TOLEDO Following the criminal accusations and departure of four former council members, the Toledo City Council has reconvened as a group of eight and once again begun voting on ordinances including a big one for the Toledo Police Department. “We began to run out of space,” said TPD Lieutenant James Brown in reference to digital storage space for the footage of officers’ body-cameras. “We were doing this on our own servers and especially with the addition and purchase of new cameras, there’s not enough space to manage our servers any longer.”
Lt. Brown made that plea to the council on Aug. 4 and by Aug. 11 that $280,000 request passed unanimously, along with half a dozen other additional funding requests.
Williamston City Council discuss agenda items at meeting on Oct. 28. Photo by Eli Atzenhoffer
The Williamston City Council voted Oct 28, unanimously to add Williamston resident Jeffrey Roland as it’s seventh council member on. The new councilman will hold his seat at the table until his term expires on Nov. 30, 2020.
Williamston City Council held its bi-monthly meeting on Oct. 14 to discuss management of microplastic pollution in local water, absentee ballots being on the rise in Williamston, and its search to fill the vacant spot on the board.
When reached the audience participation portion of the agenda, executive director of the Ingham Conservation District, Michelle Beloskur, approached the podium. In the effort to reduce microplastics in the water, Beloskur is working with Smart Management of Microplastic Pollution in the Great Lakes to provide mesh laundry bags to Williamston residents and inform community officials on the effects of microplastic pollution.
The community is a year into the three-year project and a new prototype of a sensor has just been created. The sensor will exist in the pipes and can detect how much microplastic and what kind is in the water. The goal is to have four sensors stationed in the city by next year, making Williamston one of the main hubs of the study.
It’s been five weeks since Michigan votes decided to legalize recreational marijuana, but Williamston City Manager Corey Schmidt said he does not expect a huge change for community residents. “To the extent that is, if it’s occurring in public, there could be some ramifications there,” said Schmidt. “But as of right now, when I talked to our police chiefs and whatnot, we just don’t expect a huge change.”
With the passing of Proposal 1, all communities who are against it still have the opportunity to opt-out of dispensaries within their city limits. Communities had this ability to opt-out when medical marijuana was legalized in Michigan. The Williamston City Council has been debating this issue for months.
At the Oct. 8 Williamston City Council meeting, the cost of keeping the city running safely and efficiently was the focus of the evening. The theme of the night was the costs of replacements. The first item on the agenda for approval was a new 2018 Factor 2100i Frontliner chassis for a street-cleaning Vactor truck with the price of $390,981.86. Vactor trucks are used for sewage and excavation but also helps clear out clogs in sewers which can damage homes and back up into basements.
What was once a calm Williamston City Council meeting turned into a heated debate within the city hall chambers, pitting the Farmers’ Market Ad Hoc Committee and the Williamston City Council. A “spirited back-and-forth” is how the newly-minted council member Daniel Rhines described it. The Williamston Farmers’ Market is set to run for May 20 to Oct. 14. It’s an annual tradition many residents are fond of — including a number of council members.
The running for city manager at Williamston is coming to a close as the city council has narrowed the candidates to three. Larry Collins, Susan Montenegro and Corey Schmidt were all called for a second interview in front of the city council last week. The council’s decision on the next city manager will be made Thursday at Williamston City Hall. The new manager will replace Alan Dolley, who retired last month after a 20-year tenure. Collins was the first candidate interviewed. When asked about what he can bring to the job, Collins said: “A number of years of experience in the government, high-level education, the understanding of business and government, working together and being successful moving forward.
It’s official: Daniel Rhines is the final member of the Williamston City Council, as determined Feb. 26 by the council. He was sworn in after the council meeting, and now, the Williamston City Council has all seven of its members. “Feels good,” Rhines said. “I hope that I can do well for the city and be worth the confidence the board placed in me by picking me.”
As Mayor Tammy Gilroy and the city council moved to its action items on the agenda, the decision to appoint the new council member came swiftly.
Among the trio hoping for the vacant spot on the Williamston City Council, they all have one key aspect in common: They’ve been residents of the town for decades. They won’t hear back from the city council until the Feb. 26 meeting — when the council makes its final decision — so they’re on standby. Otherwise, the three know how the minuscule details of Williamston well; fine-tuned over the course of their tenure residing within the town. Stephen Bartig’s a fourth-generation resident.