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Council split on village study

December 29, 2010 - A proposal to study the inner workings of the village was tabled by the village council on Dec. 13 by a 3-2 vote. Council members Phil Jackson, Pete Morey and Richard Horton voted no. Wartella and McAbee voted for the study.

The proposal will be on the Jan. 10 village council agenda.

Craig Frankland, management consultant for Southfield-based Plante & Moran offered a proposal to the council for a study regarding numerous aspects of the village including core services, administration, and Department of Public Works. The report was suggested at a previous meeting and Jackson contacted three companies to do the report.

"Customers save anywhere from five to 10 times the cost of the study," said Frankland.

The study would have been completed in about one to one-and-a-half months at a cost of $15,000 to $20,000. to the village, said Frankland.

"The survey will also include communications with neighbors and a look at shared services," he said. "The study will require a full understanding and review of the village data. Also, meetings with village staff and administration."

Frankland said communities including Clarkston, Holly and Wolverine utilized their services with good results.

Councilman Pete Morey suggested more companies should be contacted.

"We need more than one proposal," said Morey, co-street administrator. "I have three years of what the DPW costs us. Last year we were only 10 hours in overtime—they've done a great job and were very efficient. I really can't see where we are going to save a lot of money, we don't have a fire department or police for that matter. We really don't need this report tomorrow."

Council President Patrica Wartella did not see it that way.

"The bottom line is the cost (of the survey) is 1 percent of what we spend in a year," she said. "I know it's sticker shock, but we need to save and consolidate. This survey is needed to look at all aspects of the community. We will reap the benefits of the survey there's not a lot of time to wait our resources are declining. There's not going to be a municipality that matches Goodrich exactly."

Goodrich Village Manager Jakki Sidge was unsure where the funding for the survey will come from for the project.

"None of you have a clue what we do in this office," she said. "You're all welcome in here to find out. We are not in deficit spending. We're in the black. And where in the budget do you get $20,000? Where are you going to get the money?"

Wartella suggested the funding for the project to come from the village fund balance.

"We are not afraid of what the study will find—like it or not."

Jackson will continue to seek more companies to do the survey for the village.

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