Yard Signs Draw Schoolcraft Village Council Members Ire

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These yard signs dot residents’ homes in Schoolcraft.

By Sue Moore

Words flew between Schoolcraft village council President Keith Gunnett and Trustee Mike Rochholz on how to interpret the village’s sign ordinance at its first September board meeting.

The words involved whether signs that have been appearing in people’s yards including Gunnett’s were legal. The wording, “Sewer? Let the homeowner decide,” was questioned by Rochholz because he felt it expressed an opinion and therefore was outside the boundaries of the village’s sign ordinance. Gunnett said he didn’t think the signs violated the ordinance since they are similar to signs the school is putting out on the proposed bond issue.

Rochholz replied that “The members of the council should hold to the ethics and impartiality of the ordinances because we are asking residents to abide by the ordinances which some council members are not abiding by themselves.”

Village Manager Cheri Lutz asked the council if they would like to have her seek a legal opinion on the matter and bring it back to the next meeting. They all agreed that would be the best approach to take. At its following meeting in September, the village attorney indicated the signs were in violation of the ordinance and should be taken down.

In other business, the sidewalk/right of way committee recommended dividing the village into quadrants for inspecting violations of the ordinances governing the village’s rights of way. Of particular concern is the placement of gravel in the right of way to increase residential parking. Other concerns include landscaping items, plantings and rocks in the right of way, parking and placement of mailboxes in the right of way. It was agreed that Gunnett, Lutz and Rob Coffman, DPW chief would undertake this task.

The audit was reviewed and given an unqualified stamp of approval by Doug Wohlberg, the village’s auditor. He complimented Tammy Young, the village’s financial assistant, and the Schoolcraft Library, which he said have good controls in place.

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