Source: Sherman Publications

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‘Why weren’t Horton and Morey invited?’

February 09, 2011

Dear Editor,

On Feb. 4, I was informed of a special council meeting at the Goodrich Village offices. The meeting was organized to hire Plante & Moran to perform a review of the operational services provided by the village to determine areas of potential cost savings. This meeting was organized because the previously awarded consulting firm pulled out of the contract with the village.

The only people to attend this meeting were Council President Patricia Wartella, Councilmembers Doug McAbee and Phil Jackson, and a handful of village residents. Absent were the village administrator, village clerk, councilmembers Pete Morey and Rick Horton. Essentially, this meeting was not a legal meeting. Not because special council meetings are illegal, but due to the fact that the rules as defined by our village charter were not followed.

The following is from our Village Charter. Under Chapter 6 – Council Procedures, Section 6.2 - Special Meetings, it states: "Special meetings shall be called by the clerk on the written request of the president or any two members of the council on at least six hours written notice to each member of the council served personally or left at his usual place of residence, but a special meeting may be held on shorter notice if all members of the council are present or have waived notice thereof in writing."

Also, under Section 6.7 – Organization and rules of the council, it states: "A journal of the proceedings of each meeting in the English language shall be kept be the clerk and shall be signed by the presiding officer and clerk of the meeting."

Both of these sections within our village charter were ignored, in regards to this meeting. Councilmembers Morey and Horton were not notified of this meeting in writing or by any other means. Also, the village clerk was out of town and not in attendance of this meeting to record the meeting for accuracy. The meeting notice was posted at the library, Thursday afternoon and the library is closed on Fridays. So, how many village residents even knew about this meeting? I bet those of you reading this didn't know.

The three members of the council in attendance ran on campaigns to reduce operational costs within the village, but thus far have not delivered. Special meetings cost village residents extra money. With a regularly scheduled council meeting taking place on Feb. 14, which is less than a week and a half from this meeting, I don't understand why they wouldn't have waited until then to take care of this business. It could have been taken care of when all members of the council could have been present, including the clerk and any village residents that wished to attend.

I hope everyone that reads this has concerns with the way some of the council members are behaving. To have a special council meeting and not invite every member of the council is ludicrous. Wartella called the meeting, McAbee delivered the notice to the village offices and apparently Jackson was informed, because he was also at the meeting. Why then weren't Horton and Morey invited? If you're concerned about your services, please start attending the monthly village meetings and voice your opinions.

Keith Walworth

Goodrich