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Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Commisioner Dul's third ballot vote change, makes Stuart Sheer 3-1 winner over David Kellet for City Commision Vacancy.

The First Ballot saw Commissioner Pat Hardy nominate former Mayor David Kellet. Mayor McClure and Commissioner Dul made no nominations. Commissioner Zabricki  nominated Planning Commissioner Stuart Sheer and  Civic activist Mary Juras. In the voting Hardy and Dul voted for David Kellet. McClure voted for Sheer and Zambricki voted for Juras. The vote was an inconclusive 2-1-1 tally with a 3 to 1 margin being required to appoint.

The Second Ballot: Hardy and Dul voted for Kellet.  McClure and  Zambricki voted for Sheer. Another inconclusive 2 to 2 vote.

Second to Third Ballot Intermezzo: City Attorney Bill Hampton reviewed the options open to the commission for dealock work arounds. Take more nominations. Delay decision to another day. No one seemed very interested in either suggestion. Both Candidates  were given the opportunity to speak. Former Mayor Kellet spoke of  his interest in serving the City for the remainder  of the term,  He said he would "to help out" and added  he did not plan to seek re-election. He then devoted half  his allotted time praising Building Inspector Larry Rosperski who won a significant award from a National Builders Association. Ropsperski was a Mayor Kellet appointment. Stuart Sheer spoke of using his talents to give back to the City.

An exchange some described as heated occurred between Mayor McClure and Commissioner Dul. McClure reminded Dul that his landscaping company did work for David Kellet's construction company and there could be a conflict of interest. There were other candidates to consider. Dul did not care for the remark and said so.

Third Ballot:  Hardy voted for Kellet . McClure, and Zambricki, voted for Sheer were are joined by Dul. The three to one vote  put Stuart Sheer on City Commission.

It is not first time that  Commissioner Michael  Dul has made a deciding vote in manner that would disappoint  the people who voted for him in the last City election. In  June after opposing the City's tree ordinance in the election he found he could live with a modified version and  voted  in favor of it in a 3 to 2 vote. Commissioners Hardy and McCready felt differently and  voted no. Mayor McClure and Commissioner Zambricki voted yes

Commissioner Dul's support  of Sheer was not unexpected. Dul likes and respects  Stuart Sheer. He voted for him to be on the Planning Commission  and he served with him on the Planning Commission. Dul is the City Commission appointee to the Planning Commission. The possibility of Dul's support and  that  of  Mayor McClure and Michael Zambricki made Sheer the presumed favorite among  the seven.candidates.

Was Dul's final vote a surprise ? Not really. With Dul's support Kellet was still a long shot. Without it he was finished and we think the Former Mayor deserved better. He served the city for almost two decades but few if any remember. Commissioner Hardy who nominated Kellet and spoke passionately for him asked when Commissioner McCready became Mayor. Why that was May of 2010. What was not asked was what was McCready's first act as Mayor. Why It was to give outgoing Mayor Kellet a plaque for all his years of service to the City.

Over the years McCready and Kellet worked on a number of projects together including a library millage. which failed. When McCready ran for State Rep Kellet put a McCready sign on his lawn. Others who considered themselves on the opposite side of the divide where McCready stood  were not so forgiving.

Michael Dul at podium
 In November of 2011, It was Kellet who invited Dul to a meeting of the Ordinance Task Force which was considering a a tree ordinance. The former Mayor probably believed that  Dul  a landscape architect by profession had knowledge to impart and many ideas to offer. Unfortunately the Ordinance Task Force which operates under the auspices of the planning commission wasn't taking any public comments at the time. Dul, then a private citizen was told he would have an  opportunity to speak at the public hearing when the planning commission considered the ordinance.
Former  Mayor David Kellet

He did get that opportunity in January and brought  slides and a  projector to illustrate his points   Months of material he had saved for public comment made for a lengthily presentation which  was cut short by the planning commission chairman who later said he gave Dul more than the allotted time per person for a  public comment. That was true but Dul hadn't been previously allowed to say anything about the ordinance despite attending months of meetings.

 Kellet attended that meeting and spoke in Dul's behalf. He reminded the Commission that Dul was once a member of the Planning Commission and the City was lucky to have him and would be lucky if they got him again  He also reminded everyone that  January  10th  2012. that very day  was a historic day. One  that  day 236 years ago Thomas Paine had his work "Common Sense " published.

Dul would later write a letter to all members of the Planning Commission, making his points and expressing his frustrations as a resident in a system which made it difficult to be heard. A copy of the letter was published in this publication  and it received quite a few readers.

In June McCready met with the Ordinance Task Force along with newly elected City Commissioner Michael Dul  who after a few changes decided he could  support the Ordinance.  McCready could not  and said so. This writer was  present and mentioned  that residents  had hard time being heard by the task force. That was vehemently denied. So the writer asked Michael Dul if he remembered any such difficulties. Dul  said he had no such recollections.

 We are sure that when the times comes to pass through the pearly gates, David Kellet will put in a good word for Michael Dul. We are not so sure that if the order is reversed, the latter will inquire about the former's whereabouts.

Last but not least, former Mayor McCready who also served the City for the better part of two decades and is now our Representative in Lansing will be honored by City Commission someday soon.  Mayor  McClure and City Clerk Amy Burton are presumed to be working on a proclamation. If  that sound vague it's because it is.
Jan 10 2012 Planning Commission. Dul  upper left.  Kellet  lower right.

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