Williamston City Council bids farewell to City Manager Corey Schmidt

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(L-R) City Treasurer Rachel Piner, Police Chief Jim Wolf, Councilmember Daniel Rhines, Councilmember Tommy Pratt, Councilmember Brandon Lanyon, Mayor Tammy Gilroy, Mayor Pro-Tem Noah Belanger, two empty seats for the absent Councilmember Terry Hansen and the Councilmember vacancy, City Manager Corey Schmidt, City Attorney Timothy Perrone and City Clerk Holly Thompson. Williamston City Council returns for a meeting for the first time in a month after the cancellation of the Sept. 13 meeting. This cancellation left the council with a lengthy action items list to review

Madison Rose

(L-R) City Treasurer Rachel Piner, Police Chief Jim Wolf, Councilmember Daniel Rhines, Councilmember Tommy Pratt, Councilmember Brandon Lanyon, Mayor Tammy Gilroy, Mayor Pro-Tem Noah Belanger, two empty seats for the absent Councilmember Terry Hansen and the Councilmember vacancy, City Manager Corey Schmidt, City Attorney Timothy Perrone and City Clerk Holly Thompson. Williamston City Council returns for a meeting for the first time in a month after the cancellation of the Sept. 13 meeting. This cancellation left the council with a lengthy action items list to review.

City Manager Corey Schmidt resigns to focus on family

The Williamston City Council meeting featured a more personal touch as council members were tasked with approving the resignation of City Manager Corey Schmidt.

Mayor Tammy Gilroy (left) exchanges kind words with City Manager Corey Schmidt as the council accepted his resignation.

Madison Rose

Mayor Tammy Gilroy (left) exchanges kind words with City Manager Corey Schmidt as the council accepted his resignation.

“All right, I’m coming to my least two favorite action items of the evening,” Mayor Tammy Gilroy said as the council moved to the action of accepting the resignation of Schmidt. “I don’t know if you’re going to get the vote you’re looking for.”

The council “regretfully” approved the motion of Schmidt’s resignation, expressing its support for his decision, respect for his work, and well wishes later in the meeting during council member comments. 

Schmidt resigned to be able to spend more time with his wife and two young children. 

“I know I’m leaving a really great opportunity, but as I mentioned, with our second son being born, it’s been a real difference in our lives,” said Schmidt. “Being here on a night like tonight, I’m away from them and as you guys all know, that happens fairly frequently during the week, and that was really something that kind of put me over the edge of thinking about doing something different for a while.”

He will work through Nov. 8.    

The council is now tasked with finding a replacement for Schmidt. Applications for the position are being accepted. 

The council also discussed the search to fill the position of Councilman Jeff Weis following his resignation on Aug. 23. The council is accepting applications to fill the vacancy until Oct. 6, 2021. Reviews, interviews and a final decision will all take place at the Oct.11, 2021 council meeting. 

The council works through a long action items list

In other news, the council approved several appointments during the meeting — the appointment of Jessica Modert to the Downtown Development Authority, the appointment of Tommy Pratt to NIESA as representative along with the appointment of Noah Belanger as the alternate and the appointment of Daniel Rhines as backup for Accounts Payable Review. 

Due to the first monthly meeting cancellation, the council reviewed an extensive action items list that included the approval of a 16-month lease agreement with Pitney Bowes for the SenPro C. Auto mailing system, a motion to vote for the election of Robert Clark, Thad Beard and Dan Swallow as directors for the Michigan Municipal League Liability & Property Pool, the approval of a patrol vehicle purchase and a first reading on an ordinance to revise Chapter 66, Article IV as to parking regulation to allow the application of Traffic Control Orders to public parking lots. 

Williamston construction wraps up

There have been numerous ongoing construction projects causing disruptions for Williamston citizens. Current projects are all scheduled to be wrapped up in October.

Madison Rose

There have been numerous ongoing construction projects causing disruptions for Williamston citizens. Current projects are all scheduled to be wrapped up in October.

Additionally, the Council discussed beginning, ongoing and concluding construction projects including the conclusion of construction on Putnam Street, the scheduled railroad construction on Wed., Sept. 29 from 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m., upcoming water system disruptions on Railroad Street and Cedar Street and the confirmation that the boardwalk construction is still on schedule to be completed in October.

“Lots of disruptions, lots of orange barrels, lots of orange signs. I like to always think that means progress, but I know that it’s a pain for people,” Schmidt said. 

There have been numerous ongoing construction projects causing disruptions for Williamston citizens. Current projects are all scheduled to be wrapped up in October.

Department heads and committees report on current business

During the department head reports, Chief Jim Wolf explained that stopping traffic on Church St. has made school pick-ups and drop-offs far less hectic than they were in the beginning of the school year. 

“Parents, at least once a day, say thank you for being out here. So, they appreciate it. They see it,” Wolf said. 

“I can tell you I’ve not seen any social media posts about traffic at the elementary school in the past three weeks, so you’re doing something right,” said Gilroy.

The committee/sub-committee reports included a Cemetery Board meeting that discussed utilizing the back area of the cemetery for green burials, a Tax Increment Finance Authority meeting on non-hazardous dirt replacement, a Parks and Recreation Commission meeting with the two main outcomes being the installation of “no dunk” signs on basketball hoops and the decision to move forward with the digital board, and the Red Cedar Jubilee wrap-up meeting deciding to move the jubilee back to June.

The meeting adjourned at 7:54 p.m. The next meeting will be held Monday, Oct, 11 at 7:00 p.m.

Listen to a full audio recording of the meeting here.