2 more Calumet trustees resign

Graham Jaehnig/Daily Mining Gazette Village Trustee Virginia Dwyer (right) resigned from the council at Tuesday’s meeting, citing a lack of transparency between the village administration and council members that she said has been going on for too long. To the left are Trustees Jay Rowe, Doug Harrer and Roxanne King.

CALUMET — Trustee Virginia Dwyer resigned her seat on the Village Council at the end of Tuesday’s regular monthly meeting, citing a lack of communication from the village administrator and the president.

Among issues she voiced at the meeting was the topic of two insurance checks sent to the village, one of which for $12,500 received after an apartment building on the north end of Fifth Street was destroyed by fire several years ago.

Dwyer has long contended council members did not receive any details regarding the check or its whereabouts.

Trustee Doug Harrer said the Personnel Committee, of which he is a member, was directed to look into Dwyer’s claim, and reviewed video recordings of past meetings.

Harrer said the decision was reached that there was no agreement between Village President Dave Geisler and Dwyer on how the information was conveyed to the the village, but the committee meeting concluded with an understanding that the check was going to be returned to the insurance company.

“I also mentioned that going forward,” added Harrer, “I believe that something like that needs to be communicated.”

Harrer said that video did show that administrator Joe Snow had communicated to the council on what was happening with the chec, but said there was disagreement on what was happening with it and where it was going to go.

“But, we found out today, and yesterday in emails,” Harrer said, “that the check is going back to Farmer’s Insurance.”

Dwyer said her concern was the council was informed that a complaint was filed with the state. After the complaint was filed, council members were told at the next month’s meeting the insurance company was going to pay for the cleanup of the destroyed building site.

Where the disconnect came, Dwyer said, was when the council was told the village did not receive the check.

“We did receive said check,” she said. “And along with said check was a letter from Farmer’s (Insurance) that stated please be advised that when the demolition was done, contact the owner of the property for her portion.”

Dwyer said she called the insurance company herself to learn what was going on.

“When the Farmer’s Insurance people found out that we got the check but we didn’t do anything, it was a very big concern for them. We didn’t advise them that we didn’t do anything. We didn’t advise them of the cleanup. We did nothing.”

She said it was a shame it happened, because it was a communication failure. She said none of the council members were informed the check had been sent.

“Now, it’s come to my attention,” she went on, “that we also now have another check from the old rectory from the same company. I have no memory of getting, or being told that we have, a check. I don’t know if we were told; I have no memory of that, so that’s another communication flop. I don’t know. I don’t know.”

Village Trustee Paul Mihelcich was absent from the regular monthly meeting Tuesday. He had submitted his resignation earlier, citing a medical issue that would prohibit him from fully performing his duties as trustee.

The council approved accepting both resignations.