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October 30, 2015 --Marcellus, MI - One of the pleasantries of living in a small community is that it does not take long for ‘breaking news’ to spread over the land like a raging wildfire. Case in point, the termination of the village’s deputy clerk, and the resignation of Krista Jourdan as the village’s acting manager. received several (private) Facebook inbox messages overnight asking the writer to explain the council’s actions at the October 28, 2015 regular meeting, and what effect this would have on the day-to-day operations. The good news is that nothing on the outside will look different, and it will be business as usual.

However, if the reader were to wipe the steam off the mirror, a different vision begins to appear. The termination of the village’s deputy clerk cost the village taxpayer(s) approximately $5,000.00 in training, and sets the village back a year. The individual was proficient in both the clerk, utility clerk’s position(s), and was part of a team that was successful in garnering $155,000.00 grant earlier this year.

The resignation of Jourdan as acting village manager represents a slightly different hit to the taxpayer not yet realized. The duties of the village clerk are specifically outlined by ordinance, and after November 10, 2015, many of the duties currently managed by Jourdan will be, and should be, assumed by members of the council. This would coincide with a comment made at a previous council meeting (earlier this year) that the village council should be running the business of the village, instead of the employees.

Clouded with steam, the mirror will be wiped one final time. The apparition that appears sadly reveals that Jourdan (will more than likely) be terminated (when the council is done using her), and a search will begin for a ‘qualified’ village manager as mandated by the righteous few of the community.
The following .PDF file relates to the job description of the Marcellus Village Clerk by virtue of Ordinance 189 adopted October 1, 2006... .PDF File
During his report to the Council, Village President Ron Welburn noted his desire to increase the number of Council trustees from 4 to 6 which would bring the Council up to 7 members. The idea had previously been discussed at the August 26, 2015 regular council meeting.

Welburn yielded the floor to trustee Dennis Irwin who commented,

“This is something that is kind of near and dear to me because the last meeting was cancelled because of illness to a number of our council people. I really think if we go from 4 to 6 [council trustees] the whole total would be 7 then (including the President) we would have a much better chance of having a quorum.”

Continuing Irwin told the council,

“We need to do that because we are entrusted to meet for the Village for the people of the Village and it’s...we got a lot of responsibility here, and it’s something that I really take to heart. I think we really need to look at it.”

Motion by Irwin, and supported by Welburn, to increase the number of trustees from 4 to 6 members.


Webb noted the following as a matter of policy,

“I think that my own preference would be to make it effective for the November, 2016 election. That way the normal electoral process will deal with that (increasing the number of trustees from 4 to 6).

Simmons commented,

“I agree with Burke. It would be best if we had an election. That is the only fair way, but in the mean time we really do need another person. We all understand at this point in time that Mike [Ludlow] is not going to be able to come back. He is not in good health at all.”

Simmons suggested appointing someone to fill Ludlow’s seat until the November, 2016 election.

Welburn felt an appointment would not be possible until after Ludlow submitted his resignation.

Webb concurred with Simmons’ suggestion noting that Ludlow’s seat could not be filled by the village president appointing a member from the community, but rather by nomination of any member of the council including the village president. If more than one person is nominated to fill a particular seat a rollcall vote is required for each nomination.

Jourdan will review the current village ordinance and research the steps necessary to increase the council from 4 trustees to 6 trustees and present her findings at the next regular village council meeting on October 14.

Following additional discussion:

Roll call vote: Ayes: Irwin and Welburn. Nays: Webb and Simmons. Motion failed.
October 29, 2015--Marcellus, MI - In other business at tonight’s regularly scheduled village council meeting Village President Ron Welburn wanted to discuss the Deputy Clerk’s position telling the council,

"I’m sick, and tired of the vulgarity, and what takes place, and I’m sick, and tired of this individual being associated with the Village that I think it gives the village council, and the village a bad opinion, and for the good of the village because of too much controversy and vulgarities on his website, I would like to terminate Mr. John Surach.

Village clerk/manager Krista Jourdan told Welburn that she was not disagreeing with his comments, but she informed Welburn that the information he had was a private, and did not appear on the Deputy Clerk’s website saying, “I’m sure there was a lot more of that conversation involved and it was a private message. It was not affiliated with

“Thomas supported Weburn’s motion. Roll call vote: Ayes: Irwin, Simmons (commented that she did not want to vote, Welburn acknowledged that she could pass), Thomas, and Welburn. Nays: Webb. Motion passed effective immediately.

Following the vote, Welburn informed Jourdan that Surach was not to have any access to the computer equipment in her office other than cleaning out his stuff.

Jourdan informed Welburn that she would need someone to service her equipment and Welburn commented, “We’ll get you people.”

Following discussion, the council went into closed session to conduct an evaluation of the village clerk/manager.

