space
space
Peshtigo Times
space
space
space
Perspectives
* From our readers
space
space
Sports Shorts
* 26th Annual Fire Tower Run
* Badgers Continue To Dominate
* Straight-Set Win For Panthers Over Marines
* Cougars Win Catfight
* Ducks Unlimited Sets Fundraiser

space
Peshtigo Fire
space
e-Edition
Now Available
For more information
click here
dot
THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
space
dot
space

Lakari, Johns Resign Twin County Airport Positions, Judge Rules Anderson On

The balance of power on Twin County Airport Commission switched abruptly Friday, Aug. 8, when two of the three Marinette County Commissioners resigned and Menominee Circuit Court Judge Richard Celello issued a ruling that seats Garry Anderson as Menominee County’s third member of the airport’s governing body. Supervisor Ted Sauve is now Marinette County’s only representative on the Commission.

Meanwhile, no commission business has been conducted since June. The regular monthly meeting on July 14 ended without a quorum after Menominee County Commissioners Charlie Meintz and Chris Plutchak walked out after a motion to seat Anderson was defeated, 3 to 2.

Neither of the two Menominee Commissioners attended the Friday noon meeting, so it too ended without action, except that Marinette County Supervisor Nick Lakari and At-Large Commissioner Mary Johns submitted their resignations to Airport Manager Tony Krysiak.

Johns and Lakari both were upset with what Johns termed failure of Marinette County “to provide its representatives on the Commission with legal counsel, or even casual advice.” Lakari stated as he submitted his resignation that “The help we have been requesting has not been granted....There has been no political assistance from our county board chair, and no legal assistance from our corporation counsel.”

Lakari said his concerns matched those of Johns, and he had expressed them in the resignation letter he addressed to County Board Chair Vilas Schroeder.

The three Marinette County Commissioners had received summons to appear in court Friday afternoon, and did so without the assistance of legal counsel.

Comments later indicated Marinette County Corporation Counsel Gale Mattison is not licensed to practice law in Michigan. In addition to her Corporation Counsel duties, Mattison is a member of the triumvirate serving as Marinette County Administrator since the resignation of Ellen Sorensen. Other members of the administrative team are Finance Director Pat Kass and Human Resources Director Jennifer Holtger.

Sauve said after the court proceedings and resignations on Friday that Commission by-laws allow any two commissioners to request a meeting. He said payroll has not been interrupted because of continuing authorization, but was concerned that other bills and essential airport business are not being taken care of. He expressed hope that the first order of business at the next Commission meeting will be election of a chair and vice chair.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Airport Commission would be at 5 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 19. Special meetings can be called by the chair with four hours advance notice, but since the commission currently has neither a chair or vice chair, that option does not appear viable.

Marinette County has not yet named its new Commissioners, and that may not be possible until its next County Board meeting, which is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 26.

The controversy dates back to June, when Jason Lauzer, Menominee County’s at-large commissioner, resigned to accept a job out of state. Menominee County Board, on a split vote, appointed Anderson to fill that post.

The three Marinette County Commissioners voted in June and July not to seat him, citing issues connected with Anderson’s ownership of a hangar at the airport and lease of the space it occupies. In her resignation letter, Johns also cited the controversy that surrounded Anderson’s prior term on the commission, which ended in 2010 when he was defeated by Jim Pearson in a County Board recall election.

After the July 15 refusal to seat Anderson the two Menominee County Commissioners walked out, leaving the Marinette County members without a quorum to continue the meeting.

At a special meeting on Friday, July 18, Menominee County Board authorized Prosecuting Attorney Dan Hass to file suit aimed at forcing the Airport Commission to accept Anderson as the its citizen at large member. Hass filed the suit later that day, and the Aug. 8 hearing was subsequently scheduled.

The suit asked the court to order TCAC to approve Anderson’s appointment immediately, and sought recovery of legal fees and other associated costs incurred by Menominee County.

Hass said at that time, and again in court on Aug. 8, that the issue was not whether or not there was support for Anderson, it was whether or not the Twin County Airport documents do or do not give Menominee County Board the right to choose the persons who will represent them on the Commission.

A meeting of the Commission’s Executive/Finance committee that had been scheduled for 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12 was canceled. Agenda for the canceled meeting included review of financials, review of the 2015 budget, review of comp time for Airport Manager, and “status of summons and complaint naming TCAC as Defendant, Info only.”

