2014-10-16 / News

Goodrich residents want answers on SAD

By PAULA KAY SCHMIDT
810-452-2647 • pbarbee@mihomepaper.com

GOODRICH – Residents of the Goodrich Meadows subdivision showed up in numbers Monday night leaving standing room only for questions regarding a proposed $200,000 (estimated) repair of the road which was never completed when the developer of the property went bankrupt.

Questions have ensued regarding ownership of the roads, which residents contend belong to the Village and should be maintained by the village, according to a 2002 resolution when they adopted the roads, said council candidate Tim Brannen.

Other questions center around why the village failed to obtain a surety bond from the developer as required by their own charter, and according to others required by state law.

Council President Rick Horton told the crowd he didn’t have an answer for them. Jacob Birchmeier said the council postponed their questions at the last meeting to this one and they came expecting to get answers.

“In the minutes from the special meeting it states (this was) to be postponed to this meeting and it is not on the agenda. That’s why the majority (of these people) are here tonight.” Typically, the council agenda contains a list of headings, without any detail as to the items to be discussed under those headings, unlike other municipal agendas.

Birchmeier also confronted Horton and the council with their own charter, which states in part, under Division 4 (Improvements), Section 16-161 that: “(c) Prior to acceptance by the village of improvements, a two-year maintenance bond in an amount set by the village council shall be posted by the proprietor.”

Vick also said he had been to the office to get information and was told that it was in the Administrators mail which was piled up from her being on leave and no one else could open her mail.

Vick was seeking a copy of a letter allegedly mailed to other council members regarding a 30-day timeline from Jeff Wright, the Genesee County Drain Commissioner on a Green Infrastructure plan the council had proposed to the GCDC earlier this year.

Councilman Richard Saroli said the letter he received was dated Sept. 17 and they didn’t get it until Sept. 30. He said following an earlier presentation on a possible solution from Parjana Distribution, the council and Saroli felt they had time for Parjana to make a proposal and get it to Wright, even though they had yet to get any kind of a ball park price from Parjana.

Saroli further said they may be seeking an extension of the 30 days and that the village had been legally restricted from pursuing anything until they heard from their insurance company regarding a lawsuit filed against them (http:// tinyurl.com/neaab8e).

The village’s insurance company denied their claim for coverage on the lawsuit which means the village will be responsible for whatever legal judgment is made against them. Resident Beth Summers-Wilson, who also served on the Planning Commission and lives in Goodrich Meadows commented on the proposed SAD.

Referencing her PC manual, she said, “I don’t see where the residents of a subdivision are responsible for their roads. It states its all village in this book you gave me. The bottom line is we want this village run like a business and not a fraternity.”

“We want you to admit mistakes and move forward,” Wilson added. “Don’t look for us to pay for your mistake.”

Village Attorney Thomas McKenney addressed complaints regarding a publication called “The Village of Goodrich Fact Finder,” allegedly printed by Saroli.

McKenney said the village would not investigate Saroli or the paper because it was an issue of free speech, which the United States Supreme Court was very clear on. Residents disagreed with his assessment, indicating the publishing of residents personal information was not free speech.

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