Clare settles cops’ contracts, honors two

June 6, 2019

By Pat Maurer

Mayor Pat Humphrey presents retiring Tree Advocacy Board member and former businessman Ed White with a certificate honoring him for his many years of service to the community.

Clare City Commissioners approved bargaining agreements with police officers unions at Monday’s regular meeting.

Approval of the three-year agreements at the regular meeting gives officers of the POAM (Clare Police officers Association of Michigan) and the COAM (Command Officers Association of Michigan) a three percent hourly wage increase in each of the first, second and third years of the contracts which will expire in 2021.

Treasurer Steven Kingsbury said, “All four of the unions are basically receiving a 3% raise each year of the three year contracts.  The hourly police officer contract is a little different in that the first year they didn’t receive a raise but instead decreased the number of longevity steps by one.  There were a few other items in each of the contracts that were agreed to by the members and the union, including a slight increase in the allowance for safety boots and an increase in shift differentials.”

Two people were honored at the City meeting: Ed White, former owner of White’s Nursery (now the White’s Nursery Subdivision, Friegner Subdivision and Eastwood Hills Subdivision); and Morgan Humphrey, owner of the Heart of Michigan Cafe’ and the Venue in downtown Clare.
The City resolution honored White for his service to the City on the Tree Advocacy Board for many years. He is the most recent owner (from the early 1960s to the late 1990’s) of the orchard and nursery owned by his family for nearly a century.

In his agenda report, City Manager Ken Hibl said, “After selling the property, Ed used vast experience, knowledge and his passion for horticultures (and trees in particular) and volunteered to become one of the founding members of the City of Clare’s Tree Advocacy Board, a position he served in for nearly a decade.” Ed recently resigned from the board. He was recognized by the City for his many contributions to the community as a mentor, as a successful and respected business owner and community leader.

Morgan Humphrey, owner of the Heart of Michigan Cafe’ and the Venue in downtown Clare was presented with a certificate and Key to the City. Humphrey was named one of the Michigan Small Business Corporation’s Businesses of 2019.

Morgan Humphrey, owner of two downtown businesses, was presented with a ceremonial Key to the City and certificate.

Hibl said, “Morgan was recently selected as one of the Michigan Small Business Corporation’s Businesses of 2019 and was honored at the annual SBDC former event in Lansing in early May.”

He continued, “This prestigious honor represents the great businesses Morgan has established with both the Heart of Michigan Café’ and the Venue and is indicative of her exceptional entrepreneurial, management and business acumen.”

In another matter the Commission approved a LED Street Lighting Agreement with Consumers Energy.

Consumers is gradually converting the City’s conventional Cobra head street lights to LED, and had offered the City a contractual agreement for the conversion.

Hibl noted that Consumers had offered and reduced price to convert all of the City’s 269 lights for a cost of $375,000 but Hibl said the funds were not available to do the lights as a “one-time complete system upgrade.” He did recommend approval of the agreement with the local utility to convert the lights gradually as the City can afford them.
Other business at the City meeting included:

  • approval of a sole source purchase of a Flygt Submersible Pump, the fourth pump purchased by the City, for a cost of $7,269;

  • *approval of the Single Lot Assessment Roll after a Public Hearing. The City has one parcel, with an out-of-state owner which will have the cost of mowing added to their taxes;

  • *approval to amend the City’s Purchasing Policy bringing it up to date and increasing the amount of department head and city manager purchasing approval limits. Department Heads will have the authority to approve from $2,000 to $4,000 in purchases and the City Manager or acting City Manager will have the authority to approve purchases from $4,001 to $7,500 without Commission approval.

  • *appointed Dan Jenkins to the Tree Advisory Board
    *approved bills totaling $129,050.52.

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