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Algonac City Council takes care of business – June 4th

Photo courtesy of City of Algonac Government and Community Service/Facebook Elaine Gooden, Troop Leader, of Girl Scout Troop #76974, will lead a special event with local Algonac Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan Service Unit when they host a Delta Swap at Smith Recreation Field on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The group is pictured here at an Algonac City Council meeting Nov. 2023 when they were recognized for taking part in the city’s Adopt-A-Park program for adopting Smith Recreation Field.

By Barb Pert Templeton

A regular meeting of the Algonac City Council on June 4th had officials approving a number of items during a meeting that lasted an hour and 40 minutes. 

City Manager’s Report to Council

City Manager Denice Gerstenberg’s report to members of the city council included sharing that the St. Clair County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting training drills at Algonac Elementary School from June 17 to 21st. She noted that the training is not destructive and will not cause any damage to the building but officers will be there during normal office hours. Councilman Michael Bembas wondered why the city isn’t charging the sheriff’s department for use of the facility. “I don’t mean to be knit picky but we could use the money; they use it for free and we don’t charge them for using our school?” Bembas said. Gerstenberg replied that was correct and they are training to keep the community safer so there’s no charge. 

She also gave an update on the old Algonac Elementary School project stating that they met with the architect on May 30 to continue a discussion about the fire suppression system that may or may not be required as the building is turned into a community center. The suppression system would add a significant cost to the facility so all options are being considered for the building to be safe with a minimal suppression system, Gerstenberg said.

Meeting dates set for the coming year

Photo by Barb Pert Templeton for Blue Water Healthy Living
The Algonac City Council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m.

Members of the city council approved their meeting dates for July 2024 to July 2025 at a regular meeting on June 4. Officials approved a motion to approve the dates as follows: July 2 and 16th, August 7th and 20th, Sept.  3rd and 17th, Oct. 1 and 15th, Nov. 6th and 19th, a November 11th organizational meeting, and meetings on Dec.  3rd and 17th.  In 2025 they will meet on Jan. 7th and 21st, Feb. 4th and 18th, March 4th and 18th, April 1st and 15th, May 6th and 20th and June 3rd and 17th. The Algonac City Council meets on the first and third Tuesdays of the month at 6 p.m. at the city offices. Dates are changed for elections. The annual Organizational Meeting will be held at 8 p.m. on the first Monday after the city’s general election per the city charter. 

Scouts to host Delta Swap in September

A special event permit for Algonac Girl Scouts of Southeast Michigan Service Unit to host a Delta Swap at Smith Recreation Field on Saturday, Sept. 21 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. was recently approved by the Algonac City Council. The Algonac Fire Department, St. Clair Sheriff’s Department and Border Patrol will be participating in the event. The special events permit, filled out by Algonac Girl Scout Leader Elaine Gooden, said the three agencies are donating their time and there won’t be any fees assessed. Some 200 girls are expected to participate in the program that day. Gooden wrote that the benefit of the event is to bring Girl Scouts and their families together for a Girl Scout tradition, delivering empowerment learning through activities. She also noted that the event was a regular thing until COVID hit in 2020 and this is a chance to bring it back for all the local Girl Scouts. 

Bembas concerned about taking power from the people

During the council comments portion of the meeting Councilman Michael Bembas said picking a candidate to fill a vacant seat on the board was one of the toughest decisions he’s faced in the last decade serving on the council. “When we pick somebody for council, we are taking the vote away from the people and I would really love to hear from our attorney about how we can have special elections to fill these seats,” Bembas said. “So that we’re not taking the power away from the people by making our own decision but the people out there can make the decision.”

Bembas asked that the city manager look into how it could be done and said maybe the attorney can do a presentation to the council on the topic or write a letter addressing it. “I realize that elections cost money but sometimes there are things that are more important than saving money and that’s making sure the people’s voice is heard,” Bembas said. 

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