January 26, 2018

Greetings Village President and Council Members,

Thinking ahead to the New Year before us, preparation and work has begun on many initiatives, capital improvements, and strategic planning goals. I have asked the Department Heads to include in their monthly reports progress updates on their respective strategic planning goals. 

A sound system for the Council meeting room has been ordered. The sound system is portable, user friendly, has microphones for the tables for the trustees, and includes a portable microphone that could also be mounted to the speaker stand for public comment.  The system has a second speaker which could be placed in the lobby if needed.  This sound system will allow those participating in public meetings to hear discussion and comments.  This equipment was included and budgeted in our approved Capital Improvement Plan for the Municipal Building.

At the end of December, staff met with Steve Erickson and Vicky Sherry of Tuscola County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) concerning our Redevelopment Ready Community (RRC) self-evaluation. The self-evaluation is a step in the process of becoming certified through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC).  This certification will allow the Village to receive additional assistance for economic development projects and grants.  The Village of Cass City will continue to work with the Tuscola County EDC to obtain RRC certification. 

Master Plan: an Ad Hoc Working Committee has been established to work on the Master Plan for the Village of Cass City. Members are:  Trustees Mick Kirn, Nancy Barrios, and Tom Herron; and Planning Commission Chair Russ Biefer and Member Joe Sweet.  Request for Proposals will be sent to companies/agencies with a return deadline of February 28, 2018.   The Ad Hoc Committee will make a recommendation of their selection to the Planning Commission.  The Planning Commission will make a recommendation to the Village Council for approval of the company/agency who will be hired to do our Master Plan.

There are upcoming and current vacancies on the Village’s Boards and Commissions. Applications to serve are available at the Municipal Building.  Terms for the Village President and three Trustees are expiring in 2018.  The County Clerk has provided our office with packets of the required paperwork to be placed on the November ballot, and we have copies for you to pick up. 

In January village staff received training on our financial reporting software BS&A. The partitioned office area in the lobby has been cleaned out and will serve as an additional work station for Department Heads to access their budgets as this software is only available at the municipal building.  This work station is available for your use also. 

The Village electronic sign on the Municipal Building has been experiencing software and hardware problems recently. Some of the programmed information is not uploading and other posts that we would like to delete, we cannot.   We have been working with Abadata, our Information Technology provider, to correct programming issues.  We are awaiting delivery of a replacement part.   We are hopeful this part will fix it. The electronic sign runs off of a DOS based system and has been in service for many years. 

In January, Village staff worked on hiring an employee to fill the vacant DPW crew position. Over 50 applications were received.  There were many qualified applicants and village staff reviewed the resumes and applications.  Six candidates were invited to interview with a four member panel (Gary Barnes, Dennis McCabe, Bob O’Dell, and I).  Pre-employment screening was completed and an offer of employment has been extended and accepted by Jeremy Russell.  Jeremy lives in Cass City and will be our newest Village employee.  Please welcome him. 

Debbie Powell

Village Manager