Fayette council OKs cuts; mayor resigns 12.31.08

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette village council members approved a budget change that will trim services to residents in 2009.

Council now has the task of getting a new mayor in place following the resignation of Anita Van Zile.

Village administrator Amy Metz heard that some citizens planned to attend the council meeting Dec. 23 to question the proposed cuts, but no one from the public was there. The budget adjustments were approved with no further discussion.

Council members intend to trim nearly $43,000 from next year’s spending plan because income tax revenue is falling short of projected levels. Cuts include the elimination of leaf and brush collection, a 50 percent reduction in water softening, and various reductions in personnel and hours worked.

A plan to save $5,000 from the pay that council members and the mayor receive ran into problems when it was learned that the change could not apply to those already serving. Council members would have to voluntarily donate their pay back to the village.

Mayor Van Zile presented a letter of resignation effective Dec. 31. She was elected to the council in 1997 and first elected mayor in 2003.

Her letter stated that she has been thinking about leaving village government due to time constraints. In addition to her job, she is earning a master’s degree and volunteers at her church.

When the village administrator position was reduced to part-time, Van Zile said her own busy schedule made it difficult to make connections with the administrator. Van Zile felt she was no longer “trying to be my best” serving as mayor.

She added, “while I recognized the diverse and controversial personalities of council while contemplating running for my second term as mayor, I was still unprepared for its affect on me. While trying to juggle the same schedule as stated above, the negative tone of council was taking its toll on me and affecting me in other areas.”

Van Zile values her experience with village government and urges other residents will step forward to serve.

“I would not trade my experiences of being elected as a council member and then running for mayor,” she said. “I would recommend to anyone to take advantage of the opportunity to serve the village, learn the system of village government, and grow deeper as a person and in commitment to the village.”

Metz was waiting to hear from the village attorney to learn about the next step in choosing a new mayor. Ordinarily, the village president (Paul Shaffer) would move into the mayor position, but his appointment as president also expires Dec. 31.

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • 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.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.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016