Craig Rower serving as Fayette's interim mayor 1.14.09

Written by David Green.

by DAVID GREEN

Fayette has a new interim mayor in place until the general election in November.

Craig Rower was chosen unanimously to fill the position vacated by Anita Van Zile who gave up her post at the end of 2008.

Village attorney Mark Hagans attended the regular council meeting Thursday to explain the procedure for filling the office.

When a mayor resigns, the council president pro tempore fills the role until the next regularly scheduled election, which is in November.

Because Paul Shaffer’s role as council president expired Dec. 31, Rower was actually elected council president rather than mayor.

Since Fayette’s population is less than 2,000, Hagans said, the council president pro tempore has the option of leaving his council seat vacant until November or appointing a new councilor.

“I’ll probably let council make the decision,” Rower said Friday.

If the other council members favor adding a sixth member, then candidates will be interviewed, he said.

If Rower is absent from a meeting, council will appoint a temporary chairperson to fill his role for the night.

Rower joined council in August 2005 when he was appointed to fill a vacant seat.

Fayette’s council could have a new look after November. In addition to choosing a mayor, voters will elect four council members. The terms of Rower, Shaffer, Jerry Gonzales and Ken Dolphous all expire this year.

COMMITTEES—Rower made the following committee assignments for 2009:

• Public Works—Shaffer, Delphous, Mike Maginn.

• Public Safety—Gonzales, Shaffer, Ruth Marlatt.

• Finance—Shaffer, Delphous, Gonzalez.

• Governmental Affairs—Maginn, Marlatt, Delphous.

Delphous will continue as council’s representative on the cemetery board.

Marlatt and village administrator Amy Metz were appointed to the Fulton County Community Improvement Corporation.

LEAKS—Village workers tracked down three leaks in the water system after observing an abnormally high pumping rate. One of the leaks was inside a foreclosed house, Metz said.

COMPLAINTS—Metz said four residents called to express their concern about lowering the amount of water softener salt. The system will be evaluated this month.

Complaints also came in regarding the elimination of leaf and brush collection. Council will take a look at first quarter tax revenues before making a decision about reinstating the service.

For the year, income tax revenue decreased $31,319 from the previous year, leading council to make several budget cuts for 2009.

Unpaid water and sewer accounts stood at $5,681 at the end of the year. About half of those with delinquent accounts have called the village office to discuss full or partial payment.

RECORDS CLERK—Council voted 3-2 to change the status of the records clerk from a subcontractor to a part-time employee. Dolphous and Shaffer opposed the motion.

Dee Ferguson serves as clerk for $15 an hour. Her work will continue until all of the old records are examined and sorted.

SIDEWALKS—The annual inspection schedule for sidewalks was pushed back a year due to economic conditions.

The application for Safe Routes to School funding for sidewalk work was withdrawn for 2009 to allow additional planning.

TREES—The village tree commission is being revived after inactivity during the past two years. Four village residents are sought to join Eugene Rosinski on the commission. Other residents are invited to attend meetings.

The commission evaluates the health of trees in the village and makes recommendations for trimming and planting. Interest was expressed at the meeting about obtaining Tree City status.

  • 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.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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