Walbridge riled over mayor's absences
Written by DEBBIE ROGERS Sentinel Staff Writer
Thursday, 19 July 2012 09:42
WALBRIDGE - After the mayor missed another meeting Wednesday, the council president is calling for action.
Ed Kolanko, who is acting mayor when Dan Wilczynski is not at meetings, asked the personnel and human resources committee to look into how other communities handle officials' absences.
"Other communities have a missed-meetings ordinance," he said.
Mayor Dan Wilczynski's absence was unexcused by council on Wednesday. Councilman Nathan Eikost made a motion to excuse him, but it did not receive a second and died.
After the meeting, Kolanko said if council adopts some new rules, Wilczynski could be forced from office.
"I believe if you're going to be a public servant, it's important to be in attendance, and council meetings are important," he said.
After a story ran last month in the Sentinel-Tribune about the mayor's attendance, Kolanko said he did hear from many residents. He said they were surprised that not only was Wilczynski missing meetings but that he is away from the village for sometimes two weeks at a time.
"Honestly, I think his lack of attendance is hurting the village. I think we need more consistent leadership," he said.
"What if all of us ... never attended? We wouldn't have council meetings."
But some people believe the village is operating well and council should drop the matter.
In the audience commentary, Larry Boday of Guy Street, said Walbridge residents knew when they voted last November that the mayor's job would take him away from the village.
"I'm not sure I like the anti-mayor sentiment going on," Boday said. "With today's technology ... I'm sure he's kept in the loop of what's going on.
"I think the mayor's doing a pretty good job and you need to give him your support."
The mayor has missed meetings on June 6, May 16, May 10, May 2, April 18, March 7, Feb. 20, Feb. 15 and Jan. 18. He attended meetings on June 20, April 4, March 21, Feb. 1, Jan. 23 and Jan. 4.
In a phone interview last month, Wilczynski said the village is running just fine without him there and he has a handle on Walbridge business through cell phone calls, e-mail and texts.
Also at the meeting, council:
• Approved appropriating $61,780 from the un-appropriated cash balance of the general fund. The money was distributed to OPERS-PD, $5,859 for an accounting error from 20-plus years ago; supplies and materials-parks, $3,200, and capital-pools, $52,720. Eikost initially was against the pool move but voted for it when he was told the cash was just moving and not being paid out yet. The money is for a new pool liner that will be installed in late summer.
• Voted to table an ordinance to have Aquatic Renovation Systems Inc. install a stainless steel Americans with Disabilities-approved stair system for the pool. Council is investigating if the work can be done by village employees.
• Hired part-time police officer Chris Buck. Brandon Gardull, Jared Okoneski, Josh Arvay and Andrew Blair were added to the auxiliary staff.
• Set committee meetings for parks, recreation and community events, Tuesday at noon; personnel and human resources, Tuesday at 6 p.m., and budget and finance, Wednesday at 8 a.m. All are held in the town hall.
• Heard community garage sales will be held Aug. 17-18.
• Heard complaints from residents about noxious weeds growing in yards and the lack of enforcement for the property maintenance ordinance, and the poor condition of village alleys. Eikost also asked the parks, recreation and community events committee to look into complaints he has received about the increase of the pool admission price this summer.