Traverse City Record-Eagle

May 29, 2013

Traverse City utility board member resigns

By BRIAN McGILLIVARY bmcgillivary@record-eagle.com
Traverse City Record-Eagle

---- — TRAVERSE CITY — A Traverse City Light & Power board member who was suspended for failing to attend meetings remedied the situation by resigning.

Mayor Michael Estes signed a May 20 letter immediately suspending Light & Power board member John Snodgrass for missing four of 10 utility board meetings. Estes wrote he would ask the city commission to remove Snodgrass from the board at its June 3 meeting.

“Failure to diligently attend board meetings prevents that board from functioning to its fullest extent and is grounds for removal,” Estes wrote.

Snodgrass called later that same day to resign, said city Clerk Benjamin Marentette. Marentette did not send the letter and said he held it while he waited for Snodgrass’ written resignation, which came May 24.

The letter was circulated by email on May 21 to utility officials and board chairman Pat McGuire.

Estes could not be reached for comment and Snodgrass declined to answer when asked if he knew about his suspension.

“I prefer to go quietly,” Snodgrass said. “I came on this board quietly and I’d prefer not to have anything written about it.”

Marentette, who’s spent 13 years with the city, said it’s the first time he’s heard of a mayor suspending any board member for non-performance.

“I think the mayor was trying to get John’s attention more than anything else,” McGuire said. “John was just really uncommunicative about it. We haven’t heard a lot from him.”

McGuire said Snodgrass had scheduling conflicts and both he and Estes spoke to Snodgrass in April about meeting attendance.

Snodgrass was in his fourth year of a five-year term on the board. Estes will now appoint someone to fill the remaining year of Snodgrass’ term on the seven-member board. The appointment is subject to city commission confirmation.