Clare honors Kline, chooses Humphrey to continue as mayor

November 21, 2018

By Pat Maurer

Monday night’s Clare City Commission meeting led off with a special recognition of community leader John Kline, a 48 year resident of the city who was a long-time businessman and member of the Board of Review.
Kline died October 18th. His widow Melanie and son Paul were at the City meeting to accept a resolution honoring him, which was approved by the board and presented to them by Mayor Pat Humphrey. His widow said

Clare Mayor Pat Humphrey presented a certificate recognizing the contributions of John Kline (who died in October) to his widow Melanie and son Paul.

Clare Mayor Pat Humphrey presented a certificate recognizing the contributions of John Kline (who died in October) to his widow Melanie and son Paul.

simply, “He was a good man who believed in honesty and integrity.”

“He will be missed,” Humphrey and other Commissioners agreed.

Another recognition approved by the board was for Michael Craig, a “highly-valued voting member of the City’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board” for the past five and a half years. Although he was not at the City meeting, Craig was recognized for his “dedicated service to the City as a member of the Parks and Recreation Board.”

It is required by the City’s Charter that the Mayor and Mayor Pro-tem be elected by the board at the first meeting following the November General Election.

Mayor Pat Humphrey, the only nominee for that position, was approved by the rest of the board to serve another term as was Mayor Pro-tem Jean McConnell. Both will serve in the positions for the next two years because the City recently voted to hold the two elections to coincide with even-year elections.

Regarding another matter, a discussion was held at the meeting about Remote Meeting Participation and Ethics. McConnell had brought up the issue at the November 5th Commission meeting, asking if she could remotely participate in meetings while vacationing away from the City.

The matter was referred to City Attorney Jaynie Hoerauf, who reported that there isn’t any “prohibition or legal precedent on the matter as yet,” but relayed that if the Commission ops to allow remote participation, rules should be determined in advance regarding voting, quorums, the communication means, and “lost” communication.

Hoerauf also provided the City Commission, Planning Commission and City staff with a memo outlining the need for a formal ethics policy.

McConnell said, “I feel that some of the board may object to this,” and asked each to comment on the idea. She said “It’s a new way of doing business and the Commission would have to approve it.”

Mayor Pat Humphrey asked how long the remote participation would go on… “Three months, six months, a year?” He said that would be an important determination.

The board also discussed how many members would be able to remotely attend at the same time.

Commissioner Karla Swanson said, “I am against it. There could be a problem. I believe Commissioners should be in the room to be part of a quorum.” She said, “What constitutes an excusal?”

Humphrey said, “It would be enlightening for us to find out if others have done it and how it works.”

City Manager Ken Hibl said he would contact other municipalities and report back at in December.

Other business at the meeting included:
*Approval of the rehabilitation of City well number 9 with the $47,900 cost of the project shared by the PRP’s (Principal Responsible Parties). The well maintenance is part of the City’s annual budget. The Commission approved Northern Pump & Well for the project.

*Approval of the first two parts on the revision of the City’s Zoning Ordinance, which is out of date and necessary to keep the City’s eligibility for Michigan Economic Development Corporation Grants. The MEDC requires that the City codes meet the RRC program requirement and use a certified professional vendor. The board approve the first two phases by Giftels Webster of Birmingham at an approximate cost of $50,000. The MEDC will provide up to $20,000 of funding assistance.

*The excusal of Commissioner Gus Murphy from the meeting.
*The re-appointment of JJ Klaus to the City’s Local Development Finance Authority (LDFA).

*A report from Hibl that the Planning Commission has approved a special use permit for Jim Paetschow that will allow him to keep and maintain three Clydesdale horses at the Tobacco Ranch.

*Hibl also said the Mercantile Bank is on the Planning Commission’s December 12th meeting with a site plan application for a new bank building on the same site.

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