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This section is very unofficial -- just observations of Your Editor.

Report On September 8, 1997 Township Board Meeting Highlights

All members and other Township officials were present as were about thirty residents. The meeting was held in the old Eagle Harbor School, now known as the Community Hall.

New Procedural Rules..Apparently the August Township Board meeting got a little out of hand, so Supervisor Jim Boggio announced that henceforth people who wished to speak would need to first be recognized by the chair, then speak only from a podium at the front of the room, and that all such remarks would be tape recorded. (In your Editor's opinion a bit of overkill. Needed meeting decorum and common courtesy dictate waiting until you are recognized, standing up and stating your name, refraining from personal attacks, and not interrupting others. But having to march forward to a podium and being subjected to taping inhibits the open dialog we enjoy and desire...too "big city" for our neighborhood.)

Van Pelt Resigns. Trustee Peter Van Pelt announced that he and wife Patricia would be spending several winter months in the east and he would therfore be unable to fulfill his Trustee responsibilities. He offered his resignation which the Board reluctantly accepted.,,citing his many valuable contributions to the Township and the work of the Board. The Board announced that persons wanting to be considered for appointment to the remaining three years of Peter's current term of office should advise the Board by letter prior to the Board's October 13th meeting. An appointment will be made at that time.(Our very sincere thanks to Peter. He has been an outstanding trustee. His wise counsel and creative mind will be sorely missed.)

New Township Attorney.Supervisor Jim reported that David Mechlin had accepted appointment as the Township's attorney. He is experienced in local government law, representig several area townships and municipalities. The Board had approved the selection at its August meeting.

Fire Truck Hearing Expected in November.In resonse to a question from Fire Chief Mike Radigan, Supervisor Boggio said that he expected that a public hearing on the need for a new fire truck and the method of paying for it, would probably occur in November. By that time the Township's new attorney will have been able to advise the Board on procedural matters and a new trustee will have been appointed.

July 4th Festivities Report. The July 4th Committee, Barb Sickler chair, reported that the weekend of events were well attended, with everyone having a great time. Donations to the event were $2534, expenses $1553. Part of the excess revenue will be reserved for funding future celebrations and part used to assist in funding recreation facility improvements. The Board joined in recognizing the many who had assisted in this annual event.

Dogs Banned From BeachAbby will not be happy. She and her four legged companions will have to find another sandy shore to run with abandon, chase birds (including the pesky geese), retrive sticks, and cool down after a long trek through the woods. Seems as a few irresponsible dog owners have allowed their pets on the beach without supervision and/or failed to remove their dog's poop. Not good and a real nuisance to all who enjoy our beautiful beach. People are complaining. Sooo...the Board decided that effective June through September, dogs will be banned. Signs will be installed. I haven't mentioned this to Abby yet. Winters are long enough without the sweet fireside dreams of swirling birds, "can I pet the dog" kids, cooling surf and warm sand.

Gratiot Lake Neighbors State Complaints "Rattling the cage" is an unusual event at Township meetings so everyone was a little on edge as a group of our Gratiot Lake neighbors presented a litany of complaints and tough questions about Township services. Everything from solid waste fees for remote users, the condition of the Gratiot Lake fire truck building, inadequate street lights, no public phone, and the use of the solid waste site for a private cable operation. The discussion got a little "up close and personal" at times, but from the perspective of someone who spent several years in the city management trade in suburban Mpls, I thought it was all pretty tame. I left before it was all over, but my guess is that everyone benefited frm the frank and open discussion. The Board got an earful, had a chance to explain its actions and responded positively to the request for a public phone and additional street light. The Gratiot Lake folks got to speak their piece, learned about the why and wherefore of solid waste facility operation and economics and the challenges of manning the fire department. A little extra adrenaline at times, but,on balance, local government at its best!

Other Stuff.Deputy Clerk Nancy Clarkson will do her usually good job with the meeting minutes so watch for them to learn about other interesting meeting actions, including how the township is going to handle the new "Land Division" ordinance, and an adjustment in the fire chief's compensation.

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