Walbridge Council wants administrator more available

By Debbie Rogers, [email protected]

WALBRIDGE — Some council members are unhappy with the village administrator’s performance, and would like him to be more available.

However, how a Nov. 9 public discussion about Administrator Mike Adkins unfurled is being disputed.

At Wednesday’s meeting, Councilwoman LaDenna Johnston said that the committee-of-the-whole minutes inaccurately portrayed her comments.

The comments, as written in the submitted minutes with the council packet, said that Johnston referenced the village code on rules where council can remove the village administrator without the mayor’s recommendation.

“LaDenna is unhappy with the village administrator performance,” was in the committee minutes.

Johnston said everyone at the meeting participated in the discussion. Council members Ron Liwo and Vicky Canales-Pratt were absent.

“We discussed the village administrator and the lack of everyone being able to get in touch with him, during the personnel meeting. I’m not sure why it was put under my minutes,” she said.

Johnston is chair of the safety and criminal justice committee.

Council President Karen Baron submitted the committee-of-the-whole notes.

“I have to report, by law, what we discussed,” Baron said at Wednesday’s meeting.

Johnston said that the discussion was held under personnel.

“That’s when we went through the timeline. I’ve been trying to get a meeting with Mike since September,” Johnston said. “And then we discussed previously how different people can’t get in touch with him. We’ve been told that he’s unavailable, that he’s working six-seven days a week.

“There was a lot more discussion than what was put in the notes,” she said.

Baron then suggested an executive session under human resources.

Solicitor Brian Ballenger said there had to be a more specific reason, and Baron said it would be for personnel.

Mayor Ed Kolanko said the executive session was not on the agenda and it should be postponed until the next council meeting.

Ballenger agreed and added that the committee-of-the-whole minutes should not be voted on until everyone believes they are accurate.

After the meeting, Kolanko said that Adkins was hired by council, at his recommendation.

“He’s a huge help,” he said. “At the end of the day, Mike is a valuable asset to myself and to this village.

“His knowledge of mechanical work, his honesty — you can trust Mike,” Kolanko said. “His family has a long-rooted history in this village, and he cares about it.”

Council hired Adkins as part-time administrator at $1,200 per month in September 2020.