Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Cold consolidation facts

From left: Former Mayor Matt Balmer, Commercial Record reporter Scott Sullivan, Consolidated Government Committee spokesman Jim Storey, member Frank Lamb and former Mayor Renee Waddell talk about consolidation outside city hall on Monday night.

People passing Douglas city hall last night witnessed a rare occurrence when the two former mayors of the city stood outside the municipal building with three members of the Consolidated Government Committee and four reporters to talk about what was going on behind closed doors just behind them.

City council members were inside city hall discussing in closed session how they should react to the recent filing of petitions that start the consolidation process. See story http://www.hollandsentinel.com/newsnow/x495075506/Saugatuck-Douglas-investigating-consolidation-facts

Left outside in the cold for about an hour were the media and audience members.

Former Mayor Renee Waddell, used to being on the other, warmer side of the closed session, spoke about her opposition to consolidation to some reporters while Jim Storey, spokesman for the Consolidated Government Committee, Steve Hutchins and Frank Lamb, both committee members, spoke with other reporters, including a TV crew (See story http://www.wzzm13.com/news/article/185853/14/Local-consolidation-discussed-in-Douglas)

Then, from the dark of the street, the city's first mayor Matt Balmer walked up and joined the discussion. He was on his way to speak at the meeting.

Both former mayors who both oppose consolidation and the consolidation supporters talked for the rest of the time before the doors of city hall opened again.

Inside, back on the record and warm again, the discussion continued:

Balmer praised the council for getting involved in the consolidation process and seeking independent information.

Lamb also said there needs to be more information out in the public, especially about the consolidation process. Check out the state act itself at http://www.legislature.mi.gov/%28S%284melpcmakzurix55j5xp5xul%29%29/mileg.aspx?page=getobject&objectname=mcl-act-191-of-1968&queryid=328513&highlight=

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