Motion by Thomas, and supported by Irwin to go into closed session for the clerk/manager review. Roll call vote: Ayes: Simmons, Thomas, Webb, Welburn, and Irwin. Motion passed.
October 29, 2015--Marcellus, MI - At approximately 7:30 p.m. the Marcellus Village Council entered closed session to discuss and evaluate the village's clerk/manager's job performance and reconvened at approximately 9:24 p.m. with current village clerk/manager Jourdan asking the council to accept her resignation as village manager on or before the next regular council meeting.

Motion by Webb, and supported by Welburn, that Mrs. Jourdan's oral resignation as village manager be accepted with thanks for her service as manager with the effective date November 10, 2015 at the adjournment of that council meeting. Roll call vote: Ayes: Irwin, Simmons, Thomas, Webb, and Welburn. Nays: None. Motion passed.

A followup motion was made by Webb, and supported, that Mrs. Jourdan continued to be retained as village clerk of the Village of Marcellus, and that her compensation shall not be changed from that now received as clerk/manager on, or after, her resignation becomes effective. Roll call vote: Ayes: Simmons, Thomas, Webb, Welburn, and Irwin. Nays: None. Motion passed.

Following the roll call vote, discussion centered around the hiring of deputy clerk and their duties, the duties of the village clerk, and the duties of a village manager as a separate position as determined by the personnel committee on or about November 3, 2015.

As an historical note to this story -  the Village of Marcellus had (in fact) hired a Village Manager on or about 2006 at an approximate cost to the taxpayers in excess of some $40,000.00. The individual quit after a week month of service to the community.

To be clear to the community - without an acting village manager the Village Council will either have to assume the role as the village's 'manager,' or hire such an individual while maintaining the current payroll.
October 31, 2015--Marcellus, MI -  A Motion is never actually made, a council member “passes” on a vote which is not allowed unless a conflict of interest is present, and this motion directly violates Deputy Clerk John Surach’s Constitutional 1st Amendment Right.
Submitted by: Video Photographer Kevin Jourdan
Submitted by: Video Photographer Kevin Jourdan
At the October 28, 2015 regular village council meeting, Village Trustee Ann Simmons reported the MAESA Board met in special session to conduct a budget workshop on Tuesday, October 27, 2015. She commented that the workshop will be the first of many saying, “…We’ve got some real financial problems.”

The financial problems relate to the lack of funds at the township level. Currently, the millage levied by the Township covers only capital improvements rather than ordinary operations which is funded out of MAESA’s general fund. According to Webb this represents a cash flow problem.

Later in the discussion, Trustee Thomas told the council that there may be something the Association membership can do to alleviate some of the financial problems through fundraisers, etc.

Trustee Webb expanded on Simmons comment informing the Council that Ambulance Director Bobby Olsen was not covered under for health insurance, and according to Webb, “My sense is that he is seriously underpaid.

Webb acknowledged that it should not be of concern to the council.

Jourdan interrupted Webb telling him that the matter is something the MAESA Board personnel committee should be working on. However, Jourdan told the council that there may be an affiliate program which she is exploring should MAESA so choose albeit pricey.
November 3, 2015 -- Marcellus, MI - Recently in the news, the
webmaster of (MMO) was called out by
Village President Ron Welburn alleging that the local
hometown website was vulgar, put the community of Marcellus
in a bad light, and was controversial saying in part,
"I’m sick, and tired of the vulgarity, and what takes place, and
I’m sick, and tired of this individual being associated with the
Village that I think it gives the village council, and the village a
bad opinion, and for the good of the village because of too
much controversy and vulgarities on his website…” read more
here, or watch the video here
The role of the media in a small community is to do its very
best at providing the general public with timely and factual
information. However, back in October of 2014, our now state
representative of the 59th District, Aaron Miller, called out the
local newspaper editor following an article that appeared on
the front page.

(Reprinted with permission from Aaron Miller - 59th District

"It has come to our attention that the 10/23 [2014] edition of
the Marcellus News contained a segment titled "On The
Issues", which purported to represent the stances of the two
candidates running for the 59th District State Representative
seat. Specifically, the article states that the candidates "have
responded to the following issues", after which it goes on to
list "statements" from each candidate on a number of topics.

"Our campaign was never contacted by the Marcellus News
for this article, as is implied. Upon review, it becomes blatantly
obvious that the issue position "statements" printed in this
article were obtained by copying word for word the campaign
literature of Democratic candidate Mike Moroz. To see this for
yourself, visit the "Moroz vs. Miller" tab at (website taken down), then
read the attached Marcellus News article.