The Friday, Aug. 8 events began at the noon meeting of the Airport Commission that was convened by Lakari, acting chair since Lauzer’s resignation.

Agenda included possible hiring of an attorney to defend the commission in the Menominee County suit, possible use of Commission funds to pay for hiring an attorney to defend the summons and complaint, and “discuss/consider requesting reimbursement from both Marinette and Menominee Counties for costs associated with hiring an attorney to defend Summons and Complaint.”

Lakari, Sauve and Johns were present. Meintz had said he would not attend. Plutchak was absent without an explanation. Eight members of the public were on hand.

Lakari noted there was no quorum and declared the meeting adjourned. He also asked the press to remain for announcements.

“I am rather disgusted and discouraged by Marinette County,” Johns declared. “We had requested information and advice and we did not get it!”

In a formal letter to Mattison Johns wrote: “Marinette county has chosen not to provide its representatives on the commission with legal counsel, or even casual advice, concerning the lawsuit filed by Menominee County. Why would I choose to volunteer for an entity that provides no support for my efforts?”

She went on;

“You refused to give any advice to Nick Lakari when he sough it on not one, but two occasions. The fact that you aren’t licensed to practice law in Michigan does not preclude you from giving non-legal advice in your role as part of the county’s interim administrative team.

“You work for the taxpayers. You have much to answer for to your constituency.

“An airport is a dynamic force in the economic development of a community. But there appears to be little support for the airport on the part of either county. It seems the Majority of the Menominee County Board want to turn the airport into a playground for private pilots, not a viable economic asset,” Johns concluded. “I simply prefer to focus my energies where I have a chance of accomplishing something.”

In her formal statement at the meeting, Johns declared:

“I would not be resigning if Marinette County had offered us legal counsel or even advice when it was sought back in June.

“When county government has cross-border financial and administrative legal agreements, the county should have a corporate counsel who is licensed to practice law in both states. This is a stipulation that the Marinette County Board should insist upon going forward. No more excuses!

“I believe the lawsuit could have been avoided with appropriate legal counsel.

“It is irresponsible and cavalier when the knee-jerk reaction on the part of the allegedly aggrieved Menominee County Board is to file a lawsuit that further divides a community that should be working together.

“A majority of the Menominee County Board wants to leave the impression our reluctance to seat Mr. Anderson is merely over whether or not his hangar lease and ownership has been properly transferred. The reluctance to seat him goes well beyond than that. One need look no further than newspaper clippings from 2009 and 2010 to see what problems occurred the last time Mr. Anderson was on the airport commission.

“I believe a majority of the Menominee County Board wants the airport to remain a playground for private pilots, not a viable economic asset. It is time for Marinette County to step up to the plate and support the airport’s economic vitality by supporting its representatives on the commission.

“My kudos to Bernie Lang and James Furlong of Menominee County for understanding the larger picture and the importance of the airport to a vibrant and growing community.

“I applaud Nick Lakari and Ted Sauve for their efforts on behalf of the airport and Marinette County. It’s a pity they have not received support from Marinette County.

“Airport Manager Tony Krysiak and Lineman Jeff LaFleur have demonstrated their devotion to the airport; they are to be commended and not, as in the past, harassed by Menominee County’s Airport Commission members,” Johns concluded.

Lakari said he also wrote to the Marinette County Board Chair expressing the same concerns.

“The real losers are the taxpayers if the airport is no longer supported by the counties,” Johns declared.

Sauve said he will continue to represent Marinette County as he has in the past, and will continue to support the airport.

“This is the first time in my 44 years in government that I have experienced people walking out if they disagree with a position,” Sauve said in regard to the departure of Plutchak and Meintz from the July meeting. “I find it deplorable for Menominee County to walk out when they didn’t get their way!”

However, Sauve went on, “I hope we can proceed with things that we have going at this time for the benefit of both counties.”

Comments of the commissioners indicated that Marinette County had mailed no responses to the court documents in regard to the hearing that was to begin two hours later in Menominee County Courthouse.

Sauve, Lakari and Johns were present on the Marinette County side of the aisle for the “Show Cause” hearing, along with Marinette County Supervisor Joe Banaszak. Banaszak, who also is a Town of Stephenson Supervisor, is manager of the town-owned Crivitz Airport. There were at least 15 spectators on the Menominee side, including Meintz and Plutchak.

