Saturday, July 6th 2013

Holly council hires interim manager

Written by Amy Mayhew
Wednesday, September 15 2010

Jerry Walker

HOLLY, Michigan – In the wake of former Village Manager Marsha Power’s termination, Village Council members voted to approve hiring former Chief of Police and City Manager of Walled Lake, Jerry Walker to serve as Holly’s interim manager.

Powers was fired without cause on Sept. 7 and since that time, Waste Water Treatment Plant Manager Tim Stallcup has been the acting village manager.

Walker was recommended for the temporary slot after members of Holly’s Personnel and Finance committees met with him on Sept. 9.

“As I mentioned at the committee meeting on Sept. 9, we need strength in this position right now, and we need it quickly,” Councilman Tom McKenney said. McKenney said he has a great deal of respect for Walker.

“He was the chief of police and then became the city manager in Walled Lake,” McKenney told council members. “Walled Lake is a larger community than this, and it is a very well run community. Given our need for strength and my familiarity with Mr. Walker, I’m happy that we have the opportunity to have him come in now when we need him.”

In a vote of 6-1, council hired Walker, with Councilman Bill Kuyk casting the dissenting vote.

On vacation in Alaska for the last 10 days, Kuyk said he had not yet had the chance to review Walker’s contract.

Walker will earn a salary of $74,250 without benefits.

Interviews for a permanent village manager are expected to take place sometime next month.


#1 Elizabeth 2010-09-16 01:44
Where does the council go from here? What happens to all of the garbage left along the roadside by the previous manager? Who is going to make the wrongs right? Who on this council has the courage to stand up and say they are sorry to the public who voted them in, for allowing Ms. Powers to treat people the way she did? I doubt any of them, and now they know how it feels to be on the other side of the coin.
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#2 Elizabeth 2010-09-16 01:45
Let's also not forget there are several cases still pending over alleged labor law violations Ms. Powers perpetrated against local union members. Just because she is gone doesn't make these things go away! Gackstetter said regarding the new hire for DPW director, "I wouldn’t hold it against a person who is trying to right a wrong.”
So as Gackstetter opined, let's not hold it against a person that is trying to right a wrong, or in this case, union members trying to right multiple wrongs. I still believe in the prevailing of truth, and that what goes around comes around. Please continue to keep us informed of any new developments as they become known.
It's almost voting time...
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#3 fair play 2010-09-16 11:42
Sounds like the new village administrator has been chosen. Lets save our tax dollars and just appoint Mr. Walker to the position right now. I'm sure Mr. Walker is a fine person, but will TIA get 30 productive hours and the Village of Holly 40? This doesn't look like an interim appointment to me. Mr. Walker wanted the Chief of Police job before this came up and now he's hoping for a "thumbs up" from the council. "I think its a very fair process in that it gives you the opportunity to observe me, and it gives me the opportunity to observe the council....." Sounds like he has the job already. Meantime, he can "flex my time whether I work mornings, afternoons or evenings". WOW Shows up for work when he chooses, works when its convenient and does one governmental job til another comes along. Is this current job needed?
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#4 fair play 2010-09-16 11:42
He's going to "try us out" over the next couple months? This sounds like a "rigged" deal from the start and other candidates will know it, reducing the size and quality of the applicant pool. Councilwoman Hamilton is correct, there wont be 70 hours of work going on every week. I wonder what the bosses at TIA think when they read this? Maybe they should start looking for a more dedicated replacement right now. After the charade of interviews the next few months, remember you saw the future in print here first. The good-ole-boys network lives on.
