Pubdate: Wed, 15 Feb 2012
Source: Leader & Kalkaskian (MI)
Copyright: 2012 Morning Star Publishing, a Journal Register Property
Author: Katie Bedard-Goytowski, The Leader 


Budget issues were a main topic of discussion during the Kalkaska
Village Council regular meeting Monday.

Regarding a millage proposal for the Kalkaska Village Police
Department, Village Council President Jeff Sieting warned that, if the
Police Committee's proposal for the November ballot were not to pass,
the situation would be "bleak."

There is a large misconception regarding how many patrollers are out
in the community, Sieting said.

"The public needs to know what will happen if it doesn't pass,"
Village Trustee Katina Banko said.

The millage proposal asks for 2.75 mills to sustain the department's
current staff.

Public comment also centered on this issue, with resident Lon Husbands
expressing concern over the lack of policing and how he no longer
feels comfortable in the village.

"(If they plan to) add a millage to sustain the police department
without adding to it, you're going to lose," Husbands said, explaining
he understood the village's budget woes. "Add another millage to add a
police officer and give the option for the village residents who want
to be safer."

Resident Scott Brooks said he felt not everyone is aware there is a
lack in the police department, asking if the council can help promote
awareness and clarity if the millage was put on the ballot.

The motion passed, however, to proceed in forwarding the information
to the village's attorney to form a millage proposal for the November
ballot, with only Council Member Kelly Hall voting in opposition.

Council members also considered a request from Dan Johnson, pastor at
the Kalkaska Church of Christ, to rescind an ordinance that states,
unless established prior to the enactment of the chapter, a church
site should occupy at least two acres.

The undue restriction is unwarranted, unjustified, and probably
illegal since the requirement was not placed on other businesses,
Johnson said.

After discussion, the council passed a motion to verify the legality
of the ordinance, then if necessary, pass it along to the planning

Finally, following widespread state controversy surrounding medical
marijuana and its questionable legality, the council voted unanimously
to extend the village's moratorium placed on medical marijuana
dispensaries for an additional 12 months.

"I don't see how we can make an ordinance if we don't have guidance
from the state," Village Trustee Dave Heymes said.
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MAP posted-by: Richard R Smith Jr.