Transparency not optional

What is the role of city council in Charlevoix?

To govern and uphold the laws of the country, state and city.

When an elected official and city board members don’t follow the laws governing the city, who should call for a correction? The ethics ordinance indicates public officials comply with the letter and spirit of the laws and policies, that public office not be used for personal gain and all deliberations and processes are conducted openly. City council members judge their members and the mayor. This is difficult and becomes impossible when city council members have exhibited the same behavior and interpret the rules for political or personal agenda.

A May 8 Charlevoix Courier article indicated a non-public meeting by Mayor Kurtz and the DDA/Main Street board occurred where they made decisions while attempting to rework a lease agreement with Long Road Distillers. Non-public meetings promote few officials making decisions for the public. This isn’t transparency of government or democracy. This undermines the public’s trust.

At the May 18 meeting I asked how this behavior will be addressed. Mayor Kurtz thanked me for my comment. Charlevoix citizens: ask city council “What will you do about this?” Without action, this practice will continue; it is prevalent. Transparency is a must, not an option.

Darlene Klien

Charlevoix

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