated “the village does not have your requested documents on file”.

    Per the FOIA letter mailed to you (Jeanne Walsh) on December 13, 2016 stating:

    The records you are requesting; Kendra Thompson – documents and Report on asbestos for the Bear Lake Area Historical Society, are not contained in the files and records of the Village of Bear Lake. The Village is not required to take any additional steps to obtain the materials that you are requesting. You are welcome to seek the documents you are requesting from other possible sources.

    Under FOIA requirements, a public body is not required to search out documents they do not have on file. It has been stated in the FOIA responses pertaining to this request, we do not have the documents on file you are requesting. You are welcome to seek the documents from other possible sources.

    Cindi McPherson, Clerk
    Village of Bear Lake
    P. 231.970.2066
    E: bearlakeclerk@gmail.com

    On Tue, Dec 20, 2016 at 1:18 AM, Jeanne Walsh wrote:
    Hi Jeff,
    Please consider this a formal appeal of the denial of my FOIA request by the Village Clerk for copies of any and all documents produced by Kendra Thompson a/k/a Kendra P. Thompson Architects, P.C. and the Village of Bear Lake including the Museum Committee a/k/a Historical Society a/k/a Bear Lake Historical Society a/k/a Bear Lake Area Historical Society regarding the portion of the Village property owned by the Village and leased to the Bear Lake Historical Society in addition to the Engineer’s Report on asbestos testing referenced in the 1/15 Village Council Meeting Minutes for the same property.
    Please note that this original request was made on 9/15/16 and was recently denied by the Clerk after much communication back and forth and my final communication with her regarding this denial was on 12/12/16 and it has gone unanswered.
    The Museum was a Committee of the Village as shown in their Constitution and the Village Council Meeting Minutes at the time this work was conducted, thousands of taxpayers dollars have gone to the Museum and repair/renovation of the area of Village property leased to them and, according to the State of Michigan Records Retention Schedule, these property related documents were to have been kept permanently by the Clerk for the Village.
    Sincerely,
    Jeanne Walsh

    On Nov 28, 2016, at 7:36 PM:

    Hi Cindi
    Thanks for the information. However, as I mentioned, the State of MI has no record of the Bear Lake Area Historical Society as a registered entity of any kind. However, it was first mentioned in the Village Council approved minutes of November 2013, it was formed as a Committee of the Village with the VC appointing the members of the Committee in the approved minutes of 12/13, the VC approved the Constitution and Bylaws of the Bear Lake Area Historical Society in the approved minutes of 4/14, the VC Minutes of 8/14 indicate the “approved updated lease edited by Village Attorney and turned over to Museum Committee for their approval and signatures and in 9/14 the VC minutes state” sign the lease regarding the Museum as approved by both the Village of Bear :Lake Board and the Museum Committee.

    For all of these reasons, the approved VC Minutes make it clear that until the Museum Committee was disbanded by the VC in 9/16 the Historical Society legally existed as a committee of the VC. In addition, thousands of taxpayer dollars were spent on the Museum over the course of the past three years. Kendra Thompson is first mentioned in the approved VC minutes of 11/14 and it is clearly noted that she produced more than, as you stated, “state stamped approved prints”.

    The Museum being a member of the Manistee County Arts and Cultural Alliance, a voluntary nonprofit arts organization, is irrelevant to the issue at hand.

    So once again, I am formally submitting a FOIA request for any and all documents submitted by Kendra Thompson a/k/a Kendra P. Thompson Architects P.C. and the Village of Bear Lake including the Museum Committee a/k/a Historical Society a/k/a Museum a/k/a Bear Lake Historical Society a/k/a Bear Lake Area Historical Society regarding the portion of the Village property leased to the Bear Lake Area Historical Society and will expand my request to include the Engineers report on asbestos testing that was referenced in the 1/15 approved VC minutes.
    Please keep in mind that this original request was made on 9/15/16.

    Please feel free to email these reports to me.

    Thank you
    Jeanne Walsh

    —–Original Message—–
    From: Cindi McPherson, Clerk <bearlakeclerk@gmail.com>
    To: Jeanne Walsh
    Sent: Mon, Nov 21, 2016 3:14 pm
    Subject: Village of BL – Museum & BL Area Historical Society

    Response to your request is below.