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#5 Ryan Bladzik 2010-09-16 12:26
There are many situations where candidates for positions like these are interviewed privately, but are also introduced and "interviewed" in a public open forum, where members of the community get to ask the candidate questions and offer their input. This is particularly true of administrators or executives selected through a search firm, where the public might not have ready access to information about the canididate.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if the Village Council scheduled public forums for the eventual candidates for Village Manager, in addition to pre-screening and personal interviews? Now THAT would be progressive, community-oriented leadership!
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#6 fair play 2010-09-16 13:22
That would be nice Ryan but read between the lines here. Read Mr. Walker's comments about "checking us out" and that he was already looking at the Chief of Police's position and how they all knew each other. Do you think another candidate will get a fair hearing in this atmosphere?? They don't even try to make it appear to be fair, with the exception of Ms. Hamilton who rightfully questions whether 70 hours of taxpayer wages is going to be properly earned in this situation. Thats 10 hours a day,7 days a week for the duration, no days off, or 14 hours a day, 5 days a week when most governmental work is done. Oh, our future candidate/administrator schedules his other job's meetings at his convenience(his own words). What does TIA pay for that position? I'd like a job like that. Show up when its convenient and nothing else is going on with my other job. Sounds like that job should be eliminated and the taxpayers can save a few dollars. Another example of waste in government.
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#7 fair play 2010-09-16 13:34
The saying is, "Stupid is as stupid does". Why do we have this merry-go-round as village admin. Because we need to go outside of this good-ole-boy network, where you get the job based on who you know, not what you know. Its starting all over again folks. The old method of "I know this guy who Ive worked with before and we'll bring him in for the interim and of colurse we'll just keep him on cuz he's already up to speed on things" has begun. No objective look at all the candidates because the good ones have seen the papers and know where this is heading already. Mr. Walker has been annointed the village admin. to be, we just need to jump thru a few hoops and put on a sham of a selection process before we can give it to him officially. He'll be our friend so we won't be able to provide proper oversight of him just like we didnt watch Ms. Powers close enuf and look what we got. A Big mess, MERC hearings, lawsuits, all of which will be paid for by the taxpayers. Stop it now.
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#8 Janet Leslie 2010-09-16 13:39
If previous protocol is followed, the public is welcome to sit in on the interviews. I sat in on the interviews for village manager when Aaron Oppenheimer left, prior to Marsha Powers being named Manager/Clerk/Treasurer and later Manager. But there was no opportunity for the public to ask questions or to weigh in on the decision.
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#9 fair play 2010-09-16 14:21
My point tho Janet is that its already been decided and youre right, no input from the taxpayers. Just our council taking care of an old friend disregarding possible candidates who might be better just becase thet arent friends from way back. More back room dealing and do you believe hes working 70 hrs a week??? Me neither. So we start out with a guy telling half truths. hes lining his pockets with 2 taxpayer funded jobs and at best, doing a soso job at both of them. but he knows some councilmen so thats ok. thats my complaint. taking care of your friends at taxpayer expense
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#10 Ryan Bladzik 2010-09-16 14:27
As of right now, I don't have any reason to be skeptical of Mr. Walker or his intentions or motives.

