Council backs city manager in letter to support repeal

By: 
MEGAN LINSKI

At the January 18 Tecumseh City Council meeting, city manager Dan Swallow sought support from city council concerning draft letters backing the repeal of a portion of Section 57 of Public Act 269. Michigan Senate Bill 703, introduced by Senator Dale Zorn, would repeal the provision that bars local governments from distributing information about local ballot proposals 60 days before an election.

Swallow introduced the draft letters to city council, as well as a copy of the Bill itself (House Bill 5221). He proposed the letters be sent to Senator Zorn, as well as State Representative Nancy Jenkins.

Swallow stated that he supported the Bill in order to provide more information to voters about a local ballot question. “In my opinion, I believe it is important for local units to be able to provide information to their residents,” Swallow said. “I would support the Bill from Senator Zorn in his efforts to remove those restrictions in the current law.”

In his letter to Senator Zorn, Swallow used the 911 Surcharge as an example for the repeal of Section 57 of Public Act 269. He noted that the funding received from the surcharge is critical to update emergency communications systems, but since the city government has little time to develop and distribute information about the proposal, the surcharge may fail. 

“I have read those letters, and I am in complete support of them,” Mayor Jack Baker said. Baker asked council to adopt a resolution to add council support to the letter. The motion carried 7-0.

In other city council news:

• Council voted unanimously to contribute $7,000 in city funds towards the continuation of Tecumseh’s Pure Michigan Campaign. The city has participated in the campaign for the past three years in an effort to bring tourism to the city. The funding will go towards radio and Internet advertising for Tecumseh. The target audience for the advertising lives an hour and a half away. Twenty-five thousand dollars is the minimum Tecumseh must contribute to participate in the program. Swallow said the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) would contribute $3,000 with the remaining $15,000 being contributed by local businesses.

“I don’t think it’s right to ask other businesses to divvy in if we’re not willing to be at the table with them,” council member Ronald Wimple added in support of the campaign.

• Council approved the 2016-17 through 2021-22 six-year capital improvement program (CIP) 7-0. The CIP is for expensive projects that need extensive planning by the city, due to cost and coordination between all departments. The CIP is meant to see what projects are upcoming, and where the funding for those projects is going to come from.

“I look at this as a working document. This isn’t set in stone, and some things change as we progress,” Wimple said. “It might not all get completed in the time frame it is listed.”

“It’s a road map for the future,” Baker said.

• Council approved 7-0 a resolution to improve the memorandum of understanding to the collective bargaining agreement with the Police Officer’s Labor Council. Swallow said that the modification to the memorandum is merely a clarification, from when the police department extended its eight hour shift to a 12 hour to gain more coverage.

“There were paid holidays that were part of the previous contract,” Swallow said. “Obviously if you’re working a twelve hour instead of an eight hour shift on that holiday, there’s additional hour that should be compensated. They agreed the holiday compensation increase from eighty-eight hours to ninety-six hours.”

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P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286
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