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.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • 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.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • 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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