Hass, who on many issues has served as legal advisor for the Airport Commission, was present on behalf of Menominee County Board.

Judge Celello asked if anyone was present to defend the Airport Commission, and there was no response.

He asked if the commissioners had been in contact with an attorney and noted the Airport Commission had not filed a response.

Lakari said he and the other two Marinette County Commissioners were present because they had been ordered to appear. In response to a question from Celello, Lakari said the commission had not hired an attorney.

Celello told Hass he had read his documents. Hass said since there had been nothing filed on behalf of the Marinette County position, “I’m asking the court to make a finding they are not in dispute. I’m asking you to act on the Menominee County Board’s request.”

“This boils down to Democracy 101,” Hass told the court. “It is Menominee County’s right to receive equal representation on the Airport Commisison....It’s a board of six and we need to have Menominee County’s representative recognized.”

“This is not about Garry Anderson,” Hass declared. “Menominee County has a legal right to make the appointment...It’s the Commission’s duty to seat the representative...All we’re asking is for this court to recognize Menominee County’s right to appoint.”

Celello asked Lakari his status, and Lakari said he had been acting chair of the Commission until noon, “when I chose to submit my resignation.”

Celello explained as a public corporation the Commission could not act through lay people, it must be represented by an attorney. Whether on the Commission or not, “You have no standing except as a witness,” Celello told the Marinette County contingent. “You can come and be a witness as to why a writ of mandamus should not be issued.”

When there was no response, Celello ruled that the Commission must accept the transfer of lease for Anderson’s hangar and accept the appointment of Anderson to the Commission.

He gave Hass 14 days to prepare the writ of mandamus papers, and said he will sign them as soon as they are ready. Hass said after court adjourned that he would get the papers done quickly. He believed as soon as the writ is signed the Menominee County appointee (Anderson) is on the Commission. Hass said there had been a conflict of interest in regard to the hangar lease, but it has been resolved, “so now let’s move on.”

With Anderson seated the Commission has four members - Sauve from Marinette County and Anderson, Meintz and Plutchak from Menominee County.


Recent stories, opinions and photos

Issue Date Department Headline
10-01-2014Sports
26th Annual Fire Tower Run

10-01-2014Sports
Badgers Continue To Dominate

10-01-2014Sports
Straight-Set Win For Panthers Over Marines

10-01-2014Sports
Cougars Win Catfight

10-01-2014Perspectives
From our readers

10-01-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

10-01-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

10-01-2014Obituaries
Julie A. (Clermont) Swanson

10-01-2014Obituaries
Robert F. Sinkey

10-01-2014Obituaries
Joan Merline

10-01-2014Obituaries
Rev. Ralph C. Merkatoris

10-01-2014Obituaries
Gloria D. Martin 

10-01-2014Obituaries
Anita M. Kresge

10-01-2014Obituaries
Rebecca S. Jones

10-01-2014Obituaries
John H. Jacobs

10-01-2014Obituaries
Kody E. Hannon-Windbiel

10-01-2014Obituaries
Ruth L. Amundsen

10-01-2014Obituaries
Lorraine M. Thomson

10-01-2014Obituaries
Harry Schmidt

10-01-2014Obituaries
Sylvia P. Sanford

10-01-2014Obituaries
Frances B. Pashouwer

10-01-2014Obituaries
Jacob C. "Jake” Neuens

10-01-2014Obituaries
Donald R. Mueller

10-01-2014Obituaries
Nathalie Miller

10-01-2014Obituaries
Veronica J. LaBrosse

10-01-2014Obituaries
Josephine F. Kobus

10-01-2014Obituaries
Lynwood D. Harrand

10-01-2014Obituaries
Ethel L. Gummin

10-01-2014Obituaries
Audrey M. Glass

10-01-2014Obituaries
Virginia Dobbs

10-01-2014Obituaries
Lorraine Axenrod

10-01-2014Obituaries
Jim Ama

10-01-2014Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Fire Auxiliary Craft Fair

10-01-2014Community - Wausaukee
Library Sells Used Books at Fall Fest

10-01-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wagner Fire Department Annual Sportsman Raffle

10-01-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Big Fall Festival is Oct. 4th