"You will find that with the exception of just two words, each
and every position printed in the article matches verbatim with
those listed on the campaign literature of Aaron's opponent.
"By changing "No gun registration at all" to "No gun regulation at all", the author implies that rather than simply opposing gun registration, Aaron supports eliminating gun regulations, including all background checks and the current system of training and licensure required to obtain a concealed carry permit.

"By changing "Likes the pension law, but wants to
raise some taxable ceilings" to "Likes the pension law, but wants to remove some taxable ceilings", the author implies that instead of supporting an increase to the amount of retirement income exempt from taxation, Aaron supports removing the existing tax exemptions on retirement income. This suggests that Aaron supports raising current taxes on retirement income by up to $870 per year for a single filer and up to $1,740 per year for a married couple, when in fact he supports LOWERING their existing tax liability.

"Not only was the source of the issue statements within this article misrepresented, but two of the issue statements were completely false. A third, titled Welfare and Unemployment, utilized a partial quote out of context to imply that Aaron opposes all existing programs that comprise the social safety net, which is also false.
This article in the Marcellus News constitutes false reporting and actually meets the criteria for libel under Michigan's defamation of character law. We have therefore contacted the Marcellus News via email and have requested a retraction be published immediately, consisting of the below criteria:

"1. The retraction should be listed in a highly visible location.

"2. The retraction should clearly state that neither Aaron Miller nor his campaign were contacted regarding the issue statements listed in the article titled "On The Issues" published October 23rd, 2014.

"3. The retraction should clearly state that the statements that were printed were copied directly from the campaign literature of Democratic candidate Mike Moroz.

"4. The retraction should clearly state that Aaron Miller has contacted the News stating that several of the listed issue positions are false and completely misrepresent his actual position, specifically the sections titled "Gun Rights", "Welfare & Unemployment", and "State Tax on Pensions".

"The Marcellus News is an independently owned publication that is published by Ramona Moormann. You can reach the paper at"

Representative Aaron Miller was contacted via e-mail and was asked if the editor of the local newspaper printed a retraction. He replied stating, "No, the editor did not ever retract her story."

Published on Nov 4, 2015 -- Marcellus, MI - would like to thank video-photographer Cari Gassett for providing the following excerpt of a video taken during public comment at the October 28, 2015 regular meeting.

The speaker in this video is village resident Michael Dwyer who resides in the 400 block of South Maple Street in the Village of Marcellus.

Some observations that relate to his comments.

1. He is camera shy and intimidated the video photographer.

2. Dwyer was appointed to the Council at the December 13, 2007 regular meeting (term ending November, 2008) and submitted his resignation letter on or about May 19, 2009 which was accepted at the May 28, 2009 regular meeting.

3. In all fairness to Mr. Dwyer, he presented a lot of good input during his tenure. Sound ideas for the village council to explore in order to better the community. However, he lacked the leadership, fortitude, and commitment needed. Quite the contrary, he was comfortable letting either other council members, or the village clerk do his leg work.

This creates conflict in the mind of the writer because Dwyer made the statement (in the video) that it became clear early on that the village clerk ran the business of the village rather than the council and village president.

I have combed through the village minutes from 2006 through 2015 and not once did the village clerk, and later village clerk/manager, vote on any motions presented to the council affecting village residents.

Who gets the blame for that Mr. Dwyer? You were a part of a council who counted on the clerk to do your bidding.

4. Dwyer makes a vague reference during his public comment that the problem with the village is the Deputy Clerk, and Clerk. The writer disagrees. Simply stated, the role of the deputy clerk at first was to take the minutes following the death of Ms. Cobb. The role was expanded further in 2014 following the death of DPW worker Chuck Riggs. The rationale behind that decision was to have a backup who could handle payroll/paying bills, etc. should something happen to the village clerk.

In sum, the clerk is not the problem in the Village of Marcellus. The problem relates to council members who lack the tools, knowledge, experience, and time needed in handling most of the affairs in the village, but yet find the time to ridicule, point fingers, and who created the situation we now find ourselves in currently.

5. Mr. Dwyer gets a score of 10 with his comment that the village’s battles need not be fought in the local newspaper. The same holds true for battles being fought on the community website.

Just as an FYI Mr. Dwyer, MMO took the high road when it came too staying ‘mum’ about the vindictive actions of Village President Ron Welburn, Dennis Irwin, and the local editor of the newspaper.

6. Mr. Dwyer is quoted as saying the following, “…I understand there is/are rules to the game. I am in favor of rules, but there “ain’t” a person in this town that would not mind you people (the council) bending the rules just a little tiny bit if it made our town better…and I know nobody would mind that at all.”

Be that as it may - the community have, has, had a right to know the other side of the story. MMO has provided, and will continue to provide that aspect of the story until all the 'players' play by rules that are fair to all.

