Vote may go to people

Published 1:17 pm Thursday, March 17, 2005

By By MARCIA STEFFENS / Cassopolis Vigilant
CASSOPOLIS - The people may still have a say.
Cassopolis Village Clerk Paula Beauchamp announced at Monday evening's Cassopolis Village Council meeting that enough signatures had been gathered which would call for a vote by the people on whether the treasurer and clerk positions in the village should be elected or appointed.
At a previous council meeting, the board voted to change the two positions to appointed after they expire in 2007.
Signatures need to be verified and turned in to the Cass County Clerk within 45 days of the council's decision.
Village Manager Art Sciorra reported that the five townships and three villages looking into a joint ambulance service with Cassopolis and Edwardsburg are looking at a June 1st date to become Advanced Life Support.
The Cass Ambulance Service operates now in the black covering a larger area than Edwardsburg, at a lower cost.
Should Life Care out of Kalamazoo or SMCAS out of Niles bids be accepted, then they would provide the billing facility and bookkeeper.
He is expecting bids back by April 23, with the next joint ambulance meeting with the local units on April 30.
Other good news Sciorra reported, was interest in land adjacent to Park Shore Golf Course, as a possible location for 70 to 90 higher range houses.
In other business the council ratified the agreement between the village manager and the Police Officers Association.
The response to questions raised by the state's MSHDA about the housing grant program has been prepared and sent, Sciorra said. The document can be reviewed through his office.
Some discrepancies were caused by data entry errors, such as the inversion of building or house numbers, Sciorra said.
Changes have since been made in the procedures to ensure many errors are prevented, a representative of Community Housing Initiative (CHI) said, such as a signature sheet which requires three sign-offs, by the contractor, CHI inspector and the owner.
The council learned that the Lions are back in Cassopolis and meet at the Cass District Library on the second and fourth Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. New members are welcome. A White Cane Day will be held April 29-30.
Past minutes of four meetings were tabled, instead of approved, so council members could listen to the tapes which they questioned what was said.
Sciorra also told the board that the village attorney would be asking the judge to throw out the lawsuit made by Beauchamp against the village, as "frivolous."
The lawsuit came from the incident when President Bell told Beauchamp to leave the special meeting, when they were to discuss the village manager.
Beauchamp claimed the village violated the Michigan Open Meetings Act and the General Law Village Act.