Village officials approve ‘vague’ motion regarding health care lawsuits

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – Another meeting, another closed session and another approval of a purposefully “vague” motion were all part of the agenda for the Kalkaska Village Council on Monday, July 9, as village officials continue to work toward trying to end a four-year legal battle over health care benefits.

After a closed session to discuss options with the village’s legal counsel, council members unanimously approved a motion that Village President Harley Wales even admitted was purposefully “vague” at Monday night’s regular meeting.

“In the matter of No. 1 under the attorney-client letter of July 9 that we direct the manager to pursue a hybrid of option No. 2 and No. 4 with a 50-50 split of costs under provision No. 4, if it becomes necessary,” trustee Damien White stated while reading the motion for the record.

Wales said he couldn’t provide any specifics on what the motion meant or what exactly it directed village manager Scott Yost to do.

“That's not a sharable item, hence the vague crafting of the motion,” Wales said.

Although, later he added, “I feel as though we may be able to reveal the finalization of the lawsuit at the next finance committee meeting that is yet to be scheduled but coming up shortly.”

There was no discussion on the motion before it was approved by the seven-member board.

And, the vote follows last month’s meeting, at which the council approved a trio of motions.

The first motion was to “approve and accept the confidential release and settlement agreement” with three former village employees – former village manager and police chief Melvin Hill, along with William Ramsey and Helen Chew Artress – all of whom had sued the village over an agreement to provide lifetime health insurance benefits.

The second motion was to enter into a consent agreement with the three plaintiffs “that results in a complete and full resolution of all claims” against the village, while the third motion authorizes the village manager to work with Kalkaska’s bond council “to structure the bond proposal and solicit proposals from potential purchasers” in anticipation of an agreement being entered with the court.



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