Mr. Clemens stated prior to his motion to dismiss Ms. Powers that the Village is in need of a new philosophy of management and a new direction of leadership (paraphrasing). Perhaps an open (and fairly moderated) forum for permanent candidates would be an excellent way for the Village Council (and the incumbents running for reelection) to demonstrate their commitment to listening to and engaging the community.
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#11 Jason M Hughes 2010-09-16 15:20
I think the welcoming committee needs a little work... lol

Joking aside, it was a pleasure to meet Mr. Walker at the Personnel and Finance Committee meeting.

Maybe a large meet and greet is in order or would be in order down the road. Between retirements, terminations and filling open positions (DDA director) there will be a lot of new faces (more if there are new board members after elections). Something to consider...
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#12 fair play 2010-09-16 15:55
Folks, this nonsense is happening right in front of us. I dont want coffee and donuts with the council's hand picked man, I want an open process where we pick the best person, not someone who use to work here, has friends here or who knows enough council members to get the votes so he can start cashing those big checks from the tax payers coffers. This is going to be nothing but a sham selection process unless we demand more. We deserve better than this. Hes in their now just because he knew a few people and thats how he'll keep the job. We'll never know if hes the best person for the job, they dont want that. They want to give the job to one of their old buddies who is hooked up politically and pay him $75 grand a year that he is already proving is nothing more than a part-time job, if hes still going to that TIA job at all. There should be protests in the streets about conducting the public business this way but they count on your silence and thats what they are getting. WASTE
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#13 Elizabeth 2010-09-16 16:24
It's all very convenient, isn't it. If this isn't the epitome of the adage "good ol' boy", I don't know what is. This is incredible. Incredible, meaning the opposite of credible, just to clarify. I am being literal, after all. Just want to make sure everyone understands what I am saying here...because it seems there are folks who really don't get it. (And I do mean on the village council.)
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#14 Elizabeth 2010-09-16 16:24
Gackstetter and Powers were thick as thieves working for the village, and now one of his buddies is going to fill in as "interim" manager. When is this insanity going to end? This is not taking the village in the right direction folks. It's just making the mud deeper and thicker.But...we have our chance to get some things (perhaps) looked at with different perspectives when we all get out and vote for new council members! That's what makes this country so great! When people in elected positions screw things up, they can get voted out. They are at-will employees, so let's "at-will" them right down the road. I don't care what my ratings are, you cannot hurt my feelings with your thumbs down clicks of the mouse.
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#15 Elizabeth 2010-09-16 16:29
Protocol, schmotocol. This is politics. Protocol becomes a matter of whatever is convenient at any given time for any particular situation by this group. If we are going to have any changes in business as usual for the Village of Holly, it will have to be done first by the folks getting out, and voting some fresh faces into our village council. That's the reality of it.
That's the protocol to make change for all of us, not just for a few of us.
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#16 fair play 2010-09-16 17:59
Right on the money across the board Elizabeth. These others are either to blind or just dont care about good govt. or what its suppose to be. This is exactly about favors for friends and using taxpayers money to do it with. And most of these lumps sit there and say, well I dont have any problem with Mr. Walker. Hes double dipping 2 govt jobs and I bet showing up about half a day at the most for either one. He sure isnt working 70 hrs, I bet it isnt 40 hrs if you could ever keep track of a guy who sets his own schedule, sets up his own meetings and everyone he works with shows up when its convenient for him so he can have flexibility to lead Holly to the promised land, with the help of his buddies on the council who will vote him in without even looking at another candidate who by some miracle just might be more qualified in every way except being a fair haired boy of the council. Stop this now Holly or regret this nonsense later. Pull your heads out of the sand b4 its to late
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#17 Janet Leslie 2010-09-16 19:10
I understand why the council moved quickly to find an interim manager; the work needs to be done and no one qualified on staff is interested in doing it. But I agree with the sentiment of many on this thread that it would be a huge lost opportunity if the council did not interview several other candidates for the permanent position with an open mind. If you follow my metaphor about a jilted bride in my editorial of this week, "To the new village manager," the first guy you date after a breakup is supposed to be "the transitional man," not "the ONE." It pays to wait for the best candidate.

Obviously, trust needs to be rebuilt. Perhaps Ryan's idea of finding a way to allow the public to weigh in on the decision has some merit.
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#18 John Graham 2010-09-16 20:48
Kevin, Elizabeth, Fair Play, and any of your other alter egos;

Hearsay is not evidence and opinions are like…well we all know what they are like, and everyone has one. So far all we have seen are baseless accusations sans evidence to back up any of your claims. Where are the memoranda from the Manager directing an employee to violate the law? Where is the connection between Mr. Walker and Chief Gackstetter that allows you to allege that Mr. Walker a Gackstetter crony? What if the hearing in MERC goes against the Union? If it does go against the Union will you be back on this website to apologize to Mrs. Powers, Chief Gackstetter, and the city council? I sincerely doubt it. Where do you get off alleging that if the city loses the judgment in MERC that it will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars? Usually judgments from MERC involve a strongly worded letter of reprimand that must be posted in a public place. So was that a lie to try to gin up public outrage?
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#19 fair play 2010-09-17 09:37
John, Read my posts. My one and only complaint is that the fix is in for the village adm. post. PERIOD. I commented on nobody or nothing else. This is not a fair process, other qualified candidates will see it as such and decide not to apply. My connection between Mr. Walker and the Chief is their own statements. No guess work there. Walker admitted he wanted the Chiefs spot, thats how the Chief knew he was "available". And we have personal statements about how Mr. Walker had worked with certain individuals on "projects" before. Does anyone honestly believe the permanent administrator hasnt already been selected and we havent had an interview of anyone yet. This council got us into this mess because they didnt keep the previous adm. on a short enough leash. So now we have MERC hearings, wrongful discharge lawsuits, and the costs of a phony selection process of a new adm. trying to undo this mess. I hope the suit goes to trial so we hear all the story, not just the bad part.
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#20 John Graham 2010-09-17 13:20
Kevibeth, Fair Play and any of your other alter egos;

