Cassopolis councilmember’s attempt to remove lake board member fails

Published 11:25 am Wednesday, April 12, 2023

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CASSOPOLIS — A Cassopolis Village Council member’s motion to remove and replace a member of the lake board failed during Monday’s meeting at the village hall.

Much of the meeting was spent discussing a previously tabled motion on the agenda to “remove Ted Gogol from the Stone Lake Improvement Board and replace with Jim Pedersen.” 

Pedersen, who is a member of the Village Council, had brought the original motion during the March meeting, citing complaints about the functioning of the lake board. He asked to clarify the language of the motion to read “replace Ted Gogal of the Stone Lake Improvement Board with Jim Pedersen”. 

Though members of the council did not consider the issue resolved, legal advice delivered to them advised that the motion was not lawful as put forward. The motion was voted down, with Trustees Pedersen and Kimberlee Danzy-Yeager voting “yes.”

Pedersen apologized later in the meeting, expressing regret for any hurt or embarrassment to Gogol or “any grief” caused to the council during the discussion of the issue. He referred to Gogol as a “good businessman and a valuable corporate citizen to the Village of Cassopolis.”

In other business, Cassopolis Public Schools Superintendent Dr. John Ritzler presented to the council information about the upcoming millage renewal vote on May 2nd. Ritzler noted that the vote is for the renewal of an existing operational millage, emphasizing that it is not a new tax. He also explained that, as an operational millage, it applies only to business properties, commercial properties, and second homes, not primary residences. 

The revenue generated from the eighteen mills totals approximately 50 percent of the budget of the Cassopolis Public Schools district and goes toward the day to day operations. The superintendent stated that, as long as the word was spread to the community, he was confident they would support the renewal.

Village Manager Emilie LaGrow reported that the village had been awarded a $25,000 Match on Main grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Cassopolis was one of four municipalities in the region to win MEDC grants. Village employees also continue to work on numerous other sources of grant funding for continued work on the beach, housing development, and other projects.

LaGrow also noted that, with warm weather approaching, the village is accepting applications for workers for the beach snack shack. Applicants must be 16 years or older. They are also discussing improved methods for the rental of kayaks and other watercraft, with the goal of keeping the offerings affordable and accessible to all.

Board President David Johnson reported on an email from a citizen who was opposed to the use of security cameras downtown. It was noted that there are no such cameras downtown at this time, but that cameras would eventually be in use for the safety of activities around the beach area.