HARRISON – Recently-appointed Hayes Township Trustee Ernie Teall was seated for his first full general board meeting April 24. Teall fills the position left vacant by the resignation of Tom Willett, whose had an unanticipated and unresolvable job time conflict.
Visiting the meeting was state Rep. Tom Kunse, who provided a brief update on his acclimation to his new Lansing legislative life – a job to which he commutes daily. He informed that he had been on the Grant Township board, and that he believed small, local government is how it should be. Kunse said he has 48 townships and 11 cities, and plans to visit all of them by March 1, 2024.
“There’s not a lot good to report,” he said. “However bad you think it is, it’s worse. Lansing’s just amazing, and I encourage anyone who wants to come down for a day and spend the day with me, I’d be glad to have you. All the meetings are public; you can come sit down on the floor with me – just don’t push the button, they get real excited if you vote for me. It’s neat, the building’s amazing, it’s great to work with the people.”
Kunse noted it’s budget season, and said how hard it is to fathom an $80 billion budget. He explained that his task is policy, so he is on Transportation, Higher Education, Ethics and Oversight. That means election campaign, new laws, and financial disclosures will go through his committee.
When supervisor Rick Jones asked about gravel roads, Kunse described Public Act 51 as being “a nightmare” and “most convoluted.”
“I try to convince people that Up North does not start at I-96,” he said, and went on to describe his disappointment when none of the state’s $9 billion budget surplus was allocated to roads repair.
“We’re still working on that,” Kunse said. “We go to Appropriations and we keep asking for things. When you have a surplus like that, to me, it’s infrastructure; use it for one-time things. You have this, you’re not going to have it in two years – do something that’s going to last.”
The agenda for the April meeting was chock full of actionable, including: minutes from the March 20 regular board meeting, four special meetings held March 27, March 30, April 10 and April 13, plus the minutes of the March 27 closed session which was called to get a legal opinion from the townships attorney regarding blight enforcement.
Under New Business, the board moved to:
-Accept the resignation of Robert Buckley as Hayes Township representative to the Budd Lake Improvement Board, effective immediately.
-Appoint Ernie Teall as Hayes Township representative on the Budd Lake Improvement Board (term to expires at noon Nov. 20, 2024).
-Accept the resignation of Maye Rood as board liaison to the Zoning Board of Appeals (term expires at noon Nov. 20, 2024).
-Accept the resignation of Ernie Teall from the Planning Commission (term expires Dec. 12, 2024), and as Planning Commission liaison to the ZBA (term expires Dec. 20, 2024).
-Appoint Ernie Teall as Board liaison to the ZBA (term expires at noon Nov. 20, 2024).
-Appoint John Marion as Planning Commission liaison to the ZBA (term expires Dec. 20, 2024).
-Appoint Brendan Powell to the Planning Commission (term expires Dec. 20, 2024). (A lone dissenting vote was cast by Robert Buckley, trustee.)
-Accept the resignation of Ernie Teall from the Board of Review.
-Appoint Pat Adams to the Board of Review (term expires Dec. 31, 2024).
-Approve payment for attendance at mandatory training and class payment to Michigan Townships Association for Board of Review virtual training for Pat Adams.
-Approve ZBA Online Certificate Program at $75 per person (cost of registration for Zoning Administrator, ABA members will be invited to attend as a voluntary program with no payroll implications.
-Approve Zoning Administrator membership to Michigan Association of Planning at a cost of $65.
-Approve Clerk Deb Hoyt’s attendance to MTA Cemetery Management and Administration class at a cost of $80 plus $41.27 mileage.
-Approve Elm Creek service proposals: Soccer Field fertilization at $2,400 (last year was $2,150); Township Building fertilization at $775 (last year was $675); and Vine treatment (poke) at $150.
-Approve Bay City Specialty Flooring gym floor maintenance at $2,707 (last floor maintenance in 2019), with date of building closure to be determined at a later date.
-Adopt Resolution 22-10 Third Quarter Budget Amendment.
Then discussion turned to a problem bear which has been ravaging trash bins in the township. Jones said the bear is hitting everywhere around Sutherland Lake and traveling down behind the lake.
“That bear has turned over every garbage can on Starr Road and Oak,” he said. “Both of my cans have been tipped over, but I haven’t seen it do it.”
Treasurer Tessner-Rood said she had received four calls and has learned that the Department of Natural Resources no longer removes bears. At that point, the DNR recommendation to take down bird feeders, and to bring garbage inside until it’s time to place it at the curb just before pickup time.
Resident LaVonn Mahar recommended purchasing a hot pepper liquid (with a high Scoville units count) as a good investment to deter bears. She said the bear had taken to biting lights in her yard [laughing that she had its DNA if anybody wanted it] and that it had even started munching on her asparagus.
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