NOTICE: The previous audio problem has been corrected.
The Mount Pleasant Board of Trustees voted 5 to 2 to assess residents of Highway V for the Caledonia Sewer and Water project running on Hwy V that has been discussed for 14 months.
During public comment Village of Mt Pleasant resident Kelly Gallaher reminded the board State Statues crafted open meeting law to create transparent government. “The Village Board did not have to go into closed session”, she said. The Board voted 5 to 2 (Garski and Feest voted no) for the meeting to go into closed session to discuss the issue with Village lawyers. It lasted a bit over an hour in closed session.
After returning to open session, Trustees had their chance to way in on the whole subject.
Rick McCluskey reviewed the 6 separate options the Trustees considered.
Dave DeGroot blamed mis-information on residents. He said information such as “we are going to lose our house” was such an example of mis-information. The audience laughed out loud when Degroot stated “we are making you millionaires.”
Gary Feest blamed the illegal process. He stated that “he only found out about the amendment to the original contract in the newspaper. He was not given any information from staff and was told to “butt out”. The amounts being asked of residents to pay for sewer and water don’t coordinate in my mind with anything I’m going to sleep over if I were to vote in favor of this. They have done everything they can to make it seem like they are mitigating your circumstances but I think realistically if this goes through the way it’s set right now we have set a precedent. Any resident in this Village, beware. We are continuing a practice that is extremely flawed in the financial burden that is being asked to be placed on residents”
President Garski said “I put myself into their shoes (ed: residents of Hwy V) and if I had assessments like that, honestly, I would look for a developer to buy my property and not just to get off of West Road. I hate to say this, but to get out of Mount Pleasant.”
You may review what the other Trustees said in the audio above.
Much was then discussed by the Village Attorney and engineer concerning the items discussed at the Public Hearing which was requested by the Board. But in the end the final motion was more legalize and hard to follow by those in the audience including this contributor. Some thought it was open to interpretation.
In the end, only President Garski and Gary Feest voted against the motion to accept the plan. Click on the play button to hear the entire open meeting. The recording is a little over an hour in length.
Contributor: Rees Roberts