Longtime Fourth of July Parade Chair Resigns

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Deb Reynolds, long-time parade chair; Virginia Mongreig, committee chair for the July 4 event; Jon Krum, fireworks money solicitor asked the Schoolcraft Village Council to come up with their replacements.

By Sue Moore

Deb Reynolds won’t organize another 4th of July parade, she told the Schoolcraft Village Council at its August meeting. “I’m tired, it’s not fun anymore, it’s a headache and I’m backing down.”

“If nobody comes forward [to volunteer] there won’t be a parade next year,” Reynolds said. “This is really hard and it’s emotional for me. I don’t just need help with the parade, I want to have someone who will take it over,” as she waved the long list of duties and contacts that she keeps each year in front of the council members.

When Reynolds started chairing the parade in 1981, there were 11 members on the committee, she said. Now there are three: Reynolds, Virginia Mongreig and Jon Krum, who said he would stay on one more year to collect money for the fireworks display. Mongreig has also officially resigned from the organizing committee.

“You can’t feel guilty,” council President Keith Gunnett told Reynolds. “You are due a big thank you. We will try to publicize the need and hope someone will step up.” Trustee John Stodola said it is time for the next generation to step up in Schoolcraft.

“It’s what you do because you live in Schoolcraft,” Mongreig said. “We’ve all grown up here but we are tired [after working on the 4th of July event] for so many years.”

Spring Clean-up to See Big Change

To save money, the Council voted to use a central drop-off place instead of the curbside clean up that cost $7,577 for the village in 2019. The drop-off is estimated to cost $1,830. It will be held on June 6 in 2020 from 9 a.m.-noon. The location is still to be determined.

The Sidewalk/Right of Way Committee Recommendations Tabled

Sidewalks have been a priority for a long time for former village council trustees. The most recent committee appointed to look at the issue turned into a combination sidewalk and right of way committee, according to Village Manager Cheri Lutz. “I saw sidewalk concerns morphing into right of way issues so renamed the committee to address it as a whole,” Lutz said in response to Trustee Mike Rochholz’s concerns. “It’s the procedural part of this recommendation that I object to,” he said.

The recommendations were to divide the village into four quadrants and have them inspected for violations of the ordinances that govern right of way from street pavement to sidewalk. Safety issues in the right of way, the report said, involve driveway approaches, mail box placement, signs, parked cars and piles of gravel.

All of these matters lead to damage to the edge of the road, DPW’s ability to access the right of way for emergency issues, snowplowing and general detraction of appearance to the community. The inspections would be carried out by Gunnett, Stodola, Russell Barnes, Todd Carlin, Rob Coffman and Cheri Lutz, according to the memo.

Rochholz felt the village council committee members are not qualified to make these decisions but are on the council to set policy and ask the administration to carry it out. “We want to be a great functioning village council.” The recommendations were tabled with the understanding that the whole Council would be involved in discussion and setting of a policy at the next board meeting.

The Council also approved two requests for street closures for block parties, one on West Street and the other on Tulip, with some restrictions.

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