And still all we have from you is uninformed opinion, unsupported allegations, and unintelligible conjecture, not one shred of inculpatory evidence that anything has been done wrong or will be done wrong. In the real world chief executives often work with other chief executives on various and sundry projects, just because Chief’s Gackstetter and Walker worked on a project together doesn’t mean that they are life long buddies and it certainly doesn’t mean that they are in collusion with the city council to circumvent the interview/hiring process. That inane conjuring came solely from the voices in your head. As I wrote yesterday opinions are like you know whats, and everybody has one. But just because you have one doesn’t mean that you should use it as often as you do, because in the end all it accomplishes is to stink up the place and diminish a fine community asset like the Holly Express.
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#21 Elizabeth 2010-09-18 05:28
Mr. Graham- My name, sir, is Elizabeth. Spelled E-L-I-Z-A-B-E-T-H. Your "baseless accusations sans evidence to back up any of your claims" as to my identity are nonsensical and asinine.
It would seem you have taken my opinions quite personally. Why that is I cannot say for sure, but I have my "opinion". The word "opinion", by definition, is a belief or judgment that rests on grounds insufficient to produce complete certainty. THAT is why it is called an "opinion".
And I have every right to mine, sir, whether you like it or not. You, sir, will not tell me how often I may utilize my right to express my opinion, nor attempt to dictate to me what that opinion may or may not consist of.
Yes, Mr. Graham, welcome to the blog.
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#22 John Graham 2010-09-18 09:35

Oh yeah?

Guess I told her.
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#23 fair play 2010-09-18 10:11
And I was just getting ready to say something and you apologize Mr. Graham. Of course these are just opinions. But theres something going on here and citizens should question their government. Time will tell if the process is fair but my money right now is that the council has made up its collective mind and when the dust settles, your interim will be the permanent manager. We'll never know if hes the best because they will avoid this mess. Lawsuits, council people berating citizens etc etc etc. When you go into politics, you better have a pretty thick skin because there are some real doozies out there in the general public. But that doesnt mean you ever lower yourself to their level. As the saying goes "Dont ever let em see you sweat". The council is suppose to be above all this. They took an oath. Professionalism. No, I wasnt at the meeting and Im sure emotions were high with the lawsuit being served, but did a couple of them go too far?? Ahh, just your own opinion.
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#24 John Graham 2010-09-18 12:51
Save Your apologies you’ll need them at the Pearly Gates. Do you read the stuff that you write? Do you really think that council members are machines who are supposed to be impervious to every stone cast at them whether deserved or not. These are your neighbors for crying out loud, regular people who stepped up to answer the call when others, like you, fled in terror. Somehow I find it rather incongruous when I read “When you go into politics, you better have a pretty thick skin” coming from a person who uses the pseudonym “Fair Play” and then strives to be neither fair nor playful with the comments that you write.
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#25 Elizabeth 2010-09-18 15:14
"If you can't take the heat, get out of the kitchen."
-US President Harry S. Truman

The emotions of politicians matter not a whit to me, but the use or misuse of my tax dollars most assuredly do.
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#26 John Graham 2010-09-18 16:36

And yet another unsubstantiated allegation, you just can’t seem to help yourself can you?
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#27 Elizabeth 2010-09-18 21:07
Thank you for using my proper name. I appreciate it.
I make no allegation, merely the statement that it matters to me how my tax dollars are put to use, whether for good or bad. I use the word "misuse" subjectively. It's a reasonable statement. I see no allegation there.

