I was wondering if anyone else caught the Ludington daily news story in which the township Supervisor Jerry Bleau admits to "creating a bogus job description to keep Kelly Smith around?"  In my opinion this is an admission of misappropriating township money.  His wife is the treasurer and Kelly was another (just like out of towner Bleau got his spot) shoe in position filler after Paul Keson left for the LMTA job. Now it seems to be a mess down there and everybody is pointing fingers at each other while potentially admitting to a crime.  This needs to be investigated!  

If you want to read the article "PM township talks recent resignations" without a subscription just change your search into a private search.   On a normal (non-apple) computer this can be accomplished by clicking on the ... tab on the top right corner and selecting a "new private window"   this prevents cookies from being stored on your computer and limiting your views.  The other option is clearing your cookies but that becomes a hassle logging back into everything.      

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Here's the article, it would be appreciated if you would supply it with your item for discussion so that our readers do not have to hunt for it and do procedures they might not have the technical capability to do.

PERE MARQUETTE TWP. — A new addition to a string of recent resignations from Pere Marquette Charter Township employees caused a bit of a stir during Tuesday’s meeting of the township board.

Trustees were presented with a letter of resignation from Dan Healy, who took over parks manager duties following the resignation of Kelly Smith in March. At the time, the township opted to combine the Department of Public Works, water and sewer, and park maintenance to fill the gap left by Smith.

The plan to combine departments was only on a trial basis, according to Township Supervisor Jerry Bleau, but Bleau said said the move resulted in confusion about job duties and responsibilities.

Healy seemed to agree, saying he has “just been unhappy, frustrated with everything that’s been going on.”

“I think if things could change around here, I might reconsider,” Healy told the board. “I don’t want to go. I like it here. But it’s been quite a challenge to work here.”

Bleau called the attempt to combine departments a failed “experiment.”

“The realism is we experimented, we tried something new, and we failed. There’s no doubt about it. I failed … with combining DPW and the parks together,” Bleau said. “It didn’t work out the way I wanted it to.”

Though Healy’s resignation letter was ultimately “rejected” by the board with the hope that he would be open to staying on in another position, Trustee Ron Soberalski expressed frustration at the loss of employees, including Smith, former DPW Superintendent Andrew Larr, who resigned Aug. 9, and potentially Healy as well.

Soberalski suggested that Bleau was the reason for the departures.

“We are losing good people, and in talking to these people confidentially in person, they have a problem working with you as a supervisor,” Soberalski told Bleau. “That needs to be addressed. The problem is not our employees. We have a structure problem here. … We need to stop losing good employees.”

Bleau responded, saying, “Would you like me to stop managing them?” before stating that the issue at the heart of the matter dated back to Smith’s tenure, the ongoing Pere Marquette Conservation Park project, and the attempted restructuring of departments.

“The problem is we created a parks manager position that was part-time, and then created a park manager position that was full-time, with a bogus job description to keep (Smith) around. Then we bought a park that’s 360 acres with an $18 million development,” Bleau said. “Then, when (Smith) asks for more money, we don’t give him more money because he hasn’t proven himself. Then, we had a DPW director (Larr) that wouldn’t follow instructions — simple requests from a supervisor to get us bids for generators, to get us bids for contractors — a year ago, with no results. … That’s just one example of several jobs that were not done.”

Bleau went on to say, “If I’m the problem, maybe I should stop asking people to do their work.”

He continued, stating that Soberalski “brought this worm out” and he intended to continue to discuss the issue, leading up to Healy’s shifting positions.

“We asked Dan Healy to step up and take the parks management position and we restructured the whole staff,” Bleau said. “The realism is that we created a mess. The staff was unhappy and didn’t know who their boss was, and then my DPW superintendent continued to disobey my orders … (by letting Healy) do his job. …

“I got repeated complaints from staff that they didn’t know who their boss was, so we tried to separate those two situations.”

Bleau said Healy “did an excellent job with everything he did” despite the circumstances, adding that he’d like Healy to be the manager of the water and sewer department.

“That’s what the township needs,” Bleau said.

The conservation park project has also been an added stressor for everyone, Bleau said, citing hundreds of thousands of dollars in private donations toward the park which led to “all these phone calls saying, ‘When are you going to build the parks?’”

“I realize I haven’t been a saint when scrambling this mess up. … But I stayed out of everyone’s business until I realized that some people just weren’t doing their jobs,” Bleau said. “So if I’m the problem, well, so be it. Then I’m the problem. But I’m going to do my job as a supervisor in this township. That’s what the people hired me to do — hold everyone accountable. … If (the residents) don’t want me here, they can vote me out. That’s the process, and I’m perfectly OK with the process — I live by it.”

Soberalski asked if the personnel committee was made aware of the instances of “insubordination.” Trustee Andy Kmetz said the committee was aware of “some of them.”

After some additional discussion, Soberalski said he would let the matter rest for the time being, though he said he intends to bring it up again.

Township Treasurer Karie Bleau motioned to reject Healy’s letter of resignation, stating, “I think we can work this out.”

Healy nodded in response.

Bleau told the Daily News on Wednesday that he spoke with Healy earlier in the day and that he’s “very hopeful that Dan will be promoted to DPW superintendent.” If so, he said Healy will “be given every tool and education needed to serve the community.”

The board also approved new job descriptions for the parks superintendent position, a water and sewer operator in charge, and a park maintenance technician in an effort to reunify the departments.

“The big difference in the salary jobs is they’re not salaried anymore, and they’re non-exempt instead of exempt from overtime, and job descriptions have more detail,” Bleau said, adding that there was one pay change — the water and sewer operator will earn up to $1 more per hour if certain licenses are obtained within the first two years.

The positions will be advertised for at least one week.

"The problem is we created a parks manager position that was part-time, and then created a park manager position that was full-time, with a bogus job description to keep (Smith) around."

That does sound fishy.  I'll grant you that Anxious Guy.  Has there been any clarification since?   

They have not posted a clarification because nobody has said anything yet.  But that is hopefully going to change.  


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