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Council hears discussion on assessor post

By PENNY MULLINS EagleHerald news editor/digital director

Push-ups with a twist

EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

Brady Short (left) and Mayson Bournonville do push-ups while briefly removing one of their hands in Rich Oja’s second-grade gym class Monday at Central Elementary School in Menominee.

Citizens Academy class taking applications for new members By EMMA KUHN EagleHerald staff writer

MARINETTE — Members of the Marinette Public Safety & Code Enforcement committee were treated to a presentation by the Marinette Police Department’s Sgt. Jeff Cate about a future program aimed at average citizens and helping them understand the job and daily duties of being a police officer. Cate explained that the Marinette Police Department was looking to garner interest in and run a new round of the Citizens Academy, where interested citizens are given the opportunity to get a realistic view of the police department. “It’s going to be pretty much

to explain why we do what we do and educate the public on how police operations work,” Cate said. “Because until you’ve actually been told a lot of people don’t know.” Cate said the Citizens Academy’s connection between the police department and the community was “more important than ever” due to the current national climate and discussion about police officers and the many things that can go wrong and influence encounters with the police. He added that the department is currently looking for interested adults and hoped the class would also inspire people to join the Marinette Police Department Citizens Academy Alumni Association, which is looking for new members.

Topics covered by the police officers in Citizens Academy include criminal procedures, search and seizure and Miranda Rights; patrol procedures and traffic laws; investigations and evidence collection; dispatching; emergency vehicle operation; use of force and defense tactics; drugs, drug enforcement and K-9 units; OAWI enforcement; and tactical response units and firearms. The class meets once a week for eight weeks, with classes lasting approximately two hours. The final week of the course consists of a graduation dinner, and those who complete the class are invited to join the Marinette Police Department Citizens Academy Alumni Association. The group of See ACADEMY, A3

Menominee presses ahead with city manager search

By PENNY MULLINS EagleHerald news editor/digital director

MENOMINEE — The Menominee City Council will hold another special meeting to discuss which candidates it will interview for the open city manager position, after deciding Monday to remove one candidate from contention and hearing that two new candidates were replacing two who withdrew. After meeting in closed session to discuss the candidates, who have asked their names be kept confidential at this point, and to discuss negotiations with two of the city’s unions, the council returned to open session. Mayor Jean Stegeman said the

council spoke with a representative of Slavin Management Consultants, who told them two candidates had dropped out and “two very highly qualified candidates were added back in.” The council had proposed interviewing up to five candidates when members met with David Krings and Robert Slavin of Slavin Management Consultants, a search firm out of Norcross, Georgia, in early September and Monday’s regular council meeting as the time to discuss who would be interviewed. Stegeman also said that interviewing the two additional candidates would be contingent on background checks, but the counSee MANAGER, A3

MENOMINEE — Every council member had input, but in the end, the decision will fall to Rob Jamo, Menominee’s interim city manager, as to how best to fill the open position of city assessor. Council members Monday night suggested everything from changing the now contracted part-time position to a full-time; to making the position a city job; to contracting with an outside assessing firm or hiring from within. Council member Bill Plemel asked if Peg Bastien, who was suggested at the Judicial and Legislative/Personnel and Labor Committee meeting as a possible candidate, could give up part of her already full-time job. He said if she could, “then maybe that job isn’t full-time.” Plemel said his suggestion is to go to the Michigan Assessors Association and get a list of firms that could come to the city and “get our tax rolls and determine whether or not our current assessor is correct with all the 600 and some changes she made, or our former assessor, Jill Schwanz, was more correct or whether they both had something that needs to be straightened out. I don’t believe it can be done internally.” During the discussion, a key question came up – why did the current contracted assessor Mari Negro resign? “Did the city manager or anybody else really talk to Mrs. Negro about her reasons for her resignation … do something like an exit interview?” Council member Frank Pohlmann asked. He said it was highly unusual that Negro had just signed a 12-month agreement, and two months into it says “‘I’m out of here.’ Something is missing if we don’t have this information.” He said Negro started the job

Rowing pal

during a time of “high political situation and obviously we had in the AMAR report that 600 changes were not fully explained that were done in 2014 by the former assessor. “She (Negro) went back and rectified some of the things that hadn’t been done before and maybe, because she did the right thing, she had an alliance against her … by doing the right thing, she ruffled some feathers.” Later in the meeting, Council member Steve Fifarek said, “I’d like to know the reason why Mari left. I think that should come out.” Council member Nick Malone said the resignation may be for “confidential reasons.” Regardless of why Negro resigned, council members were concerned about the problems with the 2016 assessments and finalizing the 2015 tax roll. Mayor Jean Stegeman said the council had a solution “almost before us – usually things are not this simple.” She said that the city had a difficult time finding anyone interested in the part-time position in the past. She said the city should consider making adjustments to the job description, and “Bring Peg Bastien in as the assessor for Menominee,” Stegeman said. “She worked and trained under Jill Schwanz; she has also worked with Mari Negro.” She said Bastien, who now works part-time at the cemetery and part-time with the Department of Public Works, could be made part-time assessor and part-time at the cemetery. “Peg has been a dedicated employee of the city of Menominee … and if Peg is willing to do the work and knows just how big a job this is ...” Stegeman said she knows Plemel said his biggest concern in not hiring Bastien in the past was the lack of a job description, but See ASSESSOR, A3

EagleHerald/Rick Gebhard

Bob Bannow rows a boat with his dog, Winston, Thursday in Menekaunee Harbor in Marinette.

Marinette County tourism proposal moves forward By TIM GREENWOOD EagleHerald staff writer

MARINETTE — A proposal to have Marinette County Tourism Coordinator Butch Kostreva promoted to full-time status moved forward Monday with an uncertain future with the process to develop the 2017 county budget in an 11th hour status.


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The county board’s Economic Development and Tourism Committee voted 3-0 on a motion by Supervisor Shirley Kaufman and seconded by Kaufman Supevisor Dennis Marcely to forward a recommendation to make Kostreva a full-time employee as of Jan. 1 to the Personnel and Finance

Lacousiere, Richard “Red” J. Sokol, Rose


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committees. Also voting “yes” was Supervisor Bill Stankevich; committee members Supervisors Al Mans and Chris Schmidt were absent. Kaufman, who became the committee’s chairperson in April, first proposed the promotion of Kostreva on July 18. Since then her plan has faced debate by the committee and she has been told by County Administrator Shawn Henessee and Supervisor Mark

Anderson, county board chairman, that county funds to promote Kostreva are not available. Her plan also includes moving Kostreva from his office in the courthouse annex to the Marinette Welcome Center, with a possible addition to be built to that structure to make room for him to work with Welcome Center Director Judy Alwin and her staff. Marinette Mayor Steve Genisot was present at Monday’s meet-



INSIDE Nation: A suspect in recent New York bombings has been shot and arrested. A7 Sports: Versatile Duke Larson will be inducted into the Marinette athletic Hall of Fame. B1

ing, but made no comments about Kaufman’s plan. “The reason I’d like to get this going is we basically have other plans for the tourism coordinator to locate at the Welcome Center,” Kaufman said. “I’ve talked to Steve, Shawn and Mark about this. “I’m not sure how this is going to work out, but I would like to see some action done by us

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