Morenci city council members voted April 12 to hire one of their own to fill a temporary vacancy in city hall.
Council voted 5-1 to hire Leasa Slocum at $9 an hour to fill in for Diane Varga who is on medical leave for at least six weeks.
Slocum abstained from voting and Jason Cook cast the “no” vote, stating that he didn’t agree with the pay rate.
The hiring is retroactive to when Slocum started working on a volunteer basis in early April.
Council member Greg Braun pointed out that the committee had checked with legal counsel to be sure it was acceptable to hire a council member.
City administrator/clerk Renée Schroeder thought Slocum would be a good choice on short notice because she is familiar with the workings of city hall and this would reduce training time. The motion also calls for Slocum to work at city hall while other employees are on vacation.
FURNACE—Blissfield Heating and Plumbing offered the low bid of $5,300 for a Lennox HVAC system for the fire hall. Six companies submitted bids.
PHOTOS—Schroeder told council that the ICE grant requires that photographs of the buildings that would be torn down for the parking lots and street widening must be submitted to the Michigan Historical Preservation office to see if they have any historical significance. The state can take 60 days to respond, either declaring them to have no historical value or giving them further review with a site visit. The properties (Dunbar’s Auction House, the Community Center and a house on Orchard Street) cannot be purchased until the process is complete.
TREES—The city won a Tree City USA grant for 25 trees which will be planted along Page Street and in the industrial park.
Consumers Energy will remove some trees when relocating utility poles on Summit Street and west on Congress Street. The company will pay for the removal and for planting replacements.
DOGS—Resident Jean Hardy complained about dogs being allowed to defecate on private property.
Police chief Larry Weeks responded that’s illegal without permission from the property owner. Weeks said officers can’t actively search for problems of this nature, but they will respond to complaints lodged by residents.
Weeks added that dog owners are required to clean up after their pets if on public or someone else’s property. He said a dog must be on a leash when it leaves the property of its owner.
Cook suggested putting notice in the paper letting people know the ordinance in case they’re ignorant of it.
Weeks said he agrees with public education, but to really effect a change, he said, there’s a need to follow up on complaints.