Three Rivers City Commissioners Clayton Lyczynski and Alison Haigh questioned whether Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority Chair Andrew George should be reappointed during Tuesday’s commission meeting. Lyczynski cited George’s involvement in a suit filed against the city concerning a petition to place a marijuana ordinance on last November’s ballot, questioning George’s “integrity” and “desire to do what’s best for the city.”
The Three Rivers City Commission approved the hiring of former Kalamazoo City Clerk Stephen French to fill its clerk vacancy left by Melissa Bliss, who left the city for a deputy clerk position with St. Joseph County earlier this month.
After a lengthy discussion Tuesday, the commission and city staff were satisfied with French’s explanation of his checkered past.
Three Rivers City Clerk Melissa Bliss told Watershed Voice Wednesday she has taken a deputy clerk position in St. Joseph County’s General Clerks Division. Bliss’ resignation as city clerk was announced during Tuesday’s city commission meeting. Her last day will fall on January 8, 2021.
At the tail end of an hour-long Three Rivers City Commission meeting Tuesday, City Manager Joe Bippus announced City Clerk Melissa Bliss had tendered her resignation.
Following a regular meeting of the Three Rivers City Commission Tuesday night, representatives of several city boards and staffs held a joint meeting and presentation on current planning and development activities in the city. The meeting is required going forward as part of something called the Redevelopment Ready Communities process (RRC), which is a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The RRC process is designed to help municipalities around the state improve their processes, laws, and planning documents to better facilitate and manage development.
At an annual organizational meeting Monday evening, members of the Three Rivers City Commission heard about a year’s worth of work and progress from the city’s various department heads, ranging from the fire and police chiefs to the mapmaker and the grant writer. Commissioners also passed a series of measures to set various procedures for the coming year. City Manager Joe Bippus said the city has gotten “a lot of things accomplished” in the past year, and has been “very resourceful,” delivering “quality services” to the public through diligent frugality and with “very little waste” of money or other resources.
As of 10:59 p.m. Tuesday night, with just under 72 percent of St. Joseph County precincts reporting, Republican Steve Carra led Democrat Amy East for the seat of 59th District Representative in the Michigan Legislature by a margin of approximately two to one. At that time, Carra carried 12,200 votes in the county to East’s 6,775. He also held a significant lead in Cass County. Speaking from St. Joseph County Republican Party Headquarters in Three Rivers around 11 p.m., Carra said his campaign was declaring victory. Results are also in for several other contested, local races.
The River Country Sports Commission (RCSC) received two more donations this week toward projects at the Armstrong Youth Sports Complex (AYSC) in Three Rivers. They included $9,000 worth of contributions from Doug and Kathy Arney and Bill and Betsy Rhoda, which will be used in the construction of a pavilion at the complex. Horizon Bank also donated $1,000 to the AYSC’s general fund.
Three Rivers City Commissioners approved a motion Tuesday to proclaim the city as the “Center of the Universe.”
Whether real or perceived, conflicts of interest can sometimes be a concern for voters in an election. Watershed Voice reached out to three candidates for open positions on the Three Rivers Community Schools Board of Education in order to get their input on the potential for such conflicts.
Watershed Voice sent out questionnaires to over 30 candidates running for elected school board positions in St. Joseph County and the surrounding area. Leading up to the General Election on November 3, Watershed will publish the questionnaires as it receives them back from the candidates. Melissa Bliss, a candidate for the Three Rivers Community Schools’ Board of Education, filled out our questionnaire. These are her answers.
Watershed Voice recently became aware of two complaints regarding requested absentee ballots that had not been received. In order to clarify what issues might be affecting ballot request processing, Watershed Voice reached out to Three Rivers City Clerk Melissa Bliss for more information.
Bobbi Schoon, Acting Director of the Three Rivers Public Library (TRPL), feels good about the way the new building at North Main and Moore Streets has come together. “It’s going good,” she said. “we’re getting there, you know?”
Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman issued a ruling Tuesday in a suit against the City of Three Rivers over a petition submitted this summer to place a marijuana ordinance on the November ballot. Stutesman ruled the petition, submitted by Jobs for Michigan Communities (JMC), does not conform to a state statute that dictates proper size and language.
Three Rivers City Commissioners voted Tuesday evening to draft marijuana ordinance language for the first available ballot next year. If passed, the ordinance would permit the establishment of a set number of marijuana retail businesses inside the city.
This morning, Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman spoke to attorneys for the plaintiff and defense in a lawsuit case around a City of Three Rivers marijuana ballot measure petition that City Clerk rejected last month.
Alleging the denial of its “statutory right to initiate an ordinance relating to certain adult use marihuana establishments in the City of Three Rivers,” Jobs for Michigan Communities, a ballot question committee, filed suit Monday, August 17 in St. Joseph County Circuit Court against City Clerk Melissa Bliss and the City of Three Rivers. Watershed Voice takes a detailed look into what the civil action entails.
Petitioners and city officials confirmed a lawsuit has been filed against the City of Three Rivers during the regular Three Rivers City Commission meeting on Tuesday.