Letter outlines accusations against officials

By: 
Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – At a previous meeting, suspended Kalkaska village treasurer Jennifer Standerfer stayed quiet when asked if she wanted to speak.

However, at the Kalkaska Village Council’s regular Jan. 22 meeting Standerfer spoke volumes when she handed council members a five-page letter filled with accusations against various village officials, including embattled village president Jeff Sieting and village manager Scott Yost.

“I wish to make a formal request to investigate and take action against what I feel are violations of the village’s ethical standards of conduct,” Standerfer wrote.

One of the first allegations was that of a conflict of interest for Sieting. According to Standerfer, Sieting allegedly voted to approve budgets in 2017 and 2018 while having reasonable expectations of being awarded contracts for projects listed in the budget. That included construction of a squad room for Kalkaska Department of Public Safety officers, a LEIN room and Department of Public Works office.

Another charge was that Yost failed to uphold his duties by not prohibiting use of village-owned property for non-village purposes.

Standerfer stated that allowed (now retired) KDPS Lt. Glenn Artress to park a pickup truck used for maintenance at his personal residence outside of the village limits for over a year.

“The truck was in the lieutenant’s possession for a year before it was returned and, while there is no history of it being used during the time for village purposes, it was returned in very damaged condition,” she wrote.

Other accusations include violations of the village’s “standard of conduct,” including being dishonest, creating an incorrect perception of Standerfer and her ability to complete her work, and improperly directing her to reinstate credit cards issued to KDPS personal, after she’d canceled the cards due to missing receipts.

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