0-14-2018 New Watervliet City Manager and Clerk in place but not without debate

THEY REIGN! After a rainout moved the MHSAA Division 3 regional championship softball game to Lakeshore on Sunday, from Buchanan on Saturday, Coloma recorded a 5-1 victory over Constantine for the title. Next up for the Lady Comets was their state quarter-finals game, held Tuesday at Davenport University against Stanton Central Montcalm which they won in five innings by a score of 14-0. See Press Box starting on Page 12 for more sports news & photos.

New Watervliet City Manager and Clerk in place but not without debate

By Annette Christie

 The Watervliet City Commission confirmed the clerk and selected the city manager at their Tuesday, June 12 meeting but not without debate and even “no” votes from Mayor Dave Brinker and Commissioner Larry Hehl.

It was during the review of the departmental reports that the debate began with Brinker questioning the statement in the City Manager’s report where it said that he had hired a City Clerk following the closure of the application acceptance period on June 1.

The City Manager’s Report stated that on Monday, June 11, 2018, City Manager Michael Uskiewicz appointed Christa Townsend to the City Clerk position with a salary of $35,360. He recommended a review after six months. Uskiewicz had proceeded with putting Townsend in City Hall as a temporary office assistant following a special meeting held May 23. 

She started at City Hall the Tuesday following. She then went on to attend a two-day course on June 7 and 8 for elections. She and Melanie Marvin both completed the course and were accredited to proceed with the upcoming election in August.

Brinker said that Uskiewicz could not appoint the City Clerk according to the City Charter; however, the minutes of the May 23 special meeting accurately reflected that Uskiewicz was given the authority to select someone to help in the office on a temporary basis immediately and could move forward with the clerk selection following the June 1 application deadline.  The minutes of the May 23, 2018 meeting were approved without discussion.

Clerk Dena Yow left her full-time city employment mid-May, leaving the other office employee, Melanie Marvin to continue her job duties as well as doing what she could of the Clerk’s position.

City Manager Michael Uskiewicz said then that he had interviewed two people and one could come in and assist right away in the office. The minutes reflect the action taken by the City Commission which states that the City Manager could choose from the two current applicants and bring in one on a temporary basis and upon the June 1 deadline, any additional