Village Council Censures One of Its Own

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The Vicksburg Village Council met in the large downstairs gathering room of the Vicksburg Community Center to hear Kathy Hoyle update them on the Downtown Development Authority activities and to take action on a resolution of censure of their own member for his controversial postings on YouTube. They are from left to right: Marc Boyer, James Earl, Ron Smith, Bill Adams, Chris Newman, Colin Bailey, and Jeff Becker.

By Sue Moore

The Vicksburg Village Council passed a resolution to essentially censure one of its own members, Marc Boyer, for inflammatory comments made by him in videos posted on YouTube by a vote of five to two with Boyer and Chris Newman dissenting.

Following the meeting, Boyer said he doesn’t intend to resign before his term is up in November, but he did refrain from further postings of a critical and accusatory nature on the web.

In response to Boyer’s accusations, the council presented a list of what it felt were the major accomplishments during the last year.

They are as follows: Obtained $1.2 million of new financing to improve sewer and road infrastructure

  • Refinanced $2.2 million of village debt
  • Eliminated a $450,000 deficit
  • Obtained project grants from the Vicksburg Foundation totaling $219,820
  • Established a revamped village web site
  • Settled a lawsuit against the Mill of South County and transferred the property to the Kalamazoo County Land Bank
  • Developed a business plan for Angels Crossing golf course to allow it to get to a break-even point
  • Hired Ken Schippers as the permanent village manager
  • Hired a new treasurer, clerk, and administrative assistant
  • Hired Kathy Hoyle as director of the Vicksburg Downtown Development Authority (DDA)
  • Finalized the Bridgeview condo project
  • Brought the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Municipal Building Authority, and the Vicksburg DDA in compliance with their bylaws and articles of incorporation

In making these many changes and moves for the village, some discrepancies were discovered in bookkeeping accounts, particularly with property tax payments being accounted for in the correct manner. Some people who paid in cash and didn’t save their receipts have given the new treasurer plenty of extra work to do to track down these payments. Some other taxpayers paid in cash but it seemed the amount was not credited to the individual’s account. According to Jenny McClintock, who took over as treasurer in 2013, there were $14,000 in taxes not posted to the ledger. “They just were not entered in the process, but I do see these figures on the bank side [of the deposits]. I won’t stop investigating until it is completely resolved,” she said.

A big plus for the village was announced by Village Manager Ken Schippers when he begged and pleaded with the Kalamazoo Area Transportation Study (KATS) for additional money for road work on Highway Street in front of the high school. His pleas apparently helped seal the deal for an additional $450,000 to resurface the disintegrating roadway that will now be scheduled for completion in 2015 instead of 2018. In addition, money from another pot that the KATS controlled was granted by the state to resurface Prairie Street from the Boulevard to the village limits. This means vast improvement for drivers coming into two of the main entrances to the village.

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