It’s been three months since Mount Pleasant President Dave DeGroot halted the search for a new village administrator, but following Monday’s board meeting the search has been resumed.
Police chief and interim-village administrator Tim Zarzecki proposed that the board also re-open the job to new applicants. The village board stopped accepting applicants in March and nothing has been done since DeGroot halted the process in April.
Trustee Gary Feest said he thought the village should have had a new administrator by now and commended Zarzecki for doing “yeoman’s work” over the past year as both police chief and village administrator.
“I almost hate to agree with you,” said Trustee Sonny Havn, “I’ve said a long time ago that we need an administrator as soon as possible.”
Degroot tries to seat a seventh trustee
Degroot tried unsuccessfully to get a seventh board member, this time nominating Pat Barlament, a former chair of the community development authority.
Like the rest of Degroot’s nominees, the vote was deadlocked with DeGroot, Sonny Havn and John Hewitt voting in favor and Gary Feest, Ken Otwaska and Jon Hansen voting against.
Otwaska said, like DeGroot’s other candidates, he wanted to know who the person was ahead of time and not learning the name of the candidate at the time of the vote.
“I’m not going to go into this blind-sided,” he said.
Feest said that he doesn’t feel comfortable voting for another trustee that he thinks will create a majority for the DeGroot, Havn and Hewitt faction, and allow them to push through an agenda.
“It’s not necessarily the seventh trustee that’s being nominated,” he said. “It’s the fourth vote.”
During his trustee report Hewitt said that during a visit to the Capitol to give testimony at a hearing on legislation that would make the dark store loophole illegal. He was told by state leaders that Mount Pleasant has become an embarrassment for its failure to seat a seventh trustee.