10-01-2014Community - Crivitz
Shire to Preach at Faith Church

10-01-2014Community - Crivitz
Over 50 Vendors Expected at Show

10-01-2014Community - Crivitz
105 at Legion Gun/Knife Show

10-01-2014Community - Crivitz
New Life Holds Oktoberfest Oct. 9

10-01-2014Community - Coleman
Open House at Coleman Fire Oct. 12

10-01-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Legion Lists Sept. 27 Raffle Winners

10-01-2014Community - Coleman
Brazeau Emergency Services Set Oct. 14 Open House

10-01-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Village Board To Meet

10-01-2014News
City Hosts Diggers At Park Oct. 11th

10-01-2014News
Open House at Coleman Library

10-01-2014Front Page
Peshtigo Historical Day Deemed as Huge Success

10-01-2014Front Page
Marinette/Menominee County Disputes Over Airport Continue

10-01-2014Front Page
Three Trustees Resign From Riverside Cemetery Board

10-01-2014Front Page
Invite One Candidate For Second County Administrator Interview

10-01-2014Front Page
County to Get New Topographical Maps

09-24-2014Sports
Ducks Unlimited Sets Fundraiser

09-24-2014Sports
Niagara Netters At Top Of M-O, Peshtigo And Coleman Not Far Behind

09-24-2014Sports
Another Strong Showing For Peshtigo CC Runners

09-24-2014Sports
The Strong Get Stronger

09-24-2014Perspectives
From our readers

09-24-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

09-24-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-24-2014Obituaries
Lyle Whiting

09-24-2014Obituaries
Lorraine Thomson

09-24-2014Obituaries
Bill Teteak

09-24-2014Obituaries
Angelina Szadziewicz

09-24-2014Obituaries
Luella J. Petrin

09-24-2014Obituaries
Dale M. Nutt Sr.

09-24-2014Obituaries
John E. Noonan

09-24-2014Obituaries
Audrey Hranach

09-24-2014Obituaries
Audrey M. Glass

09-24-2014Obituaries
Eugene Chapman Sr.

09-24-2014Obituaries
George R. Behrendt

09-24-2014Obituaries
Alexander F. Zielinski, Sr.

09-24-2014Obituaries
Thomas J. Wichman

09-24-2014Obituaries
Heidi E. Teasdale

09-24-2014Obituaries
Susan Smith

09-24-2014Obituaries
Patricia A. Seguin

09-24-2014Obituaries
Donald M. Podner

09-24-2014Obituaries
Gladys I. Philipps

09-24-2014Obituaries
Jeffrey A. Pecotte

09-24-2014Obituaries
Marcy Olsen

09-24-2014Obituaries
Lorna M. Micheals

09-24-2014Obituaries
Willis W. McDonald, Sr.

09-24-2014Obituaries
Patricia Krueger

09-24-2014Obituaries
Robert J. Hruska

09-24-2014Obituaries
Betty J. Hearty

09-24-2014Obituaries
Patricia R. (Obey) Gustafson

09-24-2014Obituaries
Allen H. Boser

09-24-2014News
Need Blood For Organ Transplants

09-24-2014News
NEWCAP Free Flu Vaccine

09-24-2014News
Date Change for On Camera Event

09-24-2014Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Fire Auxiliary Craft Fair

09-24-2014Community - Wausaukee
Legion Auxiliary Lists 3 Events

09-24-2014Community - Wausaukee
Professional Wrestling at Wausaukee Sept. 27

09-24-2014Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Fire Open House Set

09-24-2014Community - Crivitz
Judge Stichmann To Serve on District OLR

09-24-2014Community - Crivitz
Food Pantry Gets $500 Shopko Grant

09-24-2014Community - Crivitz
CHS Homecoming Week of Sept. 29

09-24-2014Community - Crivitz
New Pottery Studio, Classes in Crivitz

09-24-2014Community - Coleman
Veterans Win Fair Quilts

09-24-2014Community - Coleman
CCBA Lists Area Events

09-24-2014Community - Coleman
Equity Plans Bean Bag Toss League

09-24-2014Community - Coleman
Steiners in Coleman Has New Owners

09-24-2014Front Page
Grover-Porterfield FD Open House a Success

09-24-2014Front Page
Peshtigo Historical Day Parade, Events Saturday

09-24-2014Front Page
To Hold Special Airport Meeting On Thursday

09-24-2014Front Page
Peshtigo Town Constable To Issue Citations For Dumping

09-24-2014Front Page
Lena School District Adopts $4.8 Million Budget

09-17-2014Sports
UPIR Fall Classic Wraps Season, Crowns 2014 Champions

09-17-2014Sports
Coleman, Peshtigo In Five-Game Thriller; Crivitz Over Wausaukee, Lena at Home

