COUNCIL MEMBER JANAE FEAR is shown during the meeting on Monday, Aug. 19 discussing public misconceptions on how council members are paid. The city charter allows a council member to be paid $10 per meeting.
(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)
by Karen Mead-Elford, co-editor
One item of business during the city council meeting on Monday, Aug. 19 will allow Mayor Pro Tem Sue Osika and council member Janae Fear to attend and vote during the Michigan Municipal League (MML) annual business meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 25. Osika will be the city representative and Fear will be the alternate. Nathan Henne, city manager, will be attending, too. The meeting will be in Detroit. MML connects Michigan municipalities together – allowing for an exchange of programs, ideas and even resources, so it is important for Owosso to be well represented.
The second approved item of business called for the city to accept an easement from Owosso Public Schools for a small section of the James S. Miner River Walk that is located on the current middle school property. The city is purchasing the easement for $1 from OPS, so any future sale of the school property will not prohibit the city from river trail access. Henne had worked with OPS Superintendent Dr. Tuttle to see that the city was granted easement access/ownership. The city had paid for a related survey and city attorney Scott Gould had drafted the appropriate language. Council members seemed pleased that Henne and those involved had the insight to facilitate the item before it might possibly become an issue.
During comments, Eddie Urban of Owosso, wanted to let everyone know he had witnessed a city truck watering the downtown flowers on Sunday, Aug. 18, putting to rest any thoughts that the flowers were not being watered. Henne wanted to express his gratitude to Owosso Parks and Rec Chair Mike Espich, along with help from Tim Law, for their effort in cleaning up the disc golf course in Collamer/Hopkins Lake Park.
In closing comments, council member Lori Bailey encouraged people to attend a Community Cats of Owosso adoption event at the Downtown Owosso Farmers Market on Saturday, Aug. 24 from 9 to 1 p.m. Council member Janae Fear offered her congratulations to the Owosso Historical Commission on Curwood Castle recently being voted in as one of the top museums in Michigan. The top four winners in Click on Detroit Local Channel Four’s Vote 4 the Best contest were the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA), Greenfield Village, the Henry Ford Museum and Owosso’s Curwood Castle. “Congratulations to Robert Doran and the board on the success,” Fear said. She went on to mention the upcoming Owosso Historic Home Tour at the end of September – urging the community to “be on the look out for that.”
Fear went on to explain how council members are compensated, having seen a number of public misconceptions via social media as of late. For the sake of transparency, council members are paid $10 per meeting per the city charter, or a total of $270 per year. The mayor is paid slightly more, garnering $510 per year. “I want to point out that none of us are here to get rich off of this position. We are here because we have a deep love for this community. We are public servants in the truest sense of the word,” she said. Also outlined in the city charter, the amount paid to council members cannot be changed accept by a vote of the people, so council members can never vote themselves a raise.
The next council meeting will be on Monday, Sept. 16.