For the third time in as many weeks, this reporter went to the Scottville Senior Citizen Center to view the Scottville City Commission in the course of their meeting on May 13th.  And for the third time, I saw a public body trying their darndest to keep the public, who once again turned out with over a dozen attending, ignorant of what exactly is going on.  

Two special meetings had the commission go into closed session at the head of the meeting for about three hours cumulative; when they came out the public was nary the wiser about what the purpose for the closed session was about.  For purposes of the Open Meetings Act, they used the time to review a written opinion made by the city attorney, with nothing given to the public as to what the opinion was about.  This level of secrecy does not only breed rumors and distrust of the commission, but is also quite expensive to the taxpayers, as I would make known at the public comment during the beginning of the meeting, with all commissioners present:

XLFD:  "One can't help but look at agenda packet's invoice register and be confused as to why the bill from the city attorney's office was over $14,000 for this last month, the prior bill from them being paid in the first meeting of April.  To my knowledge, city hall is not currently facing any litigation against them, nor are they preparing any litigation against others.  The two special meetings and the leadup to this meeting shows that they are not doing any major projects that require commission approval, this agenda shows nothing that requires more than a cursory look from an attorney.  

What the citizens of Scottville are paying $14,000 for appears to be for the city attorney's law firm to draft a couple of opinions and have a couple of their premium-priced lawyers present during about 3 hours of closed session discussions over matters that this commission, as representatives of the people of Scottville, have decided to keep secret from those citizens while having those citizens pay $14,000 for the privilege of remaining ignorant.  

I don't like lawyers in general, and I don't like Mika Myers lawyers in specificity, as they messed up Ludington before our council grew wise for a moment and fired them four years ago for a series of legal mistakes they made.  But I can't blame them for making a living off of a city commission who have adopted a groupthink notion of believing that spending $14,000 on intangible services is a politically wise move. 

Over the last two special meetings, the three hours you have kept dozens of your constituents outside of the chamber where you made deliberations and discussions over something that you, as a commissioner, have put a lot of value behind and does not follow any other legitimate purpose allowed by the Open Meetings Act, is instructive as to your overall disdain for your constituents and your execrable stewardship of the public's money [END comment]

And even though I challenged both commissioners and counselors with my speech to come across with something to justify the high costs of keeping secrets from the public, there was no attempt made to explain their actions or their motives at this meeting.  The focus of the agenda appeared to be geared on positive issues, which is to be expected when utter turmoil is being hidden.

The Hempire Collective, a family business out of Remus, Michigan, announced their business' grand opening on Saturday, May 18th, and a sneak preview offered at 7 PM on Thursday, May 16.  The business has been operating for years in Clare without major incident and this appears to be their second venture in the marijuana dispensary business.  It will be interesting to see how this affects the small town's economy.  Along with the Maynard Keenan-proposed Stallion Mill, the center of Mason County may soon become party central for many coming to this area.  

A specialty business named Grip & Rip Disc Golf, LLC is also planning their opening later this month on the 25th, whose owner Kayleen Moffitt was there to let the attendees know that disc golf is a big thing in our area, with all the various courses and events that take place.  The business will be at 120 S Main Street and will be busy in the meantime moving their stock from their current Ludington address.  

A public hearing on the 24/25 budget elicited no comment from the public, Commissioner Al Deering admitting that the budget is tight and will likely have amendments along the way, before the budget was approved (see it and other supporting records in the meeting's agenda packet).  

The commission would formally refuse to go after the tax foreclosed property at 203 S Crowley (a vacant lot across the road and south of the old Dollar General) and grant the senior center approval for doubling their handicapped parking spaces from 2 to 4.  

Two items of business were paused and sent back to the Buildings & Licenses Committee for more development of unclear parts of the proposals:  a request for concrete slab improvements at McPhail Field by Pop Warner Youth Football and a handicapped space request by the North Main Salon (the former Cole's Antique store).  

The bidding process for the trash & recycling contract was sent back to square one due to the issues with losing the city manager at the time of the bids coming due.  The bidding companies will be asked to resubmit their bids to be opened at a later date by the acting city manager, Marcy Spencer.  Lastly, they added an item to note that Jeff Barnett had submitted a letter of interest to serve on the city's Brownfield Authority, and he was approved to do so.  

In the last comment, Senior Center Director Bill Kerans thanked the commission for their parking spot approval, they reciprocated by thanking the senior center director for allowing them to use the facilities.  Alas, the questions I and others have asked about the secretive maneuvers at the last couple of meetings have remained unanswered, so we're likely to see the public apathy reestablish itself in future meetings.  

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$14,000? And I thought things were getting better! I guess the City thinks that new weed businesses are going to help them pay the bills. Instead of having property owners cut their weeds why not encourage them to grow wacky weed and the City can open up a local market to supply the entire County and beyond with the brain fogging substance. Kids in town can look forward to class trips to the marijuana dream land dispenser and learn how to make money from  brain fogging products. Why promote an ice cream or candy store when stink weed can be sold in small town America. We have lost our minds.

+Can't wait till this years Western Michigan Fair to see how many Blue ribbons are handed out in the Horticulture building for the best weed.LOL

One of the funniest things I have ever read...  Thanks


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