09-17-2014Sports
Area Runners Place Well In Shawano

09-17-2014Sports
Another Winning Week For Area Teams

09-17-2014Perspectives
From our readers

09-17-2014Perspectives
Tales from the old-timer

09-17-2014Perspectives
Country Cousin

09-17-2014Obituaries
Roberta L. Shelby

09-17-2014Obituaries
Eleanor E. Robinette

09-17-2014Obituaries
Roger E. Pillsbury

09-17-2014Obituaries
Otis E. Goltz

09-17-2014Obituaries
Barb Christensen

09-17-2014Obituaries
Elizabeth J. Baumann

09-17-2014Obituaries
Betty L. Woller

09-17-2014Obituaries
Joyce Wieck

09-17-2014Obituaries
Patricia J. (White) Utley

09-17-2014Obituaries
Mary L. Swanson

09-17-2014Obituaries
Robert T. Sandahl

09-17-2014Obituaries
Monica M. Rymer

09-17-2014Obituaries
Donald L. Noack

09-17-2014Obituaries
Marie T. Naffzinger

09-17-2014Obituaries
Michael G. Motsinger

09-17-2014Obituaries
Eleanor R. Mikula

09-17-2014Obituaries
George J. Medley

09-17-2014Obituaries
Calvin W. Krueger

09-17-2014Obituaries
Virginia Eggen

09-17-2014Obituaries
Richard S. Bozile

09-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Wausaukee Acts On Pier, Mobile Home Violation

09-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Presbyterian Women Oct. 18 Fall Supper

09-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Legion Post 66 Chili Fest Sept. 27

09-17-2014Community - Wausaukee
Athelstane Board Receives Public Input, Timber Check

09-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Legion Gun, Knife Show on Sept. 27

09-17-2014Community - Crivitz
19 at Even Monday Cards

09-17-2014Community - Crivitz
Wolverines Sept. 26 Tailgate Party

09-17-2014Community - Crivitz
KC Dinner For Special Friends

09-17-2014Community - Coleman
North Country Kickers Fall Dance on Sept. 27

09-17-2014Community - Coleman
KC Punt, Pass Kick is Sept. 2

09-17-2014Community - Coleman
Coleman Students Return from Educational Trip to Greece, Italy

09-17-2014Community - Coleman
Free Horseshow at Equity Park Sept. 21

09-17-2014News
Balthazor Benefit at Lee’s Foods

09-17-2014News
Grover Porterfield FD Open House is Sept. 20

09-17-2014News
Coleman Legion Flag Disposal Ceremony Sept. 27

09-17-2014News
VA to Hold POW/MIA Recognition Day Sept. 19

09-17-2014Front Page
New Platform for Old Depot, List Oct. Events

09-17-2014Front Page
Peshtigo School To Buy Industrial Park Land


space
Peshtigo Times
WEB Poll!
Do you plan to vote in the November election?
space Yes
No
Undecided
space
TO VOTE CLICK
YES, NO or UNDECIDED

Suggest a Question
space .
space
FRONT
space
.
space
CLASSIFIEDS
space
.
space
COMMUNITY
space
.
space
GUEST BOOK
space
.
space
NEWS
space
.
space
OBITS
space
.
space
PERSPECTIVES
space
.
space
SPORTS
space
.
space
SUBSCRIBE
space
.
space
.
space
PESHTIGO FIRE
space
.
space
CUSTOM PRINTING
space
.
space
TIMES' SAVER
space
.
space
Click for Peshtigo, Wisconsin Forecast
FORECAST
space
Quick...
News or Ad Search
Enter News key words.
Enter Ad key words.



Peshtigo Times
841 Maple St
PO Box 187
Peshtigo, WI 54157
Phone: 715-582-4541
Email:
News@
PeshtigoTimes.com

space
Fax: 715-582-4662
© 2000-2014
All right reserved
space
Powered by
WEB Media
Interactive
COMMUNITY
WEB sites