By Shelby Stewart
Ortonville-During the regular meeting Monday night, the village council voted 5-1 to hold two regular meetings a month temporarily until they are able to catch up on the agenda items. The proposed dates would be the second and fourth Mondays of every month. Village president Tonja Brice voted against the motion, and councilmember Keith Dylus was absent with notice.
“This is so that we don’t have so much information at each one (meeting) that it’s really hard to stay on top of it and do an excellent job, which I think we all want to do,” said council member Kay Green.
Meetings for the village council are limited to three hours, though the council is able to vote and extend the meeting. Most regular meetings have lasted over three hours the last few months.
“I think there’s too many topics here, by the time we get to some of these important topics on the old business, we’re already so far into the meeting that it can be very frustrating because people are getting tired and we just don’t have the energy to give the proper thought and that’s just doing our citizens justice,” said council member Larry Hayden. “Even if we do agree to the two meetings now we can always cancel one of them if we decide there are not enough topics.”
Brice said she did not want to have two meetings a month because it would cost taxpayers more in council pay.
“I personally am not comfortable with that,” she said.
While other council members agreed with her about not wanting to spend more money, they expressed they did not feel there was another option.
“This has just been so much information at once that it is becoming too much. It’s too time consuming to really put good research into it,” said council member Melanie Nivelt. “I see no other way of getting caught up with things that should have been done a year, two years, three years ago. Which, it’s unfortunate for this new council that we’re in this predicament and I wish we weren’t, but we are.”
The meetings dates have yet to be voted on, but a calendar change will be voted on at the next council meeting on March 8.
By Shelby Stewart