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Old face, new position: Village Council appoints new member

keweenawreport.com Former clerk Rob Tarvis has rejoined the Calumet Village Council after his reappointment Tuesday. Tarvis was previously asked to resign in March, 2017, when he had only attended one meeting in five months.

CALUMET — The Village Council voted unanimously to appoint former clerk Rob Tarvis to the council Tuesday at its regular monthly meeting.

In his letter of interest to the council, Tarvis related that he has been a resident of the village since 2004, and had previously served as village administrator from 2014-16, so he is familiar with the village finances and other issues that have been ongoing since then.

Currently, Tarvis is the accountant for the Houghton County Road Commission.

When asked why he wanted to serve the village after he had quit in the past, Tarvis replied that he had not served as a trustee.

“I was elected clerk briefly,” he said, “but it was a pretty contentious time.”

Also at the time, he said, he had just been accepted to his position with the road commission, and he submitted his resignation to the village just previous to the 2016 election.

“They were supposed to hire my replacement,” he said, “so, I was doing my 40 hours (per week) at the road commission, plus 20 hours still as administrator with the village until they could hire a replacement.”

Tarvis said that after three months of doing that, he had had enough and walked away. While it took the village another month or more to hire a replacement, he said 60 hours per week was simply too much for him at the time.

Tarvis said another point that prompted him to submit his letter of interest is the upcoming budget deadline.

The council, he said, needs a two-thirds of the council as a whole to pass the budget, which is five members. Currently, there are three trustees and three vacant seats, under which circumstances Tarvis said he believes the Council cannot expend money if there is no accepted budget.

“I don’t know if that’s changed,” he told the council. “I doubt the state would do anything if you passed the budget with four. I can’t see it being an issue, but I know you’re hurting.”

He went on to say that it has been three months since the election, and no one has submitted a letter of interest, so he felt compelled to do it.

“Because, I care about the village,” he said, “I live here, and I want to see things get better.”

When asked to clarify his mentioning both positions, clerk and administrator, Tarvis replied that at the time, the clerk was the supervisor of the administrator, because there was no manager ordinance in place.

In addition, he said, someone else had put in a bid to run for clerk, whom Tarvis said would not have been a very good supervisor for him, so he ran for clerk and won the position.

“It was a pretty toxic time,” he said. “Meeting were anywhere from three to five hours (long), and I had to focus on my new job, so it was time to walk away. But that was four years ago, so I figured I would give it a shot again.”

When asked what his favorite part of living in Calumet, Tarvis said it is home for him. Growing up in Laurium, he attended CLK schools. Except for 11 years he lived in Colorado, he said he has spent his life in the area.

After a brief discussion on procedures for appointing a trustee to the council, Village President Brian Abramson nominated Tarvis to the council, and was approved 3-0.

Before the February meeting, he will need to be sworn in, either at the Houghton County Court House, the Calumet Township Office, or the Village Hall.

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