Village council grapples with appointments

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
The Ortonville Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is looking for volunteers from the village.
“We want more residents of Ortonville represented in the DDA,” said Matt Bailey, DDA organization committee member. “It’s an open invitation to anyone who wants to join.”
The current board of directors has six members, and under law the board can have up to 12 members, so the DDA would like to fill those available positions and have a full board. It is not a requirement that all members be residents of the village, but the village council would like to see more resident representatives involved.

At the meeting on Monday night, the council voted 5-2 against appointing Paul Amori, general manager at Hamilton’s of Ortonville and past president of the DDA, and Dr. Matt Outlaw, Brandon Superintendent, on the grounds that they were not residents, though that is not a requirement.
Council members Mark Robinson, Mark Butzu, Coleen Skornika, Dan Eschmann and Karen Sleva voted against appointing the two potential members while councilwoman Tonja Brice and Village President Wayne Wills voted in favor of them.
“I don’t know him (Outlaw) at all,” said councilwoman Karen Sleva. “I’d like to vote for people that I know, and I’m a little uncomfortable with what the process is here.”
Councilman Eschmann questioned the DDA’s decision.
“I don’t necessarily agree with your methodology around selection of the DDA board,” said protempore Dan Eschmann at the meeting.
The DDA has four committees that are open to volunteers, even those who don’t want to join the executive board: organization, economic restructuring, design and promotion.
“There are ways to help serve our community through that,” said Bailey.
The DDA meets monthly, and a calendar of future meetings can be found on their website at The committees meet monthly as well.
“Anyone can come to a DDA board meeting,”added Bailey. “I saw an opportunity to get involved with the community.”
Those interested in joining the DDA executive board or volunteering with the committees can call Matt Jenkins at 248-627-8070 or email him at

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