I really would appreciate if you would stop connecting my name with others who are posting on this site. I am a private individual, separate from the two bloggers you insist on associating me with. Perhaps there are people out there who are thinking the same of your postings. My opinions and blogs are my own, and I would thank you to respect that. If we had no differing opinions, we would have nothing to debate. Thank you.
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#28 John Graham 2010-09-19 08:57

1) I sincerely doubt that Elizabeth is your real name, or at least the name you’re generally known by. My biggest problem with these blog formats is that it allows cowards and liars to post without giving their real name and thus there is no accountability for statements made. 2) You have been posting unsupported allegations about Mrs. Powers, the village (I stand corrected) council, and others for weeks now, leveling one false charge after another without providing one shred of inculpatory evidence. 3) You’re far too well versed in the goings on in the office to not be associated with Kevin/Fair Play you may be an individual but there is no way your not in bed with that bunch, figuratively if not literally. And if that’s the case you are not a resident of the village but an outsider with an agenda. And I suspect that that agenda is money.
The emotions of deceivers matter not a whit to me, but the use or misuse of the truth most assuredly does.
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#29 Kevin Walters 2010-09-19 15:44
John Graham,

You have on more than one occasion insinuated I am someone who I am not. In fact, your "clever" means of address are designed to persuade other readers that I blog under other names than my own. You are guilty of lumping people together and generalizing about them. Because of that, I have little use for any of your opinions because they spring from a tainted source.
Also, you seem to be presenting "facts" that are not facts at all. So I would have to question whatever else you might try to offer up as "fact."
I don't have time to address people who offer so little to the discussion, especially since you have demonstrated that your opinions and "facts" have so little value.
And try this on for clever, I think you are the South end of a horse headed North.
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#30 fair play 2010-09-19 22:25
Quoting John Graham:
"... Do you read the stuff that you write? Do you really think that council members are machines who are supposed to be impervious to every stone cast at them whether deserved or not. These are your neighbors for crying out loud, regular people who stepped up to answer the call when others, like you, fled in terror. Somehow I find it rather incongruous when I read “When you go into politics, you better have a pretty thick skin” coming from a person who uses the pseudonym “Fair Play” and then strives to be neither fair nor playful with the comments that you write.

Hey John, they didnt answer any call, there not patriots going to war. How naive can you be? This started with my opinion that the process was not starting out fair and unbiased in the mgr selection. Youre kind of like a little Hitler, we should run our opinions by you for your approval on content. As Elizabeth said, Ill say what I think, when I want, when I like
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#31 Janet Leslie 2010-09-20 10:11
Fair Play, while I agree that serving in the military is the most patriotic of acts, you must agree that running for office, and indeed simply voting, are also patriotic acts. How can you see it otherwise? There would be no democracy if no one were willing to run for office. Especially at the local level where there are no salaries or benefits involved, and after years of service there is no opportunity to write a best-selling memoir or to be paid outrageous amounts for speaking engagements, holding office is a sacrifice.
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#32 Ryan Bladzik 2010-09-20 13:56
John, you seem to be on the other side of the coin as Elizabeth, Mr. Walters, and "fair play" as to the opinion of the Village administration.

What are your thoughts about the Village Council conducting moderated, open-forum "interviews" of the Village Manager candidate finalists, where the community could (civilly) ask questions of the candidates or share their input of what they want in a Village Manager?

I know that interviews are public to begin with, but wouldn't the opportunity to open up the process further take strides against the pessimistic sentiments shared here, whether they're true or not?
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#33 John Graham 2010-09-20 18:24
That’s a fair question Ryan; personally I would be against it. The word “civilly” runs a chill down my spine. Over the years I have attended hundreds of public meetings and I have seen the most innocuous of events set someone off turning a good and productive meeting into a free for all mêlée. Let’s face it some people just can’t conduct themselves civilly in public let alone on a public forum like this one. And then there is the town gadfly who will attempt to dominate the meeting from the floor, asking a host of inane questions including possibly questions that by statute are off limits to ask. Once an “off-limits” question is asked it can’t be taken back. This taints the entire proceeding and possibly opens the city up to litigation. We operate under the auspices of a representative republic, so my opinion would be that the council asks the questions and the public packs the meeting room and offers their comment after the interviews have ended.
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#34 fair play 2010-09-20 18:57
John, youre on to a great idea here. My ideas are simple and in my opinion fair. I'd like accountability first. Whose "fault" is all these grievances, Ms Powers or the Council for failing to keep her on a tighter leash. Somebody somewhere did something, or didnt do something. Im excited to see how the process for selecting the permanent mgr unfolds. Isn,t everyone? Id like it to be fair for everyone, with the Village of Holly getting the best possible candidate and every applicant feeling like they were treated fairly. Please everyone, tell me that we all agree on those points. The problem is no one is held to account. Remember Pres. Obama promising withdrawl of troops and closing Guantanamo Bay 30 days after taking office. So much for promises and saying what you mean and meaning what you say. My original hunch is that you see your permanent manager already in office because he's their guy. I hope Im wrong and the council shows an open and fair mind to the process. :)
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#35 John Graham 2010-09-20 20:09
Public attendance assures accountability. But let me throw out a hypothetical, what if the public and the council agree that Jerry Walker is the best suited person for the job? Should he automatically be passed over because he was the interim or as you refer to him “their guy” even though only one council member knew of him before he was hired? You wrote “every applicant feeling like they were treated fairly”. Are you willing to give Jerry that same courtesy?
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#36 Ryan Bladzik 2010-09-21 06:19
You raise good points, John--there is value in having a more controlled, "court-room" setting as opposed to an open forum, and if it was opened up, there would have to be some explicitly clear guidelines and rules for the public to follow.

