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Smydra appointed Ontonagon Village President

ONTONAGON — The Village Council appointed Tony Smydra village president at Monday night’s meeting. The unanimous vote by the council came after they voted Smydra as president pro-tem, a position he was appointed to last November by then Village President Gerard Waldrop.

Before the council voted to appoint Smydra, they passed a resolution acknowledging that previous Waldrop stated at the Sept. 9 meeting that he was not a resident of the village. According to Michigan General Law for villages, council members and the village president must be a resident of the village.

At past meetings, a village resident stated that he has documentation where Waldrop moved out of the village this past April, but remained in office. While in office, Waldrop made deciding votes and was the signatory of financial transactions.

The resolution has where Waldrop resigned his position at the Sept. 9 meeting, therefore the position was vacant.

Upon being appointed president pro-tem, Smydra asked and received unanimous support to “suspend the rules” for the meeting.

“As some of you may be aware, it’s been alleged that the council is not properly seated. Based upon the advice of the village attorney, Doug Muskat, we have suspended the rules,” Smydra said to another crowded council chambers. 

Following that comment, the council unanimously appointed Smydra to chair the meeting.

“Mr. Waldrop did appoint me president pro-tem at the Nov. 12 meeting, it was not confirmed by the council,” said Smydra.

Smydra had chaired past meetings when Waldrop was not in attendance.

The first issue under new business was the resolution, then the council voted unanimously to appoint Smydra as president.  

“Our next action of business is the selection of the village president. This is the responsibility of the village council to select one of its own members to be the president of the village, and this person would remain as the president of the village until the election of Nov. 3, 2020,” Smydra said.

Junior Marks made the motion to nominate Smydra for village president, with a second from Sarah Hopper. With no other nominations, the vote was unanimous for Smydra.

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