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Keiser's RoleA column by Trevor Keiser


City, township?



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April 27, 2011 - As I looked at the clock go past 11 p.m. I thought to myself , "am I sitting in a city council meeting or a township board meeting?"

I was rather confused because the city usually never runs their meetings past 9 p.m., and if they do, they definitely don't go past 10 p.m..

The city council wasn't as theatrical as their "friendly neighbors," but there were still a few "hot topics." The first was in regards to 90 N. Main and the proposed amendment to the zoning ordinance for a limited use overlay district handed to the council by the planning commission.

The council voted 6-0 on the first reading of the proposed amendment and added back in the multiple residential component, which the planning commission had removed at their last meeting.

I found it interesting residents were more opposed to the residential component than they were of the limited use for commercial.

According to the amendment, written by City Planner Dick Carlisle, the residential component would be restricted to the top floor of 90 N. Main and will only allow at the maximum two residential components.

I understand the houses in the neighborhood are single-family residential, but I don't think allowing one more residence, whether single or a family of six in a commercial building, is going to harm the neighborhood.

The amendment is actually quite specific and I believe Carlisle has done a very good job representing neighbors while allowing the owners of 90 N. Main their right to conduct business in a reasonable manner in accordance to the surrounding area.

The second hot topic of the night came in the discussion of possibly hiring a new clerk for roughly $10,000 in addition to City Treasurer Kim Howe's salary of $14,500, which was split between clerk/treasurer until she quit the clerk job.

I understand good help comes at a price and I agree city workers are underpaid but I keep wondering if Cory Johnston is on to something when he calls for dissolvement of the cityhood. Perhaps the cost of city government is too much for 882 residents.

This was a taste - look for the complete stories in next week's edition of The Clarkston News.

Trevor graduated with degrees in English and communications from Rochester College. He wrote for his college and LA View newspapers before joining The Clarkston News in May 2007.
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