2007-08-18 / Top News

Jim Marks To Serve as Interim Police Chief

By Eric Fish

At a brief Wednesday, August 15, meeting of the Mackinac Island City Council, Officer Jim Marks was designated to be the interim chief of police in mid- September when Chief William Lenaghan leaves the Island, with a plan to appoint him full time to the post if he passes probation.

Mr. Marks has been involved in police work for more than 30 years, and will be the interim chief until January 15 while the city evaluates him.

"We will reevaluate both him liking us and us liking him," Mayor Margaret Doud said. "It's a sixth-month appointment."

Mr. Marks attended the meeting and shook hands with each council member following their approval.

"Thank you very much for your vote of confidence," he said.

The details of Mr. Mark's appointment were discussed in a meeting of the Finance Committee immediately prior to Wednesday's council meeting. He is to be paid $44,000 per year, or $22,000 for the sixmonth appointment, approximately 10 percent more salary than the department's highest paid patrol officer. His contract will be renegotiated if he is named police chief after January 15, and he will retain his seniority as an officer if he is not named chief.

In other Council business, a rezoning request submitted by David Cutsinger was tabled until the next council meeting, in part because city building inspector Dennis Dombroski was unable to attend the meeting to answer questions.

"I'd like to table this for more study at least for two weeks," Alderman Smi Horn said.

Mr. Cutsinger wants to rezone his property at 1358 French Lane from the R-3 high density residential zone to the adjacent historic zone. The zoning change would allow him to rent his home on a weekly basis. Property to the south of Mr. Cutsinger's home is zoned hotelboardinghouse and to the north is zoned historic.

His request was denied by the Planning Commission in a 5-4 vote Tuesday, July 10.

Mr. and Mrs. Cutsinger attended the council meeting, arguing that changing the zone will bring more income to the Island.

Ron Dufina and Victor Callewaert submitted letters on the matter in support of the rezoning proposal. Candi Smith and Jennifer Griffin wrote letters against it.

"I'm not interested in the money," wrote French Lane property owner Jennifer Griffin, who also attended the meeting Wednesday, "I'm interested in the continuity of my neighborhood."

In other matters, Council accepted a letter from resident Lois Geraldine Wellington, who wrote of her frustration in getting a handicapped taxi for transportation and asking that the city take responsibility to ensure that handicapped residents and visitors are accommodated.

"In view of the economy and reduced tourism, I think the City should not ignore any segment of its visitors or year round population," Mrs. Wellington wrote in her letter.

Council said it would pass her letter to Mackinac Island Carriage Tours.

Council approved Mackinac Arts Council's request for the temporary use Windermere Point, the Iroquois Hotel, The Gate House, and Mission Point Resort for its 2007 Mackinac Music Festival from August 21 to 23.

A temporary motor vehicle permit was given to Grand Hotel to remove artwork from the hotel by truck between September 23 and 25.

A seasonal overhang permit was given to Emily Fullerton to place an awning over the entrance to The Jaunting Cart on Market Street.

Mayoral assistant Kelly Bean was authorized to purchase a laptop computer to aid her in correspondence, reports, and note-taking at committee and council meetings. The city has allowed for the purchase in this year's budget.

Council will meet again Wednesday, August 29, at 6 p.m. on the second floor of Community Hall.

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