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 ortonvilledda.org. 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 director@ortonvilledda.org.

5 Responses to "Village council grapples with appointments"

  1. Bronwen Hintz   March 30, 2018 at 9:52 am

    My question would be .Where do the current board members live?

    Reply
  2. Jason Gault   March 30, 2018 at 10:09 am

    So the village manager can be the Mayor of another city but the current Superintendent of our own school system is not fit to serve in a volunteer position? I am not a village resident, however I have served on the DDA board, and I sponsor many of the village activities. I feel personally insulted by these remarks. Welcome to the twilight zone.

    Reply
    • Jason Kratt DDA volunteer   March 30, 2018 at 12:27 pm

      Jason thank you for all the sponsoring you do especially the lunch and learn series the dda is putting on to help small businesses in our local area. With that being said I too am severely disappointed with the boards decision and I do hope Dr Outlaw isn’t taken back too much by our unwelcoming village counsel. It’s the dda goal to make downtown a nicer one and superintendent Outlaw would have been a great resource for us to get volunteer work in the community.

      Reply
  3. Don Rush   March 30, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Question . . . does the DDA capture tax dollars from businesses in the DDA, that could go to the Brandon school district? If so, it would only seem appropriate for Mr. Outlaw to be on-board.

    Reply
  4. Joe Frost   March 30, 2018 at 8:49 pm

    Downtown Development Authority Act 197 of 1975

    Section 125.1654

    “…Not less than a majority of the members shall be persons having an interest in property located in the downtown district or officers, members, trustees, principals, or employees of a legal entity having an interest in property located in the downtown district. Not less than 1 of the members shall be a resident of the downtown district, if the downtown district has 100 or more persons residing within it….”

    http://www.legislature.mi.gov/(S(lqbcfzjfcs1mafjlbjlab33s))/mileg.aspx?page=getObject&objectName=mcl-125-1654

    Reply

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