Morenci council appoints Greg Braun 2.27

Written by David Green.

Morenci city council is whole again with a vacant seat filled.

Council members voted unanimously Monday night to appoint former planning commission member Greg Braun to fill the unexpired term of Jason Bryant.

Braun will serve until the November election. At that time he can seek voter approval for another year in office until the end of Bryant’s term in November 2009.

Mayor Doug Erskin praised Braun’s work on the planning commission when Erskin served as chairperson.

Sandy Wheeler was appointed to fill a vacancy on the zoning board of review. Wheeler works as a real estate agent.

City clerk/administrator Renée Schroeder told council the state’s prison labor program was reinstated, but at a large increase in costs.

The program was halted last year due to the state’s financial situation.

“I think they met with a lot of opposition when they canceled the program,” Schroeder said.

To help pay for the program, the rate was nearly doubled to $30 a prisoner for an eight-hour work day. Mileage is also paid.

City supervisor Lonnie Vanderpool pointed out that prison work crews from the county are still available at a much lower cost.

The city has hired prison crews in the past to help with miscellaneous maintenance projects.

EXEMPTION—Council passed a resolution establishing guidelines for granting poverty exemptions from property tax.

Exemptions are based on federal poverty guidelines. The current poverty threshold for a single person is $10,210 and $20,650 for a family of four.

Applicants must file a request with the board of review. Exemptions may be granted for only one year at a time.


  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.base Ball
    UMPIRE Thomas Henthorn tosses the bat between team captains Mikayla Price and Chuck Piskoti of Flint’s Lumber City Base Ball Club. Following the 1860 rules, after the bat was grabbed by the captains, captains’ hands advanced to the top of the bat—one hand on top of the other. The captain whose hand ended up on top decided who would bat first. Additional photos of Sunday’s game appear on page 12 of this week’s Observer. The contest was organized in conjunction with Stair District Library’s Hometown Teams exhibit that runs through Nov. 20.
    VALUE OF ATHLETICS—Morenci graduate John Bancroft (center) takes a turn at the microphone during a chat session at the opening of the Hometown Teams exhibit at Stair District Library. Clockwise to his left is John Dillon, Jed Hall, Jim Bauer, Joe Farquhar, George Hollstein, George Vereecke and Mike McDowell. Thomas Henthorn (at the podium) kicked off the conversation. Henthorn, a University of Michigan–Flint professor, will return to Morenci this Sunday to lead a game of vintage base ball at the school softball field.
  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.

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