City Commission Regular Meeting Agenda • October 24 2022

City Commission Regular Meeting Agenda • October 24 2022

Agenda by City Clerk Kalla Langston

Please note that the City Commission Meeting Agenda is posted below. At the end of the agenda, click on the link to take you to more detailed minutes of the meeting. Also, the meeting minutes may not be published in each issue of The Buchanan Chronicle (probably once a month) due to rules that minutes are approved at the next City Commission meeting.

THE COMMISSION OF THE CITY OF BUCHANAN in compliance with Michigan’s Open Meetings Act, as amended, B2103192 of 2021, hereby gives notice of a regular meeting of the Buchanan City Commission to be held in the Chamber of Buchanan City Hall, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan MI.

  • Requests to be added to the agenda as a “Scheduled Matter from the Floor” should be submitted in writing to the City Clerk at least 5 business days prior to the scheduled meeting during which the speaker wishes to appear, and the approval of such requests remain within the discretion of the Mayor. If denied, the speaker may nonetheless speak during the “non-agenda items only” public comments section of the agenda.
  • Those who are unable to appear during a meeting but who still wish to share public comment may submit such comments in written form to the City Clerk at least 4 hours in advance of the meeting.
  • Individuals with disabilities may request necessary reasonable accommodations by submitting requests to the City Clerk, preferably at least 24 hours in advance.
  • Written requests and comments may be submitted to the City Clerk either in person or via mail to Buchanan City Hall, 302 N. Redbud Trail, Buchanan, MI 49107, or via email to

The Buchanan City Commission met for this regular meeting Monday, October 24th 2022 at 7:00 pm, in person, Buchanan City Hall Chamber, 302 N Redbud Trail, Buchanan, MI 49107.

MONDAY, October 24, 2022 – 7:00 PM

Begin Meeting Agenda:

I. Call to Order
– Meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Mayor Denison.

II. Recognition
– None

III. Pledge of Allegiance
– Mayor Denison led in the Pledge of Allegiance.

IV. Roll Call
– Present: Mayor Sean Denison, Mayor Pro Tem Mark Weedon, Commissioner Cameron Downey, Commissioner Larry Money, Commissioner Patrick Swem
– City Staff: City Manager, Heather Grace; City Clerk, Kalla Langston; Community Development Director, Rich Murphy; Director of Public Services, Mike Baker; DPW Lead, Klay Weaver; Director of Public Safety, Tim Ganus; Chief of Police Harvey Burnett; Administrative Assistant, Emma Lysy

V. Approve Agenda
– Motion made by Swem, supported by Money to approve the amended agenda, as presented.
– Roll call vote carries unanimously.

VI. Public Comment – Agenda Items Only (3-minute limit)
– None

VII. Consent Agenda (can be approved all in one motion, for general housekeeping items)
VII.A. Minutes
– Consider approving the Regular Meeting Minutes from October 10, 2022.
VII.B. Expenditures
– Consider Expenditures for October 24th, 2022 in the amount of $152,331.47
VII.C. 2023 Notice of Meetings & Holiday Schedule
– Consider approving the 2023 Notice of Meetings for the City of Buchanan & the 2023 Holiday Schedule.
– Motion made by Money, supported by Weedon to approve the Consent Agenda, as presented.
– Roll call vote carries unanimously.

VIII. Scheduled Matters from the Floor (if any)
VIII.A. New DPW Bldg Construction ‘Project Update’
– Representatives from AVB and the Barton Group will provide updated budget estimates related to the New DPW Building Construction Project. This is just an update – no action is requested at this time.
– Daniel Burns Project Manager from AVB gave the commission an update of where they are now in the DPW building construction. Three weeks ago, they received updated drawings from Bergman Group. This is a progress update on the numbers for the building. Burns went over the estimate summary. (See Attachment A)
– The next step is Bergman working on getting to the construction document phase. Early November there should be a sit down with the city, Bergman, and AVB so that everything that has been talked about in the meetings makes it to the drawings.

IX. Reports by: Departments, Committees, Boards
IX.A. Community Development Report – Director Rich Murphy
IX.A.1. 2022 MML Annual Convention
– Director Murphy will present takeaways from the recent MML Annual Convention attended by Murphy and Manager Grace.
– Murphy recapped the MML Annual Convention that Grace and he attended. It spans places across Michigan cities, small towns, and townships. There are also a plethora of consultants and lobbyists present. This organization has been around since before the automobile, so it really is writing a lot of Michigan’s economic trajectory. Murphy believes it’s a great resource and really a laboratory for best practices for the city. Placemaking was heavily emphasized as an economic policy, one not up for debate; and the reason is because people are changing. They are moving to a place they like, not just for a job.
– This was an opportunity for city manager Grace and Murphy to sharpen the axe and to be inspired and network. Throughout the two half days, our strategy was really to divide and conquer. Grace attended a breakout session on infrastructure federal funding. Murphy attended a session on legislative updates and housing opportunities. In the evenings there was more networking opportunities where they met people with their hands on the pulse of where the funding is and how to get it on the federal and state level. The first entire day of the conference focused on the importance of having a vision. If you don’t have a vision, get one and if you do have a vision, get people behind it, and start implementing it now. We reaffirmed that with the vision project the city is on the right track. Younger generations are making decisions on where they live by the quality of life of and by the natural resources, being nearby arts and culture, and the family experiences they can have.
– Grace gave her update on the convention. She first congratulated our partner in the region, the Village of Cassopolis, who won the Community Excellence Award this year for their vision of Cassopolis that they have implemented. It really was spectacular, and very similar to what we did for the vision for Buchanan. They’re a very small village so for them to have made such a transformation was quite admirable and we were very proud to see someone from our region make such a big splash at the convention. Congrats to Cassopolis.
– Also, there was a lot of emphasis on infrastructure. Grace has mentioned at previous meetings that she is currently involved in the Michigan Infrastructure Council. Tuesday and Thursday Grace will be in Lansing as one of 50 representatives across the state of Michigan out of the 1700 municipalities to give comment on Michigan’s 30 year infrastructure planning both for the water and transportation groups. This means Buchanan is going to have a chance to get our imprint on policy that may impact the residents of Michigan for the next 30 years. She is encouraging anyone who has comments related either to transportation or water to please e-mail those to her as soon as possible. Grace really wants to encourage folks who have points related to that to reach out to her so she can carry forth those comments from citizens. These 30-year infrastructure planning
meetings are attended by some very important officials throughout the state.
– Grace also attended a breakaway session on civility in government and having good meetings between public officials and members of the public, which will be especially useful in today’s climate. An Advocacy Group is offering consultation services geared towards bringing back civility towards the public comment section of meetings, as well as making sure that staff and leaders are working together in a collaborative way and that the voice of the public is getting heard.

