New councilman sworn into office
Dan Loutzenhiser was appointed to fill the remainder of Brown’s council seat that expires this November.
Brown, a past mayor, city administrator and policeman, passed away March 21 after collapsing at his home.
Loutzenhiser, 46, who was sworn in at the meeting by City Clerk Kelly Pavel, will serve on the council’s Building and Grounds Committee.
He served as a Brown City council member for three years and later mayor for a year in the early 1990s when the city was suffering through unbalanced budgets, lawsuits and formation of the local fire authority.
A Brown City native, Loutzenhiser brings experience to the council. While declining appointments to council seats in the past due to time restraints, he felt it was important to say yes this time when asked by Mayor Laura Carpenter to fill Brown’s seat.
“I like to investigate before making any decisions instead of whether something sounds good or not,” said Loutzenhiser, pointing to Brown’s civic-mindedness. “I like to know and be in the know.”
Loutzenhiser is employed at Complete Prototype Services in Clinton Township and married to wife, Toni, who formerly worked as city clerk and served on the Brown City school board. They have a son, Daniel, 24, who is teacher mentoring at a local school, and a daughter, Lydia, 15, a Brown City sophomore.
“I’m looking forward to it,” he said. “I’m getting my feet wet again. It’s only until December, so I can decide then whether I want to file (for the seat). I want to help out where I can.”
In other meeting matters:
• The council agreed that the city will participate again in the annual Fairs and Festival Guide with WMIC for $845.
• Council members heard the remainder of the brush will be picked up on the next scheduled pickup day on Friday, April 30.
• A pre-application building permit to erect a 6-foot wooden fence at 7180 Lincoln St. was approved.
• Letters have been mailed out to residents about blight, junks cars and an array of other ordinance violations.
A second letter and Civil Infraction Violation ticket also was mailed to the bank owning the property at 4437 Vine St. A court order may be needed to demolish the carport and clean the junk from the back yard.
• The council agreed to pay the usual $2,500 to the Brown City Festival Committee as a donation for the annual fireworks display during Brown City Days set for June 3-6.
• The council discussed a potential ordinance to deal with medical marijuana operations in the city as permitted by state law.
City Manager Clint Holmes said council members agreed that any medical marijuana distribution center should be located within the central business district, therefore keeping them away from schools and churches. They also decided any medical marijuana growing should be “kept out of public view.” The council plans to further discuss the possible ordinance as well as potentially repealing the city’s ordinance banning marijuana paraphernalia. “I’ve had nobody interested in opening a distribution center,” Holmes noted.
• Councilperson Bill Walters was appointed by the council as Member Representative to run for the partial board seat on the Michigan Township Participating Plan formerly held by Brown.
The city gets its insurance through the plan, which is overseen by a board of directors of elected officials.
• Holmes received a call back from Verizon about putting together an estimate for upgrading the telephone service at City Hall.
• A Downtown Development Authority meeting on Tuesday (April 27) focused on the former Master Floor Coverings building, currently leased through December to Paul Muxlow and his realty company. Holmes said a chiropractor is moving into the former Muxlow building.
Upcoming work in the former floor-covering building, which is owned by the DDA, includes electricity and roof repairs totaling around $12,000- $15,000.
• Holmes plans to attend the Region 5 Michigan Municipal League Conference will be held in Marlette on Friday, May 21 at the St. Elizabeth Catholic Church Hall.