    Jeanne Walsh Nov 19

  • Hi Cindi,
    I have not received a response to this FOIA request from a month ago for the report prepared by Kendra Thompson on the Museum Building.
    Research has shown that the Museum is and has not been registered with the State of MI in any capacity and the Museum Committee of the VC was just disbanded in Sept 2016 as it pursues 501c3 status. This means that the Museum was solely a VC Committee until Sept 2015 so the report is subject to FOIA.
    In addition, I question how the VC could have signed a lease with itself as the Museum was solely a Committee of the Village?
  • Jeanne –
    Most of your request is not a FOIA request for the Village of Bear Lake but I will answer your questions to the best of my knowledge.Kendra Thompson was used only to provide the state stamped approved prints.Bear Lake Area Historical Society has been members of Manistee County Arts & Cultural Alliance.The Museum Committee was disbanded awhile ago but it was never made formal at a VC meeting.The Village of Bear Lake has a lease with Bear Lake Area Historical Society.Cindi McPherson, Clerk
    Village of Bear Lake
    P. 231.970.2066
    E: bearlakeclerk@gmail.com

    FOIA request response letter Jeanne Walsh Dec 12 2016 BLAHS.docx]

    PUBLIC COMMENT:

    •  Jason Wilder Evans wanted to know if the council decided to sign his proclamation. Concern on snow piled on downtown sidewalk in front of a business. Manistee County Road Commission would need to called by him.
    •  Jeannette May – Thank you to council for doing a good job.
    •  Rick Farfsing – Impressed with council moving forward with projects and working together with Bear Lake Township. Also, said his eye dr. in TC mentioned Sparkle in the Park
    •  Julie Griffis – Was questioning who the village representative was on the Manistee Trail Committee, as they should have had a report for this council. Also, glad Village & BL Township is working together on projects.
    •  Pauline Jaquish reported on Manistee Treasurer is moving forward with the Michigan Land Bank, should be in place by April 1, 2017
    •  Donning Ronning said her eye dr. also mentioned Sparkle in the Park.
    •  Sally Gibson – great to hear the village is moving forward.

    COMING EVENTS:

    •  None

    Meeting adjourned at 8:43p.m.

    Respectfully Submitted,

    Cindi McPherson, Clerk

  • REIMBURSEMENTS to the GENERAL FUND:

    FUND NAME DATES AMOUNT

    Major Street 11/01/2016-11/30/2016 $258.00

    Minor Street 11/01/2016-110/30/2016 $285.00

    Park Fund 11/01/2016-11/30/2016 $825.00

    Water Fund 11/01/2016-110/30/2016 $396.00

    Total to transfer to General Fund = $1,764.00

    Bills To Be Paid

    Date: December 21, 2016

    Company Description Amount Fund Account #

    MISS DIG Monthly Membership ,Ed Fee, Annual Maint. Fee $395.74 Water 591-558-801

    Bittner/Jennings Attorneys Water Well Project $2,497.95 Water 591-558-801

    Bear Lake Ace Hardware $100.83 Water 591-558-775

    Bittner/Jennings Attorneys FOIA $978.07 General 101-265-801

    MML Worker’s Comp Fund Comp Fund $86.00 General 101-265-910

    The Pioneer Group Ad for Plan Comm Ordin $499.94 General 101-265-900

    Inacomp Computer Center Computer repair $67.50 General 101-265-801

    Manistee County 2016 Fee for Tax Maps & Assessm Roll $253.98 General 101-265-801

    Mich Assoc. of Municipal Clerk Clerk state membership $60.00 General 101-265-500

    Jackpine Printing Village Newsletter $18.75 General 101-265-900

    Reimbursement to Jared Replace mini bar light $103.98 Major 202-265-775

    West Coast Farm Services Truck equip $1,418.75 Major 202-265-775

    Auto Wares Group Auto Value Supplies $54.50 Major 202-463-783 $54.50 Minor 203-463-782

    Mark Thompson Tree & Stump Tree & limb removal $3,400 Minor 203-000-951

    State of Michigan Campground license $120.00 Park 531-000-801