Township hears Road Commission presentation, complaints from ZA

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

BELLAIRE – During a lengthy monthly meeting on June 3, the Kearney Township Board of Trustees was introduced to the Antrim County Sheriff Office's new canine team, listened to a presentation from the Antrim County Road Commission, and heard complaints from their longtime zoning administrator.

Dan Hiltz, the township's ZA for the past 19 years, presented a litany of issues to the board, ranging from a request to be reimbursed for mileage and complaining that he was often expected to attend to zoning matters seven days a week to his displeasure at being told he did not have to attend all township planning commission meetings.

"I'd also like a pay raise," Hiltz, a retired Michigan State Police trooper, said. "And be reimbursed for my mileage to the training conference in Grayling that I just attended."

Noting that his position could often be stressful, Hiltz said, "Today I had to listen to a woman bending my ear about her chickens and another lady who wants to build a house in Swiss Village East call me a liar.

"I don't mind doing my job," he said. "But I've got people bugging me seven days a week, and then I come into the office to be told that people are unhappy because they can't find me."

Supervisor Ed Niepoth explained to the zoning administrator that the board felt it wasn't necessary for Hiltz to attend planning commission meetings, and be paid a per diem, unless he was needed.

"When we were going through the cell phone tower deal last year, you were needed at the meetings," Niepoth said. "But if they don't have anything going on that requires your opinions and input, we don't feel it's necessary for you to be there."

The board then agreed to reimburse the ZA for his mileage for site inspections and training, look into ways for him to access his phone messages remotely, and print out more business cards for him, but did not address his request for a pay increase.

It was also agreed to approve a proposed agreement with Paddle Antrim giving the organization the go-ahead to place wayfaring signs at the township's two Lake Bellaire access sites to assist kayakers and canoeists, but a request from the organization for a donation was tabled pending further investigation.

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