But to play devil's advocate for a moment, the "opposing party" might argue that if the Village Council didn't "ask the appropriate questions of" or properly evaluate our previous Village Manager, where does the trust originate that they will do so in selecting the next candidate? Likewise, if proceedings are closed to public input, doesn't that simply empower the rabble-rousers at the expense of the "civil public"?

Just food for thought...this is a very interesting juncture in our local governance. Republicanism vs. democracy, representative vs. participatory government.
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#37 Jason M Hughes 2010-09-21 08:25
You could still field public questions during the interview process. To reduce or eliminate the possibility of litigation or tainting the candidate you could have attendees write their questions on an index card and submit it. The question could be screened and then asked by the interviewers.
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#38 John Graham 2010-09-21 09:37
From what I have read about the hiring of the last Manager, Mrs. Powers was already acting in the position of interim when she offered to perform both the Manager’s duties and that of the Treasurer simultaneously to create a savings for the community. A laudable offer to say the least, but in fact several months into that agreement Mrs. Powers reneged on her offer and petitioned for a treasurer to be hired to lighten her work load. This is the only action where council need be faulted. Clearly Mrs. Powers lacked the credentials to remain Manager and council should have returned her to her former position. I don’t know where “trust” comes into play Ryan. The council is the elected representatives’ of the people, if you don’t trust them then you shouldn’t have elected them. But let’s face it something like one out of six people voted in the last election that means one out of six people complaining on this website actually earned the right to participate in this process.
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#39 Ryan Bladzik 2010-09-21 10:13
Well, we'll have to agree to disagree, John.

As far as I've ever learned in school, every American citizen has the right to participate in their political processes through voice and vote. The Constitution begins, "We, the People," and chastising those who didn't participate in the past doesn't seem very effective to encouraging future participation.

And I think you'll agree that our collective American history is replete with individuals who have been elected under the trust of the people and who have consequently failed that trust in the discharge of their offices. However, unless you want to go down Recall Road for elected officials, the only two options the people have for recourse is to become active in voice to try and guide their elected officials, and if that fails, await the next election and vote.
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#40 Janet Leslie 2010-09-21 10:22
Mr. Graham points to the only fault I find with the council in this whole process. Mrs. Powers never should have been hired as manager.

She was led in the back door by Mrs. Kenner, and the rest of the council allowed her to do it. In the three or four years I have been following the council's actions, this is the only issue I have seen Mrs. Kenner take the lead on. She's a very nice lady, but in an effort to give a long-time employee a "chance," she failed the community. She promoted the idea that Mrs. Powers could take on all three roles of Manager, Clerk, and Treasurer, and that it would save the village money. At the time the council felt it would be alright because there were no "large projects" on the horizon, having depleted resources for infrastructure projects. Somehow, council failed to recognize the restructuring of the water billing system as a "large project." (It's too bad the council didn't heed the warnings of that nice columnist Janet Leslie who foretold of disaster in her Community Voice editorial "It takes a village manager.") So when Ms. Powers came to council saying her workload was too large to handle (surprise!), they simply bumped her up to manager without question.

All of this nonsense followed a regular interview process in which a superior candidate for village manager was offered the job, asked for additional compensation in the area of $20,000, and then was rejected for budget reasons. It's more than ironic that the person advising the council on the state of the village's budget was no other than Marsha Powers.

