by ANDREW NEAL
Highlights from the latest Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting included the progression of forming an ethics ordinance and board, and a unanimous vote to send a letter to the Governor asking him to remove Trustee Bucci from the board.
Treasurer Karen Goodhue presented the board with an application for the Macomb Township Advisory Committee. Goodhue noted that in December the board unanimously approved a motion to solicit a team that would research, develop, and report to the board regarding a possible ethics ordinance that may include the creation of an ethics board.
The motion comes in the wake of corruption indictments, allegations, and a general growing mistrust of government in Macomb Township by some residents.
“I believe this is important to the residents, as well as the board, and needs to be an open and transparent process,” Goodhue said, adding that the application process for forming this team was not made clear in the December motion. In an attempt to remedy that aspect, Goodhue introduced a potential application and description to the board for approval.
Using information provided to the board by the Deputy Supervisor and an application form already in place, Goodhue created the new document “for the purpose of obtaining members of the advisory committee.”
Under Goodhue’s proposal, each member of the board of trustees would be able to choose one member for the committee. “I felt this would be a fair and equitable way to form the committee,” Goodhue said.
The Committee would be comprised of both residents and employees. The deadline to apply for the committee is Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at 4:30 p.m.
Trustee Bussineau, who has pushed for the formation of an ethics ordinance and board, said at the meeting he was ecstatic over “anything that’s going to move ethics forward.”
He also addressed the comments from the previous board session about a resident meeting regarding the subject, which was organized by Bussineau. Goodhue took exception to the way in which Bussineau organized and promoted the meeting, alluding that he may not have used the proper official channels in doing so.
“I don’t think it was that closed of a meeting that the residents decided to attend. Outside of having quorum, I think any board member could’ve chosen to attend that meeting to hear the positive feedback from the residents,” Bussineau said. The residents have already scheduled a second meeting on the topic of an ethics ordinance and board for Monday, February 5 at the Clinton-Macomb Public Library North Branch.
“My main goal was to make sure that everything was open and transparent,” Goodhue responded, “and I think this will be a good compliment for that.” Goodhue made a motion to approve the application. It was supported by Trustee Nevers and passed unanimously.
During the Trustee’s comments portion of the meeting, Bussineau made a motion to instruct the Supervisor to send a letter to the Governor asking him to remove Trustee Bucci from the board. Bucci is currently under FBI indictment for charges stemming from the Rizzo corruption case. Since his indictment, he has been absent from every board meeting. Bussineau cited both the indictments and his excessive absences as cause for removal.
That motion received a round of applause from the audience. One audience member could be heard saying, “It’s about dang time.” The motion was supported by Clerk Pozzi and passed unanimously, to another round of applause.
Bussineau reminded the residents that this letter may be more symbolic than anything else, citing a letter sent by the Detroit City Council when then-Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick was indicted. Bussineau added, “but I think our residents deserve this, and let’s put it the lap of the Governor to decide what he wants to do.”
The letter was drafted and released the following day. It reads, in part, “Mr. Bucci has not appeared at any Board meeting since the indictment was made public, although he is still receiving his salary. Mr. Bucci is also a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals and has been asked to resign his position. There has been no response to this request.”
The next Macomb Township Board of Trustees meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, February 14 at 7 p.m. in the Macomb Township Meeting Chambers.