Township removes personnel items regarding O’Leary

Code enforcement off agenda during meeting

— Prompted by Supervisor Karyn Miller, the Flint Township Board of Trustees removed two personnel items off its agenda shortly after its Sept. 20 meeting began.

Clerk Kim Courts announced the removal of reducing the full-time code enforcement officer position to part-time effective Oct. 1, 2010 and consideration of a memorandum of understanding between Charter Township of Flint and Michael O’Leary regarding early retirement, per Miller.

The meeting began after the board spent approximately an hour-and-ahalf in closed session to discuss pending litigation with Attorney Stacy Belisle and an update on contract negotiations with Attorney Steve Shultz. Miller said the removal of the items was due to the need for further information from attorneys and the items would be addressed at future meetings.

The closed session discussion stemmed from the Aug. 9 meeting when Miller brought forward discussion on changing the terms of employment for O’Leary, deputy building inspector for the township, essentially having the township purchase service credits towards his early retirement. Through discussions at the Aug. 9 meeting, the board learned O’Leary still has a lawsuit pending against the township from an incident in 2009. At the time, the township was advised by Attorney Peter Goodstein to not sign an early retirement document, and the board tabled the item.

The removal of the two personnel items, along with the 6 p.m. closed session meeting, sparked a comment from Trustee Barb Vert who said most of the board was not informed of the closed session.

“I was not called, and I am upset over the lack of communication,” she said. “Then when items are on the agenda, they are deleted. It changes within 30 seconds.”

Miller responded, saying she checked with Courts to ensure board members were notified of the meeting and that she spoke to Vert in person the preceding Friday, reminding her of the meeting. Trustee Belenda Parker said she received a call, but the 6 p.m. closed session was mentioned to her as “Oh, by the way …”

Miller said it was her choice to hold the closed session after public comments in the regular meeting, but the suggestion was made to hold the session at 6 p.m.

The next meeting of the Flint Township Board of Trustees is 7 p.m. Oct. 4.

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