Source: Sherman Publications

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Judge nixes council meetings

by David Fleet

July 20, 2011

The Goodrich Village Council has been ordered not to conduct meetings until after the Aug. 2 election.

That's the word from 7th District Court Judge Geoffrey Neithercut, who decided Monday to halt further council meetings following a challenge by village resident Cynthia Beebe-Johnson. The suit named the Village of Goodrich, the Goodrich Village Council and Richard Saroli.

The suit stems from a June 13 special council meting where a temporary council member, violated the Michigan Open Meeting Act and a provision in the village charter. The temporary appointment to the council was filled by Richard Saroli who currently serves.

The attorneys met in chambers with Neithercut prior to the ruling.

"Basically, Neithercut said the election will take care of the issue," said Saroli following the decision. "Until then, there would not be any special council meetings and if one (a meeting) was needed Neithercut would decide if it was necessary to have a meeting. Also, the council secretary and treasurer would be able to keep the one year contract extension approved by the council."

All five members of the village council were in attendance including Doug McAbee, Phil Jackson, Pete Morey, Richard Horton and Richard Saroli.

"It's too bad we wasted the court time on this, but now we need to get on with the election," added Saroli.

Councilmember Doug McAbee was not disappointed with the decision.

"The judge told us the reality is, whoever wins the election can go back and undo what happened in the past. The election can chart a new path for the council."