“They drew first blood, not me.” Rambo
Published on November 6, 2015 -- Marcellus, MI - At the October 28, 2015 regular village council meeting a unanimous vote was cast to change the meeting day to the 2nd & 4th Tuesday beginning at 7:00 p.m.
Published on November 6, 2015 -- Marcellus, MI - It was learned at the October 28, 2015 regular council meeting that the Village Council cannot be automatically increased from 4 to 6 trustee (by appointment) as hoped for by Trustee Dennis Irwin, and President Ronald Welburn. According to a Village attorney's memo the only way the Council can be increased is through a general election which will not take place until the November, 2016 General Election.
The Village of Marcellus is seeking applications for part-time crossing guards.  No work during summer and a unique revolving schedule.  Interested parties should pick up an application at the Village of Marcellus, 177 E. Main St., P.O. Box 429, Marcellus MI 49067; ph. 269-646-5485 or email a request to: (subject line:  Crossing Guard Application)
The following clipping on the left
appeared in this week's local newspaper
with a slogan that decrys the lack of
commitment of incumbent members of
the Marcellus village council to work with
the current village president who was
elected to office in November of 2015

The third line of the second paragraph
sets the stage for a rebuttle, and I
quote, "We the People" voted for Ron
Welburn because we wanted change.
They [the voters] were opposed to the
way the village was being run.

What the comments fail to acknowledge
is that 3/5 of the council (before Welbun)
were also elected by, "We the People"
who liked how the village's business was
being handled.

Backtracking back to the first paragraph
the comment, "Vote For Ron Welburn to
Bring Positive Change" is almost
laughable considering what the official
record of the Village of Marcellus
minutes potray portray.

Let's take a look at the positive impact
this current Village President has brought
to the table:
1. Attempted to terminate a DPW Employee because he voluntarily gave up his CDL License due to a controversial medical treatment. In spite of this employee not having a CDL License, he was still licensed in both Water and Sewer management.

2. Attempted to terminate the Village Clerk/Manager and in the process committed an Open Meeting Act violation.

3. Welburn tried to introduce a Reorganization of the Village's chain of command in spite of a Village Manager Ordinance.

4. Submitted a draft for an Austerity Program under the premise of saving the Village money. Had this passed it would have needlessly reduced services to the taxpayer.

5. Has failed to increase water rates by 22 percent in order to offset expenses exceeding revenue in the water fund as recommended by USDA Rural Development.

6. At the end of 2014, the Council approved the 2015 budget. It was recommended by the Village Manager to meet sometime in February to reevaluate the budget. To date, Welburn has failed to encourage the reexamination of the 2015 budget.

7. Has steadfastly proclaimed that the village's DPW was not being run correctly. However, prior to his arrival on the political scene it ran just fine under the direction of the current Village Manager. Moral is at an all-time low under the direction of the Director of the DPW Elton Hackenberg.

8. Under his leadership there have been more closed sessions conducted by the council in 10 months than in the past 10 years combined.

9. Welburn has alluded to the fact that the Village is not being run correctly. The past 9 audits of the Village's finances would indicate the village is running in the black, and is managed correctly.

10. The December 3, 2014 meeting minutes reflect that Welburn recommended that the Village begin plans to purchase a new plow truck and a new back-hoe/loader for the Village at costs nearing $500,000.00.

11. Moral is at an all-time low and not only includes the DPW as mentioned earlier, but within the Villages business office and Council. Arguably, the list could go on and on and one has to wonder if this is what "We the People" had intended when electing Ron Welburn as Village President.

Admittedly, the writer has to ponder how his actions have improved the quality of life within the Village of Marcellus. Once again, the editor of the local newspaper has failed miserably in presenting both sides of the story and continues to slant the news to serve her needs rather than those of the community.
Yellow Journalism? Or, Responsible Journalism? You decide. Admittedly, the headline was meant to intrigue the reader, and with good cause, I might add. The following video highlights the comments made by Marcellus Township residents Kay Jones, and Joyce DeRuiter during public comment at last night’s special village council meeting.

I’m pretty sure the threat of a vague recall petition, and the personal attack of a Council Trustee do not fall under the definition of ‘Civility.’ Nor did it solve a perceived problem within the village government, but rather highlighted deep-rooted issues going back for generations.

Again, you decide. =-)
Video Link submitted by Video Photographer Kevin Jourdan

The following video was shot at the September 23, 2015 regular village council meeting. It seems to me, if you want to heal a community, and the current problems within the village government you have to start at the top.

I'm pretty sure this 45 second video is not the way to accomplish solidarity. Anyway, you decide. =-)
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Published on November 24, 2015 -- Marcellus MI - Video Photographer Kevin Jourdan reports that another village employee was terminated tonight by the Marcellus Village Council. As more information becomes available Marcellus will pass along the full story.