This time around, whether the council invites input from the public or not, I hope the council will not be penny wise and pound foolish. Look at the big picture. Hire a real leader. Learn from your mistakes and do it better this time around.

As for the voters, I hope you will not throw the baby out with the bath water. Look carefully to see who has acted in the community's best interest, and who has acted out of loyalty to their own. There may be a couple of councilpersons who need to be voted out, but it might not be in the community's best interest to remove them all.
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#41 Fred Hopper 2010-09-21 11:34
Janet, thanks for the background on the hiring of Ms. Powers. Let's hope that our Leaders don't do the old "oh they are my friend, so let's give them a chance" thing again.

Let me see if I have this right, Marsha was hired by the Village at the request of Ms. Kenner, then was promoted by the Council on Ms. Kenners recommendation? So I guess we could say that all of the "issues" that are taking up so much of the Village time and resources, water bills, sewer tap ins, employee lawsuits, union frustration and lawsuits against the Village can be directly laid at the feet of Ms. Kenner through her unwise recommendation of Ms. Powers.

Please correct this analysis if I am misunderstanding the sequence of events or the consequences that have followed this decision.
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#42 fair play 2010-09-21 12:33
It looks like were finding some middle ground here. Cocerns with the council are they have made some terrible decisions regarding the employment of Ms. Powers as well as failing to keep an eye on her as well. Because of past decisions, Im still concerned about whether they have an open mind on filling this critical position. Concerning Mr. Walker, hes making $75,000/yr from Holly for 40 hrs work, plus whatever he makes at TIA for 30 hrs work. How about a leave of absence from TIA while youre trying us out??? Are you really working a minimum of 70 hrs a week??Are you really earning both your paychecks??? These seem fair questions that if Holly is paying him for 40 hrs, thats what he should work. Is the council making sure Holly is getting what they are paying for? Its just hard to imagine everyone is getting what they are paying for here. As I said before, if Mr Walker wants Hollys position, take a leave from the other one and concentrate his time here.Seems fair to me Anyone?
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#43 John Graham 2010-09-21 12:45
I’ll agree to disagree. Question, how many people packed council chambers to protest or assent to the hireing of Mrs. Powers? How many packed those same halls when the last Manager was hired? I’m just guessing but I’ll lay you even money that it wasn’t more than ten or twelve. It’s all well and good to wish for participation, it’s another to actually get it. I understand that this blog gets something on the order of 800 hits per day and yet there are only a dozen or so people who actually comment. Four or more of those who comment are outsiders without a vote, four either hold village office or are running for office, that leaves around four or five people who care enough about this community to actually speak up. 38%. My guess, you hold the interviews and no more than 10 to 15 voters (excluding candidates) will even show up.
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#44 amayhew 2010-09-21 13:01
Actually, Mr. Graham, your statistics for readership on the Holly Express are not accurate. The Holly Express currently averages 1,043 unique readers per day, averaging just under 34,000 hits per day. As for the blog, we have 119 registered users - that is, people who have actively made comments, obviously some more than others.
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#45 Ryan Bladzik 2010-09-21 13:06
"It's all well and good to wish for participation."

