Source: Sherman Publications

Opinions
Lawsuit will further divide village

July 06, 2011

Dear Editor,

On June 27, 2011 a lawsuit was initiated by a Goodrich resident in the Seventh District Court naming the Village of Goodrich, the Goodrich Council and the village clerk as defendants.

The suit maintains that the action taken on June 13, 2011 at a special council meeting, appointing a temporary council member, violated the Michigan Open Meeting Act and a provision in the village charter. Within the suit is an order “that the defendants shall show cause before this Honorable Court on July 11, 2011 at 11 a.m. why a Preliminary Order of Injunction shall not be issued until the actions conducted on June 13, 2011, can be corrected.” In other words, the removal of myself from the council. The temporary appointment to the council expires on Aug. 2, 2011; the date of the special election which will fill a permanent vacancy until November 2012.

I am running to win that seat in the council. One would wonder why an individual would go through the trouble, time and expense to remove someone from the council whose temporary term expires three weeks from the court date. Is there some other motive below the surface? If I am required to step down from

the council by the court’s decision I believe it will have a negative effect on on my ability to get elected in the Aug. 2 election. I am sure that some residents of Goodrich not knowing that it was a procedure issue that caused my removal, would only hear that I was required to step down from the council. They might think that it was some misdeed or personal action that led to my removal. This within itself would be grossly unfair and would wholly be a result of the law suit.

During the brief time I have been on the council I have called citizens and addressed their written concerns, presented to the council on various issues such as treatment of weeds in the pond, and the need to change a zoning delegation. I have introduced a suggestion that we use the Michigan Municipal League’s Executive Search to locate the best candidate for the office of Village Manager.

I am financing my election campaign for the August election myself. I am not taking any donations from any individual or groups. At my recent Meet the Candidate evening, any donations collected were given to the Good Times in Goodrich Committee and the Goodrich Area Schools Robotic Club.

This law suit will only further divide the village. The resident who filed the suit did a dis-service to themselves and the village. It is my intention to work for the benefit of all the residents of the Village of Goodrich up to the August election and beyond.

Richard Saroli