Panel positions issue raised

CALUMET — At the December meeting of the Village Council, Trustee Peggy Germain voiced her concern at the number of boards and committees Village President Dave Geisler sits on, saying: “If someone has a say on one board, they should not have a say on another,” stating it potentially creates a conflict of interest.

“We need to look into that,” Germain said.

According to a document obtained by the Daily Mining Gazette, Germain sits on more committees than does Geisler, and other trustees also sit on other committees or boards.

In addition to serving the village as president, Geisler holds seats on the Finance, Ordinance, and Public Buildings Committees. He is also a member of the Planning Commission.

Geisler was appointed to a two-year term on the Planning Commission in accordance with Calumet Village Ordinance, which states in part: “One member of the Village Council shall be appointed to the Planning Commission as an ex facto member and Village Council Representative with full voting rights.”

Germain, while a village trustee, is also a member of the Streets, Sanitation, Public Buildings, and Ordinance Committees, as well as sitting on the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Jim Camp, trustee, is also on the Public Safety, Streets, Sanitation, and Finance Committees, while Virginia Dwyer, another village trustee, is on the Public Safety, Streets, Ordinance, and Personnel Committees.

In fact, according to the document, every trustee on the Village Council occupies seats on at least two other committees.

Geisler, the document shows, is also a member of the organization of Main Street Calumet, which is not an organization that is part of the Calumet Village governance, but is a stand-alone organization with its own executive director and board. At the same time, he is also on the Keweenaw National Historic Park Advisory Commission, and volunteers numerous hours weekly with Little Brothers Friends of the Elderly.

The Planning Commission is currently one person short, while the Downtown Development Authority also has vacancies.

“The Village of Calumet has had a notice posted for a number of weeks looking to fill one position on the Planning Commission,” said a source who wanted to remain anonymous, “and two positions of the DDA. No one has submitted their name.”