It's even better to do everything you can to encourage participation, even if only a handful take advantage of those efforts.
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#46 John Graham 2010-09-21 13:10
Better and better Amy, great job! My point is that so far only a dozen or so people have weighed in on this group of recent events, so I question if this constitutes a fair weather gauge for public sentiment?
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#47 Janet Leslie 2010-09-21 21:53
Fred, Ms. Powers alone is responsible for doing her job poorly enough to be fired. And six of the seven members of council eventually did the right thing by firing her. But I do recall that it was Ms. Kenner who argued in favor of allowing Ms. Powers to add the job of manager to her responsibilities as clerk/treasurer.
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#48 Elizabeth 2010-09-22 01:40
I do not agree that Ms. Powers alone is responsible for doing her job poorly. The council that appointed her to the position had a responsibility to provide a degree of oversight to her actions, which they did not do under the guise of not interfering with "day to day" business. Therefore, I feel that they also hold a degree of accountability for her job performance.
Which leads me to my next question. Was her termination politically motivated, since it took place just now before elections? Is the council trying to garner votes by terminating the village manager, who had been creating such a flurry of negative press for them, and was clearly unpopular with potential voters?
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#49 Elizabeth 2010-09-22 03:32
This time around, let's make sure it's not the same council making the choice. If they didn't have the sense to see the potential liabilities of Ms. Powers taking on the roles of Manager, Clerk, and Treasurer, how can we trust they have the sense to make better choices on anything now? They didn't have the sense to see the liability of "bumping her up to manager". Powers had her agenda, and they couldn't see it until it turned around and bit them. I wonder how many bones the dog buried that are going to be turned up by the plow. Somehow the council failed to recognize alot of things. And how much additional taxpayer money will be spent paying for the litigation or settlement of her suit, insurance company run or not? Who do you think pays for the insurance company? Could it be the taxpayers? No...tell me it isn't so.
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#50 Kevin Walters 2010-09-25 20:36
I agree with Elizabeth. This Council has shown extremely poor judgement in hiring Ms. Powers and then allowing her to operate unfettered while it was obvious in most circles that maybe her actions required a little more oversight than they were getting.
I would like to see the new manager hired after the election takes place. That would start a new era with a new Council (hopefully).
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#51 John Graham 2010-09-26 16:43
Wow what a surprise you agree with E-L-I-Z-A-B-E-T-H. Well I don't agree with both of you and by the looks of things neither does anyone else. Lets face it Kevin if your wife had filed formal charges so that the council could have launched an investigation all of this could have been avoided. The council is not to blame Kevin, you are. It time that you bucked up and admitted the truth. Or remain in denial and continue to babble on ad nauseam.
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#52 Fred Hopper 2010-09-27 20:58
Quoting Janet Leslie:
Fred, Ms. Powers alone is responsible for doing her job poorly enough to be fired. And six of the seven members of council eventually did the right thing by firing her. But I do recall that it was Ms. Kenner who argued in favor of allowing Ms. Powers to add the job of manager to her responsibilities as clerk/treasurer.

Janet thank you for the clarification.
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#53 john k 2010-09-27 22:23
Why doesn't it surprise me that Hooper jumped on the slam Kenner band wagon isn't he the only one running against her?
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#54 john k 2010-09-27 22:28
Dear Mr. Hooper,
Your blaming Mrs. kenner for everything that is gone wrong in the village

You have collected funds for the 2010 fireworks in the name of the Village of Holly & Holly chamber of commerce. Were these funds used correctly??
Where is your accountability to the Village or the chamber?
The people donated to you for the 2010 fireworks. How much and where is the money that was donated.
What kind of character trait is this for a council person candidate
Have you ever come forward and filled the correct paperwork and accountability to the Village or the chamber?
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#55 john k 2010-09-27 22:41
Dear Janet Leslie,
Where are your facts coming from. Don't you live in the township?
are your comments coming from a certain council member that you are close to.
So let me get this straight what you are saying is that Mrs. Kenner,
one council person had the power to control six other council members, are you saying they can not think for themselves?
Do really believe that the rest had to be "talked" into it.
Mrs. Kenner is only one vote, if the rest of the council hadn't thought it was a good idea at the time do you really think
they would have offered the position to Mrs. Powers?
I think maybe you should check your facts before you pat yourself on the back.
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#56 Janet Leslie 2010-09-28 09:31
John K, my facts regarding Marsha Powers being named village manager came directly from the meeting in which it occurred. I attend most meetings of the village council because, since the village is in the township, village residents are my constituents. I care about the decisions that are made on their behalves. And of course, whatever the village does effects the rest of the township, the residents of which are also my constituents.

My point about Mrs. Kenner was not that she acted alone, but that she initiated the discussion and promoted the idea of giving the manager's job to Ms. Powers. This is notable mostly because Mrs. Kenner does not often speak during council meetings, much less initiate a discussion. I mean no disrespect to Mrs. Kenner, who is a truly lovely, well-meaning lady, but the facts speak for themselves.
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#57 Janet Leslie 2010-09-28 09:33
Just a P.S. to the above comment-- My opinions are my own. I have never heard a single complaint about Mrs. Kenner from any village council member.
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