X. Unfinished Business
– None

XI. New Business
XI.A. Closed Session
– Closed Session to discuss matters subject to attorney-client privilege, discuss the
potential sale or lease of real property, and to conduct the annual performance review of City Manager Grace.
– Motion made by Swem, supported by Weedon to enter closed session pursuant to MCL 15.2768 section 8 (1)(h) & (a) at 7:31 p.m.
– Roll call vote carries unanimously.

XI.B. Re-Enter Open Session
– Consider voting to re-enter open session.
– Motion made by Weedon, supported by Swem to re-enter open session at 8:39 p.m.
– Roll call vote carries unanimously.

XI.C. Closed Session Action
– Consider action regarding matters discussed in Closed Session.
– Motion made by Money, supported by Swem to submit to the public the results of the annual performance review of City Manager Heather Grace, which find that Grace has satisfactory performed her duties, as per her employment agreement.
– Roll call carries unanimously.

XII. Communications (informational only, formal board action is not necessary for these items, unless so desired)
– None

XIII. Public Comment – Non-Agenda Items Only (3-minute limit)
Don Ryman was glad to see that the city manager Grace and director Murphy had attended the Michigan municipal league annual conference and brought things back to us.
– Jeff Griffin gave thanks to Denison, Weedon, and Downey for their service on the Commission.
– Norma Ferris was concerned about the agreement with Dial-A-Ride.

XIV. Executive Comments
XIV.A. City Manager Comments
– Grace directed her comments to the Commission. She acknowledged that some of them may not be in their seats the next time they convene, and for any who are not, thank you for your service to the citizens. And for those who do return, she is extremely excited for what they can accomplish together, and thanks all for continuing this journey. Thank you also to the members of the public. We have some stalwarts who can always be counted on to stick around even when there’s a closed session. That shows extreme dedication and commitment to wanting the best interest of your community and I applaud you all for your dedication so thank you for that. MML conference was very enjoyable, very rewarding and inspiring. Attending brought her some renewed vigor for ideas that she wants to implement and is really excited for what can be done.
XIV.B. Commissioner Comments
Money : Offered congratulations to Grace for a job well done. His two years on the commission has been a learning and growing experience for me. He’s always throwing the accolades out there to everybody that serves on this Commission, and he’d like to say in particular thank you to Mark, Sean and Cameron for all the work that they’ve done. As was stated this may not be the same Commission here in the couple weeks but working with you has been a privilege.
Swem : Not saying goodbye to Weedon and Denison because he’s counting on them to win. Thanked Cameron on his soon to be retirement from the Commission. Really appreciates the time they have spent and conversations. You cared a ton about the city, and I know you worked your tail off to try to do what was best in the end truly appreciate the time together here. Look forward to working with you in other capacities.
Downey : Thanked the City of Buchanan for making him a commissioner for 4 years. He’s going to enjoy his retirement.
Weedon : Thank you to Cameron and Sean. A lot has changed in the four years he’s been on the commission and he’s pleased with those changes. Thanked Cameron for everything. He’s a dang good researcher and does not forget very much at all, so I thank you for the time and for making him a better commissioner. Thanked Sean for your two years as mayor. Money and Swem, who are remaining on the board, have been exceptional and given them a different we didn’t have in the first two years. Thank you everybody for all your hard work.
XVI.C. Mayor Comments
– Expressed his sincere appreciation and admiration for the community and the commission. Being mayor has been an honor of a lifetime. He didn’t come from much and has built his way to this position and is grateful for it. Thanked his family and community for trusting him as Mayor. Wanted to thank Heather, Rich, Kalla, Deb, Ashley, Courtney, Britni, Jill and Emma for choosing Buchanan as a place to work for bringing their talents and passion to the City Hall every day. The city is better because you’re here. He also thanked the DPW, Police Department, volunteers, and citizens of Buchanan.

XVII. Adjourn
– Motion made by Money, supported by Weedon to adjourn the meeting at 8:53 p.m.
– Roll call vote carries unanimously.

You may view the complete Agenda for this meeting HERE.

You may view all completed City Commission Meeting Minutes on the City of Buchanan Website.

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